POPPIES – YAHOO!

I wait for the poppies all year.  They are in my yard and they are along the road where I walk.  poppies-3036

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I keep an eye out for them and when they start, it is an early morning, dressed and out the door before 6:30 so I can capture them down the road.  Morning light is best down there because of the angle of the sun.

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Shooting poppies is hard – the color blows out so easily.  So it takes a bit of work in post to bring them to where I want.  bozeman senior photo-3012bozeman senior photo-3010

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Poppies lend themself well to artistic interpretation in lightroom,bozeman senior photo-3027

but today I was inclined towards as clean as the lighting conditions would allow.

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bozeman senior photo-2980Hope you enjoy poppies as much as I do as they don’t last long.bozeman senior photo-3006

THE COFFEE POT BAKERY AND CAFE – THE PRODUCERS CONTINUES

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Spending the day at The Coffee Pot Bakery and Cafe was fun, but also a huge temptation.  Not only do they make fantastic treats for all (they have a huge selection of gluten-free items for people like me!), but they use the pottery that is made on site as they make all those treats!

Look at those Easter Cookies, they make my mouth water!  And it only gets better from there!IMG_2288bw_small

Pies get whipped cream – fresh made whipped cream!

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Topped with chocolate shavings!

small-2481All the while Rocky Road Bars fill the room with delicious smells as the marshmallows puff up and soften on the bars only to be smothered in creamy chocolate icing.

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small-2710And then there are the chocolate cookies!

small-2549Just in case you think they only make sweets, lets take a look at the Chicken Pot Pie – absolutely inspiring.  After watching this I went home and made my own, but you could just call them up and order one (hint:  it is a lot less work that way).

small-2535It starts with hand-made crust, carefully rolled out to just the right shape and thickness.

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small-2849Then scoop in an overflowing amount of delicious chicken and veggie filling!  Yum!

small-2861I believe it was two big scoops of that filling, making a mountain in the pie plate.

small-2864Then roll the top crust and cut it for extra beauty.

small-2857Carefully lay it on the top of your mountain of deliciousness and carefully pinch the edges together.

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small-2926Bake, cut pieces and serve.  Or just go on down to The Coffee Pot and order a slice.  Believe me, it is better than you can imagine.

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small-2709Pair that pot pie with a fresh made dinner roll and you’ll think you are in heaven!

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Now back to those sweets:  let’s try some fruit tarts.

small-3016Of course there is more crust to roll, just not quite so big.

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small-3037Add a generous helping of fruit filling – here it is blackberry!

small-2990Fold the dough over, and seal with care!

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Aren’t they beautiful!

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small-3015How about frosting some cinnamon rolls?  Pretty good, huh?

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small-2934Okay, enough!  I’m going to gain 10 pounds just thinking about all this deliciousness.  Between Mountain Arts Pottery and The Coffee Pot Bakery and Cafe, these Montana Producers will blow you away with goodness and beauty.

Thank you to Dave and Jennie Lockie for letting me photograph the goings on of their businesses!  It really was a lot of fun!

MOUNTAIN ARTS POTTERY – A PRODUCER!

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Two months ago already, I had a chance to spend time in the pottery at Mountain Arts. It was a beautiful morning and I loved the experience!  What photographer wouldn’t want the chance to take photos of a pottery at work?  IMG_0627bw_sm

Even the tools used to create are interesting to photograph.small-0340IMG_0604bw_sm small-0623

IMG_0856bw_smThe whole room is full of so many samples and equipment, with light and shadow playing among the pieces.
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The clay is carefully prepared and managed.small-0408

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small-0671Each of the potters customize the workspace to meet their needs.

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small-1075Watching the wheel spin and a formless lump become a beautiful piece of pottery any  of us would be proud to own and use is amazing!

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small-1123Once spun into its proper shape, each item is dried for a time, and inspected for proper form.

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small-0402After that each piece is off to another wheel to be trimmed to perfection.

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IMG_1512bw_smFollowed by bisque firing before it can be dipped into the glaze.

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small-1425Not all the pottery is thrown on a wheel.  Many of the pieces are formed by hand and knife.

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small-0506Have you ever seen the Mountain Arts finished pottery with so many mixtures of color?  It is an art how they put those glazes together.  

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small-1444Even before the are applied to the pottery there are interesting and fun processes to observe (at least to a geek like me who loves to know how things are made).

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small-0541A drill with a whisk attachment (a very long whisk attachment) and a very large bucket go a long way towards getting the glazes just right.  And the glazes are carefully planned and selected – notes on the walls and windows to be sure all know which to use and when.

small-0372The application of the glazes is a specialized skill.IMG_0344bw_smWax is applied to protect the parts that are not to absorb the color.  Then the layers of glaze begin, with the glazer knowing just how much of each piece is dipped in each glaze.IMG_0411bw_sm

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Then the wax is removed and any necessary clean-up is performed.

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IMG_0986bw_smThere are so many different shapes, with medallions attached to some, and designs etched into others.

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small-0638The one thing that did not happen while I was there was actual firing in the kiln.  But that didn’t keep me from poking around in the kiln area – probably better to be doing that when it isn’t hot anyways!

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When the pieces are all finished many are shipped out across the region and even the nation.  Many pieces stay right on the property to be sold at the Coffee Pot Bakery and Cafe and store, which will be the subject of the next post, later this week.  As many of you know, the food made at the Coffee Pot Bakery and Cafe is A-Maz-ing!  Really!

TWINS ON THE WAY!

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Lee and Maddie, what a fun evening!  You two were such good sports and so relaxed in front of the camera!  Amazing!

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Can’t wait for those little girls to show their beautiful faces to the world!

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It is so clear your family is built on love!

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For a woman carrying two babies Maddie was brave to get down on the ground – not sure in her condition most of us could get back up, but she did it so gracefully!

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And with a smile on her face!

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This is going to be one very beautiful family!

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A DAY IN THE LIFE – THE VANOMMEN FAMILY

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It has been a real joy to work with the VanOmmen family on this “Day in the Life” project.  We started bright and early, documenting their morning routines and worked our way through a full day of homeschooling and family love!

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This family of four boys has passed the responsibility of feeding and watering the neighbor’s chickens from oldest down to the next – a great way to teach responsibility and let a guy earn a bit of pocket change.  So each morning this guy is out first thing, rain, snow, freeze or sunshine.

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The joy of brotherhood abounds – who can resist those bright eyes and toothy smiles?

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Each morning starts with reading from the Bible and prayer – a beautiful sight to behold!

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But before long it is time to get focused and hit the books – so much to learn!  small-7352

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small-7017Even Garrett has the opportunity to help out before he heads out the door to work.

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There was a science fair project to complete:small--31 small-7292

But believe me, it isn’t all work and no play.  

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This little guy found a long-lost hat while roaming around outside.  The hat was well frozen into the snow, but no fear, he microwaved it to defrost it, then ran it through the dryer, and voila!  It is ready to rejoin the useful pieces of clothing.

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As with all families, much of the life revolves around meals – and snacks!  Tracy is a wonderful cook, with a history of catering beautiful meals.  So her boys do not lack for yummy meals.  As I was there I watched her make homemade chicken soup – perfect for lunch on a cold snowy day – and chicken pot pie, including heading out into the cold to bar-b-que those chicken breasts for the pot pies.  And by the way, with a family of six there is much to make, but Tracy was also making pot pies for her friends as a thank you for their effort in a project they were doing together.  Amazing heart for others!

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And we topped the day off with cooking class – the boys made doughnuts!  Delicious!

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And that was the perfect activity to end our day!  What joy!

If you think you would like a “Day in the Life” photo session for your family – or your business – send me a message at elementsoflightphotography@gmail.com and we’ll get together to make a plan.

SNEAK PEEK – TWINS ARE COMING!

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In the next couple of weeks Maddie and Lee’s twins will be born, but I have to admit, I think they are so cute right where they are!

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Despite the impending big event, these two were so calm and took such a “roll with it” attitude.  I think that bodes well for how they will handle the beautiful little girls once they are out of their cramped housing.

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Thank you Lee and Maddie for some fun time together last night!  More photos to come – it’s a race to see if you have those babies before we get more photos posted.