Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Boy & a Dog

Have you ever asked yourself what is so irresistible about a boy & a dog? Or maybe it is just irresistible to me? Either way, these two were just precious together. The bond is obvious & was fun to try and capture in pictures. I love the way this little guy tried to hug & kiss a dog that stood almost at his height and most certainly outweighed him by many pounds. The dog, Gus, was very patient and sat for us without even the enticement of a Milk bone biscuit. The fact that he actually sat on Daniel at one point made us all chuckle! For me, there is just something about this symbol of boyhood that made me happy to be on the other side of the lens.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Choose love...

"Children are the hands by which we hold heaven."
~Henry Ward Beecher

As the holiday approaches this week, I have been thinking about all that I am thankful for & can easily say that my family & friends are at the top of the list. This year has been a year of change for our family and for many others. The uncertainty in our country & the world can cause us to question our choices, our futures & even our beliefs. No doubt those questions stem from the fear that surrounds us. However, there is always a force stronger than that fear...quite is love. This gentle force binds us in ways that cannot be broken. It fills us with a light that cannot be diminished. Love is as important to us as air, water & food. Without it, none of us can survive. I have learned in recent years that love is often a choice. Yes, I know "falling in love" is seen as involuntary & spontaneous. I believe that can be true. However, the kind of love that propels us to ignore the fear, nourishes our souls, forgives all hurts and strengthens us in times of doubt...I believe that kind of love is a choice.

Most parents would agree that nothing inspires us to love like a child. Their vulnerability affects us in untold ways & sparks a measure of selflessness previously unknown. Their joy is infectious & their ability to unconditionally love reminds us of how we should all care for one another. A family I photographed this week gave me an incredible gift by allowing me to take their portraits. Their beautiful children giggled, danced, ran and hugged their way through our session. Watching their sweet faces through my lens, reminded me of how I felt when each of our children came home to us. The love & joy in their parents' eyes reaffirmed for me that it is always right to choose love. Fear & doubt will always be a part of life, but when we choose to turn away from that darkness & towards the light, the rewards are priceless.

Nate & Sara, thank you for the fun afternoon. Your family is awesome! I hope you enjoy the sneak peek...honestly, there were so many great images, I had trouble choosing just a few!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dream girl

Last week was little boys, this week I photographed some sweet little girls. Don't you just love the pose in the photo above? Dream was just that...a dream model! She is a beautiful little girl with an awesome smile. We had fun playing with the flowers & the pink chair. I loved all the questions she asked and that she wasn't afraid to tell me what she thought about those bright lights...we worked together to figure out a way that we could use the lights without them bothering her eyes ;-) Dream brought her mom, dad and baby sister along so we were able to get portraits of everyone!

Baby Skyler was so alert that we actually only snapped a few with her asleep. For only being three weeks old, she made great eye contact & was curious about everything going on around her. Mom & dad were awesome and it was a fun session. I hope you all enjoy the sneak peek!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"...and I gots fwends!"

Sometimes, I have to remind myself to take photos of my own children! Before I started Synergy Photography, they were always the focus of my photography as I tried to improve my skills. Now, I don't have as much time and, to be honest, I think they are somewhat relieved! I wanted to share a few images I did take a few weeks ago of two cute boys!

My youngest son, Ched (above), started preschool this fall. With that big step, he discovered the magical world of friendship. Whenever anyone asks him if he likes school, his eyes light up & he usually says, "YES...and I gots fwends!" Now that Ched has opened this special door, he tends to see potential "fwends" wherever we go. It is so fun to watch him get excited when he sees that there is another little boy to play with! He isn't quite enlightened enough yet to think little girls are good playmates...I'm sure that will come in time with coaching from his older sisters and over the objections of his older brothers ;-)

These photos are from an evening soccer practice where Ched was thrilled to play with his new friend, "Jwakey", otherwise known to his parents as Jacob. They were so funny together and had alot of fun running around while I trailed behind with my camera. I like using black & white processing when there is alot of contrast in my subjects or depth of field. I also like using it with children as it sometimes shows their features more clearly. With the obvious contrast in looks between these two "fwends", it seemed like a good fit.

Jacob's little sister wasn't too sure about those crazy boys and was content to just sit & observe. Is she cute with those little pony tails or what??!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Living in the Moment...

I love photographing boys. I guess it may be because I currently live with four (five if you count the 47 year old boy I am married to) and am beginning to understand their particular sense of humor. I have three adult daughters who taught me a great deal about being a mom and I already knew quite a bit about being a girl, but these boys are leading me into a whole new world. I am inspired by their creativity, energy and sensitivity. They are funny & silly & kind, but most of all they seem to understand that it is all about living in the moment. And for is all about the "moment"! Today's sneak peek is courtesy of Calvin & Henry...two guys who certainly understand this philosophy!

I like this Cesare Pavese quote, “We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.” For me, my photography is about not forgetting those memories. It is a way to remember more than just what a child looked like at a certain age. Taking a snapshot in time that merely shows size & shape is simply a form of documentation, and to be honest, most anyone with a digital camera can do that. The challenge I give myself is to do more than that. I want my images to preserve a child as they were in that moment. I want not just an image of their grin, but a glimpse of the spark of mischeviousness behind that smile. I want their parents to see more than their blue eyes...I want them to see their adventurous spirit shimmering in those bright eyes. I admit that at times I think I have set my bar a bit high and feel like I fall short. But then, I am able to spend a few hours with little guys like Calvin & Henry. Watching them, I am again inspired to enjoy the moment in which I stand and enjoy the energy around me. These two brothers are fun, energetic, and quite imaginative. I loved their "slow motion" running and dramatic NFL style tackles. With my camera, I captured the quiet moment when Henry froze in mid-tackle to softly pet a barn kitten that had wandered into the game zone. In several images, I also captured the encouragement, kindness & affection that Calvin shows his little brother. Along the way, I learned that bulls are actually color blind...this fun fact was mentioned as we discussed whether or not there were any of the farm's bulls in the field where we would be taking some of the photos. After their mom assured us there were no bulls, we enjoyed the beautiful morning and were able to capture some great images.

Many thanks to Calvin & Henry for a fun morning! Hope you enjoy your sneak peek...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Three Perfect Sisters...

Many of you know that my two youngest sons are adopted from Haiti. Jay and I have had a heart for the children in that country for many years and I have been fortunate to travel there on a numerous trips. I have also served on the board of Angel Missions Haiti for the last 4 years. Angel Missions Haiti ( works to arrange donated medical care for the sickest children in Haiti who are unable to be treated in their home country. Many of these children come to the US to receive the care they need. We have also been fortunate to be a host family in the past. Once the children are healthy, they are reunited with their anxious Haitian families. In addition to the medical visa program, AMH is collaborating with other organizations to build a much needed pediatric surgical center in Port au Prince. This will allow us to provide the children with life-saving care without having to seperate them from their families. As with most non-profit groups, AMH is struggling to raise funds for all of these services.

I was blessed yesterday with the opportunity to travel to Roanoke to see my friend Vanessa who is the director of AMH. She is currently caring for triplet girls who were born in the mountains of Haiti to a very poor family who didn't have the resources to feed their tiny babies. The mother asked Vanessa to take the babies who were so close to dying and to help them as Angel Missions has helped other children from her village. These little sisters only weighed a few pounds each when they were found, but are growing quickly now. At four months, they range in weight between 7 - 9 lbs. Their names are Faith, Hope & Grace and they are just a few of the many children who will benefit from Angel Missions Haiti services this year.

All of the pictures on this post were taken yesterday. It was so fun to play with three tiny girls all at once. They look like newborns, but act older & have incredible smiles. They were all very patient with me & my camera. In fact, they would each watch me as I moved around taking photos of their sisters. I was amazed at how happy & content they were. I hope you enjoy seeing the portraits as much as I enjoyed taking them!


Hope (the littlest):

Hope & Faith snuggling:

Grace (the biggest & strongest of the three):

We took a few Christmas pictures to use in our end-of-year program update & fundraising letter that will go out in the next month. Hoping that not many people can resist these sweet faces!

They were so funny when we put them all together. Hope is the happiest in the middle when she can be touching both of her other sisters. In fact, she likes to sleep while holding on to the other two girls! Grace was content to just hang out, but Faith had decided that she wanted to eat & take a nap. I freely admit that I was more than happy to put my camera down and spend some time feeding and cuddling her! I hope to take some more photos of them in the coming months as they get bigger & stronger so please check back to see their progress.

For comparison, here is the photo Vanessa took of the girls shortly before bringing them to the US in September. Notice that they are covered by wash clothes and their size compared to the baby bottle beside them!