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.

First Friday Art Walk

Hi all!  Its FRIDAY!  Yea, The end of the week the beginning of a new month, the start of a new season, and don’t get me started on the smells in the air. Ah, Fall. I love the crisp air.  Especially during an evening walk around town.  September 2, is Woodlands First Friday Art walk. Those are fun.  I rarely get a chance to participate, let alone walk around and view all the great art. Usually I am in the studio or on location or editing (come to think of it, there has been sooo much editing). So when the downtown historic association of Woodland called and asked if I would be interested in being a featured artist at one of the participating businesses, I checked my calendar…TWICE and said yea!  I CAN DO IT!!   Its all coming together. So this Friday September 2, 2016 from 5:30 pm-9:00 pm I will be at Kevin Cowan, Financial Services, 426 Main Street.  I’m excited and nervous at the same time.  The last First Friday I had participated in was roughly 3 years ago, or more.  I don’t think I was able to stay for that either, I had to leave early. But once again I get a chance to participate and I am super excited to be in town and around for this Friday Art Walk. This is such a special break for me. Sometimes as an artist I need to recharge. To quote Bill Cunningham, a world renowned street fashion photographer “the eye needs to be re-educated”. Sometimes I need to take a break from my normal business of taking portraits, as much as I love this aspect of photography, the families, the smiling faces, stories, and creating a memory to last a lifetime, it helps to have another aspect of photography I can re-channel my energy and “re-educate” my eye. I like to think of creativity or really, any passion we have in life, as a knife. Sometimes the knife needs to be honed once in awhile, because over time it becomes dull. Doing Creative photography is almost just like that for me. It is my great outlet; my muse, my chance to resharpen so, I can go on location with a new eye each time. Creating something beautiful so you can display it in the home.  When I book my session, I don’t think about the time, the location (well, maybe a little) what I really think about is how blessed I am to be invited into families lives and capture those special moments.  I ask myself “I wonder if they know how beautiful they are?”

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Drinking the Kool Aide

IDSC_0123-Edit have been there, more than once.  When  a Friday feels like a Monday?  When an hour at home turns into I only have thirty minutes to get ready.  Well, those are signs of my journey.  When I force the day because I think “isn’t this what I’m suppose to do?”  I planned it this way, it should all be falling into place.  But it’s not.  Because I forgot who’s plan it is.  We all have one.  Either its a plan, a journey, a path or quest.    In my case, its a journey and sometimes I forget who’s driving.   I  bury my head down, push myself and force my way of thinking, this is  the right way.  The right path.  My path,  and I forgot it is not my plan,  sometimes, what we want to do, is not what we were meant to do .  In the process,  I forget who’s plan it is .   At times I have to remind myself, “Remember who’s plan is better.”  Not mine.  If fact, if I were to be perfectly honest, my plan has really never ever worked out.  EVER …A long time ago I thought to open my very own studio.  I was going to do it all by myself, and claim it.  “I did this, not any one else, so only I can take the credit.”  But in doing so, and forgetting Who’s plan needs to be first, I failed.  My studio closed and so did my past along with it.  Slowly I thought it was crumbling piece by piece.  But little did I know, HIS plan was working, even through my  failures. Especially, through my failures.  I may have lost my studio, but I think I lost something else.  I lost my ego.  My pride and my crutch.  To me those are three things that I can do without.  Once I let go, I  learned so much more.  I learned that failure is not defeat.  It’s  not letting anyone down, not me, not my family and especially not God.  To fail is another way of learning.  Its an attempt to make things right.  Its a chance to do it over again.  And that’s okay. To  F.A.I.L means  First Attempt In Learning.    Its a reminder to not be so hard on myself, and in the same breath, not be hard on others.  When we fail, we are really learning something new.

I’m stating over.  The studio is coming along.  This time, instead of wanting it now and jumping head first, eyes closed,  I’m learning to be patient.
Instead drinking “the Kool Aide” without knowing whats in it, I’m taking my time, going slowly, catching my breath.  These are  lessons I am willing to learn.  Because this time, I’m in.  All in.  Head, heart and mind.  So, I’ll start again, and I will learn something new.  If I fail again, then another lesson will be at the next turn.  and I’m okay with that too.

Memories Renewed

This past Sunday was Easter.  I’m finding more and more reasons to celebrate such a beautiful time.  Knowing just how much God loves me, my family and  all of us.  It truly gives me chills every time I think about it.  Every sin, every transgression, every wrong, has been paid in full.   The ultimate sacrifice through Christ was for our sins.  Knowing that, helps me to understand what I am here for.  For love.  For forgiveness.  For each other.

My family has been through so much I cant even imagine what they have endured on their own.  We share so many memories, good and bad.  Happy, and sad.  But the one thing that I can say that stands out is that they have always come together.  Hurt only stays for as long as you want to hold on to it….Love endures forever.  As we enjoy our family, making memories, sharing stories.  I want to also remember where we are going. To be reminded of the future of our lives.   I have a longing to keep our family safe, even when they are not in the same household.  Family can be thousands of miles away and still need you.  My desire or “prayer” when I end my day is so that everyone strive for hope.  Strive to make their journey not a struggle but a climb.  We can do at least that much in honor of the One who sacrificed the ultimate for us…for me…for you.  Happy Easter everyone

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