Flock Photography Fun!

Hello, Friends! Welcome.
We’ll have something more….helpful, for you later this week.  But we thought we’d start your week off light, and just share some recent photos I’ve taken of our rooster and hens.

There are many, so please let them all load, before scrolling!

01_red-star-chicken Sweet ‘Kingston’, our Buff Orpington. She’s Michael’s baby.

02_rooster-and-hens [Read more…]

Motor Vehicle License Plate Refurbishing / Before and After

Many of you probably already know that my husband, Michael, letters company trucks, does vehicle graphics and makes business signs. If you’re curious to see some of the kind of work he does, you can click on ‘Photography & Lettering’ in the menu above, and look to the bottom of that drop down menu, for ‘Truck Lettering’ and ‘Vehicle Graphics.’

Well, an interesting sideline that he has gotten into over the years, is refurbishing older Massachusetts license plates.

Our own state of Massachusetts here, is actually the very first state in the United States, to issue motor vehicle license plates.  It used to be that the plates only needed to be displayed on the back of the vehicle. Over the years, the state has been proactive in enacting laws regarding the registration and inspection of motor vehicles.  The vehicle’s license plate(s) are assessed as part of the required vehicle inspections, and if the plates are old and/or damaged and are deemed unreadable by at least 60 feet, the vehicle owner is required to get new plates, before it receives a passed inspection sticker.

If a motor vehicle has been issued front and rear license plates, which is typical, the vehicle must display both license plates issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles on the front and rear of the vehicle.  Older plates that have the green lettering, which were the former standard and issued as a single plate, must only be displayed as that one plate on the back of the vehicles.  In 1988, Massachusetts began issuing red-lettered plates, which are issued as a set of two. If the newer red-letter plates are issued to the vehicle registrar, both must be displayed on both the front and back of the vehicle.  However, the single green-lettered plate is acceptable by law, for as long as it is readable.

It is for this reason, that Michael has refurbished an increasing amount of green-lettered plates. There are a host of reasons why some vehicle owners want to keep their older plate, for as long as possible. For some, it is just a somewhat sentimental reason. One 50-something year old man told Michael that he has had the same license plate since he was 18 years old, and he just doesn’t want to give it up.  Others own hot rods, antique vehicles, or other show cars, and there is no place for a front plate, nor do they want it to ‘blemish’ the look of their car.  Whatever the reason, if the plate is indeed salvageable, Michael is happy and capable of restoring them to their former beauty, if hired to do so.

Because it is a service he provides to aid in providing income for his family, he asked that I not show the whole step-by-step process.  Still, I thought it might be an interesting little post, to share with you all the before and after of just one of his green-lettered Massachusetts license plate restoration jobs.


The condition of this particular plate when he received it, was a hot mess. 

So the first thing he needs to do is clean it off and start from scratch.

Here it is, stripped down to the bare metal. It’s still a little beat up and whatnot, but a good new place to start.

All restored.  It is reflective as needed as well, just as they were originally. 

What do you think?

I am aware and amused, that he is often needing to clean things up and make them look like new, while I spend some of my days working to make things look old, beaten up and quite used.


Have you ever had license plates that meant something to you? Have you ever been sad for the to need to get new ones, or was it exciting? And what I’d really love to know, is do you like the look of your state’s plates?  I’m not going to name names (of states, that is), but I’ve seen some ugly ones!  I can’t much complain about ours.  You?
. . . . . .
UPDATE: Since the creation of this post, and as a direct result of it on the internet, we been contacted by numerous people seeking this service from Michael, and Michael in turn has refurbished many, many more plates since.  Every one has expressed great satisfaction with their finished plate, upon return.
If you are looking to have your license plate refurbished, please contact Michael at his e-mail address:  Alphbtman@aol.com

Farmers’ Markets and Photography

There is just so very much, that I love about this time of the year.  One of those things for sure, is going to the farmer’s markets!  We have them at a few different locations here in our hometown of Plymouth (MA), and they run from June through October, on Thursdays and Saturdays of every week.  One of the original ones has made a new home starting this year, at the Plimoth Plantation.

To begin with, it matters to our family, to support our local farmers and the small business people in our community.  We are small business people ourselves, and knowing these vendors have families they are trying to support just like we are, makes us truly appreciate all they are trying to do.  Though our specific businesses may be different, we understand the hard work involved in marketing one’s self, producing high quality work, feeling love for what you create, and having little dreams for the success of it all. 

And what’s not to love, about fresh and locally grown organic food, and handmade goods anyway?

It’s just enjoyable to walk around with my kids and see what freshness is available week to week, to purchase and bring home for some good old fashioned home cooked, healthy meals.  There is always great music to listen to as we stroll around, some handmade goods here and there to check out, and tasty samples offered from various vendors, hoping you’ll buy from them.  We love every bit of all of it.

Then for me, is also the opportunity to just have fun, photographing all of the beauty and interest that farmers’ markets display.  I often have with me my classic Canon 5D, with my 24-70 mm 1:2.8 L lens.  Just loving taking photos of everything and anything, is one of the things that has encouraged me to keep on blogging! It’s an outlet to share some of my favorite photos I’ve taken, for no reason or need for them, other than the joy it brings me just taking them.  And so here in this post, is some I took from our last couple of farmers’ market trips.  I like to think (and sure hope!), that our readers enjoy the photos of posts as much a I do, when visiting other blogs.  Whether it be for the sake of being interested in photography, or for a sense of visualization to the stories being shared.

A dozen organic eggs.  Have I told you I want chickens, this week?

I want chickens.  This week.

This farmers’ big white truck was parked right behind his stand on the street there. It was the perfect backdrop for my shot.

But I did buy some produce from him, such as corn on the cob, the dozen eggs . . . . . .

. . . . . . and a quart of these blueberries.

How pretty are these mixed arrangements?

A pink cosmo.
Honestly, I think this shot was taken in my own garden, in between farmers’ market trips.  But I knew you woudn’t know the difference.

Especially if I’m not even sure.

I can’t tell you how much fresh, locally grown corn on the cob we eat in the summer.  We lo-oooove it.  And, we’ve been cooking it a whole new and easy way, lately!

I’m going to share that with you all just how, very soon, in an upcoming post.

Sunflowers. Gorgeousness.

I really wanted to buy some. But it wasn’t a need, it was a want. And I need to not buy things we don’t need, right now. Even though I want to.

Olivia is growing a great big tall one in her garden right now anyway. We can’t wait until it blooms.

This young girl, is a talented violinist. Her mom and dad are back-up musicians for her. Her dad was playing guitar, and her mom was playing some kind of drum thing, I believe. The kids and I talked to her for awhile. She goes to college right near where I grew up, and comes home on weekends. Watching her made my son, who plays piano, want to play violin now too.

This guy was firing pizza, and selling it to buyers right there on the green. I bet you anything, he and his family made this clay oven. I thought it was pretty cool to be making pizza right there.  Also a little crazy, for the hottest of days.

Homemade beeswax candles. *Matches included!

; ) I don’t know why I thought that was kind of funny marketing.


No, it’s not the same as sugar snap peas, or snow peas.


I’ve never eaten a carrot, that wasn’t orange. Have you? Do they taste the same?

This guy . . . . . this guy’s name is Ray Papile. He has such a great sound, such a great style about him, he sings a great choice of songs, and I just love his voice.  Easy listening, for sure. Made me wish I brought a blanket, and a big bottle of wine.  I was driving one of my boys crazy, because I was so lost in his music as we strolled around, and I guess I kept saying out loud, “Oh my gosh, I love this guy!”  I was having a hard time leaving the market when we were done, because of Ray, here.  Can’t wait to here him again. Think I’ll be sure to have that blanket, and bottle of wine next time.  Do you think the other market visitors would mind walking around me much?

Yup, farmers’ markets just ring my bell, but good.  OH! That’s another thing I love about these markets! They open with the ring of a cowbell! Anyway, it must be the real country girl in me. The one who loves country fairs, and such. I grew up around a lot of this kind of thing. I have so many flash memories of being a kid and running around barefoot at fiddle and banjo, bluegrass kind of festivals.  Farmers’ Markets have that kind of feel to me, when there there is some good music playing too. There’s just something about them, that makes me feel right at home.

Thanks for swinging by, listening to me chat, and looking at my photos.  It’s nice to have someone to show them to, at least.

Are there any farmers’ markets in your neck of the woods? Do you go to them much, and what are your favorite things to pick up? I’d love to hear all about what yours are like, and what you love most about them.

Flower Photography, and History Repeating


I don’t know where time has gone, but I sure wish it would slow down some.  I’ve done the best I can all along, to cherish every moment of watching all of my children grow up, knowing it will all happen too fast. It’s yet another reason I school my kids myself. I don’t want to miss any of their fleeting childhood. Still, it seems like yesterday that my first baby girl, Alexis Grace, was born.  She grew up in the blink of an eye. Next thing I knew, she was in high school, and taller than me!  She’s athletic and strong, and it blows me away.

And now she has a real job! She’s been trying to figure out how to get one sooner for awhile now.  She has worked with both Michael and I in our businesses quite a bit, in the past few years, weeding and prepping truck lettering with Michael, and as my photographer’s assistant when I was doing a lot more portrait work. We’ve paid her of course.  Also, she’s actually been pretty creative at finding safe ways to make a little cash of her own, in the meantime, too. I’d venture to say she chooses to spend her time differently than typical girls her age. She’s a determined soul, who loves to research, earn her own way, and make things happen. If anyone is interested for their own young teen kids, I can share those ideas at another time. She’s always been diligent with every dollar she’s gotten.  Since she was little, she’s been strict with her own budget for spending and saving.  And now, she’ll be making a real pay check from someone else, other than us. There was a lot to consider, knowing she has a lot on her schedule, especially with schooling, and more upcoming heavy sport seasons. Not to mention of course, being such a young age still, at 14.  But she gets excellent grades, is self-disciplined with her daily responsibilities like clockwork, and has been really wise with her money. There was really no reason to not let her.  She was hired in a heart beat. We just had to get some extra paperwork signed off here and there, because of her age.

She’ll be working at a nursery here in town, watering all of the flowers, helping customers, etc.  It’s a job we’re comfortable with as her parents, because we’ve known the owner for years.  He’s a good client of Michael’s, so we trust him to watch out for her, and he has a good staff. Also, it’s all outdoors, where Alexis loves to be.  It’ll be real hot some days this summer, when the humidity kicks in. But it’s still pretty ideal work for her.  I’m excited for her! 

The funny thing is, I used to work at a nursery and greenhouse for a couple of years in high school, right around the same age as she is. I have to admit, I was not all that interested in plants and flowers at that time. But I was working with my friend, so it wasn’t all that bad. I learned what I had to know, to take care of the plants and flowers, and help customers.  But it was just a job to me.  My second job, actually, working with a lot of plants and flowers. I started working when I was 9 years old, cleaning an older couple’s home and maintaining their impeccable landscaped yard on Saturdays, until I was about 14. I got paid well too!  But I was well into my married years, before I honestly took an interest in real gardening and such. However, when I fell in love with it all, I fell hard! I really love working in my gardens.

The funny thing is, my daughter is as passive as I was about gardening right now, as I was at her age. She’s not as into it as my younger daughter is. To her credit, she’ll volunteer to water the gardens on summer nights, which I always appreciate. But I have wished she would love gardening as much as I do.  So this job of hers, gives me hope. Already, she jumped in and helped plant some flowers the other night with me. It could very well be that all she learns at her job, will serve her well, years down the road. I think it’s a wonderful education to have. I know I was happy to have some agricultural knowledge and experience to draw on, once I decided to start gardens of my own.  I believe she’ll be a valued employee, because she is definitely a people-person, always smiling, loves to help people, takes pride in her work, and despite her supposed lack of interest, she really remembers the names of flower varieties!  I’m just so excited she’ll be working in this environment, in particular.  I mean, what a great first job on her own.

Well enough chatting. Yes? I’ve been having fun taking photos of the beautiful blooms around our home. Some are on the edge of neighbor’s property. I am always so happy with my camera in my hand.  So I thought I’d share with you some of my photos.

An Iris.


A Chrysanthemum.




And more Foxglove.

I think this last shot is my favorite, tied with the Iris. What’s yours?

Also, I’d love to know how old you or your teens were when you got your first job, and what you did.  Scroll down and tell us about it.

So glad you came by. : )

An Autumn Love Story, for a Lifetime! / Engagement Photo Shoot

Honestly, this engagement photo shoot is a way-overdue share.  It was actually shot last Autumn, 2010. But with the peak of Autumn just ahead of us, I think it’ll be all the more appreciated now. The celebration to be had is less than a month away now as well. So in that light, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

I haven’t photographed many engagement sessions, really, but I’d love to because I do enjoy them.  But since I don’t photograph weddings, and most couples use the same photographer, I don’t get the opportunity often.  This couple however, aware I don’t do weddings, booked with me anyway, and I was honored they did!

I have known the bride-to-be, “M”, all of my life.  Her family, as far back as 2 generations before her, have real history, with my own family.  They’ve been friends that have always felt more like family.  The history, the connections, and the stories, are more than I could ever begin to tell.  Her father has been a big and special part of my life, especially. So to be asked to do this engagement session for his daughter, and her handsome groom-to-be, “J”, was an honor.  It was important to me to find the most beautiful location between us that I could, and I think I did alright.


How is this for a clever proposal?  “J” gave “M this pumpkin as a little gift, (got himself one as well), and this is the message she found on the bottom of hers.  She was puzzled at first by what it said, with his clever texting-style coding, but I believe she lit right up, when the light bulb went off.  As you can imagine, she said “Yes!”

What a beautiful ring, huh? He did really good!  ; )


The foliage was not only still holding on in this area, but there was this cool old structure (behind them) that I loved too.


This might be their first formal family portrait. Their dog “A” is there first baby, of sorts, I believe.  She has a full name, and all.   She was given a pumpkin too.  But as I recall,  she destroyed it, like nobody’s business. LOL!

Here’s more of my favorite shots, of this couple in love, at this magical little Autumn spot I scouted….




I loved so many photos I got of them together, with their love shining as warm as the Autumn sun on us that day.  But I do believe this was my very favorite shot of the two of them.  She’s so beautiful, and you can see he clearly loves her.



This is simply, a cool shot I set up, if I do say so myself. And I am. No one can tell me any different. LOL


So here we have, a beautiful collection of the couple as fiance’s to each other.   After a long courtship, a year+ engagement and wedding planning!  All leading to the day….


At the end of this month, they will celebrate their wedding day, and the first day of the rest of their lives, as husband and wife.  I wish them the wedding day of their dreams, on a perfect Autumn day, and all of the happiness two people can have, forever.

I hope you all enjoyed seeing the photos from this special session, as much as I enjoyed shooting them.  Thanks for letting me share some of my work with you!