9/52 Snow and Ice

 

So I am not a huge fan of winter and this one has been of little exception.  However, recently we have had some pretty exceptional weather that has made much of EVERYTHING appear to be like a frozen lake.  It was one of those unique situations that despite my feelings towards winter I could appreciate the beauty.  2015-03-09_0001My parents graciously agreed to watch Lalo overnight for us to celebrate Rico’s birthday and we decided to go out photo hunting together Saturday morning in some rural areas to capture the snowy ice.  The weather was mostly cooperative but we wish we could have gone out earlier or at sunset.  But we loved the time spent together and hopefully we can do it again!  2015-03-09_0002When we were shooting I was envisioning sharing the images in Black and White but I do love the colors in the photo above too!

Hope you love them and cannot wait to get some more images as SPRING comes! 🙂

8/52 Computer Heros!

So as many of you know a few weeks ago my hard drive died on my computer.  While I back things up religiously and it was the ‘off’ season.  It was still quite catastrophic experience.  But like many things in life, if you have excellent people walking alongside you through a crazy and turbulent time things turn out ok in the end.  Thankfully everything turned out peachy keen and thanks to some FANTABULOUS people my computer is back to me in better than working order!!! 😀

Which brings me to this week’s post…. I wanted to give a very special shout out to the people who made my machine possible, the crew over at the Learning Center Ltd. 2015-03-02_0001I was referred to these guys from a good friend and the only thing I regret was that I had not been referred sooner.  Seriously!!  Ann Arbor was without an Apple store for so long and I once drove all the way to Troy for a genius bar appointment.  Once I met these guys I will never again be visiting a genius bar…! 

2015-03-02_0005They are a certified retailer and repair center so if you have a machine or device that is still within warranty or Apple Care they can look at it, diagnose and repair it for you without voiding warranty and under warranty ‘costs’.  2015-03-02_0002Their shop is nestled in an office park on State Street after Briarwood Mall but before you hit downtown.  It is convenient and best of all has parking!  All of their staff is extremely friendly and very knowledgeable!  2015-03-02_0003My machine has needed repairs twice and I also upgraded some of my hardware and they have helped me with all of my needs promptly and with big smiles!! 🙂  2015-03-02_0004I would highly, highly recommend them to any person needing any Mac work!!! As a small business owner I am very aware of how far great costumer service can take you… and when you have fantastic costumer service and offer quality products the sky is the limit!  Thank you guys for taking great care of me always!!!!!  I hope I don’t have to see you again soon but if I do I know I’ll be in good hands! 🙂

7/52 Dust & Discipline.

The last several weeks I have been trying to practice the skill of discipline.  Discipline can be defined many ways and while most often I feel like it has negative connotations it is actually a necessary life skill.  Since becoming a mom I feel like I’ve learned a lot about discipline.  Both in attempting to discipline myself (they say imitation is best form of flattery… until it is your toddler imitating your worst practices you never knew you had!!!) as well as learning what it means to discipline our son.

Recently I have been attempting to foster some equilibrium between living with discipline and living present in the moment.  As someone who longs for a balanced life AND checked-off to do lists being a self employed photographer and mama has certainly thrown me some curve balls.

For starters, it doesn’t always seem like I’m making any headway… in anything.  I feel like some days I want to celebrate that we are all clothed in clean(ish) clothes and that we ate (reasonably) healthy food for the day.  I am sure we all have (many) days like that but thanks to the glories of social media we often wind up hunkered over the counter playing the social media comparison game by 3pm wondering what time is reasonable to begin the bed time (torture) routine and crack open some wine and just give up.

I stumbled upon this awesome article on Ann Voskamp’s blog a little bit ago that has been really on my heart and motivating me to look at life a bit differently.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you take a moment to check it out.  The quote that jumped out at me the most was this:

“The pattern in everything is this: the greater joys are obtained through struggle and difficulty and pain—things you must force yourself to do when you don’t feel like it—while brief, unsatisfying, and often destructive joys are as inviting as couch cushions.”

Sometimes you just have to put your big girl panties on and do it.  Even when you don’t want to.  Even when it’s hard.  And always when there is something to do that seems easier or more enticing.

Another awesome quote from a similar post on her blog is “Fire your perfectionism and your procrastination will quit too.”

Last week I had a professional photographers worst nightmare happen.  My hard drive died and we found out much of the information was corrupted on that drive.  Through amazing people at the Learning Center Ann Arbor (if you have a MAC I would *HIGHLY* recommend them!!!!!!) I found out that all of my information will be saved (YAY! *deep sigh of relief*) thanks to their awesomeness, my obsessive backing up… and God’s grace!! But I haven’t had a machine for more than a week now and that has made me even more hyper aware of how I am spending my time.

What I have learned in this past week is just how much we rely on things that yes, are important but are absolutely not the cornerstone of existence.  Despite not having a computer I have been able to take some time to work with a dear friend over the weekend on getting our businesses in order, making goals for the coming year and learn about living intentionally.  Has it been convenient, not exactly.  But we put on our big girl panties, did the hard work anyways and now through discipline (I really like that word this post… 😉 ) I will have to implement what we have talked about at a later time when it is (most likely) not convenient.  And that is ok.  That is *real* life.

I wasn’t really planning on ‘giving’ something up for Lent because I prefer to try to do something for lent instead.  But after thinking about where I spend my time and seeing how different life is when I have to make conscious choices of how (and where to work).  I have decided I am going to be making some huge adjustments in my social media time.  I will be practicing the discipline  of time management and instead of being on facebook or instagram for passing of time I will have specific goals and time limits.  So for the next few weeks it may seem like I am gone but I am still here (and no we did not have the baby 😉 ) I am just choosing more carefully what I allow to influence my time.

They say comparison is the thief of joy and if I am trying to model for our son a more disciplined and intentional life than constantly comparing myself to what others are up to is not giving he nor I the best foundation for success.

So for the next forty days and beyond I am going to try to do one thing a day that I am dreading (yay adult life!!!) as well as fire my perfectionism.  Because through discipline we allow ourselves to live a life more intentionally.  And really, a perfect life really is no life at all.

There may always be crumbs on the table and dust on the mantle but if I am living a life led in love and grace then the people closest to me won’t be seeing the dust and crumbs.  They will be too busy laughing, feeling the love and hopefully feeling inspired to live their life as well.

You only get one life, so let’s use it well.

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4/52

So one of my New Years Resolutions this year was to challenge myself with lighting.  (And more in-depth photoshop guru-ness!)  Both are stretching to me because I LOVE natural light and getting things right in camera.  However, life doesn’t always cooperate with shoots and sometimes we have to supplement light and sometimes we have to fix things on the computer (well we have the ABILITY to now with digital!)  So since I have these lovely tools available to me and I want my clients to always LOVE their images, I want to make sure my tool box is always fully locked and loaded and ready to go!

So without further jabbering… I made Rico model for me as a rugged cowboy in a dark room and got some fun pipe smoking pictures 🙂

2015-01-24_0001Mostly I was focusing on more edgy lighting.  We took a lot of time playing with dark room focusing as well as artificial light from candles, flashes and even some lamps.  2015-01-24_0002 2015-01-24_0003The night was a bit trying because it is so different than how I usually shoot but also because we had our 4 year old assistant ‘helping’ us 😉 🙂 2015-01-24_0004Over all I am super excited with the outcome!  I did very little post processing with these images (other than changing some from color to black and white!)  Excited to see what February’s challenge brings! 🙂

Northway Lifestyle Newborn Session

 

So, it’s winter.  Anyone who knows me personally knows winter is kind of my arch-nemesis.  Yes it can be beautiful.  Yes it can be fun.  But I am desert creature and I love summer!  (a Dune reference for all of my fellow nerds out there!)

So, all that being said 🙂 One thing I have begun to LOVE about winter is indoor Lifestyle Family Sessions!  This was my most recent one! (Other than Ben’s cake smash!)

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The nice thing about lifestyle family sessions is it is come as you are!  If you like to get dressed up?  Do it!  If you want to wear sponge bob pj pants?  Do it!  It is all about capturing your family, your home and your LIFE.  Right.  Now.  2015-01-15_0003When Becky contacted me about Scarlett’s newborn portraits we wanted to include some ‘christmas-y’ family pictures too since she was here right before Christmas!!! But due to illness we had to wait a bit to schedule our session!! 2015-01-15_0004Big brother Owen was fantastic!  He was everything an energetic new brother should be!  We had fun chasing him, letting him play, eat a snack and letting him help choose where people should sit for pictures! 🙂 2015-01-15_0005 2015-01-15_0006Lifestyle sessions are my favorite because they are a perfect mix of an ‘ideal pintrest shoot’ mixed with reality.  So we get those sweet pictures that make you swoon… 2015-01-15_0007 2015-01-15_0008And we get the goofy real life pictures that will make sure you laugh when you look through them remembering just how ridiculous life can be sometimes 🙂 2015-01-15_0009But even if life feels a bit ridiculous, you wouldn’t trade it for the world right?  Right.  🙂2015-01-15_0010 2015-01-15_0011Big brothers want to help, they want to sit in baby seats, they want to play with trucks 🙂  Sometimes we have boogers or leftover jam on our faces.  That’s life.  And it is WORTH capturing 🙂  2015-01-15_0012As are sweet tender moments just like this.  2015-01-15_00132015-01-15_0014So as we are in the middle of this COLD season 🙂  Let’s warm up together!!! Maybe we can schedule a session where we have a dance party or we bake cookies?  Let me know what you’re thinking of doing and we can plan just how AWESOME it will be to capture it!

Here are a few others of my favorite lifestyle sessions I’ve done recently… and haven’t yet blogged.  (I’ve been too busy hibernating 🙂 )

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3/52: Cake Smash

 

So this project is meant to stretch me both creatively as well as professionally.  Next week (hopefully!) you will see some AWESOME new lighting and post processing techniques I am practicing 🙂

On the weeks I don’t have a ton of sessions I want to try to find interesting light to capture so that when I have sessions I will be more inspired to find the more creative shots instead of just going with the norm.  I love what I do and I *love* my clients so it is essential I keep the art alive in all of my sessions and I do that by practicing.  You can never, ever have too much practice!

This session is very special to me because it is a very dear friend’s baby’s first birthday this week!  I don’t generally do cake smash sessions but we mixed it with a lifestyle session feel and I can honestly say I am SO happy with the results.  Here are a few of my favorite artsy photos, there are many more ‘traditional’ photos I can share later when I blog the whole session! 🙂  Hope you love these!  2015-01-19_0001 2015-01-19_0002 2015-01-19_0003 2015-01-19_0004 2015-01-19_0005 2015-01-19_0006Thanks for following me on this journey!!! Hope you loved these!

 

By the way, if you LOVE the cake (I mean how cute is that!) Check out Sweet Treats by Emily! She made this beautiful cake and has made several yummy treats for events I have attended… AND delish gf cake balls for our gender reveal back in November!

2/52 Baby Dimples.

Lalo turned four this week.  Most days I can’t believe how fast it went.  Some days can’t seem to go fast enough. He has grown to be a remarkable, caring, creative and funny little guy.  One of his birthday presents is to ride the Silver Train (Amtrak) to Dearborn and Gramps will pick us up and take us to Lalo’s Museum (The Henry Ford).  We couldn’t go ON his birthday, so I drove him up to see the train at the station on his actual birthday and then we grabbed some hot cocoa (since it was -20 with windchill…)

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This picture speaks volumes to me.  Probably many mamas can relate. These little hands would reach for my face when he was just a babe, would grab for my hair, my nose and my lips.  Eventually he would crawl to me and reach up to have me hold him, in time he would toddle towards me and grab my hand for steadiness.  Now he is confident in his balance but will still reach for me when he needs reassurance or when I tell him we are crossing a parking lot.  When I reach for him he still more often than not he will place his growing hands in mine.  Soon this will change and he will tell me he doesn’t need to hold my hand and this mama isn’t ready.  I need to get ready for soon he will not be holding a hot cocoa and a super pup but a strong black coffee (just like his mama) and a brief case.

This picture of him warming his hands I can still see his precious baby dimples.

They are less pronounced but still there.

Someday soon they will be completely gone but forever etched in my heart.  My prayer is my sweet boy continues to use his hands for comforting, creativity and connection.  I pray for this sweet boy that I can be the Mama he not only needs but deserves.

Happy Birthday my sweet Eduardo.  For while you grow all I can do is smile and hope you know just how much I love you.  AP6_6349-3