Love and Happiness is Often Unscripted!

When I first started in photography, I specialized in children and families.  After a couple of crazy Christmas seasons I quit all together because the stress of families getting that perfect Christmas Card photo became too much.  It didn't matter what it took to get that perfect shot, it was all about the presentation to the world of who they were.

In recent years, I have revisited family sessions on occasion in support of my giving campaigns to adoption, police and military. It was scary the though of doing it again until I realized that my purpose had changed.  No longer, was it my goal to capture that perfectly posed family portrait.  Instead, now, it is about telling the story of a family or capturing the personality of its members.

This was an unscripted quick capture moment.  I was changing lenses, looked up and saw this natural moment happening.  THIS is a family and THIS is joy!

 

Suddenly, I have found so much joy in these sessions - simply encouraging families to embrace who they are and capture these special moments for no one else but themselves!  I see joy, playfulness and happiness in these moments and I enjoy them because no longer do I worry about shot lists and posing.  Instead it is simply about following THEIR journey and documenting who they are together.

Sometimes, a single perfect portrait of a child simply does not capture how wonderfully adorable they are!  Instead - let them BE and simply watch.  This time passes so quickly!

Frank is a Sexy Beast

Every time I visit my favorite museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, I must always take a visit to see my favorite painting by Chuck Close called 'Frank'.  If you have ever been there, I promise you have seen it.  It is a large painting that is seen through many hallways appearing as a photograph, until you inspect it closer and realize it is a painting.

Chuck close is not only one of my favorite artists for his paintings, but also his realistic approach to photography.  A style that strips down the facade and simply shows a connection between the soul of the subject and the eye of the photographer.

#thisbody was made to shine through

I have been a big girl for many years.  It rarely seems to matter in my world. I live a rich beautiful life full of love, success and happiness.  Yes, it would be fun to be smaller and healthier, but I have never let this body stop me from doing anything and everything I wanted to do and be.

I really like this ad campaign if for no other reason it shows us that the body is only a shell for all the magic, passion and life that we are destined to be.

It is the simple joys!

Find your joy and live freely in it!

Lately, I am delighted with a world full of wonderfully awesome and eccentric people.  Those who smile, laugh and dance freely, simply embracing the human spirit and moments of joy.  Whenever I need a smile, I simply revisit these videos and I am instantly elevated and ready to dance and smile.

Okay, this one is a commercial, but still!  I LOVE IT!

Don't Take Life So Seriously!

No matter where life takes you, it is always such a great thing when you can sit back and simply laugh.  Enjoy your success but remember that you weren't always so polished and perfect!

I adore it when people like Tom Hanks or Keven Bacon simply go with it!  Remembering why we fell in love with them and why it is efforts like we see below that continue to make us do so.

Enjoy!

I Understand What Men See

Have you ever heard a man say he prefers to see you in the morning?  Often before you have had the chance to put on your makeup, do your hair, etc.  If you are a woman, then you most definitely have and, if you are like me, you looked at him like 'are you crazy'?  My makeup makes me beautiful.

Watching this video today, I get it.  Seeing these women look so natural and free, it was like seeing the real them.  Yes, they were all beautiful all made up.  But when they stripped away the makeup, false lashes and hair, I realized I could see THEM.  Each uniquely beautiful with flaws and character that made them so much more engaging.

I hope that I can learn to see that in myself and not hide behind the facade of what beauty really is.  Relish in the things that what people see in you, what they like in you, rarely has to do with the makeup on your face!

The Last Time

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before, 
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.

You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.

One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.

One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.

So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them
and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time.

-Author Unknown-

To my beloved kiddos who have given me so many beautiful last times.

You will always bring beautiful chaos, loud voices, messy rooms, and wonderful imperfections that make you all so absolutely perfect.

6 Photographers, 1 Man, 6 Perspectives

'A photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what is in front of it.'

 

I love this idea.  Though in truth we as photographers always try to capture the essence of the people we photograph, the reality is that we all bring a bit of ourselves and our perspectives to every shoot we do.  

I saw this video today and instantly fell in love as it so freely reflects the way the things my clients tell me affect the way in which I capture them and what results in their final images.

Looking into your future together

What changes when a young couple, about to marry, gets the chance to see one another aged 70 years?

It may sound like a dramatic movie plot, but that's exactly what happened to this engaged couple. With the help of makeup and prosthetics, they were able to see each other in their 50s, their 70s and finally in their 90s.

So, what changed? Everything and nothing at all.

I cannot imagine anything more beautiful than looking into a future together - one simply told by the lines on their face, the gray in one's hair and the same soulful eyes you have loved all your life.  What a fun and beautiful experience for an engaged couple to share!

Let Our Own Light Shine

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

~ Marianne Williamson

(Marianne Williamson is a spiritual activist, author, lecturer and founder of The Peace Alliance, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation currently before Congress to establish a United States Department of Peace)

Music Always Motivates!

Whenever I am about to sit down for an editing session, I first put on a movie or music that will help set the tone and move me in the way I need to feel creative.  Today, I was working on an editorial and stumbled across this song that randomly hit my playlist.

It reminded me just how much I enjoyed the movie Crash and that maybe tomororw, I'll find my way home.  (Not a big fan of the video, but after watching the movie, it is a beautiful tone to end on.)