Give Me Just a Minute. . .

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Give Me Just a Minute. . .

My little man. My very last baby. My cuddle buddy. 

This young man is NOT a huge fan of pictures BUT he is a huge fan of me so yesterday I sat my tripod and gear up across the room and sat in my chair waiting for him to come get a cuddle. I didn't dare do my hair or change out of my cozy clothes or he would have know something was up instantly. I knew it wouldn't take long because cuddles are what Jasper's do best. So cuddle we did, and tickled and told stories. . .

Just 5 minutes and a little love bug equals a full and happy Momma heart.

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Macro Monday - Long Over Due

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Macro Monday - Long Over Due

For the longest time this area of my photography was me. . . I lived in the tiny moments, the serenity and calm of seeing all the beautiful details in my day. Crawling around in the mud, making friends with bugs, photo journaling weeds (no joke, I spent a whole summer documenting the misunderstood beauty of common weeds) but than it stopped. . . I just couldn't see it anymore. My whole little world of calm and patience where I could block everything out and connect with things just went away. I tried a few times and it just wasn't there. . . it was gone. I think a lot of it was because I didn't want to see it. I didn't want to open myself up to the beauty of the tiny things around me. My heart was broken and with it my passion was as well. Today I decided to click that macro lens into place and give it another go. It was totally organic. . . I didn't going looking for a shot, it kind of found me and just felt like old times so maybe it is time to start opening myself back up? Maybe not fully drowning myself in it as I once did but just allowing it to come to me when the time is right?!? 

Who knows. . . either way, it felt real and comforting.

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Who Knew?!?

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Who Knew?!?

Self Portraits. . . I know I have been talking about this a lot since the start of the year but if you have been following you probably know that it is kinda a very close subject to my heart lately. . . I was there TOO!! 

And WHO KNEW that I would actually enjoy it?!? I have never been much of a selfie person. . . the time to actually set up and get things where you would like them, predict your light, your settings, your focus. . . all of it just seemed like such a struggle for something that I would just want to pick apart later anyways. BUT it just seems different this year, so much easier, so much freedom! I am do whatever I would like!!! I can expect cooperation!!! I can make the images I have in my brain come to life and I am kinda loving it! Maybe this is just my year?!? Maybe it took me 36 years to actually realize that the me I am is the only one I am getting so maybe I need to just learn to love all my imperfections?!? Embrace the knowledge that I can be as creative as my soul want to be and all I truly needed in the first place was me. BONKERS!!!!

So I shall rock the me I am and create some art while I am at it! Whoop whoop to being the you you are! 

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I was there TOO!!!!

Tears. . . big big tears!!!! I didn't even know these pictures existed!!!

As a photographer I am generally ALWAYS the one taking the pictures. . . the one behind the lens. . . the one who doesn't exist in the memories. It seriously tore me up for the LONGEST time that I didn't have any pictures of me and Skyler. Nothing to say I was there too and a tangible memory I could hold in my hand of me and this amazing person who meant so so much to me!!! Yesterday, Sissey brought over a huge box of pictures she has saved for Beckey from a tragic mishap. . . she had gone above and beyond to rescue these precious memories for her sister, which in itself was just AMAZING. As we looked through the piles and stacks of pictures there they were. . . pictures proving I was there too!!! I was a part of this little man's life not just a spectator.

Truth be told I stopped taking pictures all together after Sky left us. I didn't want to see the beauty anymore. . . I had failed because there just weren't enough pictures. There weren't enough memories and I couldn't make more because my chance was gone and I had NOTHING to say I was actually there. I am a stubborn person, I admit it, and I fought a lot with myself over this one because why should I even try when I had already failed?!? It took me close to a full year to realize that just because I had failed once doesn't mean I have to fail twice. . . I just need to do better this time. . . so I started taking pictures again about 3 weeks ago and a piece of me that felt like it had been sleeping started to wake up and THAN this magical moment happened where I was blessed with this incredible gift!!! I WAS THERE TOO!!!

Ok, so I know. . . crazy emotional me. . . but moral of the story. . . capturing those memories is so important!!! As a photographer you are the time keeper, you are the memory maker and the person who is freezing these simple moments that, looking back on, are more important than you even realize right now SO MAKE THEM!!!! But more over, get in them!!! YOU WERE THERE TOO!!! Maybe it is a selfie, maybe you set something up with your kids, maybe you hand your camera over?!? It doesn't matter!!! Just do it!!!! And for the people standing back watching their photographer. . . maybe offer to take their picture (they will likely say no because as a photographer we are comfortable behind the lens not in front of it) SO maybe just take it. . . sneak that shot if you have to!!!! Take that picture and smile because you know what?!? You just made your own moment and your own frozen memory that that person will be so thankful for someday!!!!

I miss you every single say My Sky Thai!!!

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The Little Match Girl

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The Little Match Girl

She took the little maiden, on her arm, and both flew in brightness and in joy so high, so very high, and then above was neither cold, nor hunger, nor anxiety - - they were with God.
— Hans Christian Andersen

As an early teen I remember reading the story of The Little Match Girl and thinking to myself that it had to be one of the saddest things I had ever read in my life. . . the struggle of this tiny girl trying to make it just one more day all alone. . . So much suffering. . . but as an adult it has come to be a short story that holds so much more meaning and is honestly such a beautiful tale that truly touches my heart. So I decided to make a portrait representation of The Little Match Girl with Piper as my amazing little model.

I must admit I have been so incredibly inspired by my dear friend Sue Sonnenberg and her new book Discarded: A Journal For The Creative Soul. . . it is rare that something touches my soul that much and this book has been what my inner me has been trying to say but couldn't put into words. My amazing friend has painted such an incredible creative journey through her own experiences and it is just raw inspiration. . . it makes me want to create. It makes me want to get out the ideas that are bubbling in my head. . . I want to be more of the artist that I have always felt was there just super far down that I couldn't ever make come to the surface and what better time to do that than now?!? What am I waiting for?!? Nobody is going to invite my inner creative to shine the way I wish it to. . . I need to do that and be OK doing that. . . so I shall <3

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New Year - New project of AWESOMENESS

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New Year - New project of AWESOMENESS

It's a brand new year which brings with it new grand ambitions, goals and projects and among several other projects this year I have put together an amazing blog circle with some pretty incredible ladies that I admire and respect. I am so super excited about this wee little group and everyone in it!!!! 10 photos each month on the 10th. . . easy enough right?!? But more than that it is an amazing group of photographers collaborating together to promise to not only blog but to put ourselves out there. To shoot regularly and give our blogs a huge kick in the booty (not to mention behind the scenes we have a ton of fun joking and getting to know one another better. . . bouncing ideas, sharing our days and our work. It is beyond inspiring and motivational) It is always an amazing day when you find your tribe. . . your people that understand the same need to create. . . the fear of putting yourself out there. . . the joy in accomplishment and the incredible magic that comes from having like minded people to support your goals and ambitions and frankly make you feel a little less odd (or that your version of odd is exactly PERFECT.) That is power!!! 

SO here are my top 10 images for the past month (or from the past 3 weeks because I wasn't shooting much before than lol). I am so excited to be creating again after taking such a long break away from the camera in 2017. It truly feels like coming home!

Ok. . . ok. . . so for those that were counting there are "technically" 11 images on this page BUT I must point out that I have never been famous for following rules AND it is my blog SO why not?!? lol

Thank you all so much for popping by and viewing my favorite image from the past month!!! NOW if you would like to see what my amazing "tribe" has been up to head over to the amazing Miss Tanya Moon's blog. Her brilliant use of light and shadows completely blows me away!

vvvv P.S. I also found this to be crazy inspiring so had to add it!!! vvvv

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Just Not My Day - But I Was There TOO

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Just Not My Day - But I Was There TOO

A little different for me but I promised I would stick with my "I was there TOO" project this year so here goes nothing. . .

I find myself sitting in this chair a lot the past few days. . . cuddled up next to the fire in my room where it is somewhat quiet. Somehow I have literally broken my back. . . I went to the Dr yesterday with not much relief so here I shall sit and wait it out I guess.

I consider myself a very independent person. . . I don't mind being alone (and grant it how alone are we truly when we have two toddlers and a teen in the house but still. . . there is always that sense of "you got this") but on days like today I truly wish my hubby could be home. . . I don't want to move. . . I don't want to adult. I certainly don't want to sit here in pain that brings tears to my eyes but those are the options that are laying in front of me so that is what I would be most comfortable doing but that isn't an all day possibility because I have to be someone's person RIGHT NOW. . . and that is ok to.

It is before noon and I have created my blog post, I have shot my daily picture, edited it and now sharing it. . . I have ordered groceries because heavens knows I am not going to brave the grocery store today. . . so honestly I am still winning, but than I look around and see my house getting that much more messy, my business not going anywhere and my kids chilling in their pjs still and all I want to do is crawl back up those stairs and sit in this chair. . . by my fire. . . and sulk because there is nothing I can do to feel better so I can BE a better adult and tackle these things that need to be done.

I know tomorrow will be a better day, I have faith it will get better, but today I am not feeling the rainbows and butterflies (and that is ok too, not every day can be that kind of day). Either way, I was there TOO. . . broken and miserable BUT HERE.

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Ramblings of an Unsettled Mind

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Ramblings of an Unsettled Mind

"One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice, 
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind, 
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow, 
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is."

- Wallace Stevens

Just me again. . . So, the new year is here. . . new grand ambitions and goals. . . new promises to myself that I have great intentions of keeping but lets be real with each other my dear Blog, we both know that won't happen. Life seems so busy, so many to-dos and not enough time and even worse. . . not enough focus to actually accomplish the many things running around my head.

I have joined a 365 group. . . a P52. . . and a Blog Circle. . . two out of three of these are mainly lifestyle photo based and the more I continue on that path the more it feels like a "job" I am forever struggling with. . . don't get my wrong, I love having these treasured memories of my littles to look back on. They grow so quickly! But day in and day out I find myself not feeling complete artistically. I feel myself being drawn to the strong pockets of harsh light and shadows. I want to be creative. I want my soul to shine and I know that doing forever lifestyle shoots will never full fill this "want" inside of me. . . just another year of 365 images. . . why?!? Because that is what I am supposed to do as a mom with a camera? 

So yesterday I did a thing, I had a vision of a red dress in the frost of winter and as I pulled the dress out from the dusty pile of prop dresses I have collected over the years Piper enthusiastically asked if she could wear it. . . originally I had thought a self portrait but if I have an eager little model, why not?!? She did such an amazing job! It was chilly but she didn't complain once and was such a brilliant little light. My heart sang! I felt like I was creating something, not just taking it. I worked on my edit to make my vision come to life and put it out there in the world. . . yes, there were the amazing people in my life that love me who gave me some hearts but mostly it didn't go over nearly as well as my "take a picture of the kids, post a picture of the kids" images. Does this matter?!? It shouldn't!!! But in a way it kind of does. . . maybe they don't see what I was trying to do? Maybe they don't understand my need to break free from the every day? Either way, it honestly shouldn't matter. . . it was for me. . . it was for my creative heart and I want more. . . well received or not. I will continue doing it, because it made my heart smile. . . it made me feel like I was being me just the tiniest bit rather than conforming. So tomorrow I shall do it again. . . and maybe even the next day. . . who knows. I do know that as we were making the walk back home up the icy hill I noticed the pile of discarded Christmas trees and felt inspired so that is the direction I am going with. No obligations to do it every day, no pressure to be amazing. . . who honestly cares if it isn't the most amazing thing in the world truly. Isn't it about what makes me happy? Isn't that why I decide to create in the first place?

Ugh. . . I just want to feel like I am doing something well. . . anything well. I want to be amazing at something, not just good at a lot of little things. I want to stop feeling like there is always something missing. . . like I am always waiting for something that just isn't coming. . . .

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Wednesday Window Art & Finding the Light

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Wednesday Window Art & Finding the Light

Aw. . . my dear old blog, always patiently waiting for me to find time. . . always here waiting to be utilized. Is this the year? Will I start using you and actually stick with it? I promise I will try!! If nothing else as a place for me to journal my thoughts and day. . . or not, it might just turn into pictures. Who knows. BUT you are mine and I shall try my best to harness my little corner of the internet this year, not for social media purposes, not for "look what I can do purposes" but just for me.

I have committed myself to two new photo projects this year that I am pretty excited about. My dear friend Laura invited me to join her 365 photo challenge and my friend Aimee has asked me to join her in a 52 week challenge (which should be easy considering the 365). I haven't shot in such a long time. . . I feel like my entire year has gotten away from me and capturing those precious moments and documenting my life while doing the one thing that brings me the most joy just wasn't a priority. In all honesty the loss of my nephew really threw me in a tail spin. I didn't want to look at the world and all the beauty in it. I didn't want to see beauty in a world where my Sky Thai wasn't in it. I felt like a failure for not having captured more moments of the people who were no longer here. . . the ones I should have been trying to capture the most because now I will never again have that chance. I needed time. Silly really because ultimately all I truly lost was more memories. 10 months of nothing. My kids are getting older, my life is changing as people and life tend to do and I missed it. . . once again. But sometimes a break is good. It makes you see what truly matters and where you heart lies and I hope I never have to feel that way again to realize what my true calling is and that is journaling my daily life. Not just for me but for everyone else. Devoting your entire self to learning and growing a craft just to throw it away is a crying shame. . . so here I am, rambling. . . in a safe place and I plan on doing that often because I have a voice and my feelings do matter. . . so here I am LOL.

After 10 long months I decided to pick my camera back up (which required a vast amount of dusting to be completely honest. . . so sad). Saturday, Dec 23. . . that was the day I decided. It wasn't a cognitive decision, more of a "hey, lets take a picture" and I realized, hey, I missed this. So here I go, on another adventure an I can't wait to see where it takes me. 

My shy one.

"He said, "Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl

Window art

"The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment." - Pema Chodron

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