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Friday, December 27, 2013


To prove it at my "day job" (yes, I am a photography teacher) I often drag my students around school and ask them to take "photo walks" with me.
The classes that "get in the zone" and can be trusted, are the ones that I take my camera along, too... so I can click off a few rounds! 
If anything, it's more than to practice and fine tune MY skills, but to drive home a point: PHOTOS ARE EVERYWHERE.
When I show some of my classes the collection of shots I have gotten around Washington High School, they are often suprised... it often gets their eyes looking more closely at the things they walk past daily and NEVER see.
After all, doesn't a camera teach us to see without a camera? Yes, it does... and if you don't know what I mean by that, I will be glad to explain because my day job is full of explanations - AKA teaching :)  
All images and words by MK Designs Photography / Fine Art and Portrait. Do not use without permission. 

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Dec 2013. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Snow Day!

Nothing like a Snow Day to force some "rest" upon us. However, we did venture out and enjoy it for about 2 hours, despite temps below 20 degrees... something most of us Missourians do not really enjoy. 
A walk in the woods behind our new abode was for sure in order. There's so much underbrush it's nearly impossible to see and explore it during the other seasons, so we had a little adventure.
“A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made 
the trees rustle like living things.” 

Above us, below us, all around us... was the wind and the snow... 
I dare say, it made my daughter very happy (even though without her, I most likely would have NOT ventured out today).
“The snow was endless, a heavy blanket on the outdoors; it had a way about it. A beauty. But I knew that, like many things, 
beauty could be deceiving.”

The details of the woods really stood out. There were things that normally go unnoticed when we are near these areas that stood out clearly. One leaf still hanging on, a berry that hasn't completely faded, and steps leading to nowhere... at one time a deer stand or perhaps a treehouse? One can only guess...

By the time we were wrapping up, the fire I lit had taken off... and it was time to get warm, before we took off for more adventures in our Winter Wonderland. No Snow Day goes wasted, does it? 
Thank you for stopping by! Remember you can comment on the blog post for a chance to win a prize - just include your name if you do not have an account here... and I do moderate comments, so they will not instantly appear. I have to approve them for them to post.

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And, PS feel free to share the link to the blog, but do not take any images and claim them as your own. If you are intersted in ordering any prints, contact me! I'll be glad to help you out!

MK Designs Dec 2013.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

drowning in a sea of... IMAGES!

Don't be fooled by the title, I am not complaining!

I've been one crazy-busy photographer lately.

I've been doing a huge amount of business work of all things... for places like: Invisible Sun (a local massage and facial and AMAZINGLY relaxing place in Union, MO), Bommarito Winery (between New Haven and Hermann, MO), and Flamingo Key Bed and Breakfast (in that beautiful area near Hermann/New Haven/Gerald, MO).

Top: Flamingo Key B&B. Middle: Invisible Sun. Bottom: Bommarito Estate Winery.
Wine Glass. Wine. Sunset Sky. My Mission: BEAUTY!

I've also been doing a lot of portrait work this fall for families and seniors. It's been rewarding helping document their lives and create images wall-worthy for my clients. 
Families and Seniors - OH MY!

It's been a blessing that this fall has been vibrant here in Missouri. The trees are alive with color. It's made for some amazing backdrops for my portrait clients.
Katelyn Mittler - Washington, MO Senior 2014
And, even though this was an overcast day... the clouds created the PERFECT backdrop for the Siem Family during this photo shoot. This image may be one of my favorites from a family shoot to date.
The Siem "children" (they're growing up fast!) 

However, it's not just about creating because you're told to or paid to... it's about creating to create. As in that moment you're out on a hike in Robertsville State Park, and you see the light... and it's something that MUST be recorded by the camera.

Robertsville State Park, Missouri. 
Robertsville State Park, Missouri.

Remember if you see anything you like here or on my facebook page, contact me... I am available for portrait and business shoots, as well as any images I create just to create... if you would like information on how to order those, too - just contact me.

All images and words by MK Designs Photography - Nov 2013. Do NOT use without permission.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

She arrives late and leaves too soon...

“There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir: We must rise and follow her, When from every hill of flame She calls, and calls each vagabond by name.” - W. Bliss

October is here and I am about to blink and miss it. My favorite month has a way of taking forever to get here... and leaving way too early.

Missouri in October is sight to see. The trees are vibrant, the skies seem more alive, and the wine flows more sweetly...
I have just a few more days of this month to savor... until 2014... :-)

All images and words (minus a quote!) by MK Designs. Oct 2013. 

Do not copy without permission.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

On Claustrophobia, Fear of Commitment, and My Photography...

Did I lose you on the title? I hope not. I've had this huge "moment" where so many things clicked in my brain.

Because I hate HATE feeling like this:
Claustrophobia... that's my fear of having no escape and being closed in small spaces or small rooms. My freak outs due to it have taken place in a small camper bathroom, a haunted house at Lake of the Ozarks, a tour where you climb up to the top of the dome of the old courthouse in St. Louis via a series of ladders and what not sandwiched between the inner and outer dome... and several other locations.

I have realized it's that phobia that leads me to photograph like this:
 drawn to the beauty of the sky... wide, open, and free...
So how does this not only impact my art but my fear of commitment? I am pretty sure my fear of being trapped is one of the reasons why in the past two weeks when I have had two different people ask me where I see "things going" with them... I nearly had a panic attack. 
I am pretty ok with my own place, my own space, my own bank account, not being told what to do or where to be... granted, I'd love someone to spend some time with (on my terms! lol) but the thought of a serious relationship? It's up there with the thought of being sandwiched between the inner and outer dome of the Old Courthouse in St. Louis again. 
Am I the only one like this? I think not. :-)

Photography (except the girl/Welcome Mat image) & Words by MK Designs. Do not reproduce or copy without permission. Oct 2013. Like my facebook page and see my website for more!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I am back...

After a bit of a hiatus from blogging, here I am... at it again.

I've been keeping myself busy, but sometimes I catch myself doing nothing at all... simply being at rest in the new abode that I have enjoyed decorating with help from my friends and parents.
Speaking of abodes, I had the honor of having my artwork featured in a family's newly decorated craft room in Ellisville, MO. That was so exciting to see!
My 'day job' is back in full swing, but it honestly never takes me far from Photography since the bulk of my day is spent sharing that art with students.  
Yet, beyond the 'day job' and the new abode, I am still always out walking, looking, and making images. I have finally started healing from my foot surgery to the point I can get out and be in the places I love. One such place is Port Hudson State Fishing Lake out past my house.
I also finally made it back to my favorite State Park in Missouri: Hawn. It is near where my Aunt Donna lives so we were able to do a little day hike and enjoy Pickle Springs one afternoon in September with my daughter along for the ride (and cameras in tow as always).
My favorite season is coming up, FALL! Be ready for tons of images and more blog posts for sure! 

Remember to like my facebook page and visit my website, too. 

All images and words are by MK Designs. September 2013. Please do not "steal" or "borrow" images without permission. Thank you! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

We All Shine On... (Like the Moon)

For a Photo Challenge - Summer 2013. This
was liked so much by one of my fans
she used it in honor of her father. 
As summer 2013 slips into fall... I am honestly super excited. :) Fall is my favorite season. It even has a special smell to it.
Love it when the moon has a haze/glow!
Image made in 2010, one of my
FIRST accidental "good" moon shots!
I love moonlit fall nights, out by a fire, in my hoodie, listening to music or to just the sounds of the night.
Robller Winery. In the Fall. Love it!
New Haven, MO
Which leads me to this... one of my first goals was to get "good" at photographing the moon. I've improved at it greatly and now have other challenges to face: star trails and lightning. Those last two are quite a challenge, as was photographing the moon at first.
SuperMoon! 2012. Union, MO
There were times I honestly felt my camera had gremlins hidden within it to vex me. I'd get white dots of blur. I'd get camera shake so bad it looked like some ghostly orb, not the moon I enjoy so much!
Couldn't get the moon so I
just went for moonlight!
Union, MO a few summers ago.
I started to realize it wasn't the camera, it was the LIGHT that the moon puts forth. I was having my exposure too long and not treating the moon as the bright object she is! In time, I figured it out. Faster shutter speeds. Tighter MANUAL focusing. Patience! Those three "BINGO" moments helped me become less angry with the process and more happy with the results. 
Did this at the urging of several of my friends
August 2013 in Union, MO near my house. 
Now if someone tells me the moon is fantastic and I should go "get it" - I can because I know what settings to put my camera on and the steps to take. Granted, there may be about 100 images and I have to select the "best" of them (and trust me, they are not all pretty!) but I can get the shot I desire.
Hermann MO - Fall 2012. Beautiful Moonrise.
Now if I can just master star trails and lightning! ha! But until I get to those next challenges, I am going to relish in the fact photographing the moon no longer vexes me... I have it figured out.
Moon in Aug 2013 with a quote I LOVE.

All words and images by MK Designs Photography Fine Art and Portrait. 

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Feel free to comment, but know that I moderate comments and will publish them, they will not show instantly when you submit a comment. 


August 2013.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Life Doesn't Stop For ANYBODY

Having one of my more "personal" blog moments. I read recently those words above "Life Doesn't Stop for ANYBODY" and thought - "oh my, ain't that the truth!" I feel like I have lived a year this summer with all the hustle and bustle and work.
June 2013. A day working (and playing) at Zia Gallery in New Haven,
where I have work available for purchase. 
Packed up and moved my household contents in May, went on a vaction to FL and - while there - my old house sold, came back from FL and instantly closed on my new home and started unpacking, renovating, working, writing checks, whew! (if that sentence confused you, try living it!)
Mae West said: "You only live once, but if you do it right,
once is enough." - Mexico Beach Florida May 2013

Overall, it's been a whirlwind, but I am so pleased with how it's all coming along. And along the way I have had some moments of fun.

Christy and I hanging out for 6 1/2 uninterrupted hours
 in July 2013! This is huge with all the miles between
us and the fact her three sons keep her BUSY BUSY! 
It's those "needed breaks" that have helped me focus on getting this house done one bit at a time. I am so greatful for them.

Originally a pretty sickly looking evergreen was here in the
front yard. Had a redbud put in and Karlene & I did the
rock hunting, laying them out, mulching, etc. Took two hours,
but it got done quickly with TEAM WORK! July 2013. 
While it's true "Life Doesn't Stop for ANYBODY" - we can make sure to slow down a bit and enjoy some moments in order to recharge our batteries.
Another Stellar Sip of Wine & Sunset at Robller Winery! Summer 2013. 
How do I recharge?
- Meals or Winery Trips with Friends &/or Family
- Reading a book (slowly savoring my current one and it's "heavy" on the heart so I have to take breaks from it)
- Good Tea or Coffee or Ice Cream!
- Creek Days With My Daughter
- Texting or Chatting on Facebook with People
- Stopping and Really Enjoying all I Have Accomplished by Putting my Touch on this New Place aka: Making This House a Home (cliche but true)
- Little Drives Here and There
- Doing MINIMAL Work for My Upcoming School Year (it ain't August yet!) I am just doing FUN Things and Posts with my Journalism Students
- Participating In 30 Day Photo Challenges and Other Photo Projects That Push Me to Think / Create / SEE / Observe
- Reading Blogs and Articles I enjoy
- Watching Movies (new ones and old ones)
CREEK! Blue Springs Creek with my daughter.
June 2013. 
So, while Life Doesn't Stop for ANYBODY" - we can slow a moment down and enjoy it to recharge ourselves. This is a clip from a SCI FI movie, but give it a chance. One of my favorite scenes.

The PERFECT moment:

Thanks for reading and as always if you leave a comment you can be entered to win a prize from me.

All words and images by the M of MK Designs :)

July 2013.