Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Regina's Wedding {is not done being edited yet but totally coming soon!}

Some people love to shoot weddings.
They might love the love 
or they might love earning a big fat paycheck-
who am I to say?

I will tell you this about me though,
if I shoot a wedding it is for someone I love.
I have to love them very much,
or I couldn't do it.
I say no to a lot of people for wedding shoots.
No. No. No : )
I am glad I didn't say no to Tyree and Gina though. 
So glad.

It's not the actual wedding I don't adore.
Or the getting ready excitement.
Or the party afterwards
(I mean, who on this green earth doesn't love a good party?)
It's the editing after the wedding.
Day and night I edit.

I can only do one other session per week 
after I shoot a wedding 
for about a month.
Isn't that crazy?
Anyway, I felt like you needed an explanation 
as to why I have been absent lately.
I know you missed me so much, right?
Oh, not so much?

No worries.
I am almost done editing Gina and Tyree's wedding.
I can't wait to share their day with you!
It's coming soon,
but here is a little preview to tide you over.

I am so happy to watch them start their forever.

ABC Wednesday (t for tears)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Thank you.

What is a Veteran?

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can't tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet?
He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She or he is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another, or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat, but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being, a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say "Thank you." That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Those two little words mean a lot, "Thank you."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

'I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.' Vincent Van Gogh

How did we end up 
at the Country Fair 
on a Wednesday night you might wonder?
Well, here's the long story.

I was driving home from Philly after a long and hot day.
92 degrees with humidity (in case you wondered)
The phone rings.
Jonathon wants to know if we can go to the Fair.

 I assumed it would be on the weekend.
Friday night perhaps.
Or Saturday.
'Of course we can go.'

 So, at 5:30 I walk in.
Tired and hot and maybe a tad bit grumpy ; )

 The boys jump up and tell me we have to leave

 It turns out, ALL of their friends are going tonight.
6-10 pm.

And there is a special...
For just $16 you can get a band and ride every ride.
That sounded like a fantastic deal to them.
I tried to talk them out of it.
It didn't work.

So off we go.
They had the best time with their friends.

They might (or might not have)
asked me to please walk far behind them.
They might (or might not have)
told me not to embarrass them in front of their friends.
They might (or might not have)
used up insane amounts of money to win
a stupid plastic frame with a picture of Eminem...

 At the end of the night we went back to get our car..
and we had parked at a hardware store 
with gates.
Gates that were closed!

 We couldn't go home.
I called my brother Johnny.
He told me I wasn't very bright to park in a lot like that.
I concurred.

 Betsy and Levi were at his house so they came to rescue us.

 And we all lived happily ever after.

Last year we were with Juan and Shoshi at the fair.
We really miss those boys : (

Unknown Mami
i am lotus

By the way, I can't get this post to center correctly for the life of me.
I have to say, I am not a 100% in love with the Mac yet.
All of you told me that it was the best thing since sliced bread....
I miss Windows Live Writer for blogging with a passion.
And we all know that blogging is the most important thing I do on a computer ; )

Friday, May 27, 2011

but, then, you always look beautiful to me

Yes he said that.

I said, 'You look like your diet is going well Daddy. 
You look good.'

And he said,
'You look good too Becky.'

I must have looked up in shock.
Absolute shock.

Out of his mouth came these words:
'but, then, 
you always look beautiful to me.'

He said it on a {very} fat day.
An ugly day.
A holey and shrunken yoga pant day.
And when he said it,
his eyes crinkled and he smiled.

And I saw the love.
Really,  nothing else mattered.
My gray hair,
my fat,
my clothes.

My Daddy loves me and thinks I am beautiful. 
Just as I am.

So, today, on his 60th Birthday,
I just want to say thank you to my daddy.

Thanks for loving me just as I am.
Thanks for believing in me 
and helping me 
and caring for me.

Thanks for thinking I am beautiful.

When I look in your eyes, 
I feel beautiful.
And I feel loved.

I've said it before.
I'm sure I will say it again...
I have the very best Dad in the universe.

Go boldly into your 60's.
May all your dreams come true.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Photogapher Interview: Sheye Rosemeyer

Do you know why I started doing interviews? 

I had so many questions 
about photography.
About business.
About the business of photography.
I thought maybe others had questions too.
I have fallen in love with these interviews 
over this past year.
I have learned so much.
When I sent an email to Sheye, 
I did not think she would respond.
She has a booming business, 
a thriving family, 
and a schedule that could make one weep.
Yet, her response was almost instantaneous.
She would love to help.
And help she has.
You will love her answers.
You will love her pictures.
You will love her.
When you go to her blog, 
be prepared to stay a while. 
Take some tissues. 
Go with an open heart.
She is one of my very favorite photographers.
Welcome Sheye Rosemeyer.
How did your Mom pick your name?  
My mother heard the name 
on the radio and loved it. 
It is pretty and very unique!
 Did you like it when you were growing up?
I can't say I loved it - as a child I desperately wanted to be Michelle and Tracy to fit in at school. As I get older though,  I appreciated it being unique. 

Are you glad you use it as your business name? 

I do generally recommend using your own name.  My personal view is that anything other than your own name can be restrictive and you may find that what you enjoy shooting now is not what you'll love in five years. 

How did you decide what to call your business when you were first starting out?
  When I registered my business seven years ago, I really wanted to call it Babycakes Photography for no other reason than I loved the word and figured I'd be shooting young children so it made sense.

My husband talked me out of it and I'm so glad for it!  Now that I've found my feet with photography, I rarely photograph babies at all and my name would be totally confusing to clients inquiring.  
In saying this, if you have a name that is personal to you and you feel passionate about, it may still be a good alternative...just try not to have it tie strongly to a particular market.

 How would your best friend describe you?
Creative. Flighty. Fussy. Spontaneous. Giving. Unorganized. Motivated. Diehard shopper. Lazy cook.  Perfectionist to a fault.
Describe a perfect weekend day. 
Tell us all the details!
Ooh, a dream weekend day?  
Early morning cuddles with Ivy after a full nights sleep.  Meeting friends for a simple organic breakfast, strolling the vintage stores and finding great trinkets while stopping for soy lattes.  Lunch with my Mama and calling in at the markets to pick up treats for Crayton and the kids.  
Snatching ten minutes in the late afternoon sun with my babies and a camera. More cuddles to end the day :)
Can you tell me a favourite song you are listening to right now so I could add the video?
Oh I have too many!!  
How sweet is this? 

I could sit all day watching this gorgeous Dad and Daughter duo.  
Makes me smile :)
What made you decide to market your actions? 
For a long time, I was asked if I would sell actions.  I had worked hard at refining my editing style and none of the actions I'd bought myself gave me the look I wanted so I decided to make my own. 
The BeautyFull Set came out in Feb 2009.  It was, and still is, such a buzz to see them used on other peoples images!  

The Vintage Roadtrip Collection is my brand new collection which came out this month. I'm very excited to have launched them.  I now use a combination of actions from each set on my own editing and they compliment one another really well.  
Have you ever seen one used in a publication? 
I've seen the actions used in lots of different ways - from print magazines to online magazines like Delish and Maeve.  I love to see the different outcomes people create :)
What made you start the business of sharing and teaching others? 

Thank you for asking. I love teaching so I'm really happy to talk about workshops! 
I had started a Q&A series on the blog just for fun and a lot of the questions were photography related.  I preferred to keep the blog more about family and other personal topics but I didn't want to just dismiss those questions so I thought I'd offer an online workshop and just see what the response was.  

It was honestly a huge surprise to me to have hundreds of people express interest.  My first workshop, Explore, was in August 2008 and Evolve followed not long after. I enjoyed both of them so much that I decided to continue them for as long as people wanted to do them.

  The workshops now run back to back and at times, we've had 800 people on waitlist which is just crazy to think about!  I have an administrative assistant and co-facilitator Fran, who helps me keep everything running smoothly.  

We're constantly working on refining them and have introduced a lot of new features over the years.  

Because there's such a vast array of workshops available now, I want to offer something really worthwhile and I'm so proud of what we've achieved.  I keep in touch with so many of the students and feel like we're one big Eye Candy family :)

Were you nervous to undertake 
the business part of photography?

Truthfully, I really was.  I'm not one for pretending I was born knowing photography or implying that starting business was a piece of cake. It wasn't.  

Like almost everyone out there, I was worried about the standard of my work and nervous to put a price on it.  I'm not sure I ever would have fully comfortable seeing myself as a 'proper photographer'  - I was always held back by self doubt but losing my daughter, Ava in 2007 changed my perception a lot.  

Having to face my worst nightmare and come through the other side gave me a new measure of what being afraid was and I also got to find out that I really was capable of anything.   
Surviving the loss of a child makes nerves about business matters look so minor. From then on,  I stopped worrying about what anyone else thought.  I just shot for me, in the style that I genuinely loved.  

It's a blessing that people seem to like what I do and I've been able to establish a successful business but more than anything, I'm happy that I've been able to realize my personal dreams for photography.  If I have days where I'm feeling nerves creep in, I push ahead anyhow...not for me, but for Ava.  She doesn't have the chance to pursue her own dreams so I feel like I'm doing this for both of us. 
 Could you share a mistake you made with your business? How did you learn and grow from that? 
I've made many mistakes in business but I don't regret them as I think they're essential in helping you refine and evolve.  My own experience has shown me this:
- Find out what you love and become brilliant at it.  Don't waste time and energy trying to figure out someone else' style. You will only be aspiring to replicate well and will miss out on the opportunity to do something amazing, and unique.

- When you get overwhelmed, get help.  Your dream job can easily become a nightmare unless you manage your workload very carefully.  Learn to say "No" sometimes and invest your energies wisely.   I'm a huge believer in outsourcing where possible but ensure those you employ have the same standard of quality as yourself - these people will represent your business.  
- Get it in writing.  In every instance, when you enter into an agreement with a client or supplier, have the terms and conditions in print, and signed where appropriate.  Don't be complacent or it will only be matter before you find yourself in a stressful, and potentially costly, scenario.  I have learned the hard way just how important this is.
With the mistakes I've made myself, I always vow to do it differently going forward - and I do.  

Finding the lessons in adverse situations makes them so much more bearable, and even valuable.  

Tell me about your perfect dinner. Would you go out? Would you have a chef come in for it? What would you dine on? Who would be eating with you?
My perfect dinner would be a family dinner, either out or at home where everyone is relaxed and happy (and behaving!).  I've been vegetarian for ten years so anything sans meat will win me over :)  Decadent dessert would be warmly welcomed.
 Do you take a picture every day?
 Oh I wish!  I dream of having low key days where I have the time to shoot whenever I want but I rarely do.  My life is exceptionally busy and shooting for myself is a luxury lately.  

I'm working on getting better at 'happy snaps' of my  children though - I'd hate to look back in ten years and only have the perfectly planned shoots to represent their childhood.  I want to remember the real too.   
 Do you ever take your camera somewhere and start shooting and just feel like something is off?
 Yes.  Sometimes the light is flat or the subject finds it hard to relax.  It just means I have to work harder to create my vision.  Usually a change of scenery with some good conversation along the way helps a lot.  It's hard when Dads are not at all interested in the session but luckily the nature of modern day family photography means that there isn't a whole lot of posing required. 

Can you recount such a story?
No! What if the wrong person reads this! In all honesty, I rarely leave a shoot not having really enjoyed myself. I love meeting people and I love capturing connections. 

Luckily, I really can't recall any disastrous shoots and I've also never postponed a shoot until just last month. The sky turned from blue to dark gray literally as the client arrived and I knew that pretty, golden light was high on their list of priorities. 
In that scenario, I encouraged the family to postpone because the last thing I want is disappointment with their images. 
We waited 24 hours and shot the next day in glorious sunshine. 
While I think it's important to be able to think on your feet and be adaptable, I also think it's fine to make last minute changes in location or timing if you think it's necessary. 
Your clients are wanting the best possible outcome and they're looking to you to provide that.

What is your signature scent?

I love Lollia Wish but I only wear the body cream.  I also  love the smell ofLavender Oil, it reminds me of going to the Spa!  

I actually don't like the strong smell of perfumes in general as many give me a headache.  
How long does it take to do your makeup in the morning?  

Many days I'm not wearing makeup at all but every now and again I'll make a full effort with liquid eyeliner and false eyelashes...all that can take quite some time!    

Working from home is a mixed blessing because it can be easy to not bother and then you end up feeling a bit drab some days.  Even without wearing it a lot, I am still a makeup junkie and love to purchase pretty gloss and anything with fancy packaging.  The Benefit counter lures me every time.   I think it's just a reflection of my all or nothing personality. On any given day it's either trackpants and Havanas, or frocks with petticoats and heels.
Do you get emails straight to your phone?

I do.  I'm still not convinced it's a good idea though and it takes discipline to resist checking mail all the time.  If I'm with people I try very hard not to as I find it rude when someone else does it.  Call me old school but I can't think of too many things that are so important they cannot wait.   

Does your husband like being in your pictures?

Absolutely not!  He is probably the most anti-photography person I know.  That's okay though, I'm the most anti-gym person he knows so we're even. 

If you weren't a photographer, 
what would you want to be?
I think I'd likely be a midwife.  I absolutely love anything to do with birth and after having my second child naturally after a c-section, I was so inspired to study midwifery that I actually volunteered at the local hospital for some time.  It was only when I realized that midwifery is probably more about paperwork than birthing these days that I reconsidered.  

There are still lots of ways to be involved in the birth process though and I'm sure I would have found something to satisfy that desire!

Do you have your photography 
hung in every room of your house? 
I'm working on it! I have a lot printed and after renovating last year have lots of nice new walls waiting. 
What rooms have it?

Being a pedantic Virgo, I struggle to find the perfect location for things but I'm getting there :)  I also love illustrations and paintings so I have quite a mix of artwork around.  In my office, I have an 'inspiration string' hanging which holds a lot of the little things I find and love. 

If you have an hour of free time what do you do? 
Ideally, I'd visit the spa but one hour would never be enough!  My relaxation is often some shopping with my Mum.  She loves the vintage stores as much as I do and she's a great sounding board along the way.  
There is something about browsing vintage items that totally transports me.  I love to imagine where things came from and the tales they might tell...old petticoats, velvet sofas, pretty hatboxes. They all make me swoon.  
For me, the little trips my mind takes, the momentary departure from the here and now, is true relaxation.
What is your greatest wish for your children’s future? 
Like many, I just wish for the simplest of things for my children.
- To be content (happiness is fleeting so I'd prefer a more constant state of being!)
- To find their passions
- To treat themselves and others with respect and compassion, without judgement
- To live long and healthy lives
Are there ever days when you feel like you don't enjoy certain aspects of your business?
The only time I have challenging days with photography is when I've taken on too much and I feel like my creativity is impacted.  I am used to the ebbs and flows now though, I know it is not possible to think up amazing concepts every single day but creativity does return in time.  
I've also learned over the years to not absorb what else is going on in the industry, to remain strongly focused on what my own goals are and stay true to what inspires me. Those who greatly succeed in any industry are rarely worried about what the person next door is doing.

I loved her pictures so much, I didn't want the post to ever end.