Meet Kara, a warrior, a survivor, a giver of the best kind!
Kara answered my call to photograph her as part of our Survivor project to benefit AAMC. Her positive energy, beautiful smile and remarkable tenacity was amazing to witness!! Life gave her lemons and she made lemonade of the best kind. Kara started a beautiful non-profit, called, “Pinked Perspective.” Here is her story, in her own words. I encourage you to check out her links. If you know of anyone who is going through this journey, PLEASE consider reaching out to her to request the kit.
My Breast Cancer Journey:
Everything started for me just before my 34th birthday when I found a lump in my right breast. After a mammogram and Ultrasound, I was quickly but carefully taken through all the steps of diagnosis at AAMC’s Breast Center. Following those initial grueling days of diagnosis, treatment involved a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction using expanders and 18 weeks of chemo.
The Breast Cancer Kits:
Because of the love that was poured out on me and our family, as well as so much key practical information that was provided at what seemed like the perfect time through each step, I realized that I wanted to be one of those people that offered that same kind of love, support and practical guidance to others going through similar journeys. This was where the “Kit” idea started. I decided there were a few key things that someone going through the mastectomy should have so I put them together in one package. You can see again what is included in them in the link above. There is a form on the website to request a kit for someone, mastectomy or non-mastectomy. The kits are valued around $50 each and we appreciate the person requesting to sponsor the kit for their loved one but it is not absolutely necessary.
Think Pink Event:
Donation or sponsorship for kits is not absolutely necessary because of the generous donations made by so many during the month of October when we hold our main fundraiser called the Think Pink Family Fun Run/Walk. This year it is scheduled for Sat, October 28th at 8:30 am at the Severna Park Community Center~Holy Grounds. Registration for the event will be coming soon to the website. It is a free family event but we ask those attending to bring donations of items needed for the kits for the following year.
While my breast cancer journey was not something I would have chosen to walk through, I have tried never to question why it happened. It grew my faith and belief that we are all here to love and support one another through whatever hard hits us. There is certainly plenty of hard in this world but God is still faithful to walk with us through the hard. That is what I hope to share with anyone receiving the support of Pinked Perspective.
We are conducting fall family portrait sessions at our farmhouse in Davidsonville (greater Annapolis area) to support the Rebecca Fortney Breast Center at Anne Arundel Medical Center.
For a $100 donation to AAMC, you will receive a 15-20 portrait session at one of our many locations available to you and with your order you will receive 25 holiday cards as our way of saying, “thank you!” Create beautiful memories with your family that will be cherished for years to come and help a breast cancer survivor by supporting our local hospital!!
For more information, please click here!!
COMMUNITY OVER COMPETITION
shootout at the farmhouse
Davidsonville, Greater Annapolis area
Recently I hosted a shootout with two other photographers, Mina Habbi and Tamzin Smith at Visual Concepts Photography studio located in the Greater Annapolis area. We invited a makeup artist/hair stylist and 4 models. Our goal was to be creative and practice new ideas, learn from each other and reach deep down into our creative souls!! Four models, three photographers, all different looks, all different styles!! For me, it was an amazing experience because I learned to look at my outside portrait studio in a new light! There were areas where I had never thought to photograph, there were new poses that were contemporary and interesting but most of all, it was a genuine collaborative effort between the models and three photographers.
We started out on the southern front porch, made our way to the swing, the secret garden, the pond, the rustic shed and finally found ourselves at the barn photographing four beautiful women in gowns, all with their own unique gorgeous look.
At the end of the day, the 7 of us sat out on the front porch enjoying good food, drink and relaxing!! We started out as strangers and ended up as friends as the day started to unwind. It was an experience that I will always treasure as I cherish nothing more than having community over competition. We are all in it for passion. We all have our own talents. We all have so much to share and to learn. And the best part? Creating memories for people to last for generations to come!!!
Shootouts are a great way to collaborate, to share and to learn! I am really looking forward to the next one! If you are interested in participating, I would love to hear from you!
For more information on a dream shoot, click here!
TIMELESS EXPRESSIONS OF FAMILY
JUNE IS FAMILY MONTH AT VISUAL CONCEPTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Family portraits have an important role in building family history.
They are a gift you give yourself, your children and generations to come.
EXIST IN PORTRAITS FOR YOUR LOVED ONES
Outdoors is one of the most beautiful and visually exciting environments for photographing people, portraying the warmth and special bond between them. Capture and preserve the love, affection and expressions that are uniquely your family.
Come explore our gorgeous custom-designed gardens where we have a Secret Garden for little minds to explore, a pond with a waterfall where frogs are spotted and a resident rabbit who may just make an appearance. Our southern front porch with its white pillars make an outstanding setting for a very southern look with the added textures of white wicker and pots of blooming flowers. We have it all here from our loft studio nestled in our 100 year old farmhouse to our gardens to the use of our neighbor’s strawberry farm. What child doesn’t love a country setting with sheep, lambs at play and a coop full of chickens against the backdrop of a gorgeous red barn.
To view a video of our gardens, click on above collage and enjoy!!!
Portraits of family members play an important role in building a family. Portraits are a gift you give yourself, your children, and generations to come. They tell the world how much you value your loved ones, and they grow more precious as time goes by.
Please contact us for a complimentary consultation where we will review your portrait needs, go over our portfolio and investment guide and give you a tour of our loft studio and outdoor portrait gardens. Come see for yourself why so many of our clients become friends who return year after year. It’s all about the experience and creating beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.
TO BOOK YOUR SESSION TODAY, PLEASE CLICK HERE OR CALL 410 626 7474 TODAY!
2017 DESIGN TRENDS FOR YOUR SUMMER DECORATING AND HOME STAGING
by: Deborah Goode, A Goode Start Decorating and Home Staging
(written for the Capital Gazette)
Summers are a time of rest and relaxation. When you think of summer you conjure up images of relaxing beaches with crashing waves, walks through lush meadows filled with flowers and nights spent around the fire pit with family and friends. Summer is a time where can reconnect with our family out in nature.
The things described above are great for places to go and things to experience. But how can you create the same relaxing feel and comfort into your everyday living. Decorating for the summer is all about creating an escape, a soft and relaxed space that is casual and not too fussy. Here are some of the 2017 Design Trends that you can incorporate to create the perfect summer space.
Pantone announced Greenery (Pantone 15-0343) as the color of the year for 2017. It is a soft yellow-green color that feels fresh. It looks like sunlit grass in a vast landscape. The color of flourishing foliage and meadow grasses. It is a refreshing color that will pair well with bright yellows and neutrals. The color will work well in interior spaces as well as outdoor living spaces. “With summer’s arrival people naturally gravitate to the clean greens of the season. Verdant yellow-greens gain popularity and pair well with the popular grey toned neutrals of the past several years. Additionally many of the current fabric houses are introducing new lines that coordinate with Pantone’s “Greenery” (15-0340) color of the year making updating your decor a snap,” said Interior Designer Yaron Linett, owner of Formal Traditional.
Designing a room is like creating a work of art. Many different techniques and layers are used to create the finished product. The goal is to create something that looks effortless but is visually interesting. Texture plays such a big part in any kind of design. Our eyes and brains get bored easily, so to avoid having a flat look, it is essential to incorporate different elements of design into a space to keep the eyes moving from one side of the room to the other. This year, texture comes into play in every aspect of a space and design–from the wall covering to small nubs on a glass candle holders.
These glass candle holders, available at Pottery Barn, are the perfect way to add a little bit of texture and color to your table tops. But don’t stick with just one texture or style, mixing textures can create a visually stunning and interesting vignette.
Bringing nature into your design can spark a memory of your favorite destinations. If you prefer the beach, then add coral, shells and drift wood to your design. If you prefer the woods or mountains, then use leaves, foliage prints, or stone accessories.
This natural wooden stump, purchased at Pier One, can really bring nature into your space. It is a versatile piece that could be used as a stool for seating or as an accent table next to a comfy chair. If your space is more modern, then you can drastically change the feel of a natural element by finishing it with high gloss or metallic paint.
Weathered wood is a new look that is also becoming very popular in decorating, especially items that look like driftwood or natural wood that is old and weather beaten. This natural element can look great in a variety of styles and spaces.
In the tablescape pictured here (most items purchased at Pottery Barn),
you can see all of the design elements mentioned above being used together to create a cohesive look. Texture and natural materials, such as shells, can all be found in this example. Shells have been repurposed to create a plate charger and a starfish has been used as a napkin ring. The white plate includes a raised shell and starfish design around the rim which adds another element of texture. And lastly color, while the place setting is monochromatic, with mainly whites and accents of blue, the green color (Greenery) mentioned above is found in the flower arrangment. The small addition of the color really works to brighten up the vignette.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
(what I learned from my own mom)
Visual Concepts Photography Annapolis photographer
My mother, Marguerite, better known as “Maggie”
It’s around the corner; that special day set aside for Moms, to celebrate who she is and what she does for you. I’ve always enjoyed Mother’s Day with my own mom and knew how much it meant to her. In the days without Facebook, social media, the arrival of a Mother’s Day card via snail mail meant so much to my Mom and, of course, the expected long-distance phone call from all her children.
Years went by, I moved away and celebrating with my Mom on Mother’s Day became a thing of the past. But, we always talked on the phone and a card was always sent home to her. She was my rock. She knew how to make me feel better with her wicked sense of humor and she seemed to be able to take any problem I had and make me see that it was going to be OK.
The last time I saw my Mom, she was battling lung cancer. She wouldn’t let it get to her. While visiting her, I remember vividly when she took her laundry to the washing machine. Once a hearty, robust woman who had amazing strength, she could no longer lift the basket of laundry. Instead of asking for help, she tied a belt to the basket and dragged it along as she determinedly walked to the washing machine. My heart sank. In that very moment, I saw reality hit me in the face and then I saw sheer determination. I dare not ask to pick up the basket for her. She wasn’t going to give in. I think I smiled and cried at the same time. She, on the other hand, took it all in her stride as if it was something she always did all the time. No words were spoken between us. None were needed. I learned a lot from my mother in that moment.
My mother loved to dance; it was her passion and what she lived for. She was determined to take me dancing with her (I have two very large left feet!!). Someone took this photo.
It was the last photo taken of us together. It is framed and sitting on my bookshelf where I see it every single day. It is my most cherished photo. I love the way she is looking at me, her youngest child of 6. In spite of the fact she would only have 3 months left on this Earth, she was going to make the best of it. That’s my mom. That’s Maggie. Her glass was always half full. Ask anyone who knew her and they would say the same thing, “she had a joie-de-vivre about her that made you smile.” I am reminded of the song, “You are Amazing Just the Way You Are”, by Bruno Mars, “When you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while, because you are beautiful just the way you are!” And, she was beautiful, just the way she was.
So this Mother’s Day, honor the woman in your life, be it your mother, grandmother, step-mother, sister, aunt…whoever it is who inspires you, lifts you up and makes you feel that much better! As you can see, I only have ONE photograph of my mother and me. Me, a professional photographer!! Imagine that! My secret is out!! Exist in portraits for your loved ones for one day they will become your most valued possession!
Below is a video of a mother/daughter photo session that was done recently in my studio located in the Annapolis area. One day, these images will be these children’s most valued possession!!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to everyone out there. I especially applaud those who are not mothers but act as surrogates to those who are in need of mothers and I especially applaud those who are soon-to-be mothers. The best is yet to come!!!
I hope you had a wonderful Happy Easter! It’s been quite a week over here at the farmhouse leading up to Easter. It all started with a call to photograph my neighbor, Liz Hopkins of Mt. Airy Farm, for a local magazine. Up at 6 a.m. to catch the light! I am not a morning person but would do anything for Liz! I caught this image as I walked up to the barn.
Mt. Airy Farm is situated behind my house and I have the most glorious views of it all the time! I joke that it is indeed mine and I have the most wonderful people looking after it! One of the reasons I bought this old farmhouse was the view! But little did I realize I would get neighbors that you only dream about; ones that are always there for you, no matter what. You can’t put a price on that!
Liz had posted that one of the sheep had twins so it was time to photograph her and Jim (and Jack and Jill) for the article as well as some chickens and a photo of the barn itself. So this was the beginning of Holy Week! What a beginning it was to see two beautiful lambs enter the world. A couple of days later, Liz sent out another e-mail saying another sheep gave birth…triplets!!! I cannot wait to wander over and take photos of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus!! Stay posted on that one!!
Friday found me at Holy Family Church for the Passion. I am always moved by the Passion and its message. I am reminded of what the Bald Ballerina wrote on Easter Sunday:
Easter is one of my favorite holidays because nature so perfectly mirrors the religious celebration of the resurrection. I love seeing trees that appeared dead a few months ago suddenly burst into bloom. I love seeing leaves pushing through the bare earth followed by golden daffodil blossoms. Spring and Easter celebrate the rebirth of the spirit and the hope for a better future.
For people like me who are living with Metastatic Breast Cancer, every clear scan gives us hope that perhaps our cancer winter is ending and that the spring of remission has arrived. My philosophy was beautifully stated by designer Lilly Pulitzer:
“Despite the forecast, live like it’s Spring.”
Such a moving message from someone who is suffering from Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. I am hoping for a miracle for this beautiful girl who gives us so much in so many ways!
Saturday rolled around and as I prepped for my photo session with Paula, a beautiful woman who happens to be a ballerina, I could not help but reflect on what it is that I do; create beautiful images that empower women! In the interim, it is I who am empowered as my subjects inspire me and make me want to create beautiful images and to continue to learn and grow. My spirits soar; I am lifted to new heights and so grateful that I continue to do what I love to do best, be a photographer.
I woke up on Easter Sunday to the Ren Man’s breakfast…pancakes, sausages, topped with maple syrup and a pot of coffee all enjoyed on our front porch; country living at its best! Church is only a few minutes away so I delayed my trip to the last minute. What was I thinking? It took me nearly 20 minutes to get to 214!! However, it was worth the hassle. It was lovely seeing so many young families attend Mass. The children were all dressed in their finest clothes and the mothers looked beautiful. It rivaled anything you would see at the Royal gathering on Easter Sunday. But what would Mass be without a few children being ornery or the siblings elbowing and teasing each other? Mom’s stern reprimand and look was all it took. I chuckled to myself because it wasn’t long ago I was in a similar situation. Anyone knowing my boys when they were younger knows exactly what I mean. I wanted to hug the moms and say to them, “Enjoy the ride for one day they will be grown up and you will wonder to yourself, “when did this happen?”
After church, back to the farmhouse for a glass of sherry. It was a lovely indulgence. Quick lunch and garden work all afternoon, well, let’s say one hour for the writer. It’s exhausting but fulfilling. Our garden isn’t in top shape and needs a lot of TLC but we are getting there, bit by bit. I am loving the blooms of the Dogwood tree this year. I’ve not seen it so beautiful. My magnolia, however, bloomed too early and the frost killed all the buds but it’s foliage is filling in and soon it will be full!
Easter dinner by the Ren Man finished off the evening. Have you ever had Southern scalloped potatoes? So delicious! It’s fun to mix our heritages; Southern, Acadian, Cajun. One never knows what the Ren Man will serve up next!!
We rounded up the evening watching the very last inning of the the Nats game…that last inning was a nail biter. Did you see it? Game is tied; Harper is at bat, 2 men are out, he has 2 strikes, bases are loaded; it’s the bottom of the 9th. He delivers a home run!!! Does it get any better than that, folks? Just bring on the cracker jacks!!!!
Easter Monday Morning:
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Easter Monday morning delivered! Thank you, Jim for rousing this household so I could get out there to capture this gorgeous reminder that He has indeed Risen!
I wish you and your family a beautiful week! Make beautiful memories!!
MY MEETING WITH JESS
UPDATE: The blog below was posted on March 7. It is now April 12. I’ve had weekly sessions then bi-monthly sessions with Jess. I am happy to report that my sinus infections are gone and the tinnitus has diminished rapidly. I also have no more vestibular migraines. I have no side effects. Here are the added benefits to acupuncture
If you or anyone you know is contemplating acupuncture, I highly recommend Jess. She is very professional, takes time to get to know you and uses techniques that are specific to your case. It is always a pleasure to see her and to have her work her magic! Please tell her Linda recommended her!
Anyone who knows me knows that I suffer from sinus infections and tinnitus. It’s an ongoing battle, and one that can bring me to my knees. Well, the other day, I met Jess – an acupuncturist — at a recent networking event. She needed a headshot, and so we arranged to meet. When we did, I learned about her practice, and we talked about how she could help me. I decided to take the plunge and made an appointment to see her.
Jess had sent me all the paper work in advance so there was no filling out of forms before I could see her. (I really hate the usual forms process because I always feel like I have to hurry through it.) With the paperwork already done, she quickly escorted me into the treatment room, where we spent the better part of an hour reviewing my history.
I’ll admit, I was a little nervous at first, but when I was comfortably settled on Jess’s table, she proceeded to give me acupressure (a type of massage intended to stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanisms). It felt great! I started to relax. Next, she placed the needles in my head, hands and feet. I know what you’re probably thinking, but it’s not bad, folks. I would describe it as feeling only like little pin pricks.
For twenty minutes, I lay there with calming music washing over me. I have never felt so relaxed and so calm as during that time and afterwards. I quickly noticed that my sinuses had opened up, and I did not have the headache that I had brought in with me. My tinnitus also went down quite a few decibels. I began to feel like I had been on a month-long holiday.
If you are considering acupuncture as an alternative treatment, I would really suggest reaching out to Jess. She is informative, compassionate, and has good listening skills. She gets it! And, you will thank yourself for going! I invited Jess to send her bio so you can read first hand about her and her practice:
I’m Jess & I am committed to helping others restore balance, maintain health and enjoy a much greater quality of life. I am here to support you on your journey to improved health and well-being with Chinese medicine, acupuncture and compassionate care.
My path to oriental medicine came through my experience with massage & bodywork. For over 20 years I have been studying and practicing massage therapy, but it was when I discovered Shiatsu (acupressure) and started incorporating it into my bodywork sessions that I realized there was something very powerful about this Chinese Medicine that I was applying. I found that when I used acupressure in my deep tissue massage treatments the symptom relief my clients received increased and the positive effects were lasting longer. I then started practicing Shiatsu exclusively and continued to study other forms of Asian bodywork therapy. I recognized that becoming an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner was the natural next step for me.
I’ve cultivated a treatment style where I incorporate western and eastern bodywork/massage into my Acupuncture practice to create a remarkable healing experience. Relaxing & restorative, acupuncture combined with bodywork is the ultimate therapeutic treatment. I design each treatment around my patients’ needs at the time of care by integrating Asian bodywork therapy, trigger point therapy, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, heat therapy &/or aromatherapy into my acupuncture treatments, creating a truly unique and comprehensive fusion of care.
Holistic Healthcare Solutions for the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health
Contact me today to see if Acupuncture is covered by your insurance
Complimentary 15 minute consultations
Jessica Faulkner L.Ac., LMT | Acupuncture & Asian Bodywork Therapy
email@example.com | 410-562-2051 | 1298 Bay Dale Drive, Arnold MD 21012
I am all about photographing elegant portraiture for the mature woman, so you can imagine my surprise (and delight) when I saw this RECENT BLOG POST. It’s that good and so worthy of reading. Which tip resonates with you? I would love to hear from you!! For me, they ALL resonate with me especially her very last comment. I am in total and complete agreement, along with her first comment, of course!!!! Of course!!!!!
HOW TO MANAGE ANXIETY AND STRESS
SELF-CARE IN THE AGE OF ANXIETY:8 WAYS TO KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
by: Eviana Hartman for VOGUE
HOW TO MANAGE STRESS
1. Get back to nature
“Just go sit in a park for a few minutes with your phone off, or drive to the beach, or go for a walk or hike in the woods if you have access to that. It’s scientifically proven that you’ll feel a lot better.”
2.Don’t forget to breathe.
This advice isn’t new, but it is particularly relevant right now. Blades has lately taken to prescribing a basic breathing exercise, which takes just minutes, for busy clients: With the tip of the tongue resting on the tissue ridge behind your front teeth, inhale through the nose for a count of four. Then hold for a count of seven, and exhale through the mouth for a count of eight. Repeat for a total of four cycles. “They say it helps you fall asleep in one minute,” she says of the practice. “You can do it before you go to bed, or just for oxygenating the body. It’s so simple, and it rewires you.”
3.Self-indulgence is a form of activism . . .
“Sometimes self-care means that you bought this beautiful new body lotion, and it’s the process of opening the box and opening the jar and applying it, taking in the scent and the texture, and finding the beauty in that,” Blades says, noting that the right products feel good in more ways than one: “Make sure you know who made it, and support brands that are socially and environmentally conscious—most of those companies are women-owned. That is also an act of resistance. If you want to change things, shop differently.”
4. . . and so is DIY.
“It’s not always about the consuming. There’s plenty to work with in your pantry cabinet or fridge—treating yourself can be as simple as getting some sugar and some olive oil and mixing them up to make a body scrub, or mixing some raw organic honey with organic whole milk yogurt and making a mask for your face. Or heat up organic olive, sesame, or coconut oil—double-boil it so it doesn’t get too hot—and do a self-massage. It’s one of the most relaxing things you can do for your nervous system.”
5.Aromatherapy is therapy.
“This is a nice moment for adding essential oils to your life. They are a really potent, easy-to-travel-with self-care tool. They change your mood, relieve pain, wake you up. They’re antifungal and antiviral as well, if you’re going to clean with them or spray them in the air. Choose one, or a few, that make you feel relaxed—lavender, clary sage, and petitgrain are some nice ones—get a little spray bottle, fill it with distilled water, add a few drops, and you have a sleep or stress or travel spray.”
6.When it comes to your wellness plan, add, don’t subtract.
“All this talk about New Year’s resolutions and detox and cleansing—that rhetoric right now is too much for our hearts and minds to handle. I’m not saying binge only on fondue and brownies, but think about what is delicious, what is sensual—look at adding that in, rather than being like, ‘I’m so freaked out that I need to work out for an extra hour.’ Can you cook with friends for an hour instead? Or go see some art? Rather than depriving yourself, what amazing delicious roasted veggie soup can you make that is really nourishing and grounding? Look at adding things that make you feel good, rather than focusing on feeling like you’re toxic or bad.”
7.Let go of guilt—and embrace fun. “Something that’s really coming up with my clients recently is guilt around feeling good. It’s like, ‘oh my God, I went to a friend’s birthday party and ate cake and drank a glass of wine, and I’m sorry to the world.’ It’s feeling selfish for letting your mind not be totally focused on what’s going on. But the power of fun and the healing of fun, whatever that means for you, is so needed right now. Go see some friends and laugh together.”
And I will add one more: As a photographer, I see so many young mothers who are dealing with raising children, carpooling, schedules, timetables, meal planning,…etc. You know what I mean. It’s all about your family. Sometimes, you need to make it all about YOU!! I urge you to take time out for yourself and go to lunch with a girlfriend, go away for the weekend to recharge but most of all be selfish, if only for a day. You will find that taking a much-needed break if all you need to recharge. One of our genres at Visual Concepts Photography in Greater Annapolis area is to pamper you with a beautiful portrait session where you get to be a Vanity Fair model for the day. It is here that your makeup artist will pamper you and get that look that you always wanted; you will be treated to champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and you will have the photo session that you always dreamed about!! Take it one step further..have a Girls’ Day Out just for you. The best part? You will have gorgeous images of YOU that will be cherished by your family. You are their heartbeat, you are their center, you are their world!! Celebrate that by giving them images that will one day be so valued. For it is then that they will look at these images and say to their children..that is my mother, that is your beautiful grandmother. What better gift can you give, than the gift of portraits.
If you live in the Greater Annapolis area, we would love to hear from you. Check out our video and contact us HERE for your complimentary consultation. Prints start at $89, collections start at $1500 and wall portraits start at $600.