More than a Picture | Photo MEMORIES

I like blogging about my photography sessions...

I know that I post lots of sneak peeks on Facebook and Instagram...so blogging may seem redundant to some people...

And, if you're only in it for images on the screen or printed on paper, then I can completely understand how it may come across that way...

But, if you know me at all...that's not my purpose...

I never got into this "photography hobby" purely for the purpose of getting a perfect portrait...

Photography has always been about triggering memories...

I mean, just look at the name of my business...CT PHOTO MEMORIES...the images themselves...the printed paper is only truly about  25%  of what I do...

Think back with me...to when we all used to get our pictures at the mall studios...if you even have a recollection at all surrounding those events, I will venture to say it mostly brings back stressful memories of crying babies and trying to herd children like cats under the bright studio lights...and "maybe" getting  one "good" shot of your kiddos...

I quit that route pretty quickly with my own daughters...the pictures were dull and lacked emotion because it was framed in the"stress" for that day...regardless of whether I got a great smile out of them or not...

You see...when I hung up those pictures in my home...everytime I looked at them, I didn't feel well about the experience that it made me reference in my mind.  Infact, it usually just stressed me out...

I wanted to look at images and be transported back in time...to remember not only how I felt, but I wanted to hear my girls' laughter and watch them, in my mind's eye, as they skipped & played...

THOSE types of images meant more to me than a perfect grin and all eyes on the photographer...

And so...

when I blog, sometimes a repeat of the sneak peeks you've already seen...it's because I want to give you a glimpse of more of the "STORY" of that day...to let you in on the memories that go with the images...so you can "SEE" the timeline as it unfolds...

It was a first time meeting of this family...another sweet photographer had referred them to me...and I watched this young mom and dad with their children, whom they adored...

I want them to look back on these pictures and remember their daughter's laugh and her skipping in those boots...I want the corners of their mouths to curve upward as they recollect pulling their kiddos in the wagon...I want them to look back on this short 45 minutes of Unplugged time with the remembrance of snuggles and laughter and that crazy photographer that was somewhere behind the scenes capturing it all...

Their little girl is a talker and full of energy...and OH the fun we had running around and talking about everything under the sun...I wanted this to be an adventure for her, so that we could capture the essence of WHO she is...the time is fleeting...

Her momma had such a gentleness about her...the way she not only interacted with her little girl, but her son too...it wasn't passive, but purposeful...and yet the execution of her words & actions was done with such tenderness & patience...I so envy that ability to collect oneself and speak with gentleness.  I think she must be the epitome of a "gentle-spirit"...

and her husband recognizes it...He KNOWS the treasure he has in her and in his children...and let me tell you...when a husband/dad truly appreciates the gems that he has in his arms...there is such fierce and loving protection for them...it's evident that he has hedged them in and is committed to shepherding those hearts!

I'm thankful for opportunities to pour into other people...because in all honesty, it gets poured right back into me anyway...hearts connect...

because it's more than just a picture...









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Teaching is a Work of the Heart

I put my daughters on the bus in the early hours of the morning.  

This independence...this "letting go" starts early in life...

If I'm honest, it starts at day one...

Sure, I'm their protector and provider when they are first placed in my arms, but my role from the start is to prepare them to be confident, independent, compassionate, generous women that impact the world one relationship at a time...

That's a HUGE undertaking if you ask me!

And though I know that their dad and I are their biggest influences, I'm not niave enough to think that we are the ONLY ones that impact their lives dramatically...

They get on those buses as the sun is still coming up...they walk into a massive school building where they are met with peers from countless cultural, religious, moral backgrounds...they are bombarded with choices every moment of their 7 hour school day...

and mom & dad aren't there...

but teachers are there...

Those authority figures that command respect and attention just by being there...
The students watch, not only with their eyes, but with their hearts...wondering if this teacher is FOR them or not...

I pray for the teachers that my daughters will encounter...

I don't expect them all to agree with everything that our family values, but, I hope they see my children as the unique individuals that they are...that they desire to see them challenged and succeed...that they understand their position in the lives of all their students...

This wife & momma is a teacher...

Specifically, she's one of my daughters' teachers...

She is utterly adored by my girl...

And really, for no other reason than my daughter knows that she is FOR her...

Her class is difficult...my daughter has to study & work...shes is challenged and is pushed to live up to the expectations set before her...

but in all that...

she KNOWS that her teacher cares about HER...not just a grade, not just a math problem, not just her academic success...

although those things ARE important...

because she knows that this teacher cares about her...
she knows that this teacher is dependable, honest, inspiring, thoughtful, and looks beyond a paper & pencil...

because of this...my daughter soars...

I am so incredibly thankful for the role this woman has in my daughter's life this year...she gets her one hour of every school day...another hour that I DON'T have her at home...and so this woman's heart, ideas, and thoughts are reflected in her teaching as my girl sits at her desk...

another influence...another way to grow my girl to independence...another role model & example that builds into her heart and mind...

This teacher is madly in love with her husband and their little boy...
and it's those "little" things that make me all the more grateful for her...

She sacrifices daily so that she can be all those things to her students...knowing and fully accepting the responsibility...because she'd expect it out of the teachers for her own son one day as well...

Such integrity...such honor...such love!

Some may think I'm going overboard...
I know that I'm not...

and let's not forget her hubby either...

they were made for each other...their hearts just match...

both of them, in the "business of giving"...

"The giving of love is an education in itself" ~Eleanor Roosevelt
 




 

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A Week In My Life

I just blogged about #firstworldproblems last week.

I should go back and reread that.

Like, right now...

Because I'm about to expound upon the 'crazy' of my week...and I imagine it's going to sound eerily close to 'complaining'...

but, I'm going to call it "informing" ...that's all...just a simple "notification", if you will, of all things that happen in a week during the fall season...

I TOTALLY bring it on myself...and I know this...and because of this, I have NO ROOM WHATSOEVER in which to complain...

and so...

I will now "INFORM" you, instead...

Last Saturday began with early morning soccer games...when I say early morning, I mean that we had to leave before 7:30am and I don't like to even THINK about getting out of bed before 8am ANY DAY OF THE WEEK let alone a weekend! And the weather wasn't looking promising...and so, in the midst of my cheering my two younger daughters in their games, there lay a little nugget of "worry" about the photo sessions that I had scheduled for later that day...

All the worry and the cheering and the GETTING UP IN THE MORNING...well, this so completely wore me out, that once we got home, I fell asleep on the couch...

I'm just exhausted thinking about it...

I digress...

I photographed the two sessions because the sun came out and it was glorious...and then I  came home to the meal that I accidently burned a little because I was trying to watch a business podcast about photography while frying chicken on the stove before I had to run out the door at 5pm...so, I had a bunch of watermelon instead...and some peanut butter pretzel bites...and another cup of coffee...and probably something else sweet, but I can't remember...

Sunday: I had to get up early again...and that was okay though because I had a fun morning session before church.  After church I had 2 late afternoon/early evening sessions and then I satyed up until around midnight editing and getting sneak peeks ready for the week.

Monday: My hubby took the day off so we could go to the county fair together.  We ate a lot of fair food and commented how it would be cool to ride horses and train dogs and actually take care of our garden and sew and do projects...and then we ate more fair food and laughed because we will probably never do any of those things, but boy was that basketfull of fries DELISH!!!

We stopped at Goodwill to do some clothes shopping...and then I had to attend a redistricting meeting for our schools and I may have gotten a little overwhelmed with the homework they assigned...

Tuesday: Mammogram day!  I can't say it's super exciting, but it wasn't as scary as before...and I treated myself to Starbucks afterwards because ICED WHITE CHOCOLATE MOCHA makes my insides happy!  I felt a tad squished for a long while that day...but let's not get into that too much because my hubby will say, "Good grief, that is just TMI...change the subject!!!"

I had two photo sessions that night because I love driving my family nutso with all my photo session travels...In all honesty, they are sooo gracious to me, as I try to accommodate all the incredible people that I meet!

Wednesday: Eldest daughter had a tennis match, but I had to attend a school meeting for an upcoming camp..and since I love all things "meetings" (NOT) I brought markers to doodle!

Thursday: Two photo sessions, one in the morning...and then I spent the rest of the morning attempting to find an Evie costume for my youngest for halloween only to go absolutely bonkers trying to run down the right size...to no avail...I probably should invest in online shopping...and maybe I should also have a Starbucks and Panera everyday too...I'm just trying to streamline people...let's call it EFFICIENCY!!!

My eldest had another match that evening AND SHE WON and SHE PLAYED FOR POINTS!  I understand tennis about as much as I understand soccer...this is translated to: I don't know anything...and thus I get "shhhh shhhh" at every game/match/set/goal/whatevertheheckitscalled when I yell!

And then I made meatloaf at 8pm, cuz that's how we roll at our house!

Today is Friday and I've got 6 sessions between me and the Holy Ghost Weiner Roast at the Indian Caverns on Sunday night!  WOOT WOOT!

If you made it to the end of this ridiculously, UNinformative blog post...kudos to you!  Hug your spouse and thank heaven above you don't have to live with me :) See you Monday morning!!!


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I Love Mismatched Socks

When you think of twins, you typically think of look-alikes or mirror images...an identical pair...

But, ya know what else I really like?

Mismatched Socks (picture creds to Rachel Cocker)


Our family has completely, unabashedly, and with vehemence embraced the "mismatched socks" concept...

It basically means, if it's a sock, you can wear it...it doesn't have to be the same color, size, style...none of that matters...if it's a sock, and you need a sock, you wear it!

And we LOVE this...Infact, sometimes our feet look even cuter because we let the left foot have it's own "style", while the right foot may choose a more "classic" route...

Regardless, there is definitely something unique and special about mismatched socks...

Not everyone agrees...some feel that if they are a pair, they need to "act" as a pair...gym socks, business socks, wacky socks...they each have their "match" and should be treated as such...

What is the fun in that?

This also happens to be another reason why I love photographing twins...

People, off the top of their head, imagine twins as identical...same...a matching pair...

I know this, from first hand experience, that this is SELDOM the case with twins...

even if they "look-alike" they most definitely are their own unique individuals...

This set of twins follows right along with my thinking too...

They are opposite as can be...in looks, in temperament, although, perhaps they stick together on energy level??

And yet, they are a pair...a loyal, stick-with-you, huggin', lovin', "your're my person" type of pair...

Different as different can be...but, go together like nothing else...

except perhaps like a pair of mismatched socks...

perfection!







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HALLIE: Senior Photo Session

The clouds were rolling in and the rain drops started to fall just as Hallie and he rmom approached the high school stadium to meet me.  

This had been the "typical" circumstance for me with senior sessions up to that point, so I wasn't overly worried...We live in Ohio, so weather changes on a dime...

However, I know that Senior pictures are BIG deal for most people, and in an ideal world, who really wants rain?  

Hallie wasn't worried at all...

I actually did a double take when I first caught a glimpse of her, as she reminded me so much of my own daughter...

The deep, chocolate, brown eyes that you can get lost in...the soft, dark hair that is every girls' envy...but, it was her thoughtful and insightful soul that resonated with me the most...

I don't want to start a comparison with all Senior girls...everyone is created uniquely and wired differently...it wouldn't be a very fun world to live in, if we were all the same...however, there are definitely special temperaments and personalities that people tend to be most attracted to...

Hallie has one of those personalities...

She did not seem overly bubbly or an extreme extrovert...personalities that you might stereotype into cheerleading, for example...

no...she has a different type of "calm" about her...

Her smile and simple offers of friendship are what might draw people in...
but, it's her quiet confidence and compassionate soul that keeps them there...

She's warm and friendly and kind...

I've been so privileged to meet the most amazing Seniors this year...and beautiful Hallie gave me yet another glimpse into the future...of what to expect for my own daughters in just a few short years...

Congrats Hallie...You are going to be amazing!!!







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OCTOBER LINE UP



Please go HERE to find the line up page :) 








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First World Problems

Let me preface this entire post with this:

If you know me at all, or even read about me, just a little HERE, you know that I've already had a few circumstances in my life that would be considered by most, as hardships.  I am not, in any way, trying to belittle our everyday situations...I, like everyone else, get annoyed, frustrated, cry, get hurt, etc...and I don't believe, for a moment, that when my emotions are reeling that God just sits back and says, "well, honey, it ain't THAT bad, suck it up and get over it!"

NO, it's a fact that He understands, He listens, He calms, and He COVETS communication with us...we do NOT irritate Him...so, when I go to Him with my #firstworldproblems , He doesn't roll His eyes... He rather, in a MUCH MORE PATIENT THAN ME way, gently comforts and directs me back on the right track...

THAT SAID, sometimes I, myself, NEED to roll my eyes at myself...for the pathetic things that get me RILED up from time to time...when I really sit back and allow myself to see things for what they really are, I SMH and think, "hang on a second, I've got it pretty good, what am I all worked up about???"

So, without further ado...because I actually put my underwear on inside out this week by mistake and for a fleeting moment I thought about throwing a temper tantrum (sorry if that's TMI but, it's how I roll)...I thought I'd share other #firstworldproblem moments with you that either I had, OR I heard my family complain about this week:

perhaps you can relate:

*I had to reheat my coffee 5 times this morning
*I goofed and bought Organic veggie dip instead of the regular kind that everyone likes
*We ate too much pizza and my tummy hurts
*The internet is too slow, the computer isn't going fast enough!!!
*I can't find my khaki shoes, MAN, now I have to wear my regular tennis shoes!
*But, I ate all my chicken, potatoes and beans...why can't I have a treat?
*I have 4 loads of clean laundry strewn all over my master bedroom...UGH
*my iphone is too full and now I can't take a picture with a it!!!
*the waffle iron doesn't work right and now I have to eat an "eggo" waffle!!
*I forgot to wear my fitbit and I won't get any point for my steps today!!!
*we're missing 2 library books from the library and I can't renew them!
*noone understands this algebra homework for heavens sake!


I hope you enjoy your weekend...I'm going to try not to complain too much...

thankful for healthy kiddos, a safe house, warm bed, good food, savings for the future, church on Sunday, incredible friends that love me regardless of my failings...

I'll keep my "first world problems" in perspective!  See you Monday!

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Telling a Story

Everyone has a story...

I don't mean a big, dramatic, heart-wrenching story...I just mean that everyone's life journey is different...we don't have to get into the whole "nurture versus nature" debate, but, I think we can agree that depending on lots of inside & outside "forces", we all "turn out" in our own way...

I often forget this...

I'm so busy taking pictures of my girls' soccer games, birthday parties, and our family vacations that I forget that they...

love to read,
play dolls,
ride on scooters,
played Chopped in the kitchen
and the list goes on...

His mom didn't forget about those seemingly insignificant details of her boy...

She knew that his love for paper airplanes and boy scouts is something that drives him...makes him WHO he is...and she didn't want to forget, or miss a thing...

We spent just a short while together, but he was able to BE in those moments...sure we posed for a few, but for the most part, we told him to just do what you do...be who you are...whatever that it is in the little moments...in this particular season of life...

I need to do this with my own girls now...

enjoy...









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Big Families...JUST RIGHT!

Facebook & Instagram has been kickin' my booty!!!

Don't misunderstand...it's a good thing for all my families & seniors...it's just a bit cray-cray over here on this end, because I get so excited to share, that by the time I've posted the sneak peeks on Facebook and the little candid moments on Instagram...I might as well share an entire gallery and my sweet clients need some privacy for heavens sake!

So, if you are a faithful follower, I know you've seen MANY of these images before... and these were only take a few short weeks ago...but it seems like summer is already making it's way out and fall is pushing in...

I know it may "seem" like this a larger in number type family..and I suppose for most America with 2.5 kids, it may feel like it...However, most families with "more" than that, don't necessarily feel that big to me...I don't know, perhaps I'm weird...but, the thing is, it just feels RIGHT when I meet them...as if their family is exactly the size it's supposed to be at that point in time...

This family is no exception...I love how each individual is unique, but everyone rallies around everyone else.  Big sisters are nurturing, little sisters bring the fun, brothers keep it real...mom & dad roll with everything...I imagine their house is quite cozy & fun to be in!

enjoy...











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How can I reach you?

The best way to contact me is either through Facebook Messaging or emailing me at ctphotomemories@gmail.com

I can't wait to hear from you!
"Teach us to number our days, (savor the moments) so that we may gain a heart of wisdom" ~Psalm 90:12

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