Saturday, February 28, 2009

Maternity Session

I had so much fun doing this session. It was magical. . .really! This mom is pregnant with her first girl and the whole family is so excited! Enjoy this slideshow. Let me know what you think, too!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pretty in Pink

Absolutely the most fun I've had all month!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Know where to stand. . .

Ansel Adams once said, "A good photograph is knowing where to stand." I have thought a lot about this recently because I have thought a lot about where I want to stand in my life. When people think of me, Patti Merrill, what do they think of? What do I stand for? It is an interesting question, indeed, to ponder. It is hard to know what others really think of ones self. I sometimes have to stop and wonder myself what I stand for. I find myself thinking that I know what I want to stand for and I can only hope that those around me see it in me.

So, do you know where I stand?! Do you want to know where I stand?! Well, if you do . . . read on. Otherwise, it's ok you can click away (just don't tell me)!

First and foremost, I stand for righteousness. I want everyone who knows me know that I love God and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. Sometimes in the world of "business" it would seem unprofessional to profess one's conviction as a Christian. But it is who I am. Every weekday morning I wake up at 5:30 to teach a religion class to a group of High School students. This year we are studying the New Testament. I LOVE doing this! There is such a wonderful something that happens as I share my convictions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ every morning. No better way to start out my day!

I also stand for family. I have been married now for 20 years. I have 8 children. One of which was called Home to God on May 31st, 1995. Almost 14 years ago now. I miss her every single day. I think of her every single day. I experience the deepest sorrow and pain because of this. However, I also feel an indescribable peace knowing that she is with Heavenly Father and that, because of the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, I can be with her again. My other seven children are my greatest joy and I am so very grateful for each and every one of them. I could not bear the burdens that life gives without their undying love that they have for me. Even my teenagers bring such joy and happiness to me that I find myself kneeling in prayer daily expressing my gratitude for them!

I stand for honesty, integrity, sincerity and charity. I think that these attributes are honorable and so important to strive for. I am not always the best at displaying them. . .but I am trying! I want to be honest in all that I do. Keeping my integrity is very high on my list of things I must do! Before my mother-in-law passed away in 2005, she spoke to her family about integrity. The dictionary defines integrity as: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. These are things that we can control. I want for people to know that I have principles that I believe in and that, though I am not really an opinionated person, I will stand for truth and righteousness at all times and in all places!

Gordon B. Hinckley once said that we should all "stand a little taller". It is my desire to stand taller and stronger. To always know "where to stand" whether taking a picture, teaching the Gospel at 6:00 in the morning, interacting with my family, clients, friends, strangers, etc. There is a right place to stand. When I take a picture, I know what I am looking for. I know how to find the right place to stand. . .sometimes a little more to the right, sometimes a little more to the left. Sometimes higher than I am, sometimes lower. But I know it when I see it through the viewfinder. . .and when I see it, it's an incredibly wonderful feeling!

I think in life, it is the same. It becomes very clear where to stand, once you know what you want the final outcome to be!

I would challenge you to ask yourself if you know where to stand. And if you do, are you standing there?!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


It isn't often that I feel bad enough to just lay in bed for hours at a time when I really should be out taking pictures, editing pictures, printing pictures, delivering pictures. . .or whatever else I can do that has to do with pictures! But today. . .that is exactly what I did! I woke up sometime around 4:00 am with a splitting headache. I actually often wake up in the wee hours of the morning with a momentary headache, but it usually is gone as quickly as it came on. So I went back to sleep and waited for my alarm to wake me up again at 5:30. I was very sad to realize that my new, unwanted, companion was still with me (my headache, that is). I decided to get up anyway and fulfill my responsibilities of being a Seminary teacher (I teach an early-morning religion class to high-schoolers for my Church). I kept thinking that I would feel better before class starts because I'm doing something good for God! I was wrong. Not on the doing something good point, but my headache did not go away. During the lesson, I forgot about it for a little bit. Teaching about the Atonement of our Savior has a way of overshadowing any little problem that I may be having, for sure!! On the drive back to my house, however, the pain was back. I got the kiddos ready for school, asking them to pleeeeeease be quiet! They tried. . .but it's so hard to be 5 and quiet at the same time! After they were all safely at school, I climbed back into bed. I so hoped that when I woke up I would feel better. My headaches do not usually last very long so I was very surprised (and sad) when I woke up around noon still in pain.

Why do I share all this with you?! I don't really know! Just me rambling on, I guess!

Actually. . .I share this all because I think that I have something to learn from it. I think that I need to learn to allow myself time for myself. Although I absolutely love the things I do on a daily basis; namely, teaching, taking care of my children, going to my office/studio, etc it has become clearer to me today the importance of also making sure that I take care of myself. Without doing that, I may lose the ability to do everything else that I love. I do not think I should "come first" but I think I'm learning that I shouldn't be completely neglected either!

Now that I've figured it all out. . . do you think my headache will go away so I can get on with doing the things I need to?!!!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Guest Speaker"

Last night, I had the privilege of being a guest speaker for a Small Business class at Colorado Technical University. This is where I was going to school a couple of years ago (before starting my own business). I took a marketing class there and it really helped me as I got my own thing going. The teacher of that class later became one of my wedding clients. He recently contacted me again to ask me to talk to his class about my experiences in starting up my own company. I was more than happy to go and talk about myself for as long as I wanted!!!

It was a fun experience. I was able to share with the class things that I have learned over the past 2 years. I shared some of my personal background, my passion for photography and design, how my company started and how it has grown and how I have been able to make things work. I hope that I was able to help someone recognize that dreams can come true. Although not without a lot of hard work!!

Preparing for this presentation gave me an opportunity to review over the past two years and think about all the many wonderful things that have happened. It has not been an easy road and we have struggled to keep things going. But I have also been blessed in so many incredible ways! I have learned so much and am having so much FUN! I feel very, very lucky and blessed to be able to do something everyday that I love so much and am passionate about! I know that I have a lot more to learn. I know that I have to keep working hard to make this whole venture a successful one long-term. But I just wanted to put here, in concrete words, how thankful I am for the past two years. For all the sessions that I have had. For all of my clients. For all of the support from my family and friends. For the people who believed in me when I didn't even believe in myself! And most of all, for God and His grace which without I woud be nothing. It is truly a spiritual journey I find myself on as I try to take care of my family's temporal needs. I'm so grateful to be an "artist" and to be able to see God's hand in all around me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Another Adorable Valentine!

I love that he's wearing a tux! This little guy was so fun to play with today. Doesn't he just melt your heart?!