Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Want You Back.....

I am in the mood to write today......

I want to write about one of my all time favorite songs ever, "Airplanes", by a band called Local Natives. There are so many songs out there about make up and break ups. And way too many songs about casual hook ups and other junk. I love when I find a song about something different, especially when it is about something special like family. Here are a part of the lyrics from my favorite song...

The desk where you sit inside of a
frame made of wood
I keep those chopsticks you had from when
you taught abroad in Japan

I love it all so much
I call
I want you back

I did not know you as well
as my father knew you
every question you took the
time to sit and look it up in the

I love it all so much
I call I want you back

It sounds like we
would of had a great deal to say
to each other
I bet when I leave
my body for the sky the wait will
be worth it

I will admit that when I first heard this song a few years ago that I did not pay much attention to the lyrics. I loved the chorus and would kind of shoot the line "I want you back" along with the song. I honestly thought it was a break up song. I was not paying attention to all the words. Then one day it really hit me what the song was about.....It was about them wanting an ancestor back. They longed for a relative that passed away, I imagine a grandfather or grandmother. The song is about one of my favorite subjects ever...Family History! This making it the best song ever!

This immediately made me think of my grandfather, Charles Alfred Gideon, a man I never met. My grandfather died when my father was only 18. I have always loved hearing stories from my father about my grandfather. He went by the name Charlie. He was a painter. My father called him a constant source of embarrassment. I heard he had a wild sense of humor, which helps me understand where my fathers awesome sense of humor comes from. If my father ever brought home a bucket of chicken for dinner he would call out "got some chicken. wanna neck?" He said it was what his father would say every time he brought chicken home. I have always wanted to meet him. I heard he was a little crazy, which I can relate to, I am really crazy! I know he had an ancestor that he longed for that he never met. He was named after an Uncle Alfred. Uncle Alfred was a track runner and died in college from appendicitis. I have seen letters and documents that my Grandpa Charlie wrote where he talked about how much he wished he met his Uncle Alfred and how he wondered what he was like. He wanted him back as I long for my Grandpa Charlie back. And There is one line in the song that I could change to fit my story. My grandfather never taught abroad in Japan, and I don't have any chopsticks from him. But I do have his copy of the Book of Mormon from when he took the missionary discussions and was baptized. He wrote a lot of questions and comments in the margins of the book. I love reading his thoughts and seeing his handwriting. I know we would have had a great deal to say to each other. I can't wait until I leave this body for the sky and get to meet him. It is strange a person can feel so close to someone that they have never met.

I was lucky enough to go see Local Natives play live in October 2010. I cried a little as they played "Airplanes." So grateful for a song like this that makes me think about something so important! and is so thought provoking. Is there any ancestor in your life that you want back?

Here is the song. I love both versions of this...one live original version of the song and the other is an awesome acoustic version. Could not decide which to post so I am posting both. I love the song that much!

Acoustic Version

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Labor Of Love

***I know I have not blogged in a while, I have been searching and wanting to create a new blog so that is why no blogging these days. But I really wanted to blog about this.

Our Labor Of Love
Jess and Whitney
(sorry for the very grainy/noisy picture. We were all testing out the light at a wedding and this is the only picture I have of them together, but it was totally blacked out)

**before reading: the word Photog=photographer. Most know this but this is mostly for my mom because I know she will ask me later. And I don't want her to be confused as she reads through it.

I am a very very shy girl and always have been! I really force myself not to be. I am very insecure and doubt myself around every turn I take in life, especially in my industry, the photography industry. There are some really amazing photographers out there...true artists that lead and inspire me all the time. They also intimidate me. I am constantly in awe of the pictures they take. And in March I had a chance to see some of them in person at a photographers conference in Las Vegas called WPPI. And seeing them in person made me even more intimidated, they are so COOL and just all around rad as people too and not just as photographers. I even went to this party there called Airhorns and Lasers. I kept reading all these tweets the week before wppi about the "have to go to party" so I decided I had to go and bought the tickets to Airhorns and Lasers. It was the best thing I have ever attended! Great Music!...by The Human Jukebox. Scott and I danced and had a great time. Wppi was very informative, I took lots of classes and I was so glad that I got to go. My favorite class was by Jesh De Rox's "Beloved"......LIFE CHANGING!!! If you ever have a chance to listen to it you should: HERE

Here is a video clip of airhorns and lasers at the Tryst:

airhorns & lasers from stillmotion on Vimeo.

I really have tried to push myself in my photog skills since coming home from WPPI. One thing I have tried to do is to branch out and not be so shy. It is hard for me and I get a knot in my gut every time I think about meeting someone new or having to introduce myself to a stranger. I am going to talk about a little secret in the photography industry......Photographers are snobs! sorry, but I just said it. I would say I said it out loud, but I didn't, I just said it to myself and maybe the three people that read my blog. Photographers are SNOBS! (not all, but there are out there). I know I just said earlier that at WPPI that I learned that the photographers I admire are cool and rad as people, well the ones I follow are cool, but so were the popular people in high school! That was the feeling at WPPI.....a feeling like being in High School. There were the popular kids in the hallways that everyone owww and ahhh'd over. Just like the halls of high school. I attended a workshop in April up in Maryland.....room full of snobs. I tried really hard to strike up conversations with several people and I still ended up eating lunch by myself. This is what photographers get snobby about:

1. What brand of camera you use: NIKON or CANON
2. What kind of camera: Full Frame, Crop sensor, how big is your camera????
3. What kind of lighting do you use: strobist or natural light?
4. Who do you do your website through? Template or not? Flash player or not?
5. What site do you blog through? host your own or not? (seriously, one of the reasons I have not blogged forever, blogspot is not the 'popular' choice among photogs)
6. Where do you shop for clothes???? urban outfitters, anthropology and j crew?
**that last one is a joke, but really partially true.

Ok, so all of the above intimidates me from having a conversation with other photogs. I dread the question......What kind of camera do you use? I am a proud Nikon girl! If you rock a Canon, more power to you! no judgements from my part, but man people want to debate about it. I just want to shoot!
then what kind of Nikon do I have, "only a d300" is usually my response as I hang my head in shame. Because it is not "full frame". You are not a real photog unless you shoot full frame is the feeling you get while answering the question to other photogs.
And yes my website is a template and yes it is run off of flash player.
Blog.....I don't even have a photog blog, this is my family blog I started years ago through blogspot like all the other mommy's out there.
and My fat butt never shops at urban outfitter , anthropology and j crew. Not until they make a plus size section.

Anyways.....where is this blog going....it is going to tell the tale of my infatuation with a photog company called Our Labor Of Love by Jesse and Whitney Chamberlin (Jess is the wife, Whitney is the husband, just to be clear, I was a little confused in the beginning myself.)
So take into consideration my fear of people, my fear of photogs, and my doubt in myself when reading this story:
I love twitter. It is a good way for me to follow some of my fav photogs blogs and discover other photogs that I can be jealous of and envious of, but mostly inspired by. When one photog tweets about another photog I go check out the blog and decide if I want to follow them on twitter. When looking at another photogs blog I hardly ever read it. I know, LAME! (so thank you to those for reading this big long post I am making right now). I just like to look at the pics. If I like the photogs pics I follow them on twitter. I started following a photog company called Our Labor Love a few months ago. I read nothing about them when I first found their blog! I just liked their pics and chose to follow them on twitte. then In June they tweeted that they needed a 3rd photographer to help with a wedding in Pennsylvania. I googled the town and saw I was less than 2 hours away and thought "what the heck? I have nothing to do this weekend!" I messaged them and they messaged me back a phone number to call them. With a big knot in my gut I called them. I spoke with Whitney, he got my site info and said he would call me back with a yes or a no. I waited for hours saying "they are probably laughing at my flash player template site right now. and thinking 'big fat no to you!'" As I waited for their call I started actually reading their blog so I could learn a little bit more about them, in case by some chance they actually hired me. The more I read the more I wanted to be hired by them, but at the same time did not. The more scared I got to meet them the more I found out about their high level of awesomeness. I found out some pretty awesome stuff about them the more I read. Then finally I got the call from Whitney saying I was hired. He said he did not have a chance to look at my work but that he went to the site and saw the cover page and thought I looked cool. I have a partner named Maranda. At this point Whitney did not know which one I was, so I am guessing he thinks we are both cool, which we are! I am gonna be truthful now and say that I am 99.9% sure that the reason I was hired was because no one else applied.

Once I was hired I really really started to read about them. Remember the party I mentioned before that I attended called Airhorns and Lasers?....well, that is Whitney and Jesses party, yep theirs. They produce that party every year. They are in charge of it. They are airhorns and lasers and also all this other cool stuff....like the Smilebooth. They are also bestfriends with all the best in the industry. Like Jesh De Rox and Sarah Rhoads...Some of my heroes. My stomach was in knots the whole night before the wedding, and the entire drive up. I got to Pennsylvania and was greeted by Whitney and went to work right away. First he asked me what kind of camera I shot with. I for whatever reason really proudly stated "a Nikon D300". I remember saying it as if it was the best camera ever made. He was probably thinking "ok, you are really excited by your little crop sensor camera." (another side note, they are big canon people so they were probably a little sad I was rocking a Nikon). I also remember he first asked me to start shooting the beautiful center pieces and all the wedding details. I was shaking as I started. Then really started shaking when he walked up and said "let me see what you are shooting and how you are shooting it." He was pleased with what he saw. We both took a deep breath at that point. Especially since it was the first of my work he had seen.
I had a wonderful day at the wedding. I admired their shooting methods. Jesse shoots with such thought and purpose. She is so calm and cool. She is a COOL chick! One of the reasons they hired a 3rd shooter is because Jesse is expecting her 2nd child and has morning sickness. She worked so hard all day long. It was a hot and rainy outdoor wedding. So beautiful! So you know how I said earlier that photogs are snobs: Whitney and Jesse so are not. One thing photogs are snobby about is their knowledge. Photogs are very protective of their knowledge and not always open for sharing it. Because the wedding was outdoors and the reception was at night time, off camera lighting was very important for the reception. I know hardly anything about off camera lighting. Whitney asked me if I knew much about lighting, with a lump in my throat and hanging my head I said "not much." His reply was awesome!...."wanna learn?" He taught me a lot.
This story has gone on and on. End of it is: that at the end of the night they hired me to help them out again for a wedding in July in DC. Shot that with them and it was another amazing weekend with the fabulous duo. What did I learn? Not to doubt myself and take more leaps outside my comfort zone like I did by applying for that job. Seriously, if I had known all of the stuff about them before applying, I would not had let myself apply. I would have totally sat at my house that weekend and wishing I was cool enough to hang with photogs like them. Instead I applied. and I learned not all photogs are snobs and I learned that I don't want to be a snobby photographer. I hope I can be creative and helpful and be an artist like Our Labor Of Love. I don't know if Jesse and Whitney will ever read this, but I want to tell you THANK YOU!!!!

If you check out this link you can see the wedding pics from the wedding in PA. These are mostly Jesse and Whitneys, but I recognize some of my babies in there. There is even a shot of me in one, I was Jesse's light girl during the reception. That would be my big butt holding the light up during the bride and groom first shot.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


IMG_2658 copy

Hello Friends. I have neglected my blog for way too long. Sorry! I figured since everyone is on facebook that everyone knows what I have been up to. But I just wanted to put up some new links to some fun pics that I have been taking.

Many of you followed my blog last January as I would post the events and progress of my friend Natalie. She was in a terrible accident and spent some time in the hospital and in recovery at a rehabilitation center. She was not in either place very long. It seemed long to her, but her quick recovery in less than 3 months time was a miracle to the rest of us. Shows she is a fighter. Several of you don't even know her, but you were concerned and would post well wishes for her and her family. I wanted to update you one year later. Click on the link below and you can see how great she is doing. I have done a total of four senior shoots with her in the last 8 months. We have had a great time. She always makes me laugh! Natty if you read this, I love you and I am so grateful for our friendship. Thank you for being a great senior model.

Click HERE to see more pics. These are just a few of her images! She has a full private gallery of over 100 images....and still growing. The biggest gallery ever! I need to make her a book.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Passing Of Previous Post

A month ago I posted about a photographer that used to take my family's photos. He just passed last week. Here is an article about him and there is a link to view more about his life. He was so talented. A great inspiration.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why Do Friends Leave?

I recently had some great neighbors move. It has only been a week, but I miss them already.

Our daughters were such good friends. So Sad!!! But we are both military families and that is what we have to get used to. Moving and leaving good friends and making new ones. We went out for a photo shoot before they left and this is one of my favorite pics I have ever taken.

Anyone Who Hates The Rain, Has Never Danced In It

Or Has Never Had A Photo Session In It!!!

My friend Charisse wanted a photo session for her birthday. So her and her husband and very cute little man drove up from Richmond for their session. Rain had been predicted to start at 8pm that Saturday. I was excited because that meant GREAT overcast at our 4 o'clock session. But at about noon I saw the dark clouds rolling in. I got scared, so I called her and said lets go NOW! She hurried her family up and we tried to beat the rain, but no luck! It started raining on our drive to our location. They looked so great, and she had worked hard to make that great orange skirt she is wearing. I wanted to take something. So we found a porch that they could hide under. It was very hard to focus in the rain, but we got a few gems and plan to shoot again. Next time I am going down to them. They are such a great family.

We got more than just a photo shoot out of the weekend though. We got in two late nights playing our favorite game, Agricola. Don't know if I am more excited for our next session or our next game of Agricola. I love both!!!! Good friends make the world so much better!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Living Out Loud

I am trying to live my life out loud these days. I am tired of feeling like there are certain things I can't do in life, or shouldn't do because of what other people think. (Don't worry.....I am talking about simple things in life, I will still be a moral upstanding citizen!). I am trying to live a life full of art and creativity. This is how I am living out loud these days:

1. Quit my daycare

2. Opened Photography Business

3. Committed to Designing and Consulting for Heritage Makers (www.storybookingbyyou.com)

4. Living a Healthy Life

5. Buying clothes and shoes that I thought I was too old or too fat to buy....nothing revealing or trashy, just fun colors and styles.

6. Over accessorizing....big necklaces, bracelets, rings, big bows, big headbands, big flowers!

7. I CUT my hair off!!!

Pink was my inspiration for my hair cut....actually, Delana was my inspiration. She cut her hair yesterday and I started thinking of the funky things we would have to do to her hair to fix it. I came up with some clever haircuts that would look good on her, and thought "hey I want a haircut like that"

I wanted my hair much much much blonder but the hairdresser would not do it. So I asked her if next time I come in if we can go lighter, she said yes. Can't wait to go blonder!!! I love my hair! I can play with it in so many ways. Look for more pics of it. I can even make a rad mohawk with it. And how Pink has it styled above, I can do that exact thing!!! So many ways to play around with it! So happy and so free.

Delana got her haircut too. Her inspiration was Kate Gosselin.