It’s that time of year again… the dreaded headshot update!

Carole Jones - Commercial photographerBeing a photographer, people assume I’m comfortable in front of a camera….well, I’m NOT. I put off getting my own headshot like putting off a root canal! I’m good at excuses! I need to loose 10 pounds…retouch my roots….get a new hairstyle…oh…and what should I wear?

I know I need to update my headshot every year, but it’s not fun! I do it to keep my website and social media profiles up to date. I also suggest that people update their headshot when they do a major hair color or hairstyle change. For men, facial hair has become popular and it surprises me how many times I meet someone in person and they don’t even resemble their headshot! You may love that photo you had done 10-15 years ago because you looked so young, but seriously, your headshot needs to look like YOU! It needs to be a nice, professional version of you – recently.

SO….to practice what I preach…I did it! I scheduled a time and got it done! I wanted to go get my hair styled and get a new outfit but decided to try to keep at least one of my New Years resolutions and “quit procrastinating”. So here’s my new headshot. It’s not fancy or glamorous it’s just “plain ole me”. It would have been good to have someone style my hair because it went all wild on me! I wish I was younger looking or prettier but if you see me around town, I’ll be recognizable and in reality, that’s what counts anyway, isn’t it?

 

Beauty is in the the little details….

I got a lot of weird looks taking this photo in a busy parking lot… but it’s worth it.

In my crazy, busy life it’s so easy to forget to stop and pay attention to the little details in life that make me happy. Here I had just finished with a client meeting and was in a hurry to make it to the St.George Chamber of Commerce lunch, I glanced at these little ant hills and went on by. After I got in my vehicle and was heading out of the parking lot, I stopped and hopped out to grab a quick shot. I reminded myself that I want to be intentional with how I observe the world and let my creative side have its chance even when I’m in a hurry. I need to slow down and enjoy each moment!

Looking for set, food & wardrobe stylists for commercial photography projects in southern Utah

I’ve had a hard time finding set stylists, wardrobe stylists and food stylists in southern Utah. If you know any who does high quality, detailed styling in our area, PLEASE send me their contact info! I have had to get people from Salt Lake City and Las Vegas to do my projects. It adds a lot to the overhead of producing a shoot, I’d rather use locals if I can. So do me a favor and be on the look out for people that would like styling work.

Studio updates …Location shoots coming up!

Hey, I’m glad to say that the new studio is coming together and we’ve completed our first couple of shoots here. It’s been a bit of a “rat race” for me. Moving is always a pain but to add to the fun, I’m also gearing up to be out of town shooting on location for the next week or so. Because of that, I’ve been trying to wrap up and deliver all of my current assignments and get things put together on the home-front too.  Then there are the last minute details of the trip to deal with! This project has been a couple of months in the making and I’m anxious for it to go well.

I’m excited to be going to California. We are mixing business with pleasure and making a mini-vacation out of it. We are going to be shooting at some awesome locations then spending a few days in San Francisco. I’ve never been to SF before so it should be an adventure.

stock photo from Pexels.com
stock photo from Pexels.com

The office will be closed October 24 – November 3, 2016.

Wish me luck and if you have any suggestions of what to do in San Francisco PLEASE COMMENT!  Yes, we are going to Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and riding a cable car while we are there. BTW….I’m a “wanna be foodie”, so give me ideas folks.

Change can be scary.

For the past year, I have been working between two locations. WOW! It’s been a lot of work and so inefficient! Leaving files or equipment at one location and needing them at another… it’s been an organizational nightmare. I decided something had to change!

I’ve been reevaluating my business and I decided to eliminate the extra overhead and logistical problems and SIMPLIFY! So I converted a side building at my home into a small studio and office. It’s reducing my overhead and putting everything in one place.

It’s been a scary transition! I had so many questions. Could I afford it? Money had to be invested in remodeling to make the space usable.  Will the new studio be too small? I looked at my client jobs over the past year and realized that 70% of them were shot at the business location and the rest would work in a smaller space, if not I can rent space for a day for much less than my monthly rent of the commercial studio. Would my clients abandon me?  I was so worried that not having a commercial location would impact my business negatively, but I found that I can serve my clients better! Having all of my equipment and office in one location close to home has made it so I can get things done faster. The elimination of the logistical nightmare has freed up my mind and my creativity is flowing! I’m excited to see how this change will turn out for my business.

Pics of studio & office will follow soon! Still doing some organizing and unpacking. Wish me luck!

kids with caroleshootsads.com logo hats

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Local food – Teriyaki Grill review

I love to share my favorite places to eat. Food is a passion for me! This week I tried Teriyaki Grill on Sunset in St. George. I was pleasantly surprised. Their food is really good. All of their ingredients are high quality, fresh cut vegetables and meat trimmed and sliced fresh daily. Nothing is deep fried, they don’t even have a fryer!

The meat was tender and the vegetables were just slightly crisp, just like I like them. Their ginger sauce was so good. The service was fast and friendly. It wasn’t too busy even though it was during the noon hour. Their menu is small but what they do they do well! I feel like Teriyaki Grill hit it home with their fresh, healthy, simply delicious food. Next time you are in the area give them a try!  (This was not sponsored I purchased the meal myself.)

Photo taken with my iPhone at Teriyaki Grill
Photo taken with my iPhone at Teriyaki Grill #nofilter

Macro Monday in Southern Utah 

My first periscope of Macro Monday 🙂 I haven’t posted video from Periscope before … so sorry about the skinny vertical format. It’s a learning process for me. It was also my first time using the new Case Relay from Tether Tools. It’s an awesome way to power your camera via standard electric outlet or using an external power pack. The best part is you can switch power packs without interrupting your time lapse! Helps avoid so many headaches!!!!

 

The Granary at Santa Clara, Utah advertising photo shoot.

On Saturday I did a photo shoot for a local company, Most Wanted Jeans. They arranged for us to shoot at “The Granary” in Santa Clara. I suggested this location because I fell in love with their patio while driving by. Although I knew they existed, I just hadn’t tried them out before. The setting is beautiful! They have a lovely patio with gardens and fountains. It has the mood of a little European bistro. The historic granary building has been lovingly restored and is a nice centerpiece for this little gem. Pat and her staff were very sweet and accommodating. They were the models for the product we were shooting (aprons).

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Mostwanted_D8A8886After our photo shoot we stayed to sample the cuisine. Their menu may be small but what they do, they do to perfection! My daughter and I had the Quiche Lorraine and my son had their special, baked Caramel Apple French Toast. (BTW, if you don’t like bacon…make sure you order the vegetarian quiche. This was loaded with bacon! 😊 yum!!! )  Everything was fresh and delicious. It’s worth the drive! Go try the Granary, I know you won’t be disappointed!

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Patricia – the owner (and fabulous model) 

  
iPhone pic – Quiche


iPhone pic – Baked Caramel Apple French Toast

The Granary Cafe summer hours are Wednesday through Sunday 8 am to 3 pm. Click on the link to take you to their website and menu.
 

Summer is almost gone! Trying to do it all…work and family balance.

This summer I have been trying to hit the farmer’s markets as often as possible. It’s hard to take off on a Saturday morning when I already feel guilty because I’ve been away from my children so much during the week. As a single mom I find myself struggling constantly to balance income and family! So, lately I’ve been taking turns making it a “date” with one of my children. We get up early, grab an ice chest and head to one of the farmers markets. I usually go to the Farmers Market in Ancestor Square or the Zion Canyon Farmers Market in Springdale. It’s fun to have the one on one time and also nice to have someone to help choose our purchases and plan what we are going to make. After we are done at the farmers market we go on a brunch date. I let my “guest” choose where we go to eat.. It’s been so fun for me and my children. The children look forward to “their turn”, and plan well in advance where our “next date” will be. 

I feel like it’s very important to have fresh fruits and vegetables as a large part of my family’s diet. In the past I’ve always had a large garden. Due to moving and my hectic schedule I was not able to plant a full garden this year. ( I do have tomatoes and a good assortment of herbs in pots.)  It’s such a blessing to have farmers markets to fill that void somewhat. But there’s still nothing like harvesting it at home and using it immediately! Nothing beats that fresh picked flavor. 

   
  

  

  

  

 

It’s Summer…. Enjoy the simple things

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in so many activities during summer time that we forget to slow down and enjoy it. There’s a reason they call it “the lazy days of summer”, but you wouldn’t know it by most parent’s summer schedules. This summer as a break for mom (me), we have been taking turns making meals. To make things interesting we’ve been trying at least one new recipe a week. It’s so easy to be stuck in a rut when it comes to meals, especially when you are on a budget. This has become one of our new family favorites: BBQ Grilled Pizza!

  

It may not be pretty…but it’s delicious!

It’s so easy! All you have to do is plan ahead. These pizzas are very inexpensive if you make your own dough. About one and a half hours before you’d like to eat, mix up a batch of pizza dough and leave it to rise. (Recipe follows.) When you are about ready to eat…punch down the dough and heat up the grill. Separate dough into 4 equal pieces and have each person roll out their own. 

The key to making it great it how you cook it. When you heat up your grill, half of the grill will need to be set on medium to high heat and the other half set to low. Oil the hotter side of the grill with a little bit of olive oil. Then put your pizza dough on that side. Watch it carefully and just when the bottom is starting to turn golden turn it over and put it on the cooler side of the grill. Now is when you put on the toppings. Next you close the grill for a couple of minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese without burning the bottom of the pizza. Finally, remove pizza and enjoy while it’s still hot.

 You can use whatever you want for toppings. My favorite is a simple garlic marinara sauce with fresh basil leaves and fresh mozzarella pieces. My daughter, Summer likes one with BBQ sauce, leftover grilled chicken, fresh basil and shredded jack & cheddar cheese. The combinations are endless. You can just use whatever leftovers you have on hand; pre cooked meats, lunchmeats, sliced veggies, etc. We’ve even tried dessert pizzas… Sliced fresh peaches with cinnamon & sugar. Or caramel sauce with apples, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with sea salt. I think they are great sweet or savory. Let everyone get creative and make their own masterpieces.  Please share what you come up with! We’d love to hear your ideas!

 

iPhone pic of my daughter’s masterpiece 
Grilled pizza dough recipe: 

Ingredients

  1 teaspoon sugar 

  1 packet active dry yeast 

  2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing 

  1 teaspoon salt

  2 1/4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface 

  1 cup warm water 

Directions

1. Pour 1 cup warm water into a medium bowl; add sugar and sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until foamy, 5 minutes.

2. Stir oil into yeast mixture. 

3. In a standing mixer with dough hook attachment, add flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and mix on low until liquid is incorporated (dough will appear dry). Knead on low setting, until dough comes together in an elastic ball, 2 minutes. Transfer to an oiled medium bowl; brush lightly with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; set in a warm, draft-free place until dough has doubled in bulk, 30-45 minutes. Punch down dough and cover; let rise another 20 minutes.

Roll out using extra flour. Lightly oil dough and take it to the grill 🙂