Babies: Alexander Currier -- Revisited

Dust in my nose, dust in my eyes, dust in my clothes. Dear allergies, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to irritate you, but the thing is, I have to move. And you see, I didn't realize how much dust collected behind my dresser, on my bookshelves, and in my closet. Now, we're rivals, battling through a claritin that isn't strong enough to keep us together. Tears have been shed, and I've even began yelling. I think it's time we part our ways. PLEASE.

Yes, my sneezes are sounding like yells. That's when you know it's bad.

But on to the good news, and perhaps some tears of joy to be shed because this is the CUTEST almost-one-year old I've photographed!! I finished editing Alexander's shoot this weekend while Jose's family came into town to help me pack. Every 5 minutes I would laugh at myself or squeal, then turn my laptop around to show them the photo I would be working on. GET A BABY! Ha. No, really, that will be a while.

Caitlin, I am SO happy you were able to catch me before leaving Atlanta because this boy is now on my desktop background. Not only is it beautiful to be around such a loving family, but Alexander made everything so easy for me. And if you need to reminisce on what Alexander looked like as a wee-baby... you can check it out here.

He puts my crunches to shame...

I love this so much, simply for his perspective of the ball. THIS big!

Awww :)

Such a gentle and loving moment...

Who are you trying to bedazzle? Oh wait, DONE!

My new laptop background :)

New diaper? Car? Candy? You can have anything with that face!

Just lovely. I can't wait to get back into full swing! The Curriers were a sweet reminder of why I love what I do. Though I don't mind putting it off a little longer for a few weeks in Spain :)

Babies: Sophia Alago

So let's play catch up and rewind to December. I told you I had some catching up to do! Let's start here....

I walked into their bright apartment and immediately could see why Aimie is referred to as creative. Her bedroom walls painted my favorite color (teal), the baby's room perfectly coordinated in shades of orange, and her love of photography displayed proudly in her home that Aimie herself photographed. Her husband, Jorge, was very attentive to the session "Aimie! You're blocking her light." I laughed and immediately felt their welcome.

Don't put your camera down.

That is what my fiance would say, so I repeated these words in my head. You can see my predicament in wanting to hold Sophia, Aimie and Jorge's beautiful baby girl, when you see the pictures. I knew if I put my camera down, I wouldn't be able to contain myself. I just wanted to hug her, hold her, and make her laugh. Oh wait, I'm supposed to take pictures.

Thank you Aimie, Jorge, and Sophia. I am not just "saying" this -- y'all are a beautiful family and the cutest couple! I am blessed to have met y'all before leaving Atlanta and soon -- there will be a special shoot of just Aimie! ;)

I love feet... especially babies'! :)

That smile!!

Playing superman :)

This was back in December so this had a little Christmas spirit..

Like I said... gorgeous!!

Looking quite sneaky!

I love the dress! That fabric!

To see more, check out the slideshow!

Booya -- I gotcha

I have completely fooled you. Here you are thinking I am a good photographer, but then you put THIS baby in my hands and .... well, I fail. Utterly fail.

I can blame it on the expired film my fiance bought along with the "baby" I am referring to as my Christmas present. To say I was excited to receive the Diana F+ plastic camera AND 4 plastic lenses is an understatement. I was thrilled to open this up at 3 a.m. Thank you Jose! :)

Yes, she is so pretty and devious. She tests you, mocks you, and requires patience. I have a LOT of learning to do. I am still blaming HALF of it on the expired film. Currently she is loaded with non-expired black & white film (with higher ISO too!). I mean, seriously, 100 ISO? As Jose would put it, that is just "chopped liver."

And of course, I will not hide in my shame -- I will share my first attempt at a plastic Holga camera.

Hey, at least that's better than just 1 decent image right? And yeah, the great thing about this camera is that it is SUPPOSED to be experimental with a cross-processed look. I'm not completely hopeless! By the way, that last photo is my brother with cards that spell out cheater. Because that is what he is. Cheater!

So yeah, I fooled you :) Now maybe I can redeem myself with this black and white film. Though I have to say, I LOVE the feeling of not knowing what the heck your pictures will look like. I used to take photos all the time in high school with a cranker (my reference to the plastic cameras that you had to wind/crank the wheel after each photo) and I would get so anxious to pick up the photos. A surprise each week!

I'll leave you with the Diana F+ done right -- multi-exposure for an artistic capture :)

Alive By It

I have loved this quote since the day I read it:

"Photographers may or may not make a living by photography, but they are alive by it." - Robert Adams

Then, I came across these stories from Zack Arias' blog. Unbelievable. My fiance told me that my photography should not define me. That at one point in time, if God asked me to drop my camera and all of my photography -- I could do it. Can I? Could I pursue something else in life that keeps me up at night? That makes me anxious and excited to do?

If you aren't reading all of them, at least read this one:

I write this from the coffee shop where I was with Samantha the day she told me she quit her job. Her corporate job. Her well paying corporate job. She told me she couldn’t do it anymore or perhaps more accurately — she couldn’t not do photography anymore. Samantha had enjoyed her life behind a camera for decades. Arguably since the day she was born. Now, she told me, she was going to do it.

She was very clear about this.

I thought she had lost her freaking mind.

Before and since this day at the coffee shop I have watched friends and strangers alike admire Samantha’s work. But, since that day I have seen what so many of her admirers do not – the incomprehensible sacrifices she makes to do it.

I have seen her sell her furniture, her possessions, her car, her bed. I have watched her not go out. Not get another drink. I have watched her knowing that she knows, that corporate job, that stable paycheck – are all a phone call away. In the times where I feel she might just put everything on Craig’s List I have tried mentioning this to her. I mention the 401K, the health insurance, the stability, the stress free lifestyle, the SALARY.

But, Samantha – just puts more things on Craig’s List.

Recently, her house went up there.

This is Samantha.

Samantha is true. True to herself. True to others. True to her art. It is through the camera that Samantha shows the world her (and other’s) truth and I feel there is no better representation of this truth and this honesty with which she lives than with her — Project. A project that records the last moments of living. A project in which she takes photographs of those in hospice, those who have been diagnosed as terminally ill, and those who, at times, have only hours remaining in their lives.

When she told me about this project it seemed painful, morbid, desperately awkward. Then she told me the story of seeing her mother in the hospital. When her mother was in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer Samantha went home to see her. When she walked in the hospital, she saw her mother lying in bed. Her mother was bald. She had tubes sticking out of her. Samantha burst into tears. Her mother looked at her – and smiled. In this moment Samantha understood sickness and death are scariest for those who watch it. It was this moment that inspired the —- Project.
Samantha does the —- Project to bring social awareness to end of life care. She does it because she sees profound beauty and peace where most would only see death. She does it because she believes in living. Because she believes in life. She does it because she believes there is as much life in the first breath as there is in the last. She does it because she believes in each moment of life and because she wants more than anything to record the beauty of these moments.

Samantha will not accept money for this project and as such finances are tight. She is not able to be with her family in Italy for the holidays. I would love nothing more than to give Samantha something to open on Christmas that would not only support her as a photographer but would celebrate how Samantha lives her life and how she unabashedly celebrates, in all of its stages, the lives of so many others.

Her photography does not define her. Her passion for celebrating life, her challenges and victories, and finding beauty define her.

So I propose to you to figure out what defines you. Because if one day you are forced to put your camera away (or whatever it is that is with you always, any piece of technology), you will need that to keep you alive. I am alive by photography, but it does not keep me alive.

My I Heart Faces Challenge

I thought about writing something witty, or entertaining, or... you know, "cool." But, I'm not going to lie -- the fact that 18 mind blowing photographers will be looking at my photo leaves me speechless. Clearly not completely because I'm still typing, but you get the idea! Anyway... my fiance's sister and I get a little crazy with ideas and just start photographing and we did a Carnival theme shoot this past holiday (inside where it was warm of course :). My inspiration for this was an Indian-gypsie theme (what I would give to photograph an Indian wedding!). Though color may seem like a better option... something about creating it black and white made it just jump to me.

Go check out the other entries to see how many people REALLY put themselves out there! This was such an incredible experience... HI JOSE VILLA!!!