Archive for Oct 2010

  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >

and the winner is…..

October 30, 2010

When I started this contest, I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  You guys totally blew any expectations I did have out of the water and then over the mountains.  I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for participating!  And don’t worry, there will surely be more contests to enter from time to time.  All you have to do is keep coming back:)

And without further ado, our winner is Sarah W!  For anyone who doesn’t know Sarah, you should most definitely check out her amazing story.  And while you are reading that story, we will be preparing for her FREE session with me!  Sarah sent out 285 FB page suggestions and invited her entire fan page. I didn’t count the fan page invites in my tallies to make it fair to those who don’t have such pages.  She didn’t need those to win anyway, since she posted a phenomenal 27 blog comments and 7 links to the contest on her personal FB page!!

 and the winner is.....

I had also mentioned I would be including a prize for my runner-up. Well, it looks like that should be runnerS-up.  With Erica O at 220 invites, 18 blog comments and 7 links on her FB page compared to Tasha M with 350 invites, 15 blog comments and 4 links on her FB page…..the numbers were to close to pick just one.  Erica and Tasha, you have each won $25 off a session with me!  Send me an email to schedule your dates:)

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you all again for participating. Because of all of you, traffic to the website reached its highest numbers ever AND our FB fan count reached nearly 750 fans. It was definitely a lot of fun to watch from the sidelines!

**Special note to clients who had October sessions: Keep an eye on your inboxes for a special contest just for you announced today!!

I suppose this post is well over due. In absolutely no way does this mean that every single person involved in this story does not hold an extra special place in my heart. It is a story of commitment. Of pride. Of dedication. Of love. Of service. Of strength.

Some of you out there have known me for years. Which most likely means you have met my dad at one point or another in your lives. For those of you who know him, you will most likely agree…and for those of you who don’t: My dad is AMAZING!  He loves his four daughters unconditionally and quite possibly more than any other father to walk this planet. I might be biased, but I’m right:) He is kind, gentle, talented, gracious. He is stubborn. He is a fighter.

Dad was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over twenty years ago now. I was still in elementary school and all the new terminology flooding through our house made my head spin. My sisters and I attended support meetings and participated in MS Walks. I still participate in MS Walks. Dad calls us and says thank you. See, while Dad is still walking, it isn’t always pretty. The MS does its best to attack his nervous system. Dad uses every bit of stubborn he has (which is a lot) and fights back.  His doctors are amazed that he is still walking. They say he really should be in a wheelchair. I think for Dad he sees that chair as defeat. He is stubborn.

Living by himself and not driving, the only non-stubborn thing my dad does is accept rides from my sisters and I to get groceries and run other errands. We have all also been blessed with some of the kindest friends and neighbors who check in often and offer rides as well.  After all, as far as daughters go, I live closest which is still forty minutes away and have quite the crazy schedule. I thank God everyday for the dear friends in his life.

Within this past year, Dad has also taken a huge new responsibility upon himself.  The son of a Merchant Marine who fought in World War II and father-in-law to two soldiers who have each served in Iraq (and of which one is currently serving his second deployment in Afghanistan), Dad noticed that the flag flown across the street at his Town Office was not properly lit at night, nor was it removed during inclement weather. Dad does the best thing he possibly can to show is support and appreciation for our country and its servicemembers.  Every morning he crosses the street and raises the flag.  Every evening he crosses the street and properly removes it. No one asks him to. No one pays him to. He asks nothing in return.  Dad can barely walk. And one more than one occasion he has suffered bumps, bruises and who knows what else after stumbling and falling either to or from raising and lowering the flag.

Now, I told you all that story to tell you this story. At different points throughout my dad’s life (including childhood), he has owned Great Danes. Gentle Giants. Within the past year, his last two danes had outlived their years and passed on.  This past spring, one of my sisters did some research and found The Great Dane Service Project. Dad began emailing the wonderful woman who founded this service and trains these fantastic animals, and Carlene began including updates about when “Baseboard Dell” would be traveling to Massachusettes to train with his Service Dog.  I forgot to tell you Dad also has a perfect sense of humor.  He joked with Carlene about how when he falls at home it really isn’t a big deal.  He keeps a rag in his pocket so that when he falls, he can easily dust the baseboards while he is down there.

In August, things came together and I drove Dad three hours south to a working farm in the woods where he would live and train for a couple weeks with Georgia, his Great Dane Service Dog. Dad and Georgia worked hard and graduated quickly.  I met her upon my return to pick him up.

Inside the main house of The Great Dane Service Project I was greeted by no fewer than four dogs all with heads as high or higher than my bellybutton. They all said their hellos and then went back to lounging about wherever they chose (because let’s face it, when you’re a dog of those proportions you kinda own the place) and Georgia retreated to my dad’s side.

 assistance of a different kind...

After paperwork was completed and thank yous, good lucks and goodbyes were exchanged we traveled the three hours back to introduce Georgia to her new home.

 assistance of a different kind...

She is a sweet girl. Intelligent. Hardworking. And my dad’s new best friend. Thank you Georgia for all you do for my dad and the little bit of worry that you ease for his girls and the rest of our family.  Welcome to the family, my sweet “sister.”

 assistance of a different kind...

P.S. On Dad’s first grocery/errand trip with Georgia back in Maine, we had Colby and Isa with us.  Georgia’s harness is clearly marked with a Working Service Dog patch…unfortunately this doesn’t stop people from still touching her.  Dad was still feeling a little awkward about asking people to not touch her, but Colby sure wasn’t. My four-year-old boy walked proudly with Grampa and when someone reached out to pet Georgia, he got right to hsi point and boldly announced You can’t touch her. She’s working.

**And one last hilarious story: Back at Dad’s after shopping, Colby was excited to learn that after the harness was removed, he was free to pet Georgia.  Well, her short fur revealed her nipples at almost eye level with the boy.  Colby was fascinated by this and asked: Grampa, Can I milk your dog? (And yes, he reached under to gently mimick what he intended to do, lol)

It’s Contest Time!

October 27, 2010

Alright, yesterday was just one of those crazy busy days for this household.  Y’know the days when it’s hard to tell whether your coming or going? Whether you are right-side-up or up-side-down? Yeah, I live by my planner….and my to do lists. Yes, lists plural.

Anyway, since I failed to actually get a blog post up yesterday, I thought I would make it up to you.  By having a contest.  Who doesn’t like to win stuff? Who wants a free session? Well, here’s what you got to do to getchya one.

1. Make at least 3 comments on the blog, but here’s the catch….one has to be for this post, and neither of the other two can be on your own past session.

2. Log in to your Facebook account and suggest your friends “like” WhitakerImagery. (Of course, you will have to make sure you are already a fan also). Once you have sent out your fan suggestions, come back here and leave a comment with the number of friends you suggested.

The person with the most blog comments AND fan suggestions will receive a FREE session! 

 Its Contest Time!

Random though for the day: You can pick your friends. You can pick your nose. But if you pick your friend’s nose, I am pretty sure it won’t end well.

**Past clients, keep an eye out for an additional contest JUST for you in your email/FB inbox later in the week:)

Of course, this Monday silliness did not start out with me laughing at the time of occurence.  Quite, the contrary.  I was mad. I yelled. I wanted to cry.  And then I took the picture.  With my phone. My only intent to share with my husband the naughtiness that ensued while he was at work. Yes, the littlest of people still in pajamas can easily break into your things and wreak havoc on just about anything. And yes, they will stand by a job well done and give you their proudest smiles.

 

 Who needs a Monday pick me up???

Yes, I was mad. The glue stick came off fairly easily with some hot water. And even easier when daddy was the one who actually got to scrubbing. But the icing on the cake was the artwork Colby brought home from school Thursday afternoon.  I am not sure it really needs any further explanation.

 Who needs a Monday pick me up???

I was sticking the pictures on the wall.

angela. part 2….

October 24, 2010

Angela had been planning for her senior session all summer.  She knew she wanted some shots at the beach which we took care of a couple weeks ago. She also knew she had to include her horse, Arthur, in a portion of her session. But there was another series we had to take care of first. This girl is extremely talented, and playing the flute is just one of her many talents.

Some beautiful morning light, amazing fall colors and a gorgeous field made for a perfect backdrop and a little musical interlude.

 angela. part 2....

 angela. part 2....

And now, without further ado…..let’s meet Arthur.

 angela. part 2....

 angela. part 2....

Now, I have never owned a horse.  Heck, I have never even ridden a horse.  But I hear there is this special bond a horse and their owner. Arthur and Angela are no exception.

 angela. part 2....

Although I have never owned or ridden a horse before, I have met a few. But none with a personality that comes close to comparing with Arthur.  This guy had me laughing through most of the session:)

 angela. part 2....

  angela. part 2....

Angela, thanks for another fantastic session and Arthur, it was so great spending the morning with you!

hannah ryan

October 23, 2010

Remember that gorgeous little family not too far back in the blog? Y’know the ones with the two sweet big sisters and their adorable and totally squeezable little brother all waiting for the arrival of another sister.  Click here to refresh your memory:)

Anyway, the little bundle is finally here and celebrated her 8 weeks in this little world with me <3 Meet Hannah.

 hannah ryan

She even came prepared with the tiniest painted toes…

 hannah ryan

…and for one of the cutest babies ever, we dug out the hats and had a little fun. Of course, we really wanted to get her sleeping and all snuggly for a few shots, but she was not having it. Love those big-wide-awake-and-you-ain’t-never-making-me-go-to-sleep eyes!

 hannah ryan

 

 hannah ryan

 

And I just had to save the most adorable hat for last.  Sarah of the Nana’s Peeps blog made me this adorable giraffe hat and blanket to use as a newborn prop, and lucky Hannah was the first to try them out. Be sure to check out Sarah’s etsy shop, Sarahsewta, and read her amazing story of courage and faith in her new blog here.

 hannah ryan

Congratulations again Nikki and Matt! And welcome to the world, Hannah Ryan.  You are going to have an amazing life sweet girl.  I just happen to know that your family is pretty darn special <3

See that up there in the title? The cutest set of little girl names ever, right? Well, these lovely ladies certainly live up to every bit of adorableness that their names imply. And with such great parents, it isn’t hard to see where they get it from.

 jessica + ryan + lily + clara + ava

Jess is yet another old high school friend.  She is one of the sweetest and kindest people iI have ever met in my life. And seriously, I do not think I have ever seen her not smiling. Ever. As for Ryan..well, this was the first I had ever met him and let’s just say he complements his lovely wife perfectly icon wink jessica + ryan + lily + clara + ava

 jessica + ryan + lily + clara + ava

Alright, let’s see more of those kiddoes. Lily. The oldest. Fearless. And like her mom, she is always making sure everyone around her is happy.

 jessica + ryan + lily + clara + ava

Clara. Quiet. And just plain silly.  Clara took a little bit to figure out which smile she wanted to go with for the afternoon.

 jessica + ryan + lily + clara + ava

And finally, Miss Ava. Miss Independent. With the most amazing kissable lips <3

 jessica + ryan + lily + clara + ava

Seriously, could this family be any more adorable?!

 jessica + ryan + lily + clara + ava

Ryan and Jess, thank you for spending the afternoon with me and allowing me to capture your amazing family. Oh, and swedish fish for dinner is always a great idea….well, maybe just once in awhile. Thanks for being cool with it.  Have a fantastic weekend away together as I end with just a couple of my favorites from our session:)

 jessica + ryan + lily + clara + ava

 

kayla…

October 20, 2010

There is always at least one.  Yep, last minute senior sessions.  Thankfully I was able to squeeze in a little time for Kayla last Sunday morning.  And by morning, I am talking the sun had not been up long enough to warm anything up. We were freezing, but Kayla was a great sport and smiled through the frost. The best part about early mornings is the amazing light.  Of course, we live in Maine so we just have to ignore the cold in our search for some amazing light.

 kayla...

 kayla...

One of my favorite things about my job is seeing how small this world really is and how everyone is connected.  Not only did Kayla brave the cold and early morning, but so did her dad, boyfriend and our mutual fantastic friend, Lisa.  Dad and Dave were fabulous assistants holding clothing changes and reflectors when asked without even a grumble.  Oh, and remember meeting Donna during the Fiona’s session? Well, the handsome Mr. Dave just happens to be her son:)

 kayla...

Now, this next part is a little bit scary for me, but life should be all about stepping out of our comfort zones.  Unless you are a photographer, you probably don’t have much of an idea what goes on behind the scenes between the moment your photo is captured until the moment you have a print in your hands.  You might wonder why session fees and print prices can sometimes add up to a given amount of money. Well, the truth is that while all of my clients are beautiful and unique in their own way, there is usually something extra they would like to see done to make themelves more perfect yet still natural at the same time.  In Kayla’s case, she is absolutely beautiful…but she arrived at her session with a lip piercing.  What? You didn’t see it up there in any of those images? Here’s why: She loves her piercing.  She just didn’t want it in her senior photos. So…*puts on big girl panties*…here is a before and an after.

 kayla...

This was my first OpLove session photographing a family that had been reunited after a deployment. And definitely one of my favorites.  While most sessions of this type are focused on the goodbyes or the “while you’re gones” this one is all about being not just plain old happy, but ecstatic that your family feels complete once again.

I had already met the ladies almost a year ago during deployment. Dad is finally home and I could not believe how much the girls had grown. Or how much Abby’s personality had stayed exactly the same.  This girl is fearless and both girls really really love their daddy….and with dimples like that, what’s not to love?

 OpLove: jason + jen + abby + samantha = reunited

No, Abby hadn’t changed too much.  She may have grown a few inches taller, but she is still the same silly and rambunctious girl with a slight bit of diva ‘tude I remember.

 OpLove: jason + jen + abby + samantha = reunited

Samantha. Samantha definitely changed in a year.  She was only two months old the last time I photographed her.  And now she’s walking….everywhere!

 OpLove: jason + jen + abby + samantha = reunited

Mom didn’t change too much either. She is still just as beautiful. Only now her shoulders can relax a bit, and there’s this guy that hangs around a lot more often;)

 OpLove: jason + jen + abby + samantha = reunited

There is no greater feeling in the world than having your family complete once again…

 OpLove: jason + jen + abby + samantha = reunited

…and walking hand in hand into the sunset.

 OpLove: jason + jen + abby + samantha = reunited

Ladies, it was so great seeing you again…and Jason, it was fantastic to finally meet you.  Many thanks to all of you for playing your parts in serving our country.

Nana’s peeps :)

October 18, 2010

Last weekend’s whirlwind of sessions was wrapped up with a fantastic family session. After my great friend Rebecca shared her family session with her mom and sisters, they all wanted in. A cool fall morning by the lake complete with coffee and donuts and kids still wiping the sleep from their eyes would be born.

Since coming to know Rebecca, I have been blessed to meet her amazing mom. I have witnessed her be there  for her  girls and her grandchildren with the sort of unselfish love that only the greatest of mothers and grandmothers could possess. She is a constant in the lives of three families. She is a staple this world could never do without.  She is Nana.

 Nanas peeps :)

She goes by no name other than Nana, and asks nothing but to squeeze her grandchildren on a daily basis.  Oh, and if she can wear the same shoes, that’d be cool too:)

 Nanas peeps :)

There was so much to this family dynamic to capture!  Grandkids…

 Nanas peeps :)

 Nanas peeps :)

..daughters and husbands (you’ve already met Lou & Rebecca…now meet Dustin & Sarah, Matt & Shannon)

 Nanas peeps :)

Each little branch of this family is so different that it amazes me, yet they somehow find a common ground and work it out.  Every sister. Every husband. Every grandchild. Every single personality a world apart from the next.

 Nanas peeps :)

 Nanas peeps :)

 Nanas peeps :)

But no matter the differences…

 Nanas peeps :)

…there will always be Nana.

 Nanas peeps :)

  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >