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Bring Beauty to all ages

It’s National Eating Disorder week.  I have a fact that you won’t believe, unless you are a mom of a young girl.  Then, like myself, I bet you can “remember a comment” that your young daughter has made, and this number won’t seem so outlandish.

I recently read an article, 5 Myths about Eating Disorders where it states that the National Eating Disorder Association reports that 42% of first-graders want to be thinner. 

I”ll let you take a moment in digest that information.  That is a sad & scary thought, isn’t it.  I know I can relate.  Please take a moment to read the bit under “Meet your Photographer” .

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This was the sweater my daughter felt fat in.                           These photos are for her 7th birthday.

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I know we are our children’s biggest role models.   We strive to teach them good habits their entire life.  We remind them to say please and thank you, give the elder their seat, & eat their veggies.  We hope they learn how to treat others in a relationship, how to be self confident, not give into peer pressure, and I’m sure most can relate to needing to discuss “hot topics” earlier and earlier with each passing child.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that a child learns by our example more then by what we “preach”.  I remember my mother saying “do what I say, not what I do” .  But it’s hard.  Everyday, your child seeing you chastising your figure, comparing yourself to that famous person on the magazine (who’s been Photoshopped btw)  with media & Hollywood setting unrealistic expectations.    Now I’m not saying  Gluttony.  is ok, and  sitting on the couch for hours on end eating bon bon’s & ice cream is a good example.

But instead of constant criticizing our figure, tossing clothes on the bed in an exasperated attempt to find something to wear, maybe we (myself included) need to focus on loving who we are, how we are, and know that we would be setting a good example for our children.   I exercise at home (when my arm isn’t in a sling, and let me tell you, typing one handed is a bit difficult) so my daughter can see, not that I”m not happy with my appearance, but my steps to be healthier & happier with myself (on all aspects)

So,  here it is.  For National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I want to hear about your child’s  (boy or girl) self examination. (school age only)  What they have mentioned in the past that they don’t like about themselves.   WHY?  you ask.  Simple, because I will give them a portrait session, where they will end up LOVING themselves. Seeing that they are beautiful, special, unique & wonderful.  It’s no contest, all who share their TRUE story will get a session and 1 5×7 (no obligation to buy).   I will be taking stories up until march 15th.   Major Caryn Follier of the US Army, with Arbone will teach about skin care & healthy living prior to the session.

Please submit your story by filling out the contact form below.  I look forward to meeting you & helping your child love who they are!

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Solitude is healthy

I’ve completed another chapter in A Weekend to change your life, all of this is focusing on Solitude.
I remember in HS, our assistant band director, let’s call her Mrs B, would come into my restaurant every Sunday and have lunch by herself.  At the time I thought she had to be the biggest looser in the world.  (please keep in mind I was 17) Who in their right mind would want to go to a restaurant by themselves? 

Fast forward many years, I’m way out of HS, and in the AF having lunch by myself.  Enjoying the solitude.  No one barking orders, no friends dishing gossip, no one complaining about anything.  It was an odd feeling at first, I recall being a bit self conscious of everyone staring (no one was even paying attention) at the poor soul who HAD to have lunch by myself.  It was a conscious decision on my part, I needed a bit of a reprieve.  Then, I did it again.   I enjoy my time to myself, I don’t always make it a priority, but according to Joan, I must, and so should you.

“Seeking solitude each day is a way to stay present, focused and alive to my own individual spirit.”  This is when nothing major is happening in our lives, but honestly, how often does that happen?  Since December of 2013 I have had 3 major life events taking place, one of which is my Aunt’s Murder being suitable for Parole- Life happens.  Needless to say, my Solitude time has increased, allowing me extra time to process, understand, heal & rejuvenate getting ready for the next event.  

I bet you are reading this, thinking, “OK, I haven’t had a major event YET”, as you are looking for the nearest piece of wood furniture – but keep in mind that even little endings we endure leave wounds that must be healed.

The bottom line, take the time for yourself, for solitude & solace.

No more But’s

“When we are stuck, choice is threatening because it implies change. When you accept your power over these choices, you’ll have begun the process of being more open and free.” Joan Anderson

I love that! Everyone is afraid of change, at least in one form or another. It implies the unknown, and I am the first to admit, I am my own biggest enemy. My biggest block from moving forward. (more…)

Needs, Desires & Goals

“Many women drive their relationship to soul as if it were not a very important instrument.  Like any instrument of value, it needs shelter, cleansing, oiling, and repair.  Otherwise, like a car  the relationship sludges up, causes deceleration in a woman’s daily life, causes her to use up enormous energy for the simplest tasks, and finally busts down, out on heart break ridge, away from town and telephone.  Then it is a long, long walk back home.” ~Clarissa Pinkola Estes; Women Who Run With the Wolves.   (more…)

My Happy Place as a Photographer in Oxford

My Great Grandmother had a farm, and I have photos of me on the “family” pony before I could even walk.  Then at 8, I got that wish every girls asks for…. a pony for Christmas and Blaze was all wrapped up in a big red bow! My Aunt and I would go camping, pulling the horse trailer behind, and I couldn’t wait for the set up to be done and go to my Happy Place.  Riding on a crisp fall day, having my body fall into rhythm with my horse…. clip clop clip clop.   The blowing wind taking my troubles, worries, & concerns with it.

Now, fast forward 15 years……I took a trip to my home town after the 4th of July.   It’s a small town in Ohio,  with acres and acres of corn & bean fields.  Somethings haven’t changed.  The fairgrounds still house my uncle’s horses, he has several, and one he races at River Downs in Ohio.  Side story….. My family just purchased a 10 acre farm, and I can’t wait to share my love with my daughter!…… so during the mornings, I take her to the fairgrounds and she brushes Uncle Ted’s horses, helps tie them up to  the track truck, I even taught her to pick their hooves.  He even trusted her to unwrap his racing horses’ feet.

We finally got the opportunity to saddle up Nick, his trail horse, and headed over to the arena.  Once again, I was in my Happy Place & able to share it with my daughter!IMG_1670 IMG_1681 IMG_1632 IMG_1647 IMG_1668

 

My Memory Keeper…..an Oxford Photographer’s Story

Of course as Photographers we communicate, push and even sometimes harp on the importance of getting your family photos taken yearly. And in the back of your mind, I know you are thinking, “Right….. do we really need a family photograph every year, I know you (the photogs) just want the business”

This is not a post like that. This is my story, why Photos are important to me. photo

My Family is dysfunctional. Maybe more then most, maybe not. Though I was born an only child, I was not raised as one. My mother raised my cousin. We had    bunk beds, I don’t remember a single vacation when Justin wasn’t there with me. We walked home from school together, and being 5 yrs my Senior, he  would  help me with my homework, try to black photo(1)mail me after making me say profanity, and was the only one allowed to torture me, as most brothers do.

It was this way for the longest time. I don’t remember when he stopped staying the night, & moved out…. but it happened. Though even in his senior year of HS, he would be at my house waiting for me while I was in 7th grade. If he had work or football practice, he’d leave his calling card, MTV (back when it really was music television) would be on so I’d know he had been there.

I remember his Senior Portrait session in October of ’92. It was a mad house mess to say the least. My Grandmother, Aunt, Mom, myself all had photographs taken with Justin, and then a group photo that included dogs. What were we thinking?!?! With all the nastiness that ensued, my family is very opinionated, arguments happened, then we smiled for the camera. I hated the photos when they came. I didn’t like the outfits they had picked out, but being 12, I didn’t get much say. I never would have guessed that these Senior Portraits would be come so treasured.

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Less then 2 Months later, on January 1st, he died.

Lange Photography in Wapakoneta was a blessing. When we had originally ordered the photographs, budget was a concern as it is with most families, I’m not sure how, or when, but I now have the negatives to this shoot. Now that I am older, I have my own Photographs of Justin, and thorough these, my daughter is able to know her Uncle Justin a little bit more.

This is why photography means so much to me. One never knows when tragedy will happen, and you will cling to the photographs, because that is all you have left to remember his crooked smile, & the way his hair would curl up at the back, because even your memory eventually fades.

 

FEEL FREE TO SHARE MY STORY.

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For this post I had to find the Senior Photos, we recently moved, and my heart sank, panic set in when I couldn’t find them.