Thursday, April 17, 2014

winning through failing.

Admittedly, I sat on this post a bit.

The message behind this post is as honest as it comes.

Truthfully I don't think many photographers would write about this and highlight this message, but alas, those that know me know the ego is virtually non existent and one of my missions is to always reduce the 'noise' of the industry {Rewind anyone?}.

I love helping people blow past the insecurities that the industry puts in their path.

So I said to heck with it...

This post is for all of you self doubters out there, ESPECIALLY for all the newer photographers just starting out.

It's in regards to failing with this image.

I shot this at one of my client's homes just a few weeks ago. When I edited it I had no idea it would garner the reaction it did.

Over 500 likes {a record for me} and more comments than any single image has ever produced in the 5 years of my JellyBean page.

So I decided to enter it in a few contests... you know the ones. Weekly faves, and all that good stuff.

My rule of thumb with contests for myself and what I tell students is this before entering contests:

Do not enter if your world will cave in if you do not 'win.'

Do not enter if you are relying on much needed validation from others.

Do not enter in a fragile state.

It's a hard question to ask oneself...

'Why am I entering this contest?'

But it's a necessary one for many people.

Is it...

For fun?

For recognition?

For validation? (this is the sticky one).

Based on that honest answer, you should decide to proceed or not proceed.

I had an image on my hands that made me feel like entering it into a few places and I did.

And I didn't win.  Didn't even 'place.'

My most 'popular' image to date- and nothing.

So I ask you this: does that make my image a loser?

Me a loser?


Now remember this story the next time you enter a contest, ok?

The next time you think you got it in the bag and nailed an image that surely will win.

Because even your most liked, popular, slamming image may not make the cut.

But that doesn't mean it isn't GOOD.

That doesn't mean YOU aren't good.

At the end of the day, if you connect with your own art, that is truly all that matters.

Be kind to yourself and be forgiving, and so much more joy will come from your work.


Monday, April 7, 2014

instant karma's gonna' get you.

After years of finding lost dogs and returning them to their owner's,

we had the favor returned yesterday.

Karma is a beautiful thing.

And THAT deserved a little updated documenting of my best friend.

 Get it!
good boy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

project gratitude {march}

In the month of March, I am grateful for...

her love for all things performance-wise...,
 my ability to put aside the 'perfect shot' to ensure I connected with HER at her book fair,
                     her quick recovery from the flu and return to her awesome, happy, {silly} self,
another month of sticking with the commitment of total health this year,
that she can experience the love for a dog, a love I feel all children should experience,
and speaking of love... hers for us,
 for the most important man that will ever bring her flowers,
 for not being the only one in this house who loves to twirl and isn't afraid to admit it,
    When my husband purchased crab cakes for me to eat on St. Patrick's because he knows I am not the biggest fan of the Irish food he was cooking {and he's off the boat so that is saying a lot!},
for the child that rarely says 'I'm bored' because she always is creating something... 
 for scaring me with 'said' creation when I least expected it and giving us both a mega laugh,
 for putting aside my distaste for parades just for her joy and being rewarded with this image,
for this guy who showed up on our back porch and allowed me to show him the way home, 
Gratitude moment of the month:

The opportunity for a lesson. Emma drew a picture of Ariel off one of her (gazillion) Ariel dolls. The bath crayons had seen better days. They were cracking and splitting. I kept hearing her sighing as I was right outside the door organizing my desk. Finally she called out 'I'm ready!', her signal to come out of the tub. I walked in and she said 'Look Mom, my picture is horrible and I wrote you a note:'

Dear Mom, 
This look ugle.
I'm sory.
I'm giving up grormy 
{I didn't get that word- she said she meant 'drawing'}.

My heart sank for her. She is so used to being praised for her drawings, and it's one thing she is most proud of... and honestly, it was a pretty darn good rendition! But I knew that wasn't what my role was here. To just praise her and push aside her self doubt.

I knew it wasn't what she should or even wanted to hear.

I told her that not everything we create is a masterpiece. That I may take some good photos, but I also take a lot of 'not so good' ones. But I learn from each one and learn what I want to do to make it better next time around.  I told her that there is not one person on the planet earth who hits a home run every time they come to bat. Not a single singer that hits every note every time. And not one artist that creates a masterpiece with every drawing or painting.

It was a lesson I hope she holds with her now, and forever.

 for the joy an over sized Olaf balloon brings which made Skip cheer (kinda' :))
 for the wedding of Rocco and Rocca. She planned it literally for weeks. It was a beautiful affair, 
 for the beautiful morning light as she gets ready for school,
 for her beautiful spirit and for asking me to take this image which has quickly become a favorite.

Monday, March 24, 2014

everybody loves a parade! {well, kinda'}

We headed out on Sunday for a bite to eat, a stroll in our town and to catch the

St. Patrick's Day Parade. A bit o' quality family time if you will.

And as I was standing there in the bitter cold {Spring, yeah right, NY must have missed that announcement} looking around I had this realization:

I'm not a fan of parades.

Like.. not at all.

It almost feels like I'm going against the American way by saying that, but it's true.

After the first round of police motorcade, bag pipers, fire trucks and girl scouts go by, I'm done.

I'm good.

{Can we go now?}

But yesterday, I decided to take my camera and document the joy SHE feels anytime she

goes to a parade.

She loves it.

She loves it even more when candy is tossed, but even without the promise of sweet treats, she is in awe of the whole production.

And I'm in awe of her.

So if she's there, I'm there.

And I'm there chalking it up to the things we do for kids that don't really float our own boat,

but sail theirs...

 not surprising she's the most colorful person on the block as everyone starts to gather.
 annnnddddd, we were early as witnessed above. So we waited {and switched street sides}

and what's a day without a selfie.. can you spot me? 


Thursday, March 20, 2014

to great granny's home we go....

Every session I film is special.

But then... there are sessions like these that there are practically indescribable.

Words fall short.

When I was growing up, both of my grandmothers were like second Moms to me.

When you are little, the idea that one day that will inevitably change never even enters your mind.

So when I got the call from my now client that she wanted to capture the special Friday visits of her daughter with her granny {little W.'s great granny}, I couldn't get her on the phone fast enough to discuss.

I wanted to tell the whole story of their Friday visits, not just starting at the nursing home.

So I asked if I could come to their apartment and start the story from there.

Getting ready, leaving their apartment, walking the streets of NY, all leading up to the culmination of the visit. {Which I found is NOT complete until W. gets herself some cookies!!}

And as I filmed that day, all I saw in my mind was 20 years from now.

When little W. looks through the album I'm putting together, with her mom by her side and realizes two things...

How much her momma loved her to preserve these memories, because at the age of 2, sadly, she will not recall them.

And how IMPORTANT it is to document those that gave us life in this world, to celebrate them always, and to realize, time moves on but love is eternal.

Note: It's amazing how a little one can brighten up an older person's day even if they don't know the little person. You can see one of the women from the home as W. was entering it. That isn't her great granny, but her joyous expression was so beautiful, I didn't have the heart to alter the image by cropping her out. Let W. see the joy that people have on their face as she encounters them is my thought process there. :)

© JellyBean Pictures