December 2007 Archive - Divine Reflections Photography Blog

Flower Children

This Christmas, we decided to do things a bit differently from years past. We decided that every gift we gave for Christmas had to be made by us instead of just being bought. The thought was to give of ourselves and our talents instead of only our money. I had no idea how much time it would take me to put everything together; things got a bit crazy. It was totally worth it, though!

I decided that it would be fun to take some nice pictures of my brother Gary's children as his Christmas gift. The session was top secret and required crafty scheming by my mom and me, but we pulled it off. Being difficult in ways that only family can get away with, my nephews made the session one of my most challenging yet. When it was all over though, we ended up with some really great images! Thank you Lauren, Jared, and Gary III for helping me make this year's gift to your dad special. We love you guys!



Jared (laughing because Lauren almost fell on her butt)



Three Siblings


Posted by Crystal on December 29, 2007 at 4:45PM.

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Filed under babies and children, photos and portraits.

Better Blog Comments (101 Things #70)

I've just put a new, improved method for adding comments to these blog posts into place. Before, the comments were hosted on another server and had to be typed into a popup window. Now, if you click on the 'Permalink/Comments' link at the bottom of a post, you will be taken to that post's page which includes all comments and the form where you can add your own comment. Now, we just need you, our readers, to add some comments.

Posted by Greg on December 20, 2007 at 5:00PM.

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Christmas Portrait 2007

It's a Crazy Family!

It's that time of year again! We took a new family picture to use for our Christmas cards this year. You'll notice that we included our two dogs this year. You'll also notice that Rachelle is not in the picture. She's away at a residential treatment program for a while. If you're interested in more thoughts about how that has impacted our lives, you might want to check out The Coates Place, our personal website.

If you're on our Christmas list, you can look for your cards and our annual Christmas letter in the mail in the next couple of weeks.

Posted by Greg on December 10, 2007 at 8:00AM.

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Filed under coates family, families, photos and portraits.

101 Things - Business Goals

Written goals are very important. Just the simple act of writing them down makes them more likely to be accomplished. In light of that, I've just posted a list of 101 things that I want to accomplish in the next 1001 days over on the Coates Place site.

Quite a few of those goals are goals for Divine Reflections Photography, so I'm going to post that part of the list here. I'll be updating the 101 things page as Crystal and I work on and complete these goals.


Completed goals will be displayed in maroon

Goals that are in progress will be displayed in gray

The List

062. Replace our logo with one that is professionally designed

063. Catch up on copyright registrations

064. Register a trademark for our business name

065. Purchase business insurance policy

066. Finish our business plan

067. Build our portrait business to the point that we are consistently shooting 1 portrait session per week

068. Read 1 book every 2 months that will help me make our business better [3/16 -- List of books read (on the Coates Place site)]

069. Write a book review for the business site on each of the above business books

070. Add comments hosted on our server to the blog [Dec 20, 2007]

071. Update the galleries on our website with our new, better work

072. Buy a high-end Nikon digital camera so that our low-light lifestyle portraits really sing [April 14, 2008]

073. Completely archive and catalog all film and digital business and all digital personal images

074. Take a trip to Chattanooga to see Amber and Nathan and observe how they run their business

075. Print and hang enough of our portrait images to make our living room and dining room into an adequate client meeting area

076. Design and purchase a sample Baby's First Year album to show clients [April 14, 2008]

077. Take 1 week-long trip each year that is specifically nature photography related

078. Print a portfolio of my nature images

079. Have my first solo gallery show

080. Create 50 book-quality images for my Bidwell Park project

081. Create 25 book-quality images of foster children for my foster child portrait project

082. Create 25 book-quality images for my Street Performer project

083. Take portraits of Nanny and Grandaddy

084. Photograph Mossbrae Falls

085. Complete a 26 things project

086. Purchase and learn to use a large format camera

087. Sell a rights-managed stock photo

088. Attend the WPPI trade show

089. Attend at least 2 photography workshops, or take 2 photography classes, or do 1 of each

090. Attend an OSP event together [Feb 16-17, 2008 - Attended OSP West in Napa, CA]

091. Give 6 framed nature prints to people who would enjoy them but wouldn't be able to afford to buy them

092. Do at least 6 pro bono photo sessions for needy families

Posted by Greg on December 8, 2007 at 8:00AM.

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Thanksgiving in Napa

Toothless Fun

Some families get together and enjoy blissful, tender, warm moments that they cherish forever; that is most definitely not how I would describe my family. They are loud, rowdy, busy, and a bit chaotic. It would not be a Flower family get together without a few arguments, lots of food, card games, and several hard to contain children that often get misplaced.

However, if you look carefully you will notice that in the midst of all those rough edges there emerge a few tender moments. Laughter erupting from a few people during a card game. Children squealing in delight over the discovery that sand works far better then shampoo. Seeing the "tough" teen snuggled up closely with the baby asleep after the great feast. Gentle kisses. Funny faces. Those are the moments I cherish during the holidays with my family.

This Thanksgiving my brother Richard and his wife Tricia graciously agreed to host the holiday festivities at their home in Napa. The drive was clear and pretty, and the day was simply beautiful. After gorging ourselves sinfully during the meal we lounged and socialized before saying our goodbyes. Emily and my niece have the hardest time with these departures. They get so excited about seeing each other that their time together never seems just long enough. Cheyenne dutifully helped buckle Emily into her car seat and gave her hugs and kisses before we went on our way. It was so sweet. Thanks, Richard and Trish, for being such gracious hosts. The meal was awesome!

On a final note, my wonderful parents graciously agreed to pose for a "toothless grin" picture. For as long as I can remember, my father has entertained little children with his ability to pull out his "teeth". So, I thought it would make a great picture if both of my parents posed "toothless". I had the hardest time getting the shot through my laughter. Mom and Dad, you both are such great sports!

Nana Flower

Cheyenne Drumming


Cheyenne Sliding



Posted by Crystal on December 6, 2007 at 1:00PM.

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Filed under coates family and photos.

Emily's Third Birthday

Emily, The Birthday Girl

Our baby has turned three! It's hard to believe that the tiny, fragile child that came into our home just over two years ago could have turned into the beautiful, happy child that we see today, but that's exactly what happened.

Emily's birthday celebration actually started a few days early. Rather than try to hide the birthday bike that we bought her, we just gave it to her. Crystal assembled it, and then we showed her how to push the pedals and ride around the driveway. She's not quite a pro yet, but she's learning quickly.

We made the day of her birthday all about her. She got to pick the activities and foods for the day. After breakfast and some playtime, she asked for a bath in mommy's oversize tub with Mommy. Once everyone was clean, it was time for lunch. Emily announced that she wanted "chit-ten nuddets" (chicken nuggets). Off we went to Wendy's.

After the day's errand and dinner were finished, Crystal's family started to arrive. It was party time! The princess cake was cut, and ice cream was served. Emily and our foster son blew out the candles, and then it was time to open presents. Emily discovered a movie, a sticker book, and some clothes. What excitement!

Happy birthday, Miss Bug. :) Daddy loves you!

Riding the New Bike

Tub Smooches

Ariana the Videographer

Princess Cake

Blowing Out the Candles

Eating Cake

Opening Presents

Book of Stickers

Posted by Greg on December 3, 2007 at 5:00PM.

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Filed under babies and children, coates family, events and photos.