• Welcome to the Barefoot ME Photography Blog!

    Hi! I am Mary-Evelyn Starnes and you have found my photography blog. I keep busy trying to do a good job as mother, wife, homemaker, cpa and portrait photographer. Hobbies like gardening, cooking, reading and following football fill in the little time that’s left. Still, there’s a part of me that’s just me and that part doesn’t want to be squeezed out by my over-filled schedule. That part loves Wonder Woman, cheese, commercials with chimpanzees, listening to Dire Straits and Queen (which I can’t explain) and soaking in the sun on a hot day. That part of me can’t stand doing laundry, has never enjoyed January through March, and absolutely despises wearing shoes. Let’s call that part of me “Barefoot M-E”. This is her blog.

    No matter how many hats I wear or roles I play, one constant is photography. Nothing gives me more pleasure than taking pictures of the other things in life that give me pleasure. Truly, for me, no task is completed, no event is enjoyed, no destination is visited, no laughter is shared without an accompanying urge to snap it and save it. This blog is where I hope to share the fruits of my photography passion. It will do a few other things, too. If you are a friend or family member, the blog will be a window for you to peek into our home and check in on our family. If you are considering booking me for a portrait session, it will show you my shooting style and ability. Please click on the “Contact” tab for information about booking a session.

    Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy!

Celebrating 40 Years

We were so blessed to celebrate my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary this month.  They hosted a very small, intimate party in their garden.  We started with an oyster roast  and drinks and it just got yummier from there.  The kids had a big time.  My parents never had a proper wedding send-off so we attempted to do one forty years later.  As you will see from the pictures, this attempt was almost botched as well as the sparklers we used only lasted a few seconds.  I am not sure they even noticed, though, since by that point the surprise limo had gotten their attention.

Rhett and Paisley Revisted

You may recall that I had the good fortune to shoot newborn twins a while ago.  And I got a second chance a few weeks ago. The twins aren’t newborns any more but are full-blown 8 month olds, which basically means that they are even less “photograph-able” than before.  Rhett spent much of the time army crawling to the edge of the blanket to pull grass while Paisley, less mobile, vacillated between amusement and horror of me and my camera.  And yet they allowed me to get a few good shots – which isn’t really hard when the subjects are so beautiful.

 

Back to Fall

I’ve had a really, really hard time accepting that summer is over.  The cool weather has me alternating between anger (“it should still be hot!”) and depression – both of which are mostly tied into the loss of the pool season.  But I think it’s more than that too.  Summer is so laid-back and school days are so hectic.  And the fall means winter is coming.  And winter means that tax season is coming.  I much prefer the calendar view when I am sitting here on April 16.  Still, what kind of fool mourns the loss of a season?  Fall is here and summer will be back, although maybe not as quickly as I would like.  But I don’t want to make the mistake of wishing away the present moment for love of the warmer past or future.  It’s time to bid farewell to summer, and say hello to fall.

Goodbye sleeping in until seven.  Goodbye pajamas until lunchtime.  Goodbye sounds of splashing and squealing and “CANNONBALL!”  Goodbye endless laundry loads of towels and wet swimsuits on the floor.  Goodbye beer in the can holder of my ”mommy’s float.”  Goodbye beer belly (I hope).   Goodbye red, succulent tomatoes.  Goodbye okra and lady peas and pink eyed peas and green tomatoes.  Goodbye listening to “Call me maybe” and “We are young” in the jeep on the way home from swim team.  Goodbye applying sunscreen.  Goodbye “where are my goggles?”  Goodbye afternoon movies – Pippi Longstocking, Mary Poppins, How to Train your Dragon, Star Wars, Superman, Ghostbusters.  Goodbye late bedtimes for the kids.  Goodbye hot, humid days like a damp blanket – I really will miss you.  Goodbye wave of heat hitting my face as I leave the grocery store.  Goodbye warm breeze while driving in the jeep.  Goodbye leg sweat when I am at a long stoplight.  Goodbye piles of laundry that never get put away.  Goodbye kitchen that barely gets cleaned before it’s time to eat again.  Goodbye toys in every single room every moment of every day.  Goodbye constant noise.  Goodbye nowhere to go.

Hello 6 AM.  Hello bus stop.  Hello driving up and down Robinson Rd, again and again and again.  Hello school lunches.  Hello signing test papers.  Hello clean kitchen.  Hello silent mornings and crazy afternoons.  Hello office.  Hello blog.  Hello ironing board.  Hello treadmill and hand weights.  Hello yoga mat.  Hello uninterrupted showers.  Hello to at least the chance of a few rooms being toy-free for a few hours a day.  Hello dinner time, bath time, bed time.  Hello homework, math facts and spelling quizzes.  Hello time with just EK and time with just Woody.  Hello dance studio and carpool line and allergy office.  Hello gas station.  Hello marveling at the speed in which my kids are learning and growing.  Hello football.  Hello hoodie.  Hello shoes.  Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Maybe the shoes can wait until winter.

 

My kids

It occurred to me at the end of the summer that it’s been a while since I took any “portrait-y” pics of my own kids.  I’d like to say that it was as pleasant an experience as the pictures imply.  It wasn’t, though – there was a lot of whining, slouching and frowning.  This is why I could never home school.  Anyway, the little monsters did let me capture a few good ones, as well as the not-so-happy ones at the end.

And I almost forgot… I wanted to share a snippit of a conversation I overheard the kids having the other day:

Woody: Sissy, do you know who is my best friend in the whole world?

EK: (sigh, pause) who?

Woody: YOU!…and mommy and daddy.

EK: Who is your favorite of all?

Woody: You! (then, after a pause) Sissy, I’m just gonna come over here and give you a hug.

EK: (after the hug)  Woody, what you said about me made me feel really good.  Thank you.

 

No kidding – it really happened.  At times like those, the rest of the shenanigans feel worth it.

Pinkalicious Pool Party

For those of you who have been living under a rock, or at least not around a little girl much in the last several years, allow me to tell you about a little book called “Pinkalicious.”  It’s about a little girl that loves pink and one day she eats a whole bunch of pink cupcakes.  And then magically she turns pink.  Her parents are appalled but she is thrilled.  “My hair was the color of raspberry sorbet.  I cried because I was so beautiful.”  Anyway, it’s a great book and, needless to say, it’s been read more than a few times around here.  So this year for Ella Kathryn’s birthday, she decided to have a pool party and we settled on a pinkalicious theme.  It was so girly and so fun.  We had lots of pink sweets (although the ruby red grapefruits were more orange than red), drank pink lemonade, and the girls swam around on pink noodles.  Oh, and Andy did an encore of his performance from EK’s fourth birthday, letting the girls throw water balloons at him until he fell into the pool.  Everything else paled in comparison.