Thursday, October 23, 2014

Zoe in hurrie!!!!!

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Is today November 10th? A little angel seemed to think so and decided birthdays of October 23 rock. 8 months ago, Zoe's parents asked me to photograph her birth. My excitement and anticipation grew every day this month knowing November 10th was just around the corner.  Much to my surprise, probably not as much surprise as the parents, Zoe's dad called me today and said "well, go ahead and get your camera."  I said without thought "sure", and almost finished the sentence with "what do you need photographed?" Then in the pause from brain to my mouth, the OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH followed. Zoe's mom started the labor process. We talked about how the first beauty, Ava, took 13 hours to make her arrival. I looked at the clock, noon. Dad and I both agreed we had time to get there. Plano clocks a lot more miles than I had to drive. 

On my lunch break I picked up the camera and went back to work. At 3:30 my cell rings. Zoe's aunt tells me "She's here!" Giddy for the mommy I thought and said out loud I'm sure, "Well, if I had to pick 15 minutes of labor or pictures....I go with the 15 minutes!!!"  After work I made my way up there and photographed the most precious, alert, and moving newborn ever.  Dad's voyage back from Plano was still happening, so I was extremely lucky to be there when he walked in and saw his baby girl for the first time. I knew they wanted me to catch the tender moments that happen between to people in love during the birth, but I think this was almost as good.  
Zoe's mom told me that Jesus was is the room for this birth. His presence could be felt along with all the love in the air. Congratulations to Zoe. She picked wonderful parents. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sophia, classic and timeless

It was a dreary gray day. The rain tickled the streets that thirsted for more. My car seemed to find every puddle and swoosh the windshield disappeared under the wall of water from passing cars.  Normally a day like this would invite a nap, a good show, or well truth be told I’d be sitting in front of the computer editing pictures. But today the sun shined no matter what because today Sophia graced me with a photo shoot. She’s new to the modeling world and chose me to capture her timeless beauty. With bean bag, gear, bags, iced tea and golf umbrella, I clumsily got to April’s door (April is Sophia’s agent).  Within a few minutes with set up finished, Sophia gladly climbed up on the bean bag ottoman. We decided to take classic, eyes closed types of pictures. 

With every click of my camera clarity emerged from behind my lens – surely Sophia practiced this eyes closed mouth shaped perfectly pose. A natural I tell you, she was a natural!!
We got a few costume changes in before Sophia had to be carried off by her other agent Robert to get cleaned up. Seems the ottoman, lights, backdrop and such relaxed Sophia a bit much, and well, oops, “it” happens. While the wardrobe experts fiddled with the clothes for Sophia I had two excellent stand ins who gladly emulated the same Sophia pose. 

Another one of Sophia’s fans stepped into the picture and gently kissed her forehead for yet another timeless classic photo.
All in all the day proved sunshine and smiles, one frame at a time.


It rained, a lot. I was soaked getting the gear out. I dumped my tea while trying to hold on to the umbrella and stuff. I got everything set up in April and Robert’s house.  Sophia the sweet baby was just wonderful for the pictures. After a bit, and I should have noticed from the pictures of her belly, she pooped. And peed. Then her siblings joined in – the picture taking, not the peeing and pooping. Her teenage brother gave her a sweet kiss. It was a blast taking these pictures and I’d do it all again. Oh yes, and the sun came out and the dog wanted a picture too. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ten little fingers, ten little toes

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Having only had one child, I never got to see the expression on a sibling's face when a new little brother or sister arrived. Photography has led me to some special places so far….and so far this is probably the best. I was blessed to take pictures of this new little bundle of joy.  
Although her parents have other children already, being in the room with just them and baby really made me feel as though this was their first, they were so happy.  The daddy beautifully cradled his newest daughter with tender hands sweetly holding her tiny little head in the palm of hand.  She would whimper a gentle song and the three of us would all stare. Such a beauty only in the world for a few hours and totally captivating. 

As afternoon turned to evening, the anticipation grew of the siblings coming to meet the new baby sister.  I had camera in hand, and I was ready, but they were too quick for me. They came in the room a bit disoriented by the curtain dividing the front of the room. As soon as they stepped out from the curtain, the little ones’ eyes opened so wide, mouths gaped open, and the hands reached out to touch the baby.  She in turn must have recognized all the voices as she opened her eyes as to say hello.  

It wasn’t long ago, just a few short years when the two smallest were being awed by the oldest brother.   What a miracle life is. What a miracle it is that this little one even comes to the world! And I got to see what homegrown love really means.

What a privilege and honor it was to capture these moments. 

Driving up memory lane

This unusually cool September Texas morning, found me on a country road heading to a photo shoot. 

(lovely family photo session today)
I mapped the location and the most direct route turned out to be going down memory lane toward Aunt Gloria and Uncle Ralph’s ranch.  I headed east on Sulpher Springs road and with each mile I drove I went further and further back. I remember riding in the car with Aunt Gloria with hot tacos in hand to sell at the gas station they owned at the big intercession. I could see myself pushing the buttons on the old cash register and my aunt peering at the men who even looked at me funny with her voice crackling in fury, “She’s only thirtheen!!!”  

I’m smiling as I continue back down memory lane finally to a place where I was driving my green Opel with my cousin Yvette next to me as we headed out.  As I made that all too familiar curve in the road I could hear us talking to each other and of course laughing about one thing or another when all of the sudden, swoosh! The driver’s side mirror disappeared!! I pulled the car over into the grass and we both got out staring at the road in disbelief. Just like that, it flew off. Within a few seconds we were laughing hysterically.  It took a while to get back in the car as I would be stopping laughing then look at her and start again, then she would try to stop laughing and look at me!!! We gave up, did that laughing sigh thing, and got back on the road… how I miss her everyday.

 My car kept driving today since I had to go past the road the ranch was on to someone else’s ranch to capture their memories.  I guess that is life though, making memories to last a lifetime and keep moving forward. 

(photos from today's photo session)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ayden turns one!!

What an amazing time I had this many memories engulfed me, while with one of my best friends, I was able to capture new ones.  So honored and blessed that Cathy asked me to photograph her beautiful son's first birthday. I can't wait to be there for every one after this!!  Ayden was a joy to watch and, well, I just couldn't take a bad picture with him in the frame. How easy a job is that?? He's already got swag, just look at this pose and face...

In his true self, he was such an agreeable toddler and went right along with the hello's and kisses.  After a while it was cake time. By his reaction, I don't think momma Cathy or daddy Alex give Ayden much cake!! Good think I was only taking pictures and not video recording, all you would have heard was my muffled giggling!! Ayden looked at the cake like it was a strange playdough.  

Have no fear though, he soon figured out that the round thing on his high chair tasted really good!! So glad I caught the moment when he decided sugar is yummy!! 

When I got home to edit the pictures I giggled just a little bit more.  Looking at this photo I couldn't stop thinking about those old department store photos with the vinyl back drops and how this picture sure looks like I dropped in the windmill and tree scene. Nope that was all thanks to the neighbor. This outdoor birthday was just perfect location, location, location. 

Thank you Cathy and Alex for letting me share this very special day with you. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I didn't even know I was looking

I think it might have been just about forever since I’ve taken a minute to write, well here anyway.  I’ve spent the last two years writing the newsletter for the Aggie mom’s club in San Antonio. This year I passed the torch and will enjoy being a mom of a beautiful Aggie senior.  So back to writing about things not just maroon…

My daughter is interning at the zoo this summer (and working full time and taking online classes....whew) so I bought a zoo pass, which gets you in at 7:30 am.  Now that involves having to get up before the sun, but it has been well worth it.  She is working in the Hixon Bird Center, of course all the way in the very back corner of the zoo, so it’s a nice walk, in the heat, with the five pound camera, bag, flash….no – it’s still worth it!! The Hixon center’s rounded walls and air condition make it the perfect stop to cool off and get some great pictures.  The first time this summer that I went there, I sat on the bench for about an hour watching the birds live in their indoor oasis.  The middle of the center has all kinds of birds living in the tree under the massive skylight.  The perimeter of the building has glass enclosures for other, larger birds.  Being so early in the morning, no other patrons were around. I was able to sit and watch the birds as they went about their business in this little bird city.  

The tiny tiny little red bird kept posing for me and the brand new baby didn’t even stand as high as the lowest part of the “Do not feed the birds” sign.  I found such joy in photographing the birds. I didn’t even know I was looking for joy.

I did this for a couple of weekends, yes, sleepy eyed and all….but leaving the zoo at nine when the long line is forming outside to come in, paid for itself.  This last weekend, we went to the Japanese Tea Gardens, just outside the zoo.  I was amazed at how green the place breathed.  I anticipated more flowers, but we are in the 100’s here, much to hot for anything to grow but cactus.  While walking the gardens for the first time since, well, maybe, yes, since the sky rides used to land in there, perhaps even in black and white…….the most beautiful orange flower popped out at me.  I had never seen anything so beautiful, so dainty, with green shoots draping from its delicate vine. 

I figured this plant was imported perhaps to give the gardens some accuracy. By nine in the morning it was breeching 100 degrees of hot, or so it felt, so we left.  I still am having great difficulty regulating heat. 

So the weekend flies by like it always promises to do, while the work week drags on just because it can, and I drive in to work the same roads I have traveled for the last eleven years. I come to a stop light in the Monte Vista area, the very same light that has stopped me when I am running just on time every morning, and I glance to the left and this beautiful orange color catches my eye. With eyebrows raised (I can do that again without painting them in!) I am stunned to see the very flower, green shoot draping plant as in the garden.  Wow, I think to myself, they imported the flower too. I continue the five more blocks to work and see the plant over and over and over and begin to giggle thinking the only imported thing must be my brain!  These wondrous plants have been in my very path all these years.  I only had to look for them.

On the way home that day, as I catch sight of the same plant over and over, I smile and think to myself we only need to look for things.  

Seek and you shall find. 
Make sure you never stop looking as the rewards are glorious. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hope and despair

Yes it is late. I should be sleeping. But I have a feeling of despair deep inside of me. I can’t say it is a hopeless feeling, just a little bit of sadness really.  I have another friend that has recently been diagnosed. I have yet another friend that is putting forth every effort to stabilize her stage 4 cancer. Then I have so many wonderful friends I met online some done with treatment, some just beginning, and many just trying to stabilize their cancer too. Stabilize cancer. What an oxymoron it seems. Cure cancer. What a pipe dream that seems.

But it will come. Just has diseases in generations gone are now just a vaccine, cancer will be a faded memory. People in the future will stick out their arm, get their shot, and wonder why it took so long to get there. The iron lung is a museum piece and the chemo chair will join it one day too. Yet so many more people will die from cancer before then…..

See. Despair. I just don’t understand the science behind cancer, the biology, the genetics. I can’t grasp did I do something wrong? Did she, or her, or them? What is it that makes us all the same, vulnerable to cells that decide to not die and slowly weaken or kill the host? I am confused by who gets healed, who’s doesn't come back, who’s never really was gone, who’s spreads? Certainly, with all the millions of us graced by cancer, certainly there is a common denominator? Random. That must be the common ground.

Tonight as I tell myself there is no room for despair in my soul or heart, I remember Sunday, Mother’s Day.  In my parents’ back yard was a tiny little creature born just that day calling to its mother as if to say, “I can do this, stay by me.” And the mother deer stayed by her side until late that night when after so many failed attempts to stand, the little fawn managed to steady itself and slowly wander away with its mom.  So many times I called out ‘I can do this, stay by me.” And so many stood right beside me. Despair has no place where hope is present. Hope. Let that be the common ground.

In all the cancer, in the little fawn and its mother, hope’s ribbon dances through treatments, illness, and even new life. We are not promised to be healed on earth, I understand that. We are not promised life without despair even. But we are promised hope.  (Job 12:10) “In His hand is the soul of every living thing and the life breath of all mortal flesh.”  And that, is a good place to be.