Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Winner and top 9 {Golden light}

WOW, what an amazing week of images. Those who know me, know I am such a sucker for backlighting, for light period. I just love light. So much golden goodness on my page this week. I don't know how Cynthia chose only 10. Each week we will have one winning image and a top 9 feature. The winning image will grace our cover photo for the week until the next weeks image is chosen. Lets see who Cynthia chose as winner. 

winning image...

"So hard to pick!!! I love this one by Photographs by Jennifer. The light and shadows seem to just float across the frame in the most beautiful way. I love how she captured this sweet childhood moment." ~Cynthia 

Top 9 in no particular order...

Congrats all. Please join us this week for the theme {Why not} with guest judge Hobbs Photography. Thank you. Until next time, XOXO! ~Amber 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Think, Process, Visualize...

I am huge on soul searching. If you really want to find who you are as an artist and as a person in general do some serious digging deep into your soul. Emotions are going to help you define who you are. 

3 things I always tell people when I suggest that they soul search to find them is to think, Process and visualize. 

1. Think

Think about what you like. Dig deep and find those emotions, Find those feelings. When you are looking at others images, what type of style's "speak to you?" What type of styles give you goosebumps? What makes you feel those emotions so deep that you can feel those images? When you can feel it, it's most likely not only amazing art but art that you love and styles you love. Looking at others amazing work is not going to make you be like them. I will talk about that in a bit. It actually will help to define who you are and make you realize what you like and don't like. So think about all of this. You want to feel your emotions. 

2. Process

After you think about all those things to find what styles and genres you love the most. Now, Process it. What about those styles make you feel the way you feel. There's distinct things that make my soul sing. You will find it to. For example, Detailed, Soulful images that I can look at and know exactly what is going on and feel like I am there, and feel emotions from these images, And say exactly why I love those kinds of images. Those are the kinds of images I love and that is why I love them. I love to feel images. There are all kinds of great images. But I want to feel from them. I want to say WOW, that is some deep work. I am not into big cheesy smiles. I like to feel deep emotion in my work. I like to feel from my models. When they are looking at the camera just smiling. That doesn't make me feel deep emotion. That to me, isn't real. Real, raw emotion is where it is at for me. You need to find out things like that that you do and don't like. It took a while for me to find it. But I did after doing exactly what I am sharing with you today. Process these emotions to find out exactly why and what it is you like about them. 

3. Visualize

Now that you know what makes your heart sing and know exactly why it makes you feel these things. Now visualize them. After you feel these emotions and know exactly what you are looking for, visions will just start coming to you. This is when you can really pick up your camera and know exactly what it is you are going for. You won't even need to really think. It will just come to you. You will just start seeing amazing images in your head every time you look at someone or something. This will also in return help your models when you know exactly what it is you like and need to go after. Don't be afraid to chase down those feelings. Vision what you want and make it happen. Make it come to life. This is when your work will start coming together seamlessly. This is when your followers will start to say wow, I can feel your work, wow, I know your images right when I see them before I even see the name, or wow, I can feel what you are feeling.

Don't worry about others trying to be like you. No matter what, when it comes down to it. We all think differently, We all process differently and we all visualize differently. We all see things differently. That is why there are so many different styles out there. The way we all process emotion is very different. Also we all like things for different reasons. You may like soulful work for one reason and someone else will like it for a different reason. So if you put both of your images together that are shot same person, same pose, same everything. They will show different things. We all edit different as well. So just be yourself and worry about finding your inner self. It will really help you on this journey. Don't be afraid of emotion. It is an amazing thing. Don't hide from what you feel. Work with it and make beautiful art from it. 

I really hope this can help some of you along the way in your journey. It took me a bit to put my emotions and visions out there in fear. But we can't be like that. We have to focus on us and what makes us happy. We will never please everyone. So we must please ourselves. BE YOU, Create from your heart. Thank you for reading. Until next time, XOXO! ~Amber

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Winner and top 9 {Weather}

Thank you all for the continuing support and participation. Each week there will be one winning image and a top 9 feature. Lets see the winning image.

Winning image...

"I chose this image because well, its amazing. Perfect for the theme weather. I love the negative space and the tones. The composition is perfect. I just all in all love everything about it." ~Amber 

Top 9 in no particular order...

Congrats all. Please join us this week for the theme "Golden light" with guest judge Cynthia Dawson Photography. Thank you! Until next time, XOXO! ~Amber 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Winner and top 9 {Dance}

WOW, what a great theme. I loved seeing all the images come in this week. So much fun. Each week there will be one winning image and a top 9 feature. The winning image will grace our cover photo for the week until the next weeks winner is chosen. Lets see who Candice chose as winning image.

Winning image...

"This image is stunning. I feel like I'm on my way to the circus and I'm watching the performers get ready for the snow. I love the colors and the wide and;e of the shot. Perfect exposed and just all around beautiful." ~Candice

Top 9 in n o particular order...

Congrats all. A huge thank you to Candice of The Blissful Maven for guest judging. Please join us for this weeks theme {Weather.} Post up to two images right to my page here Reflections for chance at winning image or top 9 feature. Thank you. Until next time, XOXO! ~Amber

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Winner and top 9 {Motherhood}

WOW, what a fantastic week of images. I can tell you first hand that Melina had a hard time choosing only 10. I didn't know hat ones to share through the week. I wanted to share them all. YOU ALL ROCK! Each week there will be one winning image and a top 9 feature. The winning image will grace our cover photo for the week until the next weeks winner is chosen. A big thank you to Melina Nastazia Photography for guest judging. Lets move on and see who Melina chose as winning image. 

winning image...

"I love this image because it is so simple and minimalistic, yet so powerful in its storytelling detail. I love the light, the fantastic leading lines and sense of depth. Most of all I love how it communicates the love, responsibility and comfort of motherhood and I can almost hear my own daughters voices preceding my own frantic search for favorite lovies right before bedtime kisses." ~Melina

Top 9 in no particular order...

Moments by Madril

Sarah Faith Hodges

Congrats all. Please join us this week for the theme "Dance" with guest judge Candice of The Blissful Maven. Post up to two images right to my wall here at reflections Reflections for chance at winning image or top 9 feature. Thank you. Until next time, XOXO! ~Amber 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Stay at home moms do nothing all day?

Ok, bare with me this is going to be a long one. I was browsing the web and I came across a debate. A debate that is sure to get most stay at home mamas in a rage. I was reading through the comments and each comment got more and more heated. The topic at hand... Stay at home moms do nothing all day....... Say WHAT. ok let me break it down for you. 

5:30 6:00 rolls around I am so tired from not going to bed till 2 or 3 am from finishing all the things I needed to get done after my kids were FINALLY settled in bed last night. But my 9, 8, 6 and 2 year old are early birds and love to get up at the crack of dawn and run around playing tag and pretend they are singing in a sunrise choir. As I lay there almost in tears because I cant believe its time to get up already. What do you mean its time to get up I just went to bed. But remember I had no choice to stay up late last night. We will get to that in a bit. I now have to find everything in me to make myself get out of bed to start another never ending day....

Ok, I am up. sort of. I put the coffee on that takes me 10 minutes to get ready because I have kids jumping up in every cabinet after food. No, I don't want that. No, I don't want that either mama. I want this. No you cant have junk food in the morning. Hang on let me make my coffee. As I turn around to grab my coffee can I see my son in the freezer grabbing ice cream. No, you cant have ice cream in the morning. I put it back in the freezer, drag the kitchen chair back that he dragged over to get up in the freezer. To turn around and see my other son spooning spoon fulls of sugar onto his cereal. As I grab that away from him and get him a "real" bowl of cereal that won't put him into shock from so much sugar, I turn around to now see my 2 year old dumping out the bag of popcorn seeds from the empty bag my hubby left out the night before. 

I now have to walk away and take a deep breath so I don't lose my shit. Remember, I still didn't get a chance to make my coffee. I take a breather, come back and try to finish making my coffee. MOM, I am still hungry. ok I will make eggs. I go into the fridge to grab the eggs only to open them to see them all broken. My 2 year old must have broke them all during all that chaos 15 minutes earlier. sigh, there's no more eggs guys. Want toast? I go to grab the bread only to find it all moldy because my kids hardly ever use it. We aren't big bread eaters. But thought it would be a quick easy fix since all the eggs were broken. Nope, can't have toast either. How about some oatmeal, apples or oh theres still donuts in there too, want that? 

We finally get some food in their bellies. Ok, can I finish making my coffee now? Go get dressed for school kids. I once again try to finish my coffee after I sit there for a minute not believing all that just happened and looking around at the mess. It looks like a tornado came through and we just got up. How is the house this messy already. ok, COFFEE

MOM, I can't find underwear (Austin) MOM, I can't find socks (Pauli) MOM, Can you help me find another shirt I dont want to wear this one (Hannah.) 

Me: Socks and underwear are downstairs in the dryer (that I stayed up all night doing, remember we will get to that later) and yes Hannah, hang on have to go grab the laundry. (still havent made coffe yet.)

Here are you socks, here are you underwear, Hannah lets go find a shirt. you want this one? That will look pretty with those pants. No, that one fits funny. Ok, how about this one. Its mommy's favorite one. No, that one is too big. Ok, this one? how about this one? oh here wear this one. No mom I don't like those. ok Hannah. Why do you ask me for help if you don't like any of the things I give you? You pick. I am going to make my coffee. 

As I am walking out to finish my coffee. I see my Austin walk out. Mom, I am dressed. I shake my head. Austin, you are not going to school looking like that. He has a shirt on that looks like its been through 25 generations and has last nights spaghetti on it. His jeans are too small they look about maybe 3 sizes too small. is he waiting for a flood? Come on Austin you have all those new close WHY do you choose to wear old ratty stuff. Lets go get you changed. (still have not made my coffee yet.)

Everyone is dressed, everyone is fed. Lets go wait for the bus. Outside waiting for the bus and they are all fighting and screaming. Mom, he won't stop pushing me. MOM, tell him to stop. MOM he kicked me. MOM Austin is tearing siding off the house. MOM, I stepped in dog pooh. Great, go wash your shoe you are going to miss the bus.

MOM, you didn't sign my paper. The paper I was suppose to sign last night and forgot through all THAT chaos. ok give me the paper. HURRY the bus is coming. I can't find it mom. GO GO look on my desk. HURRY, you are going to miss the bus. Here it is mom. Pauli what is this. It is a paper you have to sign for instruments. No, Pauli I only have to sign this if I don't want you to play instruments. Almost missed the bus over that. oh crap. HANNAH, bus is here did you wash the dog pooh off. sigh. just get on the bus. 

NOW, I can go finish making my coffee. ok, coffee is on. I gab a cup and put it under the pot to fill it because I just cant wait for the whole thing to brew. Did all that REALLY just happen all before 8 am. Let me drink this coffee is pure bliss for a minute. Oh, I have a 2 year old. I can't 

Now I get to play 30 questions with my 2 year old and try to figure out what he wants to eat. Try to get the house picked up from the tornado this morning, get laundry done, yes more laundry, get the dishes done, make beds, vacuum, take the dog out, feed the dog, wash floors from all the gunk spilled of them this morning. As I am trying to get all this done my two year old comes and gets me pointing at the dog pooh on the floor. Oh crap the dog had to go out. Take the dog out. Come back in get my 2 year old washed up and dressed. Get myself cleaned up. (that barely happens.) 

Its not only 10 oclock and I feel like Ive run 5 marathons, climbed a mountain and got hit by a truck. Let me sign online to check my messages because I try to run a business to make some kind of money or my family. Sign on to 135 notifications and 23 new messages. I just sit down to try and get back to some people and my 2 year old says oh no you aren't sitting down mama. Am I crazy to even think that. 2 year old is pointing at SOMETHING in the cabinets but I have no idea what it is. I don't even think he knows what he wants. so lets play 40 questions now. Dog is chewing on our shoes and my coffee is running low, VERY low. oh I still haven't gone tinkle. I go tinkle with a dog's front legs up on mine and a 2 year old trying to climb on my lap. I can't even go to the bathroom alone. 

 Everything is picked up now, living room is clean, beds are made, dishes are done. Laundry isn't done. I will do that in a minute. Its play time for Gavin (my 2 year old.) So all that cleaning I just did in the living room. Yea, lets mess it up again. Take all the toys out. Go make lunch. I still haven't eaten a thing yet. And probably won't because my day never ends. I don't get a break. But I have to cook for Gavin. He has to eat. 

I make lunch for Gavin. Go pick up the living room yet again. Vacuum the whole house again because the dog fur is ridiculous. Oh and I have to put all the laundry away that I did lat night. oh crap Pauli's doctors apt is today isn't it? It sure is. Now I have to run around and get ready for that apt I almost forgot. Pick him up at school and run to the doc apt. Shit, I am out of gas. Stop for gas. Darn it Gavin pooped, I have to change him. Finally get to the doc's. Now I feel like I have run 40 marathons, climbed 8 mountains and got hit by 4 trucks. And it is only 11:30. 

12:30 now on our way home from the docs and I have to stop to get some stamps to mail those bills out. I can't just run in remember I have 2 kids in the car. So I have to unstrap the baby and get him out. Both kids come in with me. I am trying to buy stamps at the post office and they are in to everything. Touching everything. Drop all the flyers all over the place. Now I have to pick those up. As I am picking those up. I smell a horrible smell. Are you kidding me. Gavin pooped again. Lets go change him. He is screaming because he is thirsty and out of juice. Oh well we will be home soon. oh yea lets drop Pauli back off to school. Its early enough.

WE ARE HOME. Wahooooo. Gavin can go down for a nap and I can get some stuff done. And maybe just maybe sit down for a minute. As I run around trying to pick up everything I had to leave earlier because I remember we had a doctors apt, I find Gavin's little stash of crushed crackers, grapes, raviolis, apples, ham and cheese sandwich and whatever else was mushed in there in between the couch cushions. I thought he was eating it earlier. Well, I thought wrong. Break the mini steam cleaner out because I can't just leave this mess here, it's disgusting. Time to clean, again. 

It is 2:30 now and Gavin finally falls asleep. OMG is he really sleeping. You mean I can actually maybe just maybe sit for a minute? I grab another cup of coffee from this mornings pot. Yea, that's right I am too exhausted to make another pot. I need coffee now. Go sit down at my desk and try to take a breather and maybe get back to some of my messages. Oh man this is pure bliss. Sitting in my desk chair with QUIET. This is the best. I have the life. 

BAM, door slams open. OMG kids are home from school ALREADY. Shhhhhhhh, your baby brother is sleeping. PLEASE please don't wake him. As they run through the house already screaming and fighting. Cabinet doors slamming because you know they are starving they never eat. Kids, I said please keep it down, your brother JUST fell asleep. SMASH, glass cup falls and shatters on the floor. Welp, baby is up. I am fighting back tears from being so exhausted and wanting a break. I feel like I just got them on the bus to go to school and they are already home fighting. WHERE did the day go. As my stinky unshowerd self starts to replay the morning and afternoon through my head choking back tears becaus you know, we are mom we have to stay strong. We got this. Its easy remember...... I do nothing all day......

Got the glass cleaned up. Lets start homework. 4 hours of homework easy. As I am juggling back and forth between my 4th and 3rd grader, helping each of them with their homework. With their common core homework that I have no idea how to help them with. This is nothing like how we learned it in school. But I do my best to get through it and help them. Homework is done. Wow, is it bath and shower time already. I have to make dinner. kids start your showers. I have to get dinner on. Hes first, no your are first, no she's first. JUST GET IN THE SHOWER, please someone. mom can I take a bath with Gavin. Sure, go ahead. I will be in to wash him up. 

MOM, its time to wash Gavin. Walk into the bathroom, no SWIM through the bathroom. They have so much water on the floor. Clean my way through it. Wash Gavin up. Take him out. Oh crap dinner. rice burnt to the bottom of the pan, water boiled out for the mac and cheese and the dog needs to be fed. mom. did you wash my favorite jammies? No I haven't had a chance to do laundry all day. 2 and half hours go by I finally fought all the kids into the shower. Somehow managed to get them fed. Another mess in the kitchen, sink full of dishes and another load of laundry. No matter what we do and how much laundry we wash. We always have another load at the end of the day. Where it comes from? That's beyond me.

Time for bed. I still have not eaten yet today. so I try to stuff something from dinner into my mouth before I collapse. I don't get to sit down and have a nice quiet dinner very often. IO eat on the go. Laundry needs to be washed and I have to still put away the laundry I washed last night. I am trying to get kids into bed but they think its funny to watch mom run in circles chasing them into their rooms. Finally get two bots tucked in to go into Hannah's room and tuck her in. Turn around and the boys are now out of bed again. I am thirsty. I need to go to the bathroom. Oh crap brush your teeth while you are there. Hannah get up brush your teeth.

Teeth are brushed, potty time over. Lets try this again. chase the boys around into their bedroom. Get them tucked in. Walk across the house to Hannah's bedroom. get her tucked in. Mom, the dog needs to go out and I think Gavin pooped. Boys are up again. mom I want a hug. I just gave you a hug and kiss. get to bed. You have to tuck me in. but I just tucked you in 2 times. Lets do this for a third time.  

Older kids are finally in bed. Gavin's turn. He thinks its funny every night to run around taking all the toys out, running into his brothers room, shutting his sisters door. She screams MOM Gavin shut the door, I am scared can you open it? I lay down with Gavin this time to get him to sleep. I will do what I have to do after he falls asleep. I am fighting to not fall asleep because I have things to do. But I only got 2 hours of sleep the night before and feel like I have now run 60 marathons, climbed 15 mountains and got hit by 12 trucks. And oh shit, I forgot to grocery shop. I will have to add that to my list tomorrow.

Gavin is asleep I peel myself off the couch and get up, throw laundry in, clean up the kitchen and try to sit down and get some work done for the business. Laundry is in, kitchen is clean, somewhat. Sit down at my desk to 100 more notifications and 30 more messages. 80 emails and 20 texts. damn it I forgot to pay bills. As I sit at my desk like a bobble head catching myself falling asleep Gavin is already awake. he wants a drink and needs a diaper. its now 11:00. I still have so much to do. Put Gavin back to sleep. Sit back down at my desk. BAM, I wake up pick my head up off my desk. yes, I sleep at my desk often. I don't mean to I am just so tired from my very easy life that I do nothing with all day. That I fall asleep not even knowing I am at my desk every night. What was that noise that just woke me up. Gavin's sippy cup/bottle fell off the couch and sounded like a bomb went off. he is awake again. Wants another drink. Oh yes, he needs a diaper too. Yes he is 2 years old and still does not sleep through the night. none of my kids did. It is now 1:30 a.m I am fighting to stay awake trying to get something done for the business. Oh yea, have to pay those bills, swap laundry and get kids stuff ready for the morning. 3:00 am I finally make myself lay down on something other than my desk. 

BAM, smash, scream... OMG it's that time again. kids are up. But I just went to bed. Lets start this all over again....

You see, it is not that I do nothing all day. I do nothing for MYSELF all day. I am a teacher, a cook, a taxi, a nurse, a counselor, a maid, a dog walker, dishwasher, waitress, hostess, a wife oh yea where IS my husband. I am so busy I don't ever see him. We never get to talk. And spend time together? Forget it. A photographer trying to run a business to help support this crazy but awesome family of mine. Everything I do, I do for my kids.

The point is, is nobody has it easy no matter what we do. Whether we are a stay at home mom, a work at home mom or a mom that goes to work everyday and comes home to do all this "easy" stuff. And let's not forget the dad's. being a parent is not easy. It is a 24 hour a day 7 days a week job. We don't get breaks, we don't get sick time, We can't call out of work sick. We don't get vacation time and we certainly don't get any free time. We are alway's over tired and trying to do the best we can. Stop comparing yourself to people and respect what all parents do. We all rock and we all have it hard. I know my life is crazy as hell but I wouldn't change it for the world. I may not have time do to anything for myself and I my not have a salary but I have the love of my children and I wouldn't change it for all the free time or showers in the world. And getting paid in kisses, hugs, giggles and laughs is far better than any salary in the world.

So lets change that sentence "Stay at home moms do nothing all day." To, "Stay at home moms do nothing all day, for themselves." All you mothers out there. You rock. Don't be too hard on yourselves. Just do the best you can...

Take it easy mom's. until next time, XOXO ~Amber