All portraits are beautiful

This past weekend I was asked to photograph two baby dedications at my church.  I was glad to do it.  My little church is small and I love that.  I know them, not all by name but I find comfort being surrounded by people who open their hearts to Jesus.  The first baby dedication was cool.  It was for our worship leader and his is a beautiful story.  But its his story, so all I’m going to say is God planned this baby to be with them from the start.  It was meant to happen just not in their time but in Gods time.  The second service baby dedication was for my softball coach.  (funny story, and this one IS mine!)  Last year about this time Adam asked at service if anyone was interested in joining the softball team he coached.  Steve said, “you should do that.”  I thought sure, I mean it couldn’t hurt to at least, right?   So after service I asked and he told me yes, its very low key, our pastor is on the team and so is this person and that person.  I only heard the “low key” part.  Being “older” then my younger days of softball, I didn’t want to sign up for something I would have to quit and walk away from.  so a couple weeks before the first game Steve and I went out every morning to practice.  I hit, I ran and I did pretty good.  I even was able to throw the ball straight (after a few minor fly aways.  lol)

Game day!  I’m excited this is going to be fun.  the crowds were gathering, I walk up to the field we are at and I see several parishioners from our church.  No doubt they are here to cheers us on!  In the dug out I hear my name, “Sylvia!  your second base!”  Great!  I use to be a catcher not infield, but I thought this is “low key” Adam said so.  I start to walk out to the field to warm up.  I’m feeling good, the night air is blowing a cool breeze.  I start to look around and see our pastor on third, our worship leader walking to shortstop (I think, it was all a blur after that moment.)  Then with one step forward and a quick thrust of his arm our pastor, Mr calm cool and the man I ask for guidance, lunges forward thrusts his arm and blazes a ball to first base!  All I saw was what I thought was a white line of fast!  The next sound I hear is a loud whack!  First base person caught the ball without fail and quickly throws it to second base!  WAIT!  That’s me!!  (I missed the ball (someone I don’t remember out of embarrassment got it and kept the rally going)  At that moment I thought this is NOT your casual “low key” game!  These guys mean business!

The following week I practiced and practiced hard.  I wanted to do my part and play at the level my teammates played.  Second game came the following week.  Again, I am called but this time I hear “Your catcher!”  Great, I can do that!    I walk up to my position, my eyes are intense.  I look around and see a couple of friends with Steve.  I think to myself play hard Sylvia, play to win.  the batter came to the plate.  I crouch down in catchers position.  First swing he hits the ball but it slides off the bat and spins backwards I reached out and thought I caught the ball (I heard a crack, but that was NOT the ball!)  It hit my finger and broke it!  lol that was the end of that.  but I did finish the game (only because I couldn’t feel my finger!  lol)  To me, Adam will always be my coach.  and this story will always be the game I finished.  lol.

So back to the baby!  Adams baby is a cutie.  I wont say pie, because she was more then that.  She was adorable laying in mommas’ arms.  Dressed in her little tutu.  Adam had the look of a happy father.

I love babies.  They are by far my favorite to photograph.  They look so sweet sleeping.  I could photograph babies all day long.  I once did just that when I worked at Sutter Hospital before I stated my business as a portrait photographer.  I would stay after and look at the babies sleeping and think about how they have their whole lives ahead of them.

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After Pastor Andy finished explaining what the baby dedications meant he held her in his arms and prayed.  Prayed for her, for her parents and for us her congregation.  Because we are part of her family too.  Her church family.  And I love that thought.  I love knowing that the community I photograph, babies, children, senior high school, and families are part of my family.  My church, my town and my intimate circle of friends.

So remember, when your out playing a friendly game of “low key” softball or walking into your church, the store you frequent, or the park your kids play in.  I’m there too, waiting to photograph you and your family.  With open arms and a broken finger.  lol Have a blessed day!

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Love can conquer all things

My son Christian is not a photographer by trade.  He does it as a favor for the few.  But this beautiful couple were the brother and fiance of my son and he could not say no.  After taking the images, he explained to them that he could not edit these because he did not  have the program but he told them I did (“my mom is a professional photographer and I’m sure if I smile real pretty she would be happy to do them.”)  Well, my son knows me well.  I was sitting in my living room wondering what would be the best way to work on these and not take away the beauty that my son captured in the image.  Kyle and Caitlin are super cute and fun.  I just look at Caitlin’s smile and know they are happy.  That told me a lot.  I really didn’t have to edit these other then a quick lighting or shadow increase.  But these two showed their love for each other in each pose.  So relaxed, like they were meant to be exactly where they were.  DSC_0100-Edit-2.JPG

This mini photo session was not  planned.  They went on a family camping trip.  My son and his husband,  their parents and Kyle and Caitlin.  The next day Kyle and Caitlin said it would be nice to get some shots from the trip to use on their save the date cards.  My son said he would like to do some photos with them.  And that’s how it came to be.  The day was beautiful.  The sun was shinning bright, it was a bit cold, but that is why the beautiful colors were so nice.  A clean crisp morning.  As I sit here editing these, I can see the love these two have for each other.  Kyle has such a sincere look on his face.  He was told to pose and to smile, but I think the fact that he is marrying the girl of his dreams, made him realize, this is it.  My life begins with her.  And Caitlin, well her smile says it all.  She has a smile that never ends.  But the look on both theirs eyes says so much more.  DSC_0056

I was once told that to marry a person it takes patients, understanding and commitment.   but what you really need is the ability to smile and look at each other even when you are in a big fight, or when he keeps the tooth paste tube messy.  That is love.  Its during those moments that you say  “I can still look at him and still see love in his eyes, I can still stand with her and know she is the one. ”

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This session that I edited reminds me of a bible verse: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way’ it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.”

My blessings to Kyle and Caitlin, I pray they give each other all that this verse says.  Because God does.  He is love.  And that is what its all about.

 

For a great Cause

This past week was busy busy b-u-s-y!  We first had a plan to make a trip to Texas to visit my father.  He fell ill and I wanted to be there for him.  God had other plans, we made it as far as Tehachapi Californina when Steve got very sick with the flu.  (hope you all got your shot) When my sister found out, we both decided it was not a good idea to visit my dad, for fear we would get him sick.  So back down the mountain we go, Steve was tired, sick and the only driver until I learn how to pull the 5th wheel.  We had to stop at a campground for him because he really was not feel well enough to drive home.  We stayed at  Millerton Lake, and let me just say, if we were not so sick we would have stayed longer.  Its a bit from Fresno, California and the road to get to the lake is somewhat out of the way, but once we got there…it was beautiful.  When we woke in the morning, I felt sick…Yep, my loving husband “gifted” me his cough and congestion.

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On the one hand, I did not get to go see my father,  that was a bullet dodged, I didn’t want to get him sick.  On the other hand, I really wanted to go.  But, It was not meant to be.  And since we did not make it to Texas, I was able to do an obligation I had to cancel due to my fathers illness.  The Woodland Mosaic Children’s Museum had scheduled a Santa photo event on Small Business Saturday.  I was well enough to do the shoot. And I am so glad I did.  We killed it!  the lighting was amazing, the backdrop, (you be the judge) spot on.  But best of all the children were super cute.  Its no secret how much I love photographing children especially the little’s.  They are so cute.  No matter what you do, you cant make them do anything they don’t want to do.  This little guy won me over.  He was not having anything to do with Santa, but he did stand there letting me and mom & dad know he was not having any of the Santa experience.  So cute.  So much so I had to stalk his parents and beg to post his picture all over our website, Facebook and Instagram.  Just look at his face.  This little guy’s  brother was more than happy to tell  Santa what he wanted for Christmas.  His little brother, in my eyes, stole my heart and the show.  The funny thing was after this little guy finished with Santa, he was outside running around being a big cutie pie.

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Note to past, current and future clients.  This holiday season I would love to photograph you and your family and create a beautiful night image for you.  I promise you don’t have to be in the freezing cold, we can photograph you and your family in your backyard or better yet, book your session at one of our favorite location around Norther California. We have a ton of favorite places.  Once we do that I can help you create a beautiful family collection for you to enjoy for years to come.

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Remember this holiday season during the rushing and running around, our little angels remind us don’t try to do it all, its ok to say “no” and lets not forget when we don’t feel up to doing something…don’t.  I promise,  its ok.  Enjoy your week everyone.

When Love shows up

I have been photographing people nearly 10 years.  Little people just under a day old.  People with personalities that far surpass mine.  People with strong opinions on their beliefs and some still searching to find themselves.  But to say that I have not learned something from all of them is to say I did not have something to learn.  I think that we are all here for a unique purpose.  We are here to be loved, to share love and to do our best to exhibit our uniqueness.  If not for that, then for what?  I may not agree with every person I come in contact with but My beliefs my Christian values have taught me to Love.  Everyone.  Pray for all of us.  My son gave me a very good insight, He says that Dali Lama gave a speech at a university stating that we are here for each other.  Pray for peace, but really pray that we as humanity will do good and bring that peace we pray for.  God is not a magic wand that will bring change into this world we have created, we have to be the change.

I was given the opportunity to photograph a wedding of two people that meet that purpose.  Shane has told me over and over “I just want to live and not be about any drama.”  Our wedding is going to be for everyone to enjoy themselves and be.”  How often do you here that from someone getting married?  I know its about your day, but Shane and Joe wanted it to be about the moment they said “I do” in front of their friends and family.  Just because they wanted to be.  That to me is a beautiful purpose.

 

After the ceremony Shane and Joe kept asking people are you enjoying yourself?  Is there anything I can get you.  Or, We are so happy you are here.  I could hear laughter among the guest, kids running around and no one was stopping them or telling them to sit down.  We live in a world where too often we see everything and everyone running at the speed of too fast.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if we took Shane and Joe’s advice and just “be”.  Thank you both for allowing Steve and I to photograph your special day.

Love is timeless…for real

 

Sometimes love comes early.  When we are just starting to understand what life means.  When we are learning to give and take, to share and to let go.  It comes when we question why we are here and who we were meant to be with.  Then sometimes loves comes later, when we are seasoned with joys, with ups and some downs.  Love comes in fast, like a Camero at the speed of 8 cylinders.  Then other times, it comes later.  Slower more cautiously, guarding us from future pain and protecting us from our past.  To say that Jon & Shirley are living the later part of love is to say they waited just at the right time.  Jon is such a nurturing man.  I can see it when he holds her.  The way he cups her hands.  Its almost like he has a loving secret, that he wants to keep all to himself.  DSC_0002-Edit

Shirley is a sweet bubbly person, I don’t think I caught one image where she is not smiling ear to ear.  That beautiful smile the kind that says, “I am so happy, so blessed to have him in my life.”  I don’t think neither one of them has ever expressed a negative emotion the whole day.  It was really hot, about 100 degrees, Jon insisted that his portraits be in a three piece suit, but true to Shirley’s nature she said, the jacket can stay off, and because of Jon’s nature, he said he could go either way.  I would take a few images and position them in as much shady spots as I could find, it was high noon, the sun was blazzing hot.  But Jon and Shirley were true troopers.  Going in every so often to cool off and drink water.

After we finished with the formal images, we were ready to start photographing this beautiful patient couple in what they love….baseball attire.  (I wont lie, they made this baseball fan a happy photographer)  They both had their favorite team jersey they brought from home, but forgot the away jerseys.  We made due.  We even were able to get a beautiful outdoor family portrait with Jon’s parents.  This was their house, Jon grew up here, he remembers climbing that tree he and Shirley were kissing under, and he remembers walking those same rock walkways his father laid down and where he and Shirley walked hand in hand.  Yes, love comes fast, it hits hard but some times when its real….really real, it comes to two people who were waiting but not expecting.  Enjoy your loved ones…these two most certainly do.   DSC_5797-Edit-Edit