About Me

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Western North Dakota , United States
My husband, Allen, and I are high school sweet hearts. We started dating Sep.99'- I kind of followed Allen home one day, and never did leave, is Allen's story. November 02' we were engaged, and on November 22,2003 - we were married. Having been married for 6 years in 2009, marked the 5th year we had been trying to start our family. With the referral of a Fertility Specialist from a friend, our IUI attempts ended up being a complete success despite my doubts. We welcomed our sweet little girl, Hayleigh into the world on June 30,2010 at 6:28am after 37wks and 1 day of gestation. She weighed 7lbs 14oz and was 20 in long. We found out that we were Baby #2 on April Fool's Day- a complete surprise! Reid Allen was born 11/13/12 3:24am 9lbs 8.2oz 21", after 38wks 5 days. Our 3rd baby, Eva Jane, was born on April 19, 2015 after suffering a pregnancy loss June of 2014. We are currently anxiously awaiting baby #4 due 2 days before Eva's birthday, so we are having Irish Twins! Our family is so blessed and happy to be growing!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Say Cheese to the New Baby!

I know it's been a really long time since I've last been on here. We have been busy, and I haven't really had much to say. 

Last Fall, Allen forbid me from setting up another photo session with another photographer. He was sick of paying out the wazoo for pictures to be taken and sick of me whining about how unhappy I was with either the quality of the pictures/editing we were getting for the amount we were paying- not to mention how much it was to purchase pictures out here was ridiculous. $40 for ONE 5x7 print. ONE... And having the deadlines of having to order within 2 weeks or have to pay a fee to have the pictures archived. SMH... sick of it all. 

Well, Allen got a well bonus finally again last month. First on the list since it was my birthday- a new DSLR camera to put an end to the price gouging pictures. I do have to say I know people work very hard on editing and taking pictures but when your price for a 5x7 is 13 times marked up from what I order the same quality from the same lab is getting a little absurd. I know time is money, and people value their time, but why make your customers go broke over ordering pictures? 

Anyway, off track. I had my eye on a Nikon D7100 DSLR. LOVED it- but the price. It runs $1100 for the body only right now. I am just learning on my first DSLR, and felt that we should not put that much into a new camera when I could upgrade in a few years if I really enjoyed taking our own pictures, and my skills improved to support the idea of upgrading to an more expensive camera. I did more researching and came up with the Nikon D5200. I settled upon this one since it was a notch bellow the D7100 and there were not many differences between the two that I would be able to notice since I am just learning all of this. We ended up finding the best deal at Sam's club of all places. They are running a bundle for the camera body with 2 lens, a SD card and camera bag for only $899. We checked on Best Buy and they were $749 for the camera body with 1 lens- no SD card or extra lens and bag. The same lens that was included in the bundle at Sam's was over $200 at Best Buy- that sold the deal.

 Allen went back to Sam's and came home with my new camera. I have never been so excited or nervous in my life but for a few other times I can remember- bringing Hayleigh home from the hospital being one of them. This new camera after all was like having my first new baby home. I had the manual, but just setting it all up was a little nerve racking. I didn't want to break this thing! After going through my hoards of pinning on DSLR cameras and mine specifically, I started experimenting with it. I even bought 2 new backdrops with a backdrop stand- not having a clue what size I really needed to order when ordering my backdrops. I learned how to shoot in RAW with JPEG- a lot harder figuring out settings with the camera in hand over just reading about it all thinking how simple it all would be. 

I'm still learning a lot, and still have a desktop that we will need to purchase- going with a MAC of course, and I also need to add Photoshop to the list since using Picasa for the time being is just okay- but does a decent job for now. 

I sat down for 5 minutes with Hayleigh and one of the backdrops today to just try it out. I have never been so proud of myself- especially when starting something so new. I'm grateful for those high priced photographers- and for me paying attention to what they did- using natural light with backgrounds being one of them. Now, I have a new hobby I really enjoy that benefits our family- saving money with the possibility of taking pictures on the side for additional income especially when both kids get in school in a few years. I now can continue to add memories onto our walls without using my iPhone and save us lots of money! Today I captured 29 pictures after editing I was very happy with. Today's session if I would have went to someone back in Illinois would have cost us at least $60 and a wait time of a week at least. I did it for free- or deduct amount from camera price and backdrops stuff, and did it in 5 minutes with an hour of my time to edit on my own. 

I'm really hoping this can blossom into something just a little bit more- something for me to grow into and be proud of someday. I have been contemplating business names, creating a wish list for props and backdrops, and just excited for what I can do for my close friends and family. 

The two names I have so far is Ashley McCann Photography, or Sweetpea McCann Photography/ Sweet P Photography... I don't know, and for the time being I'll focus on just learning as much as I can and taking as many pictures of my favorite people enjoying it all. If one of those names does stick out as a good name, please let me know- everything I come up with in my head sounds silly. Please help me get this baby named! 

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