Prom Mini Sessions – April 26th

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Hey – Buena Juniors and Seniors. Are you going to Prom on April 26th? Yeah? Then listen to this!!

Prom is that special time of year where you run all over town looking for the perfect dress, get your hair and nails done, find the perfect tuxedo for your date and for what? One lousy, cheesy picture and a few blurry cell phone snaps?

Seriously, this is a night to remember, right? A night of magic and memories and a time to treasure.

Isn’t that memory worth more than one posed, stiff, B-O-R-I-N-G photograph and a bunch of dark, cell phone pictures?

That’s why Lily & Daisy Photography is offering you this awesomely spectacular opportunity!! Take a little time before prom in the beautiful afternoon sunset and come enjoy our Pre-Prom Mini Sessions!! Tell your friends. Hey, why not bring your friends?! Come with a date, your best friend or a group! We’ll take up to 6 people together at a time in a 10 minute mini-session. Then you go online and choose the photo you like, download it and keep your memories alive forever!! You’ll have at least 10 professional photos to choose from.

Starting at only $35!

So this is the deal: you get to choose your picture from about 10 different poses, you can download and print your favorite, post it on social media, send it to grandma – whatever – for the low, low price of only $35. You can even upgrade for even more savings and get ALL of your fun, one-of-a-kind images!

The best part – these pictures are FUN!

We only have a few Mini Sessions available so call or text us TODAY to hold your spot: (520) 249-5112

If you would like more information or if you’d like us to call you to reserve your session, please fill out the form below and we’d be happy to contact you!

Oh, Look. A Chicken. -or- If a Man Blogs in a Vacuum, Does He Make a Point?

DISCLAIMER: This is not my usual happy-happy blog about how much I love photography. I do. I love it beyond words. However, there are people out there who seek to destroy something I and others love. This is my one-time-only rail against their squishy, mixed up, PlayDoh machine of unrequested opinions.

BEGIN RANT:

I don’t know what’s in the air right now, but there’s a spirit of ugliness that I am beginning to find alarming. Help me out here, are people getting mean everywhere, or is meanness just blooming as the weather gets warmer here? There’s not doubting our world is crazy. We’ve got big drama: in Washington, this political party is trying to force that one to blink, a crazy dictator in Syria is killing his own people, and crazy people are acting strange everywhere.

We may have thought we were immune, but even here in our teeny-tiny little community there’s a spirit of ugliness. Yeah, we’re not facing genocide here, but we’ve got meanie-heads and they’ve been sucking up a lot of energy lately. Everything from so-called ‘experts’ doing their level best to drown the up-and-comers in ill-conceived, wrong-headed, poorly worded, misspelled, over-comma’ed, run-on sentences. And starting sentences with a conjunction and not ironically because they couldn’t explain how. To folks expressing unwarranted, unrequested and frankly ugly opinions about an artist’s work. Is the economy that bad, folks, that some people are just looking for someone else to stab?

Really, I’m appalled at all the negative energy floating around unchecked. I know things are bad for some, worse for others and the political climate we’re living in is downright nasty. Can we please just be a little kinder each other? We’re all in this together, and if we do it right, there’s enough of the pie for everyone to have a piece. We’re not getting out alive anyway, can’t we just relax and enjoy life a little?

I, for one, am not willing to contribute to the stupidity; no more stoking flames in a losing attempt to blow them out against people who are too oblivious and stubborn to concede. My world is an artsy place of peace and cameras, pretty light and creamy bokeh. Flowers make me happy, sunsets are pretty and chickens are cute. (Darn ADD just got me there, folks. Sorry. It’s part of my artistic spirit….yeah…I’ll go with that.)

Anyway, I’m tired of snarky-know-it-alls-types running down folks who are just trying to find their path and make an honest living. I’m not going to put up with it the ugliness being lobbed onto my colleagues and friends. I’m going to slay the dragon wherever it lives. And then leave it there to bleed. Or at least yell at it until its ears bleed. Yeah. Take that, irony. Or not. It’s late and my poor attempts at idiomatic speech are dying in favor of sleepiness.

Ok. Sleep-tinged, kinda-pointless rant over. Now, a chicken.

Chicken

Oh, Look. A Chicken.

Shooting from the Floor

I had an absolutely fabulous Saturday! I had the privilege of welcoming one of the cutest clients in the toddler set I’ve ever had the joy of working with.

My husband and daughter are musicians. We have a piano, vibraphone, sax, flute, several clarinets, drums and more. Max was in heaven, playing the drums, surprising us by making a reed vibrate on both the sax and clarinet (with a little coaching from my daughter) and more. He’d finish with one instrument then race to another. In between, I grabbed some shots of him!Image

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The Blizzard of 2013 – Arizona Style

I spent my formative years in the Midwest, so when a blizzard alert from the National Weather Service graced our cell phones a few days ago, I actually laughed aloud. We live in South Eastern Arizona now, a place not generally known for blizzard conditions, well, EVER. I’ve actually lived through blizzards and now that this Arizona storm has moved along it’s merry path leaving us with a dusting of snow, I can honestly say this ‘blizzard’ of which they speak, has little or no resemblance to my MEMORY of blizzards past.

Generally speaking, I hate snow and cold. I have an old grudge I developed in childhood when we walked to school in snow up to our hips, blinded by a real blizzard. Grudge aside, we rarely see this type of weather here and yesterday’s storm left behind a serene elegance all across our land. As long as one doesn’t have to brave those who are unaccustomed to driving on roads which are not perfect, we can wander around and enjoy the scenery. Which is what I did this morning. I know we specialize in personalized portrait photography here at Lily & Daisy, but I just could not waste such a rare and beautiful opportunity. I hope you enjoy these images from the warmth of your own computer.

Desert Grasses

He may be named after a city in the Dakotas, but he is definitely not used to the cold!

He may be named after a city in the Dakotas, but he is definitely not used to the cold!

The morning after the "Blizzard"

The morning after the “Blizzard”

Nopals in the SnowPrickly Pear CactusMadame Huachuca in Her Winter GarbIMG_5525WebIMG_5528Web

Outta the Weeds

The last few weeks have been full of activity. I’ve been working hard on a reboot, of sorts, of Lily & Daisy Photography’s online image. I think I finally have it and I’m excited to roll it out. Please leave me some feedback, here on the blog, on my Facebook page or send me an email.

Thanks for reading this – I’ll post a longer segment when I can.Image

You Stole My Heart

ImageI looked up at my husband and we smiled at each other. After what seemed like forever, the baby was finally here, and she was the girl the sonogram had promised! We were so happy.

A flurry of nurses, doctors, hushed conversations. My husband, Dave catches this activity on his radar and moves toward the hospital personnel coiled around my newborn. There is a lot of activity and sound, but one sound is distinctly missing.

She’s not crying.

I wait, holding my breath. I’m hooked up to so much beeping, chirping, dripping medical equipment, there’s no way I can move even if I’d want to. After what seems like an eternity, a small, weak cry issues. It’s then I realize I’ve forgotten to breathe. A nurse holding my beautiful newborn wrapped snugly in a blanket, walks toward me.

This is the moment I’ve dreamed about. The nursing staff did the APGAR thing, cleaned the baby and swaddled her into a tight little package. Now they’re going to place her gently and lovingly into my arms. I reach out to take my baby, but the nurse says gently, kindly, “Give her a little kiss.” I do.

She was so warm. The last remnants of our shared body heat.

Then – whisk. In a moment, they are all gone and I am left with the warmth of the kiss still sitting on my lips.

In my mind’s eye, I can still see them all leave: the nurse carrying my baby, my husband looking worried but charged with purpose as he followed the nurse out. He gave me a short wave and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll make sure everything’s okay.”  Soon afterward, most of the staff left, the doctor, the crew. The settling quiet where just minutes before had been such activity, was deafening. The last remaining nurse pulled my blankets up around me and smiled sweetly.

“Is everything okay…with the baby?” I managed to sputter, fighting tears, afraid of the answer. “Yes, dear. Your baby’s small so they’re taking her to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. They’ll take good care of her there. You can visit her in the NICU soon.”

I croaked out a single word. “Oh.” And then, “Thank you.”

The nurse encouraged me to get some sleep, then she, too, leaves me alone. I’ve never been good at sleeping when so much has happened, and this day was no exception. I’d been diagnosed with preeclampsia during the pregnancy and as a precaution, the doctors in Sierra Vista had sent me to the hospital in Tucson where I’d spent the previous month on bed rest. During that time, all I’d really done was rest and sleep. I wanted to move, get out, go, but still I couldn’t.

The hours ticked by ever so slowly. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t shut my brain off. I was alone, REALLY alone for the first time in ages. During the entirety of the previous month the nurses had taken my vital signs every four hours around the clock. Now, no one knocked. No one came in to check my blood pressure, take my blood. Dave checked in once, my sister Michelle stopped by,  and then my dear friend Juno came by. It was a blur and in between it was so very quiet.

At some point shortly after they took her to the NICU, a nurse brought me a Polaroid of my little baby. If you see the photo above, the one where she’s on the warming bed, that’s very similar to the image I held onto. “My little peanut” was ok, they said, but I didn’t really know much more.

The ache – the pain in my heart and the longing to see my baby – is indescribable. I desperately wanted to hold her, to whisper to her that I was so glad she was here and that I’d never let her go. I’d never wanted something so much in my entire life and I could bear it in no longer. The tears flowed.

A knock at the door.

“Helloo-o-o,” a cheery voice called. In walked a nurse, rolling a bassinet with a baby wrapped warmly inside. She smiled and sang, “Hello, Mama, I’ve brought you your baby!”

My heart leapt. My heart sank. I was confused, then crestfallen. “No, I, uh…I don’t think that’s my baby.” I whispered.

The nurse froze. She looked alarmed and said, “Um, what?” She checked a piece of paper. She walked backward and checked the door. “Oh, no, I’m so sorry.” she apologized.

“Yeah. My baby’s in the NICU,” I said very quietly. “I –” I choked back the tears which were threatening to spill out again, “I haven’t even seen her yet.”

I saw her embarrassment turn into something else. She could help. “Well, that’s gonna change,” she said with conviction. She apologized again and wheeled the baby back out of the room.

Now, I know there are protocols for this sort of thing. First, I’m pretty sure hospitals are really careful about bringing the right baby to the right room, and they’re extra careful to ensure parents of babies with special circumstances are treated gently, but this … this was some kind of serendipity. Some kind of special, happy accident because the very thing I’d been wishing for with all my heart was about to happen and all because a sweet nurse made a tiny little mistake. I forgave her instantly and I could hardly hold back my joy.

A few minutes later she returned with a wheelchair and took me personally to the NICU to see Amber. I remember the first time I laid my eyes on her. She was so small. So fragile. She could swim laps in her diaper. Her arms, bones wrapped in skin. I could almost see her radius and ulna wrapped under the epidermis. She had wires and electrodes strapped to her and her tiny arm had a teensy little IV supplying her fluid.

The emotion. The flood of emotion was almost too much to handle. A NICU nurse placed her, after nearly 10 hours, into my arms for the first time. I looked at her tiny, sleeping face. Her impossibly small hands and I knew at that moment a deep, profound love I’ve never felt in my entire life. I thought I loved my husband, my sisters, my parents – but this was so very different. This was way beyond words, songs, lyrical lilting – anything.

I would die for you without a second thought kind of love.

I could easily lift a car off you kind of love.

Here, take my kidney. You need it more than I do kind of love.

This is where it began. The love, the urgency of the feeling of needing to hold on to this precious child and yet, the knowledge that the time is so fleeting and I would one day have to let her go. The time is so brief, so impossibly hard to hold onto and yet so important, that I need to capture every possible moment I can.

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  • The first picture I ever took of her.

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  • The one I took today, sixteen years later and holding her newly minted driver’s license.

Time goes so fast. If you don’t reach out and freeze it, it passes you by. Take lots and lots of pictures my friends. You will never regret it.

Networking

Networking

Networking. This is a word which has always struck a little bit of fear in my heart. For those of you who know me you might find it hard to believe, but I’m actually pretty shy. I find it extremely difficult to push past my inner shell and put myself out there, especially when selling myself is part of the deal. So networking, whether it’s with other photographers or other businesses, is a challenge for me.

Now, I have good days and not so good days. There are times my shyness nearly overwhelms me and I find myself listening to and watching the group, preferring to stick to the edges over actually diving into the middle. This is kind of what I do when I’m wandering around with my camera in my hand anyway. I’m looking at stuff and framing up shots. Sometimes I forget to participate. I get lost in the pretty light or the amazing character sitting across the room or the pretty flowers. The actual networking part? It actually terrifies me just a little. I worry that I don’t measure up quite like I hope I will. I’m far more likely to stand on a chair and be a cheerleader for someone else than for myself. (This is near the top of the list of things I’m working on changing this year.)

I joined an online photography forum recently and I’ve just been sort of reading posts and lurking in the shadows. Even online, I have doubts. In person, I really have think about it before I hand over a business card. I have to really push myself, remind myself why I’m doing this event even and especially when I feel so darned uncomfortable.

I bring this up because today I attended an informal luncheon to meet other area photographers. Today was good, though. Really good. It’s always a little intimidating to meet other photographers, to get over my insecurity in my ability, but it’s always rewarding. The group can be so much fun! You get the gregarious, friendly, open, and sweet types; the teachers who’ve been at this a long time and are very generous and patient with their time and knowledge; the savvy business owners who are smart enough to see the value in this network and are looking to get a fix on the competition. There are also the eager up-and-comers, the dedicated, talented hobbyists, and the quiet geniuses, more shy than I am and yet far less likely to let anyone know they’re there.  

So when I was invited to this get ta know ya event, I could see how much fun this could be. I’d interacted with a few of these folks online via Facebook. I’ve had this meeting on my calendar since I first heard about it and have been looking forward to it. I woke this morning feeling pretty bad, though. I’ve been fighting off the whatever-the-heck-is-going-around and it’s sapped my energy and stolen my drive. I felt even more awkward, quiet and introverted than usual and I very nearly cancelled. But I dragged myself toward the door and I’m very glad I did. I met some really nice people, and I’m so pleased to be have participated. I look forward to getting to know them all better!