LOVE YO BODY.

Hello World!

While it is embarrassing that I haven’t posted in nearly a year… or that frequently before that I find it fitting that I am making my re-emergence with this post.  I have been working professionally as a photographer now for 12 years and full time for nearly 7.  Most artists try to continue to grow their skillset even as they enter the professional world because sometimes when your exchange your craft for money your passion takes the backseat… and no one likes a stagnate cranky artist 😉

The last several years I have focused immensely on upping my game in the lighting category.  Lighting is basically the foundation of photography so mastering added and artificial lighting makes the world your oyster.  2017’s project was working on a new, harsher lighting.  Most of my past lighting focus was for portrait work and so I needed a new and more challenging project so this year I decided to focus on fitness photography.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am the weirdo who can’t get enough of a good sweat session or the endorphin high after cranking out a new PR.  So entering into this new line of photography was not only fun but it allowed me to combine some of my passion with my work. (winning!)

After I learned some of the lighting techniques I needed for fitness photography (a HUGE thank you to all of the fitness instructors I used as guinea pigs 🙂 I should do a post for them at some point!)  I wanted to do more than just shoot professional athletes or fitness pros.  My favorite part of my job is not capturing the ‘money shot’ or the 8×10 great grandma will hang on her mantle.  My favorite part of what I do is working with families and people in such an vulnerable way that I capture ‘THE’ shot.  The shot where a person can see themselves through my lens the way loved ones see them.  Beautiful.  Strong.  Capable.  Loved.

Our society puts so much pressure on all people to be a certain way, act a certain way and achieve certain goals and without completing this imaginary list of conquests we are told we are worth nothing.  I hope that through my work (both hired and personal) people can treat themselves a little more kindly and see themselves in the light that other people view them.  Which with that longwinded journal entry brings me to my project!

This project was birthed to show everyone of all fitness levels, interests and walks of life that there is an inner athlete in you.  Everyone can be fit, strong and do amazing things.  You don’t need to do cross fit, run marathons or be a zumba instructor. (though if you want to, more power to you!)  Everyone has their own starting point and often times people have *multiple* starting points.

The main goal is to view your body as this amazing machine that enables you to do AWESOME things.  So we should really love it instead of constantly hating it, criticizing it and worse; trying to starve it to mold it into something it isn’t meant to be.  Fuel your body.  Love your body.

As I finally delve into the ACUTAL post a huge, huge shout out to KIN Movement for hosting this event.  They have an awesome space to help people from all fitness levels achieve their goals.  Their mindset is unlike any I have found in a gym and their support through this project has been unparalleled.  Also a HUGE thanks to the folks who showed up and were vulnerable enough to let me use them as my models.  These are just regular people (NOT fitness models!) and I hope you give them a standing ovation for their awesomeness.

2017-08-22_0001Bob: Triathlete and would be diplomat.
Always be ready to embrace the suck.  May not be the fastest but always moving forward.

2017-08-22_0002Cole: Manager/Specialist at Human Element and Single-Mom-Extraordinaire
Strives to be stronger and more fit to set an example for her son.  Wishes she could be a travel writer to show him the world.

2017-08-22_0003Hannah: Owner/CEO Metric MKTG
Loves the beach, her kiddos and kicking thyroid disease in the butt.
Favorite actress is Candace Cameron Bure and would be a professional singer in another life.

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Holly: Mama of two sweet babes and part of University of Michigan’s Sea Grant (School for Environment and Sustainability)
Multi-sport competitor and Proud Canadian.  Mama who nurses/pumps WHILE working full time (that is a marathon folks for those of you who have never done it!)

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Jesse: Swim instructor and coach.  University of Michigan student.
Would be professional gymnast.  Favorite book is The Hurt Artist by Shane Neimeyer.

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Katie: Mama and Manager of Health and Wellness of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Would love to travel to Greece and favorite color is yellow.  Has a PhD but in another life would be a Labor/Delivery nurse.

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Megan: Nurse Anesthetist, bad ass and dog mama.
Loves Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and would be a race car driver if being a nurse anesthetist didn’t work out.

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Nikki: Mama to 3 littles and fitness lover.
She is a beach lover and Paul Walker fan.  If she could tell her younger self anything it would be: To stop spending so much time caring what other people think because what matters is what YOU think!

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Sam: Teacher for STEM Prep school in Nashville.
Runner and newly minted teacher from EMU.  If she could live anywhere it would be to her newly relocated Nashville, living the dream!  Favorite song is ‘Before He Cheats’ by Carrie Underwood.

2017-08-22_0010Stacey: Mom of two and Battle of Waterloo finisher
Loves making gains in the gym, pushing herself harder and being epic for her two sons. If she could tell her younger-self anything it would be “Don’t compare yourself to all these girls. Don’t change a thing about what makes you you. You and your life end up to be really amazing! ”

2017-08-22_0011Susan: Fitness Guru and Marketing pro
In another life would be a photographer or a veterinarian.  Miami transplant to Michigan and warm weather lover.  If she could live anywhere it would be Brazil.

 

Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this journey!  Posting this has taken a bit of vulnerability on my part as an artist because as we learn new crafts we see only the flaws in our projects… much like how we view our own body’s in the mirror.  I hope through this journey of life we can all view ourselves a little more kindly and honestly give ourselves a pat on the back.  Being a good human is no joke, so lets all be nice to each other, give each other high fives and encourage each other to be the best, strongest human ever.

run often, smile more!

Amanda 🙂

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Stepping Stone Learning Preschool

This week as I get back into blogging (finally!) I want to feature somewhere near and dear to our family hearts… Lalo’s preschool!!

This fall we had to begin looking for where he would enter his first year of preschool and we were fortunate that our church building hosted a new preschool just starting up.  We were a bit apprehensive because Lalo doesn’t always make adjustments well (or so we thought) so we wanted to make sure this was the right fit for him.  We visited last August and he was shy but that first September day we dropped him off he flew into the classroom and has never looked back!

We have been overwhelmingly pleased with the care that the teachers and directors give to all of the students as well as the smaller class sizes.  Lalo has made some great friends and I have met some really wonderful parents and I am sure we will both have some lasting friendships 🙂

The center is run by Kristi San Miguel and Donatella Arona.  Both are certified Early Childhood Educators and there are two classroom teachers as well.  The school has a playbased learning philosophy were students are encourage to explore and engage in their education as well as have some time to learn center based education prepping them for kindergarten.  Lalo has greatly benefited from this program and not only loves it but has succeeded wildly!

Stepping Stone Learning is enrolling NOW!  If you want to schedule a time to swing in let me know or fill out their contact form.  If you do enroll we both get 50% off a month’s tuition so make sure to let me know so we can both get that benefit! 🙂   2015-05-19_0003 2015-05-19_0004 2015-05-19_0005 2015-05-19_00082015-05-19_0002 2015-05-19_00012015-05-19_0006

The Arrival of Éowyn

So anyone that knows us from before the birth of Lalo knows that we waited a LONG time for Lalo to be born.  By that I mean he was due Christmas Eve… and he was born January 7…. and the doctors kept assuring us that whole time he would be here ‘any day’. (starting around THANKSGIVING time they thought he could be here anyday…)  It was a long Christmas, New Years and after season…  After a very rough delivery and recovery he finally was with us!!  Needless to say, he was worth the wait and effort! 🙂

When we decided to try adding to our family we were met with some hurdles of a miscarriage and quite a few months on either side trying to get pregnant again.  So when we found out we were expecting little Miss Éowyn we were hesitant to celebrate and prepped ourselves for a long and late pregnancy.  Well, Éowyn had very different plans.  She ended up coming not anywhere near her due date of April 21… but the last week I had planned to work and a full month before her due date March 30.  🙂  She came quickly and easily and has proved to be polar opposite of her brother the last few weeks she has graced us with her beautiful self.

Thanks to a wonderful community of friends and church we have been enjoying lots of snuggles with our sweet little miss and adjusting to life as a family of four!  Lalo is an awesome big brother and so far Éowyn seems to be a much better sleeper than her big brother (YAY!)

We owe a HUGE thank you to my friend Miranda at Inner Circle Photography for capturing this beautiful moment of Lalo (and my parents!) meeting Éowyn for the first time.  I am so thankful she was able to capture this moment (and drove out twice to get it 😉 🙂 )  View More: http://innercirclephoto.pass.us/lauchufamily View More: http://innercirclephoto.pass.us/lauchufamily View More: http://innercirclephoto.pass.us/lauchufamily View More: http://innercirclephoto.pass.us/lauchufamily View More: http://innercirclephoto.pass.us/lauchufamily View More: http://innercirclephoto.pass.us/lauchufamily View More: http://innercirclephoto.pass.us/lauchufamily View More: http://innercirclephoto.pass.us/lauchufamily View More: http://innercirclephoto.pass.us/lauchufamily View More: http://innercirclephoto.pass.us/lauchufamily View More: http://innercirclephoto.pass.us/lauchufamily View More: http://innercirclephoto.pass.us/lauchufamily

12/52 Welcome Éowyn Olivia

2015-04-07_0007So I missed last week’s and this week’s 52 post because we were a little bit busy… HAVING A BABY!

She came fast and furious March 30 and we are so grateful despite the fact we were a bit surprised 🙂

We are home and adjusting well and Lalo is doing great being an awesome big brother!!! 🙂 2015-04-07_0002 2015-04-07_0003Lalo loving his new easter undies 🙂 2015-04-07_0004 2015-04-07_0005We have the best light in our house 🙂 2015-04-07_0006

 

Planning, wrapping up and catching up!

So 2014 is coming to a close, when did that happen!!!???!!  This whole year went by in a giant whirlwind and I am so incredibly grateful!  We had a lot of ups and downs this year but looking back now I cannot even write how blessed we were!  I have a ridiculous amount of catching up to do with the blog to show every event, family and senior I was able to capture so you can look forward to that in the coming year!

As many of you have heard 2015 will be another year of change for us as we prepare for the addition of our Éowyn Olivia this Spring!!!

I am still working and will be accepting weddings for the year but will only be shooting 15, so that means I will not be able to accept every one that comes my way.  I will be focusing on more local weddings (with the exception of my September Holland wedding… YEA!!) and smaller events.  So if you know of any brides looking for a SE MI photographer send them my way, please! 🙂

The last year I have been slowly changing my family sessions from posed portraits to more of a lifestyle feel.  I will continue to do that as well as some new opportunities 🙂 so if you are a regular family client get EXCITED!

Senior portraits are still one of my favorite types of sessions because they are SO different from student to student and allow for some awesome creative expression!  I am hoping to add to these sessions for the 2015 season (2016 class) and will be looking for some help!  So if you are a past AMP Purely Senior or know of someone who may be interested I will be looking come May/June for some additional help, so keep that in mind too 🙂

Another exciting thing I am pumped to start in the new year is a monthly challenge!  With the new babe on the way I want to have a schedule set up for artistic exploration!  I will be focusing on off camera lighting as well as artificial lighting because that is one way I am excited to grow my business in the next year 🙂 If you want to join me please feel free!  And if you see me, feel free to hold me accountable 😉

So as I just sent out my last wedding for year be on the look out for me to catch up on blogging my last 8 weddings from the year as well as my ump-teen portrait sessions!  2015 sure is looking EXCITING! I cannot wait! 🙂

And since a photographer’s blog isn’t complete without PICTURES! I leave you with some pictures of my loves! (minus starbuck who has been firmly planted next to my belly protecting the baby… silly pup!)

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This is what happens when a photographer’s child puts up ornaments and you tell him ‘no, look at the tree but keep your eyes wide so I can catch the sparkle in them” …. he looks like a deer in the headlights…. goofball!

2014-12-15_0002His first trip to see Santa 🙂 2014-12-15_0003But seriously… those EYES! 🙂  Love my brown eyed boy! 2014-12-15_0004Had to include the brown eyed pup too 🙂 2014-12-15_0005These three are such goof balls and lights in my life! 🙂 ❤

What’s Up Recap!

So, on a rare Saturday evening off in July I was sitting at the table eating a yummy dinner (of leftovers… like I said… it was a saturday off 😉 ) with the boys when Lalo gets out some stampers…. and then before we know both boys are giggling (well I guess laughing since boys don’t ‘giggle’) and I look over to them both covered in barn yard stamps… everywhere.  When I could have eye rolled or even gotten frustrated that they were covered in ink… I instead took a deep breath and realized how I felt unbelievably blessed.

During the midst of ‘the crazy season’  I think I just needed a reminder that its ok that sometimes I miss being home, sometimes I wish I didn’t have to work and sometimes I miss out.  I mean not everyone gets to work their dream job, so I count myself as completely blessed.  Just sometimes it is a bummer to work during everyone else’s time off and vacations.  But today as I worked on some ‘wediting’ watching the Lego movie with the boys before bed I was grateful for all of the memories we do have together…

So I bring you a sappy and nostaligic blog post of our recent happenings.  Because sometimes, when work is busy you forget that life is still happening around you.  Even if it is chaotic… you can still enjoy it.  🙂  So take lots of pictures, be intentional, make time for laughing and for getting stampers everywhere or digging in the dirt… because even if you can’t dwell on the moments for too long in the present, reminiscing will be that much sweeter later 🙂

2014-08-02_0002My sweet, sweet boy 🙂  So photogenic but just like every other child needs a little coercion to get a ‘good’ picture (ie… not sticking his tongue out) so like all good mamas… I bribed him 😉 with taking a picture of me after I got the picture *I* wanted of him.  2014-08-02_0003those eye!!!! 2014-08-02_0004how did I get so lucky to have such a handsome, loving boy!  2014-08-02_0005and this is how he sees me 😉

So on that funny note, here is a recap of our summer thus far 🙂  *LOTS* of trips to the Henry Ford and Greenfield Village!  Grammy and Gramps have a membership so we go a LOT 🙂  2014-08-02_0006Lots of time playing with Chani …. and she still acts as if we don’t play at all 🙂  An insurmountable amount of time wrestling with papa and calling Mama a ‘butterfly’ since we don’t pile drive mama on the floor…..2014-08-02_0007Made some home made bread and meals for dear friends to love on them.  Got a ton of snuggles in 🙂  Dressed up as dragons… and then slayed them 🙂 Got to hang out with some *awesome* photogs and the creator of HH Boogie for a summer ‘retreat’ of sorts for photography creatives.   2014-08-02_0008Played in the rain, walked to the ice cream place.  Snuggled with Starbucky and read lots and lots of books.  I also got the opportunity to do the Chicago Ragnar Relay race!! 200 miles in three days! (Well my leg was about 25!)  In addition to running I have also been kicking booty working out at RydeOn and PureBarre Ann Arbor! (staying fit GREATLY helps morale and energy levels when you feel like you have no time to even sleep!) 2014-08-02_0009We got more snuggles in (see a pattern 🙂 ), had some family tickle fights, watched some firework shows by Papa in the hammock 🙂 Fell asleep buried under tons of lovies and snuggly things and watched entirely too many cartoons snuggled in blankets while mama was still covered in sweat from her earlier morning run…. 2014-08-02_0010I realized writing this post I still have written about my Birthday Trip/Easter Trip to the Smoky Mountains so I will do that soon 🙂 But here is a hiking picture from that trip 🙂 Some burying of Chani under dirty clothes, and yet MORE snuggles 🙂

Over all when I look back at the last three months I feel how much I have worked (Dear To Do List: please let me BREATHE!)  but more I see how blessed I am that I have the opportunity to hang out with two awesome guys nearly all the time… and when I do have to work, I get to come home to their smiling mischievous faces! 🙂

Not only do I have one of the world’s most awesome jobs of serving people by providing images of their important moments but I also get to have important life events of my own, as long as I remember to make time and be grateful for them.

 

Until Next time… which will probably be in October when its time for Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin farms, Firefighter Open Houses and Cross Country 🙂

run often, smile more and LIVE 🙂 No one else can live your life but you  ❤

Amanda 🙂

Throwback Thursday: Us.

So continuing with the theme this week I stumbled upon a bunch of pictures of Rico and I together pre-Lalo 🙂  So for those of you who may have met us since Lalo here is a little bit of our history 🙂

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We were so cute!! And for all you who don’t believe me, here is Rico with short hair!! 2014-05-01_0002Our first trip to Lake Michigan together! 2014-05-01_0003Here is our first Christmas together!2014-05-01_0004Our engagement pictures that my awesome Daddy-o took for us 🙂 2014-05-01_0005We are super fun 😉 2014-05-01_0006When we first bought our house we didn’t have A/C…. so Rico did shave his head not long before Lalo was born too 🙂 2014-05-01_0007We are pretty cute 🙂 and lucky! ❤