Thank you so much for looking through my collages. Most of these were made as I participated in Mosaic Monday and so have all been posted over at Composition-Life. I wanted a place where I could see them all in one place, and so created this page for that purpose. I hope to add links to the original postings soon.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Photographer

My name is Valerie (updated March 2016). 

I am a mom to 3 wonderful sons aged, 24, 23 and 19. I have been married to my best friend for 29 years. I am an elementary school vocal/general music teacher. 

We live, work and worship in the Western New York area. I was born and raised here, while my husband came from Central New York. We have lived in this area as a married team, for all but 3 of our years together. We had a short time when we lived in and around Virginia Beach, VA.

I love music. Since the time my mom started me on piano lessons at the age of 8, to my first audition for a Junior High musical (which I didn't even get into the chorus, but it spurred me on to become a better singer) to when I sang a level VI vocal solo for an All County audition and got an A+, I knew I connected with music.

When I was 13 I became the pianist at the small church my family was attending in the city of Buffalo. As my vocal skills developed I led the Children's Choir as a teenager. When I graduated from High School we knew I would study music. But I didn't know I would marry a guitar playing, singing, music loving guy. I performed with a local musical theater group until my kids came along ... and now our 3 sons are "in love" with music as well.

When my first son was born - I retired from public school teaching (after only 4 years) and became a stay at home mom for the next 13 years. I started and maintained an email prayer network for our congregation, led the children's choir, VBS, and became the worship leader for our congregation. When my husband lost his job, I knew with my music and teaching degrees I was meant to go back to a full time job that would help support our family monetarily. Leading worship had become a 20 + hour a week job - that I couldn't continue - as a full time mom, full time wife and then full time teacher. Walking away from that was one of the hardest things I ever did.

But when one door closes, God leads us to another opening and I have found a passion for photography that is almost as strong as my passion for music (although I don't have a bachelors and masters degree in photography!)

I have always loved photography. My first camera was a Polaroid point and shoot and in 60 seconds you peeled your picture off. I then moved to a 35mm point and shoot. But when digital camera's came to be, I loved them right off. I had a small point and shoot to start, but then my husband moved me up to the Kodak Easy share system. I had two of those. The last one I still use on occasion. The following is a list of my camera gear:

The newest addition (7/2012) is:

Canon EOS 60D

After experiencing a bent pin in my rebel xti - I didn't want a camera with the CF cards - so we moved (I say we - because my husband bought this for me as a gift) to a camera with the SD cards.  I am still getting used to it - but so far - I love it!

Kodak Easyshare Z650
(really a great little camera! Shoots great little quick movies too.) (5/2006)

Canon Rebel XTi Camera (12/2007)

Canon EFS 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 (kit) (12/2007)
Canon EFS 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (12/2008)

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (metal mount) (1/2009)

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM * my favorite! (5/2008)

Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di ll VC (5/2009)
and most often what you will find on my camera.

**Read how I won this really wonderful lens here.

I really got into serious picture taking when my youngest began to play travel baseball. I love the action shots and being able to stop the ball right as the bat hit it was a real rush! When we realized I could shoot much better pictures with a better camera, my husband (who took some awesome pictures on his 35mmSLR) knew I needed a DSLR. So he did the research and picked out the camera for me. I've been in love ever since!

As I purchased each new lens, I learned about all the different things I could take photos of. I still have a lot to learn, but I am loving the journey!

Thanks for visiting, and reading and interacting. I have met so many wonderfully gracious and talented people thru this blogging experience. It is a whole lot of fun! At the top of this page and under the title are buttons to all my blogs:

1. Intelligent Expressions - Started off as 1 scripture, 1 quote, and 1 photo everyday - and like everything in life over the past 7 years has evolved. Still using only my photos, searching for a new program to create with - as the one I was using is no longer valid :(

2. Composition Life - My first blog, all about my family's journey of life in my shoes, thru my camera

3. Valerie's Collages - I love to make mosaics. This is just the place I store the ones I make for Mosaic Monday and other meme's


About This Blog

I love photography! Several years ago, I decided that instead of scrap booking my pictures into the regular old fashioned albums, I would make 81/2 x 11 pages of my pictures. Digital Scrapbooking if you will.

Since having to go back to work, I have gotten behind in keeping up with albums, but I am still making some nice pages of collages, composites, mosaics, whatever you want to call them.

I found a photo meme where every Monday folks link up and share photo collages. It got me started again. I hate having to hunt thru all the pages of my other blog, to find them, so I decided to post them all in one place.

I hope you enjoy looking at them. I know I enjoyed making them. I use the iRemember Software program, just in case you were wondering.

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