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Boudoir Beautiful

As many of you know I specialize in portraiture photography with people and their pets. However, a client asked if I would do a special shoot of her for her man, in a beautiful boudoir fashion. I have always found boudoir photography very alluring, and an artistic form of photography, celebrating the beauty of women and their feminine side, their beautiful curves and inner beauty.

I am excited to announce that my fellow friend and photographer, Laurie Theriault and I are joining forces to provide a day of pampering and celebrating the model within you.

We will be creating a fun experience, in an environment of complete privacy, so you will feel completely comfortable during your time with us. We want to make you feel glamorous during your experience, so we will have the best hair and make up team to bring out your inner super model goddess. You will be whisked away during your time with us; maybe a little bubbly, some great tunes in the background and an incredible setting . We will create something timeless and classic that you can be proud of, and share with that someone special, or have as a beautiful keepsake for yourself.

As mentioned above, a part of your experience will include providing a hair and make-up team to enhance your beautiful features. The setting will be “boudoirlicious”, and you will be transported to the land of fantasy, which is what boudoir is all about. You will be in a setting with music playing, and an environment with a glamorous setting including lighting and props to set the mood.

It will all be very private, as that is important for you to feel most comfortable during this experience.

Come on your own, or sign up with a friend and coax each other on. It’ll be a fun and unique opportunity to feel special and be pampered.

We will be offering beautifully edited photos for prints or couture styled boudoir books or albums.

Don’t miss out!

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Sweetlight Workshop – Enlightened by Inspiring Talent

Concepts created by: Work of Heart Photography
Hair by: San-Diego-Makeup-Artistry-by-Allison-Tartari
Hair Pieces by: Love Crush Bowtique

MY heart a twitter, and my mind racing, and no, not from missing my meds. LOL…. From the most inspiring workshop I had the chance to be a part of with Skye Hardwick Edmonds. The owner and creator of the amazing Work of Heart Photography. I have been an admirer of Work of Heart Photography for some time now, and when Skye posted the opportunity to be involved in a workshop and learn about her creative process and photography, I couldn’t help but submit my name and press the send button to have the chance to participate. Her conceptualizing a dream, and her photos whimsical and inspiring.

The two day workshop took place on an amazing ranch located in the hills of Pala, California. Laid out like a photographer’s dream. Expansive property with incredible views, firetruck, picture perfect barn, animals, and all the backdrops and props a photographer’s dreams are made of. Skye had a lay out of her props and clothes as she was preparing the various scenes we would be photographing for the day. My mouth dropped as the tables were ladled with banners, jars, crates, clothes, shoes, little girl headbands, crowns and more! It was as if my dreams had exploded and come to life. The darling models looked so darling as they were getting their hair and make-up done, to fit the parts of the concepts Skye created. I wanted to scream for joy, but had to keep myself composed.

I can say I was truly inspired by not only Skye’s creations, but by the other women who also were a part of the workshop, photographing beside me, as we all captured beautiful images to our heart’s content.

Concept created by: Work of Heart Photography
Hair pieces by: Love Crush Bowtique

As I am learning and growing in my business, I am also learning what direction it is I want to go with my photography. I love capturing the simple moments of relationships, as well I love creativity, I love children, and I am definitely loving the imagination of creating fun concepts. If this is something you would be interested in, I would love to collaborate, and come up with some wonderful images, of your children, your pets, your pets and children and/or you and your pets. I have so many ideas swirling around for some fun pet conceptual shoots!

So, as Mother’s Day approaches, Father’s Day not too far behind, birthday’s, and other important occasions come along, think of capturing those moments. I would love to do it! We can keep it simple and capture just the wonderful natural connection(s), or create imagery of fully created visions of whimsy and such. The sky is the limit, and I am reaching for it!

Enjoy some more of the fabulousness from the workshop!

Concept: Work of Heart Photography
Hair Piece: Love Crush Bowtique

Concept: Work of Heart Photography

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Bella The Beauty

As I have the opportunity to work in the studio each day, I am lucky to meet one by one Colleen’s darling furry loves. For those who have not met Colleen yet, she is a life saver of many furry creatures. Her heart could wrap around the world many times over for all that she does for animals in need.

Meet Miss Bella. She is a special girl who came to Colleen after she had been hit by a car, and her homeless dad could no longer afford to care for her. Of course like many of Colleen’s furry family this lucky beautiful girl crossed Colleen’s path and now lives a happy comfortable life with never a worry again of her medical care.

If you get a chance to visit Colleen’s gallery, Adamson Gallery you will get to experience her

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So excited to share with all of you the next phase of my new endeavor! Robyn Arouty was ‘in the house’ recently! It was awesome to have her come out to California for part 2 of Project Mentorship! When I embarked on changing my life around with my new photography business I knew I was so excited to get out and capture the life of animals, families and children in their natural settings. It was when I came across Robyn’s amazing talent that I thought maybe someday I would delve into the studio side of things, but likely not right away. But then things have a way of presenting themselves at the most unlikely times, and thus is what fell into my lap.

Colleen Adamson of Adamson Gallery is also embarking on an dream endeavor of her own opening a high end art gallery, and fortunately enough, had such a large space, wanted someone to share it with. After some challenges along the way, Colleen reached out and asked if I was interested in pursuing studio photography sooner rather then later. Knowing the location of her soon to be gallery, next to Fox and Goose in the midst of the artist district, I didn’t even blink an eye before I gave out a holla’ ‘YES’! Am I crazy and all that for not even thinking about it? Maybe. But that’s how I am rolling these days. Taking the risks in hopes of pursuing this crazy dream of mine.

And much like my original communications with Robyn about doing the original mentorship, this happened on the fly too. A couple of messages back and forth, and BAM, ticket booked, and Robyn Arouty came to Sacramento to help me set up lighting in the studio. And that seems to be how this has all come together each step of the way. As much as I wonder what in the heck am I doing? LOL I also am just rolling with it as it all falls into place. If it seems to be coming together so easily why be hesitant? No looking back now! Full steam ahead!!!

Colleen and I had a soft opening this past weekend to welcome our friends and the public into what we now call a home away from home. Literally! I think we may need to install a hot stove, sink and toilet, along with a cot. LOL. The instant the doors opened, we had non stop visitors throughout the evening. Part of what we offered was an opportunity to have a photo taken my MUA in my studio! So excited to say that. Just once more…. “In my studio!” Boy does that feel awesome to say. That photo opportunity stirred up a whole different atmosphere. The group was so thrilled to have a moment captured, that a line began to form. And boy were they in their element. I’m sure the wine they were getting from down the hall didn’t hurt either. ha! We had loving couples, small little ones, and my favorite, my family.

I am so grateful for the support of my family who came out, and stayed long enough to see Colleen and me in action as we shared our vision with the public. Also, to see old friends come out to support me was so wonderful. It’s amazing how Facebook brings a community together. Some to mention, Dean Thompson and his cute family, Tommy Trejo and his husband Kendrick just to name a couple. And, new friends to name a couple, Tanja Anderson and her darling husband, Bruce, also made the evening. Through the bond of a dream inspired, visualized and now is actually coming true.

Some of the amazing artists who have so kindly shared their talent within the walls of this wonderful gallery include, Mylette Welch, Gary Dinnen, Matt Flint, Kristen Knight and Marti Somers. Thus far, I should say. Many more talents will be adorning our walls with their brilliance, including Ron Burns and many others.

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Eddie-Service Love

Everyone meet sweet Eddie! He is a service dog in the complex I help out at during the week. We are lucky enough to get to see him each day when he comes by the office to greet us. The love he shows his owner, and the dedication of his unconditional service is one in a million.

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Final Project – New Beginning

It’s Wednesday, and Robyn and I have just met up to begin our day. I mentioned this previous, but for those of you who may not have had the opportunity to catch up, Robyn decided that she was going to change up the itinerary on me, just a bit. One of my fears moving forward in my pursuit was, will I be able to be creative enough? Robyn realized this throughout in our conversations up to this point, and decided that she was going to put a little challenge before me. And, when I say ‘little’ I’m being sarcastic…LOL…She dropped da bomb, and here was my challenge; Robyn was going to drop me off at Texas Asylum and leave me for the rest of the day to pull together a concept and photography project. That was about all she said. She left it open ended, in that, that was all she was going to tell me. She wanted me to take it from there and the rest would be up to me. What I put together and how I presented it would be left up to me. I wasn’t so sly about hiding my fear, but Robyn said she was confident I could pull it off, and off we went. Texas Asylum is a repurposing shop filled with amazing vintage items ranging from dolls to bike tires, to old books, hats, and well, you get the idea. This is Robyn and Nicole’s favorite place to draw inspiration from. And where I would have to begin to free my mind. Robyn stayed behind a bit to talk to Ramonna and Jen, the owners and explain my assignment, and then like a mama birdie leaving the nest, Robyn was off, and I was in the middle of the store looking around thinking WT—Heck!? I pulled my phone out and immediately dialed 2 of my friends, hoping they would have some words of wisdom for me, and no answer. (heart beating fast here) I left my cry for help on a message, and no lie, I was a little freaked out. Ok, a lot freaked out. What the heck was I going to come up with!?

I pulled my trusty spiral notebook out, and began to think of anything. First, the obvious stood out to me, the dolls, the creepy old ‘to-e up from the flo– up’ dolls. Was I going to be too cliche with this one? Noted the creepy dolls. Then the American flag stood out to me. Hmmmm. No, too obvious. I looked up and there were some angelic wings hanging from a hook in the corner. Hmmmm, the wings. Wings noted. I passed by a shelf of tires, hats, buttons, notes were flying onto the page. Then I rounded the corner, and there was a wall of vintage books. Some days before I had just pinned an idea on Pinterest for a backdrop with some vintage pages layered on a backdrop for a cute photograph. Robyn had encouraged me leading up to the mentorship to begin pinning away on Pinterest, and here began to pull together some method to Robyn’s madness. Pinterest would be my friend this day. I went back to Pinterest and referred specifically to that very pin, and wanted to determine how realistic would it be to pull something like this off. I began to feel the confidence rise in me. Ok, I can do this. I actually can think of some ideas, whether good, or bad, but ideas sure enough to make this all come together.

After the vintage pages came to mind, I rounded the corner and there were those wings again. Like a light shining down from the heavens, they just spoke to me, and there came the flood gates of and idea. I hadn’t mentioned Nicole up to this point, only because she and Robyn had only recently reconnected, and Robyn wanted to announce Nicole’s return as her assistant and artistic genius till after Pocket Shots on Saturday. So, to give an understanding of the meaning behind my idea, is to share with you a bit about Nicole, and her special foster dog, Archie. And by foster dog, I mean he and Nicole have this special connection, and likely he isn’t so much of a foster dog anymore. Just sayn’! For anyone who follows Robyn’s photography page, you will recognize Nicole’s amazing artistry in the Pocket Shots backdrops. She will probably cringe at me showering all of the compliments on her, but it’s true; her talent is amaze-balls. All of Robyn’s backdrops you see in her photos are hand done by Nicole. No joke! They are not your run of the mill purchased backdrop that you see in ‘Joe Shmoe’s’ photographs hanging in a picture window on main street. They come up with a concept together, and then Nicole brings their collaboration of ideas to life. No two are ever the same. And, Nicole to mention is a photographer in her own right. She’ll probably kill me for that mention too, but true dat! She is awesome. If I could only climb into the minds of these two, I would be left with no worries on creativity. And that is no booty kissing, it’s just the facts. Ok, so back to the story of Nicole and Archie. Archie came into Nicole’s life when someone found him a stray, and skin and bones. What his life had been up to that point is anyone’s guess, but likely not one filled with tons of hugs and kisses. Nicole took him in with the intention of him as a foster for when the right home comes along. But, likely I think these two are meant for one another.

Archie is a dog like no other. Seriously makes me tear up. (no lie) He has the spirit of an angel, the heart of a giving soul and the sweetness of a dog like I have never seen. And that even compared to my adorable ‘fattie crew’. He goes with Nicole just about everywhere. I think he’s even gone into the ‘Apple-MAC’ store with Nicole. No lie there either. He touches most everyone he sees with his gentle nature and calming spirit. I truly see him as not only being blessed to have been brought into Nicole’s life, but an angel that was meant to be a part of her life too. It is just too endearing to see the connection between these two. And felt it the first time I met them both. Something about Archie just made me fall totally in love with this incredible guy. He is truly what giving to animal causes is all about. An ambassador of sorts.

So, to truly appreciate where my concept originated had to be to understand this special bond between Nicole and Archie. I hope I did justice in my description. When I looked back up at those wings, a light shined down, and there it was so obvious to me. Archie, is my subject, and he is an angel. An angel brought into Nicole’s world. I know I get so deep sometimes with my thought process, but just can’t help it. My nerves were gone, and there was the inception of my project. Vintage page backdrop and Archie as this angel in our midst. A four legged angel. Then it all came together in my mind; the pallets back at the studio would represent the backstreets of Archie’s previous life, and the vintage pages the backdrop to highlight him in his angel wings. My initial thought was to include some words on the backdrop such as ‘love’, ‘rescue’, ‘save’, ‘adopt’, and maybe some others, but you get the idea. Archie would represent all that saving dog’s lives is all about. We are not only there to save them, but like Archie, they save us too in some way. Brilliant, right? I mean, I couldn’t have been any more certain then when it all came together in my mind.

Now was the task to pull it all together. I was going to have to create an entire backdrop of vintage pages, and Nicole was going to have to be ok with me using Archie as my muse. Robyn said be resourceful, and I was going to have to truly make it all happen, AND without Robyn seeing the final product until I was all done with the design, the photo, and then would be presenting it to her. I still had much to plan out. Now as sure as I was with the idea, I still felt the need to run the idea by Michael (Robyn’s interior designer/handyman), and Nicole, of course. I was going to need not only Nicole to allow me to use Archie, but help me pull off the photograph itself. She was busy creating the backdrop for the Pocket Shots. I needed to make sure I had 99% of the work created and then have Nicole help me with posing Archie. I spent Wednesday and Thursday nights completing the backdrop, and without Robyn seeing. So, I had to creatively cover the backdrop so Robyn had no hint of what I was doing. And for those of you who know me, know how difficult it was not to tell her before the official unveiling.

Thursday night came, and the backdrop complete. I still needed to create the words, but could not seem to pull off what I envisioned without it looking crafty. Thus, the words left out, and knew that Archie would be able to make a statement on his own. I pulled the pallets together and after a few shots with Nicole holding the wings, and Archie being as patient as Jobe I hoped I had the shot that would be the final masterpiece. While Nicole finished her backdrop, I edited away, and knew that the final photo I had was ‘Magic’.

Friday morning came, and I decided to not cover the backdrop for Robyn to see. I hoped that what I chose to do did not seem obvious or too contrived. But I knew I loved it and that was all that mattered, right? Of course not! I truly wanted Robyn to love it as much as I did. She entered the studio Friday morning, and immediately was struck by the backdrop of vintage papers. In fact her reaction was beyond what I could have hoped. She loved it! She asked how I was able to put it all together, and pull it off. I was so much more at ease. Then, she said she had to see the photo. I was like a school kid pulling out my final project, nervous as all heck. Robyn went bananas over it. And for anyone who knows Robyn, knows she aint no liar! She is as straight shooting as they come. She acted like a proud mama, and I acted like a geeky kid. I think I not only surprised her, but myself. Although, this was what this process again was all about, was for me to understand that I have the ability, I just need to have the confidence. Robyn just wanted me to open my mind, and allow myself to be me, not anyone else. To take my ideas and be confident that I could make it all come to fruition. I think at that moment Robyn was ready to push me out of the nest, and I was ready to take the leap. It wasn’t for anyone else to believe in me, but for me to believe in myself.

So thankful that Robyn and Nicole reunited when they did, because it was inspiring to be in the studio when Robyn was gone, and Nicole was there working her magic, Archie in tow. I’m sure that I would have still had an amazing experience and gotten so much out of my mentorship with Robyn either way, but the meaning of it all was that much more with sharing that time with Nicole and Archie as well. There truly is magic that happens with Robyn and Nicole, and so glad to be a part of it all. And, of course Archie, ‘The Angel’. So, hopefully you can feel what I had when you see my final project


Mother’s Day

Yesterday morning was filled with mixed emotions. Sad to leave Houston, and my mentorship with Robyn Arouty, but so excited to get back, see my family and put myself out there for my new endeavor. With everything coming together as it has, I can’t help but know this hasn’t all been for nothing, and that truly this is what I am suppose to be doing with my life. I have never felt so comfortable with a decision as I have with pursuing this passion I have for photography as a living. Definitely my experience this week was the bump I needed to feel absolute about it all. And Robyn’s therapy each day telling me I could do it, helped a bit too. (my therapy bill is in the mail, right Robyn) hee hee.

I am now officially announcing myself to you all that I am open for business, and ready to shoot! My camera that is… The ideas are abundant, and can’t wait to see them come to life. My main focus will be dogs, and maybe a pig or two. LOL. Also, children and families. I want to be able to capture the individuality of who my client really is, not some boring posed blah blah blah photo. I want to bring life and character to those who will allow me the privilege to get behind my lens and create that magic. It’s what makes me so excited to do this. It’s a chance to be relaxed, off guard and maybe even a little silly. A photo session is meant to be a fun experience; not some boring backdrop, head tilted, and posed smile. If someone is willing to be adventurous and have some fun, I’m the one to do it!

As yesterday was Mother’s Day, it was only fitting to announce my important decision to my family, especially my mom. I could only hope she would embrace my decision, as of course her opinion always counts. And, I know my parents are the traditional kind that may not see what the possibilities are as I do. They have traditional values, and way of seeing things, and wasn’t sure how they would respond to this news. Of course they knew I was away in Houston doing a mentorship, but really didn’t understand what it meant, and the depth of passion I have had for photography. They’ve seen me pick up my camera, photograph the family, and I’ve shared the photos I’ve been taking along the way of friends, clients, dogs, etc.. Just not sure they really understood that I have been serious about this pursuit. I even mentioned my blog, and they still didn’t understand what a blog was…LOL… My silly parents. They’re just beginning to figure out their answering machine and computer. So, how could I make fun of them? Well, I still did, but in a kind hearted way, of course! I’m not that cruel…

I think it’s a parent’s instinct to want to want to make sure that their children don’t fall and make mistakes, no matter what age, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and so on. It begins when we take our first steps, and doesn’t end there. No matter how many times we swat their hand away, and want that independence, it’s just their nature. So hard though to step back from that as a parent I’m sure. I’m that way with my animals. I guess I just want them to trust that they instilled in me the motivation and desire to want to do the best I can, and to allow me some room for mistakes along the way. That’s ok, right? Because if not, I’ve severely messed up big time! Hahaha. No doubt on that foooo shooooore.

Mother’s Day was so awesome to watch the kids play, adults chat, some debate; well, ok, a LOT of debate. Who’s family get together doesn’t have debates? You’re lying then. LOL. Or, we’re just plain crazy. đŸ™‚ Either way, it was a great afternoon/evening. I know it makes my mom happy to have us all there. These are her golden years, and she earned it my friend. I took tons of pictures, of course! No matter how much my brother Mark objected. Drives him crazy when I am always taking photos. I just love to drive him crazy. Sibling rivalry ROCKS!!! Wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, here I am taking a ‘GINORMOUS’ step, and can’t wait to see where it all goes! And, I truly must thank, ‘Miss Thang’, Robyn Arouty for taking a chance on me, allowing me to crash in her studio, invade her space, and open her mind and heart to someone she barely knew. For her generosity I am grateful. I told her she is stuck with me now, whether she likes it or not. đŸ˜‰

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Behind the Scenes of Pocket Shots!

Well, the last full day is upon us, and it’s a big day. As mentioned in my previous post, Robyn had her Pocket Shots scheduled for today, and went from 8am-7pm. Nicole, did an amazing job on the backdrop. All hand done, by the way. So when you take a gander at the photos I post, make sure to appreciate the fine artistry and detail of the backdrop. Nicole spent two full days until weeee hours into the morning painting and sketching this all out by hand. Amaze-balls (my new trendy word for the month). She worked, while I slept. It was a great partnership.

For the Pocket Shots today Robyn worked with PugHearts of Houston, and a portion of the proceeds went to this wonderful rescue run by Cindy, who is the Director, and Emily her right hand pug gal. They are a dedicated group, and care a great deal about their pups, I mean pugs. I love their motto “Pugs, Not Drugs”. Cool, right? I’ll have to think of some snazzy catch phrase for my guys. Side note (or, A.D.D): On a future blog I’ll have to share with you all my wonderful songs I’ve created for my pups. Kind of catchy. Now back to the regularly scheduled post. There is a great deal of effort, time and energy that goes into these events that Robyn does, but it’s so rewarding, and with the passion Robyn and Nicole have for animal rescue causes, the outcome is all too worth it, all in spades. I had the opportunity to be a part of it all, and appreciate how it is pulled together and executed.

We were in the studio early to make sure all of the final details were prepared for our starting time of 8am. Cindy and Emily arrived with Starbucks in hand. Oh bless you both! Non-fat latte is the fuel that gets my neuronal pathways firing (for my science buddies). A few sips and I was ready for some shootn’ to begin. For those of you that know me well enough, and Robyn who got to know me “really” well quick enough, you’ll appreciate Robyn’s strict instructions: ‘sit and watch’, ‘no speaking, unless spoken too’, and ‘if my help was needed they would ask’. I’m sure a few of you are laughing and picking up what I’m putting down with the vibe of these rules. In other words, “Chatty Kathy, pie hole shut please”. Ha! No offense taken. I know I can get flappy gums. It’s all good, in the hood. I didn’t want a can of ‘whoop a–‘ to come out, so big booty in seat, and pie hole was shut. In fact, Robyn looked over at me once, and commented that she almost forgot I was there. I can take instructions….hee hee. I told her not to let me get too comfortable, who knows what I’d do!

The first crew arrived! Teresa came with her lovely girls, and how beautiful they were! And of course ‘she loves her dogs so!’ Robyn and Nicole will appreciate that one. If anyone thinks that photographing dogs is an easy business, please think again! It’s crazy town! But in a good way to me. With Nicole’s quick moves and slight of hand, and Robyn’s fast maneuvers with the camera, Teresa’s pups got a beautiful portrait. And, to mention, if curious at all to see these amazing photos, Robyn posts them on her photography page for all to see! Go to Robyn Arouty Photography (please like), and you’ll see the full set of Pocket Shots. She spends hours after the shoot editing to get these up for their owners and the rest of us to appreciate. So, her work continues long after the sessions are concluded. So, while we’re all getting comfy in our jammies, sipping on hot tea before bed, enjoying some ‘Dancing With the Stars’, or what not, Robyn is glued to her computer screen fine tuning these works of art, just so she can get them out for all to see.

I think I mentioned this in a previous post before as well, so apologize for repeating, but a photographer’s job does not end right after the photo session does. Oh nooo. There is so much time spent making sure that the final edits look good, because only a great photographer would care about these things, right? So, hours of time spent to do all this for the clients. I must say though, that because the passion is there, and this is the art of it all, it’s time creating, like an artist with a painting or sculpture. Only it’s photoshop or lightroom, instead of a brush or clay. So, the reward in the end for the photographer is seeing how happy these moments in time captured makes the clients. And it truly does! Especially for us dog geeks, I mean lovers. (quirky smile)

The day continued with all sorts of wonderful furry friends! We had Heidi, the dachshund. And, oh you must see how pimped her photo turned out. Diane Keaton inspired ensemble (tie and hat). Truly a must see! And, there was Jiles, the english bulldog. I posted a picture of the crazy adorable guy. You know I swooned over him. Slobber and all! We had Shy-anne and Macey, American bulldog mixes with their kitty sister, Coco. Shy-anne’s story would turn your heart upside down. It did me. And the resilience she has shown. Lots can be learned from these guys for us humans, but that’s another post sometime. The day was like a fairy tale land for me. Different dogs to visit with, enjoy and hear their amazing stories of overcoming adversity, and the courage to move on from it, and trust again.

And this is where it all comes together for me. Although along the way during the week I have had my feelings reinforced that this is what I must be doing, my passion; in the midst of hair flying, dogs peeing, pooping, jumping, running and just plain being adorable, I felt at home. And although we were in the studio from 8am-7pm, and then more time (for Robyn) on editing, I had this sense of certainty run from the top of my head down to the tips of my toes, come over me; this is truly what I am suppose to be doing (light bulb moment over my head). I felt in my heart at home, at peace with this decision that has been stirring inside of me these past months (now a tear in my eye). I could be working 7 days a week 24 hours a day doing this, and I wouldn’t feel put out, or beaten up, unappreciated, or unfulfilled. I would be in the perfect spot, happy, content and thankful that I finally found what truly makes me happy. I’ve always heard, do what you feel passionate about, and it won’t feel like work. TADA! This is it. Will I be rich monetarily? Maybe not, but as I have realized through all of this, I feel rich in my heart and soul (so sorry for the sappiness). But it’s not meant to be corny, just authentic. (deep breath out).

I am excited to share with you on another upcoming post my final project. I am truly proud, and if I can say, I think Robyn is too. (big smile on my face). I am a work in progress, such as my photography is, and so glad you have joined me on this journey.


Moving on Up

TGIF. Well, not so much, because only a couple of days and I leave Houston, and so ends my mentorship with Robyn Arouty. (sad face). It’s amazing how fast the week has gone by, and to look back at all that has taken place in it. Today was about tying up loose ends, and getting things situated for the big day ahead tomorrow, “Pocket Shots”! Which I will explain in a minute.

Robyn has been assigning tasks along the way, even before I arrived in Houston, and although knew it was all helpful, now realizing that there was a method behind the madness, so to speak. Such as my final project, (which will be revealed on Sunday) and how I was able to develop and create in a much different way then I might have before the mentorship, only a week ago even. I imagine it to be like never venturing beyond the block you live on. Then one day, you’ve been given the approval to do what ever you want, go wherever you want and explore. Almost like Jim Carrey in the movie, ‘The Truman Show’. He’s been living within the structured boundaries all of his life, and just knows there’s more out there. That gut feeling. Then in the end, he’s freed physically and emotionally. I know, pretty deep stuff, but this process I’m discovering hasn’t been just about the photography for me. It’s been about following a passion. My passion. It didn’t begin in photography, but something stirring inside expressing itself in other forms along the way. My card making, writing and art in general. It’s all surfacing, and here I am still vulnerable in my skin, yet feeling free to be who I am, and ok with it.

One of my favorite parts of the mentorship was Robyn so generously taking the time to take my bio pic shots. I am not of fan of having my picture taken, so I left it in Robyn’s hands, and did my best to roll with it, and relax. Robyn had to crack the whip a bit (and you know she does that well), but it all came together and so happy with the final result. Bam! One thing to mention is the backdrop in my profile pic is the one I created for my final project. Nice, right? A little hint of what the final project will look like.

Sit down one on ones with Robyn for Lightroom and Photoshop have been so helpful, and taking the time to fine tune my skills is going to help me get to the next level. Holla! (another Robynism) LOL. Followed the one on one with some time out and about today to get some more shots to practice my natural lighting ability, as well as composition style. The area we’re in has some great urban texture and backdrop. Love me some train tracks, rusty metal and rotted wood stairs. Who wouldn’t?! Our day was coming to an end, and attention needed to be turned toward tomorrow’s big shoot! Pocket Shots!

Robyn created Pocketshots with animal welfare organizations in mind—more specifically rescues, who work so tirelessly to save Houston’s precious lives every day. Each event benefits a different group & Robyn has donated over $30,000 to area rescues since pocketshots began in November 2010. Saturday’s shoot will be working with PugHearts, a wonderful rescue located in Houston. There is much that goes into the planning of these shoots. Backdrops are created from scratch, props are determined, and much effort goes into getting the word out for this great event. People go crazy for Pocket Shots! Generally these events get booked up within minutes of notice being announced. Women will buy shoes especially for this event, make-up will be applied just right, and dogs fluffed to perfection. The set for this specific event is AMAZEBALLS!!! Can’t wait to share with you.

So, off to get ready, and will continue tomorrow!

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The Progress of Creating

A little over half way through my mentorship with Robyn Arouty. How time flies when you’re working hard, having fun and learning lots! I would be lying if I said it’s been easy. However, it’s been truly enlightening and empowering. Especially to know that when I leave here I will have learned more then anyone could in many months time. With that I feel a great foundation has been laid to build upon and grow as my business grows. Tool belt in hand, and ready to shoot; photos that is. Heehee. Never had this excitement over anything; except my pups and pig, no doubt.

Had a wonderful morning to spend enjoying my neighborhood surroundings while walking about and taking photos; of course! Made my way down to the local coffee grind (pun fully intended), and savored my first latte in 5 days. Withdrawl was setting in. Reenergized and rearing to go, I was able to capture some great shots of the eclectic neighborhood the studio is surrounded by. Including some darling dogs around the corner. Two each, scotties and boston terriers. Feisty little guys. Of course, no surprise there. For my Sacramento peeps, a feeling of the East Sac 40’s, off the H street side. My kind of vibe, ya know? After soaking in the local neighborhood sites, it was time to head back and meet Robyn for some serious one on one creative burn. Kind of like a good workout, only for the mind, and editing skillllz. Sound easy? It’s not. Myth: Take photo, and a few minor tweaks later, and voila! Maybe on a few, but not by any stretch of the imagination. Detail on a good photo takes some time. So again, bon bons to the side, and some serious time and knowledge of the editing process is required to get the outcome we all enjoy so much from the seriously talented photographers.

Part of our day yesterday was spent with Robyn teaching me the ropes on proper studio ediquite; which included the basic equipment needed (LOTS), lighting, setting up the staging and all the basic prepping that it entails to create a fabulosity shot. Vanessa, who owns a vintage clothing business (of course I was all on top of that) and her darling 6 month old baby boy, Kai, were the lucky subjects of the day. Of course Vanessa had some darling vintage attire for her little man, and ready he was for his photo debut. Kai showed off his baby modeling skills like no other 6 month old baby I’ve seen. Pose after pose he smiled away, until he didn’t. As any baby of his age, Kai gave us the sign that time was up; a cry and pouty lips. During the shoot I took some behind the scene shots, to edit and share with you all on the blog.

Robyn shared some of her tricks of the trade during the editing portion of our training. It made me realize how much I still have to learn in utilizing Lightroom and Photoshop. Does one ever truly learn it all on these to apps? But what a transformation that can happen to just an ordinary photo if they are used in just the right way. A tweak here, a smoothing here, a color change there, and magic happens! Well, maybe not just like that, but you get the idea. Robyn has been honing her skilllllz for some time now, which is obvious in her photographs. I can only hope that if I could master even a small amount of these apps, that I too can make something beautiful and magical.

Our day winded down, and it was my homework to venture out, shoot in RAW, yes you read it right, not jpg., but RAW. How masterful I felt! Don’t make fun of me, I truly felt like the door opened and the world became my oyster. Camera in hand and walking shoes on I was on a mission. Another part of my homework assignment was to edit my shots just as I learned earlier with Robyn. PHeewwww. Right? What a day, and lots learned! I was exhausted, yet so happy with the progress of it all.

I stayed back at the studio while Robyn went home, and was left to my assignments. And last, but not least is to mention tonight was the big project photography shoot. Can not wait to share with you all in the next post my ‘Final’ portrait. I am in love, and hope you will be too.

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