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

The Sun Dancers

An early morning began with the intent to get in some sunset images on a full frame body I was trying out. But I am a people person, and as we progressed throughout the afternoon, I asked my wife and daughter to join in. When they said sure, I thought getting my daughters dance team sister in the mix would be a great idea too! Little did I know that we all would be so taken with the images we created. But after all, that is always the end goal, right?

One image in particular struck a nerve for all of us, and when I shared it with her mom, one of her close friends, who just happens to be a writer, commented on it. Having previously collaborated with her on an image I asked her if she would be willing to have a go at this one.

The words were inspired by this image:

BJZ_PShepherd-38-2

SUN DANCER

A blazing orange sunset

visits the shore.

Sun-drenched love from sea depths

kisses the chin of grace.

Pointed toes and sculpted limbs

adorn the beach

with the beauty of balance.

 

The audience to this sand ballet

is the surface of the sea itself –

reflecting back to the shore

a dance of freedom.

 

Color melts from the sky

in hues of caramel and mango.

The body moves to the rhythm

of storied waves and unfinished tales.

There is so much still to be written

with each fluid movement

of arched back

and essence reaching to the sky

in prayer.

  Cristina M.R. Norcross ©2015

Cristina is the Managing editor at Blue Heron Review as well as an established author. You can take in many of her poems and other writings on her writers blog.

This is our second collaboration together and if our children and mother nature are willing, we will create some more art in the future. If you would like to read the first one it can be viewed here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Phil 

 

“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

The Progression of a Holiday Nap

Easter, the sugar rush, energy in abundance.

Cut off the sweets! Crash, naptime!

This young lady got all dressed up for pictures but did not quite make it. The sleep bunnies came before we could get started.

Lydia-4 Lydia  Lydia-5Lydia-6Lydia-8

 

Happy Easter!

 

A Time for Children

We have approached that time of year in which the majority recognize and celebrate the birth of a child. Let me say that again, recognize and celebrate the birth of a child. I often wonder whether this is truly understood, as its commercialism has dwarfed this holiday seasons true purpose and meaning. Whatever cynicism abounds in our eyes one thing is for certain, this is the time of year for families and more specifically a time of year for the children. A smile on the face of a child is a priceless moment when we know there is still peace and purity left in our world, it is a smile that lights up a room, and a little twinkle in the eye that says it’s OK  we’re going to be fine.

I do not consider myself to be very religious however I do consider myself to be spiritual and I believe I am very open-minded with regards to other’s ideologies. There is no one right answer for the collective, it is up to the individual to decide the direction they take and once that choice is made, so be it. I do not want to, nor will try to, change the choice of others. Be accepting, be respectful, be grateful and generous. This is what we have within ourselves. I am truly hoping that our next generation of children is raised this way so we can escape some of the selfishness that is rampant today. That one statement is truly painful and concerns me the most about the future.

Luckily there are moments when hope abounds and it is understood what must be done.

Children are full of innocence and this is the time of year to make sure that stays intact. The threat of a stocking filled with coal is gone, and the countdown is on. Energy is in abundance and I try to absorb what I can and continue to learn how to make my life have some simplicity to it. I have dreamed many a time about buying out our family farm that one of my cousins live on. Though it has not been a source of income for many, many years, it has nature, lots of nature. There is a peacefulness in nature that you can not find anywhere else, well aside from a sleeping baby, and for me peace is happiness.

Happiness is:

As a child gets older you may find yourself feeling a little vulnerable, I know I have, and then you find yourself getting down right petrified. They grow up to become beautiful young adults and you just hope that you have steered them in the right direction. If I could freeze time I have yet to figure out the perfect age to keep our daughter at. Each year is magical. Maybe I could freeze time the moment she thinks she has met a boy she would like to start a relationship with….But then I would be stunting her growth…but you have to admit, for those of you with children entering that phase of their life you know you want to….

I found myself for the first time ever staying up and waiting for our daughter to get home Thanksgiving night. I felt like an expectant dad hoping his child is safe. I was really just psyching myself out thinking of what’s to come, undoubtedly sooner rather than later, either way much sooner than I want it to. And all along she was with one of our most trusted friends and her daughters. Yup, all in the head.

And then there are the ones that you know are going to be, well, dangerous. For our friend Tess: Good luck.

Cherish them, spoil them to a point. This is a time of year made for them and we should always keep that spirit alive. Whichever one that may be for you.

I was not sure where this post would lead me when I began drafting it. Kids are a tough topic for me – too sentimental. I hope it was enjoyed.

Happy Holidays to all!

Till next time…