Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I hope the month of December will be my month of working on personal projects and not so much about event photography.

Today I stopped in at a local small business to practice a little product photography.  I didn't want to use a box to capture a product on a white background, I wanted something natural in it's own environment.

I played around with setting up this display to try to find it appealing, adding a vignette in Lightroom5 in hopes of drawing your eye to the center of the photo and the products that being showcased for sale.

I remember a seminar by Scott Kelby and he talked about food photography and how he angles his shot a little; so I thought why not this.

I feel pretty happy with my first try at this and I'm happy to have a local store willing to let me go in for more practice.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Portrait Practice

I've stepped into the world of Portrait Photography this year, I reached out to some people I know to offer mini sessions to help me work on my new venture.

I am lucky that I have a large support system with the Rodeo Competitors and HS Football Moms that want to get some portraits along with their action photos.

This photo turned out to be one of my favorites from the day, a mom has two daughters, one rodeo competitor, one loves to read.  What better way to capture both of them than like this.

I do a lot of research not only on photography but on ideas but nothing tops the mind of the client and what they want to capture.

I look forward to 2015 and what may come my way.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Gizmos and Gadgets

In Photography you can find so many gizmos and gadgets that would even break Bill Gates pocketbook; I'm always amazed at all of the things that will enhance your photos from filters to software.

I haven't invested in many of these little toys yet, but one that I think I do want to invest in this cool little filter (Tiffen 77HTP 77mm Digital HT Circular Polarizer Titanium Filter)  that has numerous options to make your skies pop.

I recently invited a few friends out for an outing of photography and one of the members had this filter and I borrowed it and was just amazed at what your photos would look like when you chose any of the different options  Definitely something to get and play around with on my photography adventure.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Revamping the Portfolio

If you've read any of my blogs from earlier this year you'll know that in 2014 my goal was to learn more and work on new techniques to help me become a better photographer.

I've seen improvements in my work and seem to think "Outside the Box" when I'm out practicing.  So  recently I sat back and looked at my portfolio and it's probably the worse one I've ever seen and it's mine.

My goal for the remainder of this year is to work on my "branding" and create a portfolio that will let everyone know I am and even more who I want to be as a photographer.  I know a portfolio is always something you will work on, but you have to have something to start with and WOW!  mine has no meaning whatsoever.

If I ever want to be taken seriously as a photographer I need to be able to show my work in more than just a photo here and a photo there.  I enlisted the aid of a fellow photographer from our Camera Club to offer his CC on what I am re working and I wouldn't mind showing it to a few more members of the club as well.

I think always working on improving will show you how far you've come in something you truly enjoy!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Giving Team Roping a Try

So Today I tried a different Rodeo category, Team Roping, as you know I photograph Barrel Racing about 95% of the time and have been asked to do some rodeos but they are almost always at night.

I have 3 Alien Bee Strobe sets but they just don't seem to be able to light these dark outdoor arena's so I end up turning down these jobs.  Today, outdoors in the hot texas sun I was asked to stop by and photograph a team roping.  I ended up going by for a few hours and was happy with the outcome of most of my photos.  I posted photos to my Facebook page Jo H Photography (if you get a chance take a look).

This photo is one of my favorites, and it helps he is also the manager at Diamond T arena, he keeps me busy with all of the barrel races at his arena.  I need a little more practice but I like what I was able to accomplish today and can't wait to get back out there to try to see if I can grab some good photos for the ropers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In your own backyard

You just never know what you will find in your own backyard; I planned to get together with two other photographers on Sunday.  They both cancelled and I had already set my mind on getting some photos of something besides rodeo for that day; I set out on a little drive to a few of the small towns around where I live.

I ended up in a small community on a country road I had never been down and happened across this small little paradise.  I drove by a few times wondering if they would mind if I photographed their cactus from the road; I thought to myself, just drive up and ask if they say No please don't It sure wouldn't be the first time.

The opposite happened when they invited me up and told me to go anywhere I wanted, photograph all I wanted and come back.  I spent about an hour or so of my time wondering the grounds and thinking this is such a beautiful little place that I never would of found if the ladies I was to meet that day hadn't cancelled.

Cactus, flowers, deer, windmills rocks, metal art - all arranged in a beautiful way.  I can't wait to venture back up and wonder around to see what other treasures I may have missed.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Behind the Crown

Yesterday I spent my morning in Forestburg Texas to do a little behind the scenes research on an article that I'm writing called "Behind the Crown".

Anyone that has been to a rodeo notices those beautiful ladies in the grand entry and walking around the Rodeo to promote the sport; what they don't know is all of the things that goes on behind the scenes to become a Queen or Princess of the Rodeo.

In a few months pick up a copy of Cowboy Sports News and see what all is involved in search of this very famous crown.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Trick Roping at the NFR

I have been freelancing as a writer for a magazine a few months (doesn't pay a lot but it's better than nothing right?).  I keep a small notebook with me at all times so when an idea for a story pops in my head I want to follow up on it to see if it can work into a story.

I met Riley Webb last year at the North Texas Fair and Rodeo where he was part of an act for the main part of the rodeo where the Rodeo clown comes in and tries to trick rope and can't and from the stands this little 10 year old boy (last years age) comes into the arena and shows the clown how to trick rope with all these fancy tricks.  He also doubled as clown for the Muttin Bustin competition which landed me one heck of a photo that made the cover of a magazine.

I thought about him recently and what an extraordinary story he would make, he's been to the National Finals Rodeo twice to perform, at ages 9 and 10 and will be back this year.  He calf ropes like nobodies business and when you watch him do tricks you wonder how and the heck can he do those things.

He has been loaned a horse that took Fallon Taylor to the national finals back in 1995, his two roping horse are both in their 20s and one of them only has one eye.  He's in the top 5 of the Joe Beaver competition and looks to make the finals.

I wanted to capture a few photos fro my article and ended up with quite a few but the one posted ended up as my favorite.

I watched him roper over the weekend at a benefit rodeo and this little guy just kept on amazing me at his talents.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Biscuit my First Equine Portrait

Everyone Meet Biscuit aka Dial Dolley for Muscle, I had the pleasure of taking his photos late last year.  He's owned by Rebel Barrel horses out of Valley View Texas.

The owners are barrel horse trainers and they had recently bought a few photos off of me from a local barrel race; the owners called and asked if I would take photos of their stallion for their website.

I shot this entire session on JPEG instead of RAW and using Lightroom, what I know now (which isn't much) would of been helpful at the time of this shoot.  I went ahead and ran his photo thru LR and made a few adjustments; this is such a beautiful horse and sure would of loved to create a much better photo of him for everyone to see.  I'm happy with the photos we got that day, but as a learning session I can't wait to see what I can do in a year or two.

This lovely stallion has a 4 year old mare that just won top 5 in the world @ Oklahoma recently for the National Buckskin associate world finals; he's outstanding and his name speaks for itself - he throws a ton of muscle in his offspring.

I can't wait to get back out to shoot some more photos of this stallion and his offspring.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Meeting up with Fellow Photographers

I've been reaching out to some of the fellow photographers in our local camera club; I'm so thankful that I started to do that this year.  I've made a few pretty good friends, I've picked up tips, it's pushed me to help others as well as listen to the ones that know more than I do.

I also think it's built my confidence level up a bit, sometimes I still have doubt in my ind that i'm not good enough, don't know enough and that I shouldn't show people my photos.  The photo above was from a few weeks ago when I met up with 2 ladies from the club.  We had mostly been conversing on Facebook thru our camera club and I reached out and asked the two ladies if they wanted to meet up to photograph.  It happened to be a very hot day that day; so we started off at the library where we worked on some LR5; then we ventured out and came across this pond area filled with these lilypads.

I walked away with a shot that has come out to be one of my favorites; but most important I walked away with 2 ladies that have come to be good friends.  We're meeting up again next week and I can't wait to see where we go and what we photograph; I'll make sure and share a photo after the field trip.

So, reach out to your fellow photographers in the area; you'd be surprised what you learn!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Daily Practice

As part of my daily practice toward becoming a better photographer I wanted to start working on Product Photography.  I also am looking into working more for a retail magazine in the equine business, in order to grab a potentials client attention is to work on becoming a better photographer and post editor.

I have not worked much in Lightroom 5 but have daily gone into the software to see what I can do with my photos.  I hope with continued practice in both photography and editing I will gain the knowledge I succeed in something I have grown to love.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Trying new things on vacation

This year we ventured to Pagosa Springs, Colorado for our family vacation.  It wasn't a long trip in the amount of days but it was long in learning for myself as I grow into new areas of photography.

I have looked thru numerous photos of streams and how soft the photographer was able to make the water look.  I've always wanted to try it but there just are not many streams in the area where I live in North Texas (Unless it's a heavy downpour of rain which causes flooding).  So, when I knew we were going to Colorado I knew this was something I wanted to try.

I read everything I could on how to capture the water in a soft effect, asked my local camera club for tips and watched some YouTube videos so I would be educated.

On the day I wanted to try this, I had limited space to try this out, I ended up on a bridge to try to find the most appealing spot I could.  I set up my new tripod, changed my settings and captured the photo above on the second shot.  I did a little post processing in LR5 and then, the finished product for me.

I know I've seen photos 100% better than this one, but for shot # 2 and getting the effect I wanted I was very pleased with the outcome.

Next year we venture to the black hills of South Dakota and to Yellowstone - by then I hope to have found some places in the hill country to go down and practice streams so I can get up the beautiful states I mentioned and grab a few more photos.

So 2014 is still going as planned - a learning year.  Once you step out of your comfort zone it's amazing what you can capture.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Shy Deer

We are currently on our family vacation at Pagosa Springs, Colorado; we came up for a couple reasons; Carl wanted to scout his hunting area he will be hitting in September and I wanted to try my hand at photographing wildlife as well as slow shutter speed on streams and hopefully a waterfall.

Last night we headed out to one of the locations that Carl will be hunting and saw quite a few doe and from a far off distance I did see 4 bucks but I wasn't able to get a photo of them.

I had to bump my ISO up to 4000 in order to get enough light in for this photo, thankfully I did shoot in RAW and post processed in LR5.  I still don't like shooting with my ISO that high, even though I've read numerous articles to not be afraid to raise the ISO - I still am.

Overall I was happy with this little lady - she posed long enough for me to snap a couple photos and tonight when we head out I hope to catch a few more.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The year of learning

In January I set out to learn more and more, I felt like I had the basics but I just needed to refine what I had learned the previous year.  One of the things I set out to learn is Photoshop and Lightroom, the photo above was originally set in a field with green trees and grass.  I had seen a photo recently with a horse and rider but the background was black; I felt it stood out and I wanted to try this myself.

I didn't know exactly where to start to so I enlisted the talents of a very talented member of our local Camera Club, he pointed me in the right direction with links and the terminology to get me to the place I needed to learn.

I followed the steps and was able to finish the photo, I need to work on cleaning the photo up a bit, but for a first try I have to say I happy with the results; but most importantly I am happy that I tried.

2014 isn't over and I can't wait to compare how I photographed and edited in January to the end of the year.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

First Mini Session

Today I had the opportunity to have my first mini session in the little town of St. Jo Texas.  One of my friends that I've made thru photography organized and scheduled everything for me, all I had to do was show up and start taking pictures.

Today was extra special for me because I've never taken photos of babies and/or infants.  I took photos for 30 minutes of the most well behaved little 10 month old baby.  She smiled, clapped, laughed, posed and was the best subject anyone could ask for to photograph.  I ended up with quite a few photos that I really like (or maybe it's because it's my first baby session).  I spent most of the night going thru and editing them in Lightroom 5 (also new to me) and was pleasantly pleased with the outcome.

I hope to get another mini session in soon, it's fast, quick and a lot of fun if you have the right people; I had 4 families and everything went well, nobody was late and they all said they loved their photos.

Monday, July 7, 2014

New adventures

I have been seeing myself step out of my comfort zone and trying new things. This week I started a creative writing class in the hopes of picking up a few tips to help me with my freelance writing I'm doing for a rodeo magazine and the work I will be doing for the newspaper this fall. I've had a couple of opportunities come my way that first started with photography and then journalism. Football season will be a challenge for me to see if I can turn a quick article around to go with the photos I will be submitting

In a few weeks we're headed off to Colorado and I'm going to try waterfalls and streams and my goal is to get the water as smooth as possible. I've never attempted this type of photography before so I reached out to the experts and then contacted B&H for the filter I will need to help me make this a successful trip. I mean I won't go back for a year so I have to make this shot the best I can.

Trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone makes you grow in the things you love.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


This month our theme for our local camera club is MACRO photography, it's been very interesting because I have stepped out of my comfort zone and tried a few things I normally wouldn't.

I also learned I like it quite a bit, I'm not sure I would invest in a special lens for MACRO but maybe down the road I would think about it.

I went the cheap way by getting a reversal ring and also just using what lens I currently have and making it as MACRO as I could. I ended up with July photo that I think has turned out to be one of my best since I started photography. This also forced me to work the photo more intensely in Ligjtroom5.   Friday I will work on my second submission; after much research I've decided on a photo to attempt- again out of my comfort zone.

I feel this is a good learning process for me and to make it even better one of the photographers in the group is offering a quick field trip in MACRO.

I love learning new things with photography!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Reaching out

I've been pretty tough on my photos lately and thought I would reach out to some of the other equine photographers and experienced photographers in my local camera club.

I met with a photographer Friday after work to talk about lighting positions, a south texas photographer about settings, members of the club about aperture.

The results of reaching out produced my best indoor photos I've taken since I started photography a few years ago.

Don't be afraid to reach out to other photographers, even if you feel like their your competitors. There's so much you can learn and share from each other!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

15 minutes a day

Yesterday I attended a workshop in Arlington Texas sponsored by Arlington Camera and the instructor was Master Photographer Steve Kozak. I liked the format which was closed off to 38 photographers and it was a small group of Q&A.

We would ask a question that was causing problems in our photography and Steve would answer the question. Most of the time when you have an issue there's a good chance someone else is having the same issue. I liked the format and learned a couple of things. Most importantly I learned to see things differently before I take my photo

Steve is also outstanding at photoshop; he talked about doing your editing at the same time, same place, same lighting and you would have better results. Editing in LR and PS is something I'm not comfortable with yet just because I'm not good enough.

I've decided to set at least 15 minutes aside at or around 8pm to work on my editing skills in hopes that I can create a routine in the same light, same setting, same time to work on my editing skills.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Photography bucket list

Today I read a post from a fellow photographer who is going thru some health concerns. He's worrying until the outcome- we always seem to fear that it's going to be bad and the things we want to accomplish won't happen.

It made me think about my photography bucket list and what I would like to accomplish.

1) photograph bald eagles in Alaska, sure I can get them down here In Texas but I want to catch them In  Alaska.
2) photograph grizzly bears trying to catch Salmon in Alaska and whales in Alaska. I guess I better book that trip and knock 3 of these off the list
3) photograph a barrel racing futurity
4) make the cover of Barrel Horse News
5) see and photograph the Statue of Liberty
6) get a media pass for the Texas Ranger, I tried once and didn't pass I'll keep trying
7) to take one photo, hopefully sports related, that will last thru history and be talked about in the future. Where beginners will look at it and want to copy it

My goals are small, I work in baby steps when it comes to photos

What's on your bucket list?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Learning to read

I saw an interesting comment by a new photographer saying they didn't like to read and from what I gather they wanted someone to show or explain everything to them.

At times I still feel like I am new to photography and not as experienced as others, but a majority of my time I spend reading articles, reviews and posts in the hopes of improving.  I like watching YouTube as much as the next person but just seeing instructions on a computer screen or magazine text seems to help me more.

Today I received my newest photography book to read Scott Kelby The Digital Photography Book. I can already tell it's going to be a good read, and I'm only about 30 pages in, and I'm going to learn quite a bit from it.

What if I didn't read?  I doubt Scott Kelby would come show me what to do on a regular basis- he just doesn't have the time and I sure don't have the money.

Reading is relaxing, helpful and keeps the brain from going to waste!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


In the last two years since I started my journey as a photographer, I've learned to become more patient and look for the photo I like.

In portrait photography (to me anyways ) it's a little easier than fast moving action (which I love  more than anything). I've learned to look for the shot that's going to be more appealing.

What I need to work on as a photographer is after removing the memory card and uploading those photos to my computer I just don't seem to have the patience to look thru the photos and make a few tweeks to have those few stand out a bit more.

That's going to be a challenge for me and I hope to conquer this; I attended a Scott Kelby Seminar recently and he said never put anything out for the public to see unless it's been sharpened. I look at mine and think "Hey that's pretty good" then place it out there for the world.

This year along with learning more about my photography and LR5 I'm going to add patience to the list

Friday, June 6, 2014

What do you see thru your Viewfinder

When I started pursuing my interest in photography a few years ago I purchased my first DSLR at a local camera store. They handed me this camera and  lens and the trusty manual. I went home and didn't have a clue what to do. But with auto mode I started to snap some photos; not just some photos but tons I'd photos. I didn't really know what to shoot so I just kept on snapping

Over the last two years I've learned that looking thru the viewfinder has opened up a whole new world to me- I see things differently when I'm walking out of the front door of my home or driving to work.  I can't take a hike without thinking "Wow that make a great photo".

I think about my photos more now than I did back then, I see expressions like happiness, sadness, disappointment and success. I've learned to love looking thru that little spot on my camera and experiencing a whole new world.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


As I mentioned in an earlier blog that I wanted 2014 to be a learning year in my photography. I would like to look back in January 2015 at my photos from 2014 and see an improvement.

I signed up for a portrait in the park workshop next week at the University of North Texas, June 14 another small workshop and the Ansel Adams exhibit in Arlington Texas to view the Master of Photography.

July I'm trying to decide if I want to sign up for a landscape workshop in Krum Texas and In September a 6 week course in Lighting at Brookhaven College.

I'd like to have a 4-6 week course in LR5, there are online classes but I do better hands on. So... Next January I hope the photos I will be showing will be better than I ever thought I could imagine

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

New opportunities

Today brought another opportunity in an area I have always been interested in but never pursued

I've always been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember; the Dallas Cowboys of the 70s might of had something to do with that as I loved watching them on Sundays. The 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team, the Boston Celtics with Larry Bird. I've just always enjoyed sports for as long as I can remember.

Last year I pursued freelance photography work with a small newspaper and landed a good little gig covering local sports on the sidelines. I learned I enjoyed it and couldn't wait for the following Friday so I could get on the sideline again.

I just learned today that the same newspaper is also going to pay me to write articles of the games I will be covering. I was so excited during the conversation and absolutely cannot wait until August so I can get back out there, I will be prepared with a micophone- or honestly my IPHONE to talk to some of the players as well as photograph the action as it's happening.

It's funny how life brings you full circle and you get to participate in things you enjoyed as a child and now as an adult you get to be creative.

Beware of certain groups

As a photographer I'm always looking for groups to join and pages to like to help me in my quest of becoming an improved photographer.

This week I was approved to join a closed group for local photographers in my area. The very first post was posted by another photographer "complaining" about another photographers rates. The remainder of the posts were negative about this innocent photographer who had no clue they were the subject of the thread. They went so far to say someone should post their website information so they could contact them.

I found this a form of bullying and was disgusted with the group and the energy involved. I don't seem to think what others charge is any of my business, I may look at websites to see what I charge compares to them but I would never make a negative comment.

I ended up leaving this Closed Group and unfriended the lady that posted the beginning of the bullying (she is a photographer in a club I belong to).

I realize photography is competitive but...talking negatively about a photographer is something I was upset about and didn't feel needed another second of my time.

We all have a lot of knowledge and could help each other out and stay positive in the learning process.

Maybe she's chosen because she's better than the other?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Time for change

The past few weeks have brought some changes to my photography and I feel everything new I'm trying and applying will make me a much better photographer.

I've started to shoot RAW to start creating catalogs and working on my photos in Lightroom 5, I took a workshop on creating layer masks, I've signed up for two additional workshops (one for portraits in the park the second for landscapes).

Today I photographed a youth horse show which was my first and all if the things I've been working on helped me capture my best photos yet

I think the best thing a photographer can do is practice. Each practice session helps you grow into a more experienced artist!

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Tomorrow brings new excitement my way as a photographer; I will working on portraits in a public place for a young 15 year old young lady.  It makes you happy to know someone is paying you with their hard earned money to capture those special photos that stops the hands of time. I look forward to posting a few on my photo page:  Jo H Photography

Afterwards we are headed down to Ennis Texas to find the perfect spot to photograph bluebonnets. Every year people go in droves to Ennis to capture the most amazing photos. I always say I'm going to go and never make the 1.5 hour drive down. I just never wanted to give up that time, but as you grow older you look for places that will bring an inner peace to you and a smile on your face and I just can't seem to wait to go on a short road trip to be like the many others who have already made the journey

Check out my photos Or my Facebook page Jo H Photography. I would appreciate you likening my page and I'm always open to feedback

Monday, April 28, 2014

Back to photography

I've been spending a lot of time dabbling in photoshop and I've seem to of gotten away from photography. When I started to work on my interest of photography a few years ago, I told myself I just wanted to be good at it and for people to enjoy my photos. There's nothing wrong with photoshop
( I think I'm more of an elements person though) but with the time I've spent in front of the camera I could of been practicing taking photos and learning more looking thru my camera

I told myself 2014 was going to be a learning year and I have learned a lot. But I've spent most of it on the computer learning software. I think I will learn to shoot in RAW but learn my camera like the back of my hand to produce the best photos I can

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ÿour never too old to learn

The past few weeks I've decided I need to learn post processing. I tend to spend most of my time in photoshop Elements 11 versus Lightoom 4. I do plan to spend a week shooting RAW, creating presets in Lightroom and download and edit my photos before playing around with them in Elements

It's pretty funny that I was so scared of photoshop I have had the software about 8 months and I finally set my mind to trying a few things. I'm glad I finally jumped in with both feet because I've had the best time working with my photos.

But, back to work- the next 2 days I have big barrel races to photograph and I want my photos to stand out which means working on my camera settings and capturing the best action this side of the Red River

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Those special moments

Yesterday I photographed a barrel race in Coleman Oklahoma at the U Cross arena. I've never been ther and was kind of curious about how the turnout would be.

Since the arena was a good distance you worry about all the new runners you've never photographed before, how the lighting in the arena is, will they be supportive etc.

It was a rainy dreary day but their  ended up being 153 in the open which was a decent turnout with $1,500 added money.

As a photographer I want to cover my expenses (I have a day job) and what's left over buys new or more equipment. But... I am always looking for the ultimate shot- the one that everyone's going to look at.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of photographing the great granddaughter of the great Dale Youree and it was her first race on her big horse. I've never received so many likes on a photo before and I realized how special that one photo was to so many family and friends of this little girl. You just cannot put a price on something like that.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pee Wee Sports

Today I had the pleasure of photographing Pee Wee or more like Junior Volleyball. I experienced the beginning of an athletes travel into a lifetime of sports. I can just imagine In a few years how well these young athletes will transform and turn into the future champions for state and Olympic gold.

I was able to get some good photos, even with the lack of lighting, from the gym. The referees won't allow flash for volleyball due to the distraction when they are serving.

I like being able to work on my photography with sports, pretty much any sport in hopes that one day a newspaper will offer me a position on their staff as the sports photographer

Friday, March 14, 2014

Learning New Things

The topic of photo editing came up yesterday with a few members of the camera club I belong to. It seems your a natural at it, or you struggle like I do.

I decided I was going to commit 15-30 minutes three or four times a week working on basic editing in Photoshop Elements 11.  I'm really happy I did because I turned an OK photo into something with a little pop and all I did was mix the photo from all color to add some Black and White.

I made one mom very happy when she saw her daughters end result which in turn makes me happy.

So this weekend watch out; I'm going to leant something new!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A hike and a lens

With the weather warming up I decided its time to get to the equine trails at the local State Park and start burning some calories.

While I'm at it why not attach the 400mm to my camera and monopod and hit the trails. Today's adventure led me out for an hour and half; I enjoy the trails in the state parks.

The equine trails are my favorite because their rough, hills, valleys and sandy trails. I was happy to see 4 deer again tonight and captured some decent shots with my 400mm. The reason their only decent is because I get so darn excited to see them I can't hold my lens still.

The deer at the park are staying around the same area so their getting easier and easier to capture a few photos. I got there around 5:30 and left close to 7:00 pm. My next adventure will be Sunday and my goal that day is to capture some birds close to the shore

If you have a camera and a state park, I encourage you to get out there; enjoy what's right in front of you!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mix your loves

I had the pleasure of taking a day off at work and spending it with my 16 yr old son. I thank God he hasn't outgrown me yet and that Mom is still OK to hang out with.

We didn't want to do the usual mom and son activity which is the museum or movie so we headed over to Dallas and pulled into Speed Zone. If you've never been to this place and your in the Dallas area I highly recommend it.

We got a pretty good deal with a game card and headed out to the track. At first my thought process was to bring my new 80-400mm lens along and take photos, I performed that pleasure when Nick hit the dragsters. I was having a great time seeing his huge smile through my camera. I did really enjoy my new lens bringing me closer to his expression while he raced and I was able to capture some memories I am sure to cherish for a long time.

Afterwards he headed over to the go cart racing and from what I could see was having a blast. Enough of watching, I felt the competitor in me want to race and race I did. I should be on the stock car circuit because I kicked all their butts in the next go cart race.

Today was a blessed day that I am so glad I asked my new boss for a day off to have fun with my son and capture those memories with my new gear.

Take a chance and spend time with family and while your at it, capture a few shots to cherish later!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Support of the Promoter

I spent a beautiful Sunday afternoon photographing barrel racing for a four hour period 206 barrel racers at Wild West Arena in Azle Texas

This location is a premier location for all rodeo events, it's just north of Ft Worth and has the best ground and draws some of the top amateur to seasoned pros

Tammy Kidd and family have been so good to me by allowing me to come out and photograph their rodeo events. I've been staying busy with them for about a year now and I hope to continue a long professional relationship with WWP

Affectionately known as the best little arena in Texas, you won't find a better place to watch or hold your next rodeo.

Photographing is west to east and you experience little problems with the sun and I've never had reflection problems in this arena. I run 1/1250 ISO 250 WB auto f5.6

I look forward to more events here. See the results at

Saturday, March 8, 2014

New ideas

Today with the help of a friend and her family I set out to create my own motivational poster. You know the ones.... Their all over Facebook, a photo and then a great slogan or motivational quote.

One thing I try to do to help me grow as a photographer is to re create something I've seen. I saw something similar a few weeks ago so I started to work on this project

This led me to our local state park to find the exact location, I wanted a mother and child as the subjects, I knew I wanted to make the photo B&W. The hardest part was the slogan. I invisioned a mother and daughter walking on a path and the path meant leading. So I decided on Guidance and leading our youth.

Today was kind of dreary outside and we actually was caught in a downpour going back to our vehicles, but it was a great experience to come home and upload the photo, place it in Photoshop Elements 11 and create something I've seen others do

I could not of accomplished this without the help of my friend and the beautiful location not to far from where I live.

If you would like to see the finished product you can see it on my Facebook page Jo H photography.

Blessed day everyone!

Friday, March 7, 2014

North Central Texas and Softball

There is one thing about North Central Texas that never changes and that's the weather. There's a saying in Texas "if you don't like the weather, wait a minute"

I spent another Friday Night inside the fields capturing ladies softball. I've learned to appreciate the athletic abilities of High School Athletes. Tonight the Sanger Indians won 13-3 in the 5th inning. Outstanding pitching and power hitting by the offense was too much for the opponent.

I also planned to use my new Nikon 80-400mm f4.5 tonight but out softball field just doesn't seem big enough to break that lens out of the bag. I was overall very happy with the photos that I captured tonight, extremely happy the home team won, and happy that my photography is progressing to the point where I shoot on manual 100 percent of the time and I don't seem as confused as I was a year ago trying to capture low light sports.

Photography is a learning process, but continue to practice and challenge yourself and the next thing you know you can walk away without being disappointed.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sanger Sports Photographer

I often wonder if I will make it in the work of freelance sports photography.  I live in a very small town outside a very competitive market of a large city. I have had a passion for sports for as long as I can remember. When I started with my passion for photography I didn't realize the two interests would lead me to where I am today

I have grown to love the sidelines, looking for the ultimate sports photo for a newspaper or social media. Along the way I also found that I had forgotten how much fun High School Sports had been.

I love the excitement of watching the parents support their kids, the teams and how at that moment the most important thing is a W.  I cruise the sidelines attempting to capture that moment that will last forever in time and bring enjoyment to anyone that opens the newspaper to read about their small town heroes

Can I make it in freelance photography?  Yes!  I have passion for what I do and enjoyment is what keeps me going!