Sunday, July 31, 2011

On Clogged Toilets and Clogged Inboxes

Lucy and her eyelashes

HG Updates:  After several days without a problem, I'm back to square one.  I have been unable to keep my food (and sometimes, even drink) down, and it is extremely unpleasant.  My throat is raw.  And my toilet?  It's clogged.  Apparently, it is possible to throw up so much that you break your toilet.  I think I need to start alternating which one I use.  Just a little PSA.

At 15 weeks pregnant, I really expected to be over this by now.  However, it is very reassuring to see a new baby bump poking out and to know that my body is reacting to hormones that are keeping that baby healthy.  I wish it were easier, but my life is still wonderful.

As for the business side of things, it has been very difficult lately.  I can't keep up with my inbox.  I really am completely and totally booked for the rest of 2011.  And except for those with outstanding gift cards/promotional sessions to redeem, I am not scheduling anything else for 2012.  I really feel defeated lately.  I'm still trying to carry too much.  If I can get through the next 12 weeks, I will be okay.  I just need to get through the next 12 weeks... then I will be in my third trimester & I will "just" be a full-time mom and photography will go back to being a wonderful hobby. 

Finally and most importantly, being on bedrest most of the time gives me hours to kill.  I kill those hours with the TV or browsing the internet on my phone.  I have been completely overwhelmed by the stories and images of the famine happening in East Africa right now.  I can't imagine the suffering.  As a mother, my heart naturally goes to the women who are trying to save their babies from starvation.  We have so much.  SO, so much.  Please consider donating $10 to UNICEF.  That will feed a starving child for 10 days.  Text “FOOD” to 864233 and confirm your donation by texting "YES" to the automated reply.  For those of us lucky enough to have the internet and phones, $10 is a very small amount.  But if all 211 of my blog followers sent $10, it really would make a real difference.  Thank you.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

And in happier news...

Baby Five!  Yes, the quality leaves a lot to be desired, but I'll have some MUCH better ones in January.  :) 

There is in fact a beautiful baby (that looks more like a gummy-bear) growing inside of me!  I'm so thankful for all of your prayers.  This has been a really difficult time, between worrying about the baby and dealing with another bout of HG... but I am so unbelievably happy.

We can't wait to welcome out newest little one!  Due date is January 25th.  Baby names are being kept relatively on the down-low this time, and NO... we're not finding out if baby is pink or blue until his/her birthday!

Thank you again for your prayers, and I ask your continued prayers for our health over the next 28-ish weeks.


I have had the honor, privilege, and joy to work with many reputable boutique owners over the last five years.  It is so much fun to find the right models for each shoot, and to see the end result proudly displayed in their advertising materials or on their websites.  I have established many positive relationships with other creative women who put their talents to work, to help provide for their families.  There is definitely a sense of pride in helping another entrepreneurial mother!

That being said, I am extremely frustrated and appalled by the actions of less-than-reputable "boutique" owners.  I'm talking about the ones who troll the internet, looking at the websites of women who have LEGITIMATELY made the items that they are selling and LEGITIMATELY purchased my images for commercial use.  These THIEVES have the audacity to steal the images I have created for the TRUE creator of these beautiful products, and set up their own webpages with MY stolen images.  They have NOT made the items that are pictured, much less paid for the use of my images.

The rest of this blog post is directed at these thieving frauds:

I don't know about you, but when I work, I like to get paid for it.  You do not have the right to steal my images and post them on your page, in order to sell whatever you're selling.  This is true even if you DID make the item pictured.  But it is especially sickening when you fool shoppers... they think they're getting a certain quality of product, and instead, receive your shoddy replica.  Doubly devious.

I used to send "Cease and Desist" letters & contact the website owner with an invoice.  I don't do that anymore.  You didn't warn me before you stole my images... I'm not warning you before I file suit.  I've got an agency working RIGHT NOW on a case of image theft on my behalf. They get half of what I collect, and trust me... they want to collect as much as possible. 

If you didn't purchase a commercial-use license for my image or if we do not already have another agreement, you are STEALING from me.  If I find out, you will not only be paying the fee I would have asked for originally... I will seek punitive damages as well.  I will also contact every other photographer I can identify from their watermarks & ask them if you're using THEIR images legally.  Why?  Because this happens to me every couple of months and I am SO sick of it. 

This is for MY protection and the protection of my clients.  Stealing is wrong.  Using images of someone else's beautiful couture clothing to sell your crappy remake is wrong.  Using images of MY KIDS or those of MY CLIENTS on a website without a model release and/or express permission is wrong.

This is the only warning you're getting.  You'd better heed it.