I ♥ Faces-YELLOW

This week at I ♥ Faces, the theme is YELLOW!  And today was a beautiful day, but spent doing a million other things, so I had to go back to the archives and edit an old photo.

Miss Brooklyn…..my amazing daughter God has blessed me with.

(Click on photo to see it in full resolution)

Who has God blessed you with?  Who makes a difference in your life?  Who do you make a difference for?

I love I ♥ Faces and I’m so sad I couldn’t make it out to San Antonio for their BIG workshop this weekend!  I’m so jealous!

EDITED TO ADD:  I just found out today that Brooklyn’s wonderful teacher nominated ME to receive a FREE housecleaning!  WOOHOO!!  So, if you have a second, would you pretty please vote for me?  All you do is click on this link:  “LIKE” the Tulsa Clean Team page, and then click on my photo on their page and “LIKE” my picture.  You don’t have to comment (she doesn’t count those), just “LIKE” my photo.  I just think it’s the SWEETEST thing for her to think of me!  And truth be told, I could certainly use it.  {sigh}  I’m so tired. Working 3 jobs is not an easy thing.  Thank you to EVERYONE for your sweet vote!

Tulsa Clean Team

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Family session giveaway!

A few weeks ago, on my Facebook Fanpage, I felt the need to give away a FREE family session.  The participants only needed to email me with their story and a photo, and at the end of the contest, my sweet kids and I would pick a winner.

(For the record, I am constantly getting the urge to have specials and give aways and discounts….so, become a FAN on facebook and watch those specials!)

I’ve seen a lot of death and cancer and hospice lately, and I always hope they have an amazing family portrait to leave behind.  So this prompted the give away on facebook.

I received an email from a very unlikely candidate:  my sweet blog friend, Rachel.  It wasn’t that she didn’t have a need, here are a couple of parts from her letter:

Last week, my Mother-in-Love was diagnosed with a grade 4 tumor. She has brain cancer, the worst kind.

I remember crying through your posts about God healing your mom (I cry a lot, don’t I?), and I know you understand how our lives have been turned upside down over the possibility of losing a woman we love very much.

Two days after the diagnosis, I realized that it had been forever since family pictures had been taken. In fact, I think it was well over a decade ago, that Mom and her siblings had done the good old 80’s Olan Mills session.

What breaks my heart, is that in considering her treatment options, my Mother-in-Love had to realize that she would lose her hair. The utter disappointment on her face was devastating. Nearly 80 years old, and losing your hair. It wasn’t vanity – but just another personal thing taken away by cancer. And in these next few weeks and months of treatment, I worry about the opportunities for family photos. Worry about her feeling well and getting the chance to make these memories.

She has a very deep need….the only problem is:  SHE LIVES IN WASHINGTON STATE!

But that letter ended with:  if she is chosen as the winner, they will fly me up there.

So, last weekend, away I flew, complete with my oldest son in tow, to states I have never been before, to a ‘stranger’ I had never met before, to do family portraits for some of the wildest, most loving, amazing people out there!

Their desire wasn’t only for the pretty, posed photos of all of the siblings together again….they wanted the laughter, the pranks, the silliness….and those touching moments that make life bearable.

(someone may or MAY NOT have been pinching the other on the down under…. 😉  )

They wanted memories of healthy days, lazy days…..days just being together.

The wanted the everyday.  Not the perfect.  Just the every day.  The great grandsons running to meet their great grandma with a hug and a kiss.  The great grandaughters having a chuckle….just like always.

The beautiful posed photos happened of families with family, and the wonderful image of a beautiful, very loved matriarch.

She was, afterall, the entire reason for the trip.  But when all is said and done, what they wanted was the normal…..the memories of the common occuranceAnd that is what I captured.

But what I hadn’t planned on….was leaving there loving them all too.

What an amazing family.  Congratulations to the Grayless family for being a wonderful example of a loving family.  Our prayers are with you Mama Grayless. 

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I Heart Faces-Motherhood

Oh I had so many choices for this week!  It’s really hard to pick for this subject, it’s so near to my heart!

In honor of Mother’s Day and the hardest job ever on the planet….we are celebrating MOTHERHOOD!

This is one of my sweet friends I have been so blessed with!  She likes having babies…I like photographing babies….it works so well for both us!  😀

I dearly love the baby stage.  The snuggling, the rocking, and the nursing.  {sigh}  If only they would stay babies longer.  It really isn’t fair really.  Goodness I miss that.  Appreciate it while they are young, because it doesn’t last long.

I love this photo of Kayla.  I wish I had more photos of me with the kids when they were babies.  That is your challenge….take more photos WITH your kids.  They grow up so fast.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!  Love yourself, appreciate yourself, and enjoy this time.

And always, be kind to others!

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Giving Back….a Prom story

A couple of weekends ago, I had the honor of photographing some beautiful young ladies!  Now, teenagers may be my favorite subjects to photograph, but put them in beautiful dresses, with perfect makeup and perfectly coiffed hair, and I may just be in Heaven!

(Yes, I may be a girly-girl.)

These were not ordinary clients though….they were nearly 700 miles away!

When asked “Would you be interested in flying to Ohio to help us in our Prom ministry?”, the answer would be “YES”.  These new clients flew me up for the weekend (FIRST CLASS!  No, I’m NOT joking!) to photograph this incredible ministry.  Let me explain a little about what it was they did.  This particular community had a need:  their girls couldn’t afford the many many expenses that go into attending a Prom!  The tickets are expensive, but then tack on hair and make up and shoes and purses and accessories….oh wait…AND, that all important DRESS, and there was no way they could go.

So, this church Epiphany Lutheran Church in Centerville Ohio, had the idea to help make this high school right-of-passage come true.  They had over 200 beautiful dresses donated, amazing hair stylists and make up artists…..and me.  They picked their dress, had their hair and make up done, and then, I would take their portraits.

Originally, we were going to do these portraits outside on their beautiful grounds, however, mother nature had a different plan….it rained.  So portraits were moved to inside the church.  I totally improvised and made it work under not-so-ideal conditions….but, the name of the game was MAKE THESE GIRLS FEEL BEAUTIFUL.

It was incredible.

And for a lady who never feels good enough, or pretty enough….this was a moving experience!  These ladies were wonderful.  They were excited, happy, appreciative, and on more than one occasion, I heard “That’s ME??” after they would view their photo.

It was an experience of a lifetime….for me.  Beyond being flown into another state….beyond first class seating on an airplane….it made me stop and view myself differently.  I need to stop being so hard on myself, and embrace who God made me to be.  I was honored to help out this ministry and to have been chosen to help these girls feel beautiful.  I am honored.

And, if they brought their mothers with them….I did their portraits together.  I love my Mother.  She is my best friend, and I don’t have nearly enough pictures with her and I.  So given half a chance, I will photograph mothers and daughters together.

So, if you ask “Will you travel….” the answer is “Yes.”  I’m already planning my next trip the following weekend….to Washington State for a family photo session!

Be kind to others, and always try to give more than you take!

Dana

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I ♥ Faces-Soft and Sweet

This week’s contest is SUPER yummy!  I love soft and sweet things!  I’m all about soft and sweet!

I had the pleasure of shooting some friends of ours after they had their 4th baby.  I’ve edited this probably 5 different ways, but for this week, I think this one is pretty good at portraying the soft mood I was going for.

I really encourage everyone to check out I ♥ Faces and join in on their contests every week!  And go through ALL of the entries!  There are so many creative, talented photographers!

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I Heart Faces Photo Challenge: PETS

Well….I don’t have any pets anymore…..so, I kind of have to improvise.  I’m no Pam….but I am the mother of 2 boys….and they can come up with some CRAZY creatures for me to photograph!

OK, well maybe this should have been the RECYCLABLE photo challenge…..Whatever.  Here’s the story:

We went to the lake with some very dear friends, and while on their land full of beautiful waterfalls….my boys find a SCORPION!  (I only wish I were teasing you…..)  And my genius boys, because they are genius boys…decide to CATCH this scorpion and put it in an empty water bottle.  Nice huh?

So, if you look at the bottom of the water bottle, you will see I was chicken and didn’t want to get too close to this the scorpion.  Fun.

HAHAHAHAHA!  ENJOY your kids and all their crazy antics.

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I Heart Faces-WIND

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK-lahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains!

(Ya like that huh?  I know the whole song…I can sing ALL of it for you!  What?  Now it’s stuck in your head and you really  wish I hadn’t done that?  😀  OOPS!  Sorry ’bout that.)

The theme this week is WIND!  And Oklahoma was SO kind to have helped me for the last *3* weeks to get a shot for this theme!  UGH, I thought my roof would blow OFF!   (NO JOKE!)

I took this photo last Saturday at a Mentoring session I did with an amazing photographer just starting out. I won’t mention her name so I don’t embarrass her.

Mia Coelho of Compassion Photography.  She’s wildly talented.  Just don’t tell her I told you.  😉  LOL

These little girls were just completely adorable!  But, the poor things, I thought for SURE they would blow away in that awful wind!  AND, 3 of the 5 balloons made it out alive!  LOL

Always be kind to others!

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