Thursday, June 28, 2012

Superheroes sleep too | Fayetteville, NC Photographer

I dunno if you guys know this or not, but my son LOVES anything superheroes. But he especially love the Avengers. He's loved every movie that came out before the movie as well, his favorite being Captain America (which so happens to mine too). But ever since the Avengers came out, he is starting to lean towards Hawkeye. Why? I don't know. Hawkeye isn't even that prevalent in the movie, and half the movie he's a bad guy. I dunno, it has to be the fact that he has a sweet bow with amazing arrows. It has to be.

Anyway, my son has every Avenger toy imaginable (minus a Hawkeye costume, which isn't made in stores, which means I'm going to have to get creative). He loves dressing up in both of his Captain America Halloween costumes — sometimes both at the same time. Why does he have two Capt. A costumes? Well, see, I refuse to buy store bought Halloween costumes. In my opinion, they're cheap, cheesy, and chintzy. So, I bribed persuaded my son to dress as the WWII Capt. A from the movie for trick or treating (and costume contests) and he could wear the store bought one to daycare. I lucked out and he agreed. Well, months later, he's still playing with both costumes. I loves dressing up. But to my defense on the 3C comment about store bought costumes, it is cheesy and it is falling apart. The costume I made him ... is in perfect condition (minus the wear and tear of him LOVING it so much). Just saying.

Wow, I'm getting off subject a lot here. Back to why I'm posting a blog! Last night, as I was going in his room to check on him before I headed to bed (and give him a kiss on the cheek - a nightly tradition), I almost killed myself tripping over his toys next to his bed. You see, he isn't allowed toys in the bed at night, so he "secretly" plays with them on the carpet as he leans over the bed. I noticed that everything surrounding him, minus his Wall-E comforter, was superheroes. I smiled and thought, "Oh how cute, even superheroes have to sleep sometime." Thus, my picture below! :-)

He's a cutie, isn't he? Just for fun, lemme post other superhero themed shoots (and personal family photos) I've gotten of him!

Here is his costume that I made for Halloween. He LOVED it, and I'm glad cause after all, I did bribe persuade him.

I took this pic for a photo challenge ... it was supposed to be of hand. Well, what better than snapping a shot of my boy playing with his Avenger Legos?!
Yep. I made a superhero birthday cake for his superhero birthday.
I even got in the action for Halloween and was Black Widow
 He looks so happy for winning the costume contest doesn't he? "Look ma, I got a medal. Cool." LOL Also, we got lucky enough to see a helicopter in one of the car lots here in October. I mean, how cool is that? He even say the sticker and said, "Mom! Avengers! It's the Avengers' helicopter!" I played along, ;-)

 I guess Bumblebee could be considered a superhero, right? When Dok was 3, he wanted to be Bumblebee. I've made his costume every year ... and I thought that year was going to be the year I broke down and bought a store costume. How the heck was I going to make a Bumblebee costume, "that transforms," my son said? Well, after almost breaking down four or five times at Walmart, and some A LOT or internet research, I figured out how to make a transforming Bumblebee Halloween costume. And can you believe it, he came in THIRD place at a Swampdogs (local baseball team) game. THIRD PLACE?! Boo, to that. But, winning isn't everything right? (sorta). He loved the costume and everyone who saw him in his costume and transform, loved it. It was a success.

Next few photos are taken with Instagram.
He's the one in the Ironman helmet. LOL He and his buddy from across the street playing, what else? The Avengers!
What? Captain America shops at Walmart ...

Well, for the opening of The Avengers, we went to the movie with our neighbors, who were just as excited as us. And I even made a T-Shirt for Dokken. Tutorial from the wonderful blog, I am Moma Hear me Roar, is HERE.

Last but not least, we had a fellow photographer, Amber, from Amber Fite Photography, take some family photos of us. And our outfits of choice? None other than the Avengers!

Fitting that his shirt says, "I want to be a superhero."
 Thank you for stopping by!!! Be sure to check back on the blog periodically for updates, specials, and image sharing!!!

 *** Please remember that all images are copyrighted to Sharilyn Wells Photography, LLC. Please do not copy or alter any images without SWP, LLC consent. ***

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Loving London | Normandy Trip | Fayetteville, NC Photographer

Well, ladies and gents ... I've finally finished editing my London pictures. PHEW! And that's only my select ones! I have a ton more to go for my personal use.

As you all know, I went to the U.S. Army sent me to Normandy. France ... horrible trip right?! ;-) LOL You can see the U.S. Army photos I took HERE. Before we headed to France to commemorate the D-Day events, we stopped in London to do a friendship jump with the 4th Para of the Royal Parachute Regiment. We also go to sightsee!

I've been to London before, but it was nice to share in the site with other Soldiers and show them THE places to go. We hit Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Parliament, the Tower of London, the "tube," Tower Bridge, a cute lil' pub, and more. The next day, I ventured off on my own to see other parts of London that I had never seen. I took a Beatles Tour and the tour guide also showed me some Harry Potter sights. I also took a haunted places tour too! I absolutely love London; every inch of it —the historical part, the "colorful" side, the dark side, the dirty side, and the busy side. It's just gorgeous.

Here are some of my photos! Enjoy!

First, these were taken on the drop zone of Salisbury Glen, the same drop zone that paratroopers practiced their mission before D-Day. Gorgeous right?!

 Here's Westminster Abbey ... can you find me? LOL Also, what's a trip to London without a picture of the Royal Guard? Though we visited Buckingham Palace, it was way to crowded to take a close enough pic of the guards .... so, at the Tower of London, I got this stone faced guard. 

  These are some shots of the Tower of London. Creepy hallways, steep, circular staircases, and what about that mask there? How would you like to prepare to get your head loped off and look up to see the executioner's mask is grinning at you?!

Totally digging those blue doors with the bright red of the guard and the flowers. Awesome right?! This was also at the Tower of London.

 Again, another staple of London, the Tower Bridge. Nope, not the London Bridge, the Tower Bridge. :-)
And of course, Big Ben!
Gorgeous right?! Parliament at night.

Sigh, so romantic. If only I had my loves with me!

 Some black and white street photography. Seriously, if I lived in London, I would never have to go on a hunt for places to shoot! There's so many amazing places to shoot here!

One of my favorites.

And showing my roots, I found my maiden name in a couple of places in London! A cute lil' pub and a street ... which sorta in a way, called me old! HA!

 These photos were taken during the hunted places tour I went on! Creepy right?! The tour guide took us through these little alleyways I would have never found on my own!
This is an area where Todd Sweeney got it's inspiration. Based on true events ... Sweeney would lure his victims to his barber shop, slit their throats, and drag them underground to this hidden door. Creepy!
Here's the newspaper article from true events!

I had to take a picture of this for my son. Do you guys know about Wizards of Waverly Place that used to be in the Disney Channel? OMG. When I saw this on my way to Abbey Road, I giggled to myself. Awesome.
Speaking of Abbey Road ... here's a blurry pic that a sweet tourist from Portugal took for me. LOL After watching her family take walking photos on Abbey Road, I tried to ask her if she wouldn't mind taking mine. Well, I don't speak Portuguese and she doesn't speak English. So after a few hand gestures, we got it. But she was lil' hesitant when she saw the big camera I handed her. I tried to make it as easy as possible by putting on auto ... but, well, you can see the outcome. At least I got a picture! LOL

These were a few of the stops from the Beatles tour. Left was a public toilet that John Lennon  did a skit, Not only... but also, in front of, and the building roof top is where the Beatles filmed a live concert!
Harry Potter train station! Platform 9 & 3/4! (I got a lil' stuck) LOL

 Another tourist with a big camera took this picture for me. I have to reiterate, that it's just as important to be in your photos that is to actually take the photos! You want to remember that you were there too, and not just seeing the world through your camera! Luckily, in the below picture, the lovely Beatles tour guide from Scotland offered to take a pic of me for my son.

Speaking of my tour guide, I wish I remembered her name, but she was awesome. She was fun, informative and when I asked her just to point out the Harry Potter stops (she does that tour as well, but I missed it), she offered to take me to a point that was near by! Awesome right?! Then she gave me precise directions on what subway to take to get to the train station wall and everything. Have I mentioned she's amazing?!
A place from the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, as Harry and the crew are fleeing the bad guys.
Well, there you have it. My trip to London in a few photos. I walked all over that city. I rode a tour bus all over that city. And I ate in a pub and even had a few drinks there as well. London was good to me, but the people were even better. Maybe the next place the Wells Family lives? Hm ... we'll see.

 *** Please remember that all images are copyrighted to Sharilyn Wells Photography, LLC. Please do not copy or alter any images without SWP, LLC consent. ***

Thursday, June 14, 2012

D-Day Rememberance | Normandy, France | Fayetteville, N.C. Photographer

As you all know, I had the privilege to go to Normandy, France a week or so ago. My Army Reserve training came up, and surprise! I got this great opportunity! Pretty awesome if you ask me. Besides the non-stop working and the military craziness I had to put up with, I had a blast. To be where so many heroes shined, to walk where so many heroes died, and to honor those still alive today; it was awesome. I met so many wonderful veterans with incredible stories, I feel as though I need to share with you. And apparently, I'm an ol' veteran magnet. I just wanted to shake their hands and thank them, they would hug me and wrap their arm around me and try to take me away! I love these stories that I'm about to share!

So, grab your coffee, sit back and be prepared to be amazed!

(All [with the exception of one] photos are U.S. Army Photos by (yours truly) Staff Sgt. Sharilyn Wells. They are not considered SWP, LLC and are free for use to the public. No copyrights are on these photos. But if you use, please give me credit).

First, we were in England doing a "practice" jump onto Salisbury Glen, just like the paratroopers 68 years ago did prior to jumping into Normandy on D-Day

Happy paratroopers on the flowery field of Salisbury Glen!
This is Curtis Phillips. Look at his hat, sure tells a story right? Curtis is a D-Day veteran with the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, listens to a speaker during a memorial ceremony at Picauville, France, June 1.
Another WWII hero and Purple Heart recipient, Tech Sgt. Milt Staley, from the 359th Regiment, 3rd Battalion, 90th Division, salutes during a memorial ceremony at Picauville, France.
The bodies of thousands of U.S. Soldiers lay at peace at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, overlooking Omaha Beach.
This photo and the two above are from the German Cemetery. See how the dark stone subdues the grave makers? And how dark their cemetery is compared to the American Cemetery? It's like the Germans are still remorseful for what happened 68 years ago. I absolutely loved this cemetery, I was digging the dark stone and to see the ceremony there with German soldiers ... just awesome.
Colleen Clancy shows off her father's combat airborne wings while visiting Utah Beach, France, June 2. Clancy's father, John Clancy, was a medic with the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, the only unit to participate in four combat jumps during WWII — Sicily Italy, D-Day, Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge. This photo tells so much! It was such an honor to talk with Colleen and hear her stories about her father. To think, he went through all that to die of lung cancer 3 years ago due to smoking. Crazy.
Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Duane (Pinky) Pinkston talks with U.S. Soldiers of Task Force 68 at Utah Beach, France, June 2. Pinky, was a medic in the 82nd Division during WWII. Pinky, what a guy. He served with Colleen's dad and she even shared a photo of the two of them during the war. Pinky even gave me a picture of him in his uniform. Absolutely awesome.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Malachi J. Fields)  Major Jack Port a veteran of World War II stormed Omaha Beach with the 4th Infantry Division on June 6, 1944 speaks to U.S. Army and British Paratroopers from various airborne units as they visit Pointe Du Hoc during the 68th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, Normandy, France, May 31, 2012. Jack Port was amazing. He was the first vet we ran into (I know bad order of photos), but he was. He just captivated everyone when he told his story of Utah beach. And when I thanked him, he said, "It's an honor and thank you for your service." I mean really? Here's a true hero and he's thanking me! I was blown away.
This should be a familiar face for all you Fort Bragg people! Here's the original Iron Mike on the La Fiere fields where hundreds of paratroopers jumped, or intended to jump, onto just before the storming of the beaches. Some paratroopers were more than 20 miles of their mark and landing in the small town of Ste. Mere-Elgise.
He is a little shorter and skinnier than our statue here on Fort Bragg ... and a little younger, but with all American things, we go big or go home!
The whole mission of the trip was for our paratroopers to jump onto La Fiere to commemorate the airborne operations on D-Day, 1944. But with the winds gusting over the recommended 14 knots, only a few got out of the birds. Some of the guys got hurt and some were bummed about not jumping, but all were in awe when they saw the parachutes in the sky.
D-Day veteran, John Perozzi, 82nd Airborne Division, talks with active duty 82nd Abn. Div. Soldiers after a ceremony that commemorated the La Fiere, Ste. Mere Eglise, WWII and D-Day events, June 3. Mr. Perozzi was honored in a ceremony on La Fiere. He received the French Merit of Honor ... super cool. He's family was holding him the whole time, he looked frail and weak, but the second 82nd Abn. Div. paratroopers circled him, he was just as feisty and funny as I'm sure he was back in the day. He was one of the vets who spotted me in a sea of men and grabbed me and hugged me.
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Jacobs, U.S. Army Civil Affiars & Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) commanding general, shakes hands with WWII and D-Day veteran, John Perozzi, 82nd Airborne Division, after a ceremony honoring him and other WWII veterans, June 3. The gentleman next to Perozzi is Henry "Duke" Boswell, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment another hero who jumped 4 times in WWII. I'm telling you, true American Heroes! (and how about that fisheye lens? I may have to break down and buy one! LOL)
This little boy kept staring at me as I tried to get his picture. How cute is he? He's gonna be a good looking man when he grows up! He's dressed in WWII garb ... no joke, everyone at Ste. Mere-Eglise was dressed up in either military WWII garb or 1940's garb. It was like the town stepped back in time. It was incredible!
The 4th Para, The Royal Parachute Regiment, are British soldiers from Task Force 68 stand in formation during a D-Day commemorative ceremony, June 5. Everywhere we went, the British were with us. It was great to share this journey with the 4th Para. They were hilarious and briefed us on some of the battlefields in which England had a role in during WWII. We made some great friendships.
These two ladies have to be my favorite veterans that I met. They are so cute and tiny (literally, they're like 4 feet tall).
Right to left: Dorothy and Ellan Levitsky, WWII veterans, salute during the National Anthem at a plaque dedication for them, June 4. Dorothy and Ellan Levitsky, are sisters and WWII nurses who were located at a hospital in Bolleville, France during the war. The not only cared for our soldiers and the Allied soldiers, but cared for over 20 German prisoners of war!  The Levitsky's were made honory Bolleville citizens in the dedication ceremony. "We thank you for all of this, but really, we were just doing what we were told to do — our jobs," said Ellen, 92 years old. Dorothy is 95 years old.But shhhh... Dorothy told me not to go spreading around their ages! ;-)
This bouquet was from one of the many ceremonies I attended. It was the Germans' bouquet. Pretty right? I HAD to snap a picture.
Sgt. Major Michael Kreiberg, U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), marches Task Force 68 through the streets of Carentan France, June 4.What a backdrop right?!
Fred Morgan, D-Day veteran who was with the 82nd Airborne Division as a medic during WWII, talks with active duty Soldiers about his experiences in the war. One story that was shared was when he was helping a fellow Soldier on the battlefield and a Nazi tank rolled up on them. "I thought for sure we were dead," said Moragan. "But he popped his head out, looked at me, looked at (the injured Soldier), and went back inside and continued on his way." Morgan, who was a staff sergeant in the war, was later commissioned. He got out of the Army and joined the Air Force, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He is 90 years old.
On June 6, Task Force 68 walked through the battle fields of La Fiere and learned about the heroic acts of the men who captured the bridge of La Fiere, ultimately allowing for the landings of the beaches of Normandy to succeed.
WWII veterans run into to each other at the Iron Mike statue on the La Fiere battlefield on June 6. Here, they are teasing Henry "Duke" Boswell, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, bottom left, for being the "baby" of the group at age 86. I absolutely loved seeing these guys meet. Every time a bunch of vets got together the first 3 questions asked were, "Who were you with?" "Where were you?" and "How old are you?" LOL, I loved it. These guys were a hoot and the man (I can't believe I forgot his last name) in the blue jacket and baseball hat, Dave, tried to take me home. Too funny. I love these guys.
Task Force 68 Soldiers attended a memorial ceremony for D-Day veterans in Hermanville, France, June 6. Even with pouring rain, the Soldiers paid their respects to the heroes of WWII.Task Force 68, which is made up of paratroopers from the U.S., Germany, France, Holland, and the United Kingdom, is in Normandy, France to commemorate the 68th annivesary of D-Day.
WWII veterans try to cover themselves as a sporatic downpour happens in the middle of a memorial ceremony in honor of them and their fellow Soldiers' sacrifices during WWII. Task Force 68 Soldiers attended a memorial ceremony for D-Day veterans in Hermanville, France, June 6.

I'm going to end with this photo because it has a lot of meaning. Through rain and cold weather, our soldiers stood proud because through rain and cold weather, our soldier 68 years ago gave their all to help a country at war. A lot of good men died on the shores, the fields and the towns of Normandy, but the gratitude that is given to our guys, it's amazing.

To see more Army photos from the trip visit: Flickr

I will be posted my personal photos soon. :-)

(All [with the exception of one] photos are U.S. Army Photos by (yours truly) Staff Sgt. Sharilyn Wells. They are not considered SWP, LLC and are free for use to the public. No copyrights are on these photos. But if you use, please give me credit).