Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Where are the Archives?

Not that I especially think anyone will care, but just so you know...

I'm moving my archives somewhere else. I do enjoy sharing my thoughts and struggles on my blog, but the reason I write is for ME. I want to remember the good, bad, and ugly. This season of my life will be gone before I know it, and I want to be able to look back and remember it for what it was.

However, I've been a blogger for 8 years now. 8 years! I've gone through a WHOLE lot in those 8 years, and I've grown up a lot too. I just don't think I want all of that out there anymore. I'm ready to lock it away, and keep it just for me.

I think I'll make it a standard practice to only keep the current year posted publicly. That sounds good to me. :)

Thanks for keeping up with me all of these years! It's been a really positive experience for me, overall.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I'm in love with her. Well more accurately, I'm in love with her documentary-style family portraiture. Molly Flanagan is hosting a contest this week. Sadly, I was not a finalist... but she did inspire me to try something new and to host a little giveaway of my own. You should go check out her page and cast a vote too!

One of the main reasons that I love birth photography so very much is... it's REAL. It is real, raw, beautiful life. It is unposed. It tells a story. It captures the mundane details as well as a life-changing moment.

It is absolutely addictive for me!

What if I could apply that same style to a family session? Rather than directing the photo shoot and making your children laugh at me with my silly noises, I could become a fly on the wall. You would see your home, your life, through MY lens. Wouldn't that be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?

I'd love to try it out, myself. Would you? How about a GIVEAWAY?

THINK OUTSIDE of the STUDIO. Remember my ad tagline: "NO STUDIOS. This is real life, captured beautifully!" If you'd like to see YOUR life captured beautifully, and you live in Katy, Houston, or Tulsa, then this giveaway is for you.

Email me at Lerin@LerinPhotography.com and tell me about your life and your family. Tell me about a typical day in your life. What kinds of things would you like to have documented for all time? What about your life makes you smile... makes you laugh... frustrates you... makes you cry? How did you and your spouse (if applicable) fall in love? What are your children like? What do you want to remember about this stage in their lives? Attach a photo of your family with YOU in the photo that I am permitted to use online. Be sure to include your names, address, and two phone numbers. And this is VERY important: Tell me who sent you! :)

I will begin taking entries right now! You have until February 3rd at 11:59 PM to send me your photo and written entry. On Monday, February 7th, I will announce our finalists right here on the blog. And knowing me, on Facebook too. ;) I will then leave the decision up to the public, just as I did with our "Best Giveaway Ever!" promotion. So be sure that you have permission to submit your photo to me to use on the webpage, and be aware that I will share your words!

CONTEST IS OPEN TO ANY FAMILY! Whether I have photographed you twelve times or never. To make it more exciting... past/current clients need to convince your friends to enter. Whoever persuades the most friends to enter wins an IDENTICAL documentary-style photography package! So please be sure that they tell me it was YOU who sent them. :)

Houston/Katy winners will have their session in April or May 2011. If the winner is from Tulsa, it will take place between June and August 2011.

Winning families will need to sign a Model Release form so that I may use their images on my webpages. They will receive a 3-4 hour documentary-style family session in their home with a custom-designed album of photographer-selected images AND a CD with print release up to 4x6.

Ready, set, GO!!!

Catching Up Again: 019/365 through 023/365

I am impressed with myself... I've been taking a photo every single day so far, whether it be on my fancy camera or my Galaxy. But I can't make it to the blog everyday to post. So... I'll do what I can. Here's a big catch-up:

019/365: When my husband is sick, there is one thing he is comforted by: Chicken Soup with Rice. His beautiful mother sent some over to us. The joy of having her so near and so willing to help!! Thank you. It was delicious.

020/365: Camera phone. We had to take Lucy Cate to the doctor. My monkeys in the middle had to come too... we didn't have childcare that day. It was all good though... I got to bribe them with Dr. T's lollipops. :) Lucy loves lollipops too, but was feeling terrible this day.

021/365: Camera phone. We hadn't gotten out of the house in a few days, and were desperate for milk and bread. I later found out what a bad idea it was to leave the house that day, but here we are before the bug got the monkeys too.

022/365: Camera phone. Lucy is a mess. She has officially become a full-fledged toddler. She has discovered the thrill of shouting NO and making her opinions clear to the household. This was during my attempt at dinner and dishes. She followed me and pulled on me, screaming, because she wanted... get this... to sweep the floor. I told her she had to wait until I was done with dishes, so she wasn't in the way. The second I turned it on and handed it over, she was all smiles again! Someone please remind her just how much she loved to clean the floor when she is a teenager. ;)

023/365: Ben-Ben got a "Home Depot" toddler tool kit for Christmas. It is his new favorite toy. Even more than his Batman gear. He loves to go around the house "fixing" things. He is so happy to have a toolkit now... he used to use my keys as a screwdriver. Now he has the REAL pretend thing. ;) Here he is, under the piano bench, fixing it for me. ;)

Thanks for enjoying my family updates with me! A "real" post is coming later. I think I've been getting intimidated by my huge audience lately, becoming a little more aware of just how publicly I am sharing such deep matters of my heart. I don't want to stop... blogging has been a huge part of my life since 2003. I don't want to make it private either. I just want to be sure I say what I want to say in a way that isn't misunderstood. :)


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

018/365: Sick Day

The very short version can be found in today's Facebook status:

On my way to pick up my sick husband from work, Lucy has thrown up twice in the car. Down to the diaper hoping to make it home before number 3!
(11 hours ago via Android)

My poor little girl watched DVR'ed episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba all day and cuddled her "Gabba babies."

My poor husband layed on the couch most of the day, but I did get him to eat some soup this evening... hooray for Nurse Lerin. :)

015/365, 016/365 & 017/365: Catching Up

On Saturday, I photographed this little beauty:

I've been working with her family for 2.5 years now, and it was the first time I'd come over for an in-home shoot. Their walls were covered in my images of their sweet family! I can't tell you how awesome that is. I love seeing prints of images I created all over a client's home. It is an incredible feeling. It means they really DID love those photos. :)

On Sunday, we had to entertain ourselves inside. It was rainy and gloomy.

Mimi was still here, so the kiddos played about 276 rounds of Sorry, Chutes & Ladders, and Candyland. After that, we got out the glitter paint pens... oh, what messy fun!

That evening, we had a nice dinner with Adam's parents and my parents. It was a yummy cookout, despite the less-than-fabulous weather. I sincerely love the fact that our parents are friends. :)

Yesterday, it was pretty late before I got a chance to do a photo for my 365. It was night time and I did an obligatory snapshot. BUT Lucy sure did rock the elephant hat.

Adam wasn't amused. He thinks I've finally gone overboard with that hat.

014/365: Splish Splash

I *love* bathtub photo-ops with toddlers. Not only because they actually stay in one place long enough to get settings just right, but because of everything it reminds me of... wet hair, baby cheeks, bubbles, splashing, fun... and a cuddled, toweled, lotioned sleepy toddler who (just for a second) looks like a snuggly baby again.

I can't take credit for the inspiration of the last photo. My VERY TALENTED friend and fellow photographer Kelly Garvey inspired me with a similar photo of her son, G. Thank you, Kelly. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

013/365: Blessed

I haven't made any secret of the fact that I struggle with my faith. I've been through some very dark times, even just this past year, where I doubted that God was really there at all.

I have to say... every time I witness a birth through my amazing job, I do feel Him in the room. I do. It is an undeniable, palpable presence. Just as I feel Him during certain prayers, or in certain places. God is with us when a new person takes their first breath.

I am so humbled, honored, blessed, and amazed... I always cry when I capture a new birth with my camera.

I was called just before 2 AM to meet this new little one.

Let me tell you... I've done it a few times now... birth photography is NOT easy. Especially when the fancy flash is off and it's the middle of the night and the room is lit by a lamp. I have to tell you that I could NOT have done this even 2 years ago. I am so thankful for the ability to shoot in near-dark, to capture a moment like this.

I'm almost done with the gallery, and after mom's approval, will share more.

012/365: The Reason I Haven't Answered Your Email Yet

011/365: I Don't Like Tacos... oh wait, I Do Like Tacos.

Ben would live on dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and ketchup alone if we let him. Or probably even just ketchup.

This is my poor baby boy upon being informed that we were having chicken tacos for dinner. He cried for a good thirty minutes, and then took a bite and declared that he LOVES them.

This is the third time that this scene has unfolded, exactly. With tacos, too. Do you think he forgets he likes them? Or maybe he's just cranky. ;)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

008/365, 009/365 & 010/365

Here are two shots of my darling Bella, helping me test my settings.  She came with me on a commercial infant shoot and helped keep everyone smiling.  Isn't she a doll? 

Day 009/365:

I spent most of the day at the Bridal Exposition in Houston on Sunday with Denise (the beautiful dark-haired Sofia's mom, the little girl all over my portfolio!) and securing an arrangement with Hidden Oaks Bed & Breakfast in Houston to be their official wedding photographer.  I am still amazed at the way God puts certain events into place.  Their family needs me and an opportunity dropped in my lap JUST as I had a problem I needed to solve.  It is definitely a win-win situation.  My head is still spinning!

I also got so many wonderful ideas and vendor cards for Adam's and my 10 Year Vow Renewal.  Yes, it is 3.5 years away... but I plan to throw one heckuva party.  :) 

Day 010/365:

I was very tired and overwhelmed this day.  Monday, I started my personal training with M at the YMCA again.  It was good to sweat out my stress!  Do you want to know the very long story?

Here we go...

I've somehow made an enemy in Houston with my boudoir venture.  I had to change my domain name and branding... and I moved fast, picking something new and running with it to avoid confusion with another local boudoir operation.  However, a friend of that local photographer decided to make life miserable for me by contacting a CA photographer with the same name as my NEW idea.  (Still following?)  Just one hour after I posted the new name, the "tattle tale" contacted the photographer in CA and my phone rang beginning at 8 AM and didn't stop.  My facebook fan page blew up with angry posts about "copying" and my email box was full.  I did have both the law and the professional photography community behind me, but in the end... I changed yet again.

I've never in my professional career dealt with such nastiness from anyone, especially another photographer.  I am still in shock with how things happened.  I had to threaten legal action just to be left alone.  It was horrible... false accusations were flying about me and my intentions, even about my logo design.  By the end of the day, I was emotionally and physically exhausted. 

I've learned a lot from this who yucky business: 
  1. Domain name registration and webpage hosting are two separate things. 
  2. The internet makes it a very small world.
  3. I have rabidly loyal fans and a pretty decent international following. (!!!)
  4. Working out stress at the gym feels much better than stuffing my feelings down with cookies.
  5. Remaining professional, kind, and respectful is the best way to come out on top.
In the end, I've ended up with a 100% better name that is both cohesive with my branding AND has a much more high-end feel.  I've also been surrounded by love and support from my family, friends, clients and other photographers near and far.

I even got to have a little wine and whine session with the fabulous Chryshelle Spurgeon.  She's at Imaging USA right now, and I'm wishing I were too!

Now, I've got catching up to do at work... got to take advantage of bedtimes!  I will catch this up the rest of the way tomorrow.  :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Worth the Wait: 007/365

Have you ever seen such a beautiful baby boy? I haven't!

This sweet baby was born 8 days ago to a wonderful family. If you know their story, you know that they have been through a LOT in the last 5 years. I am absolutely humbled and honored to photograph this beautiful new face... and inspired by the family's resilience and faith.

C, I truly ADORE you and hope you love your photos! Here is the smallest of sneak peeks. I had to share at least one before bed. :)

FIRST DAY of PRE-K! 006/365

My monkeys in the middle went to preschool today.

When I dropped Bella off, she waltzed right in without a backward glance. Her teacher raved about how smart, cooperative, and friendly she is.

When I dropped Ben off, the first thing he did is tell the director, "I remember you. I was going to write you a letter that says I love you." Then he flashed his most winning smile. Ladies man, indeed! He was very excited all morning, until he realized that I was going to really really leave. He looked a little distraught and got quiet... he looked like such a round-faced, sweet little baby in that moment that I wanted to cry!! But then we started talking about his snack, and he was okay.

When I picked him up, he was all smiles. I'll never forget the cute "MOOOOOMMMMMMY!" outburst, with a full on run and jump into my arms. He said he wants to go to school again next week. How wonderful for all of us. :)

In the meantime, Lucycake hosted a toddler playdate. I absolutely LOVE the little playgroup of toddler baby girls we've put together. It was so nice to talk to some of my favorite mommies in town and watch our babies play. It helped keep my mind off of missing my monkeys!

I don't think the first day of preschool could possibly have gone any better. I guess they were both ready, after all. But was I ready? That is yet to be determined. ;)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Back to School: 005/365

Winter Break is officially over, and my sweet Sophie girl had to go back to school. I miss her so much when she is gone.

I made her laugh this morning when I started singing "Paparazzi" to her as I snapped away.

One year ago in January, we made the decision to put her into the public school system after I could no longer keep up with homeschooling and the demands of family life. I was amazed by the smooth transition she made! Today, she welcomed a new girl into her class... she knows exactly how Paige feels. She is very excited to have a new friend.

Bottom left: Sophie got her nails done with Grandma Maxine, Emi, and Bella. It was a fun "girls" day! What a special treat. She was showing them off this morning. :)

Top right: Sophie walking to the bus stop with Logan. At the dinner table, she told us that she is going to marry him one day.

Madeleine Sophie is such a wonderful, beautiful, just plain neat kiddo. I love her to the moon and back.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Slap-(un)Happy: 004/365

We had Fifth Disease make its way through the family.  First, it hit Lucy.  Then I had the most severe joint pain and fever for a week.  Once I got well, Sophie was next.  Yesterday, Ben finally showed the now-infamous rash in our home.  His cheeks are very hot and uncomfortable.

Bella and Ben are supposed to start preschool on Thursday.  While it is NOT contagious once the rash breaks out (as long as the fever is gone) I am afraid that the school won't want him to come.  I hope it clears up quickly.

Poor baby... he looks so unhappy!  He was afraid that taking his picture would hurt his cheeks.  :(

Monday, January 3, 2011

Office Assistant: 003/365

She's terrible at data entry, but she works for peanuts.  Literally.  And, she's the cutest thing in Texas... even after the blue highlighter on the tummy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bella's Sweet Ride: 002/365

Isabella and Madeleine Sophie spend every nice day outside playing with their friends from the cul-de-sac... Emily (8) and the twins Ella & Evelyn (4).  While chilly for Houston, it is a bright & sunny day.  I pushed Lucy around in her red car and she enjoyed waving at the girls.

Bella rides her Disney Princess bike with training wheels, but she is fast!  I remember when she was too little to reach the pedals... she would get so frustrated.  Now she cruises like a pro. 

And my little Bella ALWAYS is down for a quick round of photos.  That face she is making in the bottom right is SO MUCH LIKE ME that it is almost scary.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lucy's Sweet Ride: 001/365

In the 6 years that I've been married to Adam, we've gone through so many major life changes in such a short amount of time... it's been one heckuva ride.  Our hope for 2011 is to have a relatively uneventful, pleasant year.  That's all.  :)

Poppy and Meme are here.  After spending a large portion of Christmas Break all cooped up in the house with a sick mommy, the three big kids went off to the movies.  They are finally seeing "Tangled" with Meme and Poppy.  Lucy does NOT sit through movies, at the theater or at home, so she had to stay behind.

She was so, so sad! 

Since I could do nothing to make her happy, I got a bright idea... I brought her little red car into the house and pushed her around for at last 30 minutes.  She was having so much fun!  Then she had apples and pizza for lunch, and nursed herself to sleep.

Lucy was so scared of all of the fireworks last night.  She came outside to watch them with our family for about 2 minutes... then ran back toward the house.  Here she is talking about it... I love it!

Happy New Year!

My 365

Happy New Year!  I am once again attempting a Project 365 to both document my family's year and to help me grow as a photographer.  I hope you enjoy!  :)