Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Pity Party That Didn't Go So Well...and Then My Crock Pot Died

I would like you all to know I held myself a pity party last week and NONE of you came! Not one.
I'm a fairly positive person (though I have discovered my inner cynic, more on that in a second), so when I have a couple of days where I just feel "off" I don't know what to do.  
The pity party was a nice display of selfish feelings, sadness and good old fashion grumpiness. I still can't believe you didn't want to come?

Beautiful Things In Ugly Place
That is the theme this year with my senior clients and models.  It began with our fashion show and in the past two weeks we have photographed beautiful young women in some not so beautiful or at least dark places.  Everything will be released in the coming weeks and I hope you will soak them up for whatever reason hits you.  The theme took on huge meaning this week. 

In the midst of my pity party my roommate and life long college friend Lacey posted an article that left me unable to sleep. Ironically a good friend from my church sent me the link within minutes of the original post. It was ugly friends. It left me sad and my pity party went into uglier places.  I'll post the link below but I do warn you, you will feel burned and if you are having a pity party it will make you feel stupid for feeling sorry for yourself.  9, that is the number.

What Does This Have To Do With Photography?
This will sound all artsy, but photography is emotive for me.  I can't create if I can't feel or if my feelings are low and I'm frustrated or super upset.  Those who earnestly creative beings will understand the stretching and angst and amazing highs and lows we go through. So, these past few sessions I had I allowed to be dark, I allowed to let my introverted, non-transparent self to stay for awhile and create and learn.  I learned so much, that I am a better photographer in this moment than I was last week.   I am better person. 

God's Gift Is You
The number 9 .  That is the age of young girls being bought and sold in the Middle East.  So, I read through some threads and everyone wants the answer to "what can you do?"  There's so much hurt and darkness in our world, what can you do? It's overwhelming.
I don't have the answer, but unless you have the resources to put together a sting operation of rescue we are left here to do one thing. Pray. 
After we learn what happens on our knees then we CAN do a few things:
In our dark world we can create beauty.  We can teach our children gratefulness instead of entitlement. We can smile at someone.  We can encourage someone. We can be thankful for this very moment. (yes even if it's a baby crying or a loved one dying). We can let our hearts ache for those babies in the Middle East and still laugh with our children before bedtime.  We Can.

My Crockpot Died
Yep, it's a good thing I stole my moms so I had an extra one.  Sometimes being a thief pays off. However, this week a girl from the capital region died from a fall while hiking with her friends and then someone I have known almost my whole life lost her battle with cancer and left her children and husband behind. I sunk a little deeper. Dark.  As I looked at her Facebook page there was nothing but smiles and posts stating over and over how gracious God is and how good. There was the beauty.  Her faith, her smile in the middle of the the battle of ugly.  She created beautiful and was bold of her relationship with God. Beautiful.   The sad part of all this and I was bummed this week, because I hit a big milestone in my work and honestly - it wasn't a big deal to anyone. Well, except to a few close people haha. Seriously, how lame am I? (I might erase that confession).  

All that to say:
My pity party is closed for visitation, even to myself as it didn't really pay off too well. I didn't get off Facebook entirely, I need it for work and my occasional scroll through. However I took it off my phone and I check it twice a day. My inner cynic was starting to become an ugly beast.  People and their postings, dear heavens,  insert eye rolls to the point of causing permanent damage.  So, I relinquish my scrolling and leave everyone to post without my "le sigh".  Because, today I will create beautiful in my words, in my children, in my world.  There is so much darkness, but we can all create beauty. We can.  We don't have to be photographers to create or be running underground sting operations, we can just be human beings who are fearfully and wonderfully made. Ps. 139:14. We Can.

For the article please click here:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wedding Photographer Confessions : What I really want to do with your dress

 I always find the first five minutes after arriving at the bridal suite on the day of the wedding is imperative.  I tend to leave camera's behind when I arrive and just take a few moments to acknowledge that I have walked into the inner sanctuary of a bride's friends and family.

The day has officially started: the photographer has arrived.

After the initial hellos I always ask permission to take the dress to have it photographed before the bride wears it.

Here's my confession:
I ALWAYS want to try it on. It's a fleeting thought, but oh just to see what it would like it.  I have joked with a few brides that that is what I am actually doing when I take the dress, but to this day I haven't. But oh the twirling!

I want to.

I do laugh. In reality could you imagine if the bride were to step out for a moment to see her photographer running around in her dress? me.  Once again, a funny thought only in my head.

But just one time...?

Well, I'm glad I got that off my heart. (Secretly all 2015 brides are staring wide-eyed at this blog) I assure you, I won't try your dress on.
just one time?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Most Precious Gift For Mother’s Day

The saddest moment of my job is when a bride or groom doesn't have a parent present on their wedding day due to death or strained relations.  It reminds me, we have one shot at this:

*Disclaimer: I know not everyone geographically can master this gift and I know family dynamics are not the same as my own so therefore, my blog is merely my thoughts for those that can.

They call me mom :)

Time. It’s such a simple word and it’s so so precious.
I write this as an adult who is mother and a daughter and there are millions of us out there balancing this crazy life.  How do you find the perfect gift? I don't know, every mom is different but there is one thing I feel most of them cherish. Time.

My own children are growing at lightning speed. Our obligations to schedules and middle school and friends and sports has grown by leaps and bounds. I laugh that I thought having toddlers was busy!  So time has become a precious commodity. I hope and pray my boys will also find time for me when they are grown.  I know there will come a day they will be away, they will have families and obligations and I will miss them dearly. I'll forever just want time with them. For those of us that can ( as adult children) spending time with your parents is a gift that only you can give.  It’s also a 
gift you can give your children.  

We are all so busy.  Busy eliminates time.  It’s been a big focus of mine this year with a business that has grown up and two kids doing the same, it’s been a learning experience to manage that time.  BUSY many times is a choice.    We can all take a small look at our lives and find a few things to let go of to make TIME more tangible.

INVITE: If you are an adult child, invite moms to be around, sometimes they just want to feel included in your busy life.  The intolerance of our older generation does make me sad.  I watch spouses struggle with their in-laws and children despise their parents and I am sad for them.  However, if it’s possible, invite your parents into your life and into the lives of your children if you have them. 
My bro with my mom and myself!

So Sunday will come and go and yes it’s one day.  One day to celebrate mom in whatever you way choose to celebrate.  If you can’t be there physically, I hope you make every effort to find time in the near future. Ask anyone who doesn’t have a mom to celebrate this year - how far would they drive or what would they pay to spend Mother’s Day together?  

As a mom, I love the cute gifts and hand made cards, but I LOVE knowing that Sunday I have my two little men with me. I will relish them and I’m sure at some point they will admit they love me too ;)

Drive. Call. Write. FaceTime. But give mom some time, it’s priceless. It can’t be bought, but it can be given.