Wednesday, August 22, 2012

self promotion and advertising.

hey all.

i'm offering a back to school mini session and the details can be found {here} at my photography blog.

all that mad men i've been watching may have influenced the wording in my little ad. seriously, can't stop watching that show.

if you have a sec, would you mind sharing that link somewhere, like on your facebook or what have you. or if you know someone who has 12 kids (or just 1) and would be interested, pass it along. and hey, if you are interested, call me up 801.664.5383 or shoot me an email.
and hey, thanks.

hope you're having a great day and enjoying the last little bit of august.

love you. xo

Saturday, August 18, 2012

charles bodtcher family pictures

as i have mentioned, there is a lake by our house. i go running on the trails by the lake and one night found the most perfect spot for family pictures. i have had this image in my head for months and this week, liana helped make that image into our family pictures. the lighting wasn't quite what i hoped for, but we had a great time and liana did an amazing job. i gave her a very quick dslr tutorial, fiddled with the settings, and let her creative genius take the reins. all editing was also done by moi.

i can't believe how handsome he is. takes my breath away!

this one was probably the best.

or this.

going to blow this up and put in in the bedroom.

i love looking through these and seeing how much fun travis and i have together. you can really tell how much we love each other!

also. the dress i'm wearing? totally a second hand buy.
and can you tell i've been watching mad men lately? slightly obsessed with the sixties.
thanks for taking our pictures, liana!

if you want yours taken by the lake, give me a call.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

becoming a photographer

oh, hey.

i still have things to say about sexual harassment. and a huge post i have been writing in my head for months about homosexuality/lgbt/whatever you and yours call same sex/gender attraction. see there are too many ideas even just about what to call "it" and by saying "it" i'm sure i'll offend someone out there. this is why i haven't written this post yet. because if i can't even figure out how to approach what to call everything in a way everyone will understand, how am i supposed to talk about the actual topic?

but all those serious posts are coming. it's hard to write about the month of july and everything that happened to trigger my ptsd. but i will get there soon. and talking about homosexuality and our culture usually ends up with me in a white hot rage and wanting to hit many of my lds family members.

today i just want to talk about something shiny and happy. something that makes me feel shiny and happy.

so you know how i started learning to be a photographer this past year? this has turned into an incredible journey for me. i'm slowly building confidence and becoming more assertive in my ability. becoming a photographer has taught me to trust myself, because when someone is paying you to capture those once-in-a-lifetime moments, you have to trust yourself. it's sort of a high for me, that pressure of capturing the perfect shot combined with allowing your creative abilities to take over the controls. all the while you must seem completely confident and capable to your subjects, reassuring them, fixing stray hairs, waiting for a screaming child to stop screaming, and at the same time adjusting your camera's settings, which can feel similar to sitting in the cock pit of a rocket ship, staring at the buttons in awe and horror.

becoming a photographer has also taught to me look at the world in a different way. i notice small things; i appreciate beauty in a different way. i obsess over light.

the first time i shot in manual, controlling all the settings myself, i might as well have levitated ten feet off the ground. 

but it's hard, too. i stress over failure. i worry that i'm a fraud. competition is fierce! i know it takes time to build a client base and make real money, but i still doubt myself.

people say the most hilarious things, too.

"wow, your camera takes really nice pictures!" yep, it's all the camera.
"hey you should bring your camera to my wedding and take some pictures." for free, right?
"why on earth do photographers charge so much? it's ridiculous." have you noticed how expensive professional equipment is? do you have any idea how much time, talent, education, and effort it takes to plan, shoot, edit, and deliver your pictures?

but i love it so much. being a perfectionist, it means that much more when i nail that perfect shot, a beautiful moment captured forever in time. funny how you go 23 years of your life without knowing what you love to do most. i enjoyed psychology very much; it helped me find a voice and a starting place to fight on my soapboxes. but taking pictures just brings me pure joy.

here are some photos my little prime lens and i have taken recently.

i still have so much to learn. with every shoot i have another "ah hah!" moment.

if you want your pictures taken by someone who will love every minute of it, let me know.

go {here} for my photography blog.

and do what you love most!


Monday, August 13, 2012


today is my birthday. i am 24 years old. it doesn't feel strange to say that, because i've been telling the people i worked with all summer that i was already 24. you know, so they would take me seriously. or something.

birthdays at my house growing up were a huge deal. it was completely your day. you were exempt from chores. mom would get this nostalgic look in her eyes and retell you your birth story. how long she was in labor, how excited she was to meet you. your favorite dinner was served to you on the special red birthday plate. you felt like the world wouldn't be the same if you hadn't been born into it. for one day, you were allowed to let it be all about you.

being a grown up changes birthdays a little bit. we start to dread the numbers getting closer to 30. we have to do chores like take out the trash and clean up the dishes, because mom isn't around to do it for you. luckily, travis knows how important birthdays are to me and he pretty much does whatever i want done on my day. like eat my favorite and his not favorite thai food for dinner. and go camera lens shopping all afternoon. and read my new book about polygamy. and scratch my back for me all night. love him.

so because it's my day and i'm allowed to make it all about me, i'm going to write 24 things that have happened in my life or are part of who i am.

1. i'm a picky eater and have been since i was born. i was allergic to breast milk. now, i'm picky about things like salad, condiments, and sandwiches. i'd rather eat curry than a hamburger every time.

2. i have three younger brothers who i love and worry about and fuss over. we get along more like friends than siblings most of the time.

3. i'm very idealistic, which leads me to being disappointed a lot, and then mad at myself for expecting everything to be so ideal all the time.

4. seven different guys told me, in all seriousness, that they wanted to marry me.

5. i had an imaginary friend, named jimmy, who was/is an elf, until i was in 8th grade.

6. once, i sang on an album with a heavy metal band.

7. it's not an average day unless i've had an awkward encounter with someone. like when travis and i went for a couples massage on our anniversary, the woman who was about to massage me asked, "hey, we have been having some issues with this, so i need to know, do you have any diseases or-" and i interrupted with, "no, um no i don't have anything. nope. oh but i am allergic to penicillin. so yeah." to which she replied, "um, we don't really have that here." ... wth?

8. i have fallen in love more than five times. falling out of love is the hard part for me.

9. cooking. love the part where you add things together and season them. hate making a menu and going to the grocery store. i will eat quesadillas for three days before breaking down and going to the store. 

10. one of my all time favorite memories is of winning the "turkey trot" race in 6th grade. i hadn't planned on running the race, because i am so competitive i hardly ever compete unless i know i'll win, but i ended up doing it and beating several girls who bullied me all through grade school. one of the only times i felt proud to me myself as a young kid.

11. i have OCD. sometimes i have to say a certain word or i can't think about anything else. the shower has to be squeegeed the right way with straight lines or i have to start over. if i use the oven, i have to check it three times before going to bed. i have to pee three times before going to bed or else i just lay there thinking about how i have to pee, even when i don't.

12. music is such an integral part of my life i don't even know how to explain it.

13. i started my first official job when i was 16, working at a bakery. i have worked as a makeup artist, telemarketer, english tutor, piano teacher, among others. the most embarrassing however, was when i sold knives. door to door, yo!

14. i have two black chest hairs that i pluck. travis does not know this.

15.  i have only missed one night of washing my face since i was 13. there's that OCD again.

16. magic the gathering.

17. as i kid, my imagination entertained me at all times. one of my favorite games to play was with dandelions. i would be their midwife and their babies were the white fluffy "seeds."

18. the first time i went to the gynecologist's office, i passed out and fell off of the table.

19. i am a survivor of sexual assault and suicide attempts.

20. i read 2-3 books a week, in an average week.

21. i have extremely thin skin, something that doesn't work well with being a photographer.

22. that dream life, the one we secretly wish to have? i wish i could make it big in the music industry as a singer.

23. one thing that i am judge-y about and can't handle is cigarette smoking. i always ask smokers to put out their cigarettes or to smoke downwind from me. sometimes they swear at me, but sometimes they are polite about it. seriously, i don't want to smoke, so take your second hand smoke out of my face please. i'm actually getting upset thinking about it.

24. sometimes when i'm at my kickboxing class, i feel strong and i get tears in my eyes because of how amazing it feels to feel powerful.

wow, it is harder than you would think to write 24 things about yourself.

i'm thankful for my life, my healthy body, loved ones, and my travis. 23 was a rough year, but some good growth came out of it.

here's to celebrating yourself and your life. i'm ready for you, 24.

Monday, August 6, 2012


real quick.

just got home from working on girl's unit and wanted to write this while it's fresh.

my hope in humanity has been restored. (like always, right?)

so tomorrow when i have time, i'm planning to tell the whole sexual harassment story and such, but for tonight, i want to say today i stood up for myself and that isn't something i'm used to doing when it has to do with uncomfortable sexual situations. surprise, it's very empowering!

also, i love the girls so very much! tonight was one of those nights i could almost forget they are substance abusers and not just kids hanging out and eating brownies with their girlfriends. until, you know, they make a meth joke or have a phone call with their mentally ill mom that ends with screaming and crying. we sang together, played piano, made dream catchers, told jokes, and even "spit some rhymes" aka, "rapped." and did the "all the single ladies" beyonce dance. these are girls who have stories to tell and most of them are tragic. they have experienced heartache and betrayal to a degree i'll never understand. and yet they still laugh, dance, sing, and eat brownies. they are resilient. i can be too.

i'm way too attached. what's going to happen to these girls? where will they end up? how are they going to be okay?

they have taught me so many things. once, while working on boy's unit, we were making para cord bracelets. one of the boys wanted a certain color and was being shy about it. "speak up" i told him. "if you want something, don't be afraid to ask for it." later that night, i needed to know something and was feeling a little intimidated asking. that boy repeated my words back to me. it really hit me in that moment, a 15 year old boy who was locked up for assaulting cops and dealing drugs, giving me much needed encouragement and advice.

everything happens for a reason. i'll be sad to leave this job, but i am thankful for the lessons i have learned from these 16 drug addicts.

we are all given different circumstances and trials for a reason. we have the opportunity to learn from them and become stronger. i'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to do this job, even if it is heartbreaking and difficult.

thank you for the encouragement. life really is wonderful, guys.
keep spreading that love around. :)


a hard week.

sometimes you have a good week. sometimes you have an average week. sometimes you have a bad week.

and then sometimes you have a week like i had last week. where you cry every day, several times a day. including in front of your boss. and your heart just aches so much you wish you could go back to feeling numb and avoiding all feelings like you used to when you were even more of a mess.

last week my favorite kid on the unit tried to kill himself.
then after weeks of sexual harassment from male staff at my job, i reported it to my boss.
and then i quit my job.
had a panic attack in my boss's office because of all the terrible memories of sexual assault and not standing up for myself and how afraid i was to report the harassment because i know how scary repercussions can get. 
i also had an ugly disagreement with an in-law that resulted in ugly words between travis and i.

and someone mowed down my wild sunflower patch.

all the while working every day and trying to keep it together while dealing with angry, entitled, messed up teenagers. i love them, but i sometimes want to yell and swear back at them. mostly at their parents for never teaching them values or boundaries or consequences. 

plus travis worked 72 hours at the fire station and other than our anniversary, we didn't see much of each other last week. 

does it sometimes seem like we are all just down here on this earth wounding each other?

i don't have a happy "but what about____" clause for the end of this post. today i'm just documenting the tough things that happened last week.

and hoping this week will be a little easier.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012


two years ago i wore this dress. 

and the most expensive shoes i have ever bought, including running shoes.

posed, preened, and wore flowers in my hair.

and enjoyed feeling the beauty a bride enjoys on her day.

most importantly, i married travis randy bodtcher. 

as i have written many a time, the first year of marriage was tough on us. we were thankful to hit that year mark and move on. now that we have hit the two year mark, it's amazing how great things have become between us. i'm sure if we hadn't gone through that refiner's fire, we wouldn't be as solid as we are today. 
year two definitely threw some curve balls, like house selling, ptsd, and paying for my education. but we did it! 

i've noticed a lot of changes in us in the past year. it seems that we aren't as quick to get angry with each other, even me, and that's a big deal because it turns out i have a slight temper. we have gotten pretty legit at reading each others' minds, even over the phone. we have become better cheerleaders for each other's accomplishments. we seem to have a lot more fun together. something as simple as cooking dinner turns into a party when we are together. watching the olympics together this week has reduced me to tears of laughter, between travis's insanely loud patriotism and our terrible asian and russian accents we use to narrate the events to each other. he is the first person i want to talk to when i get good news. knowing each other so well has turned into not only a safehouse for both of us, but a huge amount of laughter and joking. we are just so happy! the only issue is that we aren't able to spend enough time together between our jobs. it's always a good thing when you wish for more time together, right? 

yesterday was a great celebration of our anniversary. we slept in, had a couple's massage, saw the new batman movie, (because last year on our anniversary we were crazy and watched the first two.) had dinner at teppanyaki, (where we had our wedding luncheon) and went mini golfing. we have a (sometimes) friendly rivalry going, and i'm sad to report travis beat me last night. whomp, whomp, whomp. 

the best part of the day was at dinner. travis looked at me and said, "you know, we really have it together." i asked him if he meant financially, as we are doing better now that we're both working. he told me he meant the two of us, being a married couple. we have it together. it was a battle at first, but we are both so incredibly happy now. love you travis! can't wait to see what next year brings! 

photo credit, liana bodtcher.

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