The Harry Potter-Themed VP Campaign

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I know, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been back to share some of what’s going on with my family and with my photography! Things have been a little busy around here, and truth be told, that’s a good thing.

I’m jumping back in to sharing with a few personal images that I thought would be fun and hopefully a little inspiring for your children. My Sweet Caroline is amazing, intelligent, funny, and talented. That said, she’s also *very* shy. I guess I should say that she has been very shy…over the course of the last two to three years, I’ve seen this child blossom in front of my very eyes. She’s been trying new things (karate, karate tournaments, school dances, joining school clubs, etc), and she’s learning to excel in all of them. Not to say she started out amazing in these things, and I dare say she may never actually “dance” for you or anyone else. Ever. But…she went to a dance, twice. THAT’S HUGE, PEOPLE! Here’s proof! Two of these are social butterflies that I am so thankful are in my daughter’s life!

Well, the new school year started, and with that came every Mother’s fear of the dreaded years in “middle school.” Let’s be honest, I know of no one who thought those years were great. But, as with most things with a blanket statement like that, my kid has proven otherwise. She came home from her first day at Brink Jr. High and she said she “LOVED IT!” She commented that she loves the freedom that comes from her teachers instilling more independent procedures for them, that the teachers talk to them like they aren’t small children, and that they are actually challenging her. It may help that she’s chosen (on her own…because this Mommy is still a little nervous about pushing her too hard at this level) all Pre-AP courses, and one course that even already counts for high school (Pre AP Algebra I). Y’all, it’s crazy hearing the teacher say in orientation that we need to know that this is High School level work and expectations. She’s still my BABY! Right? Okay, so maybe not, but in my heart she is, and the last thing I want to do is put too much pressure on her – in 7th Grade. But my Bug welcomed it. And though it has proven challenging (YAY!! She’s actually *truly* LEARNING new concepts for the first time since being in Oklahoma) she’s enjoying it and hasn’t wanted to back out of any of it.

When my historically *shy* child came to me telling (not asking) me that she was going to run and campaign for Vice President (the highest she can run for in this school at her grade level) I was a bit shocked. And proud. VERY PROUD. I understand the difficulty it is for her to be up in front of people (most of us have that fear…but for her, multiply that by like a zillion), and she knew she’d have to give a campaign speech – in front of her classmates. Remember, she’s a military kid – she moves around and has only been here for two years. I imagined some of the kids being here their whole lives and feeling more comfortable with being in front of their friends (though, it’s a huge school for anyone!). Anyways, she and I brainstormed things that she could do her campaign around, and there are a few things in this world she LOVES. 1) Reading 2) Reading Harry Potter 3) Reading. And if there’s a fourth, maybe watching Harry Potter. Soooooo, as someone who isn’t *as* in to all of the HP fanatical stuff, I asked if there were things that she could build a campaign around. She immediately came up with a few slogans, and then after hanging out with one of her closest friends, they came up with all of the ideas for her posters and all of the slogans, and even part of her speech!!! She was really excited. A few days later, with the help of two friends, she got her posters finished, her posters put up in the school, and her speech was given. And, I did some praying. I did a lot of praying. Is that silly?

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I’d love to say that my little girl won the Vice Presidency, but alas, the democratic process spoke, and the candidate that was essentially pegged to win, won. He had a crazy awesome speech, and is very well known and liked by all (I was also informed that the cheerleaders would all vote for him…because he’s cute). We were pretty sure this would happen, but I didn’t know how my daughter would handle it. She did great – she congratulated him, and she was happy to know she’d still be in Student Council as a “Senator.” And that she saved her *good* ideas for being able to share them herself at meetings. That girl has a very level (and clever) head on her shoulders!!!

Here are some of the pictures that she took for her Harry Potter-Themed Campaign for Vice President. I couldn’t be more proud of her – and I am so excited to see where her life takes her! Oh! I should add that she was thrilled to find out that her ideas were completely original and not already on Pinterest!! Originality and creativity for the win!

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This one might be my favorite, though I really like the Sorting Hat one above, too!
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We also had a really good lesson on product placement during her campaign…

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This may not have been the best poster for this particular location 🙂
Am I the only one who thinks that?!

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Anyways, thank you ALL so much for reading this, and for those of you who cheered my girl on and who pray for her on a regular basis…thank you. I don’t have enough words, but she’s a huge blessing in my life, and I already know she is one to others too. She’s come so far, and each day I see more of her personality coming through. I know a lot of people struggle with their children having some issues or different-abilities…just as mine do. God has so much more in store for them and for all of us — we just have to trust Him and the path that he sets us on with our babies.

Blessings,

Shelby

 

 

 

By He{Art} – Inspirational Artist of the Week

By He{Art} – Inspirational Artist of the Week

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope everyone is enjoying this likely {cold & snowy??} weekend! We wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who joined By He{art} yesterday for our Fun Friday Inspiration post! Not only did we find some inspirational artists that had not been introduced to By He{art} yet, but we also decided we HAVE to recognize an amazing, talented, and inspirational artist who not only participated and named artists, but was also chosen by so many!!

Here are just a * few* words about Lindsey:

“You are THE ray of sunshine in this photography community!!!” – Nikki Smith

“Not only are her photos beautiful, her memories perfectly captured…but she is one of the KINDEST, SWEETEST people in the whole world. There aren’t enough “Lindsey’s” out there these days.” –Tammy Scirrotto

“She’s so kind. She has the warmest heart and is beautiful inside and out. She is quick to help others and encourage.” – Jennye Austin

If you haven’t started following Lindsey Bramlett of Lindsey Bramlett Photography, please, please head over there….right now! You will see that her images show a passion for light, use of shadows, special and every day moments…and her daughter. Her beautiful daughter is her heart, and you can see so much love in each frame. Coupled with gorgeous beach landscapes, it makes you wonder if there isn’t anything Lindsey doesn’t do wonderfully!

You’ll gain inspiration not only from Lindsey’s gorgeous images but also from her sweet heart. Always an inspiration to all of us in the photography community (and certainly everyone she comes into contact with!) her kindness shines, and she’ll encourage and uplift you daily. These are the tributes of a By He{artist}!! We are so thankful that this community is growing, and that y’all are helping to inspire and encourage others in the photography community….now head over to Lindsey’s page, send her lots of love, and this coming week…aspire to be a “Lindsey” and show love and kindness in all you do!

Oh, and since I started this post two weeks ago, I think, I also wanted to share that Lindsey has started a couple Facebook pages which definitely need a wider audience! The first is Focus on the Good, in which Lindsey shares articles, posts, images she and other photographers have taken…all to show the positive in the world, which, let’s be honest, we all need more focus on! The second, and her newest is Ray of Sunshine! Both are so, so perfect for representing what Lindsey is about! Ray of Sunshine is to help inspire and encourage photographers, without the fear of being put down or criticized. Photographers of all levels are encouraged to come and share – not for challenges or themes, but rather to help be a Ray of Sunshine to others!

Below are just a *few* images that Lindsey has inspired me personally with! Amazing talent in heart in this young lady!

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My By He{art} Family

My By He{art} Family

Have you ever just felt so moved by something, you had to just push all doubts and fears aside (at least in the moment you hit “enter”) and just jump in? Well…that’s sort of what has lead me where I am now. First, I’m thankful for all the jumping I did last year!! I am so humbled by the various features in numerous photography communities and even more so humbled by all of the sessions I’ve been able to capture this past year!

A few weeks ago, however, I jumped a bit differently. Probably a little awkward, and I stumbled a bit. And thankfully, I had a friend with me for the free fall! Recently, there has been a surge of photography communities start up, and though I appreciate being a part of those communities, none have made me feel more sure about about the group’s vision than By He{art}. Founded by the AH-MAZING artists, Jennifer Franzin and Holly Awwad, they have a vision to offer tips, competitions, advice & critique for aspiring photographers. Do you know how amazing that is? In an industry filled with competitors, these two lovely ladies want to help. They want to support and encourage other artists find their own style, learn new techniques, and create a place where artists feel welcome to share. As a member of this community, even before becoming a contributor, I was welcomed with open arms and didn’t feel continually overlooked. That’s not an easy feat with so many talented artists out there!

A bit about my new family…Jennifer Franzin is also the artist behind Pretty Pixels Photography. I’ve been admiring her work from afar (literally…she’s in Canada!)…each time an image of hers pops up, especially her gorgeous landscapes and nature scenes, I am envious of how she captures just the right light and gorgeous composition. And, it’s not often I can say this, but her images make me wish I was living up in Canada with all that beauty and snow! But chatting with her has been so wonderful. She is just as kind as she is talented, and watching her desire to help others grow is so inspiring.

Sweet Holly Awwad. Do you know how many times I’ve seen her images in my newsfeed, and my jaw just dropped?!! I can picture at least a dozen images (any more and she might think I’m insane), clear as day, that I am in love with of Holly’s! Sunlight, shadows, nature, children, composites…she conquers all. And so, so beautifully. She owns her style and you can feel the emotion in her captures. I may or may not have been a secret stalker before finally…finally pushing the send button to actually chat with her. Ummm…as if that wasn’t hard (and intimidating enough) she’s ridiculously kind and generous. She lifted me up when my spirits were really, really low about my work. I am still a bit in awe of how we can just chat now…though her images are gorgeous (really, go check!) her heart is somehow even more beautiful. She didn’t have to be that kind to me…really, she could’ve blown me off or told me “better luck next time”…but, she didn’t. She WANTED to go above and beyond to help me. That probably sold it for me…I had to ask.

Back to free-falling with my friend. So, last year, maybe around April?, I connected with an amazing photographer, and how it happened, I’m not totally sure, but I know a good part of it was her sweetness. She took the time to message me, (she didn’t have to!) and then…a friendship formed. It was actually through another photography community – one that I likely would have been too intimidated to post to without this type of real kindness! And now, she can’t get rid of me!! Ha! If you don’t know who I’m talking about, it’s the generous and seriously over-talented Nikki Smith of Nikki Smith Photography. The creativity in how she knows she can capture an image blows me away!! She can make ANYTHING look amazing. A simple light bulb becomes dazzling with her. A candy coated hand is a work of art. Give her the challenge to take a picture of toys or books…you’ll get so much more! No snow in Jacksonville…no problem for Nikki…she’ll just create it. I could go on and on…oh and I will. Beach scenes. Mesmerizing.

Back to By He{art}…a connection was made, I jumped in heart in hand, hit enter, and somehow, Nikki and I are By He{art} Family Members…and we are so, so blessed! Jenn & Holly are so uplifting, and spared no detail in rolling us out to the community in style! We are so excited! Here are a few images from our official rollout teasers!!

It was a 6 day teaser stretch, and I loved it!

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And this was our Big Reveal…January 13th…I had to screen shoot it so I got the sweet words too!! I LOVE how our images look together!! I’m so, so thankful and blessed to be a part of this amazing photography community, and even more so blessed by these friendships!

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Now, have you been to By He{art} yet?!! If not, here’s a link. Go, like, share…and enjoy this amazing community of encouraging and inspirational artists!
By He{Art}

And if you aren’t on Facebook, no worries, you aren’t missing too much (well…maybe) — but we still have a link for you!
https://byheartphotographyblog.wordpress.com

Sweet Baby {J} – Newborn

Sweet Baby {J} – Newborn

Oh my goodness. First, I’m not certain there is a sweeter family out there! I am so thankful to have met this gorgeous Mommy and her handsome boys through a referral from another amazing family and client! I can honestly say I have the best clients (now friends!!) and I’m so grateful that I get to be the one to capture these priceless memories for them! What a blessing. I was welcomed into this sweet family’s home, and I was very impressed with how well they had this sweet little guy’s schedule down perfectly! I always knew how much time I would have to get certain shots and when we needed to break, which was awesome. I loved that Dad was involved and happy to be loving on his sweet son just as much as mom, and that you can see it in his face. It’s such a beautiful time, and I love knowing that these parents are soaking in every second!

We had to incorporate some soccer…

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THAT FACE!!! Oh my goodness…he’s adorable! Which reminds me, I need to visit this little guy soon!

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Now, I’m not saying you “can’t” capture these without a professional photographer, but I do think that these precious detailed captures with Mom are worth considering hiring one…just sayin’. And by the look of his sweet face, I think Baby {J} agrees with me!

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I try to remind my clients to have something to “size” baby with…for 3, 6, 9 and 12 month pictures, but then yearly. It’s always a precious memory – believe it or not, after 9 … oh, 10 (TEN) years of Motherhood (this week…my oldest turned 10!)  you forget a bit how little they really were. And although I would LOVE to do these milestone images for your families, what’s most important is that they get done. Even in the crib with a quick cell picture (although I slightly cringe at saying that!)…it’s better to do a few a year than not to have them! But really…I don’t mind doing these too. Because cell phone pictures as priceless memories really just don’t do the memories justice!

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For the love. Look at this gorgeous family!

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Someone knows he’s loved, but Daddy and Grandma, too!

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I may have done a few more images than usual in this blog post…but seriously. Look at that face! I couldn’t help myself!

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Thank you so much, M, C and J for letting me capture these first images of your beautiful family together, in your home. I’ll always treasure that time with you, and I hope you do as well!

HUGS!