SURPRISE! A new Website & Blog!!!

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! 🙂

Blessings,

Jill

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!

A Sweet African Boy + A Loving Indianapolis Family = A Healthy Heart {Indianapolis Portrait Photographer}

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!

Bonus Tuesday Tip- SUPER Cheap & Chic Frames

I just discovered this today and had to share!! 🙂  This company sells very chic frames either painted or unfinished.  The good news is that 5×7 and 8×10 unfinished frames can be bought for about $20!   I’ve never seen this style of frames available unfinished…makes it a MUCH cheaper decorating options!!  Check them out on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/people/ShapedExpressions.  Grab some paint and some cute pictures to post on your wall!!  Ready, set, go! 🙂

A Beautiful Moment of Celebration

Every now and then, I get to use my photography gifts for something so much bigger than myself.  It is in those moments that my heart melts.  My passion to serve explodes.  Love fills me to overflowing.  In those moments I feel that everything has been made right in the world…for that tiny glimpse of time.  I feel that I’m walking on sacred ground, and I don’t take it for granted.

Today, I want to honor Kristen Kelley, and family, Frank & Nick.  This past July, I took photos of Ry, the little boy they were caring for from Safe Families.  It was his 1st birthday and I wanted to make sure he had photos to have for later in life, but also for Kristen, to remember this special time together.  The Kelley’s had taken Ryan in and had him almost a year at that point.  Because he was still a part of that program, I could not post pictures of him due to privacy for him and his family.  Kristen has now granted me permission to post because as of this past Thursday, he is officially a Kelley!  They adopted him into their family and I want to celebrate!  YAY!!!  Hip hip hooray!!!  SOOOOOO happy for the Kelley’s and so proud of them for fighting for a little boy who couldn’t do so himself.  Kristen & Frank…I’m so proud to call you friends!!  Love you guys bunches!!!

Here’s a few pictures of this cutie pie and his Mommy!

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!!!! 🙂

Photo Session Giveaway!!!

Are you ready for my BIGGEST giveaway yet?  I just happen to be taking a photography class by Brooke Snow between January & February (a.k.a. slow photography season!) and will be in need of some willing individuals to photograph in Indianapolis!  Yay for you!!! 🙂

This will be done at the location of my choice (in Indianapolis area) & with the theme/style of my choice in between Jan. 18-Feb. 15th.  I’m planning to do a lifestyle interactive shoot.  (Couples & families are eligible for this giveaway!)  I am going to give away at least 1 photo session with CD of pics!!!  If this is just so much fun, I may do another future giveaway in another week or two!  Stay tuned on the blog just in case!  For a sneak peek of a previous “lifestyle” photo session, go to http://vimeo.com/32887663.

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You have up to 5 chances to win (you can do 1, 2, 3, 4 or all 5 of the following!  If you do not have FB, Pinterest, or Twitter, you may not enter for those.)  You must leave a separate comment on the blog to be eligible for EACH chance to win.  Be sure to leave your email when filling out the comment section so the winner will be contacted!

Here’s the 5 WAYS TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

1. “Like” my Facebook page (or say if you already do) and share this statement on your FB page “@Raindancer Studios is giving away a free photo session!  Register to win at http://www.blog.raindancerstudios.com.”   Leave a comment on this blog stating you did it!

2. Follow my Raindancer Studios photo boards (or all of them!) on Pinterest (or say if you already do!)  Leave a comment on this blog stating you did it!

3. Share this statement on your Twitter page “Raindancer Studios is giving away a free photo session!  Register to win at http://www.blog.raindancerstudios.com.”  Leave a comment on this blog stating you did it!

4. Subscribe to my blog notifications on the right hand side of this page (it will come to your email each time I post) or register to receive it on RSS feed (or say if you already do!)  Leave a comment on this blog stating you did it!

5. Email me a fun idea you have for a unique creative photo session at raindancerstudios@gmail.com.  Write “Giveaway” in the subject line of the email.  Include as many details as you can come up with: prop ideas, location, theme, clothing ideas, etc.  Leave a comment on this blog stating you did it!

Note: If you want to enter 2 times (i.e. do #1 and #5) you must do them AND leave 2 separate comments on this blog post.  If you do all 5, there should be 5 separate blog comments to this blog stating you did it. 🙂  This way I can select by a random number generator!!  Thank you!

The winner will be selected via random.org from the list of blog comments & announced on the blog on Friday, January 13th at 10am!

*Disclaimer: This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Facebook or Pinterest. You must be 18 to participate.  Only couples and families are eligible for this giveaway.  The winner will be announced via this blog!