Spring Mini-Sessions with Baby Chicks!!!!

This is my first ever mini-session opportunity.  YAY!!!  Because I think themed props and stylized sessions sound so fun, I’m going to do them every blue moon just to spice things up!  I’m planning to offer some Mommy or Daddy & Me sessions in May!  Stay tuned for more information!!!  If you have any other ideas you’d like me to explore, please do share!!

For this session, I have 6 little baby chicks!!!   I’ll bring some other fun spring props, too!  I already have 2 kiddos on the schedule…don’t wait to sign up!!

 

The Color of Easter

And last but not least…Resurrection!!!  Mark 16

I found the resurrection photo to be the hardest to take out of the series of 7.  If you missed the other 6 photos I posted on Good Friday look at the previous entry on my blog.  I chose for the 6 other photos to be in black and white while the resurrection photo is in color.  The contrast in itself sets this photo apart hopefully in a way that lures others into the beauty of Jesus’ resurrection and the power he has so graciously left with us.

I took several resurrection photos and had lots of random ideas rolling, but let’s face it, it’s impossible to really capture the awe and majesty of Jesus’ resurrection.  I found myself wrestling with how to portray the resurrection in a way that was symbolic religiously but also metaphorically display the joy of new life.  It was in the last inning, like the day before printing had to be done, that I remembered the dogwood tree in the yard of my in-laws.  I had just seen it a few days earlier and my mother-in-law shared the symbolism with me.  Apparently this tree is always blooming at Easter.  If you look closely you will see the cross, the curled edges that represent the nails, the red stains that represent the blood, and the center that represents the crown of thorns.  It is perfect.

Beyond the symbolism of the flower itself, flowers always draw me into the the awe of the resurrection.  Everyone loves spring because here in Indiana it means growth and new life!!!  Every spring I long for the new blooms and cherish the new life, the vibrant green grass, and a new beginning.  There is something extraordinary about the transition from winter to spring- the path from death to new life.  I love living somewhere where that transition is dramatic…causing me to really appreciate the fullness of the symbolism at Easter…and the journey of longing for new life to arise, not only around me outside but inside me as well.  I love the season of Lent…the anticipation of Easter…the anticipation of new life…surrendering myself…letting go…creating new rhythms…all for the sake of letting the holy spirit resurrect what’s dead inside me so that new life can arise.

The cross is a symbol of facing our pain.  The resurrection is a symbol of working through the pain & waking up to embrace the new life instead!  Because of the resurrection we do not have to fear and run away from pain.  We can can embrace it and let new life grow in the midst of it.

The photo above is lacking the curled edges and little white flowers that bloom in the center (one of my favorite features of the flower), but if you look below you will see a few other photos that show it’s beauty!  The flower above was captured the day after a hail storm.  The flowers pre-storm looked like this…beautifully curled edges with white flowers growing in the middle.  I almost chose one of these photos, but I REALLY loved the vibrant green of the photo above, the lighting, and how the flower was set apart.  But really…I LOVE the intricacy of the flower pre-storm.  Isn’t it a beauty?

Happy Easter!  Enjoy the day celebrating all that Jesus is!  May new life arise in you as you surrender and let him in. 🙂

The Black & White of Good Friday

YAY, my secret project was released tonight at my church during our Good Friday service!  This is the largest any of my photos have ever been printed…24″ x 36″.  Eeek…that’s big!  So big the 7 frames hardly fit into my car.  🙂  I have been a twist of nervous and excited for the past week anticipating the display of these images.  It was such an honor to be invited to do this.  I have been working on this secret project for the past month and it’s been a good stretch for me to do something other than portrait photography.  I’m really grateful for the opportunity because it caused me to dig into the scriptures and really think about them more.  It was definitely a gift to me this Easter.

In our Good Friday service we first set the stage by reading about the preparation Jesus made in Mark 14: 1-26.  We remember Mary, sister of Lazarus & Martha, anointing Jesus with perfume (Mary sacrificed more than a whole year worth of wages to anoint Jesus.  In the gospel of John we learn that it was Judas who protested that she do such a thing.) Then we remember Judas going to the chief priests willing himself to betray Jesus in exchange for money.  And finally we remember the disciples preparing for Passover, eating the Last Supper together, and Jesus predicting Peter’s denial.  After we remember the preparations that were made we move into the garden…

The Garden- Mark 14: 32-42

Jesus agonizes in the garden of Gethsemane.  His disciples keep falling asleep while Jesus is praying.  They are supposed to be keeping watch.

My thoughts: I so appreciate that I can see the humanness of Jesus in this set of scripture.  He is deeply distressed and troubled.  He is in agony and this tree is symbolic of that agony in the garden…split in two.  He says, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”  Ahhh, somehow I find comfort in knowing that even Jesus felt that way.  But my favorite part is when he says, “Abba Father, everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me.  Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  This is such a beautiful cry…a recognition that what he is about to endure is hard and he really doesn’t want to be separated from God in that way BUT he wants God’s will to be done even more.  I also find peace in these scriptures because Jesus’ disciples failed him…they kept falling asleep.  Sometimes I fail Jesus, too.

Betrayal- Mark 14:43-51

Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested in the garden.

My thoughts: Judas was paid 30 pieces of silver to reveal his location to the soldiers.  He kissed Jesus as a signal so the men would know that he was the one to arrest.  I’m still in awe that one of his best friends would do that, but somehow it reveals the sin of human nature.  It helps me to remember that when I’m betrayed it really has nothing to do with me personally, but it has to do with the betrayer.  Sin is the root and it oozes over and affects others.  I love the cracks in the bricks.  To me, the cracks are symbolic of betrayal.

Denied- Mark 14:53-72

Jesus is deserted and denied by Peter 3 times before the rooster crowed twice.

My thoughts: Peter was accused of being with Jesus and being one of his followers.  Each of the three times he denied it.  Jesus had told Peter previously: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.”  Peter didn’t think it was possible.  In his heart he loved Jesus so much he couldn’t imagine denying him, but when it came to Jesus possibly being killed he disassociated himself and denied their friendship.  We are all guilty of sinning against God- through our actions and our words.  I am Peter.  You are Peter.  We are no better than him.  Jesus, forgive me for I, too, know not what I do.  Did you know that the rooster weathervane was a symbol long ago that indicated you were a follower of Jesus?  It represents a watchful vigilance against evil.  I love the reminder of this weathervane.  It makes me want one.

Accused- Mark 15:1-18

Jesus is on trial before Pilate and is sentenced to death.  A crown of thorns is placed on his head and they give him a purple robe mocking him for calling himself the King of the Jews.

My thoughts: I cringe at the thought of these thorns digging deep into Jesus’ head.  Ouch.  I grieve at the thought of the mockery and pain he endured.  I love how the thorns on this crown make a cross.  This is such a strong symbol to me.  Maybe it stands out to me because I’m used to seeing a cross.  The rarity of seeing a crown makes me stop, think, and imagine having it put on my head.  I am humbled.  And I am thankful for the way Jesus responded to the mockery.  He reminds me to stand upright and not cave when I am being mocked or ridiculed by others.  It seems to me that he was so graceful in response while being accused and tortured.  I don’t understand how he could endure that kind of pain without lashing back physically or verbally.  Something for to chew on for sure.

Sacrificed- Mark 15:19-32

Jesus is beaten, spit on, and hung on a cross that he had to carry himself.  It is the ultimate sacrifice.

My thoughts: I have no words.  If you watch a video that shows Him being nailed to the cross, you will be speechless, too.  It is gut wrenching to watch the ultimate sacrifice.  We need our guts to be wrenched so that we can fully see and feel the sacrifice.  It brings me to my knees.

Separated- Mark 15:33-39

Jesus died on the cross.  When he breathed his last breath the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

My thoughts: Even in the last hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”- which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  So often this is my thought, too.  Jesus knew that he would be temporarily separated from God the moment he took upon himself the sins of the world.  This is the agony he experienced in the garden as he dreaded that separation and the spiritual alienation.  Jesus breathed his last breath and the curtain tore in front of the temple room (the Most Holy Place).  Symbolically the curtain separated the holy God from the sinful people.  The room was entered only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, by the high priest as he would make a sacrifice to God in order to gain forgiveness of sins for all people.  When the curtain was torn in two it showed that his death for our sins opened up a way for us to approach God.  Jesus was the final, perfect sacrifice.  His separation was the ultimate sacrifice so that we would no longer have to be separated from God.  In this photo, the cloth is torn and God is busting through so there is no separation anymore.  We can freely engage God in a personal way.  There’s no need for animal sacrifices.  We can offer to God a sacrifice of our lives.  We can offer our hearts…and our whole self.  And because of this we can come directly to him for forgiveness of our sins.  What a beautiful gift.

I will share the resurrection photo with you on Sunday!  Stay tuned.  Until then, let’s meditate on these images and remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us.  I am in awe.  I am torn inside.  I am humbled.  It is in this holy week that we remember how worthy Jesus is of our praise.

Best of 2011- Clients Choice!!

Spring is here and you know what that means…photography season starts back up again!  I asked my clients to pick their favorite photos from their 2011 photo session.  I LOVE knowing which are favorites and why.  It’s so insightful for me!  Here’s the ones that were submitted.  Enjoy…and cheers to a new spring season full of beauty!!!  🙂

Love his blue eyes and how they pop in this photo!

What can I say other than we are THE DIVIDED household 🙂

We think this photo shows the love of a father...willing to give anything good to his child- just like our Heavenly Father. We have this on a canvas!!

I love how romantic this picture is. We have this on a canvas, too!

I love how precious she is in the picture with her birthday cake! We framed this one because it's so adorable!

This is my absolute favorite because of his expression and his eyes.

My favorites change all the time, but these pictures really capture her adorable little face...

...I love how I feel when I look at these 2 images. I just want to squeeze her and cherish every moment!

Authentic shot of Nolan being a boy & running around. I love how the bubble is bursting!

I love this pic because it captures Abby at this phase of her life. I will always be able to look back on these photos and remember how Abby loved to dress up and dance.

This photo reminds me of all the fun we had playing as a family during our photo session. 🙂

I love that this pic captures Carter at this stage of life. I will always remember how he loved to create things from duct tape and wear his cowboy gear!

This is the best picture EVER! I love the 1940s feel to it and the sepia tone. It is beyond what I could've imagined.

I love this one because it captures who we are just between us.

His sweet innocent face and the intensity of the green in the basket and grass made for such a memorable picture! When we look back on the photos and the photo shoot, that picture is the one that just always stands out.

We think this picture perfectly captured our daughter's playful personality and that she's a princess in the making.

This is our favorite because James read a lot to Anna while I was pregnant.

It is my favorite pic because Dylan was born the week of Valentine's Day and he wore that hat in the hospital!! He is a momma's boy!!

I would like to highlight the beautiful picture you took of Luke's coconut on Benjamin's lap- you could see both the boys hands wrapped around it.

I love the one where Keith is laying down on his stomach and cradling her and the two big boys are one his back. He is such a wonderful father.

Loved the frame idea. So simple but yet capturing for our family photo.

As self-serving as it may sound, I love this shot. It may be my all time favorite picture of myself.

I like the angle and softness of this shot. It's one of the ones I get the most compliments on.

I love this pic because she just looks so cute and it shows off her chubby cheeks!

I really like this picture because it shows the sweetness and innocence of my sweet little girl.

It’s my favorite because it really captures our family’s happiness and laughter. After the challenges and worry we’d had with Madeleine’s premature birth, we feel so blessed to have a happy, healthy family. It was a beautiful summer day, lovely setting and fun, sweet moment. Your shot captures it perfectly!

My favorite after Anna's birth is the one of the 3 of us praying. It is one of the first of the 3 of us and I love the way you captured Anna's sweet little face peeking through our heads praying.

During delivery I like the one where I am holding onto James' shirt and you can see the concentration in my face and the concern and support in his expression.

This is James' favorite photo of Anna and I.

I like the way you captured her eyes and its cool if you look really closely you can see your reflection in her eyes.

I love it because it epitomizes AJ's personality and his excitement and zest for life.

Stay tuned next week for a slideshow of MY favorites from 2011! 🙂

Tuesday’s Tip: 2 + 1 = 3

Happy Tuesday!  Here’s 3 goodies for you this week!

2 inspiration blogs for those of you who enjoy photography + 1 word of encouragement for ANYone and EVERYone = 3 new things to check out!!!

 

1. Here’s a Dad’s artistic photo journal of his 2 daughters (with the massive use of Photoshop editing!!)  He’s so creative!!!!  //kristinandkayla.blogspot.com/

2. Here’s a photography resource!  Each month they issue an online magazine for photographers.  Check it out!  http://www.lemonadeandlenses.com/

3. Here’s a blog post about the “reward” of conformity.  http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/the-reward-for-conformity-is-that-everyone-likes-you-but-yourself/

 

***Stay tuned this upcoming week for more blog posts with spring photos…and my secret Easter project!!! 🙂