January 27, 2012

Inspiration

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:13 pm by AngelEyesPhoto

So, I haven’t blogged in ah, forever.  As usual I’m not sure where this will go, b/c I’m feeling kind of goofy today.  So let’s see, I know I never blogged about Help-Portrait, which was really pretty great. We provided portraits for 70 families.  I met an amazing group of volunteers, from all walks of photography, and life.  Friends and family came out to make the day happen.  It was pretty great.  Next year should be really great too.  More sites, and volunteers, more families.  We now have validity to the cause, and that will surely bring us more families to serve.  We’re planning two weekends next year as well.  We’d love to have you!

 Volunteering has lead me to some of the most amazing people, and some really great friends.  It’s funny how it all works out like that, or how God works it out.  I love it when people are put in my path, and I can actually see why.  You know sometimes, you meet people and you have no idea why they are in your life??  In any event, I have in the past year or so met the most amazing people.  I have decided to be a part of the community instead of just walking through it.  I have started to surround myself with people who enjoy the same things that I do, and are inspired by similar things.  I’m learning to view life in a different way than before.  Currently I’m looking at rolling clouds on a blue sky, and that’s pretty great.  I find the sky to be totally inspiring.  I guess you could say I’m in the middle of a growth spurt.  You never know what will trigger these, but if you keep your mind open it’s pretty amazing.  The power of positive thinking should never be underestimated.  I’ve been in kind of a negative mood the past few weeks, but no more!  I now have recognized that, and am doooonnnneeee with it!  So there!  haha.  Again, I never do know where these blog posts will go.  Just show’s you all how truly nuts I am.  I’m currently on the hunt  for inspiration and creativity.  The funny thing is this all started with a pair of shoes (which is ironic b/c I was never REALLY a shoe person) over the summer.  I guess you never know what will inspire you and set you on a new path.  🙂  All of the images below are part of this hunt.  As with any type of art form or creative field, someone will love these, and someone will hate them.  What I’ve decided is it, doesn’t matter.  Only what I think of them.  The same is true for any photographer, artist, stylist, designer.  Stay true to yourself and you can’t go wrong.  

I hope anyone reading this can find inspiration and joy in life today.  It’s tough sometimes, with the everyday crap, but it can be done!  🙂  A photographer I know and love likes to end her seminars and whatnot with the phrase, “peace, love and popsicles.”  For some reason this seems fitting  today!Image ImageImageImageImage

November 19, 2011

Beginnings & ends….life.

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:39 am by AngelEyesPhoto

I was thinking not long ago about “firsts”….there are so very many first times in one’s life it’s hard to remember even a fraction of them. The most common I remember seem to be love and loss. While this is intriguing on its own, I pushed myself to try to remember other first times. There are those that go without saying when you say first. First kiss, first love, first broken heart, first crush…again all love, rather matters of the heart related. What about the first time you heard your baby cry, or first diaper your changed. First time you decided you wanted a child. First time you saw something that really moved you deep to your core. The first time you were inspired. When we are children we experience so very many first times. First day of school, first time away from mom, first friend, first apple. The list goes on and on. As adults we still have a lot, but the experiences seem to be less for most of us. I know I for one have been in the same routine for what seems like ever. For some unknown reason, I seem to be breaking that mold for myself now. What about the first time you rediscovered yourself? The first time you were brave enough to go to eat alone. The first time you struck up a conversation with a random stranger, who ended up totally making your day. It truly is the little things in life that can make a difference if we let them. I am finding (through finding myself again) that I am most enjoying connecting with others. Oddly enough (given my profession) I was never really much of a people person. This has totally changed for me now though. I am thoroughly enjoying meeting new people, putting myself out there. Having those random conversations. A few weeks ago I was chatting with the parking attendant at Eglestons. I was leaving a nilmdts session, and it had been a particularly bad experience. I dont’ remember what the conversation was now, but it was the highlight of my day. It lasted no longer than 2 minutes, and was about nothing of importance. For whatever reason though, that man just made my day. I think we talked about the simple things in life…something to that effect, I’m sure. I think rediscovery is the most amazing gift. It seems to happen many times over in our lives. Think about it for a second. Who we are now vs. who we were 5 years ago, 10 years ago, in high school, middle school, elementary school, as a toddler. One might call it growing, but I think of it as an exploration of sorts. It’s an amazing journey if you let it be! Dont’ hold yourself back from the little things in life. Take a risk, put yourself out there, find something that makes you uncomfortable and conquer it. Find something or someone who inspires you! Make a new connection..maybe a stranger, maybe an old friend. Live life, be a part of the community! Love others the way you want to be loved. It’s a crazy world which is only what we make of it.

As we know there can’t be firsts without lasts or beginnings without endings. It’s true what they say, when one door closes another door opens. The doorbell to the new door doesn’t always ring though. We have to be ever vigilant to the doors. Endings are not always a bad thing either. Most think of break-ups or death when thinking of life and endings. Dont’ you sometimes end up with an amazing friend after a break-up? Isn’t death just the beginning of eternal life (if that is what you belive). So why do endings have such a negative connotation? Don’t you learn something from that break-up to take with you onto the next relationship? What about the end to a perfect day, or the perfect date? The end of a fantastic movie. All of these things the leave you wanting more in a good way.

I don’t really know where I’m going with any of this, it’s just kind of been on my mind lately.  I never know where my blog posts are going to go.  It just kind of comes out.  haha.  Sorry for that.  I truly hope that we can all learn to live life…for real.  Not just being here.  I want to be a part of this world, not just be in it.  I want people to know me, not for celebrity status or b/c I’m good or bad at what I do…just know me for who I am.  Hopefully, in a good way.  I want to give back, and for my children to be proud of who I am/was.  God only knows if that’ll prove to be true or not, but I guess it’s worth a shot…right?  haha.  Good times.  We have no idea what tomorrow will bring.  I know this entry is full of clichés, but you know what, those sayings have been around as long as they have for a reason.  So maybe we should start paying attention!

August 22, 2011

Women

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:08 pm by AngelEyesPhoto

As many of you know I have recently partnered with another photographer and started a side boudoir business.  Barely boudoir is still in the very early stages of creation, but it has already been an amazing journey.  We just finished up a full day of working with models yesterday.  As with most things in my life I’m surprised at how much I’ve learned through this experience.  Sometimes people come into your lives that really put things into perspective.  I’ve realized as females we all have the same insecurities.  It doesn’t matter how great someone else may think we look, how thin, tall, or vivacious.  We still just don’t get it.  I know I’ve got a list of things I don’t like about myself that is longer than my leg.  From double chins to stretch marks, to my bangs just won’t lay right!  After working with these incredible women the past two weeks, it’s all so silly to me now.  It’s funny b/c certain people in my life have always given me the same compliments and I never listened to them.  I still probably won’t, but I’ve decided to at least try to embrace them.  Even now as I sit here about ten pounds lighter (Lord knows how or why) I still woke up this morning thinking man what did I eat yesterday….look at that gut.  After viewing a few snapshots of myself while working yesterday all I could think was wow, I’m never wearing that shirt again, or look at the chins and how flushed my face is.  Can I just say I HATE THAT!!!!  For the love of God what’s wrong with us!  We (and I for sure mean me) need to get out of that mind-set.  We are what we are and we need to own it!  I have really bad stretch marks and my stomach is all jacked up from being pregnant so I will not wear a two piece that shows it.  Yet every time I see a women with a similar tummy I think (and usually say to Mike) good for her, I wish I was that brave.

There is something simply amazing about a mom or a woman who is at peace with herself.  I really truly hope I can get there, b/c it seems like it must just be so liberating.  We get so caught up in non-sense when it comes to body image.  So far all of our models have been moms, which I think is awesome.  It’s the best feeling to watch their responses as they see their images.  My favorite response yet has been…”wow I look hot”!  Well yes you do!  Why do you think you have a couple of kids!!  We get so lost as moms.  Many of us fully embrace that role and don’t look back until many years later.  For me I’ve decided I want a piece of me back.  Just b/c I’m a mom doesn’t mean I can’t have fun, and embrace some of those qualities from my youth.

If you’ve talked to me about the boudoir you know for my partner (who is a guy) it’s about the art form, and for me it’s helping women who feel like I do every day feel like a rock star.   It’s so not about sex, or sex appeal like most people think.   Yes, it’s an awesome thing to do for yourself and share with your significant other, but we’ve also worked with women who are single and doing it just for themselves!  How awesome is that!

I hope for all of you ladies out there (especially the moms) that you will find a little piece of you that’s buried, and let it out!

May 31, 2011

Memorial day…as it should be.

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:38 am by AngelEyesPhoto

Today was such a blessing.  Yet another day spent sweating and sobbing.  Today we attended the Memorial day festivities in downtown Woodstock, and yet again (I like the word yet) I was so proud of our community.  The city park was filled with people decked out in the patriot wear.  Flags and poppies everywhere.  I have to say it reminded me of jaws  (I”m a huge jaws fan…and shark really) b/c if you’ve seen that movie you know they are opening the beach for memorial day, and have bands, and a very similar setup to what went on today.  Lucky for us no killer shark came lunging out of the fountain to devour the spectators.  It’s been so great working my way into this community.  I’m starting to know people, and they me.  Not just the “oh you’re Angel Eyes, I see your car everywhere…”  now I am actually greeted by name!  I love seeing familiar faces, and being a part of this town.  There were so many wonderful things today, but I have to say what sticks out most for me is Chip Rogers speech about not apologizing for America, and how it has become fashionable to do so.  You’ve got my vote Chip!  Good for you.  The other part was of course being reconnected with the Nelson family.  I think of them often, and of the blessing their son was to our country, as are so many others.  For those of you who don’t know who they are (see previous blog posts for details, as well as fan page album) they lost their son just a few short weeks ago.  He was but a babe, and in the war fighting for our freedom.  Today he was added to the wall in the Woodstock city park.  I didn’t even notice the black fabric tied across a section of the wall.  In fact I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even realize what that wall was before today.  I’ve spent so much time running around down there shooting, and I’ve never even taken the time to look at it.  Well, boy did I see it today.  When that fabric came down it was just heart wrenching.  Sobs filled the air.  Heartbreak returned.  So many felt it so clearly.  The sound of my shutter was defining, as I watched the events unfold.  I felt the world could surely hear it and I was intruding upon this moment.  The saddest part about it all though to me was his poor sister.  I was close enough to hear the interaction between her and her mom at the wall.  I don’t know how old she is, but she must be so strong.  I can only imagine the weight she has felt from the weekends events.  There must be a huge sense of relief in the Nelson home tonight that this weekend is now past.  Maybe now they can try to adjust a bit to their new dynamic, and station in life.  I can’t even begin to imagine the sadness in their household, as well as so many others out there tonight.  God bless you all!!

One other thing I want to tough on before I go.  Anytime there is anything patriotic I am brough to flag etiquette in my mind.  It seems as though it’s becoming a lost art (so to speak).  In fact I’ve been told prior to meeting me there are people in my life who weren’t even aware of it.  Do you know the flag should never touch the ground?  I recently learned that if a flag is dipping (like they are in the holders) it is a sign of defeat.  They should be held or displayed tall and proud!  They should not be used drumsticks on the back of a chair!  I mention this b/c yes today during the closing prayer a child (who was old enough to understand if told) did just this.  Of course it’s not the child’s fault for not knowing.  I found myself wondering if the adults in his life even knew?  Maybe they do and just don’t care.  I know in reality it’s piece of cloth and if it touches the ground are we really going to burn it?  Some will of course.  If it keeps the kid happy shouldn’t they be allowed to be used as drumsticks?  Sure why not…NOOOOOOO!!!!  That flag is a symbol of our great nation!  It tells all who see it who we are and what we are about.  It let’s others know that we are proud of who we are.  We will not apologize for our country!  We will not apologize for having rules for our flag.  This respect should be upheld by each and every one of us.  Like I said of course I don’t fault the child, and maybe the parents don’t know.  I bring it up, b/c it really was upsetting to me, and b/c people may not know.  So in the event this blog post isn’t floating around in cyberspace alone and you might want to know, here is a link.    http://www.usa-flag-site.org/etiquette.shtml  I do belive I’ll go read it and make sure I know them all.  🙂  God bless you all and our great nation!

April 16, 2011

A little of what was lost is found

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:19 pm by AngelEyesPhoto

Like many my husband and I go through periods of longing for a small town home feel.  We talk about how we’d love to live in a small community where everyone knows each others name (and by default every detail of each others lives) and smiles and waves.  Small town America, where the flag stands proud and strong.  Where your neighbor is never an enemy and will come to your aid at a glance.  Kind of like the world once was.  For many reasons we will most likely never move to a small town though.  I feel myself thinking the world is so lost sometimes, and that we’ve gotten so far off course from certain things that are important.  I know the grass is always greener and todays day and age has some really cool things going on.  I’m not knocking it…although I do wish the sense of  brotherly love was a little bit more obvious sometimes.  I think this is why I’m drawn to certain types of people. 

As some of you may know I was blessed to be at the events that transpired for the coming home of US Army Spc. Gary Lee Nelson III.  Sadly he is one of our fallen hero’s.  The information of his homecoming seems to have traveled slowly across the wires.  On Thursday he was escorted to the funeral home in Woodstock, and we were asked to line the streets in his honor.  I would estimate there were 200 or 300 people there.  I was proud considering so many probably found out so late.  Somewhere along the line I decided to put together the dvd for the family, so I felt it important to go out yesterday during the funeral service as well.  Plus, the “uglies” (as I learned is what the protestors are referred to) were supposed to rear their heads.  I am so proud to say that I was one of probably close to 1,000 people who lined Arnold mill, and the parking lot, at St. Michael.  It was small town America at it’s best.  The Patriot Guard Riders showed up in full force too.  I lost count at 58 bikes.  The flag line up to the church was amazing.  Some of those men and woman were out there for HOURS waiting to support the family.  I’m also proud to report that in Canton, along Riverstone and the route, there were several hundred more supporters.  The firetrucks crossed ladders and hung their flags with pride.  The whole day was such an impressive sight.  I did not continue onto the burial site, although I know it was spectacular.  The clouds were ominous and the wind was strong.  If you haven’t been to the Ga. National Cemetary in canton you probably don’t know it has a very long windy road leading you into where our fallen heroes lay.  I can envision what the site must have been, with over 60 PGR bearing flags, and various military honors followed by their trucks with HUGE billowing flags…our fallen hero and his family in persuit to his final resting place.  An amazing site it to be sure.  What I don’t envision are the protestors.  I learned two very important things yesterday.  One was spoken to the PGR from a fellow military man.  He said “I am not PGR but I am military, and when I look around I see nothing but family…you are all my family.  That man inside is my family.  If the uglies show up just remember why we are here.  We are here for him, not for them.”  He is so right.  One thing I realized about these protestors is that they only make us stronger.  So let them come with their hatred and venom.  I’m not going to judge them, as it’s not my place.  However, they made me come out yesterday to be there for the Nelson family and I’m sure that’s the case for a lot of the folks there too.  The other very important thing I learned yesterday is that when you hold a flag at an angle it’s a sign of defeat.  The flag should be held upright….tride and true bearing the weight of our nation.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you US Army Spc. Gary Nelson…thank you.  You have changed my view on many things this past 48 hours.  You have shown me that I do live in a small town, and while it may not be evident all the time, the community is very much like it was.  While we may feud with our neighbors, there is likely one on your street that will come to your aid.  We may get caught up in our lives, but there are still people out there who love others just b/c that is what’s right, and how it should be.  Again, I say thank you.  To the Nelson family, I am so sorry for your loss, and so grateful to have been a part of it.

April 15, 2011

Patriotism, honor and humanity

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:56 am by AngelEyesPhoto

Last night around 9:30 I received an email from a client/friend (thank you Noora), regarding a fallen Woodstock soldier who would be returning home today.  THis particular soldier was a mere babe.  While it shouldn’t matter the age when it comes to the loss of a life, the younger they are the more heart wrenching it seems, b/c they didn’t get a chance at life.  This boy was 20 years old and died fighting for our freedom.  This hits particularly close to home for me, as we are creeping up on the 9th anniversary of my cousin’s death, and she was also 20.  The city of Woodstock requested that the citizens lined the streets in honor of our fallen soldier Spc. Gary Lee Nelson III.  Considering the short notice I think a large amount of the community showed up and did just that.  At the first street closing attempt the tears began for me.  A little while later, the streets were finally closed, and all were standing ready with their flags.  The motorcade came round the turn, and the Woodstock police motorcycles were first.  Following them were police cars, and the Patriot guard riders (I had the opportunity to speak with and photograph these rides, but will get to that later), then the hearse, the limo carrying the family who I would imagine was all but shattered.  There were additional family members and friends, as well as more PG riders.  The streets went silent immediately upon the first motorcycle cresting the turn.  It was truly and amazing sight. 

When he had passed and was safely at his destination, the crowd dispersed and headed home.  We decided to have some lunch, and at the table next to us were the Patriot Guard Riders (www.PatriotGuardRiders.org).  unbeknownst to one of them, I had snuck a shot of him and his rockin’ bike through the window.  I finally decided I would ask them if they would do me the honor of posing for a portrait (not my best work, but I’m hoping for a redo).  They were obliged, and what a super great group.  I’m looking forward to working with them in the future.  One of the riders informed me at 6:00 they would be doing a flag line.  So I planned to come back out to round out the images I had taken and make a dvd for the family.  The girls and I got there, and much to my dismay the flag line was going into the funeral home.  We were not dressed, and had not intended on going in.  I felt horrible taking pictures outside of the funeral home, and in the back of my mind waited for someone to scream at me to get out and stop disrespecting the dead.  I have never felt like a paparazzi before today.  No one did, and the funeral home worker encouraged us to go in, and not be concerned about our dress.  Upon completion of the images, we did in fact go in, just to drop off a card.  Before I knew it I was standing in the way of a marine (who just stood perfectly posed behind me and spoke not a word) and a lady pulled me out-of-the-way.  This only enraged the already out-of-place feeling I had standing there in my hot pink shirt, jeans and tennis shoes, and camera bag on my back, with the girls with their dirty flags out of our yard.  As I moved out-of-the-way and apologized, I realized the room we were blocking was where he lay.  This was very upsetting to me, and I began to cry.  I apologized again, and the woman said “honey it’s ok, I’m grandma Sherry.”  I could have died.  I think I may have told her my name, but distinctly remember the words I didn’t know him coming out of my mouth through the tears.   Alexis asked me why I was crying and a look of first shock and then heartfelt gratitude crossed over grandmas face.  She hugged me so tight I could hardly breathe, and then said you have to come meet his mama.  I had no intention of going into the viewing room for many reasons.  Before I knew it we was standing in front of his mother a few feet away from the casket.  There he lay…draped with the flag.  I don’t remember much of our conversation, but I did speak with his mother, who was so sweet.  I told her I was planning on giving her a dvd showing the community support I had witnessed today, and she began to cry.  As we were finishing our chat, Alexis asked to see him.  She had been asking me questions on the way about what we look like when we die, and how it all works.  At that point there really wasn’t any turning back, so I allowed her to go and see.  Much to my surprise her only comment was “he has brown hair.”  As we made our way out of the funeral home and back to the car, all I could think of was the group that would be present tomorrow protesting his funeral.  It breaks my heart to thin that this grieving family will have to listen to such non-sense in the background on such an already horrible day.  I don’t know who these people are but dearly hope every one of their cars breaks down on the way here from Tx.  Even if you’re not supporter of the war, or the military, or gays or, whatever the bottom line is a person has left this earth.  let the family grieve in peace.  I don’t know how we’ve become so jaded that these things are allowed.  I know we have freedom of speech and that is great, but they should not be allowed there.  If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all right?  Or how about the golden rule.  I attended a photography seminar last month, and the guy said “do you want to know the secret to being a better photograhper…..BE A BETTER PERSON!”  Yep, it’s really that simple.

God bless us all, and many thanks to all of those serving in any way for our freedom, and our safety.

March 10, 2011

Only 3 weeks left to vote!

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:51 pm by AngelEyesPhoto

The CMS is almost over.  There are three weeks left from today to vote for your favorite “cutest kid”.  The cool thing about this contest is that there are paid votes (which go directly to nilmdts) and there are favorite points which are free when you sign up!  It’s such a wonderful foundation that helps families who are grieving the loss of a child.  I don’t know about you but I can’t imagine anything worse.  You may have read my previous posts about sessions I’ve done, and the emotions that they can stir.  It’s an incredible thing to be a part of, but it is a service that costs money to provide.  For those of you who have lost a child I’m sure you can attest to the fact that these images immortalize your child for eternity.  Memories fade, and we tend to forget things.  While the child’s existance may never be forgotten small details of the face, hands, feet, family resemblances, traits or genetic features may be.  There is also not always time due to shock for a parent to notice these things. In my family we have a bent pinky finger that is genetic.  If I was one of these parents I might not have noticed that trait was passed down.  There are so many reasons why the work we do is so important.   I ask that you help support nilmdts by participating in the CMS (charitymodelsearch.org), even if it’s just by voting once, which is equivalent to 3 minutes of your life and $1.  Below you will find the contestants I have that are solidly in the running.

A little bit about NILMDTS….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCnIAzcI7po

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlKhrCORF8w&feature=player_embedded

February 10, 2011

“Life ain’t always beautiful”

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:05 pm by AngelEyesPhoto

Some of you may recognize the title of this post.  It comes from a  country song by Gary Allen.  Ironically enough I heard it on the way home yesterday from my second NILMDTS session of this week.  It just seemed so fitting for this family, and NILMDTS in general that I had to download it when I got home.  It’s one of those songs that I’ve heard a million times, but never really heard.  The words hit me yesterday so profoundly for some reason.  Maybe its b/c this particular session made me pretty sad.  I thought I’d cry during it yesterday.  I even had to get a tissue, b/c I was sure it was coming.  For whatever reason I did not though.  I don’t understand that either.  This family was my 15th session, and I’ve never cried during one.  Maybe it’s God sending his angels to protect and guide me from the tragedy that has occurred. 

As I look at my youngest angel..or potato as I like to call her, I am reminded of how incredibly blessed I am.  She’s at a particularly funny age, that I’m enjoying thoroughly.  I cannot imagine ever planning a funeral for her or her sister.  The thought of it makes me want to just die.  I really don’t know how you go on after the loss of a child.  I know that you do, and must…especially if you have others.  I do not envy those for what they must endure.  It breaks my heart for them.  On some levels I still think I just don’t even get it.  How great I have it I mean.  After all my biggest worry was restoring the contacts on my new phone after my old one took a dive in the toilet.  Really???  That’s my big worry.  So silly.  In fact I know I don’t get it.  I’m terrible about making time really good quality time for my kids.  How can that be after what I’ve seen?  Again I have to say..really??  So how do we chill out from the day-to-day life and really get it right?    It’s so simple, yet so difficult to do. 

“Life ain’t always beautiful…sometimes it’s just plain hard.  Life can knock you down, it can break your heart.  Life ain’t always beautiful…. You think you’re on your way, and it’s just a dead-end road at the end of the day.  But the struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise.  And happiness has its own way of taking its sweet time.  No life ain’t alway beautiful, tears will fall sometimes.  Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.  Life ain’t always beautiful.   Sometimes I miss your smile, I get tired of missing all these lonely miles, and wish for just one minute, I can see your pretty face, yes I can dream but life don’t work that way.”    -Gary Allen

January 26, 2011

Charity model search

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:43 pm by AngelEyesPhoto

Hello everyone.  It’s safe to say I’ve been slacking on my blog posts…last one mid Nov.  Hmmmm…guess that can go on the goals for 2011 list (which I still haven’t created).  I don’t know about you guys but this year rolled right into the crazy!  I’m glad we’re heading toward the end of winter (I hope).  I’m ready for spring time and location sessions!  Funny, as I sit here typing, the sun just peaked out..what a tease on this gloomy day. 

Some of you may know that I’m participating in the Charity Model Search, benefiting Now I lay me down to sleep.  For those of you who don’t know I’m an area coordinator and affiliate photographer for NILMDTS.  What this means is that I am one of a network of photographers that goes into hospitals, or hospice situations and photograph babies, or young children, that are not expected to live, or have already passed.  These images have been proven invaluable in the grieving process, in recent years.  We help to preserve those tiny details that the memory fades out all to quickly.  Being that NILMDTS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity we are dependent solely on donations.  Thus the model search was born. 

The charity model search is in its third year of fundraising.  The first year we raised I belive $116,000 for NILMDTS.  Last years figure I’m not so sure on, but I think it was in the ball park of $70,000.  This year they are looking for America’s cutest kid.  The age range is from birth to 18 years.  The way it works is simple.  You find a participating photographer (me) and do a session (sessions must have taken place after January 1, 2011 to qualify), currently I’m offering $35 mini sessions with a model search entry.  There is only one entry per child allowed.  Once we pick out the cutest image, I’ll upload it to the CMS voting site, where it will be approved and posted for voting.  Each family receives a complimentary vote for participating.  After that votes are $1 each.  You spread the word to every single person you know and they give you as many votes as they can, maybe as a birthday gift perhaps.  Votes are tax-deductible, so if you know a corporation or work for a large company that could be a good in for you.  There are 5 divisions (which are listed on the website, www.charitymodelsearch.org) and to move onto the final round you must win your division.  The division winners are based solely on votes.  Once you the five division winners are decided (March 31, 2011 I belive) a panel of judges will decide the winner.  The grand prize winner will receive a $2500 savings bond, a $2500 travel voucher and a few other goodies.  For details in their entirety please visit www.charitymodelsearch.org.  For details on NILMDTS please visit www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org (however be prepared to ball your eyes out). 

For those of you who know me, you know how passionate I am about this foundation.  I was thinking while in an all day training for NILMDTS yesterday, that I can’t think of anything more difficult to go through than losing a child.  I simply don’t know how you go on.  While it’s something that people don’t want to think about, the sad reality is that there are 145 infant deaths per day in the u.s.  While not every one of those families will desire portraits of their child, we simply can’t come close to covering that number.  The funds help with recruitment drives among many other things.  So I encourage you to participate in the CMS.  If you don’t have a child that qualifies for the age range, feel free to go and vote, just because it will help out a grieving family. 

I hope to see you and your kids soon to help raise money for this awesome event!

Jessica

November 18, 2010

Flying blind

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:23 pm by AngelEyesPhoto

Today I met the tiniest angel I’ve ever had the privilege to work with.  “500 grams” said the nurse on the phone.  Well 500 grams means just about nothing to me these days, so I just assumed itty bitty….and that he was.  Sweet baby boy was so small he fit into the palm of mom or dads hand.  You hear stories of babies this size and have maybe seen pictures that look surreal.  Dealing with a baby this size is indeed surreal.  He had already earned his wings when we met, but I was told he was a heck of a fighter.  He was born in the weeks of the early 20’s on the pregnancy chart.  Despite the odds he fought to live for 4 days.  He blessed his parents for the four days by kicking and flailing his little TINY arms and legs.  I’ve really never seen anything like it.  They remembered those moments fondly as we worked through their session.  This poor couple had no indication, they were literally blind-sided by what happened.  One moment they have great news, and baby’s growing fine, the next dads being awoken to terrified screams in the night.  Soon thereafter their little one is born all to soon.  I can’t imagine this under any circumstances, but to be in a hotel, far from home, with no advanced warning, no family, or friends.  No advice on where to have their child cremated.  It’s just horrific.  Compound that with the surreal size of the child and these parents are surely walking through hell on earth. 

There are certain things we should never have to see or endure.  Outliving or losing a child is certainly at the top of that list.  Remembering your child barely formed, should be not far below it.  I certainly hope that they can find peace in the days, months and years to come.  I believe that any time they will see the Ga. state line, or anything referencing Ga. will be like a dagger through their tender hearts.  I don’t know that I could even walk by peaches in the grocery store, if I were in their shoes. 

God bless us all…especially the children.

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