Busy Bee- Busy Break

Hello lovelies!

A fair warning for those who are expecting food- this article is probably not what you were looking for.¬†However, I would love if you stick around. ūüėÄ ¬†(and yes, I am very aware that I skipped this week’s Feature Friday. I had been very busy getting my photography business in order for a successful new year!)

Judging by the extended forecast for good ol’Eastern Kentucky, I think it’s safe to assume that Spring has finally Sprung. So what does one do on beautiful, sunny 80¬ļ days? Shoot people, of course!

Ok, let me back that one up. If you have been keeping up with my blog you would already know this, but if you haven’t…. I am a photographer ūüėČ ! Being the photog that I am, it’s the only time in my¬†life where it is perfectly acceptable to say “I shoot people for a living”.

I happen to be on spring break from culinary school and the weather couldn’t have picked a better time to start changing for the better. That’s the thing I love about Kentucky. Short (mild) winters and early springs. Don’t get me wrong, there came a few winters where I felt like it was never going to end,¬†however,¬†there always seemed to be a sort of beauty that followed.

Since break started, I have been quite the busy bee. I don’t even know where to begin. In just¬†the¬†middle of the week and I’ve already¬†managed to¬†finish my online class assignments for the week, edited a maternity session of one of my favorite clients, got my hair done as mentioned in my latest Featured Friday, attended a double child birthday party, put together a few dinners for some more food related blog posts, and photographed some portraits of my beautiful Cousin In-law (who happens to also be a fellow blogger, Simply Anna Lisa).

Since January, I knew that I wanted to do something with my life where I could be free to do what makes me truly happy. Which is why I created The Hungary Pollock. I also find love in my photography. It’s something that I have loved since my first ever camera, the Polaroid iZone. You know what I’m talking about. The skinny doohickey that instantly imprinted your image onto pretty peel-n-stick film ( I just found that you can buy these on Amazon- BONUS!). They were all the rage when I was a kid and I was some how fortunate to be gifted that from my mom and stepdad. I went through film like it was nothing. You can find Fujifilm’s updated version of the insta print camera’s by clicking the camera below. We plan on surprising my oldest daughter with this camera for her 5th birthday. Oh the fun she will have.

Ok, I’m getting off track. Don’t ya just love how easily that happens? Anyway, photography, as well as cooking, brings happiness to my soul. Like being in the kitchen, it allows me to get in touch with my creative side and see the world around me and capture its beauty. Photography has helped get me out of my comfort zone with my (self-diagnosed) social anxiety (I’ve always been nervous to meet new people).

I know all that sounds so made up but I am dead serious. I love everything about it. I love bringing smiles to my clients faces when they are presented with their online gallery and I love making children laugh at me when I am acting a fool just to get that perfect natural smile. I love making memories with my girls and being able to beautifully preserve those special moments with the snap of my shutter!

And since January, knowing what I wanted to do, I’ve decided that I need to focus more on establishing myself as a photographer and blogger. Last year was all trial and error for me. I knew that I loved photography but I never dreamed I would be where I am today, while still not where I want to be. I owe so much to the many photography Facebook groups I am a part of for all the knowledge I’ve obtained and I owe even more¬†to the three kindest¬†photographers who had taken time out of my day to answer any questions I’ve had.

We are two months and some odd days into the new year and I have many goals I have set for myself for the rest of the year.Starting with building a better clientele, booking more sessions, and building my brand. With all that being said… Big changes are coming to Samantha Holbrook Photography. Starting with me offering my first ever Mommy & Me Mini-session (super pumped but at the same time, super nervous about this). I can not wait to blog about these sessions.

Want to see how the pictures turned out from my recent sessions?

Here are some of my favorite shots from David and Rene’s Maternity session:

Here are some of my favorites from Simply Anna Lisa’s portrait session:

 

 

 

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Thanks For a Great Year

Alas, it’s that time again. We are three days away from saying goodbye to 2015 and I feel this year has went so fast. Didn’t it just start like three days ago? No? Ok, maybe not but it does feel that way.¬†

Before ringing in the new year, I want to end 2015 with a thank you to all my clients that I gained in my first year of photography. You all have, legit, made it worthwhile and super enjoyable. Next to culinary, I have found love in something that I can see myself doing in all my life.

¬†Since getting my camera as a gift from my husband last January, it’s been one heck of an new adventure. So much I had to learn; between figuring out my camera and learning how to properly edit images to scoping out the perfect location. From beginning to end I would spend countless hours thinking up posing ideas, finding a location, setting up whatever props were needed (if any) and after the session was over, I would stay up into the next morning editing.¬† As with any photographer, a lot of love and time went in to each session.

From family sessions to Seniors, each client brought¬†their own personality to their session. I couldn’t count how many times I left with my “abs” (ha, yea we’ll call them that) hurting from laughing so hard.¬†Because of my clients, I was able to grow so much in the past few months and I hope to grow even more in 2016.¬†

So, to all you awesome people, who have given me the opportunity to photograph you,

Thank you and have a Happy New Year!

 

Sister Sister

Any momma’s out there love taking pictures of their kids ? If you answered yes, I’m sure you have tried to do you’re own set up with them at home or your favorite place at the park at least one time since they were born. I’ll bet¬†your adventure went a little like this…

…You start by going all out on getting them the perfect outfits. You scavenge the house for the perfect props to accent your¬†perfect little set up with grand¬†ideas for those cute little Pinterest-perfect poses. When it’s time to finally get the kids¬†ready, they seem super pumped to be getting their 15 minutes in the “spotlight”¬†(let’s face it- kids are not camera shy. Those vain little munchkins). You pose them perfectly, pullout your camera and just bring it to your face when… Boom! All heck breaks loose. One looks away, the other wonders off. Next, their pulling each other’s hair or rubbing dirt on their clothes. You yell and threaten them with stripping them of their T.V. rights¬†or taking their favorite toy from them. That doesn’t work so you start with the bribing of candy and all things sweet. “Just. One. Picture. Pa-leeaassee!” Still no cooperation. Instead, you get looks from them like you’re stuck on stupid. After an hour of pulling you’re hair out, you finally¬†decide to just go with it. It is what it is.

That’s pretty much how it is anytime I want to do a little practice session with my girls. It’s rare I ever get photos of them and even more rare that I get some of them together. This past October I was really hoping I could get just a few of them to hang on my wall. That evening I grabbed all the pumpkins I had around the house, a wooden basket, and an old kitchen chair. I pretty much just shot whatever they wanted to dish out at me, hoping I got at least one good shot of them. Alas, I successfully managed to pull it off but I felt¬†defeated by the time we went in the house.

After this session I have learned these few things:

  • My Little Red (the youngest) is a diva.
  • My Big Girl’s go-to camera face is the “mean mugger”.
  • These two do NOT¬†like posing together.
  • There is a reason I don’t normally photograph my own kids.

Ah the life of a mother with girls. They have a never ending supply of attitude, whether it be to my advantage or not. I guess we gotta love’em anyway, right? Totally kidding! I love my kids without question, even when they are at their most rotten. ¬†ūüėȬ†

Here, it’s mid-December and I am finally getting around to editing them (Hooray For Christmas Break!). I started off editing them in a way that it just screams “Autumn!” but being as though it’s nearly winter I wanted some of the images to have a wintery¬†feel. So with lots of Youtube tutorials, here¬†is what I came up with. Please enjoy some of my favorites from their little mini session.

I hope you loved these as much as I did! Let me know what you think in the comments! 

Remember to Like, Subscribe and Share The Hungary Pollock for more updates on Food, My photography, and a little of my everyday life. ūüėȬ†

Lasagna Roll-ups- a fun way to eat lasagna

It was Italian dinner night at the Holbrook Homestead yesterday. For a while now, I’ve been craving lasagna but I cringe at the thought of putting it together. The time it takes to¬†assemble each layer of noodles, filling, and sauce (that I¬†make completely from scratch) is almost time consuming when you really just want to dig right in. Let’s not forget the bake time. We’ve all been there, right? No? Maybe it’s just me. However, those thoughts quickly cease when I pull the heavy, piping hot dish from the oven. The slightly browned cheese bubbling on the surface and the savory aroma of Italian herbs dancing around my nostrils is mouthwatering. I know my efforts are well rewarded when my husband takes his first bite and there is silence the rest of our dinner time.

Last night, I found an unopened container of ricotta cheese just hanging out on the refrigerator door. It was nearing it’s expiration so I knew that I needed to just give in to my laziness. I wanted to try a new way of putting together my lasagna. I remembered seeing all kinds of pins and posts about “rolling” your lasagna noodles with the ricotta filling and then pouring the sauce over top of that. Seems simple enough. Right? ¬†Well, I am here to tell you it was that simple. The best part of all…it was perfectly portioned and it kept it’s shape, unlike cutting into and trying to plate those of the layered recipes.

Here is how I make mine. Enjoy ūüôā

Lasagna Roll-Ups

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 c. prepared Sam’s Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
  • 12 Lasagna Noodles, cooked¬†
  • 1- 30 oz. Container of Ricotta cheese
  • 14 oz. feta cheese crumbles (yes, feta cheese. It’s amazing in this)
  • 1 c. fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. Basil
  • 2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Rosemary
  • 1 tsp. Thyme¬†
  • 1 tsp. Fennel seed
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella¬†

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Set the first 2 ingredients (noodles and sauce) aside. Line a 9×13 pan with foil and preheat the oven to 350¬įF.¬†
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together the next 10 ingredients. 
  3. Starting with one noodle at a time, spread an even layer of the ricotta filling over the top of the noodle. Take one end and begin to roll to the other end. 
  4. Place rolls neatly in the pan and ladle sauce evenly smother the top of noodles with the sauce. 
  5. Sprinkle Mozzarella evenly over the top and place (uncovered) in the oven. 
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the cheese just begins to brown and is melted all over. 
  7. Grab a plate, a fork and get ready to dig in to some of the best lasagna ya ever tasted!

NOTES:

  • Although I would rather you used mine, you can use your own favorite spaghetti sauce. Mine had meat in it so if you like your protein like me, you will have to add about 1/2 lb (or more) of meat to¬†your sauce. (if you want the recipe for my sauce click HERE)
  • I also added some fennel seeds to my sauce this time. I haven’t added it before, but after using it last night, It was a good addition.¬†
  • When making the roll-ups, I had enough filling for 12 decent sized rolls. I was also able to comfortably fit 12 in the pan. If you wanted to spread the filling out a little more, you will need to make more noodles.¬†

I hope you are brave enough to give this recipe a go. It was a big hit in my home. So much that I had to fight my husband off to get seconds. Wow your guests with this yum-diddly dinner!

Like this recipe for Lasagna Roll-ups? Tell me all about it in the comments. Have a favorite Italian dish or way to make your lasagna? Share the recipe with me and I will give it a try.

Remember to like, share, follow and like The Hungary Pollock!

The Leep Grandkid’s fall family Photos

Let me just say, I absolutely love getting the opportunity to photograph this family. They are an absolute joy to be around and we usually share a lot of laughs throughout the whole session (like when we put all four kids on the hay bales and it tips over with them all on top or when we all had to chase the pumpkins from rolling down the hills in the woods where we were shooting).

I’ve only got the chance to shoot them (with my camera, silly) on separate occasions with their own little families. Since I’ve started this semester, I haven’t taken on any new sessions or clients. I honestly haven’t even had the time.So I was really happy when Katie contacted me about putting together a little session of just the grand-kids and her oldest brother and his daughter (whom I didn’t have the opportunity to photograph, yet) for her mother and grandma! It felt great to be behind the camera again and it was fun getting to see the difference in these four little one’s personalities.¬†

Here are some of my favorites from their session! Please enjoy!

If you’d like to see more from this session click HERE. ¬†

A special thanks to Angie Leep and her family for reaching out to me and being such awesome clients! ‚̧

Heaven- Class of 2016

While visiting my hometown of Lorain, Ohio over the summer, my aunt asked me to try and coax my cousin into letting me take her senior pictures. That was a task, but nothing a little K-Cream Korner (our favorite corner ice cream joint) couldn’t help. Gotta love the bribery ūüėČ

A majority of our stay was rainy and gloomy. There was only a few opportunities for some sunshine, but only one with available free time. When we finally got her on board we loaded up the car and headed to Lakeview beach on Lake Erie. If you haven’t been, you should go. It’s so pretty at sunset.

For someone who didn’t want her pictures taken, she sure made some pretty photos! Here are a few of my favorite shots from her session. If you would like to see more from her session, click here!

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