Monday, December 9, 2013

We survived Icepocalypse!

But more importantly, you only have today and tomorrow to get in on the mini-photo session deal that is explained in this post. For examples of my work, you can see in this post.

And on to this post.

We survived the icepocalypse! Yes, even the neighbors cow Bessie. She was in the comfort of her barn before the ice came in. I just wanted to share the picture because she is quite photogenic. (Also note, I take pictures of more than just humans.)

I could be sharing the horrific damage done to our willow trees and the area around us, but I can not stomach looking at those pictures right now. Instead I want to focus on the beauty. The next two pictures are from our cherry tree at different stages of ice coverage during the weekend.

December 6th
The first night we weren't sure how bad the ice was going to be. I had lived through the ice storm of February '94 in the middle Tennessee area and my husband is from Ohio, so we knew it could get ugly fast. First thing I did was charge up my phone and camera.  (Not really, but I did have to be prepared.)

We hunkered down for the night. Friday I had an assignment due for a class that had to get turned in despite the weather. We turned up the hit and kept warm.

Saturday was a surprise. We had gotten ice Friday night but not as bad as it could have been. We mistakenly thought we had missed the worst of it.

December 7th

Most of the day on Saturday it was dry, cold but dry. We managed to get a few things done and took a few pictures. I managed to take one of my favorite in my front yard. (to the left) As the night neared it started raining, just a drizzle but enough to know what was to come was not going to be good. When the pastor called to cancel church, we knew it was going to be rough.

After having a movie night watching Red 2, we all went to bed not thinking about the on coming storm. (do you see what I did there, not unless you are a whovian.) Anyhow, what we woke up to was shocking. Apparently it was a freezing thunderstorm with high winds.

The Smaller of Our Willows

The trees were twisted and ripped apart. When I saw it my heart sunk. We moved to this house six years ago and had to nurse these willows back to health, to see them destroyed like this overnight guts you.

On top of that branches broke off of the bigger tree (Yes, bigger, like 50 foot tall.) and they landed on and around the kids swing-set/fort. We don't think there is any damage, but haven't been able to take care of the branches yet.

We do take heart in we are extremely blessed. the bigger willow stands above the house and none of the branches hit the house. We also did not lose power other than a few flickers here and there. As of the time I am writing this there are more than 3500 people in my county that have not had power since Sunday morning around 5 a.m.

We did find ourselves having to run to the store yesterday for milk and a couple other things, we were blessed that the store was stocked. We are blessed that I did not have to be on campus today since the kids were out of school. God is good!

Now, on to knock out the rest of these finals and graduate.

P.S. Don't forget about the photo mini-sessions! The special is only available until tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Why hire me as your photographer? #sale

 The short answer? I have a great sale going on right now. For $50 you get a 30 minute session, 10-20 images on disk, and a copyright release to print. You do not need to have a date right now, and you only have to pay a $25 deposit towards the session. The receipt you will receive is good for one year from date of purchase.

So, what kind of pictures  would you be interested in?

Family Pictures
Prom Pictures

Engagement Pictures
Senior Pictures

Casual Pictures
Senior Picture

Casual Pictures

Special Event Pictures
Baby's 1st Birthday

Or is there something else that you would be interested in? Right now is the time to contact me. The special is only good until December 10, 2013. 

Support a small business, me!

Copyright notice, all pictures are the creative work of Faith Tilley Johnson. All Rights Reserved. May NOT be used or reprinted without written permission.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

'Tis the Season, Offer for You! #BlackFriday

 I have been looking for a way to be creative and earn money while helping people out for Christmas. Win/win situation kind of thing. Fact is, my kids want me to have a much bigger budget than what I have for Christmas and I would love to build my photography portfolio. (Have you seen it? I have a few pictures posted on Facebook.)

So here is the deal, I am going to do basic photo sessions for you, my friends, family, and fans. I know you are thinking that you don't need pictures done right now. Not needing pictures right now is okay. What about prom, senior pictures, graduation, Easter, family reunion, or even just because?

I am going to have thirty minute sessions in which you will receive 10-20 images on disk with my permission to print. The sessions are $50. All you have to do is pay a $25 deposit to reserve this special. If you have a date great, if not that is okay too. The only catch is that because this deal is so inexpensive, I have to limit the location to Dickson County and southern Montgomery County, TN. There may be exceptions, but email me if we want to look into that.

There will be no refunds because I am giving you a year from the date of purchase. I will keep track through paypal with the records. Only one session per offer, one deposit per offer. You may purchase more than one session by paying more than one deposit.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Writing is such sweet sorrow

There are only so many hours in a day and so many of those are taken up with eating and sleeping. When the mood strikes, um excuse me... the muse strikes, you must write. For the first time in three years, it appears my muse and NaNoWriMo have struck at the same time.

I might be a little crazy for tackling a writing challenge this big right now. I am currently in my last semester of my bachelor's degree. I have several projects due at the end of November that are very involved. Yet, when you have to write there is no stopping the urge to write.

Anyhow, I will tackle the 50,000 words in 30 days goal and hopefully succeed this year. I have my outline
ready to go and even created a book cover. Possibly a little 'cart before the horse' mentality there but it is motivation.

In addition, I have 30 themed prompts that co-relate to my story in case I get stuck. In writing out my outline I have prompted each chapter so that if I get stuck on one, I can move to another. Obviously i plan on editing after the month is over. That is key, edit AFTER the month is over.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Do you know what NaNo is?

You can learn more about NaNoWriMo here.

Honorable, they say

I entered the Sky's The Limit photography contest that the Renaissance Center in Dickson, Tennessee had this fall. The photos are currently on display in their gallery until November 2.

On October 5th, there was a reception where the winners of the contest were announced. There were over 300 entries, 40 finalist and it came down to a tense couple of minutes.

Red Hawks Soar
I was pleasantly surprised to be included as the honorable mention of the finalists. This photo is of the 2012-13 Creekwood High School Drill Team just after one of their competitions.I am so proud of these young men and women.

I am greatly humbled to have received the Honorable Mention. This was the first photo contest I entered.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Tribute In Memory

Sometimes you have that person in your life that inspires you to be great. On occasion, you are related to that person.

Rarely does that person have a major impact in your life and you only remember meeting them once when you were a teen and there not being a whole lot of interaction between you.

This would be my cousin.

She has inspired me to be me for a while. My mom and her mom used to joke about how she was my mom's child and I was my aunt's, in reality I think our personalities were not that much different. My cousin studied film and photography. She was a graphic designer long before it was the cool thing to do.

She was an advocate for her children, which I find myself becoming.  One of her children and one of mine have very similar health concerns; she shared a lot with me so that unlike her, I am not starting from scratch and clueless.

My cousin was a fighter.

She never took no for an answer. Even when it was the only answer. I love my cousin and right now, my heart is breaking for her family and her sisters.

See, my cousin fought breast cancer for 4.5 years.

Her fight is over.

(Withholding name to honor privacy wishes.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My 2nd Love, Photography

Upon the advice of one of my favorite college professors, I have entered some of my work into a couple contests. It just so happens that in one contest, my friends can help me out.

Below are links to three of the pictures I entered to one of the contests. You are allowed to vote daily until the end of August. I would appreciate it. Plus you are encouraging me.

Like the pictures? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Where is the pleasure in reading?

My own children have asked me, "Why do I have to read?"

We have fought over school work that involves reading, and I understand the why. If the content of what an individual is reading does not grab them, then they do not connect with it. 

I could get on a soapbox about the content that my children have brought home as required reading. It truly is no wonder why there is a fight to get them to read. That is not the nature of this post though.

The pleasure in reading. 

I remember the first time I read The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, I was transported into the land with the Unicorn, Schmendrick the Magician and Molly Grue as they sought the where-a-bouts of the other unicorns. Their journey to King Haggard's land was grueling, as was the meeting with the Red Bull. Then when Amalthea fell in love with Prince Lir. The book really grasped the imagination of my then twelve year old self.

Reading is for information, inspiration, imagination, escape, and simply to relax.

The key to enjoying reading is being interested in what is read. I have been known to read a book series that was poorly written (grammar-wise) but had a plot that interested me and kept me reading. Was the plot believable? No. The whole reason the book captivated me was because it was not believable, yet the characters seemed like people I had possibly met.

An individual does not have to be a fan of Charles Dickens in order to love reading. They do not have to be a fan of Neil Gaiman either.

There are thousands upon thousands of authors out there that literally write something for everyone. If you have a child that does not enjoy reading, keep trying. We did not think we would ever get our youngest to read and then he discovered Dr. Seuss. It zipped through every one of the Seuss books he could find. His most recent discovery is Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan.

Find a topic that is of interest and then go from there. Visit your local library often.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Where I want to be...

More than any other goal in my life. My utmost desire is to dwell in the house of the Lord.

While I do need to have an idea about my future, I should not worry about it. God will supply all my needs, and provide.

Goals: What to do with them.

All my life I have been told to set a goal and strive for it. Most of my life I have done so.

In the next six months I WILL be obtaining a goal that has alluded me for twenty years, and frankly? I am unsure of what to do with it. Please do not misunderstand me. I am excited, I cannot wait to pursue a career in writing, and my uncertainty comes in the execution. My major is Web and Print Journalism while my minor is Professional Writing, or perhaps more familiar Technical Writing. Just exactly what direction do I go in?

I have been told by several professors on this journey that I can write anything that is assigned and I can write it well. The thing is, in the professional world, academic writing is not really something that is paid for.

There is another potential uncertainty for me, and that is writing the novel that has been floating in my head for nearly a decade. See, it too is a goal to complete. I have worked on it here and there, but I have not dedicated enough time to it since starting college in 2009. For some reason being a full time mom and a full time college student makes it nearly impossible to also be a full time writer.

I am hopeful that as this last semester of college finishes out and the search for employment begins that my goals and talents align to a more clear path. As with most writers, I want to enjoy writing and if I have an audience that enjoys what I write that would be great. However, until I get to that point, I need a paying job.

Perhaps, some of my more hobby-like tendencies will be able to aid in the paying job aspects.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Smile! Paparazzi coming through

One of my classes this semester has been photojournalism, and let me say I have enjoyed it more than I ever thought I possibly could. I have fallen in love with telling stories with pictures. This is not that far of a stretch for me though, given the nature of my mind.

For my last assignment/volunteer photography job I shot the area 18 Special Olympics. And, no... I am not sharing those pictures here. I gave those pictures to area 18 and I will not distribute them. However, the Special Olympics for area 18 happened to be the same weekend that my oldest daughter's senior prom was. I was privileged to take her prom pictures.

Let's face it, using the Canon 5d Mark II has been enjoyable. And I would love to have a good camera for myself.

I am sure these are not the BEST prom pictures ever seen in the world, but I am happy with the job I was able to do. Having only used the camera I believe a total of three times and never using anything aside from a point and shoot prior.

But now I am addicted. I WANT a camera that will give me good pictures. That is where my budget starts screaming. I am looking at a Canon T3i with two lenses, the 18-55mm IS and the 55-250mm IS. Needless to say, it is not cheap. Too bad poor college students aren't tax deductible when they have families of their own.

I can always dream though and hopefully one day it will happen, because I really enjoy taking pictures. Who knows, I do graduate in December.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mothers should educate their daughters about gender equality

Empowering a child can be a tricky thing. As moms, we want our children to be strong and assured of who they are, but we do not want them to make mistakes or to face problems that we may have had to deal with when we were growing up.
While raising three daughters, my husband and I have walked a tightrope, per se, to teach our girls to be strong and persistent without being bullheaded and careless. Our priority is that our daughters are strong as individuals.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 KJV
Part of making sure that our daughters are strong is making sure they know who they are in God. Our faith is very much a part of who we are and a large part in how we have taught our daughters that we are all equal. Each and every one of us, black, white, yellow, red, brown, male, female, what have you, is equal. Part of being equal means that they should not ever allow anybody to disrespect them.
Our girls hold on to stories of Jesus talking to Mary and Martha freely along with the other disciples, as well as Queen Esther, who saved the Jewish people by having the courage to speak up.
Being honest and upfront with our girls allows us to use everyday examples with them as they grow and mature. As life events occur we teach them how to handle it so they know what they should expect and how they, as young women, should be treated.
Doctor WhoOne television show our daughters enjoy watching that puts women on an equal footing with men and allows them to share the spotlight with the main character is “Doctor Who”. The show is on BBC and shows equality better than any others I have seen, whether it is Donna Noble giving the tenth doctor the what for, River Song confusing everybody, or Sarah Jane, who went on to be in her own show. All three women are good examples of strong, independent women that oftentimes upstage the men in the story line.
“Doctor Who” is not the first television show to have a positive girl-power message for my daughters. When they were younger, they loved to watch “Sailor Moon,” which features female action heroes. There were five main characters with five very different personalities and different interests that became friends simply because they were teamed up to fight evil.
Sailor Moon - Beautiful Senshi Sailor Moon
In using the show when they were younger, we were able to point out the traits that were good in the characters. My oldest daughter loved Sailor Venus, who was all about performing, and who also happened to be the top crime fighter in London. The middle daughter loved Sailor Mercury, who was shy, timid and a genius. Then the youngest was obsessed with Sailor MiniMoon/ChibiUsa, who was simply determined to do what she set her mind to do. Each of the characters that the girls related to had a characteristic that they themselves had while also showing independence.
It helps to have examples that kids can relate to while they come up and are molded into their best. There are women that my girls have learned about who show them they can be anything they want to be, regardless of whether that job is a stay-at-home mom, a career woman or even president of the United States.
This article was originally published in The All State Newspaper, the Student Voice of Austin Peay State University since 1930 in the March 27th edition. And as an online grouping on March 28th.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: Lead Your Family Like Jesus: Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of Families

Lead Your Family Like Jesus: Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of Families
Lead Your Family Like Jesus: Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of Families by Ken Blanchard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Lead Your Family Like Jesus” is most likely the best book I have read concerning parenting or leadership. The combination of Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges & Tricia Goyer is a perfect blend in viewpoints covering a wide spectrum of parenting. This book really does provide powerful parenting principles from THE CREATOR of families.

This book covers the heart of the parent as it is what truly matters. If your heart is not in line with God, then your priorities become misaligned with what is important. Then there is the head which is where the parenting ultimately comes from. In order to lead your family, you must as the head of your family serve.

There is much more to the book than just being a serving leader though. The book really instills the principles that Jesus tried to show His disciples in the gospels. Leading through example. If you desire your children to have a strong work ethic, then you as a parent show them what that strong work ethic looks like. If you want your children to show love to each other, then you as a parent show love to them and others.

This is a book that I will definitely keep around for a long time and I can see myself sharing with other parents.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Picture Worth a Thousand Words

If somebody had told me at the beginning of this semester my favorite class would be the photojournalism class, I am not sure I would have believed them.

However, now that I am getting used to borrowing the school’s Canon 5D and using it in manual mode I am having fun with it.

Today I took the big camera out on a trip to Montgomery Bell State Park (Dickson County, Tennessee) and enjoyed taking some good (hopefully) pictures. I had fun, the kids had fun getting out.

I did also take a couple pictures with my DROID 4 and I can only say if I managed to capture the same shot with the 5D, I will be ecstatic.

Stairway to Falls
I love this shot. Getting this shot was not exactly easy and I thought I was going to have to make a call for help. In order to get down on this side of the spillway, there was a steep hill and we had a good rain a couple days ago so things were a little slick. I got down the hill safely, got the picture I wanted with my phone and I hope I have it on the camera. I say hope because the card reader  have at the house is refusing to work. Took a few more pictures, and then made my way back up the hill. (Just in case anybody from APSU is reading, the camera is in perfect condition. No harm came to it.)

Let’s just say, my bad knee REALLY hurts. But, the shot is gorgeous… isn’t it?

What have you done for a picture?

I am looking forward to is having more inspiration for my writing. And, I am enjoying taking pictures. If I do pursue journalism, being able to take my own pictures is a huge advantage.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Insomnia and Writing, or not

Ever get a case of insomnia? No, not the awesome kind where you have brilliant novel writing ideas. Just the insomnia where you can not sleep for anything kind.

I believe part of the problem is there is giggling coming from the other room when there should be quiet breathing from children as they go back to school tomorrow. (Yes, they are still on winter break.)

Another part of the problem is I had a paper due tonight and drank two very strong cups of coffee earlier to get it done. (Yes, paper + coffee.) I believe it was written well. The paper was a movie review of Shattered Glass. I remember when the proverbial poop hit the fan with Stephen Glass back in 1998, so it was interested to watch the movie and write about it for Media Ethics.

I guess the insomnia is not really that bad. Afterall, I get to post here. Maybe I will make my rounds on the other blogs I participate with too. Unless the caffeine wears off and I drop.

Peace be with you.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Fresh Start

The new year has begun and reflections on the last year have challenged me. Things have not gone as well as I have hoped for them to go, yet they have gone better than I expected in some areas.

Lazy Neko-chan
This year will be my last in college if all goes well in pursuit of the bachelor's degree. I have had doubts about my degree as of late concerning a job and have decided that I need to focus on building my portfolio. Graduation should be the middle of December. This is significant for me as the number three appears to have a role in dates and graduating in 2013 aligns with that.

I am determined that while completing my degree and building the portfolio that I will keep my chin lifted high. I will not let low self esteem keep me down, and I will make networking connections. (yep, talking about you!) I will make and reconnect online and in person. And unlike Neko-chan, I will not be lying around.

My biggest goal? That would be to get the first book I wrote edited and reviewed by trusted peers this summer. I am tired of waiting for the 'right' time.