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

Monday, November 14, 2011

2011 Birth Session Giveaway

The end of the year always comes too fast. Way too fast. I freak every time November rolls around, perhaps its because December means I age another year. Nevertheless, I want to cram in all the things I wanted to accomplish that I haven't quite gotten around to. This year I wanted to give a family the opportunity at a free birth session. The experience is one that I treasure as if my clients were part of my family. It feels as if it's an exchange of gifts. I give them one of the happiest and important moments of their lives captured and I receive the pleasure of witnessing another miracle of life. How amazing is that?! So here's how the giveaway will work:
I will randomly choose one family that is expecting and due before the end of the year to receive a free birth session package. There are only a couple of requirements. You must live in South Florida in the Miami area. Again I will emphasize, you must be due before December 31st, 2011. Send me your entry information ( Name / Phone / Due Date / Place of delivery [hospital/home] / & any other information that you would like to share) by email to: Birth session package consists of full delivery coverage with images on a DVD. I will be picking a winner by November 25th. So share share share! Pass the word along to friends and coworkers... neighbors and random people you see walking around in the baby department. Haha. :) I'm joking about that last part. Can't wait! I wanted to post some of my favorite from past birth sessions: [swoon and bring on the awwws]
That's pretty much it folks. I am so excited to get back into the hospital and do this again. It will be my fourteenth birth session. Woop Woop! I have two very special ones coming up next year. My best-friend and cousin are both expecting soon. Well soon enough, we still have a long way to go. I'm getting so antsy to meet the tiny ones already. The little peanuts have no idea that their photographer aunty has so many things planned for them already. This giveaway is just what I need to close up 2011. Up next, more One Step Closer posts. Happy Monday!
SOTD: Look After You by The Fray

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just for Me: OSC

How many people can you say, "I've known you almost my whole life"? I have only about a handful of friends that I've known that long. I can remember as if it was only yesterday Mai in preschool with me. Then as we transitioned to elementary we had a small little group... and Mailluli was always much more mature than the rest of us. All throughout our school years, Mai and I have been assigned to sit together because of our last names. Never failed. Those front seats were always ours. Goodness, remembering that time makes me feel ancient. The days of big glasses and Payless sneakers, oh no wait... SPICE GIRLS sneakers and bell bottoms. D.A.R.E & graduation dance practice... when we had the whole world figured out. Things were as easy as giving someone the thumbs up or down. Wow! How time flies. Now we're all grown up and Mai has a little one of her own. Mia. Such a precious little thing! She wanted to model right along her momma. Too cute!! Mai does that eyebrows thing I do... it has become one of my during the shoot questions.. 'Can you lift your eyebrow?' Haha, so silly I know. But most of us do it subconsciously. I know that for me, whenever my attitude kicks in, you can see that eye lifting by the second. You can pretty much determine just how I'm feeling depending on that left eye of mine. It has a mind of its own. Mai, you look beautiful. Love love love.
Mai, we've seen each other change and grow. I'm so proud of us! It's a pleasure to work with you and your family and I really look forward to doing so in the future again. Love you hun! | Priscilla is another friend that I've known forever. Our moms have been friends way back before we even existed. I have pictures of us sitting holding hands as little girls in these tiny dresses. That was such a mom thing to do - "Kids sit/stand and hold hands for the picture." That was many many moons ago. Here she is now... Super fierce! ;) !
Pris, thank you for doing something that you wouldn't normally do. You trusted me 100% and came out of that shell for the time being and it was so meaningful to me. I'm so happy that we got together for this project idea. It allowed me to get to know a whole different side of you. It's a shame that unless someone has the guts to ask things, and dig deep, things go by so unnoticed. It's about time we have another Starbucks date. We have to plan a date for all that we talked about with Sam and the hubby. I am sure it's going to loads of fun. Woop! Woop! :) Muah!
SOTD: Amber by 311

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

let's take a break

It's one of those days that even though I have already had my morning coffee... I'm craving some more and a bit more after that. It's just probably the weather. As soon as winter comes along I get all juiced up about my white mochas and pretty much want nothing else. So here I am longing for some coffee and I come across this picture from this weekend's engagement session. Talk about a sign. According to the two 'hands' in the picture, they were pretending they were tourists, and my camera was just taking, you know - vacation pictures. I told Vale that I wanted to shoot pictures inside the Starbucks, maybe because I was testing their willingness or perhaps because I really wanted to. Nevertheless, these two were happy to climb through hoops to get any shot. I loved that. I was so nervous going into this session, because Vale is a childhood friend and expectations are always so high when you know the person. But we did it. And after loading these pictures... I'm oh so happy. Woohoo! Love ya hun! I'm off to Starbucks for a caffeine shock - YUM!
SOTD: Good Feeling by Flo Rida

Just for Me: OSC Introduction

One Step Closer... that's what I decided to name this project. I have probably explained why dozens of times and each time I do so, something changes. Whether it's because someone new I photograph gives it a new meaning, or because circumstances change amongst friends. One thing remains constant though, and that is the purpose of this project. We all have moments that we aren't entirely happy with ourselves. Our appearance, what we feel we're worth, where we belong... all these insecurities that we may not share with anyone at all, cloud our minds from time to time. Sometimes we look in the mirror and just don't even want to 'see' ourselves. I am one that suffers from this state of melancholy often. It has nothing to do at all with being unhappy or emo like some of my friends will call it... it's seasonal, some times even momentary. Months ago I had one of my 'down spells' and took the time to analyze my friends... whether I was alone in feeling this way or were they having the same thoughts at times. It started with one of my girlfriends. I asked, Why do we wear make-up? And she responded it's to make ourselves look pretty. I'm honestly thinking, "You ARE pretty." The conversation went on and on and we talked about what we don't like about each other... and I reached the conclusion that my girlfriends all felt the same way I did sometimes. But, were the guys also this way? One night, I had it all come to me. I was talking to a friend who means a great deal to me about this topic. I remember getting all flustered and emotional about it and he did the one thing I wasn't expecting. He poured all those feelings that I had inside myself out to me about himself. I went to sleep that night, after thinking about all he said over and over, with the biggest smile on my face. Not because I was happy that, "Hey! There is someone who feels the way I do." But instead because I wanted to change that. I wanted to do something that would help them see themselves the way that I saw them. I know the hopeless feeling all too well, and when I see it in others, it makes me angry. Saying things only helps in the moment, there had to be a better way, a reminder. 'A picture is worth a thousand words.' Um yes, all those words I wanted to say, I would tell them with a picture. A picture that would portray just how amazing each and every one of them are. And so, this idea blossomed into a project. I shared my ideas with a couple friends and it grew into something I wish I would have thought of before. I'm making a yearbook portfolio of my friends [ & every one I ever went to school with ]. I'm encouraging each and every one of them to come out of their shell. To see themselves differently. To get one step closer to me, so that I can capture the real them, the real - You.
Now, this would be all rose colored glasses if only I wouldn't have had a major technical disgrace. My third day of shooting, after completing 6 mini individual sessions that same day, my laptop crashed. I got that clicking sound of death and later the question mark gray folder that might as well say, KILL ME NOW. I was at home with one of the girls and nearly had a heart attack. I rushed to the Apple store the very next morning to see what was going on. They had no good news... only things like - We can't even recognize your drive. This had never happened to me before. Losing session pictures? Yeah right! I make a CD and back them up... no chance of a slip up. Well, yes chance. It happened. I even sent the drive off to a data recovery company and there was nothing they could do. I cried SO much about it. Because even if I were to re-shoot, it wouldn't be the same. Those pictures I lost are still in my mind. Ovi and his death grip on the chicken, Stephanie & Coco romancing, Laura and her flip hair shot, Adrian laying down turning his face at me... they are gone. I was really discouraged and didn't want to keep shooting. I wanted to abandon the project altogether, because it didn't seem meant to be. But, then I had that same boost of confidence that I wanted to instill in them, focused on me. I was reminded that it didn't matter anymore what I had lost, that we would do it again, that it was ok, that now I just had to do it better... and he was right. I had to continue. I had lost all my sessions but one. ONE.
They say everything happens for a reason and I like to believe so. That one shoot left was quite a significant one. After all, he was the one who inspired the whole shooting idea. You've seen him before on the sneak peaks, and if you happen to be a friend of his on Facebook, he switches in between all the project pictures as his profile, meet Ray. Raymet. My cover boy.
I knew that he was going to make me practically beg him to participate, not because he didn't want to do it, but because he has the word NO on a ticker that he must complete a high quota of on a daily basis. Lucky me, he saves them for every time I come up with one of my genius ideas. Ray and I became friends in one of the most awkward ways possible. You know those signs that usually make you run away from people, or cross over to the other sidewalk just so that they won't even make eye contact with you... that pretty much SHOULD have been our reaction. But we have proven that two suicidal crazies can actually understand each other and not plot ways to drive each other mad. Instead, we balance. He listens to me repeat "Oh today was such an emotional day" on a daily basis and I get to discover one of his kazillion "Look what I can do" tricks. We never shut up but can be completely silent. RANDOM is our middle name. We know when to be there for each other and when there is no other option but space. I am myself around him and lately, that's something that's quite rare. There are no sugarcoated words and if tomorrow comes and he's not around, I know he will find me some ice-cream to make up for it. It's the perfect friendship I tell you.
I had envisioned the shot I wanted to capture of him long before I even persuaded him to do the shoot. It was so easy... the moment I had him in front of me I knew exactly what to say to get the exact reaction I wanted. This was my theory amongst friends. I wouldn't have to take some time to warm up and study their features and stuff. I already know them, I've looked at them countless of times. I've pictured them in my mind in different setups. Now it was just putting it all together. This next one is my favorite. :)
I'm honestly trying really hard not to be all mushy. Because every time I speak of my friends I can ramble on and on... so let's see if I can keep this one short. (Haha) Ray, I LOVE YOU! Thank you for being you and only you know what that means. For bringing me down to reality when I seem to be thinking up in Lala Land. For being that strength that I need at times when I don't want to get up. For telling me off when I need it. For listening. For interrupting. For contradicting. For surprises. For reminding me that I know what I am doing. For believing. For trusting. And for caring more. Everything that falls in between is a memory. We've evolved. "I just knew you were going to be something more than just a person I know from a distance." :)
Up next I will be showcasing my next friend/model and so on with everyone's pictures. I'm so excited to share! I will resume shooting in two weeks... so if you happen to land here on this blog and want to participate, shoot me an email. I am really looking forward to continuing in this wonderful approach at reconnecting with everyone and giving them that umph of celebrity status that we all need from time to time. Tootles!!
SOTD: You Found Me by The Fray