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.

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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

Don’t panic, its just June

Today I woke up and noticed that the air was still on I walked out to the back and opened the door to let some fresh air in, but to my surprise it was 90…at 830….am…..for me in Northern California, that is hot.  But I began to think of the other 49 states and what the weather was like in those neck of the woods….Florida has that great backdrop of skies and greens, and the humidity.  I spoke with my sister the other day and she was telling me it was not that bad, you get use to it.  My parents live in Texas and they have the heat start early…like May early.  So I guess I can think don’t panic Sylvia June’s heat will come and go this too shall pass.  (then July will jump out)

May and June were eye openers.  I mean I didn’t know I could book, shoot, reveal and print as fast as we did .  But we did.  We had senior sessions, birthday bash, and Oplove back to back.  We were also able to book an event near and dear to our hearts.  Yolo County Spring Show 2017.    It was a rockin an rollin month straight out the gate.  I try to book our sessions  far enough in advance to make sure I don’t lose your desired time.  The Senior session for Mr Eric was no exception.  Mom contacted me and booked it for an early Spring session.  She made sure she booked us way in advance.  Like December in advance.It was fun, it was exciting and it was her last one.  s  I have photographed all her children and this young man was the last and bittersweet for her.  We consulted and she decided a card with favorite images was her choice.  After the session we did her print reveal and yes, there were tears there too.  Mom picked out 9 7×10 prints that captured her son to a tee.  She also picked out the images we were going to use for his graduation announcement cards.  I created this card for her and she loved it.  Again, tears were all around.  This is her last one out of high school.  I remember when my youngest graduated high school, I felt good and sad at the same time.  So, I kind of knew what mom was going through.  You bring them up the best you can.  Raising them from the toddler years.  Guiding them through the preteen moments and then see them off to adulthood.  yea, I get it.   (and yes, I’m shedding a tear…again.)  Eric

around mid May we were called to do a Sweet Sixteen Birthday smash the cake session.  Fun fun fun!  I said, “hum YEA!! we booked it and started to give mom some ideas for portraits.  Sweet Jacqueline was just that Sweet!  At first she was a bit shy around us, who wouldn’t be with all the equipment and the lights its kinda intimidating (even for me sometimes.) But she quickly felt at ease and showed us her heart.  She is such a great girl.  After the session we did her print review where she expressed an interest in photography.  That is always good to hear especially from a girl.  I love to help our youth find their passion in the art.   She had so many questions.  I was the teacher for once.  (hahaha)  Mom loved the prints but wanted an album to be able to look back on the day her baby girl became a young lady.  (truth be told, she was a young lady before turning 16) They choose a beautiful 8×8 faux leather book they will have years to be able and look back at and not have to worry if it will be obsolete.  Albums never grow old they just become beautiful memories.

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Just about the beginning of June we got a call to do the Yolo County Spring 4-H show.  Talk about a lot of animals.  No, really A LOT of animals.  I started to get a bit nervous a week before.  Steve said, “you can do it, just point the camera and I’ll take care of the lights.”  Yea, and who’s gonna watch the animals!?  We photographed goats, pigs, chickens, hens, rabbits, sheep, eggs, (yep, you read that right, eggs)  And I have a confession to make.  I am afraid of cows.  (well not deathly afraid, but hey they are HUGE!)  We took about 380 pictures of animals. (Noah has nothing on us with this one) But I must say it came out great.  The crew they assigned to us were awesome.  They had those kids and the animals going in and out in record time.  After the event we edited and had to post a link to the 4-H site, (yea, still working out the “kinks” for that, but they will go up.

 

The last session for the month (or almost last still working on some scheduling conflicts:)  was this beautiful Oplove session.  When Krystal contacted me via email she stated that she had three beautiful kids.  My heart belongs to the kids.  They wait for mommy or daddy to come back.  Some understand why they are not there to tuck them in.  Some are acutely aware of their absence.  Some just miss them.  They long to hold daddy’s hand again.  They try to be “brave” and sometimes it works, but sometimes they just ask,
“when is mommy coming home?”  They question “when can daddy walk me to school again.”  My heart belongs to them.  Every time I do an Oplove session I pray.  I thank God for bringing these men and women into my life.  I ask Him to protect them from harms way, but mostly I pray for the kids.  I also feel very thankful.  I feel blessed to be able to photograph these families that are struggling to keep going.  They stand strong with each other, and I see that.  Hug your son or daughter.  Tight.  Then the next time you see a military family passing by or a soldier sitting at a coffee shop having a cup of coffee, thank him.  Thank him/her, because of what they do, we are free to do what we do.

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So Grateful!

New year new birth!  Welcome to the world Mr. Nathan!  It was such a pleasure to photograph this little tyke!  Not just because its my niece’ baby, or that it’s my big sisters second grandchild, but because every time I have the pleasure to photograph a newborn it gives me pure joy!  God is Great and I am humbled by His creations.  Mr. Nathan was also the studios first of many to come poster child for our Bellies to Babies Campaign for 2017-18!  So, we will be seeing a lot more of Mr. Nathan in the future.  On top of coming into this world, he had some grande entrance of a week.  Northern California just experienced its first “monster” storm of the year.  (right now my family in Texas are rolling their eyes. ha ha)  The day of the shoot we drove to the hospital in 30 mph winds, rain and heavy traffic.  Once we arrived we began the video taping of our first Facebook Live portrait session.

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We decided for 2017 we were going to start doing live feeds on our sessions to show how we work.  I was being asked more then not “how did you photograph in such cramp rooms, or why did the photo you took come out lighter then the one I took, and I was standing right behind you.  (there are some rules to my letting family/friends photograph behind me that’s in our portrait contracts. But that’s another blog post) So we decided to begin the year with informative live feeds to show how we can do that.  Not really “how to’s ” they will be more inspiration for those who are on the fence about having a portrait session.  The videos are also a great way to put our business in prospective.  To help us see what we are doing and to stay on track on what is important with this business….YOU!  our clients.  2017 brought us to our 11th year in business!  Wow, seeing that makes my heart pitter patter (wait, maybe its the coffee.)  We are so humbled by Gods grace and all the people He has brought before us to photograph.  I have always said, “it’s not just a photograph, it’s your life.  I truly believe that.  One day years after the kids have grown, or my clients have moved on, someone  will be looking at a family portrait hanging in their living room or a newborn collage in the hall way and say “do you remember when grandma had that done?”  Those are the moments I am talking about.

Yep, Baby Nathan may have had an eventful week, but I have a feeling this kid is going to have both hands on the wheel, he will know who he belongs to and that will give Him joy.  Have a great weekend everyone, be safe and take care of one another.