Every wall is a door

“Every wall is a door.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

As many of you know by now, I am currently enrolled as a student at the Defense Information School located at FT. Meade, Maryland for a second MOS (Combat Camera) for the Army Reserves.

Our Basic Still Photography class is over and we are now, almost halfway done with Video. We have learned quite a bit and we have been busy. (I will upload photos from class and new images very soon. I promise!) We have PT every morning Monday through Friday.

I ripped my my left gastroc (calf muscle) during PT on May 12, 2014. I began a sprint and immediately felt what, feels like a “charlie horse” in my  calf, but, one that would not release… pretty painful.

I couldn’t put any body weight on my left leg and my leg immediately swelled and turned blue and purple, purple happens to be my favorite color, not so much in this case.




I was on crutches briefly, then a tall walking boot, I met with a specialist for therapy and I feel much better and have begun working out, specifically lifting weights again, but, only with my upper body. I cannot jog or run until September 2014.

I was intially pretty disappointed and upset with myself. Injuries are always unexpected, frustrating, inconvenient and annoying. Before this injury, I was seeing results in my running time, I had made running a focus the last few months here at school and I was getting faster, I was proud of myself and excited.

After hitting what felt like a wall with this injury, I realized I needed to focus on what I can do, not, what I cannot do. My upper body is already looking and feeler stronger and leaner than it has in quite awhile. I was forced to change my programming, training and nutrition.  Sometimes, things truly do happen for a reason.

I suspect, this time healing, resting my lower body and cleaning up my diet more will only make me and my calf stronger in the end. This may be my door.


A surprise gift from my deployed groom. It instantly made my day, the smallest gestures always mean so much.


If we did not have struggle, we would never learn to fight… and win.

Please, never stop looking for your door.

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for new galleries very soon, I promise, bio and contact information.

Love is all around

Love is all around.

Recently,  I was able to take a 6 day leave and my trip home was amazing and relaxing in every way.

I packed my brand new Canon 5D Mark 3, but, chose to live in the moment during my trip visiting my mother and my monsters and never used it.

On my way home I spotted this adorable little girl her sweet family. The family was kind enough to allow me take some photos of them for practice.





Love is, truly all around us. All we have to do is look for it.

These are uncropped, unedited and shot in manual mode.

Please visit http://www.tracymckithernphotography.com
for more galleries,  bio and contact information.

Path to rebirth

Path to rebirth.

In Buddhism, death is not the end of life, death is simply a path to rebirth.

As many of you know, my groom and I started our photography business in the summer of 2011. I had never taken a class, work shop or had any formalized education in photography before this. I
picked up a DSLR camera one day, fell in love with the entire process of it, received support from my groom and as they say, the rest is history.

My groom deployed to Afghanistan in December 2013, I headed to Fort Meade, Maryland to obtain a 2nd MOS, 25 V Combat Camera,  in the United States Army in January 2014.

The Defense Information School
(DINFOS) located in Fort Meade, Maryland is where I attended Basic Still Photography (BSP) and soon Video Production Documentation (VPD).

My time (8 months total) at DINFOS has been one of the best experiences in my life. The fast paced course requires us to shoot in manual mode with manual focus.

I felt a lot of stress and frustration and felt many “deaths.” I wanted to give up, luckily I never did. In the end, I am happy, grateful and proud to announce that I graduated BSP yesterday.

BSP ends with a final project called a Photo Story, it is a culmination of everything we  have learned in the course to include captions following the Associated Press and Department of Defense style guides, I ended up with the highest grade in the class for our final photo story.

I will share much more in future blogs. For now, this is my final photo story in the 12 X 33 Web Gallery Format.


The images in this gallery.






Life has a way of challenging us and pushing us to our breaking points, we each often suffer many “deaths.”

Buddhist or not, these deaths, I believe, are merely a path to rebirth.

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Destruction < Love

I rescued Sweet Pea about 30 days or so after I met my groom, over 5 years ago.

I was single and living alone and looking for a blue heeler. I heard about a Chihuahua breeder who was drowning puppies that were not the best of the litter. A friend of a friend’s friend broke in and saved a few.

I fell in love at first sight, she was just under 3 pounds and scared of everything.

This was taken a few days ago.


Eaten by Sweet Pea:

2 of Wes’s belts
2 of Tracy’s flip flops
$5 of Wes’s ( we were dating )
Toothbrush of Wes’s
Favorite black tee of Tracy’s
Kitchen table leg
Ottoman leg
Sleeping bag
Bed sheets
Carpet, new apartment rental
Bed sheets
Apple iphone charger of Tracy’s

My groom and I rescued Whiskey Tango from a local  shelter about 9 months ago.

We were looking to adopt a kitten as we live in an apartment. On the second visit to the shelter after not finding any kittens, my groom suggested we simply save a life.

We found Whiskey, about 8 pounds with 3 gorgeous looking litter mates. They had been found in a parking lot, local children were throwing rocks at them, they were believed to be about 4 weeks old. She was the ugliest one, so, I felt like we should adopt her, because I felt like no one else would. She was scared of everything, still is.

This was taken a few days ago.

What Whiskey has eaten:

Headphones, 1 each of ours
Wes’s eyeglasses ( both pairs )
TV plug
TV remote
Carpet in living room
Bed pillow
Dog bed ( her own )
Fabric on living room chairs
Window blinds in bedroom
Beach towels – 2
Flip flops – 4 different pairs
Laces on Wes’s running shoes
Tracy’s favorite black shirt
Strap on Wes’s assault pack ( it previously survived 2 tours in Irag )
Wes’s work socks – 4 pairs
Washing machine part
Ottoman leg
Bathroom rugs

As you can easily see, the material and monetary destruction has been substantial. But, our love for them is far greater. We would easily go without anything for them. They are each a part of our family. And, what is a little destruction between family?

Please rescue, foster and adopt when you can.

Just too happy

Recently, I photographed a couple who touched my heart. They are 2 CrossFitters I used to work out with. Both are are really fit and really strong, I used to view them as warriors.

They are getting married today and I cannot think of a better match made anywhere. Here are some of my favorites from their engagement session.



I asked him to pretend to propose again, for this photo… he literally proposed again. ( huge smile )








Clint had the idea to use the plaques as a mug shot, looking sad about his future.



Catia just could not do it, she was just too happy!

Please visit www.tracymckithernphotography.com for the rest of this gallery, more galleries, bio and contact information.

Love is greater

My groom has deployed, he left almost 3 weeks ago. We knew it was going to happen for several months, that did not make it easier. For all the planning and celebrating of life together we did before he left, it was still devastating when he left.

If you google, you will find various known deployment emotional stages. I have no idea what stage I am in or what order, but, I do believe our love and marriage will be stronger when this is over. We both make a point of communicating as often as we can and so far it has been quite a bit.

Here are some photos I took of us before he left.




For those of you who have gone through this already, we thank you for your sacrifices and service. For those of you going through this now, we believe


please visit www.tracymckithernphotography.com for more galleries, bio and contact information.

How she rolls

We live in Ausin, Texas, one of the reasons we live here is because it is a dog friendly city. Our dogs are both rescues and they travel with us as often as possible.

At some point during errands and road trips I found my place.


Correct, I ride in the back seat.





Truth be told, I wouldn’t have it any other way, this is simply how Whiskey Tango rolls, she rolls very happily and contently.

Please rescue, foster and adopt when you can, the back seat is quite comfortable 🙂

Please visit http://www.tracymckithernphotography.com/ for more galleries, bio and contact information.

Our yellow ribbon

Together forever and never apart. Maybe in distance, but never in heart.

My groom is expected to deploy soon and we have what amounts to less than a cumulative week together over the next few months until he leaves our country.

We met November 1, 2008, since that day we have spent most of our free time together. As with most families who have lived through this, it will be a hard time for us.

I have a small series planned for us to remember this time in our lives. Here are the first two images.



As with most military families, we must remember that the time will pass, we will be together soon and the reasons we will be apart are worth it.


Please visit http://www.tracymckithernphotography.com/ for more galleries, bio and contact information.

Furlough smurlogh

As I mentioned in my last blog, the government shut down is negatively effecting countless families to include my own.

We planned to take a trip just before my groom began a few weeks of army training specifically to enjoy eachother before he left for weeks.

The day before our trip, he learned the training was cancelled due to the government shut down. We paniced as this meant more, no pay for us, but, we drove on. ( pun intended )

We drove to Courpus Christi Beach with our monsters. Here are some moments I captured.










It was hard to fully relax and enjoy our trip because we were and are still worried about the effects of the furlough. But, furlough smourlough we all have eachother hope and


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Some things may change but we always start and end with family.

The government shutdown is negatively affecting countless families financially, including ours. So many soldiers are not getting paid or receiving their benefits. Orders are changing and soldiers are losing school slots and missions. It is easy to give up in a time like this. Please do not. Things have a way of working out.

When times get challenging I always think and say to myself and others, “Things could be worse. Look on the bright side, look at how much you have.” In our case, my groom and I have each other and our 2 monsters.

We recently took a trip to South Padre Island, here are some of my favorite images of my family.










Some things may change but we always start and end with family.