She's a happy, outgoing, boho kind of free spirit with an intense love for ballet. When she's not dancing, she has an artistic eye for interior design and makeup. She styled herself for the session and it was on point.
Shooting Marlayna's senior pictures was amazing. I've had the pleasure of working with her in the studio, and underwater. This was a great session taking her outside and capturing her personality with so much diversity in the landscape.
Dedication is foremost in her love of ballet. Ranking top ten in the World Ballet Competition and well as placing in other competitions around the country, Marlayna is one to watch. Her plans after graduation include joining Milwaukee Ballet 2.
Congratulations on your graduation!
Thanks to her mom for the behind the scenes shots!
I was booked again today with Meredith and Trish, my favorite designing duo to photograph an amazing reno in Evanston. We shot the better part of the house and the better part of the day. I had the chance to swing by a fellow photogs studio to say, "Hi," and then I met the girls out for dinner. We dined at Coastal Sushi, and it was delish. It was also right down the street from where I spent so much of my adolescence.
The Evanston School of Ballet is located on Central St in Evanston. It has been there too many years to count. Miss Kerry, the sweetest and most humble of ballet instructors taught me class after class in that building. I decided to take a short walk and pop in to see how it had changed. It's been nearly 20 years since I have been back. As I approached the studio, I was delighted to see the door propped open. They never had air conditioning, and you didn't need it. You were there to work and that just warmed you up a bit quicker. I walked into the humid entry and as I did, I saw her. Miss Kerry was still there. Looking nearly the same, plus a few years. Her hair still long and classically parted in the middle, pulled back neatly. She called out my name as I did hers and I was instantly filled with emotion. That old saying, "you can always go back home," suddenly had a whole new meaning. I peeked in on the studio, saw the peeling, painted tin ceiling. Nothing had changed. Unexpectedly, I was met with a few more familiar faces. David, the piano player came in.I remember him and his melodies well. Such a rush of memories and emotions came flooding in. Hesitantly, I said my goodbyes, not knowing when I may find myself back. I walked back to the car and proceeded to drive back home. Even the roads remembered me. I drove them so many times, day after day.
Then it hit me, a flood of emotion. I just started crying. Crying happy, emotional, tears. I had wandered back to a place that knew me, and that little nugget of identity filled me with emotion. I felt like "home" was always there, regardless of how far I had traveled from it. I suddenly realized the impact Miss Kerry had on my life and the deep respect I endured for her.
I sit here tonight, still emotional, thinking of the amazing people I have encountered throughout my journey and truly appreciating the impact they have had on me. I sit here tonight... humbled. Thank you.
Please pardon, my sunburn (from the underwater shoot two days ago, ouch) and my blurry photo. It's out of focus... but I love it anyway :)
That title has you thinking, huh. "Wow! This must've been a terrible couple of weeks!" I'm happy to report quite the opposite dear friends. Sometimes doors shut merely so that others open. I did lose two awfully big jobs this summer, and I was certainly riding out a lull, but I picked myself up, put on my happy face and shot some personal work. Admittedly, who doesn't like social interaction on media platforms? I was delighted to hear the positive feedback from my latest project... but then... a comment brought me to tears.
They were happy tears. To think that someone saw in my work what I felt creating it was magical. So to this person, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart thank you for your kind words.
Just recently, I was informed of some other amazing news. A goal I had set for myself, is completed. Facebook friends, you already know. A post will be coming soon,
Much Love <3
In an unexpected honor, I was recently elected to join the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Council. A nonprofit, international association with 28,000 members, PPA is ultimately governed by its members through such council representatives. PPA Councilors are professional photographers who volunteer their time and service to guide and act as the voice for their state's PPA members. They are nominated and elected by peers and fellow PPA members. Duties include discussing and voting on changes to the bylaws and adopted procedures and the leadership of the association (via the election of the board of directors and the nominating committee). They also play a crucial role in sharing the PPA message to existing, new and prospective PPA members.
About PPAProfessional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international nonprofit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA’s roots date back to 1869. It assists more than 28,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at PPA.com.
If you have ANY questions about this fantastic organization, I would be happy to chat with you. PPA is what got me where I am today, The national organization, coupled with our local PPA Affiliate (Professional Photographers Association of Northern Illinois) have been instrumental in my growth as a professional photographer.
Every year in April, the Professional Photographers of America join together to raise money for Operation Smile. They are an organization that provides surgery to children with cleft lips and pallets. It costs just $240 and takes 45 minutes to change a child's life forever. My studio joined in this year to host an event. We provided a mini sitting for a minimum $24 donation, and gifted a 5x7 to each person. It was a small event this year raising $380. I got started a little late and didn't have the opportunity to advertise as much as I would have like to, but I fully intend on participating again next year. I was one of only seven photographers in the state of Illinois participating, but it felt really good none the less. I am hoping to inspire more photographers to get involved. It was such a fun and energy filled day at the studio seeing everyones beautiful faces and helping out such a worthwhile cause. I have included some of the images form the event. Thank you to all who came out and supported the cause!
If you would like to sign up to be notified when the celebration of smiles date for 2018 is announced, please click through and leave your information. I will be sure to notify you!