A Price to Pay

March 21, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Good Morning lovely people. I am recovering from pneumonia due to a week long stay in Vegas where the smoke was apparently more than my immune system could take. My girls came up Friday so we could shop and dance, and I spent most of our time together sleeping. I love WPPI. The who's who of photography show up and teach and mingle and all of my mentors were in one place this year. Although they actually were not in one place, because I only caught up with 5 of them. The place is too big, and I truly got tired of walking from one end of the casino to the other several times a day. I was so excited to attend, and I paid extra for VIP parties and first admittance to talks, but expectations were not met. I just can't help building things up in my little imagination. Still had fun, still dressed up, still met awesome people. But the cost for spending a week in Las Vegas was my health.  Botanical gardenMirageBeautiful Foliage and

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Each lecture I attended, I met an artist, and 'expert', an artisan that has perfected their craft and enjoyed sharing their knowledge base with us. I also learned that I know things. Some of the points made I already figured out, I overcame, I re-evaluated and changed processes to become more efficient and start building a productive business. People will always accept things that you give away, but they won't appreciate or value them. I have learned that it is not always what you say, but how you present it. Customer service is everything, and the more I learn about that, the more I see it lacking in businesses around me. Upcoming projects; I am going to produce more video, so that you can see in motion what is captured and preserved. I am going to get a certificate in make-up application so that I can provide a service for clients that I have been having trouble providing in the past. Again, customer service skills being what they are, it is so difficult to find people that keep their commitments. High School Senior sessions will be my focus, even better when they want to highlight a sport or hobby. Goddess and coupling sessions are my jam. Love, love the connection between a couple, the confidence that grows in a woman that sees herself as more than a mother, sister, wife, friend, and schedule keeper. 

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Everything we do has a cost. Making good decisions is crucial when balancing work, pleasure, and health. This blog is my way to share my journey and experiences, professionally, personally and spiritually. I invest in people as I strive to stop time and create the best of memories for them while I shine the light of Jesus for them in all I do. Besides my competency in art, light and creativity, it takes dedication, hard work and consistency to build trust and relationship. It is also important to prioritize tasks and set boundaries to finish projects, keep up with all things business and avoid burnout. Decisions I make affect my health too because I have a debilitating disease that can slow me down or stop me in my tracks without warning. it's even more essential to listen to my body and make choices that support my well-being. Choices are important in building and maintaining a good life. Choosing a job over church, friends over family, rest over a commitment, each come with a price or consequence. I have friends that used to worship with me, we would pray for one another, and they raised their children on Godly principals. Then, football games displaced a few Sundays, then camping and concerts and fandoms. Pretty soon, serving God became a thing of the past with no remorse. However, where God once resided, there is a residual desire, deep down that I know Jesus can and will reignite, for it is the will of our God that none should perish but that ALL should have everlasting life. So, be careful what you let trickle into your heart, mind and time, use your powers for good and make good choices.

#GoodDecisions #BalancingAct #HealthComesFirst

 

Daniel 12:3 prophesies about our future. “And they that are wise shall shine bright in the world and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever.” Those that are written in the book shall be glory bound. Those that are blotted out (once saved but fallen), shall be condemned.

Exodus 32:33 – Deut. 9:14 – Rev. 3:5 – Deut. 29:20.

How can we live in wisdom? The world has many resources to help you grow and learn, fight battles, and increase confidence and self-worth. The truth is that knowledge is good, but wisdom is best. God tells us, through His word, that if we need or want wisdom all we need to do is ask and He will give it to us without holding anything against us. We are His children, and He wants us happy, healthy and full of abilities because He intended to use us for His purposes and glory from the beginning of time. We are to be His light and salt in the world, but how are we to be so if we do not spend time in His presence or read and absorb His word, the bread of life?

Be blessed, grow good fruit, do not give up. Gail O.

 

 


Standards

January 24, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

So, I have not blogged since August! Great, one more thing to feel guilty about. There is a Chinese proverb that says " The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now." I am constantly writing things in my head, but apparently, not that good at getting them down. New year, new habits, no really. I have started walking 2 miles a day, except when I nanny. The goal is a 15 minute mile, I am at 20 minutes per mile. We were unable to use our water for about a week because the pipes under our house were broken. I was never so happy to do dishes in my life as I was when they were fixed. We complain, don't we, with the mundane chores of life. But things shift when you are faced with a different reality. I have become familiar with the mantra, "I am grateful, I am grateful' because in a blink your life can shift drastically. At 66, I have seen this a few times. Joy turned to sorrow, complaining turned to praise. This is a business blog, however, I am a person. I have a life that I balance and fail at sometimes. And overcome obstacles as well

What's new? I have been trying out glamor/boudoir photography for a year. It is difficult to market because I am family friendly and cannot, will not, place certain images on my social media pages. I am praying about that. I see it as a self empowering thing for women to have gorgeous images of themselves, even if no one else sees, However, if it is frowned upon by God, I will not pursue. I am doing a couple milestone birthday sessions for a 10 year old and a thirteen year old. I have done milestones for babies and toddlers, but this is a thing I will like to add. Sports photography has been fun, but it would be amazing to start earning money while I do it too! I will do more high school seniors in the future and continue to capture families as they grow and change. Weddings are in the past unless they are elopements and 4 hours or under. Editing 2000 images to deliver 200 images just isn't in my wheelhouse. If I were a man I could shoot, come home and edit and deliver in a timely fashion. As a woman, it is harder because, as mentioned above, it requires a lot more balance! 

Everything I do comes from a heart for God. No matter who I serve, it is to reflect who I am in Jesus, and what I have learned. John Wooden was the one of the greatest basketball coaches in history. He was a godly man, but was unable to preach or teach godly principals in the secular world of UCLA. But, he could live them and as a result, he helped form godly young men who grew up to live and perform well. My goal as well. Love as we are loved by God. 

We don’t often think about it, but we live by standards daily. Standard operating procedures for a business, standards of conduct at home or in an office, standards of dress and behavior as leaders in the public eye, a church body, celebrity or politics.

If we are to grow in our daily spiritual journey, we need to develop a spirit of leadership and set a standard for living a blessed life. This can be difficult and is often done through trial and error, watching leaders, friends and family walk in example, but it is the right way to go if we want to see God move in our lives.

The Word of God tells us how to build this standard in several different ways. One way is to look at what other leaders do. Be careful not to be discouraged by fear or disappointment, or settle for less than God’s plan for our lives. As Moses was getting ready to pass leadership over to Joshua who would lead the Israelites into Canaan, there were those that cried out “don’t make us go.” I can’t imagine making sacrifice, walking the desert for years and following the spirit of God, getting to the edge of victory and saying, ‘Don’t make me go!’

When you are a leader, you are expected to give others the Word of God. Jeremiah 4:6 tells us to “set up the standard toward Zion; stay not for I will bring evil from the north and a great destruction.” We need to stay the course, finish the race set before us, and prepare for battle. This requires you to feed the sheep, stand firm on the truth of God and His ways and live a life that reflects Jesus.

We must be willing to be a leader despite our weaknesses and failures, and let people know that they can depend on you by being consistent and loving. When we can accept our flaws but continue in boldness and love and show grace in the midst of them, then we are able to build a strong testimony and empower disciples to share the message of Jesus.

Another way to build a standard for living a blessed life is by refusing to settle for less than the life God has set for you. The Bible warns that if we choose to settle for less than the life God has  destined for us, then we are destined to miss out on many of His wonderful promises.

This is why it is so important to observe standards for your life that is biblically based and not merely what you see others doing. We can easily become confused and deceived, so it is essential to find out what God has ordained for us as children of God. We do this by reading the Bible, studying the examples and lives of those that walked this road before us. We gather in fellowship, asking for help in understanding, and spend time in the presence of the Lord through prayer and worship. We must be careful not to compromise what we know to be true and right with the actions of others that may have a different standard of life. The apostle Paul tells us that we are not born again to conform to the standards of this world, but to be transformed inwardly by a complete change of our minds and hearts. The more time we spend at the feet of Jesus, the better we are able to discern the will of God and do what is good and pleasing to Him.

We only have so much time on this earth, let’s learn to use our powers for good. Let us use our talents to help others, our prayers to restore others and our love to heal others. John 15:12 “Love one another as I have loved you.”

 

 


Finding Balance

August 20, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Flamingo CopyFlamingo Copy Hello! I am still around and doing photography but it has been a while since I have had regular work. It seems that I am either over extended or siting on the back porch listening to crickets. I like regular, paced, and a schedule that I can rely on. Being self-employed makes it very difficult to do that, so I resign to slow days and periods of catching up. I am ready to get regular again. I have been on hiatus until September so that I can catch up work, but since August is slipping away, my schedule is filling up. VBS was a few weeks ago, and I did not have the time to process any photos of these beautiful, excited babies praying and worshipping, so I did not take any photos. Those that did, got precious images of children pouring their hearts out to Jesus. One of the reasons that I get behind is because I feel like I need to capture everything, for everybody but do not have the time, nor the inclination to process that many photos. I love to capture things. Animals, children, birds, and pretty much any moments that take your breath away is my jam. (Yes, I am that old).

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I have thousands of images sitting in folders waiting for me to come back. So, I have had to shift from capturing everything, to capturing only what I can finish. I still get roped into doing favors at the last minute and then the weight is on me to process and deliver in a timely fashion. It doesn’t happen if I am working on previous projects. I believe my problem is underestimating the time involved. I am working on that by timing myself, editing without watching entertainment, and processing small bits every day. It is progress.

I have missed Prime Days and Christmas in July for marketing purposes. And marketing is how you find clients. Some days I am moving fast and furious, other days I can barely brush my teeth and comb my hair. I literally sit on a fence with the stress and pressure of trying to do it all and function like a 40-year-old on one side, and the reality of being of the age of retirement on the other. There are some specials on the horizon...stay tuned in.

Some days are good, I feel alert and strong. Those days are productive. Am working on following an immunosuppressant diet and the cravings are fading slowly. On the day that feeling good overrides cravings, I will win!

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I need solid office hours. I need to stop running the house at the expense of business productivity. To help with my weaknesses, I am reading Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. I will read it again and again and take notes. He spent a lot of time with Jesus, knew the word and took a haggard ball team and under par facilities and turned everything around by using simple, high performing habits. The first thing I am going to follow is the ability to stop wasting time. Merging activities and goals, better planning and less time cleaning up after poor planning results. 

Fall is coming and with that are football, senior session planning and family sessions.

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Moments, memories and people should not be forgotten. I am blessed to be able to preserve time for you all and truly strive to do everything better. Till next time, I am yours, Gail O.

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Current POV: DO IT. WE ARE NOT GUARANTEED TOMORROW

April 03, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

These past few weeks have been nothing short of eye opening. All too often we look at our days and think to ourselves “I don't have enough hours in the day”, alternating with “I’ll get to it tomorrow.” The point being…we need to focus on how we spend the time we are given. Every minute, every hour, of every day. I have a habit of choosing comfort. If I am busy, or stressed, I will do the minimum and go to bed. Not good for personal relationships. Not good for business.

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Recently, I have lost two friends. Close friends whom I love. But none of the false promises or hopes for later opportunities will bring them back. My friend Kim and I took road trips and had the best adventures until her husband put her to work. Then she was too tired, or I was too busy, to get together. I promised them that I would maker dinner for them this year so we could fellowship as couples. I have a folder of beautiful photos of her animals and our trips that she never saw. I wasted time. I need to change. Now, not tomorrow.

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Here's what I have determined;


Make time for things you have promised.

Make time for people you love; they could disappear in an instant.

Enjoy the moments like sunrises and sunsets.

Lend a helping hand to someone and encourage them, making time for them.

Less social media and more social. Period.

Monitor TV time.

Do what you love.

Go on the cruise, start the business, visit people. Create what inspires you.

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There's time to teach, and lots of time to learn.
It will always fall on our shoulders to make the time for what matters.

At the end of the day, did you get it done? Will you regret not getting it done?


As for me, I still love to veg and relax in comfort, and avoid conflict. But I am purposing in my heart to get it done! Whatever IT is. Whoever is waiting on me to finish. Whoever is waiting on a word of love and encouragement. I cannot bring anyone back to life, but I can avoid future regrets.

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How about you? Take the time, to make the time, for the things that matter most.

Sincerely yours in love,

Gail O

 


A Perfect Fit

February 02, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

There is a glut of photographers all over the world these days. With the progress of technology and affordable digital cameras, people are advertising a variety of styles and abilities. Not everyone with a camera is a professional photographer. Here are a few helps for you to consider when you get to a place that has you looking for a photographer that meets your specific needs. What is the number one thing you look for when you're searching for the perfect photographer? Is it price, style, location, personality, or the ease of a clear process? If you've been looking for a maternity or newborn photographer you've probably realized that it can be a little overwhelming at times and I'm here to help you in your search with my 5 best tips on finding the best photographer for you! 

1. Take time to study the portfolio, or type of photos they have taken. If they are a little dark but you like very light, bright photos, you will not be happy after everything is done.

 

2. Make sure you understand the price and everything that is included. A $10 price tag may draw you in, but the packages for printed products or digital images may start out at $350 or more.

3. Find a photographer whose work you like and that fits within your budget by asking yourself a few questions. Why are you looking to hire a photographer? Is there an occasion coming up that you want to relive forever? Did you see an ad that got your interest? Do you value forever memories as much as you value other luxuries? I feel that capturing and archiving memories is necessary and have invested much money and time in capturing and preserving my memories. My perfect client is aligned with that thought process.

4. How do they deliver your images? It is very popular to ‘shoot and burn’ which is to take your pictures and deliver them digitally as a download or on a DVD or USB. Other photographers take time and expertise, style the shoot for the best memory possible, know posing and light and transform each image into beautiful works of art. If you are paying $100 for three hours of coverage and many images, there is a good chance that this particular photographer may not be running an official business. They may be making a little pocket money. Photographers starting out make under $3/hour by the time they cover expenses and their time. The time a photographer spends with you is a fraction of the time they spend getting ready for the shoot, editing and delivering a finished product to you.

5. Photographers are as different as other companies. Target, Walmart and Macy’s offer similar products but at different quality and price points. Red Lobster, McDonalds and other food sources also vary in quality and prices. It’s up to your preferences, budget and priorities what you will be satisfied with after everything is done. These are your forever memories, hopefully to create a timeline on your walls.

 

I hope these little tips help you with your search. If you'd like to talk more about hiring me as your personal family photographer, then shoot me a message! I have a few exciting ideas for the coming year and a flexible calendar because all of our time is valuable, and I work within your availability.


 

 

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