Summer Fair Version 2.0

     Oy! The past week has been crazy! We have an exciting announcement to make that's been in the works pretty intensely in the past week, but we'll have to wait a week & a half to officially announce it/ not jinx it! In the meantime, we'll just share with ya what's been in the works over here. 

     In the past week we've had a good amount of client consultations and a few more wedding contracts out to clients! We've also booked a few more Engagement Sessions and are very excited to photograph those. We have the locations and props chosen, so at this point we just wait for the shoot dates to arrive. We'll share a new Engagement Session with ya next week, but at the moment we're getting a few sets of clients' Engagement Session print orders together as well as editing a couple videos and all of the other good stuff that goes on in the back end of the photo business. It's not all taking photos and running off to fun locations-! A good 90% of the job is editing, communicating with clients, booking shoot dates, getting contracts signed, keeping our 4 web platforms updated with new photos, building new things on the website, keeping cameras and technology updated, and meetings. We must buy our own camera gear, have it checked/ updated, and fully book our own clients, so we really have to stay on top of everything at all times. 

        For now we'll leave ya with some photos from a fair we went to last week: The Elkhart County Fair in Elkhart, Indiana. We actually didn't spend any money on rides this year since at one of the 3 fairs last year in Indiana and California we got pretty bruised and banged up riding them all many times. Once a year we actually go to a cheap theme park solely for the rides, so we're good on that for the year. 

     The Elkhart County Fair right off the bat had something really cool: A butterfly garden! You could walk into a netted tent with a sugary sponge and coax butterflies to come sit on you and drink some sugar water. It was pretty amazing and we stayed in there a long time!

     Being a fair put on by the local chapter of 4-H meant that the fairgrounds were filled with a wide array of livestock and other animals.  The Elkhart fair had one of the most diverse selection of animals and animal-related sights we've seen.  All types of animals from gigantic draft horses to cows, goats, pigs, and even llamas filled the barns around the fairgrounds.  The fair also included a touring "alligator tamer" named Kachunga who performed a short display that showed off a few techniques on taming an alligator and shared a few facts about the animals and Native American traditions.  At the end of the show Kachunga even pulled out a rare albino crocodile (only 100 in the United States) and allowed members of the crowd to take photos with it.

This beautiful specimen of a llama took a few moments to pose next to a fan and let her hair blow just like the beautiful model she is.

This beautiful specimen of a llama took a few moments to pose next to a fan and let her hair blow just like the beautiful model she is.

     Yet another amazing animal themed event was that of the Cat Costume Contest.  In this contest members of 4-H and their pet cats donned their best Disney themed costumes and took to the arena. Little to our surprise, most of the cats featured in the show were less than enthused to be dressed in their amazing tiny costumes.  Highlights include the broom and Mickey Mouse from Fantasia, Sully and Mike from Monsters. INC, Cinderella complete with horse drawn carriage & fairy cat godmother, and our personal favorite Rafiki and Simba from the Lion King. We enjoyed the Cat Costume Competition so much that we have decided that our cat Kevin must have a costume for this upcoming Halloween!

     The final bit of animal-related adventure for the day occurred during the Flying Star Rodeo event (the biggest annual rodeo in Indiana-!).  While it was quite exciting to watch people attempt to ride the bucking broncos, there is something to be said about the rodeo experience.  Overall the few hours we spent watching the rodeo went on in spurts of 10 seconds of riveting entertainment followed by 5 minutes of non-stop talking by the announcer and clown.  We did manage to get a few decent photos before we grew bored of the non-stop monologues of the announcer.

     We only made it half way through the rodeo before we decided to go back and enjoy the other sights of the fair.  Seeing as nightfall had now come we decided to take some time to admire the many lights and sounds of the carnival midway.  We snapped a few photos of the motion and colors of the lights, but did not ride anything at this fair.  We instead opted to put a few dollars toward some orders of "decadent" fair cuisine including deep fried peanut butter and bacon balls, a chocolate chicken dessert, and a funnel cake battered bacon on a stick.

     For those of you in the South Bend/ Mishawaka/ Granger/ Southern Michigan area, the Cass County Fair in Cassopolis, MI is this week and lasts until Sunday night (Aug 6th). The Cass fair is the smallest of the St. Joe County/ Elkhart/ Cass 4H fairs, but can cost as little as $3 to get in with a coupon we found-! You can grab the coupons in Vlasicak's Meat Market in Cassopolis or pay the $6 entry fee. They mainly accept cash and included in this fair are also the Alligator wrestler (Kachunga who we'd seen at the other fair), free Lumberjack shows (including water log rolling, speed sawing, etc.), and other fun things! (We actually went in to purchase 3 rare plants for our home which are really amazing and not pictured here.)