Happy Mother's Day

To all moms everywhere - Happy Mother’s Day! Whether you’re a mom to a 2 legged child, a furry kid or a child in heaven, this is your day to celebrate all that you do to make our lives better! This is the first photo I’ve had taken of me with all 3 of my girls. However you spend your day, try to make it a point to get at least one photo of you with your kids. It’s so important to capture these family moments with all of you!

Trina with Izzy, Kita & TIllie

Lessons from the Dog - Make Your Own Fun

Bitter cold. Bleak. Cabin Fever. The months after the holidays can be hard ones, even for those who love the snow and cold. Short days, long nights. Temperatures so low it's hard to spend much time outside, some days 15 minutes is all that our bodies can stand. Winters are a great time to catch up on movies we've been wanting to see, or binge watch a favorite TV show or snuggle under a blanket with a great book. But it doesn't take long before it feels like the walls are closing in on you and you feel cabin fever.

Even the dogs get antsy when they can't get outside and stretch those legs running around the yard. I know my girls have been begging me for walks even after we've taken a short one if that's all we can manage. They go to the toy box and drag out their toys more during these days than any other time of the year. If I happen to be nearby, they'll try to entice me in a game of tug of war or chase. Boredom. That's what they are suffering from. So somehow, someway, they find a way to entertain themselves. 

Izzy.snow.ball.running

Izzy will chase her tail. Kita will grab Izzy's tail and yank on it. They both run laps around the first floor of the house chasing each other. But if one wants to play and the other doesn't, they find ways to entertain themselves. It's comical really! Kita will pick up a toy, toss it in the air and pounce on it! She also gets the zoomies where she runs up and down the stairs making these funny noises - not quite a growl, or a bark, nor even recognizable as a dog sound! It makes me laugh every time. 

It's the dead of winter and it feels like spring is never going to come, this is a good time to take another lesson from our dogs - make your own fun! So what can you do to entertain yourself? If you have some excess energy do some jumping jacks, run up and down the stairs, or a yoga sun salutation. If you need something that will take up a lot of time, work on a puzzle, figure out how to solve rubik's cube, or get a coloring book and colored pencils and work on it. 

As a SAD (seasonal affect disorder) sufferer, winters can be especially hard for me. With day after day, sometimes week after week with little to no sun, I can easily get sad or depressed. Knowing that I'm prone to this, I prepare in advance to deal with it by coming up with a bunch of projects to work on. These include a list of books I want to read, movies I want to watch, work tasks I want to do that I never have time for and house projects like de-cluttering and sorting piles of stuff that just seem to accumulate over the year that I never know what to do with. But I also need to do something for fun to help me get through these dark bleak days. I'll pick up some juggling balls and juggle for a bit. I also have some BOP IT games that are fun to play even by myself. 

What are some things you do to make your own fun?

PIN IT!

Lessons from the dog - Make your own fun

Giving thanks

If the only prayer you ever say is “Thank you” that will be enough. ~ Eckhart Tolle

I came across this quote many years ago and it’s still one of my favorite sayings. I truly believe in gratitude and end every day with a prayer of thanks. Too often we hear of requests asking for this or that. And while many of them are worthwhile prayers and I’m certainly going to add these requests to my list of prayers that day, I think we overlook the many things in our lives we should be thankful for.

Which is why I love Thanksgiving. Being a vegetarian, I don’t care about the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Some years I’ll do a little shopping on black friday. But most of the time, I find the crowds, hassles and prices to be frustrating. As for football. Well, if Penn State is playing a game, I’ll watch it. But unlike my husband who can camp out in front of the TV all weekend long and watch game after game, I’d rather go for a walk and play with my dogs. But I am mindful of what this holiday is all about and make an extra effort to be truly grateful for what I have.

And that includes all of you, who read my blog, have cheered and encouraged me on this journey of becoming a professional photographer. Who have trusted me to photograph your families, who follow along with me on my social media and “like”, comment and share my posts. And most importantly for all the furry friends I have made who have captured my heart and given me the purpose of my life. Thank you.

Izzy + Kita - thankful.jpg

Happy 3rd Kita!!!

Boy, they aren't kidding when they say "time flies!" Kita's birthday caught me by surprise yet again! At least I remembered a couple of days ago so we could plan something a little special and fun! 

Kita sure has grown up in the last 12 months. No more jumping on the kitchen counters, grabbing reading glasses off the dining room table and leaving little "presents" in the corner of the living room. We're still working on her not eating them though! Yuck! 

Kita.bday.2.jpg

She's also become quite the perfect little photographer's model. Whenever I want to work on something like lighting or scout a new location, she's always up for the task. What's so great about her is that when I start pulling out the treats, she knows what is expected of her and gives me the time I need to nail the shot. If I shift one of her legs to where I want it, she doesn't move. If I tell her to "wait", she never breaks her stay command. She tolerates my lights, all the adjustments I make and I always come away with some keepers every time I photograph her. Quite the change from the little pup who wouldn't let me touch her paws, her ears, open her mouth and certainly never trim her nails! Now she loves to be held, and isn't shy about asking to picked up so we can carry her. 

She's got quite the personality and I've got all kinds of photo session ideas I want to create with her. Some are quite elaborate and one day I hope to pull them off. I wasn't sure of this little pipsqueak when she first came to stay with us a foster dog, but now, I'm really grateful she came into our lives...and hearts!

Happy birthday Kita!!!

Kita.bday.jpg

Then & Now

One thing I love about Facebook is the reminders of posts shared in previous years, you know - the "On this Day" that shows up first in your feed every morning. Earlier this week, I was reminded of a post from the day we brought our golden nugget Izzy home. It made me smile and was a great start to my day. But I was struck by a few things. One - how tiny she was. Two - how fast these 7 years have flown by. And three - the photos I took of her in those first few days. I remember being so excited to have a puppy to photograph again. And how I promised myself my shots would be better than the puppy pictures I took of Mika many years earlier. But I couldn't get over how much my work has changed and grown in these years.

A goal of many artists is to grow and create better work. Sometimes we feel stuck in a rut and not growing as fast as others in our industry. Sometimes that is true. But sometimes it's not. Yet it seems that way because we compare ourselves to others. Which in this digital age is so easy to do.

With so many blogs on internet, you can find plenty of material to read on this subject. And plenty of advice. Perhaps the best suggestion is to stop comparing your work to others in your field. Instead, concentrate on developing your own style and only look at work created by your older self. When you look back at art produced three, six and twelve months ago, you'll see how much you've grown. What once may have been a struggle to achieve, may now be ingrained in your technique. These accomplishments are something to be celebrated! 

As I took a trip down memory lane, reliving those early weeks and months with Izzy, I also found myself reveling in how far I've come since I first picked up a camera. Yes, sometimes I wish I was I better. But imagine a year from now looking back at the work I'm producing today. There's no doubt it will be something I will be proud of. Which makes me think of that phrase - "It's all about the journey, not the destination."

And so I will continue on this journey. Who knows where it will take me. I'm already producing work I never dreamed I would or could. I'm willing to bet one day I'll be creating images that I can't even imagine creating sitting here right now.

Here's a look back at the adorable puppy who has brought so much joy to my life. This shot was one of my favorites and something I was proud of at that time. Isn't she just the cutest???

Izzy.puppy.jpg

Here is an image from my most recent shoot which happened to be with Kita. I'm ashamed to say I haven't done a session with Izzy since we've been back from Florida. But I've got great things planned for her next session during fall peak season!

Kita.yellow.flowers.Penn.State.jpg

Thanks for reading and following along! I don't say this enough, but I really do appreciate the support, encouragement and comments I've received over the years!