Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Do You Know the People in Your Neighborhood?

There is a man in my neighborhood that I see almost every day. I see him on my way to work... I see him out for walks... and I see him sitting in the park... For some reason, I wonder about him.

Do you know someone like this? Is there someone that you see at work who inspires you? Is there someone in your neighborhood that makes you wonder what their life is like? Do you wonder what they have been through in their lives that have allowed them to end up in the position that they are in?

This is the man that I see...He is around almost every day. It is so common for me to see him, that on days that I do not see him, I worry about him. I have wanted to talk to him for some time. I am sure that my conversation would NOT go the way I imagine it would, but that is part of what intrigues me even more.

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving home from a shoot.... and there he was... right outside my car. I snapped this image of him and will continue to wonder........ I will wonder and pray. No matter what conditions or actions got him to this place, I pray that God takes care of him. I pray that he finds his way home... where ever that may be.

Today I had the day off... I was thinking about this man, so I decided to try to go find him. There he was again, walking down the street. I was on my way to the daycare, so I thought I would drop the kids off and head back over to talk to him. Of course when I went back to find him, he was gone. I drove by all of the spots I usually see him, but no luck. That is when I saw another neighborhood regular. Jinni.

Jinni sits outside Tully's almost every day. Today she was bundled up, sitting in the rain with her head slumped and not visible. She has so many layers... black plastic, clothes, blanket, more clothes... her shoes are untied, her laces were wet and her legs were swollen. I went into Tully's and asked about her.... I bought her favorite drink for the next time she comes in and headed out to talk to her.

I said her name and waited .... I said her name again and this time her head jumped up quickly. I had obviously startled her and woke her. Her face was weathered and wrinkled, and she had no teeth. She was surprised I knew her name, and at the same time did not ask me how I knew. I wondered how sleepless her night must have been like to allow her to sleep so soundly in the safety of daylight. Without saying much I handed her some money... she thanked me.... and I left. Within seconds her head was back into the safety of her layers... and her mind returned to the escape of sleep.

How is it that we so often drive by people like Jinni and as soon as we pass them, we forget about them. We let ourselves escape to the warmth of our nice SUVs with our lattes and our i pods. I am guilty of doing this as well, but I am challenging myself to change. I am going to try to keep my eyes truly open in my neighborhood and community... we all need to help, we all need to care, we all need to give back.

This Thanksgiving, I would encourage you to remember the people in your community who do not have families to care for them, no warm food for their tables, no pillows to lay their heads. Take some extra food from your cupboard and donate it to your local food bank. Let your kids donate some old clothes. Take a card to a home bound neighbor. There are so many ways we can help, both big and small.

God Bless you and your family this Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Squirrel Chasing In The Park

What do you get when you have three young boys, a new puppy and a park full of squirrels?? You get everyone moving in their own direction. It was great! This is EXACTLY how my life feels most of the time and is part of what I love about it. It was great seeing all of these independent minds running through the park. This family was a blast! We had a great time at the park, even though it was a bit chilly! I could not believe how many squirrels there were. These boys loved seeing all of the squirrels, actually I did too...even though this one almost ran right up my leg!!!These three brothers are going to be heart breakers! They all have the most beautiful eyes!!Everyone knows I love black and white photos.... BUT with these great colors, and these amazing eyes, I had to leave some in color too!
Their new Australian Sheppard puppy has some pretty amazing eyes as well!Isn't this is a gorgeous family. After we hung out in the park we snuck into the Wright Park Arboretum to explore and warm up!
Another great holiday session.... I have had so much fun this year meeting all of these great families! I want to send a special "thank you" to this family for coming out in the chilly weather to get these shots!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Brisk Morning, A Cold Nose and A New Puppy

Last year I was leisurely driving up to a Sunday holiday shoot when I realized that I had my husbands Seahawks tickets in the seat right next to me. UGH... I really HATE to be late, and on this day, I had no choice but to turn around... drive home.... drop of the tickets to a slightly irritated but grateful husband... and then head back up to the session.

When I FINALLY arrived at the session, I met a completely amazing and kind family. They had a beautiful little girl, a wonderful dog, and smiles full of forgiveness for me! How lucky I am to meet families like this!

This year, I was so excited when they called me for another holiday session. We went out on a brisk fall morning, and had a wonderful time. Zia is not even two but she is sweet as can be and one of the best little talkers I have ever heard!Zia carried around little bear and big bear all morning! I loved her soft hair and her beautiful brown eyes... what a sweet girl!
One of my favorite types of family photos are the ones that come after the "perfectly posed everyone smiling at the camera" shots. I love seeing the natural smiles, the love, and the emotion when you catch people being themselves and loving their family.Earlier this year, this family lost a very important member of their family... their amazing dog that I mentioned earlier. Well, while Nala (their new Labrador) does not take the place of their amazing doggie, she is an amazing addition to this family.Isn't Nala beautiful?! The morning did not warm up at all, and by the end... all of our noses were a bit chilly, but Zia, she remained happy as ever! I love this toothy little grin!Zia was so sweet... at the end of the session she ran up to me, gave me a big hug and a cold nosed kiss and said, "Thank you Sawa" in her adorable tiny little voice!Thank you again to this wonderful family... for your forgiveness and for sharing your family with me! It has been wonderful watching Zia grow! It has been a complete honor for me!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Three Weeks of New Life

Meet Mason.
Mason is three weeks old, and recently I had the honor of spending an afternoon in his home with his family. His parents selected the WATCH ME GROW package, and I had a great time taking these images at our first session. If you have ever looked through any of my images, you know that my favorite thing about a newborn session is the detail shots. So without further ado.... here is Mason!
His perfect lips....His pudgy little feet and toes....That beautiful swirl of hair on the top of his head... and his tiny little finger brushing up again his daddy's hand.Mason had the coziest, softest, blanket I have ever ever felt. I would LOVE to have one like it for myself... especially if I could be as comfortable as he is in it. Mr. Mason loved being wrapped up tightly in his new little blankie, almost more than I loved seeing his beautiful mama staring down at him. It was a pleasure to spend the afternoon with Mason his family. Thank you for letting me into your home and into your lives and I CAN NOT wait to see Mason grow through out this year.