Sunday, December 1, 2013

Photos in Steamboat

Steamboat's regional population is around 18,000, and in the peak weeks of tourist season, the occupancy is doubled. For those 20-40 thousand people, there are seemingly as many photographers - as any gorgeous natural beauty attracts - who are gunning for your business.

Personally, I don't advertise my services; I let word of mouth lead the right people to me. I have a full time job that I adore, and I let photography - a lifelong passion - remain a hobby so it remains a passion. Needless to say, people do find me.  When I search Steamboat Photographers on Google, I don't come up, so I'm not sure how clients do find me, but I'm thankful they do. Whether it's by referral or by synchronicity, it always seems the fun people find me. The quaint weddings, the surprise engagements at Fish Creek, the happy newborn twins, the large Florida families with matching t-shirts; those are the calls I get, and I love it. I offer my services part time to one small realty group, and I volunteer my camera skills for the two non profits my husband and I work for, STARS, and YVSC. All of this keeps me busy enough for a side job!

Triptych of family photos

It feels like I've always had a camera in my hand; since I can remember cameras have been a part of my life. My grandfathers both took our family portraits every year - Grandpa Ed running from the tripod to the gaggle of Hacks in Illinois is one of my oldest memories. My dad had his camera always, too - I vividly remember mom and I picking out his new camera strap, lined with a hundred tennis rackets; every event, recital, and vacation documented in albums that line their basement bookshelves.

So when I don't have a camera, I feel naked - thank God for modern technology. Everything is a photograph to me - from dinner out to a walk on the bike path, the way the world glows around me must be captured. For me, if it was all families, all food, or all philanthropy, it would get old quick. I am inspired by change, and as with most photographers, I am continually inspired by nature, by love, by beauty.

I feel blessed to do what I do. It's a good life. Thank you Steamboat!

Andy's Flickr Page screenshot

More about my photography rates here:

Monday, August 19, 2013

Helpful for Gmail Users: New Tabs, how to move emails you want, or eliminate the nuisance altogether

Reprinted from the Shift Network

If you're a Gmail user, you may have noticed a new "tabbed inbox" system that is being phased in now and we wanted to give you a quick update about it so you can continue receiving all the exciting and transformative offerings you've come to the Shift Network for.

Basically, Google has split your inbox into 5 separate inboxes and created tabs across the top labeling each "Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums.

The problem is...they've also decided that THEY, not YOU, get to choose which emails go into which new inbox tab, unless you tell them otherwise.

What does that mean?

A lot of emails you've asked to receive will end up under the tab marked Promotions, even though they're valuable content and you've specifically asked to get them.

Pretty much all emails from bloggers and other websites and people you subscribe to are being lumped into the "Promotions" inbox automatically, where you may not look. And you'll end up missing a lot of stuff you wanted.

The good news is there's a fast and easy fix for you.

Look at your Gmail account to see if the new "tabbed" inboxes have been turned on (you'll see the new tabs across the top of your emails).

If so, here's how to make sure you're seeing what you've asked to see:

1. Click on the Promotions inbox tab. Drag any emails from people you actually want to hear from (hopefully, that includes me and The Shift Network) and drop them onto the tab that says Primary.

Click to see image full-size. 
2. Then, when it asks if you want future emails to go into your Primary inbox, just click yes.

Click to see image full-size. 

For the next few weeks, as Gmail phases these new tabbed inboxes in, be sure to check your Promotions inbox to make sure nothing else you really want is getting caught in it.

Easy enough!

Further, if you want to totally turn off the new tabbed inboxes (which I did, because I don't want anyone else screening the email I've asked to receive and find it harder to check multiple tabs), just click on the Settings "gear" image at the upper right corner of your inbox and select "Settings."

Click to see image full-size. 

Click the "Inbox" tab and uncheck ALL of the categories except "Primary," and then save your changes.

Click to see image full-size.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My switch to all natural Henna (part 4)

(Continued from parts 3, 2, 1)

Like clockwork, my hair grows about 1/2 an inch per month, as it has since I started paying attention 20 years ago. So that leaves me with an inch of increasingly gray roots every 2 months, and thus, a much needed regular schedule.  With each passing month since my switch to Henna in October, I must say I love the product more and more.  And I am pretty sure my key goal - matching momma's truly natural color - has finally been succeeded; something I simply wasn't able to do with chemical dyes. Proof: while down in Florida this past week my mom's college roommate pulls her aside and says, "Wow, Andrea got your red hair!", like she didn't remember that from 15 years ago when I'd seen her last.  My mom (and I) chuckled... "Nope, she uses Henna."  Personal victory, accomplished.

So what's new in my experience?

Cleansing successWell, I've honed in on the bar I like for my hair. I think if you switch to Henna Sooq's shampoo bars, you'll probably find something different per your scalp, hair, and location variables... but for me, with thick, coarse, dry hair in Colorado, the Argan blend might be my second favorite.  The variety in oils and herbs inside the blended bars makes for choosing hard, and in my last post I hadn't tried Argan or Berhempsu yet, and had honed in on Soapnut, which is probably still at the top for me. Berhempsu leaves my hair oily, so for those extra dry types, this one is maybe for you. The Argan bar is also quite oily, and doesn't have a lot of herbs in it. The reason I like Soapnut the best still is for its natural healing qualities and the essential oil blends they put into the recipe. I am still amazed I am still using up these tiny sample bars, months later.  So their value is unquestionable.  I also love using these bars for shaving as the Henna Sooq girls suggest.

Henna independence
The other news is that I've now gone through my 3rd henna experience (Oct22, Dec20, Feb18), and because I timed it poorly, I had to do so on my own. Teresa was traveling, and so was I, so I had to go it on my own if I wanted to have a fresh 'do before the trip.  But it taught me several valuable things - a) I can do it. b) I can just do my roots without worry about any tonal differences. c) I don't need a hair cut every time.

I had watched video upon video before taking the plunge back in October, and yet I still wanted Teresa to do it.  And I'll still have her do my whole head every so often because I'm still retaining some darker, purpler ends from the original chem coloring from before the switch, and also because henna is healing- so far I haven't developed any split ends (which in winter is a miracle) so I'd like to keep it that way. But I'm confident in doing the roots on my own now - it saves henna (I only used the frozen remainder of the last mix, which was about 75 grams of a combination of henna, indigo and amla and I only used about half of it), it saves time (it took me about an hour, and I only left it on for four), and it saves my neck - 1/8th the henna means 1/8th the weight. Also, since I used the frozen leftovers, I didn't need to wait for activation, just thawing. And the last, and maybe the best benefit, no dye "bleeding."

I am primarily still only using a tiny bit of coconut oil on my hair after I shower, and nothing on the days I don't.  I do love the smell of the Cocoveda Hair Oil I mentioned in part 3, and use it occasionally, but really don't use it much yet since I'm still working through my tiny sample jar. It does leave my hair oilier, but I did find the Cocoveda helpful in Florida last week however, when frizz was an issue in the humidity. In Colorado, my hair just seems weighed down by it.

All in all I feel liberated to have eliminated the last chemicals in the house, and the clutter in my shower.  Traveling with the bars are super easy and minimalist, and I'm still shocked I don't need to use conditioner except once every two weeks or less, and that might just be out of a slowly dying habit.

If you haven't made the switch yet, do!!

For those who don't want to go as bright red as I chose, match your tones here:

Keep reading - Part 5...