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Archive for November, 2008

I realize thanksgiving is an american holiday, but the concept should be a humanitarian concept not nationality, a day to really stop and reflect how blessed we truly are. I think this may be especially true for americans, because honestly we are really spoiled, and we feel sorry for ourselves so often I think it a tragic character flaw. That is not to say that our sorrows do not cut us, or that we do not feel suffering, and that it may be grand in scale when compared to all other experiences in our lives, but still incomparable against other places in the world and souls that find hope in places we do not know the name of and could not find a trace of happiness in. I wonder how often we pause to find much deserved gratitude for the dirty dishes in the sink that attest that we had food today, for the piles of laundry that we are clothed, for the bills and nearly empty bank accounts that we have a home, electricity, plumbing… can anyone say, hooray for toilets? People keep complaining about our economy, about the lack of jobs and yet I hear those same unemployed people turn their noses up saying that they would never lower themselves to working in fast food or bagging groceries… or here’s my favorite: “I can’t survive/support my family on $8.00 an hour”… so don’t take the job because obviously it’s more honorable to not have a job at all, and not enough money is obviously worse than no money at all? Then these same people complain about immigrants ruining our country by stealing our jobs and working for nothing… because they have been places where there is no money to be made and people are starving, because they are humble enough to work hard for little return because where they are from this is an incredible gift, why do we have such a hard time seeing our blessings? I think we should each have to spend a month in a terrible place in the world. Not Iraq or afghanistan where war is publicized and the facts are bent and molded to fit the media’s spin on it and pull at our heart strings and wallets… I mean a really terrible war ridden 3rd world country at war with it’s neighboring entities, with itself, with no government, no aid, plagued by famine and disease with no resources to remedy any hardship or trial. No shelter, no nourishment, no joy, no peace, no promise of deliverence… I wonder how that would change the shape of our perceptions in our own life. If we would be better able to weather hardships knowing how our lives could be in the face of unspeakable hardship, if we would learn to be a bit more humble and remember to be grateful for our small blessings like the fact that we can walk, use our fingers, see. How about being grateful for every single time the baby wakes up in the middle of the night, is teething, or for every instance in our lives where someone we loved has irritated us, been insensitive, hurt us, infuriated us, or completely shattered and broken our hearts, because it is as simple as if we didn’t love them so much we wouldnt be affected.
I tend to pay attention to small moments in people’s mannerisms, a character flaw in some sense since I tend to tune out conversations I am supposedly participating in, at the same time I think these little shards of character I find are what helps me to find the threads that link their souls to the world through photographs I take of them. In the midst of one of these character observation trysts today between my daughter and her great great great aunt I realized children and the elder both tend to simplify faith. They believe in earnest and thus it is as they believe it to be. Their love their faith, their existence is sincere and simple. I suppose through our lives as we are met with opposition and disappointment, and people we love and trust fail us we become cynical, skeptical and disenchanted with life… I wonder why and when we regrain that innocence and awe with life. When we start to find wonder in the ordinary again, if there is a point where we stop and realize our lives are coming into the last chapters of existence and that makes us more appreciative in the same way that we were at the beginning of our lives because it was a novelty and everything was a new experience. I try very hard to remain conscious of my many blessings and how fortunate I am to have the liberty to consider those blessings a chore at times, I’d imagine at the end of life if we could look back and say we truly did understand the magnitude of all we had in life and how genuinely lucky we were that we would consider our life well lived and have no regrets for things unappreciated and people we loved deeply and neglected to express our complete humility for being bestowed with such wonderful lives…
a quick snap shot from today… I suppose a family portrait if you wanted to see more than just a face:

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Look how cute kids look in my studio:
Here is my little man “helping” in the studio today. He is just the cutest little thing ever, and my studio is starting to look so good! I am so psyched!

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My favorite moment from the day, running through the entourage of people throwing bird seed and good wishes as they make a break into whatever the rest of their lives will hold together… I love my Job! and I cant wait to get the studio in full swing so I can start shooting, I havent forgotten any of you that have asked about shooting, and the list is close to 50! which is good! Because that means I am making lots of boyfriends, husbands and girlfriends very happy for the holidays, and after investing all our money into the new house and a good chunk of my business funds into the new studio… I am definately appreciating the business!
Other than that a wedding image seemed like an appropriate choice for the evening since it’s my most recent shoot and since I booked 2 weddings today, and actually had to turn one down because I was already booked that weekend a year out… That is definately a nice thing to know that I have income coming in for 2009 and 2010 already… some times everything just works!

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If only we could always be beautiful and kind and compassionate for the world sensitive to each other’s insecurities and fears. It seems there is always a war raging within us to be strong enough to hold to our own convictions and yet be sensitive to the needs of others. Too much towards one makes us selfish, to the other extreme makes us meek and we tend to lose too much of ourselves in the midst of trying to please those whom we assume have opinions that matter, often forsaking our own opinions of self. An interesting dilemma I’ve come across as I’ve embarked in this artistic adventure of light writing. {By the way I love that the translation of photography is literally light writing.} I have met with quite a bit of opposition in this venture, and need to reiterate just how appreciative I truly am of my husband who not only has offered continuous words of encouragement for every effort I’ve made but has invested significant amounts of money into equipment that he bought like my lovely camera bag and the brand new Mac he wanted me to have that I was resisting buying because it was such a significant investment from my business account. Not to mention he’s probably put about 80 hours of work into my new studio space and as it develops it becomes more lovely and amazing then I could have anticipated it to be. Still I have had family and friends that have gotten married or are getting married and turned down free… FREE… wedding photography because the rest of my work of choice is a little to lewd, erotic, strange, or out there, I even had someone call it porn. I’ve had critics tell me it’s no good, skeptics say it could never be reliable income, and strangers insult me and my work. Girlfriends of people I’ve never met get jealous that their boyfriends enjoy my work, and stranglingly religious people insist I am corrupting the souls of the young women that model for me, objectifying them and endangering theirs as well as my own immortal soul, leading these poor creatures down the road of sin…. because of course it’s my fault they looked through all my albums of course.
I think any daring adventure that you are investing your time energy, and money in, sacrificing time with family, or really making the leap and leaving the job that provides stability in exchange for the chance to have a career that could provide a passion and financially sound existence. Still it’s so difficult to to build something of nothing but an adventurous notion and passion you have talent for, especially in being met with so much opposition from people expecting and even hoping for you to fail, mostly because they’ll never be brave enough to do the same. So it crossed my mind today perhaps the key is to tune out all those voices and realize in my circumstances the only voices that need be heard in terms of happiness with my work is that of myself and the client; and in terms of it as a career and passion, my own, my husband’s and my childrens’ feelings and effect as a result of this obsession of mine need be my only concerns.
Of course it’s easy to take beautiful photographs of beautiful people like Skweek, but then again I have yet to meet a client I have not thought beautiful… I suppose at times we simply need to be reminded of our own loveliness, and part of what makes me so good at this is that I see that in people naturally, and then enhance it with lighting, set, hair, make-up and wardrobe, as opposed to others trying to create some version of it. I love my family, love my husband, love my home… but photography has embraced and intensified the joy in my life so much, it has filled a void I did not know existed until I found it, and I hope I can convey that in my photographs.

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Sara is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, not only of those I know personally, but those I dont, celebrities and models included… It’s not just her appearance which is practically flawless in and of itself, it’s that “something” churning beneath the surface that she is able to rip from within and throw at a photographer, the thing we are always trying to capture, and models are always trying to express. I love photographing this girl. She is not only intoxicatingly sexy, but there is something almost mournful about her beauty, a broken kind of lovely that floods me with a melancholy wonder… like seeing a flower growing between the cracks of the concrete where it has absolutely no business being and yet you applaud it’s will to exist and be embraced by the warmth of the sun. Yes she stunning when she’s nude, and I got some killer photos of her through the course of seminars and random play dates, but there was something despondently wistful and gentle in this shot that spoke to me, so this is what you get. I think this would be very similar to what you would see if my soul were a photograph… I suppose each of us is waiting for …

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No lengthy musings today, went to the wonderful world of Mr. Scott Church today, hung out with some beautiful fun girls, took some beautiful fun photos, Sara rocks my world, and happy birthday Robin!
Got to bring along my sister in law for the festivities and got a free ticket to play a bit in the studio so here is one of her today, she’s a natural.
The studio is coming along, we’re putting in the wiring and outlets tonight and scrubbing down the walls, we’re getting to the fun part now, no time to type have to get cracking so I can slow down my growing list of clients waiting to shoot.

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Michael and I are thinking of renewing our vows in 2010, then again we also just bought a new house invested a lot of money in that as well as in the construction of my new studio and all the other things that go with both so it might get waylaid. Still in cliffnotes version here it is Our wedding: 2005 = we plan on getting married September 24th our 5 year anniversary. then we find out we’re expecting Cady her due date: 9/24 cosmic or what? so we move it up to February 24th. 3 weeks before our wedding one of my dearest friends and maid of honor passes away at 19 years old of Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare kind of cancer, on the wedding day it starts snowing, by 2 hours before the ceremony there is nearly 2 ft of snow on the ground and since we have more than a few elderly women in heels we have to move the ceremony from the chapel to the lobby of the reception hall, half our bridal party cant make it through the storm, our original guest list of 250+ ends up being about 45 in attendance, no photographer, no caterer and my dress ripped. The security at the airport stopped me because the bobby pins in my hair set off the metal detectors before we got on the plane to go to our honeymoon…. in short we deserve a do over. More importantly though after 2 houses, 2 kids, 8 years together and 4 years of marriage, we know. We know how difficult it is with bills and diapers, and midnight feedings, and long hours and military trainings, and frustration, and temptation, and distractions how hard it is. It’s hard to stay true to the promises you make each other when they other person isnt being the person they were when you made them. It’s difficult not to let all the stress and distractions and responsibilities pile up between you and not make you lose sight of each other and sever you, placing you on different paths. Does anyone ever mean it when they say for worse? Is there really nothing a person you love can do that will be the point of no return, where you say enough is enough, I’m done. Are any of us ever really selfless enough to love another person without hurting or practically destroying them? Can we love each other through that? Part of me thinks yes. Part of me believes that perhaps human as a species are not biologically monogamous and therefore are destined to break each other’s hearts… but perhaps although biologically humans may not be monogamous perhaps the soul is. The part of us that exists ethereally, temporarily encaged by our bodies restless in it’s search for another soul tuned into its most sacred depths. Perhaps that is why when there are two people that love each other their entire lives and weather all the storms of life together we call them soul mates, above lovers, above best friends, above married, they are soul mates, and each of us seeking one. I think like most infamous desired things, it has been filtered through an idealistic selfish fairtale expectant population where now we assume with our sulmate our hearts and every step will be in time, seamlessly, effortlessly, eternally, blissful, perfect, unfailing… bullshit. We all grew up with the disney version of happily ever after, right up until the point where the girl marries her prince charming. I know Michael is my soulmate, I’ve known it since we were 11 years old, and it is definately NOT because we are perfect together in every moment. It is because through other loves, other hardships, other joys, other steps, when we have been strongest, and when we have shattered each other and stepped through doors others would have dared not walk through we have stood together, even when apart we never have let go of each other or allowed the other to let go. Through any hardship or temptation we have resisted or succumbed to, in the end it is always us, healing each other from all our wounds, even the ones we have inflicted upon each other. I weather through the storms so I have his hand to hold in the sun and marvel in the warmth somehow sweeter after the cold.
We have spent more energy restoring the ruins than most will spend building something new on an unscathed foundation, but it’s so worth it now. I’m so excited now, about the future. We have the home we dreamed of having, that we can work on together build our dream home, it has another building for studio space for me and enables me to have my own spaces for family & home, and for photography so that they are complimentary but not overpowering each other. I could not ask for a more beautiful yard, and the house is so warm and inviting with a fireplace to hang our stockings on this christmas and another in the kitchen to roast marshmallows on It feels like a beginning, not really a new beginning or second chance because we’ve never ended to begin again, but it feels like everything we’ve been doing the last 8 years together was forming who we were, finding ourselves and our rhythm. For only being 25 years old we have more than most people I know in their 30s, even 40s, and it is not because we are the same, it is because our differences are complimentary.
All this romanticized rambling may be inspired by a slightly heightened feeling of affection and appreciation for my husband. In the last month he bought us a new home in a wonderful school district close to our family and friends with space for a studio. He packed and moved everything we have practically by himself, and with being military he’s been working at least 12 hour days, but still makes mickey mouse pancakes with cady in the morning, and comes home helps get the kids to bed, and then works in the studio till midnight, he completely gutted the place, studded the walls, built me a separate office area with a built in desk, is running brand new electric through, is drywalling cleaning, painting, putting in track lighting, hanging my wall mounts for the backdrops, and getting up with the baby at night. In short he’s wonderful! He has been so supportive of my choice to start this career venture even though we had both initially agreed I’d stay home until the kids were in school. Add to that the fact that he’s so ruggedly handsome, and a pornstar in bed, and you can see why I adore him so. He is so great with our kids, and they love him so much, it melts my heart to see how excited they get everytime they hear the door open. I can’t get within 5 feet of him for at least 10 minutes after he’s home because they are jumping all over him. We never worry about anything with him, he has never let money be a concern, and even in a quaint old cottage like ours, he fixes everything! I am so blessed! I love my family very much, epecially my husband for giving me this beautiful charmed life.

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