A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

Hello All,

For the longest time I have been on James’ case about getting pictures done, I’ve looked into different photographers and their prices and I had such a hard time justifying the money it costs now that I have my own camera. Well, a couple of weeks ago a wonderful new couple (Stephanie and Dann) had joined Vivint Solar here in San Diego, we had heard allot about them through a mutual friend so we knew of them, but hadn’t met them yet, so when we did meet, I found that Stephanie and I shared a love for photography and I asked if she would mind taking some pictures of James and I that I could edit. This way I had somebody who knew what they doing and then I could do all the work afterwards.

About 2 months ago I had been out on a drive with my friend Matt, We were just nosy-ing around, checking out the neighborhood when we stumbled upon a road in Rancho Santa Fe that dead ended. It had such a picturesque beauty I had to save the location in my phone for a future photo shoot, So I got out my iphone. dropped a pin and saved it in my bookmarks. This is where James and I took our pictures.

Stephanie was Amazing and Dan was Also awesome, taking pictures can sometimes be a bit of a drag, it can get boring, having to do the same thing over and over again, but Dan kept us entertained by telling us really funny (stupid) jokes the entire time and being great at making us feel less ridiculous, and Stephanie was great at making us feel comfortable. I get a little awkward sometimes in front of the camera just because I hate how fake it can seem, and Stephanie did a great job of knowing how to bring out the genuity, which I hope you can see the pictures.

greentree redtree

So these two pictures are the same obviously, I was fiddling with the colors of the leaves and I absolutely loved the deep red, I feel it made the picture more romantic. But I also loved the brightness and the boldness of the greens, they popped out so much and really made the picture enticing. I couldn’t decide which I liked better, so I uploaded both.


The Lemon Grove πŸ™‚ What a perfect location and what great composition from Stephanie. I made this picture landscape as I felt the sky was a little plain and I wanted the main focus to be on the lemon grove and of course James and I in the middle. I fiddled with different effects and colors and loved the retro effect. My jeans helped me on that decision, not really sure why, that’s just the feeling I got when I looked at the picture unedited, that 70’s vibe.


I absolutely LOVE this picture. I love the green and the blue and the contrast and the laid back, prettiness of it. Stephanie got this spot on with the composition, the clouds make it so picture perfect. I barely did anything to this editing wise, just a little brighter on the blue and the green and I think I added a warm filter, but it really didn’t need much.


The Four Of Us: Stephanie was sitting on the grass, with her legs crossed taking a picture of us and then Dan came up behind her and it looked like such a great picture I had to try it, so James and I mirrored Dan and Stephanie and added the dogs, Viola, This was what we got. I did allot of editing on this picture, more facial and skin smoothing, and I also added a red filter to warm it up.


The Dogs: Coco and Bella are perfect in this shot, taking pictures with these two wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but it’s always a challenge. Thankfully they did a wonderful job, just been doggies πŸ™‚ I love that they are the main focal point of this picture and James and I are looking at each other so it’s not too distracting from the dogs


Ok Now here is a Before and After shot. As you can see the unedited picture was composed beautifully, but the sky was boring. When I looked at this picture I envisioned a fantasy land, as if we were walking into something that doesn’t exist here, I wanted it to have an element of the fantasy world and the real world. So I looked up different things to do on youtube. I tried fiddling with the colors of the sky but that didn’t do anything, it was still boring. Then I found a tutorial on youtube where you can actually edit out the sky and replace it. I spent at least half an hour trying to find the perfect sky, then it took me about half an hour to figure out how to do it without making it look terribly fake. I was so pleased with the outcome and It has made me want to create more pictures like it, more dramatic and whimsical.

James said that this picture looks metaphorical, In the book of mormon there is a story of a dream one of the early prophets had, (I have copied the children’s version of the story below so you can read it if you want too.) James described this picture as us walking the straight and narrow path, to the tree of life (there is a tree in he picture) then continuing our journey to Heaven. I named this picture ‘Journey to Heaven” as I felt it was very fitting.

Lehi told his family about an important vision he had had in a dream. Lehi’s dream made him happy for Nephi and Sam but sad for Laman and Lemuel.
1 Nephi 8:2–4

In his dream Lehi saw a man wearing a white robe who told Lehi to follow him. Lehi followed the man into a dark and dreary wilderness.
1 Nephi 8:5–7

After traveling in the darkness for many hours, Lehi prayed for help.
1 Nephi 8:8

Then he saw a tree with white fruit. This sweet fruit made those who ate it happy.
1 Nephi 8:9–10

Lehi ate the fruit, and it filled him with joy. He wanted his family to taste the fruit because he knew it would make them happy too.
1 Nephi 8:11–12

Lehi saw a river flowing near the tree. At the head of the river he saw Sariah, Sam, and Nephi.
1 Nephi 8:13–14

Lehi called to his wife and sons to come and taste the fruit. Sariah, Sam, and Nephi went and tasted the fruit, but Laman and Lemuel would not.
1 Nephi 8:15–18

Lehi also saw a rod of iron and a strait and narrow path leading to the tree.
1 Nephi 8:19–20

He saw many people walking on or toward the path. Because of a mist of darkness, some wandered off the path and became lost.
1 Nephi 8:21–23

Others held tightly to the iron rod and made it through the darkness to the tree. They tasted the fruit.
1 Nephi 8:24

People in a large building on the other side of the river made fun of those who ate the fruit. Some who had eaten the fruit became ashamed and left the tree.
1 Nephi 8:26–28

Click to View Larger Format
Lehi saw many people in his dream. Some held firmly to the iron rod and traveled through the darkness to the tree. They tasted the fruit. Others went to the large building or drowned in the river or became lost. Laman and Lemuel would not eat the fruit. Lehi worried about them and tried to help them obey God’s commandments.

The tree of life is metaphorical for the scriptures (Bible and the book of Mormon) Yes, we believe in both. The iron rod, is following Christ’s example, the commandments, etc… staying on the right path, and the wilderness to me, is, where people are lost spritually. The tree of life is the truth, and by eating and sharing the fruit of the tree, we are sharing what we believe to be true and what will bring eternal happiness and blessings. πŸ™‚ This is just my opinion, this is not church doctrine. But I’m sure it’s pretty close πŸ˜‰

I hope you enjoyed this, I still have about 7 more pictures I will be editing and then uploading on here, so keep checking back.

Love to ALL xoxoxox


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