Saturday, April 25, 2009

Giving Back :: Pillows-of-Love Fundraiser

I am always in awe of what God can do when one person commits to following His lead and the story behind this wonderful ministry is both inspiring and enlightening. Pillows-of-Love held it's third annual Pillowcase Derby on a gorgeous, sunny, April Saturday in downtown Hershey. Palmyra resident Kim Jerrehian founded this ministry just five years ago with a donation of 40 pillowcases and Bibles to a local shelter. Pillows-of-Love has now provided over 25,000 Bibles and colorful, handmade pillowcases to women and children in recovery shelters, pregnancy centers and international orphanages. You can read more at: and there will be more images from this year's event posted in the next couple of weeks.

I was honored to be asked to capture the day in images~ there was so much activity, it was hard to choose just a few to post! Great baked treats, balloon art, crafts, face painting, clowns, and the kids just had a blast hopping, skipping and running around. The best part of the day for me was hearing one little girl tell her friend, "this is one my favorite days of the year." Here is a glimpse of the day:

Starting the event with prayer

love the pillowcase colors!

kids could hop, skip, run or walk around the 'track'

get their card punched for each lap

line up for the Pillowcase jump race

and receive a trophy as thanks for their effort!

Pillows-of-Love founder, Kim Jerrehian shared about the ministry

homemade cake to celebrate the 5th anniversary~
my friend's mom made this...yum!!

Pillows-of-Love Board of Directors~ thanks for putting together a great event!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Family Portraits :: Three Generations

I have known this wonderful family for a looong time~ the grandma in the family was my grade school art teacher, and I have been friends with her daughters, Debbie & Kim, since before high school. We spent a fun afternoon walking around the beautiful grounds of Cornwall Manor in Lebanon yesterday. The only granddaughter in the family has the most amazing green eyes I think I've ever seen. Those cute boys kept me on my toes~ no breaks from trying different ways to get them to smile! Here are my faves from the session. Enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Extended Family Portraits :: Gram's Family

Over this Easter weekend, Anne's (a.k.a. Gram's) family was visiting from out of state and her daughter, Sue, had contacted me a few months ago to see if I would take a family portrait. Initially, working out a date and location was not a problem, but the iffy weather kept us guessing! So we went to the beautiful Nissley Vineyards on Saturday just before they were all headed off to a surprise birthday party for Anne's sister.  We had a wonderful time and Anne's kids and grandkids are all so warm and easy going. Turns out that Saturday was a special day of remembering her husband, who would have been 77 that day. Her youngest grandson, just 4 years old, kept us all smiling (and at times, laughing) and even gave me a hug when leaving. This is why I love what I do!

These next three all have beautiful blue eyes, but there's something so timeless and classic about black & white...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bits of Life :: Harrisburg All-Breed Dog Show (April 09)

The kids had off school today (a very LONG Easter break this year!) so we headed off to the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex for a dog show that runs today through Sunday. Our daughter LOVES dogs, and we rescued a wonderful chocolate lab mix, Henry, who has been with us nearly two years. She is very interested in dog breeds and would love to someday be a junior dog handler. The show was not crowded so the owners and handlers were very willing to let the kids pet the dogs and share some information about the breed. We had a fabulous time and may have to go back on Saturday. I couldn't resist posting some images here, so enjoy these loveable pups!

The Adorable Jack Russell

I don't know why, but I love this image...maybe it's his concentration

The Price of Beauty

The kids and I could barely resist hugging these perfectly groomed Siberians,
but I know their handlers would have freaked after all the detailed brushing!

Sweetest dogs ever...Greater Swiss Mountain dog...I want one!!!

GSM "Honey" taking her turn around the ring...

Admittedly, I am not a fan of small pooches, but Miss Georgiette sat sooo pretty for a portrait

Australian Cattle dog...another one to take home, if I lived on a farm!


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.