Why Teens are the Best

Ok, I’ll be honest with you. There was a time when I was afraid of teenagers. It was actually just about the time I really WAS a teenager. I was all fear and insecurity and self consciousness and I had all the confidence of an incontinent cocker spaniel. Cute, but utterly hopeless.

Brush Back Girl

This girl is not a model.

I get what it’s like to be a teenager. It’s all smoke and mirrors, bluffing your way through the insecure, wondering what everyone’s thinking and hoping no one figures out that inside, you’re a crazy, screaming mess. The part that I never got, never really understood until I was no longer in the craziness of teenager-ness, was that EVERY SINGLE TEEN FEELS THE SAME WAY at some point or another. Yeah, it’s true. You’re just about to die of embarrassment because the Worst Possible Thing happened. You look in the mirror and today is the day, the most important day, and your skin looks like the surface of mars. What gives? Why me? Why today?? You feel EVERYTHING deeply, thoroughly, completely. Every high. Every low. Every rock in your show and bump in the road. That song! That guy! That teacher’s stare! Everything is so strong, so loud, so intense. I wished when I was a teenager that I’d had an outlet, a way to boost my confidence so that people could see the ME who was screaming inside, the real one who was inside wishing to escape her self-made prison. The side of myself who I was when I was alone, contemplating all the other aspects of life.

Amber in the Garden

She rocks the world with her unique style

Which brings me to why Teens are the Best. They are pure awesome when it comes to taking pictures. They’re in touch with fashion; the high definition of fashion. The self-made fashion. The band-inspired fashion. Whatever clothes, styles, make-up, accessories calls out to you and helps you tell the story of who you are – that is your fashion, your uniqueness and the YOU which I want to find. There’s something about modeling, no matter who you are or what you’re like, I can help find the amazing girl (or guy!) waiting in the fringes just waiting to come out. Which is why Lily & Daisy Photography has made the bold decision to specialize in Teens and Senior Photography. You’re beautiful and amazing and I want to show you JUST HOW PURE AWESOME YOU ARE!

Don’t Fight the Waterfall

A Taoist story tells of an old man who accidentally fell into the river rapids leading to a high and dangerous waterfall. Onlookers feared for his life. Miraculously, he came out alive and unharmed downstream at the bottom of the falls. People asked him how he managed to survive. “I accommodated myself to the water, not the water to me. Without thinking, I allowed myself to be shaped by it. Plunging into the swirl, I came out with the swirl. This is how I survived.”

Photography at its core is exactly like the waterfall. If you fight your subject, you drown and you lose. Unless you’re photographing flowers or landscapes, you’re probably taking pictures of something with a brain. We humans are programmed from birth to form an attachment and fascination with faces, so photographing people or animals are popular choices. While we love them, these subjects often have a mind of their own when it comes to sitting still while you click the shutter incessantly in their direction.

I recently took pictures of a beautiful family. The older girls, two wonderful, sweet preteens, were visiting during Spring Break and because they were going home soon, their parents wanted to get a family picture taken.

All went well with the family pictures. The two youngest members of the family were a little nervous, but played along with a little coaxing. As soon as the family pictures were done, I did what I typically do during a session: I broke the family into smaller groups, first the siblings, then the parents and so on.

The youngest member of the group was the only brother, a spunky, but somewhat shy, 2-year-old. He reluctantly sat for the family pictures, but as soon as his mom moved out of the shot, he became nervous and overwhelmed by the lights, the distractions and just plain being in an unfamiliar environment. At this point he did what young guys usually do: he started to cry and dug in his heels, refusing to sit in front of the backdrop with his sisters. Mom started to get tense, Dad started to bargain with him, the older sisters tried to coax him back to sit with them, but he refused. His mini-tantrum began to translate to the rest of the family and if you try to take pictures under these conditions, you see it written in giant slanted script as anxiety and irritation on everyone’s face. So, rather than contribute to the melt down, I took his mom and dad aside and told them not to worry. We would get what we could in the studio, then let him run around outside while I took his picture. I saw mom visibly relax because she was not longer under pressure to try to calm the little guy down and he was able to plunk away happily on our piano. All the while, the girls happily gave me relaxed and beautiful smiles.

With everyone happy, we went outside where I got, in my opinion, some of the best images of the whole day! As a photographer, I only have so much control over any situation and this actually suits me just fine. Part of what I love about photography is people being who they are, letting their personality and character sparkle and shine. In letting go, I am rewarded with beautiful images!

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

Big Changes Are a’Comin’!

Phew, finally back in the saddle, so to speak. It’s been a whirlwind of activity around here, from ordering prints, following up with our Fabulous Clients, to new baby sessions and much, much more.

Ever have one of those moments where you ask for an opinion on something and you end up getting more than you bargained for? It’s kind of like asking the question, “Do these jeans make my rear end look fat?” and getting the answer, “Nope. Your rear end makes your rear end look fat.” Well, that’s kind of where I am right now. I bit the bullet and asked for an opinion on some images and instead got a pronouncement on how my web presence lacks uniformity. There was much more, but it really caused me to take a serious look at what my clients see and discover when they’re looking to hire me. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but it was intended to help me grow so I’m taking it in stride.

So, as you may have noticed, I’m working on revamping my web presence so I have a more cohesive look across the board. It’s kind of a challenge with WordPress and I think it’s still a work in progress, but everything else is coming together and I’m pleased with the way things are beginning to look. The next challenge is to go through and cull images I don’t think represent my best work and add new, fresh images which I think are more representative of my vision. I am, as I was advised, trying to “take off the mommy goggles” and recognize that which will serve to grow my business and my development as a photographer and artist.

This revamping things is a process and I’m trying to get things in order. If you have feedback or just plain hate the direction this is going, give me a shout.

Oh, and a Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone. Save me something sweet!IMG_1616

Senior Portrait Photography: Rockin’ Seniors!

Senior Portrait Photography: Rockin’ Seniors!

{Olivia and Kayla}
{Olivia and Kayla}

 

 

 

 

Here at Lily & Daisy Photography, we absolutely love working with Seniors and the two young ladies above are no exception. These girls are cousins and both are amazing and talented!

Last night I had the pleasure of delivering the printed images they chose from their Senior Photography Session to them and I’m so pleased! They were thrilled with the images and really excited to share them with their friends and families.

Olivia has a wonderful family with 5 siblings! When I visited their home last night to deliver the pictures I realized the energy of family is palpable! So much different than our house, with Olivia, the Rockin' Seniormy one child and the occasional visits from her friends. I love the contrast! It got me thinking about families and relationships and I started to wonder how many of you make a point to get “just because” photos taken of your family. I know a lot of folks take group shots of their family during special occasions, but do you make sure your family has at least a yearly family photo? Do you let more time lapse in between portraits and if so, why? Is it a time factor? A money thing? Something else? If you’ve got a minute, please take my poll then leave me some feedback in the comments about when and why you have family photos taken. I’d love to know what you think!

Wanna learn more about Lily & Daisy Photography?

Visit our Website: http://www.LilyandDaisyPhoto.com