Hi Raindancer Studios friends!! I know I’ve been away from blogging for a while. Thanks so much for your patience!!! I have a great surprise for you. I’ve been busy creating a new website with a blog connected as I move forward into photography full time!! Please go check it out at www.raindancerstudios.com and sign up to receive email notifications to my new blogsite. I’m so excited to have the website and blog interconnected now. Oh, and I must also announce that I’m offering prints and digital files again…so there’s lots of options for all of you!! I will no longer be posting on this blog. All future blog posts will be on the new site! The old is gone, the new is here! 🙂
PS. Right now on the blog, I just advertised for “Joy to the World” Christmas Mini Sessions at Dull Christmas Tree Farm! For those of you Tuesday lovers…I will be starting up Tuesday’s Tip again in the near future!
Happy Tuesday! Today’s tip is a tip for life overall- a quote to lean into…to soak in. It is my heart’s desire. Some days I live into it. Some days I don’t do so well. But thankfully God knows my heart…and my heart yearns for it.
For me, photography helps me to enjoy every little thing, to see beauty amidst the ashes, to dance in the rain of life. It opens my eyes to see. After reading Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts” I am even more convinced that giving thanks to God amidst the crap of this world is the key to joy. God is worthy of our thanks. The fire refines us. Through the difficulties and hardship, He redefines us and we become whole. My journey of seeking to dance in the rain is a beautiful ongoing journey of seeking joy in the midst of suffering and giving thanks to God because in this space I need Him. I yearn for Him. I realize I can’t live this life on my own strength. Thank you Meghan Matt for profound words that ties my heart into one beautiful quote! It’s so easy to have joy when things are good and beautiful, but the challenge to have joy and to en-joy when things are bad, ugly, and not-so-glamorous is one to seek towards. My days are still challenging since my husband’s accident (almost 4 years ago), but my heart desires this path…the gratitude journey that births joy.
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Every now and then, I have really sweet moments in photography that allow me to embrace the goodness of God and relish in his amazing love. I love when I have the opportunity to bless someone who has given much to others. It fills me with unspeakable joy!
Yesterday, I had the honor of photographing baby Razack with his “Indianapolis” family, the Stonekings. It was a celebration of all that he is, of all that he has overcome, of God’s love and healing, and of hope given to a little boy who was in great need of heart surgery. Brandie and Joshua Stoneking took Razack into their care a few months ago, acting as his parents who did not travel with him for the trip. He quickly became a part of their family, and I know a piece of him will forever remain in their hearts. Today is a day of sadness as they say good-bye, but also a celebration of the hope and life Razack has as he returns to Africa. I am always amazed by God’s love when I see someone sacrificially love another in such a way as this. Please pray for their family this evening. They said good-bye to Razack tonight and soon he will be on an airplane heading back to Africa. Please pray for little Razack as he transitions back to African culture and to his family there. I’m sure he will be feeling uneasy, just like the Stonekings.
Razack’s Story (told by Brandie Stoneking)…
When I received a phone call in February from a fellow church member, I never (in a million years) would have guessed what the woman on the other end of the phone was going to ask. She wanted to know if our family would be willing to “host” an infant from Burkina Faso, Africa who needed heart surgery soon. I, of course, was in shock but after a day of praying about it with my husband agreed that hosting was something we could do. Razack came to us, three weeks later, as a 9 pound 7 month old in need of open heart surgery to repair a significant septal defect (a whole in his heart). We agreed to love and care for him as if he were our own. I picked Razack up from the Indianapolis airport on March 21st and instantly fell in love. Razack’s heart surgery was performed by Dr. Mark Turrentine on March 27th at Riley Children’s Hospital. Josh and I stayed by his side the entire 6 days he was in the hospital. Razack recovered remarkably and was able to come home the following Sunday. Since his surgery, Razack has flourished!! He has gained close to 6 pounds, which given how often he eats (every 2 hours!!) isn’t surprising:) We have fallen in love with this sweet little boy and we will forever count him as a part of our family. Razack has been with us for close to 3 months and we knew the day would come when we would send him back to his family. I don’t think I ever could have imagined the impact that Razack would have on us.
If anyone is interested in hosting a child who needs surgery that would not be able to receive it in their home country, contact Tami Shobe at www.cmmwest.com. Children’s Medical Missions is a non-profit organization that reaches children all over the world.
Brandie & Josh, you are heros in my eyes. A hero is a person who is admired for courage or noble qualities. I admire you for your courage AND your noble qualities, too!! 🙂 You pretty much rock!!! Thanks for sharing sacrificial love with the world. Thanks for inviting our church community to join in! I am praying for your family this week and hoping you are filled with God’s peace knowing you gave this little boy hope in a broken fallen world. You gave him a safe home filled with love so that his heart could be made whole. What a gift you have given to him these past few months!
Do you feel a little hesitant to shoot in manual mode? Forget all the numbers and what they do? Here’s a little cheat sheet for you! I kinda sorta LOVE that it has a little girl with an umbrella in the corner. 🙂
If you are interested in taking a DSLR class (A.K.A. Say NO to Auto!!), please contact me (Jill) at firstname.lastname@example.org. I may offer another one in July if I have a few more people who are interested! Blessings to you and yours!
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Photo taken by Rachel Richard Photography 🙂
I found myself responding to someone online this morning about my passion for photography, and as I wrote the words, it was like a candle burning brighter in my soul. Here’s what I began to write…
I continue to grow deeper in my love for photography. I love to teach others to dance in the rain…to breathe deeply and take in the presence of God by experiencing moments of joy with other loved ones. I want my photography to have a mission and purpose beyond a smile. It is a window into the soul. I want others to see the sunshine is always there; sometimes it is simply hiding behind the clouds waiting to be seen. (Photography reminds me of this truth in my own life.) I want my photos to help others dance in the rain that life may bring. I want to help others see the beauty around them, within their family, and within themselves…to give them something good to hold onto in the days to come.
I’ve been thinking about doing a blogging series about myself over the next several weeks…to give you a little piece of my heart and soul. Here’s the first entry! 🙂
Happy Tuesday! For those of you new to photography & for those of you who want to simply take better pictures of your kiddos, you might really enjoy this post on posing kiddos- http://digital-photography-school.com/posing-guide-21-sample-poses-to-get-you-started-with-photographing-children
Also, I encourage you to stop saying “say cheese” to your kiddos, too! Instead, do something funny, ask them questions, and make the experience interactive. You’ll get more natural expressions that way!! 🙂
PS. There’s also posing guides listed at the bottom for couples, men, and women, too! This is a great asset to help you get thinking about photographing your own kids or if you’re new to photography, it might help give you a few ideas for your sessions.
Good morning, friends! Here’s a few opportunities for those of you who want to learn more about photography!
1. Check out Creative Live! They have a speed lighting workshop coming up online this Friday and Saturday. Click here for more details! I love the Creative Live stuff. If you watch it live, it’s free. There are rewatch opportunities at 8pm, but if you can’t watch either, you can buy it cheap! Check the course calendar for other opportunities!
2. Groupon has a deal going on for a 4 week online photography class. Not sure how good the class is (I know nothing about it!), but feel free to check it out. For $29, it’s not a bad deal. Click here for more details!
3. Contact me if you’re interested in learning to use your DSLR camera or learning how to use Lightroom! I don’t have another class date set since I just held one this past weekend, yet, but I will once I have enough interest from others!
4. Check out Indy Photo Coach for other classes.