Life Happens Photography: Blog https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/blog en-us (C) Life Happens Photography tracy@lifehappensphotography.org (Life Happens Photography) Thu, 25 Nov 2021 16:26:00 GMT Thu, 25 Nov 2021 16:26:00 GMT https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/img/s/v-12/u166237649-o63639569-50.jpg Life Happens Photography: Blog https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/blog 80 120 What I Am Most Thankful For https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/blog/2021/11/what-i-am-most-thankful-for  

I wrote this with February in mind.  You know… Valentine’s Day… red and pink hearts everywhere. Love is in the air…. But today is Thanksgiving… and I realized that the thing I am most grateful for is love.  In all of its forms. 
I don’t know that I know how to love well. I try. I know I fail a lot. But I can tell you beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am loved well. I don’t know what that looks like for everyone. But here’s a glimpse of what it has looked like for me. This list is by no means all inclusive. There’s so much more, more than I could ever write. But it has looked like taking care of day-to-day things for my family when I can’t be there. It has looked like sitting at a laundromat with me and washing what seemed like enough laundry to go back to the days of Moses. It has looked like cleaning and organizing my mom and aunt’s apartment while my mom was in the hospital. It has looked like sending flowers and cards and chocolates to my family even when you’ve never met them. It has looked like clearing your calendar to come sit with me and just be with me and hold my hand in the days and weeks after my mom died. It has looked like sending cards and care packages to my aunt to let her know you’re thinking of her as she undergoes yet more chemo. It has looked like willingness to drop everything and come be with me or at a minimum send things or make arrangements to take care of anything I needed as I was swallowed up in grief. It has looked like countless prayers, handwritten notes, and handmade cards, and road trip lunch dates.  It has looked like cooking meals for your husband’s ex-wife’s sister. It has looked like being willing to help your ex-wife’s sister with whatever she needs. It has looked like offering to help your ex-wife and her sister so your daughter wouldn’t worry so much.  It has looked like a new car so I can travel safely to take care of whatever it is that needs taken care of. And it has looked like supporting me while I try to take care of those things.  It has looked like loving me through panic attacks and anxiety. Sometimes relentless, aggravating, making you beat your head on the wall anxiety. For me and people dealing with me. It has looked like sitting with me after my aunt’s chemo while I’m freaking out and worried. It has looked like hiding pain, and nausea, and cancer fears. It has looked like showing up in a T-Rex costume for breakfast at our favorite breakfast spot. It has looked showering me with forgiveness and grace when I act like an a**. It has looked like bringing Johnstown to my wedding because you can take the girl out of Johnstown but you can't take Johnstown out of the girl.  It has looked like texting and checking in any time there is bad weather in my area, just to make sure I am ok.  It has looked like text messages when you know it's been a hard week or a hard day just to let me know you are there.  It has looked like Sunday family dinners, coffee dates, phone calls. It has looked like being adopted into families that I have known since I was a child, a teenager, a young adult, and even an adult, and being included in those families for weddings, graduations, anniversaries, family vacations and holidays.  It has looked like wagging tails, and pup kisses.  It has looked like driving north in the middle of winter in the snow, when you hate winter, but don't want me to travel by myself.  It has looked like card game tournaments.  It has looked like having the coffee ready and waiting when I come to visit.  It has looked like packing my lunch when I am in town for work.  It has looked like late night phone calls after bad break ups.  It has looked like showering all of us with gifts or little prizes even when you couldn’t afford it.  It has looked like calling me every hour on drives to PA and back to GA to find out where I am and to check on me.  It has looked like going along on photo shoots just to spend the day with me.  It has looked like encouraging me to follow my dreams and passions. It has looked like hanging my art work on the walls.  It has looked like watching out the door as I drive away.  It has looked like loving me enough to tell me hard truths that aren’t easy to hear.  It has looked like demanding that I be the best version of myself that I can be. It has looked like being nailed on a cross and dying for me.  This list…. It doesn’t even come close to covering all the ways I have been loved throughout my life.  I can’t even see the screen now because I am crying as I think about all the ways I am blessed.  My family.. oh how I love them.  Even when we disagree, even when it seems like we are disconnected from each other. My friends… oh how I know God has surely blessed me.  And of course, Jesus.  How I hope I am learning to love Him and to love like Him.    


Sometimes, the pictures I capture…. They aren’t of people.  Or of beautiful places or things.  Sometimes they are just random things, that wouldn’t mean anything to anyone else.  These are a few that capture what love looks like to me:

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tracy@lifehappensphotography.org (Life Happens Photography) blessed grateful thankful Thanksgiving https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/blog/2021/11/what-i-am-most-thankful-for Thu, 25 Nov 2021 16:22:20 GMT
What Can I Expect in a Portrait Session https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/blog/2021/10/what-can-i-expect-in-a-portrait-session DSC_0516DSC_0516

What can I expect in a Portrait Session? 

A photo session is more than just what happens the day of… And it doesn't matter if it's family or high school senior session or an engagement or wedding.  It is a process that can start weeks, (or in the case of weddings, months) prior.  The process also extends beyond the session itself, where I finalize edits, retouch, order and deliver your products.  There is a lot that goes into your session!! 

My goal is to create a personal, customized experience for my clients which starts with YOU.

Here is what the process looks like…and the very important part you play in getting the most from your session:

  1. Before the consultation:

          This is the fun part! Think about your style and what you are looking for from your session.  Are we doing serious headshots, a fun senior session, a sweet engagement session? From locations, to poses, to props, and wardrobe.The internet (and Pinterest) is a wealth of ideas and should be used as inspiration.  I focus on making this is YOUR session and it should be unique to you, not a re-creation.)

  1. The consultation:

          For me, this is where I start to get to know more about you.  Tell me about what you like, your hobbies, what makes you happy.  Talking about these things helps you relax and feel more comfortable with me and may also give me ideas of things/places to incorporate into our session.  It's also the beginning of, what I hope will be, a lasting relationship.  I never just want to be "a vendor".  But you also get to know me as well.  Ask me questions, look through my portfolio, and figure out what approach you’d like to see in your session. If you’ve found great inspiration in the previous step, bring it along. Think about how you want to use your images (wall art, albums, save the dates, etc.). Then we can refine what you want to convey through for your session and start thinking about what products will help achieve this! 

  1. Finalizing the Details:

          After determining a location, we will confirm a date and time, and based on those factors, finalize clothing, props and poses.

  1. The SHOOT!!!

          The day has finally arrived!!! I will take a few minutes to catch up and take a few test shots before we really get started.  Then.... Have fun!! Relax!! Trust me! If you do that, your photos will naturally look better!! If at any time, you are feeling awkward or nervous, we can take time to pause and work through that.  

     4a. Yes, there is some posing involved…yes, I know.  I can hear you groaning.  Yes, most people feel awkward and sometimes the poses feel awkward.  But as a professional, I understand how the camera “sees” is not the same as how we see and that helps me help you look your best for images you will love!  But I will help you feel more comfortable and confident during this process.  

     4b. I promise, we will have lots of fun in the process!

  1. Post Processing:

          I review each image carefully and select only those that meet my quality standards.  Then I will color correct your images, crop, check for highlights and shadows, and do a little retouching.  Retouching is done by hand, not presets or filters.  Then, I will post a few “best of the best” or “sneak peaks” to social media and/or my blog.

  1. The Preview and Ordering Session:

          We will schedule a time (typically during the consultation) for a date, approximately two weeks after the session, to oooh and ahhh over your beautiful images and order your custom products. (Payment is due at the time of the ordering session.I do offer payment arrangements but payment is required in full before product delivery.)

  1. Final delivery:

         Turnaround time for delivery is based on the specific products you order.  Once your final prints/products are delivered to me, they will be available for pick up and I will contact you to make arrangements for that.

  1. Now you get to enjoy your images! Whether you have chosen wall art or a custom album for your coffee table, you and your family will be able to enjoy them for years to come!!

 

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tracy@lifehappensphotography.org (Life Happens Photography) family portraits High school senior portrait photographer portrait session senior Photographer wedding photographer https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/blog/2021/10/what-can-i-expect-in-a-portrait-session Sun, 24 Oct 2021 17:25:16 GMT
Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear..... https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/blog/2020/12/objects-in-the-mirror-are-closer-than-they-appear IMG_4441Rearview Mirror (2)IMG_4441Rearview Mirror (2) Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear… I know 2020 has not looked at all like many of us expected or hoped. We have seen everything from a few bumps and bruises, to joyous celebrations of love, to life altering, heartbreaking tragedies and everything in between. There’s nothing like 12 hours of open road (sometimes filled with music and the windows rolled down) to induce lots of reflection and prayer. 
It’s OK to look in the rearview mirror and take stock, to reflect, and make note of the things you want to change or things you want to be different…
The key is to keep moving forward.  I pray for your hearts, your trials, your joys, and your triumphs. And I’m praying 2021 is kinder to us all. 

I know there are moments that are far behind that still seem so very close and moments that are so close but yet feel so far away.  I pray we just keep moving forward, keep trying to be the best versions of ourselves.  
This year feels like I have not been the best version of myself that I can or would like to be.  It's been full of challenges and heartaches, professionally and personally.  It has been full of disappointments, cancellations, confusion, depression, and simple frustration.  Businesses have suffered, including my own.  Fortunately, I was able to supplement my income when others were not so lucky.  Personally, 2020 has been the year I lost my mom.  It could have happened at any time but it happened during an already trying year.  As I get further and further from the actual day, it seems surreal to think that it happened 6 months ago, when, in some moments, the pain is so crushing I feel as though I can't breathe and it feels as though I'm reliving "the day".  I know others have lost loved ones, battled (and are battling) cancer, struggling financially, and faced a myriad of other difficulties.  

But this year, with its lowest of lows, has been met with some of the highest of highs.  I married the one my soul loves.  It was a lovely day.  Simple.  Beautiful.  A day on the beach surrounded by the most important people.  There were a few understandably absent, and they were missed oh so terribly.  But the weather was gorgeous.  He was handsome.  I felt beautiful, just like a princess.  This year saw other marriages, some lovely ones I was honored to have captured, including my the birth of many precious babies, my niece's second little girl, the grandbabies of friends.  There is a lot of ugliness in the world, so much pain, and hatred, and illness, disappointment.  But oh my heart, life is still beautiful.  Life still happens.  We get to live and breathe and love and choose how we respond to our situations and circumstances.  Some days, we are just surviving and that's ok.  But let's try to really live in 2021.  Let's take it all in.  Every breath.  Every moment.  

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tracy@lifehappensphotography.org (Life Happens Photography) 2020 Happy New Year photography senior portraits wedding photographer https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/blog/2020/12/objects-in-the-mirror-are-closer-than-they-appear Thu, 31 Dec 2020 19:50:38 GMT
Milestone Mini Sessions https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/blog/2020/3/milestone-mini-sessions Hello everyone!  

As we all try to navigate these uncertain times.  I wanted to give a shout out to all of the young people who are missing out on big milestone events and celebrations.  I have heard about many cancelled events from proms, to graduations, and even sports photos.  

I wanted to come up with a way to help!

If your child, friend, family member, or even you have missed one of these milestones, I want to make sure you have portraits to look back on!  I know this doesn't make up for missing these things and actually living in that moment but I hope it will help.  

So when it is safe to do so, I will be offering FREE Milestone mini sessions with special pricing for packages and keepsakes.  I am here for you!  I know so many of you give so much to others and to your communities and I want to step up and give back.  I will be finalizing details, to include donating a portion of any sales back into the community, as we navigate current events but I hope you will join me!  Please subscribe to this blog or contact me directly so I can keep you posted as details come together! 

We are stronger together!  Be safe.  Stay healthy.  Slow down.  Reconnect.  Enjoy this time with your loved ones.  Love one another. 

Warmly, 

Tracy

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tracy@lifehappensphotography.org (Life Happens Photography) graduate graduation high school senior milestones photography portrait prom senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/blog/2020/3/milestone-mini-sessions Sun, 22 Mar 2020 22:52:04 GMT
Life Happens https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/blog/2020/3/life-happens
Well.  Life truly does happen, doesn't it?!
 
I've been a little quiet on the Covid-19 issue as I've been trying to navigate things personally and professionally.  But I, like many of you, have concerns and worries.  As this is a nation wide issue, and should be taken seriously, I am currently not seeing clients for the immediate future in an attempt to do my part.  (I am still scheduling for later in the year and into next as appropriate). Safety first for my loved ones and yours.  I will be scheduling and posting openings for more current events once things return to whatever normal looks like.  Please bear with me as we are all in unchartered territory. 
 
I'm following the basics.... social distancing, washing my hands, and bought some food and snacks.  The "employees" are still getting fed.... puppy treats for the pups.  :) I'm avoiding crowds and going anywhere except outside for a walk or a run.
I'm trying to take time to breath and catch up from all the hustle and bustle that is the normal and focus on things that make me happy and bring joy to my soul. Music . Coffee on the deck in the morning.  Max the German Shepherd and Ella the Great Dane.  Spring flowers. Warm weather and sunshine. The list is endless. I've added to my New Year's Eve jar just this week. (Other people call it other things.. the gratitude jar, happy jar, thankful jar. I call mine the New Year's Eve jar because I save them all and read them on New Year's Eve to remember the happy moments and blessings from the year.)
 
This is a tough time for everyone. No one knows what to expect. Normally very active and social people are feeling trapped at home. Parents are trying to help their kiddos with school work. (Flashbacks to high school algebra still give me panic attacks.) People are worried about their older parents. (My mom and aunt, as well as other family members, have cancer... I'm a little more worried about her than normal.) Parents are worried about their littles... especially those who are medically fragile. Small business owners are worried about how to support themselves, their families, and their employees.
 
Please be kind to one another.  Stay away from people; those you like and even those you don't. Call your grandparents but don't go and visit. People have loved ones who could be affected even if you and I aren't.  Don't hoard.  There are grandmas and grandpas and parents with sick littles that need stuff too.  I don't know if we are over reacting or not but I'd rather be safe than sorry... Send notes to people who make a difference to you, people who lift you up and encourage you. Check in on the lonely. Support one another including small businesses when you can. Most of all, pray for one another.
 
Let's help each other through this.  We are stronger together.  Life is still beautiful. 
 
Here are a few resources as you navigate things for you and your family:
 
Corona Virus Outbreak Resources:
 
CDC - Center for Disease Control - 1-800-232-4636
DPH - Georgia Department of Public Health - 1-866-782-4584
WHO - World Health Organization - 1-202-974-3000
 
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tracy@lifehappensphotography.org (Life Happens Photography) Covid-19 life happens portrait photography wedding photography https://www.lifehappensphotography.org/blog/2020/3/life-happens Thu, 19 Mar 2020 20:00:06 GMT