Friday, July 31, 2009

Playing in Seattle

While in Seattle for the Richmond wedding, I took time to explore the downtown area. Couldn't resist making use of my Flip camcorder!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The bluest skies you've ever seen - in Seattle!

Genuine, kind, determined, committed – these are words that describe Danielle & Caleb. You see it in their relationship with each other, with their spiritual community, and with the world. It was a blessing to be part of their wedding on Saturday!

They were married at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle. Danielle’s mom made her wedding dress, a beautiful fitted dress with a royal blue train & hand embroidered accents.

I first met Danielle at a dinner in her mother's home. Mom has the gift of hospitality, and her daughter shares her ability to make people feel welcome. Even though I'd never met either woman before, I felt an instant connection.

I also met Caleb at one of Mom's celebrated dinners. (Two or three times a year, she invites a bevy of friends & strangers into her home. Authentic Indian cuisine & Seder celebrations are amongst the annual offerings.) I was immediately struck by his kindness, which was coupled with a zeal and determination - a rare and powerful combination!

Danielle works in the Episcopal church (at St. Mark's cathedral, in fact) and plans to pursue vocation as a priest. That's 4-5 MORE years of college, of course.

Danielle & Caleb are a natural and perfect fit for each other, and I wish them joy & a deeply spiritual walk through life.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fantasy Series

I have a wonderful client who wanted me to create a fantasy series for her son. "I'm not a graphic designer," I responded. "That's really not my forte."

"You can do it, Cherie, I just KNOW you can!" was Loriann's response.

I drug my feet and drug my feet. It really ISN'T my area of expertise, you know. But I finally sat down today, and with the help of some stock images (thank you to the photographers who make these backgrounds available) I created my first fantasy series.

It was fun! My client was right. I COULD do it. Sometimes we just need to be pushed out of our comfort zone. But don't tell Loriann - who knows what she'll dream up next!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fabulous Fourth!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Fourth of July! I am grateful that in 1776 AND today, people have the courage to dream new dreams and to take action to see them realized! I am reminded that the birth of new ideas arises out of unflagging work and sacrifice...

But on a lighter note, here's what one photographer does on a holiday:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Video Insights

I bought a Flip MinoHD, and immediately put a video up on Facebook of me in my studio. Hey, it’s a business deduction, so I’d better be using it for business, right?

I was surprised by the strong response I received. Not about the fact that I stay current with technology (although I pat myself on the back for that. I may be over 50, but I’m as groovy as ever. Oops. Did I just say “groovy”?)

The observations that really caught my attention were from high school classmates whom I haven’t seen for 30 years. They commented on how beautiful I was and that, seeing my personality on the video, they could understand why I was such a popular photographer.

Wow. You see, I was not a ‘popular’ teenager. Not by a long shot. I think it was because my self-esteem, in every category except academic achievement, registered in the negative scale.

It made me think. What changed between geeky 17 and today? What caused me to turn from an insecure teenager into a confident adult? I know that I struggled through my 20’s and beyond. When did it change?

Two things come to mind. One is life’s challenges. When tribulation comes our way, we can either grow, or we can shrink. Through the grace of God, I have grown with the sorrows (as well as the joys!)

The second is photography. My passion for what I do, the response I get from my clients and my friends, the joy of CREATING, brings a deep sense of centeredness. When I am photographing, I know who I am. I feel a sense of where I belong in the universe. Photography both grounds me and allows me to fly. And I think that’s what my old classmates (and current friends) saw in my short movie.

Funny how it takes an amateurish video to bring that all to light, huh?

PS: Here's the video:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Even When it isn't Like I Dreamed...

In a photographer's magazine, I saw an article with some BREATHTAKING newborn portrait art. Babies suspended in fabric, cradled in Daddy's hands, etc. All sleeping peacefully, of course.

What the article didn't tell us is the photographer's secret to getting those serene babies. I'm thinking it must involve hard liquor and baby bottles. But perhaps I'm just feeling jaded.
I had a newborn session scheduled for today, and I couldn't WAIT. Those images had inspired me to try even more creative poses, and I was ready with gauzy fabric, a beautiful soft baby basket, and other props to create show-stopping images.
But little Brayden had other ideas. He did not fall into a blissful sleep. He did not think my soft bed (away from warm humans) was enticing. He did not think that being suspended in thin air with gauzy fabric was a good idea. AT ALL.
So, after quite a bit of time spent trying to convince him that great art was worth his cooperation, his parents & I did it Brayden's way. And you know what? It was magic all the same.