Family Time

The holidays approach, the house is clean, strike up the oven and break out the leaf for the table. Lets all get together, eat, drink, nap, watch movies, play games, then rinse and repeat.  Blood relatives and extended families congregate for their specific cultural reasons and engage in…..

Why do we need an excuse? Call your family now and say hi, have not talked to someone since the last holiday? Call them, visit them, do not wait. Do it. Now. I am guilty of this just as you are. Life is not that simple anymore, but oh I wish it were. Just to be kicking back without having to worry what city will be next up for craziness.

My mom and dad turned 91 this year, our daughter 18, crazy stuff those two ends of the spectrum present us with. My parents have not seen Britt in a couple of years because life has given us a very windy road to maneuver, but this holiday season we are stressing the importance of resolving that fact.  Southbound again. Finally.

I had the pleasure of shooting a large family over the summer as they all congregated for a milestone celebration.  A mid morning session after I worked an overnight shift had my nerves activated but a few cups of coffee got me going and I was able to subtly feed off the love this family had for each other. And this makes it all worth it.

Going into this solo enforced the need I have for my “assistant” (Mee wife) but we were at opposite ends of the state almost. Nat is actually on her way to Maine to see one of her besties right now. Without me. Maine. The things we do for love.

The Primaries

And the kiddos

Combined as a group or separated as a unit, as long as we are together everything will always work out.

And at the end of the day, we can be assured that no matter how many challenges life brings us there is always time for silliness.

Right in the middle of all this I think, the battery pack for my main light decided to take a dump. We were nowhere near electricity. I always carry a couple of speedlites with me just in case of this scenario. I may have lost some power, but I did not lose the fun. Enjoy the approaching holiday season, and be prepared for all the excitement to come!

Thank for stopping by!

Phil

 

A Community of Love

This one is a little tough for me to talk about. After attending our dance school for 13 years it has closed shop. Three weeks before recital, 5 weeks before nationals. Poof, done. No warning at all. Heartbreak, disappointment, betrayal and lord knows what other thoughts filled the minds of 75 students and their families. The five girls on the competition team have felt it the most, sticking by the studios owner last year while others departed for alternate places to dance. These are the girls that spend hours and hours a week at the studio, performing at competitions, proudly displaying their colors. Their life has been pulled out from underneath them.

When word got out about what had gone down, and it did not take long, the outpouring of love and support was incredible and 60 hours later we were able to get rehearsal space and the recital space we needed to see all of these dancers fulfill their ambitions and to show their families what they had learned during the year. Thank you to everyone who helped in getting this done. One of our teachers and our competition team advisory board are using all of their experience in arranging the show. Me, I am putting in my efforts and will be taking the group photos for all the dances at dress rehearsal. Of course this means I will not be doing my normal routine of shooting the dancers on stage, but I will be on it hard during the actual show.

Our next step is to obtain funding for the competition team to go to dance nationals. The money that had been put out by the teams parents is now gone. We do not know where it went or why it did not reach its destination, but what is done is done. We are hoping it went into keeping the studio open for as long as it could.  Hope and faith are a balancing act right now.

A Go Fund Me page for the girls has been established and lord willing, the goal will be reached and we will get them there. If you can help out just click the link. You will be a part of making five girls very, very happy.

I will check back in after recital. Lots and lots to do!

Thanks for stopping by!

Phil

Thoughts of a Teen

My daughter is graduating high school in just a few weeks. The day we all hope for good weather so we can enjoy the outside ceremonies instead of the gym. Although, the way the weather patterns have been this year, if it is outside we just might need to wear our winter clothes. While her major is not yet determined, she will be going on for a minor in dance. All good, I had no idea either when I embarked upon that journey.

One of her final projects for english/creative writing was to pen a series of short stories or poems. I wanted to share with you the one she shared with me. Proud papa moments.

She lived for him.

For the way his eyes sparkle when he looks at her.
For when they’re together and all they feel is love surrounding them, never letting them go.
His soft voice sounded like flower petals flowing in the wind.
His hands felt like a smooth warm blanket keeping her secure.
His lips a velvety touch to hers, nothing like she’s ever felt before.
He made her feel like there was galaxies racing through her body.
Her soul danced for him.
Making sure he never stopped smiling.
When he is sad, her heart crumbles just wishing that she could do something, anything to make him feel the least bit happy.
They laughed together, loved together, were happy together.

There was no place she’d rather be.

But when times got rough, all she felt was guilt, like she wasn’t good enough to keep him happy.
Like she wasn’t great enough to keep him going.
Although, she was his light, she knew she kept him going even though it didn’t seem like it.
For all those times that she felt worthless and like nothing, he made it better.
He made her feel something real.
She felt important and appreciated.
She never felt a love so consuming of her body, mind and spirit.
He had been the one she was always looking for.
She strived to be his number one.
His only one.

Now the question was… did he live for her?

-Brittany Shepherd

 

We have often talked about a major in creative writing, even philosophy. Letting her find her own way on this path, time will tell.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

“Take my Picture” – The Look

If anyone has a teenager in their midst then you know some of the looks that come out of them. Confusing right? And they will almost never let you take their picture when you want to, it has to be on their terms. And the selfies? Not sure I will ever completely get that.

I am doing some work at the desk one evening, my daughter comes up to me and gives me a look. Now I had no idea what this look meant, my wife had to clue me in. My daughter Britt had just finished applying some make up so I just thought she was showing me what a good job she did. Little did I know. Then she keeps looking at me….Well?

I stopped asking her to let me take her photo a long time ago, the answer would always be no. As a photographer when I get inspired by a look I want to capture it, as a parent when that look comes from your daughter you want to capture it immediately. Of course it does not work that way. I stopped what I was doing, reconfirmed this request with both my wife and my daughter and went to get set up.

The attention  span wanes quickly, taking your time is not an option. I am normally pretty laid back, and by creating a fun atmosphere it keeps my clients attention to where I need it, but with your kid that is all out the window. There will be no dialing in of anything. But all in all, in the end the results were quite nice.

Took a few liberties, experimented with a some presets to a few of them. Nice. My kid is not a kid anymore. She is now a beautiful young lady isn’t she?

All for now, Thanks for stopping by!

Phil