T. G. I. F.

What a week.  What a week.  Found out this week that one of my coworkers and good friend is being moved to a different department within the company.  While I know she will thrive in her new position I will surely miss her, as will all of us.  She was a great sounding board for the few many meltdowns I have had from feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.  But what I think I’ll miss the most are her impersonations.  Man is she good.  I know this is certainly not a “good-bye” but rather a “see ya later” it still sucks a big one for all involved (well minus the department she is moving to). 
It has just been one of those weeks.  You know the ones where you just seem to not be able to get out of that funk?  Just when you think you are about to bounce back something always knocks you back down.  T. G. I. F.
The one thing that has kept me pushing through this hellish week (besides the much needed mental health day I took on Wednesday) is another trip to Ann Arbor, MI to visit my sister for her 27th birthday and her roommate.  I cannot believe my younger sisters are 27 (they are twins.  The other one lives in St. Louis, Mo with my parents and isn’t able to back to MI for celebrations.).  They will always be the stubborn little brat who wouldn’t wear anything but a pink top and jean skirt to school for a month or a climbing partner.  Apparently when they were born I rushed up to my Great Grandmother, Great-Gran we called her, who was getting off her plane screaming “Twins! Twins!”  I was 2.5 years old and supposed to keep it a secret.  Apparently I just couldn’t contain myself.  Same holds true today.  I do not have any recollection of the day they were born but have always been proud to be their big sister.  My mom tells me another story of when we were once in grocery store.  The twins were in the grocery cart in I’m assuming their carriers and I next to them while mom checked out. Apparently there was a young couple behind us in line who were not goo-ing and aww-ing over them so I boldly said, “Did y’all see them?  They are twins!”  My mom said she was always a little concerned I would get jealous of all the attention they got.  After pointing them out to complete strangers because they weren’t giving them the attention I so thought they deserved she quickly realized she had nothing to worry about.   
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAMBAM AND LIS!  Lis – look forward to celebrating with you in a few hours!  Cam – look forward to celebrating with you in Ireland and Scotland in a few weeks!
I know I haven’t done this in a while but would like to share the different photos I have taken over the last week or so with my phone.  Friday Photo Dump:

pitiful boy napping at the park

lunch walk
bike ride 
ever get the feeling someone is watching you?
sparkling pink  
cutest baby 
Add caption



Get comfortable with the uncomfortable

I am a Type B personality.  I have always done what I have to do just to get by.  I don’t like attention and prefer to stay under the radar at work getting what is expected of me done during the day and leave at the scheduled time of 3:30 Monday through Friday.  I tend to stray away from anything that makes me feel uncomfortable.  Deciding to start my own photography business wasn’t as frightening as I thought it was going to be since I love taking photos of anything and I have been told by others that I have “the eye.”  What I didn’t calculate into starting my own business was putting any effort into it.  I just thought, hey people will see what a great job I do and refer me to their friends and so on.  While that has worked a little I need to start taking charge.  And that is one thing that makes me uncomfortable; going above and beyond rather than just sitting back and waiting/letting things happen for me. 
Last week I did two things that were uncomfortable for me.  First, I was invited to a woman’s networking event and I went.  Second, I decided to donate one of my images to help raise money at Night at the Races charity event.
On Thursday I attended my first networking event.  The woman who invited me was extremely helpful and encouraging.  I have known her for years and she was very complimentary of my work to the other woman as I shot her head shots for her business.  But, walking into a room full of Type A women is extremely intimidating.  And as a result, I was very nervous.  I am absolutely terrible at selling myself and never really know how to approach people I do not know.    Personally I despise people who are constantly talking about themselves and those pushy car salesmen type people therefore I assume (and we all know what assume-ing means, right?) everyone feels the same way I do and tend to shy away from situations that force me to either sell myself and/or approach others I am not familiar with. 
However, I found the experience to be rather pleasant after I got over the initial anxieties. The women were very sweet and seemed to be interested in what I had to offer.  The nice thing about this specific networking group of women was that each person had their own unique talent/skill to add to the group.  In other words, I was the only photographer and the woman who invited me is the only professional organizer.  I met so many different women with so many different skills to offer.  I even think I made some good connections.  This particular group of women meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month (Novembers and Decembers only once) from 7:30 to 8:45.  Unfortunately, my regular 9 to 5 starts at 7:30 and I am not able to adjust my work schedule so to make to the meetings I would have to take vacation time (and I’m not giving up my vacation time).  Silly adult working life rules.  Even though I will most like not be joining this group of woman I am grateful to be given the opportunity to meet such interesting women and hope to hear from them sometime in the near future. 
On Friday, I went with a few of my coworkers to a Night at the Races charity event to raise money for a local psychiatrist who makes various trips to Russia to give children in orphanages things they need.  These needs range from eye glasses to medications to building blocks for play.  My one coworker bought us a table and another one bought two horses to bet on.  I had been thinking for some time about donating one of my photos I have taken to bid on but was hesitant because I feared no one would bid on it because they did not like it.  I told this to my husband and he responded with, “Who cares?  That doesn’t mean you are any less of a person.”  And as much as I hate to admit it he was right. I must admit I did get a little anxious throughout the night wondering if anyone placed a bid on the photo.  But then I would drink some more wine and all would be okay again (I know I know… not the best way to cope).  Someone did bid on it and seemed pretty excited to take it home to hang on her wall. 
As I have mentioned before, my day to day is spent being a psychiatric rehabilitation worker for a nonprofit organization in Beaver, PA.  As part of my job I facilitate and lead group discussions on different topics such as anxiety and Depression.  I am always preaching “you never know until you try,” “just because it is uncomfortable it doesn’t make it wrong” and “the only way to overcome your fears is to face them.”  Last week I decided to listen to my own advice.  Now, I can honestly say it works when asked “how do you know it works?” 
To some these things may seem petty but for me they were large steps.  Both situations restored my confidence in my abilities not only as a photographer but also as a woman who is starting to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.


Lillian Danielle

Way back in March I got the chance to photograph an adorable one month old little girl named Lillian.  I work with Lillian's aunt Ashley.  Needless to say Ashley was ecstatic to become a first time aunt so the months leading up to Lillian's birth were filled with excitement and anticipation.  Lillian was brought into this world on February 2, 2012.  Once Ashley finally returned to work we heard nothing but how cute she was.  So when I was asked to take photos of her I was more than excited and honored.

I met Lillian at her home, about an hour outside of Cleveland, to spend time with her, Ashley and her parents, Mel & Greg, on a Saturday afternoon.  And of course, as Ashley had been saying all along, Lillian is adorable!  Thank you Mel & Greg for inviting me into your home and sharing your sweet baby girl with me for a few hours.  It was so great to see y'all and get to meet Lillian.  Y'all were great hosts!

Without further adieu...

Isn't she just the prettiest? 

Those lips!

Here Mel is signing "I Love You."  Ashley is our deaf specialist at work and this was her idea.  I thought it turned it out so nice!

There is nothing sweeter than the peacefulness of a baby sound asleep. 

Daddy's little girl!  

Again, thank you Mel & Greg!  Lillian is so precious!  I hope to see her again in the near future:) 


Sunday morning stroll

A few Sundays ago Chris, Mrs. Cornman and I walked through Sewickley.  It was predicted to be another beautiful day and Chris and I just needed to get out for some fresh air.  Nothing a nice walk can't cure:)

And, I just "happened" to have my camera with me;)

I think this might be my favorite photo.  I love One Way signs.  

My favorite route to the heights by foot.  

Only in Sewickley on Woodland Road would you see a Rolls Royce out for a Sunday drive. 

My favorite street in Sewickley.  A Very close second is Woodland. 

The background was not this original color (obviously it was the sky).  I played around a little in Lightroom and saw this.  I love the contrast.  

Favorite flower!

Beautiful end to a nice 3-4 mile walk.  

Weather here in Pittsburgh has been chilly the last few days.  Lucky for me I spent my Easter weekend in St. Louis with my parents and sister where we had nothing but blue sky and 70 degrees!  Seeing these pictures again reminds me of what a lovely March we had and makes me want it back.  Like NOW!

What have you been up to this Spring?  Gotten any photos that you just love?  


"Oh you shouldn't hug with your leg."

Back in October I got to visit one of my best guy friends Bryan in Santa Monica, CA with my sister Melissa.  I know it's probably silly that I am just getting around to posting about it now but with all of this nice weather and seeing friends' posts of vacations on Facebook inspired me.

This was my second trip to SoCal.  The first was way back in 2004 (I think?) to visit another guy friend (Hi Jeremiah!) in Malibu who was going to school at Pepperdine.  Will you believe me when I tell you he finished in 4 years?!  There's no way I would have considering it took me 5 to finish in PA (embarrassing).  Anyway, I was so excited to get another chance to be in SoCal again and visit Bryan.

Melissa and I had an amazing time and were EXHAUSTED by the end of it!  Being as there was a lot of drinking during the trip I didn't have my "big" camera with me too much.  I am a very clumsy person sober so having my nice camera out with me would have been just plain stupid.  I would have left it somewhere or dropped it on our many leap frogging nights home (yes, you read that right.  I said leap frogging.).  Rest assured I got loads of pictures with my iPhone.  Perhaps I will share some of the photos I took with the phone.  Isn't it funny how phone's have practically placed point and shoots?

Anyway, these were taken our first day there.  We spent a relaxing afternoon close to the Santa Monica Pier.  Bryan had to show us (after being on the news) his surfing skills. I had ever intention of getting in the water to learn how to surf until I put my big toe in it and felt how cold it was.  Melissa was brave and tried though.  Maybe next time, Bry?:)

Leave me on my towel with my camera and a good book and I am more than happy:) 

I thought this was sweet.  A mom and child watching surfers.  

He got up!  Pretty badass if you ask me! 

This scene totally reminds me of Birds. 

I'm embarrassed to say this was the ONLY photo I got with my "big" camera during our 8 mile trek through West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.  Of all things to capture; a nasty ass spider.  It made itself a pretty dope web though.  

We spent some more time down by the Pier then made our way to Venice Beach (via cab) to watch the skate boarders and catch the sunset.  Some of my favorite pictures people take on the beach at sunset/sunrise are ones of people jumping in the air.  I think we were all dragging ass as we had been out late the night before (surprise surprise).  But Bry and Melissa were great sports.  Thanks guys for jumping up and down for me! 

As you can tell, it took them a little while to get synchronized. 

But then they got better! 

This one cracks me up every time I see it.  I'm pretty sure they didn't plan it to look like this.  So great! 

Sister jumping shot

These were supposed to look like we were jumping off the edge of a cliff or something.  Didn't work out as planned but everyone's faces are just priceless.

The sunset from Venice Beach was gorgeous!

I think this one is my favorite (minus Melissa's arm)! 

And these are just some gorgeous flowers Bryan pointed out to me on one of our many walks through Santa Monica.  I am such a sucker for anything pink:)

Do you have any vacation photos you've been wanting to post but haven't gotten around to it yet?  It's never too late:)