March 31, 2010

What I've Learned....

Baby Jesse might only be 6 months old but he sure is a boy full of wisdom. Today's post is only a few of the many many things that I've learned from him....

...that daily hugs, kisses, and cuddles are like chicken soup for the soul
...that I should look at everything with a sense of wonder
...that you almost always get a positive response from smiling at strangers
...that everyday I can learn something new
...that if you just give it a minute, it really isn't as bad as you thought
...that once you've found your voice, use it
...that everyday I need a bit of play time
...that I shouldn't feel embarassed for showing genuine excitement when I see someone I love
...that when you think you're all alone, you're really not
...that sometimes you have to try something a second time before you like it
...that even small milestones are worth celebrating
...that I should cherish EVERY moment because time goes by too quickly
...that laughter really is the best medicine
...that babies have the BEST expressions

March 30, 2010

Poetry By Ken

Cousin Ken posted birthday poems on both my and Kristen's Facebook walls....and I completely forgot to share them.
I think I have the worst baby brain lately!!!

My poem:
I was going to write a poem,
but I thought it's getting lame.
So I simply just wont do it.
Happy birthday just the same.


Kristen's poem:
She was on earth before you,
by only one day.
That makes her the boss
seniority per say.

Born one day apart,
but on the same year.
She may be the boss
But you've still got your deer.

March 29, 2010

Monday Musings

It was a wonderful weekend.
Saturday we participated in Earth Hour
Sunday we ran a few errands, did some chores around the house and then had a delicious dinner of grilled chicken wings, rice pilaf & asapargus.
I was thinking about what to write about today and I realized I missed a CRUCIAL photo from the birthdays in review post....this one of Kristen! 

The co-worker who arranged the fesitivities made Kristen wear this pink crown and feather boa.
Totally suits him, ya think???  :)

Also we took a quick video of how rough Jesse is becoming as of late. There's no question that he's going to be a very rough and tumble boy.


And the 4 winners of the mini cards are:


Please email me your photos and details. I'll send you a design to finalize before I send away for printing.
If you wish to buy a set of 15 (for you non-winners or anyone else for that matter) you can do so for $5/set
Thanks for all your entries.
Happy Monday!

March 26, 2010

Birthday In Review

I cannot believe it's Friday!
This week has flown by....all too quickly.
I had a very nice birthday. It was quiet and enjoyable.
Kristen, Jesse & I (well Kristen and I) ordered pad thai and calamari from a local Thai restaurant.'s soooooo good.
That along with the bombardment of birthday wishes on facebook, via emial, and telephone I felt so special.
I realized this year that birthdays are a BIG deal. Even if you don't celebrate in a big way.
It's important for them to be recognized. Even if it is a quick "Happy Birthday" message written on your Facebook wall. Thanks everyone :)

Then the very next day it was Kristen's birthday. A co-worker of his who is known to make sure everyone knows there's a birthday didn't disappoint.
She contacted me for some old photos of Kristen. Since we don't have a scanner I called Kristen's mom.
I forwarded them off to his co-worker and here's what Kristen found waiting at work for him on Tuesday cute.

No big plans for this weekend. We're having unusually cold temperatures so I have a feeling it's going to be a good time to stay in and possibly start some of that spring cleaning.

Oh and don't forget to comment on YESTERDAY'S BLOG POST to be entered into the giveaway. Winners will be announced on Monday
Happy Friday!

March 25, 2010

Mini Cards Giveaway!!

That's right I'm giving away 4 sets of 15 mini cards
These cards are 1" high x 2.76" wide
They're super cute and the perfect little card to send a simple message.

Here are a few samples....

Mom Card

Another Mom Card

Save the Date

We're Moving

Thank You
Another option with this card is on the front where it says "Thank You" we could change this to be your new Initial or Last Name

To win???
Leave a comment saying what type of mini card you would like.
Winners will be drawn at random.
Should you win you will be asked to send a photo and I'll design your card for you.
**Photos from professional photographers will not be accepted without written consent, such as a release form**
You have until Sunday night to enter. Winners will be announced on Monday.
Good Luck!!

March 23, 2010

For the Record

Kristen's deer seems to be haunting me, it just won't go away.

However, I must say, this time, it's for good reason.
This past Saturday we went to Bass Pro to have his deer scored.
Ideally a trophy buck will come in with at least a minimum score of 125" 
Don't ask me how the scoring works, all I know is it's a bunch of measurements added up. Based on whatever standard has been set up by the powers that be who score deer?!?!

This photo is blurry, but for those who might care, we think this is the father of the Beasley brothers.
The Beasley brothers own the magazine Monster Whitetail and currently bought the rights to the tv show Canada in the Rough.
He was super nice and very helpful.

So I was saying Kristen brought his deer head to Bass Pro to be scored.
Here is the guy doing the measurements/scoring


Jesse taking in all the action

While the scoring was being done, an announcement was made by one of the Beasley brothers to congratulate the man to his right for holding the new record for the largest deer taken with a rifle in Ontario.
This previous record had been held since the 1950's

Admiring the record breaker, which came in at a score of 190 1/8"

And in the meantime, here is Kristen receiving his official score

Kristen's deer came in at 149-7/8" which is well above the minimum and will officially be entered into a book of recognition.
The book is called "Big Game Records of Ontario"

The next edition to be published is the 6th edition, in which, Kristen's deer will be a part of.
That's right, Kristen is getting published. Go figure :)

The photo above is of Kristen finalizing the details.

Aren't we just a celebrity now?

Kristen's love for hunting has never been about winning awards, getting published or being recognized, but it sure is the icing on the cake for something he loves doing.
Congrats hubby & Happy Birthday.
As you enter into your 30' lonely day behind me. May it be full of many more hunting accomplishments, recognized or not :)
I Love you & Here's to You!!

March 22, 2010

101 in 1001

I read somewhere......."that only 4% of Americans write down their goals? And the people who do write down their goals make 9 times more money than those who don't write down their goals at all"

So to celebrate entering my 30's today, I've decided to create a list of goals or bucket list of sorts.
I'm taking on the 101 in 1001 challenge.
This way you give yourself just under 3 years to reach these 101 goals, ideas, etc.
I'll do a blog post anytime that I scratch something off the list
Without further ado, here's my challange for the next 3 years....Happy Birthday to me :)

Christa’s 101 in 1001

Start Date: 22 March 2010
End Date: 17 December 2012

1. Celebrate my 30th Birthday

2. Blog every day for one month

3. Start doing a video blog post once a month

4. Organize and/or burn all photos, albums, un-finished scrapbooks up to 2009

5. Complete a hand-written journal

6. Record a song

7. Host a Customer Appreciation Event

8. Do a scrapbook of Jesse’s first year

9. Read at least 20 books

10. Take a photo a day  in 2011 

11. Read the entire Bible

12. Volunteer

13. Give an anonymous gift/flowers

14. Host a Brunch

15. Complete a scrapbook of Boone

16. Get Boone “fixed”

17. Try Sushi

18. Give my brother a House-warming Gift

19. Try 10 new recipes and blog about them

20. Have my teeth whitened

21. Climb Gros Morne Mountain

22. Go on a hike

23. Dance in the rain

24. Make a new friend

25. Go skiing with Kristen

26. Go on a picnic

27. Take a dance class

28. Try Yoga

29. Maintain weight but tone up

30. Go to WPPI in Las Vegas

31. Do something artistic

32. Go to a show

33. Participate in a House Exchange

34. Travel to NYC

35. Stay in a bed-n-breakfast

36. Travel to a US city that I haven't been before

37. Travel to a Canadian city that I haven’t been before

38. Shop at an Antique or Thrift Store

39. Host a garage Sale

40. Shoot a Destination wedding

41. Host annual bbq

42. Have regular “date night” with hubby

43. Dine at Terra Cotta Inn Restaurant

44. Photograph Jesse with his Great-Grandparents

45. Teach Jesse the alphabet

46. Show Jesse how to colour

47. Build a snowman with Jesse

48. Take Jesse on a boat

49. Bake cookies with Jesse

50. Potty train Jesse

51. Show Jesse how to blow bubbles

52. Take Jesse camping

53. Surprise hubby with a romantic getaway

54. Have family photos taken

55. Have another baby

56. Write a will

57. Travel down south

58. Be maid of honour in a wedding

59. Have my own office

60. Open my own studio

61. Photography be my main source of income

62. Book 20 weddings in one year

63. Upgrade my Nikon

64. Own a shootsac

65. Sign up for 3 photography related workshops, schooling, learning session, etc.

66. Get published in a wedding magazine

67. Inspire someone

68. Second shoot for someone I admire

69. Have Kristen second shoot with me

70. Start a business with Kristen

71. Give away 1 wedding a year

72. Buy 2 more camera lens

73. Go on a girls weekend

74. Have an adventure

75. Create a promo video for my website

76. Own a new digital video camera

77. Become a member of a church

78. Print new photos for living room collage

79. Buy fresh flowers for my house

80. Convince hubby to get rid of old jeans he doesn’t wear :)

81. Add a shelf to my laundry room

82. Get a linen closet

83. Get rid of junk drawer

84. Give up something for Lent

85. Donate old clothing to charity

86. Spend an evening with friends playing board games

87. Own a Mac

88. Be debt free with exception of Mortgage

89. Win Lotto Max lottery :)

90. Do something special for my girlfriends

91. Give away an AMAZING prize on my blog (ideas and/or donations accepted)

92. Create something

93. Complete my marketing materials for my photography business

94. Hire a graphic designer for a project

95. Take professional photos of my parents

96. Record my family tree

97. Try a new hair style or colour

98. Give the front yard a new look

99. Grow a cutting garden

100. Relax in a hot tub or sauna

101.Donate an item to a food bank for every item not completed

And today I can officially scratch #1 off the list!
Might not be doing much, but I'm definitely celebrating :)

March 19, 2010

4 Things I Love

Another edition of 4 things I love....

1. Grilled Chicken
We have been having almost summer like weather this week. Which means....BBQ season

2. Sheep
I love my new sheep oven mitts :)

3. Food Magazines
I love going through them and cutting out any recipes that I want to try before throwing what's remaining of the book in the recycle bin

And last but not least...
4. Photos
I love photos!
Kristen & I love to travel. Especially down south.
This year we aren't able to travel....I'm on mat leave (no extra money) I'm nursing Jesse (he should be weaned in a few months) and then last night Kristen goes and finds the most awesome last minute deals we have ever seen for this time of year!
Since we couldn't book, I decided to get out my Cuba/Dominican albums and torture myself just a little bit more.

Happy Friday!
Have a great weekend :)

March 18, 2010

CBC not so bad....

I must say Wednesday nights have become a tv night for me.
CBC - A Canadian television channel for those of you who might not know, has some awesome programming that Canadians should be proud of.
My Wednesday night starts out with Dragons Den
They've even started an American version of this show called Shark Tank featuring 2 of the Dragons.
Last nights episode I especially loved since it was telling the story of how they started out with nothing and now are millionaires. Very inspiring.

I don't watch this show very much but I love it. I think it's just timing luckily hubby PVR's it regularly so now it's just making time to catch up on the episodes :)

What's your favourite Canadian television shows?

March 17, 2010

Comfort Sounds

My mom always and still does laundry on Monday's
As a teenager, during the summer months I loved sleeping in. But Monday's often woke me earlier than I wanted to the sound of the washer spinning out Mom's next load of laundry.
And being an older washer it often cluncked against the wall, or shook across the floor.
It aggravated me so much.
Jesse was up at 6:10 this morning.
Since its cheaper for us to use water before 7am I decided to put on a load of laundry.
Motivated by our last ridiculously high hydro bill :(  and with this awesome weather I'll be hanging it out to dry as soon as the sun comes around to the back of our house.
I also decided that I was going to go back to bed for 20 min before Kristen went to work, since he could watch Jesse while he was eating his breakfast.
I got in bed and I heard the washer filling up, spinning out, rinse get the idea.
But I wasn't was comforting.
It was a sound of my childhood and it made me happy. No 20 minute nap and all.
Speaking of remembering things from childhood...PLEASE read Myrna's post from yesterday.
Though my childhood wasn't exactly like hers, I can relate so closely to much of it.
It'll give you a further glimpse into the person that I am and where I'm from. I hope to eventually do my own version if my creative juices cooperate.
Happy Wednesday :)

March 16, 2010

Finishing Sentences

I was totally having writers block and then I went and read Jody's blog and she has a post called Finishing Sentences. Boy oh boy am I copying that cute!

Outside my window….darkness
I am thinking… I should go to bed even though my body still thinks it's an hour earlier

I am thankful for… Kristen & Jesse. It isn't always easy but definitely worth it.

I am wearing… ivory/pink baseball type shirt with spit up on it and green cargo pants

I am remembering… that I haven't signed Jesse up for his next session of swim classes

I am going… to tone up this post pregnancy body of mine

I am currently reading… The Art of Friendship

I am hoping… to be an uber successful photographer

On my mind… how average I really am

Noticing that… I'm feeling kind of down tonight  :(

Pondering these words…  drawing a blank here?!?!?

From the kitchen… chocolate bunny that I can't eat since it was bothering Jesse. Darn cows milk sensitivity

Around the house… dog fur, always dog fur

One of my favorite things… when Kristen get's home from work

To Do...  figure out another giveaway for my blog before my birthday

March 15, 2010

The Ultimate Word

I'm looking for a word....a word to describe how a bride should feel on her wedding day.

I looked up the word Beautiful on and found the following options....

admirable, alluring, angelic, appealing, beauteous, bewitching, charming, classy, comely, cute, dazzling, delicate, delightful, divine, elegant, enticing, excellent, exquisite, fair, fascinating, fine, foxy, good-looking, gorgeous, graceful, grand, handsome, ideal, lovely, magnificent, marvelous, nice, pleasing, pretty, pulchritudinous, radiant, ravishing, refined, resplendent, shapely, sightly, splendid, statuesque, stunning, sublime, superb, symmetrical, taking, well-formed, wonderful

Then I looked up Fabulous

aces, astonishing, astounding, awesome, best, breathtaking, cool, doozie, extravagant, fab, fantastic, fictitious, first-class, greatest, groovy, immense, inconceivable, incredible, legendary, marvelous, mind-blowing, out-of-sight, out-of-this-world, outrageous, peachy, phenomenal, primo, prodigious, rad, remarkable, spectacular, striking, stupendous, super, superb, terrific, top drawer, tops, turn-on, unbelievable, unreal, wicked

Of all these words, are there any that REALLY jump out at you?

March 12, 2010

Cousin Ken Strikes Again

Don't ya just love when people play out their marital troubles all over Facebook?
Kristen & I are quite entertained by our weekly dose of Soap Opera drama by the same 3-4 couples :)
To the point that we've even contemplated doing our own "mock fight" on Facebook just to see what would
I know we're strange like that.
However lately, we have been acting silly on Facebook. For example, the other day Kristen commented on one of my status updates with "make my supper woman!"
And then last night Kristen sat out on our front porch with a cigar (recently given to him by a friend who just got back from Mexico) and a glass of Cuban rum.
He brought his mobile with him and felt to the need to write this on my wall
"Hey I'm out front....need a top up on my rum"
To which I replied....
"hey I'm putting your youngster to bed, get your own top up :)"
Kristen responded with....
And then Cousin Ken felt he should weigh in on the conversation.....if you don't know who cousin Ken is, read THIS POST here

This was his comment....

"Maybe you shouldn't have shot the deer, he may have been more receptive to a top up.

While I was hunting in the forest,
I could not believe my luck.
There out in the clearing,
stood a gorgeous 10 point buck.

I got a little closer,
my footsteps they were light.
I raised my trusty rifle,
and got the buck in sight.

I was about to pull the trigger,
and then I almost choked.
It was then the buck he turned to me,
and suddenly he spoke!!

"Mr Hunter please, I beg you,
I know I'm just a deer.
But if you spare my meager life,
I will always fill your beer."

I thought of his proposal,
for some time it made me think.
A life of relaxation,
with a deer to fill my drink.

It was then I killed the begger,
shot him 6 times,
maybe more.
"I don't need your stinking offer,
that's what my wife is for"

another original by K Whiteway

Thanks Ken :)
Oh and by the way....that dumb deer is STILL in my dining room.....geesh!

March 11, 2010

4 Things I Love

1. Purex Baby Soft
This stuff is and smells great. It's WAY better than Ivory Snow. I even use it for my own clothes when I run out of the regular laundry detergent.

2. Swiffer
Wet, dry, vacuum, I love it all. Take that Boone's fur!!!

3. Promo Videos
Please check out Jasmine Star's latest promo video by clicking HERE! It'll blow your socks off.

4. Fearless Artists
Love love love Promise Tangeman
I consider her a fearless artist and beautiful too! Check out her work, she's super inspiring!

March 10, 2010

Blogging 101: Christa's Top 10 rules of starting a blog

A friend requested yesterday that I talk about blogging.
So here's my tips of being a successful blogger
I might not have this biggest following out there but I have learned a few things along the way.

Let us begin.....

1. Have a Picture of Yourself.
Unless you're going for an anonymous blog such as "Waiter Rant" which in the end he even revealed himself. Then you're forgiven :) I recommend a photo in your header or in your profile. If you need help with this, send me an email and I'll show you how to do it.

2. Be Honest
Be true to who you are, don't pretend you love fashion magazines if you don't. Don't pretend you're a vegetarian if you have KFC on speed dial. Not everyone will agree with you or like you but it's your honesty that will keep readers coming back.

3. Keep it PG
Please please please put an advisory somewhere if you're going to have nude photos or a potty mouth.

4. Meet Expectations
If you're going to blog every day then great, if you think you can maintain a good blog by blogging once a week then meet your readers expectations and only blog once a week. If the Monday thru Friday blogging works for you (this "tends" to be my style) then do it, if you're a weekend only blogger then do it. Find out a schedule that works for you and STICK TO IT!

5. Keep it Anonymous
It is okay to talk about your husband if your husband is aware of your blog and writing style. It's okay to talk about your kids (please no nude bath tub photos out of respect for your child in their older years, in the family album sure, but on the internet for the world to see, no)
However, if a neighbour is getting on your last nerve, somehow disguise your rant in some way shape, or form. Otherwise count on having an even worse neighbour along with hurt feelings. Even if they seem like a gremlin. You NEVER know who's reading your blog.

6. Be Consistent
What's your blog about? It is about food, a charity, life in general? Keep with the program.
My friend Myrna has a blog, I think of it as a double edged sword. It's called Confessions of a Chocoholic. Are all her blog posts about eating chocolate? Definitely not....but her blog is about confessions of her life, which includes a weakness to chocolate, a battle with her scales, and even more honest confessions about ex-boyfriends, not shaving her legs, and up rooting her family to start a small business.

7. Be Positive
Nothing worse than using your blog to whine, complain and be the victim of your own life. Everyone has enough of their own problems. They don't want to hear about yours too. However, if every now and then you're having a bad day and looking for the support of your readers, go ahead. It goes back to the being honest part. They'll appreciate that you have real feelings and not Kathy-Lee Gifford.

8. Stop Apologizing
If you miss a week of blogging, and then do a post and then you miss a month and then do a post. Do NOT start each of these posts with sorry I haven't written in a while, or I'm a such a bad blogger.....blah blah blah. Boring! Don't do it. Just be consistent as mentioned above, if for some reason your MIA which is out of the normal for you then an apology every now and then is okay. Again this goes back to Meeting Expectations. If you don't stick to your schedule....your problem...stop apologizing about it.

9. Read your Blog post Before Publishing
Yes we'll all make spelling errors, grammatical errors, and so on but please give your post a final read before posting. Sometimes you might catch a major error or realize it's a really bad draft and needs some revisions.

10. Have Fun
If you're dreading doing a post and feel like every time you sit down to write it's like pulling teeth. It might be time to admit you're not a blogger and do not enjoy doing so. There's nothing wrong with that. Everyone needs to be true to who they are.

I'm no pro at blogging but as a seasoned blogger and an obsessed follower of blogs, these are my tips that I feel would help any beginner. I hope it does  :)
Happy Blogging!!

March 9, 2010

Let's Chat

I've had so many "aha" moments as of late.
So many ideas for my blog, my photography, my life.
I'm loving it.
One of my "aha" moments for my blog was to start a conversation....
I'm not really sure how to start the conversation. I'm thinking blog about a topic and then have the conversation in the comments section.
What do you think?
What would you like to talk about?
Any topics of interest that you'd like me to ramble about or give my two cents?
It can be about life, being a mom, photography, the weather....whatever :)
Speaking of the weather, it's been awesome
Check out this sunset

Happy Tuesday :)

March 8, 2010

Photography 101 - In Camera Settings

Today is the start of my Photography 101 series.
I'll try to do a post once a month about general photography questions you might have.
Answers will be directed to people owning DSLR (digital single lens reflective) cameras.
I'm not the most knowledgeable or experienced photographer in the world but I do know some things and if this helps anyone then yay!!

Today's topic: In Camera Settings
Do NOT be afraid to use them!
The idea behind great photography is to take an awesome picture that doesn't need to be touched up in photoshop, lightroom or any other editing software program for that matter.
I'm also assuming that you already know how to shoot in manual mode and not auto.
If you do not know how to shoot in manual and would like a photography 101 post about how to do that, shoot me a quick email or leave a comment and I will do that for you.

Okay.....all of the following photos were taken in a shaded area with the exact same lighting and settings.
They were as follows:
Focal Length:  50mm
F-stop: f/1.8
Exposure time: 1/125 sec.
ISO speed:  ISO-200

Secondly, it's VERY important to know your camera
The first 6 months I had my camera I think the owner's manual was like my Bible.
If you don't know your camera that well I strongly encourage you to go grab your manual....I'll wait.......
..................... it? Here we go
On your Nikon camera go to
Here you'll see your options of normal, softer, etc.
If you're using a Canon camera, here's what I could find on my hubby's camera
SCROLL TO THE RIGHT TO THE SECOND CAMERA ICON (I don't have his manual so I don't know what the option is called)
Scroll down to PICTURE STYLE
There you can pick various settings, I played with it a bit and did NOT get the results like I did with my Nikon. Sorry Canon users this photography 101 lesson apparently is not for you :(
On with the lesson....
Here's the straight out of the camera shot
No editing has been done on this photo
Then I changed my settings to portrait
I didn't see "that" much of a difference with this setting
On to the softer setting
I loved this setting, I think it would be so nice for elegant bridal portraits or newborn photos
Then we have Vivid
I really like the subtle extra punch that was given with this setting
So I tried the more vivid setting
And wow!! Too much for a portrait but this would be awesome for detail shots
And then there's good ol black and white
I loved this, I would touch this up a bit of the contrast in photoshop for a final proof for a client.
But overall I did like the results.

Here's all the photos side by side so you can get a better idea of the differences

And that's today's lesson.....any questions leave here in the comments section and I'll reply accordingly :)
Happy Monday!

March 5, 2010

The Discount Rack

As mentioned in yesterday's post, I've had a few things on my mind.
I was reading the blog "In the Name of Love" earlier this week and the post was about knowing where you came from so you know where you're going.
The question was asked, where did you come from?
I had been thinking about this very thing as of late.
I've been thinking about my childhood and where I came from.
I grew up in a small fishing village. A town with less than 1000 residents. We didn't have much money. But we certainly didn't live in poverty. We had a roof over our heads, we had a car that got us from point a to point b, we even had cable.
However I do remember one winter when I overheard my Mom crying on the phone.
They didn't get enough working hours with the local fishplant to claim unemployment insurance for the winter.
It meant that we had to rely on welfare. I don't think it was the welfare itself that my mother was so upset about but the stereotype that people would label us with.
Fear that people would think she and my dad were lazy, abusing the system. Which just wasn't the case. I even remember my Mom telling me not to tell my friends of our financial situation.
I again remember her crying when our church brought us groceries. It was "that" moment...when our church showed us this charity that I realized how poor we actually were that winter.
Somehow growing up in a home filled with a lot of love but not much money has made the idea of being a high end photographer such a far fetched idea to me. The idea of photography being my sole source of income a dream that will never come true.
It's like I feel un-deserving of such an honour. It's like I'm afraid to actually ask for it to happen.
Then on to Annette
I don't even know how Annette came about adding me as a friend on Facebook? I know she's a photographer and she's located in California.
But she is phenomenal and has regular blog posts that move me. This one rocked me to the core.
I strongly encourage you to read it.
The jest of it is to take yourself off the discount rack and stop lowering your value.
Yeah I can definitely understand that, especially when it comes to placing a value on myself, my photography.
But most of all it was the Nelson Mandela quote in her post that was my main confirmation, that I do have value, that I'm not wrong to place value on my services of photography. That I am deserving of a rich life.
It is with mixed emotions....of fear, excitement and a lump in my throat that I share this quote with you....

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and famous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God."
~Nelson Manda

March 4, 2010

The Price of Beauty

Did you ever have times in your life where you have thoughts going through your mind?
They linger there and show themselves time and again?
Then all of a sudden, you see something, read something, or hear something that confirms what's been on your mind.
This week it happened twice.....because of that I'll do two separate blog posts.
The first confirmation that I received was yesterday while watching Oprah. I don't watch Oprah everyday but on yesterday I really wanted to because I'm a Jessica Simpson fan. Today just re-confirmed WHY I like her....she's not the perfect Hollywood weight, she wears her heart on her sleeve, she's REAL!
Those close to me know how angry I get by people so influenced by the media.
Hollywood - schmollywood!
I know people who are willing to pay $300 for a 'brand name' dress or shirt to show up at the same event as me in my $30 shirt or dress (and that's a splurge for me) and nobody be none the wiser. And on some occasions I even receive more compliments on my outfit.
I'm not saying this to brag about how oh so awesome and beautiful I am (note sarcasm here!) but I am saying it to show that unless your job is to know designer clothing (which is a minority of our population), nobody has a CLUE what brand name you're wearing. Nor does it matter....did your designer label get you the attention you had hoped for that evening? I think not....
So on to what's been on my mind....
It's been on my mind lately about my photography and who I truly am.
I've followed various photographers the last few years and the really successful ones I've wanted to be "just like them" so I could be just as successful as them.
Yet they INSIST to just be yourself. That being yourself will be the reason you're successful, not copying someone.
They were right....
It hit me lately that the TRUE me, isn't trying to book "perfect model looking hollywood type" clients.
Now please don't take that the wrong way, I don't think my past nor future clients are ugly.
I just think my clients aren't your typical media beautiful people.
I think MY clients are REAL beauty. No let me re-phrase that...I KNOW my client are REAL beauty.
They are the real deal.
MY clients are true to life, not plastic not fake. I love my clients....they're people that I aspire to be like. They inspire me.
I'm not perfect, I'm seriously flawed.  
To prove this point, I'll share this little story.
A few weekends ago, Kristen's grandparents were visiting us. I was watching the Olypmics when a particular athlete was being interviewed. Me being shocked by his appearance said "man, he's ugly!"
Kristen's grandmother VERY quickly stopped me and said "Now Christa, you know NOBODY is ugly"
I sat there stunned and ashamed. Cause she was right....nobody is ugly.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
I sheepishly agreed and felt guilty.
Now back to Jessica Simpson (I'm so all over the place with this post today) and Oprah.
The show was about how women of the world go to such extremes to be what the media says is "beautiful"
It was when Jessica talked about her "aha" moment that I sat there and started to cry (yes I'm a complete mushball)
She said "It really is about the heart of a woman that makes her beautiful"
I say Amen to that sista!
That's the clients I want.....women who are beautiful. But beautiful in the terms of true life. Beauty by their terms! Not the terms of some media personality who says what's trendy right now.
Here's the link to VH1 where it's talking about Jessica Simpson's new show
Let me conclude with this little story from last summer.
I emailed a client to tell her, that her sneak peek of photos were up on my blog.
I thought she looked amazing and was extra proud of myself.
I waited patiently for her to write back and gush on about how I was such an amazing photographer and how happy she was with how beautiful she looked in the photos.
Well....she didn't
When she wrote back, she didn't fact she critiqued. I was crushed.
It wasn't until we later talked that I realized her less than optimistic remarks weren't because of my photography but because of her insecurity.
As amazing as she looked, she wouldn't dare admit it. She had to pick on every flaw that she had.
Which honestly was just ridiculous....this girl is know the one that never wears makeup and still looks perfect. You know, the girl that you love to :)
But this just furthers my point.
Girls! Let's be proud of ourselves. Our own unique beauty.
Yes on the outside but most importantly from the inside!
On that note of 'true' beauty I'd like to wish a Happy Birthday to a couple of the most beautiful women I know; My Mom and Mother in Law.
Happy Birthday, I love you both :)

March 3, 2010

A Dog's Life

I love watching Boone play

Time to rest.....ahhhh. A dog's life :)