Today I was lucky enough that my friend's daughter agreed to come and model for me. I have known Emma since she was born, our families spend a lot of time together. For this I am so thankful. Emma came so I could play - try new ideas. Her participation shifted the energy with my own child. Charley actually agreed to model too.
I had fun and I think they did, and then we were done. Not until I sat down to edit did I realize just how much power and symbolism of these images have for me.
I picked the antlers, because they were a symbol for me. They are part of the rite of a Montana Childhood. They symbolize a proud creature that adds to its rack each year of growth. These children of ours - are in the very midst of huge change and growth. Both Emma and Charley will be freshmen this fall. Yet these years are often so hard to navigate as teens.
I am personally able to say these are challenging years to parent. Yet,they are crucial years to protect, nurture and encourage our children. For me it takes work, it is stretching me. It is making me grow, it is making me remember the vulnerability, the challenges and the difficulties I had as a teenager. Things I had wanted to bury and forget come back to me. I want to be a better mom, I want to understand. I need to take a breath, to breathe, to remember when the actions taken leave me aghast, frustrated, mad. I need to see what buttons it pushes in me - its a two way communication - and I am learning we are both growing.
Taking these images and editing them, reminds me of the Youth, the Warrior of Youth, The adult figuring out how to emerge and be.
Today reminds me of the burden and difficulties that we have as teens and other times in our lives to figure out who we are, what we want, how to be.
It reminds me it is important, VITAL, that I as a parent provide the shelter, comfort and understanding to enable the best adult to emerge from this precious child of mine.
The final day of the blogging challenge. The challenge - to highlight a customer. This one is easy! I have been so very lucky to recently meet a wonderful woman and her family and her story is one of grace, love and just plain old good Montana charm.
â€¨Please meet the lovely Sharon and her delightful family. This is her mom who is in her 80s and a total pistol, her daughter Hope and her son Chris.
Sharon has been meaning to have family images created for a long timeâ€¦ and then a health scare created the moment of NOWâ€¦. and what a lovely morning we had together.
The wonderfully talented Christie came along with me and did all the girls makeup - Chris declined - who knows why?!! Then off we went to capture the relationships and joy that make up their family.
It was truly an honor to be a part of this special day.
And we had to have the photo bomber - its that younger kid brother thing - don't pretend its not there! Enjoy, embrace - celebrate life!
A few weeks later I was back to capture Sharon and her fiancÃ© Von.
We also had to take things one step further now they have matching hair styles.
And of course I had to try a short cut lookâ€¦
On a more real note. This was an amazing time for me. It reinforced everything that is behind what I do. It bought some incredible people into my life. People who I want to get to spend more time with. The session was powerful as there was an unspoken shadow in the background. These images are important for everyone in so many ways.
The other thing I was so lucky - so lucky to be surrounded by people who care so much for one another. People who can face the shadows and find joy and happiness. Find the positive things in life. Find humor. Keep dignity and walk with grace. For this I am so grateful to you all for including me on the journey. Thank you, truly thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Anyone who has come to my website over the last decade will be wondering recently where have I gone, what have I been doing and where is Crackle Photography going.
Well after twelve years of loving every minute of what I get to call my work, I have needed to redirect. No more half ass attempts, but total embracement - a total leaping into the void of not knowing how this will play out. But I believe if it excites me, if it gives me the jitters, if it lights me up and my closest family, friends and clients see it - then I have to be stepping (NO leaping!!) the right way.
So I am pursuing imagery that is more from where my heart has moved to. Images that are different, ones that come from deep inside my soul. I want to create images that capture children in their thoughtful moments, maybe that includes some sense of imagining - like this session I did with my muse Lillie who I have photographed since she was 6 months old. But its a creative process that grows as a session progresses.
Too often the photographic industry in recent years has became stale and repetitive. Things are all starting to look the same. Things start to feel the same. As a creative person, who wants to believe that I am creating art for peoples homes that just happens to be of them and their children - I need to find a way to be more original, more creative, more just me, and use more ways to bring nature into images. Yet still showing my clients and their families.
True 90% of the population is just looking for the shoot and grab shots. Not everyone is going to be jumping onto this band wagon and that is fine. I just have to hold the faith and not fill with self doubt, but hold courage with both hands and keep following my own dream.
What I want to create is an experience - for both my clients and myself. A collaborative journey where we plan together the session, the focus of the images, the mood, the magic. And then they step back and all the elements can be pulled together in the moment of the session, I know it is happening when I lose track of time, I feel ignited, guided by a higher source and so excited - and I know then that magic is happening and that this is the experience and moment my clients have waited for.
This gives me the important link I need in my work and connection with my clients - emotional connections - we become more than just people in a transaction, we are co-creators, experimenters and most importantly we have fun and develop a relationship. A relationship that continues beyond our photography session. We share a joy and a trust built by images. We respect one another and honor each others time and process. We value family, we value art, we value living a full and joyful life and we share the connectedness that nature brings.
To achieve this new direction it will be a more personal, more time involved process. Artwork will be commissioned and the final piece presented will be finished ready to hang artwork, with archival mats and framing. The value of my time, expertise and artisanship will be reflected in the price clients are willing to pay for the commissioned works. Clients are happy to pay for the this and express gratitude for the experience, artwork and our friendship that develops.
In return I am professional in my conduct. I only accept a limited number of commissions per year so that I can have time to serve each and every client and create original work for them. I am not judgmental and I am punctual and efficient at all our appointments. I help guide my clients to provide for them artwork that will fit them best and their lifestyle. I offer services and products to make their lives easier. I will assist my clients in any way I can to ensure that this is the best experience possible.
This has not been an easy path to take, in fact I have resisted, hid my head in the sand and just blatantly ignored myself for a lot of the past two years. But finally the mists are clearing and with the help of my business coach and by being fortunate to have some great mentors and gone to some wonderful workshops where all the attendees have helped pushed me. I feel like the puzzle pieces at least now have an edge! My coach has encouraged me to bring a sense of myself to my business - Disruptive - is the new Norm... well I am disrupting something that has worked well for a long time. But I need to do this to empower and ignite my soul and it is truly my hope that working with each client I will ignite something in them that empowers them, that leads them to believe in themselves. Lets them commit to their dreams and helps them feel the fear but leap anyway.
I want each and every client and their child to walk away from our time together feeling special, validated and empowered.
Thank you for reading through all this!! For me this change and the fear - is summed up brilliantly by Marianne Williamson
Meet baby Colt and his beautiful mama. I met them as they won a year of photography from the awesome store Coo Baby. Unfortunately Coo baby is closing this weekend, so go make you last minute purchases. This cool store is going to be sorely missed, I wish Gillian all the best in her new ventures.
Meanwhile this little guy is thriving and growing and not this tiny at all any more!
Well with school back and no long weekend in sight everyone will be realizing at Hellgate that there is one familiar face not there this year. Sari has jumped ship and gone on a huge adventure - a year's exchange in Ecuador... I take my hat off to her as she left not speaking Spanish to go to full immersion.
So if you are missing this lovely smiling girl's pretty face - AND you would like to wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!!! Here are a few of her Senior pictures.
Sari's mom teaches dance at the U, I personally scrunched up my toes seeing her up on point... that looks excruciatingly painful!
Bye Sari! Have a great year! Keep us posted on your adventures. And most important have a very Happy Birthday, best wishes and a cup cake from Bernices!! Crackle