I’m always honored beyond words when someone asks me to take their pictures. There are so many talented photographers out there–when they choose me, it brings me such delight. To invite me into your delivery room to document one of life’s greatest miracles and most humbling moments–only after meeting me 1 time for 1 hour, floods me with so many emotions. I’m humbled and honored to share in the miracle, and document the most transforming day of your life.
I still get nervous before every session, wondering if I have it in me to make you comfortable in front of my camera. I worry I will run out of things to talk about and we’ll have that awkward silence that I will fill with nonsensical babble. Introvert woes. I fear that you won’t see the beauty that I see in you– we all have our weird hang-ups about ourselves. So I pray and I trust. It works out 90% of the time. Birth sessions are no different. You have no idea how long you will be there, and you hope that you have the words to encourage and relax an anxious mother-to-be.
I have been wanting to do a birth session for years, I just don’t have it in me to solicit pregnant women at the store to get one. So when Jolene contacted me and coined me her “photography twin,” I thought this could be my chance! After all, we have the same name! We would meet… giggle over the coincidence of a shared uncommon name– her backstory a bit more meaningful than mine. I’m just a Dolly Parton inspiration. I, being a labor expert (3 times with a total of 36 hours qualifies me, right?) was hopeful I could convince her into actually going through with this. Sharing her intimate space with a perfect stranger, photographing her enduring pain like she’s never experienced, ugly cries and all– maybe that’s just me. And while those are scary things, there’s incredible beauty in strength and courage. Fighting for life, delving into the depths of your being for energy to pull through the hardest thing you will ever face as a woman, granting you the most precious gift in the world. Jolene was all in, all we had to do was wait.
On July 7, at 6 am, she texted me saying her water broke at 5 am. I showed up at the hospital at 10 am. Little did we know we would be spending the next 18 hours together. We laughed, we cried, we watched Mountain Men on repeat 12 times, until baby Drew decided to grace the world with her darling presence at 2:16 a.m the following day. It was every bit as beautiful as I imagined. Worth every second of the 18 hour wait. Not being the one in labor gave me new perspective on the beauty of it all. Witnessing life happening is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. So this is a thank you to Jolene! Thank you for sharing “life” with me. Thank you for trusting me with your most meaningful day. You blessed me with such a miracle. Know that I came home and tucked in my 3 kids, and went to bed with the happiest heart. I thanked God for his beauty and magic of creation. I said a prayer and drifted off into the sweetest slumber. I’ve been on the newborn high since. Savor every second, because they fall away like stardust. You blink, and it’s over. Change is the only guarantee in life, that you can be sure of.
If you are pregnant and are interested in having me shoot your birth session (which would make my heart so HAPPY!) please email: email@example.com.
Turning one is such a special moment. You no longer count your child’s age in terms of months. Those milestones have slipped away. Each one celebrated and savored. The baby days birthing into toddlerdom. Where the world expands ever so slightly, starting with that first step. Happy First Birthday, Eileen- Korean and American style.
Dol or doljanchi is a Korean tradition that celebrates the first birthday of a baby. This ceremony blesses the child with a prosperous future and has taken on great significance in Korea. The birthday babies wear a hanbok and a traditional hat: a jobawi or gulle for baby girls.
The highlight of the dol is a ritual where the child is placed in front of a table of foods and objects such as string, brushes, ink and money. The child is then urged to pick up an object from the table. It is believed the one selected will foretell the child’s future. For example, if the child picks up a brush or book, he/she is destined to be smart. If he/she picks up money he/she will be wealthy; If he/she picks up food that means he/she will not be hungry. If the child picks up the thread, it is believed he/she will live a long life. The types of objects placed on the table for the baby to choose has evolved over time, as a reflection of society’s evolving perception of successful occupations.
Baby Eileen is destined to be a judge, she picked up a gavel. We celebrated her birthday at the Vrooman Mansion with her parents and grandparents.
If you would like to book me to photograph your special event, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the dedicated team at work:
Be sure to check out Mike’s Collision Center. Here’s what they have to say:
At Mike’s Collision Center, we understand that our industry has a stigma of negativity. That’s why we always make sure our customers feel comfortable during the whole process, ensuring their repairs are done efficiently and correctly.
When you are involved in a collision, a lot of concerns may be on your mind. Your car is damaged and you may be without transportation. You may wonder about your insurance coverage, what costs will be incurred, but the most prevailing question is “When will my life return to normal?” With these concerns resulting from one single incident, the focus at Mike’s Collision Center is not on your vehicle, but on you. Our primary goal is to honestly and professionally meet your needs even as we provide high-quality repair for your car.
Owners Mike and Stacy Mavec credit the success of their business to having a well-trained team that is committed to customer service at every stage. The goal of the team is to provide quality repair service and workmanship that is in line with industry standards. Mike’s Collision Center technicians understand that every car is a personal investment and use the finest materials, equipment and training available to return your vehicle to its pre-loss condition. Because automotive design and technology have advanced rapidly, Mike’s Collision Center technicians continuously update and improve the processes used as they adhere to the strict guidelines determined by the vehicle manufacturer to ensure that your car is restored correctly.
Owner Mike Mavec’s interest in the collision repair industry was sparked by chance when he began working between high school and college as a detailer. Mike’s ability to work with and motivate people helped him earn a promotion to a production manager position. By 1994, Mike was ready to expand into a new venue, and he and a partner opened a facility in Bloomington, Illinois. The growth and development of the facility helped Mike establish a connection to the Bloomington-Normal community, where the business grew.
Mike used the partner venture to develop business relationships with community members. At the same time, he established a rapport with insurance professionals as being reputable and trustworthy. With a goal of providing customers with the best service and highest quality repairs possible, Mike realized and fulfilled the dream of building his own collision repair facility. Mike’s Collision Center was opened in January 2006, having been built with considerable attention to detail and the need for a professional approach in collision repair. The facility was designed and equipped to repair today’s vehicles correctly and efficiently. Mike wants to satisfy customers’ needs and get them back on their way without any additional anxiety. “My name’s on the building,” he says. “I’m always around to provide attentive and caring service with a personal touch.”
Our Commitment to the Environment
Mike’s Collision Center is going an extra step in its environmental awareness. Mike’s is the first and only facility in the region to convert its paint to a more environmentally friendly system, using waterborne paint. In addition to reducing the pollution emissions, the many side benefits to this conversion include improved color match capabilities with late model vehicles. Waterborne paint is more consistent in its application and the majority of automobile manufacturers have already made the switch to waterborne paint. There is no mandate, but according to owner Mike Mavec, “I feel the time is right for us to invest our money and efforts into something that will help everyone (even beyond our customer base).”
In addition to their genuine concern for your well-being and providing high-quality vehicle repair while maintaining manufacturer’s standards, the Mike’s Collision Center team is environmentally conscious. Mike’s participates in an aggressive recycling program, recycling everything that it can:
all sheet metal
plastic headlights and taillights
Our Dedication to Continuing Education
Ensuring that your vehicle is restored to the manufacturer’s specifications requires many hours of continuing education. Mike’s Collision Center is the only repair facility in the region to have achieved and maintained its designation as an I-Car Gold Class facility. To attain this level of certification, Gold Class professionals are dedicated to training their employees on the latest collision repair technology to help achieve a safe and complete repair. In addition to the facility being designated with an I-Car Gold ranking, technicians at Mike’s have been recognized for attaining I-Car Platinum individual certification for achieving a high level of individual technical training. Since 2006, Mike’s Collision Center has been committed to excellence in the automobile collision repair industry.
Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each others cups but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone. Even as the strings of a lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the Hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together, for the pillars of the temple stand apart. And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.- Gibran
Venue: Vrooman Mansion
Catering: Vrooman Mansion
Hair: Tim’s Outback Salon
Calligraphy: Larissa Wiegand
Flowers: Laura Wiegand
To see Part I, click here. For the engagement session, click here.