Thursday, December 29, 2011

Goodbye 2011

In preparation for what I was going to write for this blog post I looked up 2010's farewell note. My tears swelled, what seems to be the easiest thing for me to do nowadays. I've become the biggest sap. Ever. 2010 was tough, and if you think like me, we can consider it beef jerky. 2011... you've been... peanut butter. Sweet but salty. Chewy but smooth. Super sticky and not the same without jelly. And above all... really nutty. Leave it to me to compare a full year to snack food. Unlike last year where I selected a few pictures to commemorate all that happened throughout the span of three hundred and sixty five days... this time, I've decided to remember it ALL. I blame it on things like Twitter and Instagram and their wonderfully copulation of one's images in tiny squares. I'm copying and pasting my iPhone's picture gallery on here. Next year, I want to read all this that I'm writing and not only recall the details - but see it - visualize it in the organized picture mess I am presenting. This was 2011. My peanut butter.
2011 had lots of play, to be totally honest; something that I hadn't quite experienced before. It was about taking sides. Learning the difference between being alone and loneliness. Walking in the beach with a pitcher of juice and yelling so loud that people look at you weird. Fitting a big lifestyle into a tiny room. Finding out the hard way that switching to cheap shampoo doesn't fly. Grasping lifelong lessons: Never set a coffee cup on your sunroof. Memorizing the phrase: "Stop. Focus. You're out of control." Making crunch-wraps at three am. Stumbling on great news on Twitter - the kind that make you leave your desk and bawl your eyes out in the bathroom and call your Mom and repeat them over in between sobs. Meeting really weird people. Using the word crisis every other day. Getting a crap load of flat tires. Teaching someone how to fix a flat tire. Learning how to drive stick shift; well almost learning. Taking long bubble baths. Collecting lots and lots of corkscrews. Moving twice. Having someone knock on your window while you are talking to them on the phone and smiling like a fool. Finding my way back home. Discovering the value of trust. Dreaming more than living. Eating hotdogs for a week straight. Having someone make you a 'wake from the dead' scrambled eggs breakfast. Quitting coffee. Realizing that quitting coffee was probably the stupidest idea ever. (I'm laughing at this one.) Being in the right place at the exact right time. Screaming like a teenager in a concert. Having someone read my mind all the time. (It isn't a good thing. Really freaky actually. And super ANNOYING.) Loving Coco more than ever. Planning your dream home and seeing it unravel day after day. Watching Despicable Me a hundred times. Getting genius ideas at 5 am. Crying over something that isn't fair, wishing there was something you could do to make it go away - being one hundred percent relieved when things turned out well - even when no one thinks you care. Getting sunburned and arriving at your girl-friend's house half-naked because you are on FIRE. Making easy-mac the hard way. Long conversations about the same thing over and over. Dancing in the middle of the street. Walking endless blocks for the greatest chips and salsa known to man. Missing someone; everyone. Changing your mind about buying groceries - three times in a row. Having the whole office jam to Chris Brown. Realizing that timing truly is everything.
Taking pictures of people I hadn't seen in ages. Loosing pictures that meant the world to me at the time. Eating pizza for breakfast lunch and dinner all in the same day. Stripes, this year was definitely about stripes. Visiting Louisiana and feeling like a total stranger. Drawing faces during showers. Talking about photo shoots that never were scheduled or accomplished. I became a version of ol' McDonald. Twice. Well, almost twice. Sleeping forever. Unpacking all of my wonderful stuff that had been put away for a really long time. Listening to Adele on replay. Helping someone overcome the worst of challenges. Changing favorite colors; it's now gray. Yes, gray. Giving up on being a plan-a-holic. Wishing I would actually gain weight. Having tons to say and just smiling. Changing... and changing again. Long days at the beach... [so wish it was summer still]. Witnessing someone change their life around. Getting an eye infection that finally makes me take off my contacts before bed every night. Fully understanding the meaning of what being selfless is. Turning the page. And most importantly, after everything that this year has sent my way, I'm thankful for waking up & smiling about something everyday. Only God knows how big of a deal this is to me. I couldn't be more grateful for all that have and have lost. Simply because I now know the value of it all, down to the most insignificant thing. Like, self-closing kitchen drawers and magic lights on my fridge. It's not about the big things. It never will be for me. I feel that this year has given me plenty of little things to see it as a growing experience. There's only up from here. 2012, I'm ready to start climbing.
[ If you read all of that... breathe. I know it was quite an eye-full. ] Thank you all for your continued support! I love you. Truly. Madly. Deeply. HAPPY THURSDAY!!!
SOTD: Marchin On by OneRepublic

Thursday, December 22, 2011

the birth session that got away

This waiting game of being called to the hospital is killer. Makes me think twice before doing anything. Should I take my camera bag every where I go? Am I gonna have time to come back home for it and drive to the hospital if they call me while I'm standing in Walmart's never ending shopping line? Should I go to bed earlier than usual to make sure if they call in the middle of the night I'll be rested? Today was one of those I want to do nothing but sit and wait for the phone to ring. Maybe watch movies. Maybe eat a Big Mac because they are only $1.80 today (buy one get one for a penny day). Maybe help Sam with his Ronald Reagan report. Oh I know, look at all my birth session photos. I'm so glad I did, because the following birth session fell through the blogging cracks. I missed one! This particular one was definitely one of those middle of the night calls. I circled the time in the following picture just so you can see - 3:39 AM. No matter what time it is - capturing the story is very very important to me... so you can bet I will be up and ready the day I am called to the hospital. I remember sitting in a room talking to this family about their birth session. This was another one of my miracle babies. Looking over the pictures makes me feel like it was only yesterday. I present to you: Brandi's birth story.
C-sections are a different ball-game from natural births. Not every hospital will allow a photographer (me) to do all the things I have been allowed to in the past. It's very important to talk to your doctor if you have a scheduled c-section or in the case of an emergency and it were to be the case what the rules are. I've never been turned down from entering the room, but that's because we always plan ahead and get all the information necessary. Every family considering having a birth photographer needs to do their bit of research to make sure it's ok the day the baby is arriving. These next three pictures happen in a total of 3 seconds. And here's the baby!
Mom's reaction to seeing the baby is always my favorite. It's such a tender moment. I can't even imagine what it would feel like first hand. To see the little being that you have been carrying around for 9 months. Your baby. For the first time. After imaging and picturing whether it will have lots of hair, your nose, his eyes... you get to meet him/her. HOW EXCITING! Magical I tell you.
Another wonderfully blessed and happy family who will forever have these images of how their little one arrived in this world. I'm really really antsy now for my phone call. :P It's Thursday, my favorite day of the week, and time to cook. I'm off to become Ms.Rachael Ray and pretend that I am hosting a show and talk to my food. T-T-F-N!
SOTD: Forever by Chris Brown

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

newborn cuddles

A couple days ago I was in complete baby awe. That's typically how I get when I shoot newborn sessions. Holding a tiny little person and watching them be all snugly and cute makes me all warm inside. I start imagining what its going to be like when my best-friend delivers her baby in June and I get to do this over and over again... Oh my goodness! This itty-bitty person came to play one Sunday morning and we had quite the smiles and giggles going on. Internet, meet Bianca.
There's only ten days left to this crazy year 2011. My, where did all this time go? I am anxiously waiting by the phone to be called in for a birth session. It's kinda scaring me a bit that it's going to be one of those least expected moments. Like right before bed after a really long day... that's when I make myself the strongest batch of coffee known to man to keep me up from falling asleep through the many unexpected hours of child labor. It's such an adrenaline rush for me once I'm there, being in the room, not being part of it at all but capturing every little detail. Witnessing the miracle. That's my favorite part... I get chills just thinking bout it. Eeeeek can't wait! Cheerio folks.
SOTD: Slow Dancing In A Burning Room by John Mayer

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

love is... | Liz & Alien

"So how did you guys meet?" That's all I had to say and Liz's smile pretty much stayed glued on for the rest of the night. Alien went into a detailed account of how it all happened, Liz corrected him a couple times - kinda like on the movie 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' - and I sat there watching them bubble about each other. They met at a friend's small getty and after a game of Twister, Alien had his eyes set on getting to know Liz. It's been four years since and they are at their loviest peak. I met Alien at the beach while I laid out and photographed the group skim their butts off in South Beach. Once I met Liz, and saw just how protective and caring he was of her, I asked them if they would be interested in collaborating with me. Part two of my love-train-movement would feature this lovely couple. Now that I've gotten to know them a bit more, I know I couldn't of picked a better couple to work with for this particular plan. I am having the hardest time choosing a favorite for my office and hopefully you all will be of some help. This is love according to Liz & Alien:
It's all in the smile.
It's all in the hold.
It's all in the kiss.
I've always been somewhat of fascinated with trains. Now, more than ever, they have become part of my life considering I live right next to a train track and a metro train station. I tell you, it was meant to be. I believe I will do one more set of a couple in a similar scenario to complete my wall of love is... project. Once I get them all printed I will post a picture of just how cool it looks on my spectacular striped gray wall. If you are interested in participating [ I know I had a search before and talked to many couples - if you are one of them and would still like to participate, please contact me again. ] email me. Send me a picture of you and your loved one and I will pick one more couple to receive a session with me and their pictures of our day together. Just for reference and because it's still one of my favorite shoots, you can check out part one of the project here. Many many thanks to Liz and Alien for being such wonderful sports during the shoot and every other time we've gotten together in between. A HUGE thanks to my friends Kevin & Rosy for helping out in every way possible during the shoot and for participating as well. ;) I'm so looking forward to next one! So much that I want to be in one as well! :)
SOTD: I Feel It All & My Moon My Man by Feist

Monday, November 28, 2011

Just for Me: OSC

We reunited in a bar after years of not seeing each other. It was definitely catch up time so we had plenty to talk about. From that day on, things progressed into what you can call a sisterly bond. Sure we talk about everyday, go shopping together and have breakfast/lunch/coffee/dinner/movie/TV dates but, then again what two sisters don't? I realized the other day as I started to blog this project that I wanted to post detailed descriptions of my relationships with each one of my 'subjects'. Not because I feel that my blog readers need to know about them, or that it contributes at all to my photography... but because this is my journal. I use my blog to allow others to get to know me... to get a sense for who I am and whether I would fit as their photographer. When time goes by, I want to look back and not only see the progress of my business and how much I've learned throughout the years but also where I was in life, who I was friends with and to what extent. Things always change. Having pictures and written words expressing feelings and relating memories is such an awesome thing to come across years later. I know that if Yane and I were to stop being friends today and never spoke again there would be so much to remember... & I'm about to tell you why. I have so many nicknames for everyone... and it's definitely not because I can't remember people's names (my memory is always crystal clear). Among the many lovely names I call Yane, my favorite for all loving purposes will be Mother Theresa. Simply because if I were to have a mother figure amongst my friends, Yane would be it. She's always reminding me the vital things in life, which I neglect to do in a timely manner, and making sure I come through. She says the phrase "Oh Boy" for pretty much every idea I come up with, wakes me up every Monday-Friday with a [GOODMORRNINGGG - Hello hello - and my ultimate favorite "Ehh Loo" (because if you know me, typing phonetically in Spanish is the way to go.) I must be very predictable or Yane has some kind of psychic power because most of the time she knows what I am going to say even before I start to speak or if I do say something (and not the whole thing) she will just give me one of those - uhuh that actually sounds more like ajaa.. and then I know I'm pretty much screwed because she already knows the rest. I can literally sit here in bed and type up so many things but I won't... she will probably tell me I over did it. AND I probably will. ;) Moving right along to Yane's next best thing... [ ;) ] is my next model: Gary. Gary is Yane's piece of heaven on earth, prince charming, cherry on top, piece of cookie dough on her ice cream... you name it. Having witnessed their relationship almost from the start, I will say that he's definitely been the greatest boyfriend & (as the sister here) I have nothing but wonderful things to say about him. We had a bit of trouble with the scheduling of the shoot, because we are all such busy little bees, but once we got together Yane was so relieved... & me too.
I honestly had the hardest time keeping it together during the shoot. Gary and his coaching was way too much to handle. I think this was one of those days that Yane and I will continue to make reference to every time the subject of pictures comes along. Hopefully we will have the same attitude for every shoot we ever do together. I have the next one already in the works. Only problem is that the requested location may be one of those IMPOSSIBLE places to find. ;)
Haha! Alright folks, the pictures above have absolutely nothing to do with the OSC project and I actually didn't even take them. Gary did. But Yane's been asking me when was I going to do that thing I said I was that I haven't gotten around to do doing in forever and a day and it was time. :) This is my "It's Monday and I know you wish it wasn't cause you are working and I'm here in bed still editing away, laughing at what to post because whatever I write I know its not enough and you are probably going to tell me something about it so I'll just go all out and post the 'SFYAOOC' pictures along with detention lines so that they can finally stick in my head kind" kind of present. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! Muah Muah! -- Stay tuned, more OSC previews coming up. Happy Cyber Monday everyone!!!
SOTD: The Song of the Heart by Prince