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.


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