Friday, October 28, 2011

Almost finished

With this beauty's senior portrait session!  Isn't she lovely :)  

Post more when I'm finished :) 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Let it be Fall!

So, like I said in yesterday's post, the next few days are going to be spent with my head in the "digital darkroom."  But before I take myself away from the rest of the world, I thought I'd share a few photos from my favorite time of the year:  Now!  

I absolutely love the fall!  I love the crispness in the morning air, the colors on the trees, the crunch of the fallen leaves under your feet as you walk.  I love football season, the comfort foods that start making their way into our kitchen, the upcoming family get together's...aka, the holidays...  I just love it all when it comes to fall.  In our neck of the woods, we're finally starting to see some of those vibrant leaf colors come out.  

Hope your next few days are spent enjoying the fall :) 

the next two ended up a bit blurry  :(

and my two favorites :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Wow!!  So the time in the blogging world goes faster than the time in real life, I think, lol!  I can tell already that there's a real art to this blogging thing.  Might take me a while to get there, but I'm going to try.

So the weekend went by super fast.  The husband & I were both busy working here & working there.  My husband's a builder, so his hours are always long.  For me, well, I obviously like shooting photos.  And I do it on the side for folks who ask me (I had 2 sessions this past weekend, whoop whoop!) recently, the side business has been picking up more & more.  I'm debating on whether to actually turn in into a full-fledged thing or not.  Besides the fact that photography seems to be "the thing" right now...there's also this worry I have about my work quality.  You see...I've worked with true "professional photographers" before.  Like, the real folks, who've done degrees in photography or photo-journalism, etc.  These people are amazing & the things they know are far superior to me.  I actually have the wonderful privilege of sitting under one from time to time...and his work compared to mine:  AMAZING.  I mean the kind of amazing that needs minimal to no editing done amazing.  His mentoring has been priceless for me.  Ok...back to the point.  I would not want to dare elevate my work to the work that these real "professionals" do.  Their stuff is insane.  And I try really hard & practice, practice, practice...but I know that I'm just not on that level yet.  So...when I think of going into business for myself, I'm thinking, "Holy snot.  I cannot call myself a professional photographer."

Do you think you can be a photographer without being on that level??  Thoughts anyone?

Ok, well, enough of my rambling on that.  I'm going to keep mulling it over in my head.  If anyone would like to give me an opinion, I'd take it, lol!

For the rest of this week, you can find me editing, editing, editing!  I'm finishing up 1 senior portrait session for Miss Lucy, and then starting the ones from last weekend: 1 senior, 1 maternity.

Just for fun, my last 2 Flickr uploads :)  (although I'm posting them straight from my computer)

I hate spiders, but this web was too cool not to photograph.

Happy Tuesday, fellow bloggers.  Talk to you soon!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's cold enough now...

...that I can break these out.  

I'm in love with them, in case anyone wanted to know :) 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Color Issue: Its Giveaway Time

Check out this giveaway @ the Color wonderful :)

The Color Issue: Its Giveaway Time: Its time my friends! The BIG Giveaway starts TODAY !!! read below on how to enter! Valued at over $130 full of some of my favorite t...


Is anyone else on Flickr??  I absolutely LOVE the groups Flickr offers.  They're so valuable when it comes to gaining feedback, critiques, & helpful tips.  I've joined a few different groups for the fun of it; one on nature photography, one on portrait work, one by MCP Actions...

I thought today I'd post a few of my most recent flickr uploads & group entries.

wild flowers on my table by Carrie Gilliam
wild flowers on my table, a photo by Carrie Gilliam on Flickr.
This photo was posted to the MCP Project 52 group. Each week the group is given a theme, this week's theme being "true beauty." I entered this as my photo for true beauty.  When I was thinking about what to shoot that really captured this theme, I just kept being drawn to this arrangement of wildflowers I had picked & put on my table.  Studying them reminded me that often the simplest things in life hold the most beauty.

sunflowers by Carrie Gilliam
sunflowers, a photo by Carrie Gilliam on Flickr.
This photo is from one of the fields where I took senior portraits last week.  These babies were beautiful!!

windmill by Carrie Gilliam
windmill, a photo by Carrie Gilliam on Flickr.
This photo is another MCP Project 52 entry. The theme for that week was "architecture," so I posted this windmill.  I loved the contrast of the cloud texture against the hard, thin lines of the windmill.

230 corrected web by Carrie Gilliam
230 corrected web, a photo by Carrie Gilliam on Flickr.
I added this a few weeks ago as part of a set that I did for a couple in our church. Aren't they adorable?

Mayci 2 bw by Carrie Gilliam
Mayci 2 bw, a photo by Carrie Gilliam on Flickr.
And finally, Mayci :)  This photo of her is one of my favorites from the summer!!

So, there are a few of my Flickr uploads. What's your Flickr like?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tickled Pink

In order to celebrate & promote Breast Cancer Awareness, the I Heart Faces photo challenge this week is called "Tickled Pink."  Breast cancer has certainly become a front runner among the leading killers for women over the past few decades.  Many of us have seen it's devastating effects first hand and have become familiar with routine check-ups & screenings that will help us detect it's possible surfacing in our own bodies.

When I think of October & Breast Cancer Awareness, I automatically think of those we're trying to save...those we're trying to keep from ever knowing the agony of losing a part of being a woman.  When I think awareness, I think of the ones coming up behind us.

For my entry, I chose a picture of a sweet girl I had the opportunity to photograph this past weekend.  She's a senior in high school, Lord willing, with a whole world of opportunity at her fingertips.  May she be one of the girls we're fighting for!

Monday, October 17, 2011

a quick share

Monday, monday...always lots to do on Mondays.  I have several things I plan on posting this week, but lots of things to do today.  So for the time being, I wanted to share this with you.

It's an old hymn, written back in 1771.  The version I'm posting is slightly different musically than what we typically hear in church, but it's absolutely beautiful.  As a believer, there's nothing better to know than the strong blood of Jesus that washes all our sin away.  Hope you enjoy :)

for the lyrics, go here

Friday, October 14, 2011


It's Friday...which means it's Fix-It-Friday for the I Heart Faces Community.  This weeks photo is absolutely adorable, and given to us by Adrienne Zwart.  Thanks Adrienne for letting us use your photo :)

Here's the image SOOC:  

And here are my edits:  

I cannot lie, I had a hard time with this one!  Maybe it was the white background?  Not sure...I just know that I tried so many things I wouldn't know where to begin explaining my edits.  I am totally open to suggestions, though.   One thing I do know:  this little boy is too cute :)  For more edits, go to Fix-It-Friday

I'm shooting here today:

Isn't it beautiful?! Really, it's one of several locations, but I just had to share b/c I think it's so lovely :)

And it has this:

And lots of these:

Ahhh, I love the fall :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Reads

I thought I'd start Thursdays off by posting about what I'm reading.  Right now, I'm trying to read through several different books of the Bible & one other mainstream Christian book.  (I tend to read from one for a few days & then switch to another & then switch back.  My brain needs processing time like that!)

Anyway...this mornings read happens to be from the book of Proverbs.  If you've never read the book of Proverbs, I would highly recommend giving it a try.  It's an amazing read & will really open your eyes to some of the vain pursuits we find ourselves wrapped up in.  The entire Bible is like that for literally blows my mind all the time.  I'm amazed at its teachings & the truth that is in it...and especially the way it changes your life if you'll heed its words!     OK, so on to my read this morning from the book of Proverbs.

Here's what I focused on:  (verses 1-12)

1 The words of King Lemuel.  An oracle that his mother taught him:
2 What are you doing, my son?  What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows?
3 Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress;
7 let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
8 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
10 An excellent wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

Some of you may read this & think, "OK, what is so special about this? Why does this draw your attention so specifically?" 

 Well, here's my answer:  It all starts with vs. 1, "The words of King Lemuel.  An oracle that his mother taught him."

 Proverbs 31 is often noted as one of the most profound passages on biblical womanhood in the entire Bible.  (By biblical womanhood, I simply mean, what God teaches about being a woman according to the Bible.)  But we often look at the latter verses of this chapter (vs. 10-31) and miss these first 12 (I've included vs. 10-12 in my reading this morning).  If you really read what the above verses are saying, you'll see a picture being painted by God of a mother & her strong influence on the life of her son.  Yes, Lemuel is a king, and probably King Solomon (the wisest man who ever lived)...and most of us will never raise a king.  But God's heart for mothers still stands none the less.  He loves for his "mothers" to teach their children the things of the Lord.  Note what these things are: character & wise living (vs. 3-4), an awareness of those around them, especially those in need (vs. 5), compassion towards those who are afflicted & suffering (vs 6-7), a charge to stand up for the rights of those who can't stand up for themselves and to maintain justice in all instances (vs 8-9), and finally about love & the kind of wife that will build him up, not tear him down (vs 10-12).  And looking specifically at vs. 10-12, what a marriage!!  A marriage where the husband is of that kind of character & a wife who longs to do good towards him everyday.  Such a beautiful picture!  

Now, the point of this post was not to stick my finger in the face of mothers & say, "You need to do this..." No, the point is to admire the heart of God  & his desire for us to teach each other the things of God, especially to our children.  If you're like me, with no children of your own, you can be inspired by the priorities of this mother.  Her desire to teach her child about his character, about mercy and compassion...let these things be the desire & pursuits of your own heart!  What a blessing these will be to our lives, & to the lives of those we encounter every day.  

I hope this read will encourage your heart as it did mine.  

Keep checking back...on another day I'll finish the Proverbs 31 chapter with a post on womanhood :) 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday Pins

Is anyone else out there addicted to Pintrest?? I think I might be :) I thought I'd share a few of my favorites today.

This totally  makes me think Americana when I see it.  I would love to have this flag displayed in my house somewhere! 

Such a cute way to add color! I would leave these up year round. 

We actually made this three nights ago.  Amazing!  We added a fiesta blend cheese to it as well as a tiny bit of feta.  Gone the next day! 

I think the perspective on this photo is to die for!! 

A must have for the upcoming winter!!  Since they get so cold in our state ;) 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Raise Your Hands!

This week's photo challenge over on I Heart Faces happens to be all about hands. Typically we must have a human face in the photos we enter, but this time our photos had to include hands.  Here's my's from a shoot I did earlier this summer.  To me, it represents one of the most important uses of our hands; joining them together to form a family.  

For more great entries,check out

Friday, October 7, 2011


Today is Fix-It-Friday for the I Heart Faces community.  How does it work?  Well, every Friday, a super kind photographer (this week it's Liz Labianca) allows those of us in the community to practice our editing skills with one of their photos.  They provide the image SOOC (straight out of camera), we download the image, make our edits, and then post them to the community page (or our blog, flickr, etc).  It's a great way to practice & learn more about editing photos.  Every time I enter I pick up new tips & tricks from the other members!   An added's for all grades of photo lovers.  You DO NOT have to be a professional to play along!!  Here are my entries for this week:

Image SOOC:
I just think this child has the sweetest face!  I love her eyes & the slight pout that she appears to have.  Sh's beautiful.
 Here are my edits:

Edit 1

For this first edit, I couldn't decide about the cropping, so I went ahead & cropped it in fairly close.  I decided to leave the tar strip b/c I kind of liked the look of it.  I adjusted my levels, brightened it up quite a bit (I like bright!) and boosted the contrast.  Then I smoothed up her skin a tad, brightened the blues in the photo & her eyes,  & then desaturated her skin a tiny amount (is that a word?).  I added an overlay layer in a creamy tone, added a very light pastel blue/yellow gradient layer across her body, a bit of texture to the sidewalk, and then a little burning on the edges.

Edit 2

For this edit, I went back to the original, took all of the saturation out & started working from there.  I cropped it wider than the last, brightened the photo, added more contrast & then boosted the blacks in the photo.  I smoothed her skin a tad and then touched up her shoe.  I added a creamy overlay & a slightly mocha color layer to the entire photo to give it the coloring I wanted & then went back & brightened it a bit more.  And of course, vingette.

Edit 3

For my final edit, I used a Coffeeshop action called Vintage Blush.  First, I touched up her skin & shoe again.  Next I ran the Vintage Blush action (love!!).  I decreased the opacity on the actions layers & lessened the color mute so more color would show thru.  Next I boosted the saturation, brightened it again, darkened the blacks & added vignette.  

Go on over to I Heart Faces Fix-It-Friday to join in & see more edits!  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One thing I love to take photos. Quite literally, once you become enthralled with a camera, it's hard not to see the outside world through a "mental" lens.  People, buildings, the natural life around you - it's as if your mind begins to filter the images like you've already got the shutter button half pressed down.  A few photos I've taken over the past few months: enjoy :)
blooms on our monkey grass...a very sophisticated floral, lol! 
crepe myrtle
wood grain

the ocean @ Topsail Beach

grainy, but one of my best attempts at a lightening storm over the ocean @ Topsail.

Diving in...

So, here goes nothing! It's my first post in the world of blogging.  I could try to write a wonderful introduction on who I am, why I'm doing this or all the things that inspire me...but for now, I think I'll keep it short & sweet.  Let's just dive right in with a big "hello blogging world!"  ;)