Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My favorite things - December

Lately I've noticed I have a lot of new favorites. We are continually changing and growing, trying new things, and discovering that we've found a new thought, song, item, routine, etc to add to our list of preferences. Here's a few of my latest favorites.

1. Cinnamon Apple Tea
Such good tea.. Add a touch of honey and swirl, and it's the perfect blend of spice, crisp flavor, and sweetness. I think I've had at least one cup each day for the past couple weeks!

2. Boy with a Coin by Iron and Wine
This song keeps showing up on all my pandora and last.fm radio stations and I can't get enough of it. Definitely one I would listen to on repeat all day.

3. My new salt and pepper grinders
I asked for a pair for Christmas. I've always wanted some (I love freshly ground pepper on everything- salad, pasta, soup, etc etc). I've never found any designs I really liked, or try were or outrageously expensive. Jeff found these at Target (of all places) and they are perfect!!! (and they came with a lifetime warranty!!)

4. Uniball micro blue pen
I am an office supply junkie and my latest infatuation is this pen. It writes perfectly. The ink flows smoothly (unlike most ballpoint pens) which means my half cursive half printed handwriting doesn't end up with gaps and extra lines. Plus it makes me feel professional.

5. Seeing my work on brochures and people's Christmas cards.
Remember that CPC shoot from earlier this year? Well The CPC used it for a brochure!!! And it looks professional and I any believe they are my images!! And Care-Net is using it in their January newsletter!! And I love photographing families during this time of year and then getting their Christmas cards in the mail.

What are some of your current favorite things?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hilderbrand Holiday Card/Newsletter | Christmas 2010 - New Years 2011

I’ve never been good at Christmas newsletters, I think mainly because for the past few years I've always been so busy. Each year I’ve started a fresh newsletter with good intentions to finish it. However, every year, I’ve failed. This year, I’m determined, and since Jeff and I haven’t had a newsletter yet, it seems appropriate to update you on the highlights of or past four years together (with lots of pictures ;] ).
Click 2006-2009 updates. {coming soon!}
Keep reading for 2010...

This year Jeff & I celebrated our 4th year of marriage in August. We traveled to San Diego in March (part of my thesis work/vacation) and Las Vegas in October (martial arts camp). In May we served as chaperones for a singles theology conference in Lake Tahoe. Gracie (our golden retriever) turned 3 and Charlie (the tuxedo kitten) is now a year old.

San Diego:

Singles Theology Conference:

Las Vegas:

I had a very full year. In March I ran a half marathon and placed first in my age division!! (But 50th of 100 or so overall… haha) In April I had a solo photography exhibit for two weeks as part of my honors thesis. In May I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a BA in Art/Photography and a minor in Business. I’m one of those nerdy people, graduating with honors, Summa Cum Laude, completed a 60+ page thesis, and was awarded the Deans Award for Outstanding Graduate in the Arts. (Phew! So glad to be done!) I started teaching 3-5 years olds in Kids Desiring God on alternating Wednesday nights and got involved with a ladies bible study going through the book Helper by Design by Elise Fitzpatrick. I also (officially) launched my part-time photography business (www.harmonyhilderbrand.com)!

I carried my camera with me onto stage during graduation and took pictures with the associate dean (one of my past English professors) as he gave me my diploma!!

My grandparents at my graduation party.. isn’t my grandpa a goof?

I also traveled to Las Vegas in June for a work conference. My boss is a pilot and he flew his family and I down in his little Cessna plane! I got to sit up front and be his co-pilot, which really meant staring out the window at the beautiful view and asking what all the little dials meant.

Jeff was a chaperone to our church's youth conference in Riverside, CA. He also started ushering at church on occasional Sundays, which has been a great way to get to know old and new faces at our church. Jeff continued to train in Kenpo Karate. He traveled to many seminars (mostly in Wyoming) and started teaching on Mondays and Wednesdays. Most exciting... Jeff earned his black belt in September! {and I wasn't there ;[ } He is still working for the State of NV and spends most of his time at the gym (but I love his muscles, so it's worth it).
{karate pics are coming!}

Here some other pictures from throughout the year.

80’s themed birthday party for Eric (who turned 30). Jeff and I went as the nerd and the hot girl. Haha

We won tickets to attend the Arts & Oscars fundraiser in Reno, so we got all dressed up, took some pictures in the backyard and then had fun being fancy.

Sarah Rhodes (now Strachan's) Bachelorette/Girls Night

We have been blessed by God with steady jobs, a wonderful house to live in, a faithful church body, and life. We hope that God has blessed you this year as well and pray that He would be your strength and hope through this coming year.

<3 Jeff and Harmony

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Hayes | Wellington, NV Family Portrait Session

Meet the Hayes Family. I met them through our church, and they are one of the most pleasant and humble families I’ve had the pleasure to meet. Debbie, the mother, put on this year’s Vacation Bible School, a full cowboy theme that was a huge success. Savannah, the oldest daughter, is studying to become a midwife! Lacey is studying art {a girl after my own heart} at a Christian Liberal Art University.

This was one of the first photoshoots I’ve had to reschedule due to bad weather. Almost every session I’ve had the pleasure to shoot has always ended up with perfect or acceptable weather. Most often, (especially last winter) weather would be horrid, up til the session date, and then suddenly the skies would clear, the temperature would rise, we’d hold the session, and watch the weather return to the horrible conditions as before. This time, however, good weather did not happen. It snowed all day Friday and then rained all day Saturday, leaving yucky muddy puddles everywhere, and making it impossible to shoot outside. We rescheduled for today, hoping the weather would be better, and for the most part it was, despite almost freezing temperatures.

The Hayes were so kind to pick me up {an hour drive!} and take me to their house in a 4wdrive vehicle (just in case the weather decided to change). Then we held our shoot and they fed me taco salad before driving me home. ;] I am so thankful for wonderful families like them.

Here’s a couple of their images from today’s session. (Do you see the cute little goat eating the hay!? :D)

Handmade/Handprinted Gifts

I'm hoping that even though I'm late in getting this blogpost up, many people are late in buying awesome gifts (I know I am...) and so it is actually timed perfectly! ;]

Here are some of the handprinted and handassembled bookarts items that I am selling. They make great gifts for friends, family and special people in your lives (or just for yourself!)

Inquire for shipping costs and matting/framing options.

The Grass Withers - French Fold | $10
Ivory paper, hand-tinted fiber paper overlay, brown & eggplant ink impressions
Isaiah 40:6-8 handprinted on the inside

Song of Solomon - Broadside | $15
Deep gray paper, hand-carved tree printed in light gray ink
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 hand printed in black ink

I Shoot People - Broadside | $15
White paper, hand printed text and images in turquoise, pink, and green ink

I Shoot People - Canvas or Natural Cotton Tote | $25
Natural Cotton or Canvas tote, handprinted text and images in black ink

Edible - handmade/handprinted cookbook| $40
color of covers varies (shown in yellow, pink; most available turquoise or sky blue; ribbon optional)
Handprinted, handassembled cookbook with childhood memories of baking with my mother and grandmother, complimented with four delicious recipes (with Pictures):
1. Vanilla Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
2. Sugar & Spice (and everything nice) Cookies
3. Citrus White Chocolate Scones
4.Pumpkin Muffins

Also, don't forget that I also have portrait session gift certificates available!

To purchase, or for more information, email me:

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Plants | Gardnerville Family Portrait Session {Sneak Peek}

Here’s a quick sneak peek from the Plants Family’s fun and adorable portrait session on their ranch house property.

More adorableness to come!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Strattons | Genoa Family Portrait Session

Here’s a few images from Saturday’s Portrait Session with the Strattons in Genoa. It was a perfectly crisp but pleasant morning.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


As much as I love blogging and sharing insights into my life and photography, sometimes other things take priority.

Since my last few posts I've been busy trying to catch up on photoshoot editing, accounting and business stuff, Thanksgiving, family time, church events, devotions, etc.

I'm thankful for business, but my goodness it is hard work! I'm desperately trying to file all the legal paperwork, catch up on all my accounting, and keep up with my photoshoots and potential clients. I think I'm almost to the point where I need outside help to get everything completed. If I can keep up (and catch up) this next month, then it'll be a new year, a fresh start, with some exciting things in store! ;]

Life for Jeff and I has been just as busy. A few months ago I started helping with Kids Desiring God, a Wednesday night bible study for children. My group is 3-5 year olds, and I can't believe what a blessing it is. These children have minds like a sponge. They read in the bible with their parents, listen well in class, and are engaged and excited during the study. I am convinced they have memorized more scripture than I have. Even their prayers are thoughtful and centered on God. We're working our way through the Old Testament, starting with Genesis, and even though I've read these passages a few times, God is reteaching me simple truths, and opening my eyes to a greater understanding of Him.

I've also been attending a women's bible study for the past few months, reading through Elyse Fitzpatrick's book Helper by Design. If any of you need encouragement and direction in how to be the wife that God has called and designed you to be, I would highly recommend her book. Jeff and I have been married for 4+ years, and although we've come a long way from where we were when we first got married, we still have a lifetime in front of us to strive to get closer and closer to God's calling for us as a husband and wife. When I get caught up in day to day life, and don't think through my actions, it is so easy for me to feel like Jeff and I are fine the way we are, and that my actions, good and bad, are justifiable. This book and study have been helpful in reminding me of who God designed me to be, and how I can work towards that. My only complaint is that my sinful self isn't that great at applying what I read. The day after I read or the day after the study, the application rings loud in my mind. Then suddenly, the next day its gone, a week goes by and I'm at the next chapter, feeling conviction of complacency for the previous chapter and conviction to change my heart and actions. This is definately one of those books I will be able to read again and again and still find areas to improve.

Day-to-day life is simply busy. Work and gym, plus Jeff's couple nights a week when he teaches Karate, and my nights here and there for KDG or study leave us with little bits of time in the evening to spend time together. Many nights we eat dinner and go to bed, but sometimes we watch a movie or a tv show. We don't have cable, but we do have a digital antenna, and on Thursdays we watch Fringe. Its the only tv show we can actually keep up on (or care to). I admit though, we do have Netflix instant streaming.. and its the best thing since sliced bread. No commercials, no week in between each episode, or only 4 episodes on a disc. We're working through Battlestar Galactica right now. Don't go thinking we're complete sci-fi nerds... we're not. Some of the stuff is cheesy, but its fun and different. (and for the record... I fought to not watch Battlestar, but after the first episode I changed my mind.)

Jeff and I had two Thanksgivings... one at my parent's house and one at ours with his dad (can you say "Yay Leftovers!"). My aunt drove down from Oregon and my Grandpa drove up from S. California. My aunt brought a turkey from her farm, my mom made all her usual delicious sides, and I brought Orange Kuchen buns (which I will share pictures of soon... and maybe the recipe... maybe.). It was nice to spend time with family.

The next day, we went Black Friday shopping. We don't get all excited like some people... we're not big fans of the wee hours of the morning, lines, and crowds of people. But I did get excited over a couple deals on external hard drives and cd towers (yes I am a nerd). However, our Black Friday shopping consisted of sleeping in, getting up when we felt like it, perusing a couple stores (still managing to get the hard drive and CD tower deals!), buying some much needed slacks for Jeff (that ended up not being on sale... but, hey, it was Target so they were still cheap), and coming home to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. We had intentions of getting a tree.. but we relaxed instead. We finally did get our tree this past Sunday, and we still haven't decorated it. So for the past couple days we've had a fluffy green pine tree sitting in our living room, looking completely out of place. Maybe we'll get around to decorating it tonight.

Christmas is coming! I have lots of wonderful handmade gifts that I am selling (posting to follow this week) and you can also always purchase gift certificates for portrait sessions. (Support your local artists and vendors)!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season with your family and friends. Don't forget the reason for Christmas, God's gift to us, Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas Family Portrait Specials

I may be a little late on posting my Christmas Family Portrait Specials for this year... but I will work extra hard to have a super fast turn around so you get your images in time to print and send to family!

And did I mention 40% off?!?!

Tell your friends! {no really, if they book because of you, you get referal discounts, specials, and extra love ^_~}

Monday, November 8, 2010

Eric + Joleen {+ two on the way!} | Genoa Family Portrait Session {Sneak Peek}

Eric and Joleen were one of my Images for a Cure Portrait mini-sessions in Genoa. They opted for a late afternoon-evening time slot. I didn’t think anything of it… especially after a morning session that had PERFECT weather – slight cloud cover, streaking sun through golden leaves, and a gentle warm breeze. But when I arrived back at the park in the evening, the sun had already set just enough to leave the park out of the path of the sun’s rays. Everything looked cold, dead, and dull. Bleh! I was not happy. Then the wind started to blow… hard. And my mood went from bleh to grouch.

But Joleen and Eric arrived with their two little puppies and lit up my camera’s frame. ;] The joy and glow of expecting twins was written across their faces, and they braved the wind like nobody’s business.

Here’s a sneak peek of their shoot! A full post to come. ;]

The Ohlers | Genoa Family Portrait Session {Sneak Peek}

What do you get when you mix a beautiful park on a warm autumn day, with a beautiful mother, her adorable four children, and a photographer? A super fun super cute session. The Ohler family was one of my Images for a Cure Portrait mini-sessions in Genoa. Unfortunately their dad was out of town on business, so we focused on the kids and had a blast playing in the leaves and climbing trees and making silly faces! ;]

Here’s a sneak peek. More adorableness to come!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day Seven | Fall Fashion Week

Today is last day of Fall Fashion Week on Emery Jo's blog. Sad day. But hopefully we've all gained new blogs to lurkfollow and new friends to exchange ideas with! I had so much fun looking at everyone else's styles and getting new fashion ideas.

Day Seven: Happy Reformation Day! On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church's door in Whittenburg, against the indulgences of the church. This event started the Reformation, which {among many other things} led to the Bible being translated into English and widely distributed.
Today Jeff and I went to church pretty much most of the day. In Sunday School service we are going through the book Worldliness. Then Hebrews 12:25-27 in morning service and Matthew 7:1 in the afternoon service. I really really really wanted to wear a dress to church today, but all my dresses are summery, and I couldn't find a warm enough sweater/blazer that matched. So I was stuck with jeans again. When we got home from church we drove to the park in the neighboorhood across from ours.
Tonight we're turning off our lights, eaching some enchiladas, and snuggling up to watch netflix and chow down on some halloween candy {that we aren't sharing with neighboor kids}.

I really enjoyed having a loose curls hairstyle yesterday, so I did a loose side bun today.
I love this loose sweater. I bought it at a thrift store a couple months ago. Great find.
These gray boots are so cute, but I never know what to wear them with. I need to get some cute tights so I can wear them with my sweater dress.
This watch necklace was my grandmother's. It is so delicate and feminine and actually works! Plus the watch part faces up so when you hold it in your hand you can read it. ;]

Jeans: Same jeans as day six{I really really really love these jeans.}
Burgandy or maroon tank: Target
Gray cable-knit sweater: Thrifted
Gray boots: Famous Footwear
Watch necklace: inherited from my Grandmother

View my other fall fashion posts: Day one | Day two | Day three | Day four | Day five | Day six| Day seven
Or you can view a list of all the blogs of other people participating on Emery's Blog.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day Six | Fall Fashion Week

I am so sad that Fall Fashion Week is almost over. This week flew by, but I've had a blast looking at everyone's outfits. (although I still haven't made it through all the links for each day.. so many!) Still time to join or check out the other bloggers on Emery Jo's blog.

Day Six: Happy Nevada Day! One of the days this weekend is Nevada Day. {its complicated, normally its on Halloween, but they started celebrating on the last Friday of the October instead} I've lived in Nevada my entire life, and so I've never really thought about the fact that we have a state holiday. All schools and state offices take the day off and on Saturday there is always a parade. But apparently, most states don't have their own holiday. There is no California Day or Texas Day {is there?}. But we do, and we celebrate!

As I kid I grew up watching the parade in Carson City each and every year. Then in middle school I was in the marching band {major geek, played the flute} so I had to march in the parade. But I started watching less often as I got older until these past few years I haven't gone at all. I figured I wouldn't today either. Until my hubby called me from his dad's house and told me I should come down and join the fun. {they were going to breakfast, but there were lots of people and parade floats and he thought I'd enjoy hanging out with them.} I, however, was still in my undies, in bed, contemplating sleeping just a little bit longer {it was already almost 10am}.

A half hour later I was dressed and weaving my way through a crowd of people to walk to the cafe inside the nugget casino. We had to cross through the parade, so Jeff gave everyone his best princess wave, and everyone cheered. After breakfast we headed to a family friend's new karate/dance studio right on main street. They let us go up on the roof to watch some of the parade, and I couldnt get enough of the neighbooring building's walls. Unfortunately, I did not have my tripod {left it in the car} but I did have my camera. Jeff played photographer for most of the shots and then my battery died. {want wont}
Did I mention it was freezing today?! And here's a picture of my lovely hubby!

Details: Getting ready in 30 minutes meant skipping the shower, and not washing my hair. So I pulled it into a sloppy pony-tail with a simple headband {the headband is black so you really can't see it, plus my hair is tucked into and wrapped around it}
The flats are my favorite! Unfortunately they are old and completely worn in. The bottoms have split in half and are held together by packing tape. {does anyone know any other product I could use to fix them?}
The scarf I found on clearance at target. Its quirky, and adds the perfect splash of color.

Jeans: Same jeans as day two {I really really love these jeans.}
Black long sleeve shirt: Brand I don't recognize from Ross/Marshalls
Jacket: Target, 5+ years ago. It can be really cute/dressy, or it has an attachable sweatshirt type hood that buttons in and makes it cute/casual/warmer {like today}
Pink Polka-dot Scarf: Target clearance
Black Flats: Ross or Marshalls

View my other fall fashion posts: Day one | Day two | Day three | Day four | Day five | Day six| Day seven
Or you can view a list of all the blogs of other people participating on Emery's Blog.

Outtakes: Jumping off a ledge, husband operator error, and silly faces {my husband loves this picture... ha!}

Happy Nevada Day any of you who live in Nevada!


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