Monday, December 17, 2012

Life is Precious

I know I haven't blogged in awhile, almost three months to be exact. Life has been busy, both on the personal level and on the photography business level. One of my goals in 2013 is to blog on a more consistent basis. I posted the following on my Facebook fan page and then realized that more of the world should read what I wrote, with tears in my eyes, this morning. The post means a lot to me and every word of it is the truth. Please share with those you love and care about.

Due to the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, CT on Friday, it again, has made me realize how short and how precious life is. Our children grow up so quickly (too quickly) before our very eyes, and we slowly age with each passing year. This very life that we all live can be taken from us in an instant. Just like that. The memories we have of our loved ones will always have a special place in our li
ves and in our hearts. We must never take life for granted, as it may not be here tomorrow. 

My heart is heavy for those affected directly by this senseless act of violence. I pray that everyone involved will eventually find peace and comfort and that they hold the memories that they have near and dear to their hearts. I have lost some very special people in my life. I am comforted by the wonderful memories as well as the photographs that I have. Sometimes, I wish that I had even more photographs, but I treasure the ones that I do have. Just a small moment in time when the shutter clicks and that instant is saved forever, has so much meaning and is so cherished. I have photographed families who have lost a loved one and getting messages how thankful the family is for having those photos is so meaningful to me. Knowing that I could provide a little comfort in their darkest hours warms my heart. 

So take photos. Take lots of photos! Whether you hire a professional photographer once or a couple times a year or if you take them yourself, just have them taken. As long as those special moments in life are captured and saved for all time. And don’t keep them on your computer or on a disc tucked away in a drawer. Display the prints. Display the memories. Love ♥

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rene | Senior | Lakeshore High School

When I discovered this location, I immediately thought it would be perfect for Lakeshore High School senior, Rene. And boy was I right! Rene (and her mom!) absolutely loved the variety of aspects of this particular location. We got the nature type shots as well as some urban type ones. She is a beautiful girl and natural in front of the camera too.  Rene, I wish you nothing but the very best during your senior year of high school and beyond! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Jeremy | Senior | Lakeshore High School

I met Jeremy's mom the beginning of the summer and we quickly became friends. So I was super excited when she contacted me to photograph her oldest son for his senior portraits. Jeremy is a great kid with a crazy sense of humor--many laughs during our session. We chose a great location for his portraits, some nature-y type settings along with some "cooler" spots with graffiti and train tracks. Quite honestly, this was the perfect location and I can't wait to use it again! 

I wish you nothing but the very best during your senior year and beyond Jeremy! You've got a bright future ahead of you! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Value (or not) of Old Photographs

the photos I ended up with from a recent estate sale

So anyone that knows me, knows I absolutely love estate sales. I readily admit that I am an estate sale junkie. If I could make half a living going to estate sales, I'd be rich! Ha ha! I remember the very first estate sale I went to, I was a little apprehensive. After all, I was going to be going into someones home and rummaging through their things. After that first one, I was hooked. I try (TRY!) to get to one at least once a week. It's not just getting a good deal on someones old stuff, it's getting a little peak into someone else's life. I've always been fascinated on how others live (which I guess is why I am also a self-proclaimed reality TV junkie), whether good or bad, rich or poor, and everything in between. 

I recently went to a pretty large estate sale. When I say large, I mean, I had to park quite a distance away and stand in line to actually get in the house! Once in this particular home, it became to be quite overwhelming with the amount of items that were in there being sold. Every room was packed full of stuff. I wouldn't say this home was on the lines of hoarders at all, but they did have a lot of stuff. 

I quickly noticed how many photo frames there were. Every room had several boxes full of frames. The basement, which had 3 or 4 rooms itself, had even more. Upon further inspection of these frames, I noticed that many of them had photos in them. Not the stock photos of a model family that come with the frames, but actual photos of people, of children, of pets. I thought that was kind of odd...why wouldn't someone take those photos out and put them in a safe place? Digging even further, I found several photo albums. FULL. Full of birthday parties, new cars, family vacations, and silly snapshots. 

I flagged down a woman working at the sale and casually said, "You do know that there are a lot of photos in frames and albums, right?" She smiles and said, "Oh that's fine! If you buy them, you can just toss them out." and walked away. 

GASP! Pinch me because now I am in complete shock. 

Toss away photos? Who does that? I have huge Rubbermaid type containers jammed packed with photos that, if there was a fire, you better believe that those totes are being saved no matter what (after my family and dogs are safe of course!). Most people I know say they would save their photos if God forbid their home caught on fire. It's probably the number one answer on Family Feud too ;)

I am assuming that whoever lived in the home, passed away. Most families do end up having estate sales only when one passes away because there is so much stuff. But wouldn't you think that relatives would want those photos? What about these peoples children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews? Not one person was even remotely interested in keeping family history in the family, to pass down to future generations? 

This really makes me sad.  

My grandma recently passed away and there are tons of photographs in her basement and in albums upstairs. Photos of her growing up. Photos of my grandpa growing up. Photos of them together. Photos of my mom, my aunts and uncle. Photos of me and my siblings growing up. And of course, there are photos of people we don't know, but we save them all the same. It would pain me if anyone remotely thought of tossing them out (which I know they won't). Those are part of our family history and are cherished. We have loved looking through them and will continue to value them and what they mean to us. 

It was obvious, with the enormous amount of frames, albums and photos, that whoever lived here really did love their family and loved to be surrounded by their photographs. Now, unfortunately, those photographs will be tossed out like yesterdays news and end up some landfill. 

In my purchases for that day, I did end up with a few photographs that were in the frames I bought. I felt bad though, that I was taking these photos...but then I also felt bad for not taking all of the photos, especially the photo albums full of pictures even though I don't know who any of these people are. It may sound silly but I feel that someone needed to save these memories... I now wonder what ever will become (or already has become) of all those photo albums at that sale. I also ended up with a roll of film in one of the older cameras I bought and I do plan on eventually developing the film (yes, there are places that still develop FILM! lol)

So tell me...what are your thoughts on old photographs and what to do with them? Would you actually leave them out to sell in an estate sale? Have you ever purchased frames or albums with someone else's photos in them? Do you (or have you ever) just tossed out photographs? 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jackson Family | Harrison Twp., MI

I had been wanting to shoot an early morning beach session and was thrilled when the Jackson Family was up for it. I had photographed this family several times in the past and they have become one of my favorite families to photograph. We met at the beach at 7am and it was pretty chilly out! The twins were still kind of sleeping, lol, because it was so early. They soon perked up and had a lot of fun with the session and on the beach. Mom is pregnant and due in October but doesn't know the sex of the baby....but Dad does know! I thought that was pretty cool, though personally, it would drive me crazy to not know! lol So here are some of my favorite images from our early morning beach session :) Comment are always appreciated and if you'd like to book a beach session, contact me and we'll set it up! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In honor of 9/11.... Royal Oak | Operation: Love Reunited

In honor of 9/11, I'd like to share an Operation: Love Reunited session I did earlier this year with this amazing couple. This was one of my most favorite sessions to date and it was an honor to capture their time together before he deployed. 

May we never forget those who lost their lives during that tragic day and may we thank those who continue to defend our lives and our country each and every day. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012