My Yearly Newsletter- SO excited for what’s to come in 2012!

Here’s my yearly newsletter…thankful for a great 2011 photography season and getting ready for what’s to come in 2012!!!  Spring is here and photography season is about to begin!!  My passion and focus have been redefined for this upcoming year, and I’m bursting with excitement!

Check it out and see what I’m up to! 🙂

*Newsletter 2012*

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Beloved…from the Perspective of Steve & Alison

I asked Steve & Alison to answer a few questions after their beloved experience.  I am hoping it will give you an insider perspective to this style of photography.  Thank you, Hanscoms, for sharing your insight and experience with others!!!  Here are the questions & their responses:


What surprised you the most about your beloved session?
Steve: relaxing quickly and enjoying the moment
Alison: How easy it was to become comfortable once we got over the initial awkwardness of having our pictures taken while talking to each other!
How did you feel about your spouse and your marriage during the session?
Steve: It was a good opportunity to connect and re-live some of those moments that drew us together 10 years ago.
Alison: During the breathing exercise, I realized that I am willing to let him lead me, I just don’t always seek to understand the way he is leading and I jump ahead of him.  He realized the
 need for communicating his ideas and how he plans to do something, and not just assuming I know what he is thinking.
What positive things did the session bring to your marriage?
Steve: see #2 🙂
Alison: It reminded me of the importance of really listening and making an effort in planning time together. I loved remembering!  We remembered different things, so that was fun.
How did this style of session compare to other photo sessions you have done?
Steve: It was different.  We got better pictures, unposed, more real.
Alison: It was much more personal and meaningful.  Having conversation and memories to tie to the photos.
What did you like the most about the session?
Steve: The final product and how we can relive the stories and memories when we look at them.
Alison: Laughing!  Enjoying hearing the words of affirmation and the love letters!
Do you think the session deepened your marriage or impacted your relationship beyond the session?
Steve: Yes.  The letters were very impactful in making us aware of some areas where we take each other for granted.  This will hopefully lead to some positive change in our marriage.
Alison: Yes.  We are keeping in mind our HW for a date night soon!   Like I said in #2, God spoke to me about how I don’t appreciate or fully understand and submit to his way of leading our
relationship and our family.  I want him to lead, but I don’t always give him the space to do so before I jump in with my assumptions.  I know I will be more mindful of this and ask God to
help me slow down and really seek to understand my husband.
When you see the images, what do you think and feel?
Steve: the deep love of 10 years of marriage.
Alison: cherished.  happy.  loved.  beautiful.  blessed. thankful for the gift.
If someone asked you about your beloved session, what would you say?  
Steve: It was really good.  If you do it, relax and go with the flow!  Let your guard down.
Alison: enjoy the moment!  We loved it and recommend it!  Be honest about what you are comfortable with knowing that your photos will be posted for all to see!  🙂
In one word, how would you describe beloved?
Steve: different
Alison: playful
To see more photos from their session go to http://vimeo.com/35992977 and also read the previous blog entry.

Brooke Snow Advanced Pro Class- Beloved Session

My thoughts:

I chose to do another beloved session this week!  YAY!!!  I tweaked some things based on Brooke’s answers to my questions. (Thank you, Brooke!  You rock!!)  I definitely felt more comfortable the 2nd time around, which is always the case!!  I didn’t go into it as scripted and felt like I was even stronger with discerning the couple and which way to go.  I didn’t do all of the invites I had planned and I stayed close to one hour.  I was very sensitive to the direction I should go every step of the way.  One hour seemed to be a perfect amount of time.  I was SOOO happy to be able to shoot 100% with natural light.  We went outside for half of the session, which was awesome because I was able to use my 85mm lens and give Steve & Alison some more privacy.  Plus, I love that lens.  It makes the background like butter and it made them stand out from the background more.  I LOVED using the 85mm lens for this type of shoot.  I tried a few new invites this time and was pleased.  I love the confidence I am feeling from all the preparation before each session.  Brooke, I’m so glad you have forced me to get back to the detailed planning.  SOOO worth it!  I worked really hard on perspective, posing, and cropping for a new look this session.  I loved using the bed posts and the door frame to help frame the shots a little and give more of a feel of me hiding/spying on them in the moment.  You can see some of those pics in the slideshow link I posted below.

What I enjoyed most:

I really love this style of photography.  I feel like I’m giving a gift to the couple.  I feel like I help to create a space with a breath of fresh air for the couple…and it feels good.  It feels life giving.  It is so cool to see the beauty of true joy, laughter, and also the soft side of both people come out and into the open.  Not only is it fun, but it is a space to remember.  I loved after the session was over when Alison said, “It’s so good to remember.  We don’t take time to remember enough.”  Beloved is a wonderful experience that draws to people to remember the beauty in the other person  and to stop and soak in the goodness right in front of you…to cherish and speak love into your marriage.  So honored to do this type of session.  LOVE IT!!!!!  I also really enjoyed hearing their perspective.  I gave them 9 questions to answer after their session.  You can read the responses on the blog here.

3 photos- same pose/different perspective:

Some of my FAVORITE photos:

To see a slideshow with more photos, go to http://vimeo.com/35992977.

Beloved Sneak Peek & Session Giveaway!!!!

Yesterday I shot my first beloved session with my friends, Katie & Brian.  They will share their thoughts on the session later this week, but if you look at the images, you will see they had a really great time!!  I came prepared with a list of activities and conversation starters.  None of these shots were posed.  I guided them as to where to sit and stand (for background purposes), but all emotions, expressions, and interactions were authentic.  They were never told to smile.  They were guided through experiences together focusing on the goodness in their relationship and taking time to enjoy each other.  Beloved sessions intertwine fun moments with tender moments in a beautiful way.  Please see my previous blog post if you want to know what beloved is.

Here’s a slideshow sneak peek from their session.  I included about 40 pics so you can get a good feel of what beloved looks like!

http://vimeo.com/35541301

Please enter the BELOVED SESSION GIVEAWAY by doing 2 simple things.  The winner will be selected randomly by random.org and announced tomorrow on Tuesday 1/24 at 10pm!

1.  Like me on Facebook and share the following: “Raindancer Studios is giving away a Beloved Couples Session Tuesday at 10pm. Go to http://www.blog.raindancerstudios.com to enter!”  (Please link my facebook page in your post by using the @ symbol before my business name.)

2.  Leave a comment on the blog answering these 2 questions:  What are your initial thoughts on the beloved style of photography?  What photo captivated you the most during the slideshow and why?

See below for Rules & Restrictions:

-You must be available one of the three dates listed: Friday 1/27, Saturday morning 1/28, or Monday 1/30

-You must live in Indy.

-You must be married or engaged to be married.  (If you have children, you will need to find childcare!!)  This is a couples only session.

(This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Facebook.)

Beloved Sessions: Part 1- To love and Be loved

For the past few days I’ve been planning my first Beloved session.  It’s 3am and I’m up because as I was laying in bed I had an epiphany. (Don’t worry, I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30 hence the reason I’m up now.)  I just had to get up out of bed, write down more ideas, and savor the moment.

For those of you who have not heard of Beloved, it is a new genre (or style) of photography for couples.  It is experiential based.  It’s a movement created by Jesh de Rox.

What is beloved?

-It is an invitation to deeper your relationship with your spouse…to renew passion and joy in your marriage.

-It is a fun.

-It creates moments.

-It has been claimed as “the best date ever.”

-It is a chance to remove the distractions of the world and focus on loving your spouse better.

-It draws you nearer to the heart of your spouse.

-It encourages and evokes true emotion so that your images are based on authentic expressions, not forced poses.

-It strengthens the bond that is already there and deepens the connection.

-It is a celebration of living life together.

-It is freeing.

-It is an experience that impacts the future.

-It is life changing.

-It is a gift to you…to your marriage…to your family.

-It is to love…and be loved.

Tonight as I was laying in bed I was thinking, “How am I going to explain this to Katie & Brian tomorrow? (Thanks Katie & Brian Greiwe for being my gineua pigs!!!)  How can I set the stage for them and speak in words to give them a glimpse of the vision behind Beloved.”  I started putting words to it.  And then I felt a whisper from God…Beloved is a time to love and be loved…a time to receive love.  And then my heart flipped and God reminded me of His love for me.  I have been thinking about a tattoo for a while.  It will go on my left wrist below my palm.  As I have prayed about it this past year, the word beloved has been illuminated.  God continues to remind me that I am His beloved.  It is what I want to put on my wrist.  A reminder that I am loved deeply by my Heavenly Father.  And suddenly, I began to see why I have instantly grown SOOOOOOOO passionate about offering Beloved sessions.  God has been speaking to me about it.  I can’t believe I didn’t make the connection until now, but I’m so glad I can see it clearly.

Tonight…I’m blown away.  I’m blown away by God’s ability to speak and intertwine himself into things without me even knowing.  I’m in awe of the revelation.  I’m so excited to be taking the Advanced Pro Class: The Power of Me with Brooke Snow.  She pretty much rocks!!!  I am excited to do some new things, to push myself in my business and the art of photography, and to explore who God has made me to be as a photographer.

Beloved is MOST DEFINITELY unlocking and unleashing something within me.  *dance!!*  The vision and heart of this photography movement captures my heart deeply.  I have not been this invigorated in a long time.  I’m really excited.  Not to create images…but to create moments and a lasting impact on marriages and families.  Pieces of beloved will forever be incorporated into EVERY single photo session I do with families and couples.

I promise to share more soon!  I’ll be posting a client review from the session and pics for my assignments the next 4 weeks here on the blog…AND I will be giving away a Beloved session this week!  Look at your calendars…the session will need to take place on Friday 1/27, Saturday 1/28, or Monday 1/30.  If you are available, interested or even intrigued…stay tuned for more details on Monday!!!! 🙂