Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Defining Moments

This is an image of a little table in our home, one of my favorite frames and images of our family
The photo in the stone frame is a print of an image that was taken by Life Prints by Tracie.
Visit Her Blog. Visit Her Facebook page.

Looking back now, I remember when I fell in love with photography.

It wasn't just one moment though...
It was a number of instances that made me really understand
 just how precious a simple photograph could be in our lives.

I had always enjoyed looking at photos growing up, as a child.

I remember looking through those "vintage like" photos of my family, 
living on the other side of world, in the Philippines. 
Those prints gave me a very personal connection to family roots.
 To my cousins, aunts and uncles all across the world, 
many of whom I had never even met yet.
Those are prints to be cherished for the rest of our lives,
and passed down from generation to generation.

I enjoy exploring the old images of our parents.
First as children, and then, as a young couple, newly wedded and and deeply in love.
The clothes, the hair, the backdrop... every detail tells a special story.

My sister and I would laugh until we cried,
and sometimes cried until we laughed as we poured over the photos of the two of us as children...
Our bad perms, 80's hair styles, wild childhood birthday parties, and crazy outfits.
 Priceless memories, indeed!

When I visit my folks in Virginia, I love to get the photo albums out
and sometimes I spend hours looking at the pictures.
Looking at them brings back memories far forgotten, of a time long gone.

My love for photography and imagery goes way back.

Other than the cheap disposable ones,
I never owned my own camera until the Christmas after my firstborn daughter arrived.
It was December 25, 2005.
A gift from my wonderful mother-in-law and father-in-law.
The best gift I could have been given that year.
It was a little Kodak EasyShare digital.
To me, it was the best camera in the world. 

I literally used that Kodak until the buttons fell off... No joke!
That camera captured my kids first steps, their first smiles,
 their first haircuts, and many bubble baths, birthdays, and boo boos!

Lord knows that camera was my baby.
 I took it everywhere I went!

But when it came to discovering my gift and my purpose,
this was the real defining moment for me...

One day I met a wonderful lady who would eventually become our family photographer,
 She had given me a business card and I went home and looked up her website on the Internet.
I fell in love with her work and immediately put her business card on our fridge.
It took us nearly a year to save the money for our family session with her,
 but it was worth every penny.
And it wasn't that her prices were high, they were very reasonable...
we were just really "broke"!
The value of capturing a moment in time is worth far more than just a few bucks.

We did finally book that session with Life Prints and
we had so much fun during our shoot that we couldn't wait to see the pictures.

A few weeks later, when I opened up our gallery on the laptop,
those images that Tracie captured, literally brought tears to my eyes.
I was very emotionally moved by those images, and I still am today!

Tracie captured images that can never be replaced or remade.
I value that kind of service and I will pay good money for high quality images like those.

She brought a new light to my love of photography.

I had an emotional and tangible passion that was stirred within me
as I sat there viewing those images that day!

I began shooting a lot on my little Kodak EasyShare
(this was before it was worn out completely)
and with this I began to develop a real passion for photography.

This was by no means a professional camera.
This camera was just about as "unprofessional" as it could have gotten.
But I used it to gain some perspective of lighting, composition,
and personal interaction with a subject, usually my kids.
My passion and my God given gift and purpose
was clearly defined during those "Kodak" days.

If you know anything about me, you know I am IN LOVE with my husband!
He is an amazing husband and father and
he's my rock!

A little over a year ago, my husband gave me the perfect birthday gift.
It was my first DSLR camera.
The Canon T2i was a perfect "starter" camera
 to carry me down the river of success in a flooded industry.

My husband is now learning to shoot with that camera as well.
He is a born winner, no matter to what he puts his hands.
Gah... I love that man!

A year later after learning the "ins and outs" of the T2i, my husband, once again,
by surprise, happily and enthusiastically upgraded my camera body to the

But rest assured, it's not about the camera, or the gear!
Nope. Anyone with a few  bucks can buy those things.
It's about discovering something inside of you that fulfills your purpose like nothing else.

Have you discovered your gift?
I remember asking God to please show me my purpose in life.
I prayed often for His guidance and leadership to show me how I could serve Him.
I wanted to serve Him and give back to Him for all He had done for me.
I knew that His love would never fail me,
and it was during this time that I discovered His purpose for my life.

Whatever our position in life,we are all given a book with blank pages.
Circumstance and fate do not write our story without our own hand.
We hold the pen. We write our story.
There are too many stories of unthinkable success,
too many who have overcome their circumstances
and there is just no excuse acceptable for not filling out the pages of our book.

What will your story tell?
Will you become who you were born to be?