Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bits of Life :: For the Love Workshop

So when was the last time you got REALLY excited about something? Not just "ooh, that would be nice" but jumping up and down, twirling-whirling, giddy with anticipation kind of excitement? That's what I am talking about and hoping/praying for with a chance to win a free (yes, that is FREE) spot at the For the Love Workshop in Tennessee in February. (shamelessly, this post earns me five "drop my name in the hat" chances to win this...FIVE!!)

This workshop is currently open to any photographer who is looking for a unique experience that blends their faith with their work. The difference between this session and others out there is that it is spiritually focused, with special times of worship in addition to offering great business strategies and a gorgeous setting in which to photograph. I know it's a long shot, but it's important to me to seek how God can use me to bless others through photography beyond taking people's portraits (which of course I love to do!) For now I will dream a little, continue seeking God's will for this business, finish making plans to attend the Imaging USA event coming up soon and and be giddy for whomever is blessed with this extra-special gift that is sure to take their business to a new level.

May your 2010 be a year full of blessings, interesting challenges, and finding out where God wants you to be!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas :: Celebrating the Gift of Love

Unto us a son is given, as the greatest gift of love.
And his name shall be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

In the weakness of a baby, they knew that God had come to earth.

Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and remembering that, in the words of Mother Teresa,
"It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Product Share :: Custom 5x7 Album

Time for another quick post! I had just a few minutes to snap some images of this wonderful 5x7 custom album with lay-flat pages that I created for this little one's grandfather before he came to pick it up~ I used "A Little Bird Told Me" album template from the wonderful designers at Design Aglow*... the colors and layers can be changed, but I left most 'as is' for this album because the colors worked perfectly for a boy and complimented the colors in the images. I also added some quotes picked out by Grandpa and created a custom cover with a metallic sheen. A great keepsake to have all the images from your portrait session beautifully printed and bound to enjoy for years to come. Love it!

*Design Aglow link was removed on 1-08-09 in response to a blog post on their site that does not reflect my style of photography or business model.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Product Share :: Simply Canvas Gallery Wraps!

Finally the chaos and craziness that is holiday orders is coming to an end and I can blog again! Seriously it has been a fun year and I have really been blessed in so many ways by all the sweet babies, awesome teens and fun families I've gotten to know this year through photographing. Here are a couple of canvases that are ready for delivery, but I just had to share before they go to their new homes~ Simply Canvas rocks... the color and detail is just incredible considering the file size they are working with! The great thing about them also is that you can specify any size to the inch~ something you can't do with traditional portraits. So if you have a funky width or shape wall space, you can create unique wall art featuring some of your favorite people.

Check back later next week for some more collages and a very sweet album~ have a great weekend of holiday shopping, and if you're like me, um, that might mean *starting* your shopping.
from this:

to this:

from this collage design (outer edge wraps around sides to back):

to this gallery wrap:

Friday, November 27, 2009

Senior Portrait Session :: Catherine's Mini Session

When Catherine's mom contacted me with a request for senior portraits a few weeks ago, I was ready to apologetically say my portrait session schedule had been filled for November~ but then she said something that quickly made me change my mind. Catherine's father has been struggling with serious health issues and since the summer her mom has been consumed with traveling back and forth to Johns Hopkins for appointments. We worked out a plan to meet for a mini session to ensure Cate would get a great image for the yearbook, and plan to complete her full portrait session in the spring before graduation. This girl has a natural beauty that just radiates from within her. And I love the color of her shirt...really brings out her eyes! She rides horses and plays violin, so there should be lots of ideas between the two of us~ I can't wait to see what we dream up! Check back in the spring for more...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baby Portrait Session :: Baby O. @ 1 year

Wow! It's hard to believe little more than a year has gone by and Baby O. has gone from a teeny, helpless babe to an on-the-go, all-boy, catch-me-if-you-can toddler. Looking back over the past year I think it has been amazing to see the transformation in his images, both in his physical changes and in my photography. We are both moving out of the baby-step stage as we continue to change, learn and grow!  It has been such a privilege to photograph this little guy's first year of life for my friends, Joy and Doug. This was an unusually warm November afternoon, as we laughed and enjoyed this little one while he explored... I love his newly found wonderment of the world~ checking out EVERY leaf and twig with such curiosity and hearing his definitive, deep-voiced "No" response to any question he was asked made me giggle (including when he really wanted something.) For those of you with little ones this age, enjoy these fleeting moments while they last!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Family Portrait Session :: The Jerrehians

The holidays are soon upon us and these blog posts are going to get shorter and shorter as I try to keep up! Here is another great family~ if you've been following this blog since the spring, you may recognize Kim from an April blog post about a fundraiser I photographed for Pillows-of-Love.  Kim and her staff are very excited about a new development~ they recently opened a volunteer center in Palmyra. After juggling schedules a bit, I caught up with Kim, her husband Greg and their two sweet kids for a portrait session in Hershey on a lovely November afternoon last weekend~ here are a few of my faves from their session. Check out the kids' beautiful eye color!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Family Portrait Session :: Ritter Family

This past weekend we finally had some beautiful weather for photographing outside after many weekend washouts. I am trying to get caught up on blog posts while processing orders and finishing galleries from the sessions the past few weeks. The holiday season is truly in fully swing here!

Here is another family I just love~ Heather is a dear, dear friend of mine (we have been friends since the 7th grade!) and she holds a special place in my heart for the many ways she blesses others. Although she has been a person of faith as long as I've known her, recently she has felt challenged to really turn her life over completely to the Lord~ body, mind and spirit~ and it has been awesome and inspiring to listen to and watch her transformation. She and Dave have three wonderful boys who are, well, ALL boy! The older two are involved in sports and the little guy is just plain happy to tag along and discover whatever adventure lies ahead. They are a fun bunch and we had a great time hanging out at a park near their home. Here are few of my faves from their session!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Senior Portrait Session :: Molly

I have been having entirely too much fun lately with these seniors. I'm trying to pace myself but it's hard not to work on images when everything works out perfectly~ the setting, the lighting, these teens who are 10x more beautiful than I remember any of us looking at 17!

Molly is a senior at Palmyra High School and we were blessed to have use of a beautiful property where her dad has done much of the stonework with his masonry business. And to top it off, our prayers were answered with the ideal kind of day for this location~ overcast and calm. Molly has a sweet, gentle personality and I think it's fitting that she is considering pursuing a nursing degree after high school. I loved her choices of clothing, especially the houndstooth jacket and the bright blue tee with the colorful scarf... fun accessories like these add something special to a senior portrait. I think there are a few images here that might be my new all-time faves~ feel free to leave a comment on your faves too! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Family Portrait Session :: New Kids in E-Town

Nicky and Christ moved here this summer from the Chicago area with their three active kids and two dogs. These kids were a lot of fun to work with~ (maybe it was all for show, you know~ how your kids behave better for everyone but you?) but really, they just seemed to get along so well and were just plain enjoyable to be around, with some silliness and teasing thrown in. Nicky contacted me several months ago with some specific images in mind, and we were all set for the session a few weeks ago when she called a few hours before the session with an accident report~ the youngest kiddo had tripped into a wire and narrowly avoided a serious injury to her eye. Thankfully she was okay and we still had a perfect day last weekend~ complete with gorgeous sunset light.  Here are a few of my faves of the kids' images and I promise, Nicky, there are some great ones of the whole family that will be in your online gallery. Enjoy!

and my personal favorite~ check out that sunset light~ love it!


Photo gallery website for proofing and additional info: 

Circle of Life Photography's page on Facebook~ Click HERE to add this page to your favorites!

Michelle Miller allowed me to link to her brilliant post about the art of photographing ... I simply cannot say it better myself! Click HERE to read the post.

Giving Back~ Organizations supported by Circle of Life Photography

In giving back, Circle of Life Photography's main goal is to help those experiencing extreme poverty and nourishing them with food, shelter and spiritual guidance. Education is a big part of helping people learn how to help themselves and change the downward spiral of poverty for a better future for themselves and their children. Locally, a more tangible way of giving back is through using my photography gifts to serve others who are experiencing crisis (see NILMDTS and Pillows of Love.)

Compassion International~ Haiti's Child Survival Project

In 2011-12, Circle of Life Photography makes a monthly $30 donation to the non-profit organization, Compassion International, whose goal is to change Haiti through the rescue, nuture and discipling of children during the critical early childhood years.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation (NILMDTS) gently provides a helping hand and a healing heart for families overcome by the grief and pain of the death of their newborn or infant. Offering gentle and beautiful photography services in a compassionate and sensitive manner is the heart of this organization. The soft, gentle heirloom photographs of these beautiful babies are an important part of the healing process. They allow families to honor and cherish their babies, and share the spirits of their lives. I am an active NILMDTS volunteer photographer for Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Lancaster Women & Babies Hospital.

Joni & Friends Family Retreat

I am honored to be a volunteer photographer at the Joni & Friends Family Retreat in the Poconos (Spruce Lake Retreat) for a week each summer (click here for past blog post.) Joni & Friends seeks to serve as a ministry of outreach to people with disabilities and their families across the US and around the world. Families from around the country attend Family Retreats seeking relaxation, encouragement and a time to strengthen their family.