Monday, November 21, 2011

What is Making YOU Wait?

Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @
... a way to get to know a little more about me personally...

There's always a good excuse: "my hair needs to be cut" or "I don't like this haircut"... "I need to lose some weight" or even "I only have ten pounds left to take off and then I'll do it"... "the kids won't be still"... "we're all so busy"... "I don't have the money in the budget."  On and on it can go!

Hold on... what's the question? What is Making YOU Wait... for Family Photos.  Yes, I'm a photographer - and of course, I would love to take your pictures.  I would love to sell a big package.  It is how I keep my {newer} business running!  But I'm not talking about ME {specifically} taking YOUR {in particular} family pictures... after all, whoever is reading this could be from another city, state or country!!  (but don't get me wrong - I would absolutely LOVE to take your pictures!) I'm talking in a broader sense of the question.  Think about it: What is making you wait to do family pictures?  

Now I will admit... I do not like to be on that side of the lens.  Truthfully (and you will not find too many that will disagree with what I'm going to say) I am very UN-photogenic.  In fact, you can't take a picture that will turn out much worse than one with me in it.  BUT - I will quickly stop with my family to get pictures taken.  When my son is home from the Navy, I want my picture taken with him.  Think about it this way.  There is no promise for tomorrow.  NO - I'm definitely not trying to be morbid or depressing... but it's just a simple truth.  Do you think people who meet tragedy wake up expecting it?  That's why it's called tragedy.  And it's why we should live our lives as if each day could be the last.  Leave no regrets - nothing undone.  

When I am taking pictures, especially when it's within my own family, and someone constantly avoids the camera, makes an ugly face or throws their hand up in front of the lens, I will often ask them "is that how you want to be remembered years from now?"  Because let's face it... there does come a day that the only real thing left of us is the pictures.  (and I promise, if someone truly doesn't want their picture taken, I respect that!)

Then there's that aggravating budget... I definitely know how there's just never enough money to do everything you want to do.  But to me it seems that if you prioritize and plan for those special "picture times" each year or so, they are well worth the investment.  Because an investment is exactly what we are talking about here with family photos.  And if that's still not something that's possible for you, then consider that there are tons of photographers... many different "price points" to work with... so you can find someone who is within the range you can spend to do the job that will hold so many memories for years and years to come.  
Last year my daughter was moving out of her apartment at college.  We were there helping, and I always have my camera with me.  A couple of her close {guy} friends had come over to help - and I had my camera right there.  It's ALWAYS with me!  But I didn't take a single picture.  It was busy, and I just didn't make the time.  That will never happen again.  Less than a week later, one of the boys who was helping, Collin, died suddenly and unexpectedly after having surgery.  He was one of my daughters very close friends... I'd had a perfect opportunity to take his picture in those last days when he was with friends...laughing and enjoying his life.  I let it pass... and those memories are only in our minds.  
Family pictures.  They are more than a record of how much weight we need to lose, or the bad haircut we should have re-thought.  They are a moment captured and frozen... a moment that can be revisited over and over again in the future, shared for many years and touch many lives.  Don't keep waiting!

{and please - do call me if I can ever be of any help with capturing your family's special would be an honor!}

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tying it Together

Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @
... a way to get to know a little more about me personally...

Two weeks by the sea.  It sounds like the start of a novel... but it has been my last two weeks.  And while many people have thought maybe I was a bit crazy to be down here alone so much, it has been a lot of time on my with my camera, my thoughts & daydreams, coffee, editing, reading, SLEEP...maybe a little wine and definitely lots of walks on the beach!!  It will be very hard to return to "real life" - but I feel like I've been exactly where I needed to be during this time.  Just like the sand when the tide is coming in and going out, life often has a lot of shifting about... and it's good to have the opportunity to regroup a bit.  Sadly, many people are afraid of time alone...but as I've grown through my life I've learned to cherish those alone times and to see them as a gift.  To use them to work through the questions, hurts or overwhelming moments in my mind that get pushed back into some place that gets overly cluttered.  It has been a good couple of weeks, and I will be sad to see it end... but knowing that it won't be too long before I'll be back again definitely makes it easier.  And who knows, maybe next time I'll invite a few girlfriends down for some "girl power" time!!

My many walks on the beach have given much opportunity for many pictures... so many moments captured.  But let this just tie up one walk to share with you.  

Have an awesome day!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Captured Truth

Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @
... a way to get to know a little more about me personally...

bridge to the sea

As a photographer I look at the world constantly through my lens.  Even when my camera is not right in my hand, I see things and immediately think of how I would capture it at just this or that angle to show the world just what I am seeing.  Years ago when I got my first dslr I would carry it around and think "What can I take a picture of?" but as time has passed, and as I've gotten older and more experienced with life {and photography} I find myself thinking "How can I not stop and capture this shot?" Colors and clouds, angles and contrasts... all of these things scream for me to stop that moment in time with my camera.  

serene ripples in the sunset

It's no longer just a sunrise or sunset...and it's no longer just a ripple in the water.  It's a moment that I want to stop forever and remember.  That moment evokes a feeling that I want to treasure and hold onto so that I can look back on it at a time that I need to revisit that feeling.  Isn't that what a picture should do for us?  I have often said I want my pictures to make you smile, laugh or cry... I want to touch your emotions.  I want to evoke feeling in you.  And I want you to come back again and again wanting to see more.  

My Superhero

My Angel

And when I capture a person, whether it is a newborn or someone who has lived a hundred years, I want that picture to reveal a part of who they are.   I want their eyes to show what they are be able to see the pain in their life, or the happiness in that moment.  My philosophy with living my life is to live it in truth... and I carry that into who I am as a photographer.  I want the images I capture to reveal the truth of the moment.  And then I am happy that I have accomplished my dreams...

Make your day a beautiful day! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Douglas Family Session

Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @
... a way to get to know a little more about me personally...

For a photographer it's always exciting to be contacted by a perspective client who has already seen your work and developed a love for your style.  Going into the relationship you have a sense already that you're on the same expectation level.  But it's even more exciting to be contacted by someone who has a connection in some way to your life and hear "I just somehow found you - and want YOU to do my family pictures."  For an ego, that would be food.  I'm not an ego-type, so for me it's very humbling and an even greater challenge to deliver something ground shaking to that client.  I was not at all disappointed by the Douglas family.  The client lives 3 hours from where I live - but not too far from my parents - so I could combine their photo session with visiting my parents.  That's always a plus with my Mama!  But to complicate matters, we had to find a date that their whole family could get together - and that I was also available to travel up for the weekend - AND that we didn't have the worst of weather conditions.  That is a lot of "ifs" to get worked out!  But WE DID IT!  And I couldn't be happier with the results.  We had a wonderful time during the session.  I try to always calm everyone's nerves - tell them I'm a "no pressure" kind of photographer and I want everyone to just have fun.  We talk, kid around, do some impromptu posing (if you see my work, you KNOW I don't care for those real "posey" shots) but what I always hope for is that by the end of the session we have developed a friendship that will last for many years to come.  During our time together I've gotten to know them a little better - but they've also gotten to know me.  

Here are a few images from the very special Douglas family session:
Sweet B loved playing in the leaves... and she loved that pumpkin so much she just had to give him a kiss!  I loved LOVED watching this family dote on this little girl.  It always makes my heart melt to see a child so loved.  B started life with some complications requiring surgery before she could even leave the hospital... but 1 year later you'd never know she ever had a problem!  There's no slowing her down!

Much of our session was around B... at that age it's hard for everything not to be about the 1-yr-old in the room!  But seeing how that little girl ties that family together into an even stronger bond was such a treat for me. 

Next I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time with Lacy... since she'll be a Senior next year we're already talking about her Senior Session... what fun! 

Enjoy the pictures... and have a great day!