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Friday, April 30, 2010

A trip to Brookhaven! A trip through memories!

So, in my journey of becoming a photographer...I started my business without a clue. Without a clue about my camera...and without a clue about business. :)  I will have to laugh at some point & help teach others about things we get ourselves into without even seeking knowlege or research! :)

In my journey of "getting a clue" to use my natural gifted eye to make this a business...I took classes. LOTS OF THEM. (over 07-08)  I have never in my life that I remember learned a lot from fiddling with things at home or reading books.  I'm about hands-on practical application & understanding!  If I can't teach someone else how to speak "camera" what good am I to help others pursue their dream?  :)  This is my thinking!

Well, it started with some simple languages from a great photographer called Me Ra Koh.  "How blurry do you want your background"...I barely had a glimpse into what I really became to know!  I didn't realize how much all this stuff plays into you making a photo - itz actually quite amazing to have terms now for what I was doing all along.  This was 2006. 

I went to CTI in 06-07 to plan for the business side of things.  There are just way too many details about starting & KEEPING a business going.  Photographers? Take a business class!  If you are a hobbyist? You are free & clear, but there is so much information you need to know when starting & keeping a biz going. :)

:::::::learning the photography language::::::::::
I went LIVE in 2007 with the passion in my heart and NO knowlege whatsoever about working with people.  Over those next 2 years (with much resistence, stubborness)   I took any class I could find that was relevant to what I needed to know.  I took basic, intermediate, portrait, still life, flash, architecture, studio.  I did all this in continuing education all over the metroplex.  You get a lot of info in a smaller amount of time and teachers that do care about teaching you as well.  This was 2007-2008.  I ask you WHY? I ask you why not.  Do you think you will get a medal for sitting at home being frustrated because you can't get this picture you really really want without photoshop?  That is LAME, you need to learn your camera people!  Invest the TIME to find the technical knowlege.  You won't regret it.  You invest in your passions.  That is just how it goes.  Talk to anyone who EVER worked in dont' get no take-backs! It is what it is and I know some of us take photoshop & editing for granted to "fix" what we cannot get in our camera.  You know what, LEARN your camera and learn about photography - find your own way!

To be honest, by nature I'm introverted and have to force myself to talk & reach out.  Every time I speak publicly people don't believe me because I do have a sense of humor and I can tell stories & talk.  But most of the time, when I make friends I don't approach people first unless I feel a deeeeeep desire to. :)  Most people laugh this off and just say "oh jen". No, really.  :)  You can ask anyone I went to high school with...I was quiet...and by some ppl considered "snobby".  (well, i remember one guy said that!)  But I was simply in my own world and had my one friend there I could talk to. But what brought me out of myself was being on a basketball team!  Odd huh!  I don't know what came over me to do it, but I did it and felt such teamwork, I felt accepted and automatically 5 days a week you are huffing & puffing working out & drilling together - getting to know each other & have fun.  I got to know people by doing things I wouldn't normally do and putting myself in places I would not normally be.
Marketing myself AND talking to people is NOT one of my strengths!  However is a great thing to work on....RIGHT??????????

I say all this to say this - I'm doing things I don't normally do or feel like push past myself (a big boundary) to be all I can be.  A voice to this world right here & right now.  I will do this in any form I wish to!  I will speak when I need to.  I will teach when I need to.  I will photograph when I need to.   I'm learning to flow in all the gifts I've been given.  And yes, one of them can be SILENCE. :)  I observe, I watch.

In knowing myself...that is a goal in my life KNOW myself.  I don't want to pretend to be something I'm not and pretend I don't have issues and my life is "perfect".
No one wants to hear about the hard work...the alone times where you are bombarded with insecurities about ANYTHING.  You only see what you want to see.  But I know I choose to see the good, bad & ugly - accept that it is all there....AND also choose to focus on the positive & strong aspects of my life.  HOWEVER, I also invite the challenges to my weaknesses.  Just ask me how i'm challenged photographically, and I will tell you. :)

Thus, the pink hair. ;)  It brings me out of myself. :)

Just a little insight today about me, a dreamer, a photographer, an encourager.

Know that you are not alone.

Let's go to wonderland.

This is me yesterday at the grand opening/open house of the new W building at Brookhaven College.  I've been really blessed to remain friends with my teacher Mr. Martinez and have found that we all have something in common, WE LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY full time. baby!!!!!  I have no other job to think about that matter to me more than my passion....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finding my way in this world....

photography is one of my expressions, but it does not consume me.  does that make sense? :)

I find that taking time to stop everything & reflect on my life, creativity, ideas & innovations...just keeps me refreshed!  I spent all weekend doing so...and here i am in the middle of the week again...still in that transition stage of my next level...just feeling around....finding my way.

I have a feeling for the rest of my life...i'm going to continue to encourge, inspire and aspire to be all i can be to help others and love others.

SENIORS 2010.  I've done a few this year...(and last)...and this was a special set of girls that i was happy to work with...AND they were cheerleaders! :)


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

OH, how HE loves us.

I spent a majority of my weekend in spiritual bootcamp.  The women's conference we had at our church was quite amazing and more enlightening to some things in my life.  I was jotting down ideas to put into action soon...and also got another idea for something a little more wild & crazee that may come into play also very soon.  I've only told 4 people what that is - and if you don't soon will. :) 

I spent a LOT of time the last 5 years serving at my church and in February I cut the last tie to my servanthood there.  It feels weird to be in this place of not really serving all the time, but always there when someone needs me.  I don't have a defined "title" and I don't have a section where I serve, but I'm here to serve whenever I'm needed.  However, what I have found is that I'm still serving God with every day I live.  It doesn't matter where...I'm still seeking after him and loving on people and leaving them better off than when i found them. 

I also spent part of my weekend surrendering all that I love or dreams that I have right back to God.  I know that when I let those things consume me, I'm far from him.  I want to be closer.  The job & mission will still get done, but I don't want that to drive me every day.  I want his voice to drive that i make decisions based on what He says v. what I think I should do.  I found I got very tired of this.  Itz so easy to get burned out from our own personal drives...that we forget who should really be driving the car. :) 

Sunday turned out to be gloriously fun & amazing.  I just had fun kicking it with senior twins who were cheerleaders.  They were fun, beautiful and definitely loved the camera.  I love it when that happens.  :) 
After that shoot, I headed to our photo group in Garland and I gave all the reigns to Catoe this time around to just let her toss together anything & everything she wanted and we jumped in.  2 belly dancers came out to have some fun with us...and I tried some new things I hadn't done since mexico.  Itz just one of those things. I'm an artist.  I get bored with the same ol.  I'm looking to push into the new...and try things. :)

These past few weeks have just been a story unfolding of a girl with dreams....these few weeks ahead are going to be fun, challenging and worth every drop of sacrifice that I need to give in order to be all I can be.  One thing i don't wanna be a human-doing rather than a human-being.  May God help me see the difference...and help me to STOP when I get out of control!!! :)

Have a super week everyone!!!!
from the life of a seeker, believer, dreamer.

Rarmai photography.........where it is about you!

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

When the mountain seems so intimidating!!!!

A few years ago....FOUR to be exact...I climbed a pyramid in the ruins of Coba Mexico.  I was so scared to move when I got to the top...that I just sat there trembling and looking outwards to see the heights of the trees & jungle.  I didn't move at the top, just sat  there shaking & trembling at the fear of heights that I had accomplished at that moment.

At some point over the next few years...I had this inkling to go back and re-climb it.  So, this year as we took our trip to the Riviera Maya....we made our plans to hit Coba last thursday. :)  Herez the deal though...they don't take you right to the mountain/pyramid.  You have about an HOUR or more before you even go there...along with hearing stories of the Mayan culture...and seeing symbols, learning about them and their practices.  By the time we made it into the woods before Nohoch Mul...i was like "dude, take us there already!" hahahaha.  So after he was done telling us about the number system & calendar....(which, by the way the world is not *ending* in 2012, the calendar just started over.  Silly people)

We walk up to the pyramid and I had this attitude of OK, i'm going straight up with very little stopping!!!!!

Here is the picture I took at the bottom...
We were coming out of the clearing of the jungle...and out pops the mountain. :)  Seriously, you cannot see these ruins while standing in the midst of can only see them when they come into view through the trees. :)  As you can see, it is still pretty covered by trees. :)  Chichen Itza and Tulum both don't have the trees around them, they have all been cleared out and trampled by the gazillion feet of tourists that pass through there.  Here in Coba - less people travel there to see it.  I wonder why? :)

I don't want you to think just by looking at these photos that these steps are small...they are NOT.  They are probably anywhere from 6inches high to over 1.5 feet high.  Needless to say...the rumor I heard about why they are so huge is that the people traveling up and down needed to be in a "less than" god-like stance going up.  In other words, they didn't want them climbing like we would normally climb stairs.  You know, facing forward, legs up & down...and marching right & left upwards.

When walking upwards, it is easiest to just lean forward and crawl up hands & feet.  (kinda feels like a monkey) hahahaha!!! I leaned forward...and grabbed the pyramid with my hands & feet and monkeyed my way all the way up and moved in and around others only stopping to catch my breath and watch my footing.  You know I had 2 cameras on me...and trying to be mindful of equipment AND others and still make my way up.  It was challenging going at the pace I was going. :)  But I only looked up to make sure I wasn't going to run over someone, otherwise I had my head down & focused on each step....and as I'm climbing I glance up to see that I've reach the top.

Out of breath...I stop long enough to have a quick break at the very top and THEN push further to the very top!  My knees were not shaking, I was not nervous anymore.  I looked around up top and looked back down at the jungle and the path I had walked to get there and the other pieces of the ruins we saw before getting there. Isn't this just like life?  Isn't this such a huge symbol of how our walk in life is?

As we were up there, of course! There were a great handful of people also taking we squeezed in for a few shirt is wet from SWEAT people. hahaha!!! The jungle has very little wind and HIGH humidity!  That, is the truth.  LOL  You can see a tip of another site next to me on my right.  From this pyramid, it looks so squatty & small, but a majority of these are not small.  Everything back then was just HUGE and people wonder how they built the pyramids of egypt too right?  All of this stuff is amazing. :)

You see that little green speck at the top?  That is ME. :)  I'm actually sitting on the stairs about to come down...and I let zak go ahead of me so he could take a picture.  I snapped one of him going down....
He liked the rappeling see there is this lovely rope from top to bottom that helps you on your ascent or descent.  Thankfully since you can still climb this have some kind of help going up/coming down.  I found it easier just to go down on my butt than try to walk backwards.

Course, by the end of my journey with my SLR on my lap going down...i opted to stand back up and walk sideways down. :)  I'll upload the video so you can see. :)
While at the top steps waiting for my climb down....I opted to do a quick self-portrait...and tried it several times and was happy with this.  I couldn't get what i was wanting by holding it up and pointing it at myself.  So i set the self-timer and just saw what i could get.  I love this so much...because it gives me that accomplishment satisfaction where I'm sitting relaxed at the top...and you can see a tad of texture of the pyramid and the landscape of the jungle.

The day ended with a comedown of the pyramid...and walking all the way back to the beginning.  In total, the entire walking of the ruins is about 2 miles. :)  It was hot, it was HOT and it was HOTTTT.  I was drenched by the time we left and we drank our 4 bottles of water we brought. :)  Course, we didn't spend the $6 on the bikes/transport to get back...we just walked. :)

I had a blast...and thanks to the love of my life for going with me...married for 5 years now...and loving every minute.  :)

Herez the quick SIDEWAYS video! hahahaahahah :):):):):

enjoy and may all your dreams come true this year!!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

At heart, I'm an artist.

I'm about to soak in the blues & turquoise of the sea.

More than that, I need re-vitalization, focus, strength, silence.

I hope to return....inspired...and just ready for the next level....i wanna see new new things...take art to another level....see where the path takes me....

Until then,

see u soon. :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Engagement session!!!!

Nothing like a relaxing Easter weekend....and an engagement shoot! This girl, getting married to Michael!!!!  She has been a friend of mine for some time...and definitely a creative inspiration when I first started doing some creative fashion portraits. :)  Here are a couple of their engagement photos...done at the arboretum...and it was their first time there.  I wished we had more time to stop and take pictures all over - but an hour goes by SO FAST! 

Hope you love them too!


Leighann working her "fashionista" side...this was her personal request to be photographed in the mist....oh man, it turned out LOVELY...she was great!!!! Thanks girl!
funny, how we brought her shoes, but just ended up barefoot!!! PERFECT. :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rarmai Photography....and ArtLoveMagic.

For those of you that may or may not know...last year in 2009 I had voluteered my time/talent in the WONDERFUL community of Art Love Magic.  You can see from the get-go how much they ooze out art passion...and how much they want to connect to the community in their hearts & events.

I made it into their blog posted today....thanks to all at ALM, your quite the creative family that inspires me to be me. :)


Much love to you all, hope you have a fab day!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

ONE REASON I became a Wedding Photographer...

is because we didn't spend anything on a photographer and should have...i know at the time i was being all "thrifty" and saving money...but honestly, i would take it all back to have asked someone professional (or more professional) to take photos! I have very few of the photos I really LOVED....and the ones I was a totally different digital world back then....ya know? :)

Tomorrow is my FIVE year anniversary!!! I love you honey!!!!!

I do love the photos...but now that I am a full-time photographer...when i speak to brides & grooms..i just say please...PLEASE invest some money into photos/ will regret it if you don't take that leap!!!!!!!!!


Much love to you

Jen of Rarmai Photography