Happy little boy…

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Thanks for stopping by. I really enjoyed spending time with this happy family, taking me back to when my boys were so young. Looking forward to watching this one grow up. If you would like to update your family portrait or know of a mother-to-be, give us a call at 402-312-8457. Mention you found us through wordpress and receive a free gift during your session.
Clown around, Smile often, Dream big!

Happy is the man who finds a true friend,

and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife. Sharing a handful of memories from Kati and Andrews special day. Just a quick glimpse…

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Getting ready

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Patiently waiting

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She arrives

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Anticipation

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Happiness

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First Look

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Love is…

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Andrew and the boys

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Kati and the girls

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Flower girl

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The ceremony

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Cake cutting

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Who’s next?

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It was a beautiful day with such a warm and friendly couple, they definitely make you feel like part of the family immediately. Nspired Photography wishes Kati and Andrew the happiest union, whose love shall not dissolve until the last day of their existence. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of this moment.

 

 

 

 

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

As my trip continued from Western Nebraska, I stopped through Wyoming for 2 days until heading Northeast into South Dakota. After completing most of my work, I found an evening to make the most of my location. Reviewing a map of destinations within driving distance, one stood out more than any other. Badlands National Park was in my sights and I wasn’t going to miss it. Visiting National Parks has always been a distant dream, but because of my work, I now can mark two off my list. Here are a few pictures from my perspective with limited time and conditions. Hope you enjoy…

There will come a time where I won’t be rushing through the park as fast as I can to race the sun for visibility. Excited thinking about the possibility to visit another National Park, wondering which part of the country may be next and what beauty in nature I will encounter.

Will I ever see Chimney Rock?

I love my job! I love what I do and who I help. Sometimes my work brings me to  locations I don’t normally travel. A couple weeks ago I was tasked to visit
Wyoming and South Dakota. Because of personal reasons I hadn’t had much time to  review exactly where I was going or what might cross my path. Totally unprepared  and even forgetting a road map (which I never leave without when driving long distances), I had no idea what was on the road ahead.

I have driven through western Nebraska on I-80 countless times, but never through the middle. Reflecting on a thought that crossed my mind many times in the past, “once again, going through western Nebraska and will miss Chimney Rock… AGAIN!”
Now realizing I was following the Oregon trail, my heart was pounding in excitement appreciating the historical significance surrounding, I wondered how close I might come to this illusive monument? Not too much further down the road I see a sign reading “Chimney Rock 12 miles”. (I don’t like to travel off course and known for not liking to stop for any reason what-so-ever) 🙂 Figuring it wasn’t a workday and I had time, maybe I will finally get to see what the hype is all about. My mind kicks into gear- “Oh no… I forgot my Atlas! Well I guess I will follow signs and hope I don’t get lost.” As I continue down the highway I start to see something that looks similar to what I would imagine Chimney Rock would be like! Maybe this isn’t as far off the highway as I imagined.


As the odometer keeps climbing closer to 12 more miles… this thing is literally right off the highway!


FINALLY…. my quest is fulfilled. I love to travel and take in history that has been around long before I was even a thought. Can you imaging travelling by horseback, discovering new territory?

My day…

Todays post shares a glimpe into my day. Less words, hoping you find a story in each image.

me and my friends

Working together…

(I’m on the left) 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bunker 

 

 

 

 

 

B1 Bomber, rare even in my day.

 

 

 

Dinner

 

 

 

Hard day

 

 

 

Soldier bed

 

 

 

Paying the ultimate sacrifice

 

 

 

Let us never forget the honor, courage and self sacrifice of those who have given unselfishly.  

 

 

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

Roses symbolize peace, love, friendship, passion, romance, harmony and even death. They serve the ultimate display of emotion, beauty and giving. Their color and even the number given all have meaning. For example-

  • One rose symbolizes devotion or dedication to a person.
  • Two roses symbolize mutual feelings of love and affections.
  • Three symbolize “I love you”
  • Six symbolize “I miss you”
  • Seven symbolize Infatuation
  • Eight symbolize Togetherness
  • Ten symbolize Perfect Love
  • One Dozen symbolize “There are dozens of ways I care about you”

The color meaning is always nice to know when giving and receiving roses. The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with their goddesses of love referred to as Aphrodite and Venus. In Rome a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret or confidential matters were discussed. The phrase Sub Rosa, or “under the rose” means to keep a secret – derived from this Roman ancient practice.

  • A Red rose symbolizes Love and used to say “I love you”, but could also stand for Courage and Respect, Romance and Passion.
  • Red with White together or White roses with Red edges signifies Unity and Togetherness.
  • Pink represents Grace, Sophistication and Elegance.
  • Dark Pink conveys Gratefulness and Appreciation.
  • Light Pink signifies Admiration, Sympathy, Joy and Sweetness
  • White symbolizes Innocence, Purity, Secrecy, Friendship, Reverence and Humility.
  • Yellow is often akin to Joy and Deep Friendship or Platonic Love, Happiness and Warmth. A new mother is a prime candidate for a yellow rose. It is also the rose color for Texas.
  • Peach shows Gratitude, Appreciation, Admiration or Sympathy. They also convey Friendship and Sociability.
  • Black is used to signify death. In a positive light it signifies rebirth after death.

I have chosen a total of eight roses and a poem to share with you symbolizing togetherness. I have met some amazing people in my short time through this new world of blogging and it seems we find commonality and appreciation, despite vast differences in our daily lives and cultures. So as the title implies, names don’t really matter, only what things are. Call it what you want, to me this blogging  ‘thing’ brings our lives closer. We may never meet face to face, but it’s always exciting to peek inside your world and read a friendly comment to start the day on a positive note.

A Dozen Roses

©2012 NSPIRED PHOTOGRAPHY

I Got A Dozen Roses
From A Friend The Other Day
But I Only Have 1 Left
For I Gave Them All Away

©2012 NSPIRED PHOTOGRAPHY

I Gave One To My Sister
Who To Me Is Very Dear
In Hopes That It Will Bring To Her
A Little Floral Cheer

 

©2012 NSPIRED PHOTOGRAPHY

I Took One To A Friend
Who’s Not Feeling Very Well
The Flower Or The Visit
Which Helped More I Could Not Tell

 

©2012 NSPIRED PHOTOGRAPHY

One Went To A Friend
I Haven’t Known For Very Long
She Struggles, So In Some Small Way
I Hope This Helps Her Carry On

 

©2012 NSPIRED PHOTOGRAPHY

The Rest Went To The Ones
Who’ve Helped Me In So Many Ways
They Have Been A Cheerful Presence
On My Dreary Days

 

©2012 NSPIRED PHOTOGRAPHY

The Roses Were So Pretty
I Just Could Not Keep Them All
Except One Single Bud Standing
Beautiful And Tall.

 

©2012 NSPIRED PHOTOGRAPHY

My Friend Gave Me The Flowers
To Help Brighten Up My Day
But The Biggest Joy I Received
Was Giving Them Away

Author Unknown

©2012 NSPIRED PHOTOGRAPHY

 

“Some People Are Always Grumbling That Roses Have Thorns
I Am Thankful That Thorns Have Roses”

Alphonse Kerr

Hope your day is filled with nspiration!

Michael @ Nspired Photography

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s…

The largest artistic canvas you will ever find. Literally wherever you are, it is there, patiently waiting for you to take notice. The sky is the most interactive display in the world, unmatched by any brush or human touch. Always transposing for your viewing pleasure, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Admission is free with front row seating; on your back in an open, grassy field is never a bad spot.  

Being humble, you never see the artist standing behind their work, but surely must know how astounded the audience is left. Encapsulating every color in the spectrum from the faintly bleak, to the deepest saturation and boldest intensity. Utilizing the most turbulent of storms to the calmest sunset to evoke emotion, there is a mix of beauty, humility and inspiration reflected in every aspect of this phenomenon above us.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consider me the scalper, the hacker, the copyright infringer. My work is derived from outside influence and observation. Not from my hand, not from within, I am inside the masterpiece. Composing and capturing to bring the viewer a special moment in time. A place I walked and a moment I shared with Mother Nature-  The giver, the provider of a beauty so complex, so masterful, I stand in adoration.  

 Please feel free to leave your comments below, add your email on the right to follow future blogs or stop by my facebook page and become a fan. Keep shooting and stay Nspired!

 ©2012 Nspired Photography All images protected

A tale of two cities? More like a story with two tales

If you would have asked me in 2000, 2005 or as recent as 2009 “Where do you see yourself in 10 years, 5 years, next year?” Typical benchmarks if you live by a goal setting lifestyle. I would have responded with some standard answers relating to personal productivity and financial aspirations, adding a couple material acquisitions to the list. You know… carrots at the end of the stick to work towards. Nothing could have prepared me for what would happen next.

 

It was Dec 28th 2009 with Christmas still in the air. Peaceful and quiet while at work as most everyone had taken the week off, this is the time I devote to reviewing and planning. Evaluating what I’ve accomplished and strategizing pursuits to be obtained. With my attention diverted, wondering what the New Year would have in store, I was quickly brought back to reality by Microsoft Outlook’s ‘Ding’ notifying there was a message waiting to be read.  This email would change my life forever while affecting my immediate family, friends and relatives. A burden and void they did not ask for.

 

 

Life provides doors of opportunity every day. Most walk past, scared to walk through or too busy to see. I was walking fast, but in mid-step, this one caught my attention. Not the prettiest door I must say. In fact, this evoked many negative emotions like loneliness, less than desirable food, uncomfortable living conditions, and life threatening situations. These are things I knew would be on the other side if I decided to enter. So why choose this door?

 

 

If you’re spiritual, some might say it was in god’s plan, others might say it was in the cards. I feel it was a calling and a duty. A time to serve my country… sacrifice… give unselfishly for a day that has never made sense. A day I will never forget.  Pain, Loss, tragedy, few words of many unmentioned that describe September 11th 2001. The email on this particular day asked for something, volunteers. Who was willing to go? I felt a surge in my body. This was my chance to do something for the greater good, outside of myself. A contribution that felt right. After countless hours of intense training, medical testing, obtaining a Visa and security clearance, I was ready. Within a matter of weeks I was leaving my wife, boys, and amenities, heading to a world I knew little about. Oh, I thought I had an idea of what was going on… I had studied, I was trained, but until you put boots on ground… you really don’t have a clue.

 

 So here I am on the other side of the world in a culture so unlike my own. Having to leave the wire often, getting the opportunity to see more than most, yet still extremely limited in what this country has to offer. It is far too dangerous to go anywhere by all means of transportation. Chopper rides being the most beneficial providing views unparalleled compared to ground movement. Afghanistan as a whole is what I would describe as ‘Antithetical Alentours’.

As the end of my 2nd tour draws near, I consider myself lucky to have served in both the Northern and Southern regions of Afghanistan, getting to see both sides of the coin. While performing duties as assigned, much to my disappointment being a photographer wasn’t part of that role. Carrying a camera only as a tool likened to a tourist, my only means to document my encounters. Provided are a handful of random glimpses showing the extreme contrast between the North and South.

The South consists mainly of flat, hard terrain where you will find the harshest conditions of extremely hot temperatures, limited fresh water and dangerous unmarked mine fields scattered throughout the countryside. “Survival of the fittest” as my Father-in-law would say. Still there is an intangible beauty to this land featuring a unique spectacle known as the Registan Desert. Most call it the Red Desert as it is visually separate from the surroundings by 50 to 100 foot (30m) walls of red sand. From above it looks like the well defined outline of a lake.

Highway 4, the only ring route through the country 

Graveyard

Meeting with the District Governor

Clinic at a FOB

Guard tower right along HWY 4

The Red Desert in the background

Desert beauty

The North on the other hand is a dramatic change from the barren South, with all the beauty and majesty of the Hindu Kush massif, part of the Himalaya mountains. The rugged nature of impassible peaks and isolated valleys, serves to reinforce the segmented nature of the country’s populace. Crystal clear snowmelt and turquoise rivers flow feeding plants, animals and used for irrigation can seasonally turn dangerous. Surprise rainstorms often transform the episodically flowing rivers to torrents, destroying crops, villages and nomadic camps.  

 

Young children are tasked with laborous activities

In the current state, this is not a tourist destination by any means. A shame the beauty of Afghanistan must remain a secret. Hidden until a more peaceful way of life can hopefully one day be obtained. While this was a brief snapshot, I could spend hours showing pictures and sharing stories. However I will bring this to a close by saying I’ve accomplished another goal and excited to be coming home soon. An opportunity never thought possible, a place these feet never would have touched. It would be unfair not to mention and thank my wife and children who have been patient and supportive through these past 2 years of being away. Time we will never get back. Even after returning for 3 short months, only to head back out for a second tour. They didn’t ask to fill my roles and responsibilities, it was thrown upon them. Their efforts, courage and strength are immeasurable. I am grateful daily.   I heard a wise man once say “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Sir, I heard you.

 Parting thoughts:

“Doors are made to be opened” ~Michael, Nspired Photography

What shall we do today?

Are you sitting around, stuck in a rut? Here’s an Nspired idea. Get out of the house! Grab your dusty camera, call a friend, bring the family, ask a loved one, or go by yourself and take some pictures. You bought a camera didn’t you? It’s time to use it outside of the occasional birthday or holiday. By the way, you don’t need a big, fancy camera with all the lenses and attachments. I have always lived by the theory ‘the best camera is the one you have with you’. I’ve captured many shots taken with a simple pocket camera and you would never know the difference.

Being outdoors is my ‘release’ from a hard day at work. I make it all about discovery. My senses go into overload taking in everything that surrounds. The temperature touching my skin, smells of nature taken deep into my lungs, every sound (natural or man-made), and lastly, the one that fill my mind the most, visual stimulation. My eyes move from the general area, quickly narrowing to study every detail down to the finest blade of grass. The texture and lines formed on the bark of a tree, colors, shadows, shapes and contrast intrigue.

Some think you need to spend money travelling to an exotic location to get really cool pictures.  There is a whole world right outside your front door, down the street, or certainly within a 15 minute drive, waiting to be discovered! Go to a local park, lake, vacant field, bike trail or your own yard. Just get out there.

Change your perspective… Pretend like you are seeing a nearby park for the first time. Get down low in the grass to take a picture. Move close, back up, kneel, squat, climb the monkey bars and see how the view changes.

Use the light… pay attention to shadows, reflections and highlights. Notice how angles and shapes are formed from natural objects. Acknowledge color changes while the sun moves through the day. They say the best times for photography are early morning and evening sunsets, also known as ‘the golden hour’. I tend to disagree. Anytime is the best time for an outdoor activity. Some of the most dramatic photos have nothing to do with an amazing sunset or diffused light. Pictures are about subject matter and tying an emotion or story to the subject.

Composition… this is what separates a snap shot from a ‘keeper’. Take a look at the background. Make sure poles aren’t sticking out of people’s heads. Focus in on the subject, pausing an extra second to look at what else is in the scene. Does it belong? Sometimes less is more. Another tip is to tilt the camera. The perfectly horizontal/vertical pictures are out! The new thing is… dramatic angles.

My last bit of advice is to have fun… take shots being silly and making funny gestures. Pack a basket lunch and make it a memorable event. Worst case, not a single picture turns out but you’ve had a great time with people close to you or self discovery with Mother Nature. Photography is a great hobby to get you out and moving, creating what I call forever’ies. Finally, with technology on our side, makes it literally cost-free to capture an unlimited amount of images to share online with the world. By looking through ‘child’s eyes, not only will you see things in a new way, surely you will want the experience again and again. I would love to have you share an image from ‘your’ discovery. You can post here, or on my facebook page

Take care and keep shooting,

Michael @ Nspired Photography

Builders of Men

This is amazing and so well written. Fairly short read, many comments back that are well deserved!

Builders of Men.