Robin wanted her session to be somewhere unique so she picked a brand new bar her friends opened recently in downtown Peoria, The Bearded Owl. We had a blast using all the different backgrounds and spots in the space. I got to meet the owners and hear a little about the background of the bar since it was just getting set to open. I always love when a family is up for something new and different! What a great group to work with!!!
If you have followed me for any amount of time, you have noticed I am often the volunteer photographer at local events and fundraisers for various charities. This is my 'why'
As a child growing up in a very small Iowa town, I don't remember my family volunteering. I remember my parents being Jaycees for a time but that's it. The first time I heard about volunteering I was so confused. 'Work for no money? Why would anyone do that?'
I have learned there are a lot of amazing reasons people volunteer. One of the big reasons I do is fairly selfish! It feels good!!! I love being able to help out using a skill I have. Being able to provide something for a non-profit, like professional portraits for their marketing or covering an event, is just plain good.
One recent event I photographed was called 'Gimme Shelter' It was for South Side Office of Concern to raise money to help with homelessness in the Peoria area. Participants of charity fundraisers often get all dolled up, eat a fancy meal and bid on awesome items donated by local businesses. 'Gimme Shelter' is about as far removed from that as it can possibly be! Participants get dolled up all right...in their warmest winter attire and prepare to spend the night sleeping outside the Peoria Civic Center in a cardboard box. There are short workshops for learning and activities to keep participants occupied, but it's a cold 6pm-6am event! This event really opened my eyes. No matter how crummy my day may be, I can look around and know I have a warm and safe home to live in.
Do you volunteer? What local organizations have you fallen in love with?
January is always when we photographers can slow down for a minute. October-December is sheer chaos and I welcome the slower months of January-March and making plans for the new year.
So much excitement to share! On Friday of this week I am heading to Nashville for the annual Professional Photographer of America convention. It's a gigantic bunch of photographers all there to learn and network and it's so fun. I wasn't thinking I was going to go and then everything worked out (with the help of my amazing husband and some family members) so that I could attend. Going to miss my family but I am excited to be able to continue my education and learn the newest and greatest things in the world of professional photography.
February brings our family vacation and we are all happy to get a break and bond for over a week. Driving to the Nashville area (wasn't I just there?!?) to see family and then to Charleston to take a 5 day Bahama cruise. Anyone who knows me knows I love nothing more than a cruise and we got such a great deal on this one it was practically free!
Tomorrow I am going to look at some studio space for rent in East Peoria. I have wanted to have a dedicated shooting space for some time but didn't jump since I won't use it all the time. Still want to go to client homes if they want. But this spot opened up and it the right location and a great price. Plus, I can open the space for other photographers to use and then I wouldn't feel so much like I am paying for something not being used every day. Fingers crossed!
I also was recently invited to be a Graduate Assistant for the next Dale Carnegie training. I feel my life improves every time I attend one of these 8 week trainings and I can't wait to meet the new classmates and spend Tuesday nights with them.
Crossing my fingers that this more mild weather sticks around. The temps around zero were too much for me!
This is the third time I have done school portraits and it's SO exciting to see families come year after year and the kids to have grown so much. Had some new families that I was excited to see as well. This is always a favorite of mine because for the one time each year my mobile studio is set up in MY living room. I am usually bringing it to my clients and school pictures are the only exception. Any of you who know me realize my house is a major project house and so this year with the new roof and siding I finally was excited to have people come here!
The Worsham girls are so adorable! Their clothing was perfect (great job mom!) and I loved getting to know each of their personalities. They had never had a family portrait with all 5 of them and so we went out on a beautiful afternoon for their session in the garden.
The family recently found out their oldest, Faith, has to have brain surgery so we did the session right away because they realized tomorrow is not promised and they wanted a portrait of their beautiful family now. After the session, mom and the youngest, Hope, both had health scares and it really shows how good of an idea it was to take these and not put it off.
Myah, their middle daughter was so bubbly and outgoing and giggled and smiled so easily! Hope was feeling tired after a fun slumber party but still managed to get some great smiles and Faith is your typical almost 2 year old. She gave out smiles sparingly and as soon as she did, she needed to run off some energy! Reminds me of a session years ago in Iowa-haha (Ann Fish)
If you would like to read their story and learn more about the medical challenges Faith is battling, you can check out their GoFundMe page here: https://www.youcaring.com/faithworsham-88821
This location was really great. Not sure where we were though as it wasn't in Peoria. I just love how engaged the kids are in my silliness to get this portrait :-) #TripDownPhotoMemoryLane2011 #FamiliesChangeButPortraitsAreForever #DontMissAMemory
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The Hensel's are boaters and I met a LOT of boaters when I moved to Peoria! This is at the same location as the session yesterday. Aren't the leaves wonderful that time of year? The whole family was so cooperative! I think it's time to update this family portrait, Timi! ;-)
Stephanie and I worked together for awhile when I first moved to Peoria and had to have a full time job while building my photography business. Her family was so sweet for this session! She picked the location and since then I have returned countless times as it is one of my favorite places to photograph in all of Peoria!
Natasha and Adam had a stunning wedding! I got to photograph them at EastPort, one of my favorite places to be. I just loved how all their portraits turned out, but especially love this composite! What an adorable couple who now have 2 adorable babies!!!
Blissful Images is a Certified Professional Family Portrait Photographer in Peoria, Illinois specializing in preserving your family's memories in photographic prints and wall art while making your life easier by bringing the mobile photography studio to you.