Avery James Photography

Avery James Photography

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Heart Faces - Photography Challenge - Winter Wonderland

This week's challenge at I Heart Faces is "Winter Wonderland"....considering I live in Southern California where it's been around 80' the last few days....it's safe to say that I don't have a typical winter scene to photograph in.

I did just go to Zion National Park in Utah last weekend though, and there was definitely a snowy, wintery scene there...so I have a few pics to choose from with those pics, but I didn't plan on entering any contests with them, just wanted some memories - so my pics are nothing outstanding....but cute all the same.  I don't have any intentions of winning this round with this pic, but I figured I'd enter and share anyways just for fun!  :) :)

Leave me a link to your blog entry so I can check out your pics too!! :)


Friday, January 14, 2011

Picture A Day - January 14, 2010

Yet another picture of my adorable little boy.  It sure is hard sometimes to get him to take a picture for me, but when he does - his smiles just light up my day.  I think this one is going to make it to my living room wall. :) :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Letter Art by Avery James Photography


Looking for that perfect gift for someone?  I don't know about you, but I absolutely LOVE personalized items.  I'm a sucker for anything that you stick my kid's name on...you'll always find me browsing those little souvenir racks for the name mugs, keychains, ornaments, necklaces, etc.  Both of my kids have less common names (Avery and Caydan), and Caydan's especially is spelled uniquely so even if I find the name, it's not spelled like his.

Well this item is perfect, because I can make it say whatever you want it to! :)

Think baby shower gifts, bridal shower gifts, anniversary gifts, birthday gifts, and don't forget to get one for yourself too!  Get your last name for your family room, get your kid's names for their bedrooms, you can even get one for your pet! 


How much does this all cost you say?  Only $30.00 (plus $5.00 shipping cost) :)

Each photo is printed on e-surface paper with a lustre coating.

Up to 5 letters will be printed on a 5x15 sheet
6-9 letters will be printed on a 5x30 sheet

Price includes the print only, extra charges apply if you would like it mounted on a matboard or foam, please email me for prices.  You can purchase a frame on your own, or I can have it mounted and/or framed and sent to you ready to hang if you prefer.  Prices start around $30.00 for 5x15 sizes and $70.00 for 5x30 sizes in addition to the print (you can find frames on your own for less though, I suggest searching online for prices).

If you'd like to order your own personalized letter art, email me at:


Just let me know what you want it to say.  I can have the print ready to order within a day if I have all the letters.  Express shipping is available if needed for an additional cost.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Bucket List - Traveling

Do you have a bucket list?  Did you see the movie The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman?  If not, you should check it out because I think it's important for everyone to have some form of a bucket list....whether it just be a goal inside your head, a list of ideas and dreams written in your journal, or a well thought out, realistic, set of 'wants' in yours life.

For those who don't know what a bucket list is, it's basically a list of things you want to do before you die.  Sky diving, asking someone on a date, visiting Disneyworld, sailing around the world, or even something as simple as trying a strange food.  Then the intent is to make every effort to check off all of the things on your list sometime in your lifetime.

A few years back, I actually made a bucket list as I was on a flight...it was a perfect moment for me to do it since I'm terrified of flying,  and focusing on all the things I wanted to do with my life was helpful in keeping my mind off of the possibility of death arriving on the airplane (yes, I'm seriously terrified...not just a little).  I'm not really sure whatever happened with that list, but I'm sure it's in my house somewhere....not helpful though since I don't remember what was on it, so eventually I'll have to make another one.

BUT - I did decide to do a short version of my bucket list here....one thing that I would love to do before I die is to visit every U.S. state there is at least once.  Ideally I'd like to stay in each of them and explore the state and all it has to offer, but for now I'm counting ones that I've just driven through as well, but I'm going to note the difference.

I'll come back to this post and update it as I visit more states, and I'll link back to it in the future as well. :) 

Below is my list - I'd love to see you all post your own bucket list, or portion of one....link it back here if you do so I can check it out!!!  :)

Crystal's Traveling Bucket List
GOAL: Visit every U.S. State at least once
PROGRESS: States visited are outlined below

1. California (obviously, cause I live here)
2. Nevada (a second home to me practically)
3. Pennsylvania (went to college here)
4. Arizona
5. Florida (aiming to go again this November!)
6. New York
7. Massachusetts
8. Colorado
9. Utah (my most recent visit just this past weekend)

The rest of these were more of a drive-thru on the way to my destination, although I did stay overnight and explore a bit in a few of these states
10. West Virginia
11. Virginia
12. North Carolina
13. South Carolina (stayed and explored a bit)
14. Georgia
15. Ohio
16. Indiana (explored a bit)
17. llinois
18. Missouri
19. Oklahoma (explored a bit)
20. Texas (stayed overnight and explored a bit)
21. New Mexico
22. Maine (did a photoshoot here and explored a bit)
23. New Hampshire (just a quick drive through)

So it looks like I'm just about halfway through the states...not bad for being 29.5 yrs old (I turn 30 in June!).  I'd like to expand on my quick trip locations though and actually do a little more exploring in those states.  My next road trip though is likely going to be driving up the West Coast from California, and I think going up to Seattle and then back down.  Really looking forward to that one!!  :) :)

And just so I can leave this post with a picture - I took this photo yesterday at the Zion National Park in Utah - I hiked up this trail with my son and his father - a little scary cause it was really icy and slippery, but there were railings on the scariest parts...and I never would have taken my son anywhere that I wasn't confident about the safety of it or my ability to get him through it safely, although it was rated "Moderate" on the trail scale.  My son is fairly well behaved though and isn't the type to run off or anything like that...his hand was firmly attached to mine the entire hike. :)

I'll have to post more about this glorious hike though in another dedicated post, cause it was AMAZING.  Below is the view we received once we reached the top! :)

I Heart Faces - Photography Challenge - Smile

I'd really love to try and enter the I Heart Faces photo contests more often...perhaps this year I will. :) :)

So you may remember my last (and only entry so far) to I Heart Faces, it was their Silhouette challenge that I entered here.  And then you may remember my recent post when I found out that my photo was one of the 8 favorites (posted here), which resulted in my getting that nifty button you may have seen on my sidebar. :) :)

Well this week's contest's theme is "Smile"...and immediately this picture of my cousin's baby (that makes him my second cousin once removed or something crazy sounding like that, right??) came to mind....I took this about a month ago and he was about 3 months old then....isn't he just absolutely ADORABLE???  This picture definitely makes me smile at his huge smile, therefore I'm entering it in this week's contest. :)

Wish me luck! :) :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Late night post - Picture a Day - flowers at the Huntington

I've been posting lots of pics on my Facebook page (so if you're not a fan already, you should be because I post there way more than anywhere else!), and as I'd like this new year to result in lots more blog posts for me, I'm posting this one here at 10:56pm PST...so I'm getting it in before the day's end :)....even though I know I won't post the rest of the weekend.....I'm going to St. George, Utah tomorrow morning.....it'll be my first time setting foot in the state of Utah. :) :)

Well this pic below was one I took on an excursion to the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, CA with my bestie, Jen from Haute Whimsy, and my son.  Lots of fun things to look at there, we didn't even get to see everything!!  We'll definitely be taking a return trip there in the future. :) :)

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Liz and Family

I photographed this adorable family towards the end of the summer...you may recognize their silhouette picture as I've posted it a couple of times on this blog.  Now you can see the rest of their photos as well. :)

They were such an easy-going and relaxed family, I just love working with people who are so go-with-the-flow....they put a lot of trust in the photographer and the final pictures end up looking so much more natural because they're not so worried about everything being perfect.  It's a lot of fun for me to do these types of shoots. :) :)

On top of it all, these two brothers were simply ADORABLE...very good kids and full of energy and smiles.  Love them. :) :)

Enjoy the pics!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Letter art! - $30.00 (limited time price)

I initially started this as a birthday project for my son, Avery (Dec. 28).  As he's no longer here with us on earth to give a present to, we try and do something on his birthday that is focused on him and his memory.  Last year we went to downtown L.A. and walked around taking pictures of things that reminded us of him (trains, cartoon characters, angels, etc.) along with photos of letters to spell out his name....but we took the photos of actual letters vs shapes.  I then made a collage of all the pictures we took that day....it turned out pretty neat....nothing to put in a gallery or anything, but special to us. :)

This year I wanted to do something similar, but wanted something a little more frame-worthy...so we went downtown again, but I decided to take pictures of shapes that looked like letters instead (not an original idea, so I can't take the credit for it for those who haven't seen this type of art before), and then spell out Avery's name.  Unfortunately we got a late start on the day and then lunch took longer than expected...so by the time we started taking the actual pictures it was getting close to dark (I hate that the sun sets so early this time of year!)....so I only had about 30 minutes or so where there was enough daylight to take good pictures.....so we hustled and walked around a few downtown L.A. blocks and below is what we found:

I loooooved the 'V' shot of the water fountain....but since the water was constantly moving, and you can see right through it, the camera wasn't able to focus on anything and so up close it's pretty blurry...but I guess it looks like moving water.....so I still love it.  The 'E' and 'R' shots aren't my favorite, but it's all I could get in the short amount of time we had.  And I was so excited to get the 'A' shot - it was a big sculpture downtown and it just came out perfectly for an 'A'!  :) :)

So anyways...I loved it so much and thought it came out better than I expected it to, so I decided to add this letter art to my product lineup.  I'm working on building my letter library now, but if you'd like to purchase your own name in letter art, it's $30 for a limited time. 

$30.00 includes 5x30 photographic print on e-surface paper with lustre coating
Up to 9 letters
You will be able to view the final image before payment
Price does not include frame and you will likely have to get a custom-sized frame for this print.
Shipping is $5.00 (unless you are in the South Bay (Southern California) area - no shipping charges)

I will be trying to order these in batches from the printing company, so please let me know if you need it by a certain date (birthday, wedding, anniversary, baby shower gifts, etc.) so that I can make sure to order yours in time.

Price is for a limited time while I build my letter library up, so be sure to order yours right away!!  :) :)

Order via email: crystal@averyjamesphotography.com
(will eventually be for sale via Etsy)

Monday, January 3, 2011

How did I miss this??

I was reading someone else's blog and they were talking about I Heart Faces...then I remembered that I entered one of their photo contests awhile back on Silhouettes....so I figured I'd go look and see who won that contest cause I had completely forgotten to check.....
So I click through all the older posts since it was over a month ago that the contest was held....no, I didn't win, in any place...BUT I did get chosen as one of the I Heart Photos' favorites!!  There had to be about 500-600 entries, and out of all those I got chosen as 1 of 8 favorites!  And now I just re-read it and it looks like I also get a special button to display on my blog....that's my next step after writing this!

Sooooooo awesome. :)

In addition, I was just featured on the Revas Rags to Roses blog as part of her list for the best of 2010!

AND I was just given the Stylish Blog Award by the Potential Treasures blog.  I'll be doing a separate post on that one though as I need to pass the award along to my faves next. :) :)

I have a huge smile on my face just thinking about all these great honors.  Thank you everyone for your support and readership.  If no one was reading, I wouldn't be doing what I do. :) :)

Happy New Years all!! :):)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

CSN Store Review - Farberware Skillet

(Please pardon the pictures, they're just snapshots I took and not up to my usual standards...but I was hungry and really just wanted to eat, so I didn't take the time to try and actually take a good pic...just put the camera in auto-mode and snapped away)  :)

So I promised a few weeks ago a review on an item that I was going to get from the CSN Stores...and then the holidays hit, and then life and all that.....in addition, I purchased two things - a skillet and a wall vinyl art piece...well the skillet made it, but the wall vinyl did not...actually according to the CSN site it did make it to my doorstep, but just never into my hands unfortunately....meaning someone took it off my doorstep. :(  So I was originally going to do the review on that item, but obviously I cannot...luckily I took some pictures of my first use of the skillet so I can at least do the review on that item.

And enough of my rambling and excuses....here is my review on this awesome and beautiful, red Farberware Premium Nonstick 12" Deep Skillet that I purchased from the CSN Stores website:

I purchased this skillet because I was in desperate need of a new one, my old one was extremely scratched up (evidence of either a bad cook or a bad pan...?) and I figured it probably wasn't safe to continue using it when there was a good chance black bits of non-stick pieces would end up in my food.  I also am not quite ready to move up to copper cookware or anything other than non-stick (starting to think it was probably the 'bad cook' option above...).  The size of this skillet looked about perfect for those larger dishes with lots of leftovers or feed-more-people type dinners.  And the red just looked so snazzy that I thought it might just make me at least LOOK like a better cook (obviously the logic of a 'bad cook', guess it was me that ruined the first pan).

So I unwrapped my new skillet, gave it a little scrub down, then placed it on the stove burner to admire it's apple-red exterior on my extremely ugly and ancient stovetop.

Then I picked an easy dinner that I knew I couldn't mess up and would still look pretty in the pan for pictures.  I had a bag of this frozen PF Chang's General Tsao's chicken in the freezer....super yummy and extremely easy to prepare.  You just open the bag, dump it in your skillet, cover, cook for awhile, then uncover and cook a little more....then voila!  Chicken and broccoli for dinner....and delicious at that.  I am NOT a fan of vegetables whatsoever, but the cooked broccoli smothered in this sauce is something even I will eat.  Now is it healthy for you or are any of the nutrients retained?  I haven't a clue...but I feel better eating it. :) :)

The brown chunks are actually the sauce in its frozen form...I know you were thinking - I thought this was a chicken dish...why is there steak in there??  Yea....that's sauce....weird looking, but oh so yummy!

Anyways - back to the skillet....so it cooked my food perfectly, the lid didn't get too hot for me to remove it from the skillet, not a single piece of food stuck anywhere on it, and when I washed it, all the sticky sauce just slid right off and it looked good as new again.  The food tasted delicious as it should, no strange tastes transferred from the skillet, and it was perfect enough to fit my whole meal in it (as well as subsequent meals since then) without me spilling half of it off the side when I stirred it.

It's kinda like my baby now...I just love having such a great skillet to cook dinner in....I have to keep it clean and I'll bite anyone's hand off that tries to use a metal utensil in it.  And it's also encouraged me to cook more since it's a bit safer to cook with when I don't have to worry about bits o' non-stick falling in my dinner.

My son's dinner....I know you thought it was mine, but no, I do not drink from a Scooby Doo cup or eat from a Madagascar plastic plate....I prefer the Target plastic plates actually, much more adult and all. :)

Well I hope you enjoyed my review.  And if you didn't, at least I enjoyed my meal. :)