Friday, December 19, 2014

Lifestyle:: Rodriguez Family Christmas

David and Devin got married almost 3 years ago (I can't believe it's been that long)! Before it was David and Devin it was Devin and Phoebe-her big red dog. Like Clifford! Phoebe is appropriately Devin's best friend on four legs. So when they asked me to shoot their Christmas card pictures, it went without question that Phoebe would be joining them.

Here's a few things I've learned about Phoebe:

  • She, like any girl, is always aware of how she presents herself
  • With that, she is too dignified to be on her back....or to be picked up
  • While Devin is her best friend she has a special ear only for David's voice
  • Phoebe is just as stylish as Devin
  • She only allows you to get a good picture of her when she's good and ready
  • She does a mean crazy eye

This was my first shoot with a dog and I learned a lot through it. Like always have treats on hand; sing "Do you want to build a snowman" to get their attention, and make yourself look ridiculous at all costs.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Resolutions? Goals? Call them what you may...

Call them resolutions. Goals. Aspirations. Dreams. Passions. No matter what you name them, have a set of goals for yourself and don't stop until you reach them. I have a hard time with the term "New Years Resolutions" because I don't like the pressure of having my goals established and game plan set in place by January 1st. My goals evolve, change, and take on the shape of how my year is progressing and for me? I'm ok with that.

Over the last year I started yoga, crossfit, & joined a new church. I moved out of my parents house and embraced being 25. I got a cat. I got a full time job with health benefits and experienced the glory of PTO for the first time in my life. I learned that it's ok to be alone and to do things because God wants you to and not because you're totally comfortable with it. Going to a new church by myself where I knew practically NO ONE has been a little scary and has forced me to move outside my comfort zone, to start experiencing life with other people & women that I've NEVER known before. I'm just trying to follow God's call on my life and move as He moves, even though I have NO idea what He's moving me towards.

With that, I do have some goals I want to accomplish-hopefully by the end of 2014. I've learned enough about myself through trials and MANY failures to know that no matter how long my goals take, don't ever stop working towards them. My goal for 2013 was to lose weight and get in shape while building muscle. I didn't have a "weight" I wanted to hit because to be quite honest, I didn't know what that would look like. I didn't want to hit a weight, I wanted to hit a feeling. Who knows what my body would look like as I continued to lose and I never wanted to lose my shape or keep going just because I HAVE to weigh 135lbs. I can say that as of today, I'm 75% there. I'm not as low on the scale as I want to be and know I should be, but I FEEL amazing. I'm doing things I NEVER would have thought I could do (hello people? back squat 135lbs?).

Hopefully with the help of my new friends at Crossfit CVI, the people I'm getting to know at Crossway (somehow the word cross keeps filtering into my life), and the quirky group I know at Krav Maga Worldwide Training Center I can accomplish some of my goals. I've already checked off a few of them which is super exciting! Here are the ones I've developed so far:

  • RX a workout- Check!
  • RX a workout that uses barbells & plates- Check!
  • Execute & hold the Crow in yoga for 10 seconds
  • Join the worship team at my church & start serving- Check!
  • Join a bible study to meet people and grow in my walk with Jesus- Check!
  • Test out of Level 2 in Krav Maga and move into Level 3- hopefully by summer! 
  • Photograph 2 sessions (life, family, couples) & post them on my blog
  • Lose 20lbs of body fat 
  • Read 10 novels- 2 down, 8 to go
  • Eat dark leafy greens twice a week
  • Pick a food item I've previously disliked & cook with it at least once every 3 months
  • Move my feelings towards running from absolute disdain to simple hatred

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Technical:: Practicing Posing & Lighting

There are a few shoots and blogs that I have neglected to post in the recent months and have become inspired to start blogging with a little more frequency than, oh, twice a year....

It's that bad people...

But it's never too late to change that, right? Good, we're in accord.

So in the spirit of blogging, below is a shoot I did in December before the madness of Christmas and New Years happened. In order to become a stronger photographer, I put together a list of some of my weaknesses from a technical standpoint. I'm pretty comfortable with my camera and shoot totally RAW and Manual which I am pretty proud of to be honest. However, my three weaknesses are posing, shooting backlit, and shooting in harsh light. So how do you get better? You practice. So I grabbed my roommate and her boyfriend and took them to Tree Tops Park in Davie to practice 2 of the 3 weaknesses (can you tell I'm avoiding the biggest weakness? Harsh light= Voldemort).

Now let's go ahead and put this out there-posing is hard. I've worked with people before who used to be or are currently modeling so shooting them is....well, it's almost like not even working. It's so easy. But working with regular people...who aren't comfortable in front of a camera...who don't know what I mean when I say "Smile with your eyes!!" is pretty difficult.

I'm still working and improving and hope to tackle the demon of harsh lighting in the very near future but here is the result of my experimentation.

Umm....rawr Briana, rawr...

She is so yoga...

This one's my personal favorite. Set them up in a good pose and then capture the natural energy between the two people :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

8 years...

It's hard to believe it's been 8 years since my life changed forever. Let me think back to 8 years ago. 8 years ago I was 17, a senior in high school, and getting ready to go on a missions trip to Russia the day after Christmas. 8 years ago I was excited about decorating for Christmas, complete with lighted garland and white twinkle lights in the bushes. 8 years ago I was also helping my sister plan her wedding which never happened...

I'll never forget sitting in the car about to visit the cake vendor for last minute touches. Rodney Atkin's "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" was on the radio and we were both singing it as loud as possible. It was her favorite song at the time. My sister pulled out a shade of red lipstick that always made her blue eyes pop and applied it with perfection is one swoop. I had yet to master the art of the lipstick; heck the idea of tweezing my eyebrows was still a bizarre concept to me. I remember telling her that I didn't know how she did it; I would never be that good. She smirked at me with the side of her mouth and said "It's like with anything you need to learn. Commit to doing it and it will eventually work itself out." I smiled at her thinking "yea right..."

I miss her so much sometimes it physically hurts. I miss harmonizing with her while singing The Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World" while clearing the table after dinner. I miss experiencing fireflies for the first time during our trip to North Carolina when I was 12. I miss venting my anger and frustration over whatever stupid fight I got in with my parents in her room while we both colored Disney princesses and she silently listened.

I miss thinking that no one would ever be as gorgeous as she was.

I trust God completely and I rest in knowing that He does work terrible experiences for His perfect will. It doesn't mean I'll ever understand it....but that's ok.

Whenever I freak out, convinced that I'm going to wind up being the only 30 year old woman who ever lived that never had a serious boyfriend, I always hear my sister's voice as she told me that one day there will be one boy who will be the one person I had been waiting for. I always knew she was brilliant... ;)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Holiday Mini Session:: November 16th

Hey all!

Have you wanted to get some photos of you and the kids but didn't want to deal with a 2 hour shoot with screaming kids and the lovely Florida winter sun beating down on you? This year I'm offering Holiday Mini Sessions for you to get your annual family pictures just in time to send out those Christmas cards! Contact me for more information. 

I look forward to photographing you and your family!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Event:: Uncommon 2013

I've been doing recreation for the middle school summer camp at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale for 9 years....

9??? 9????? WOW!!!!!

God has been so good, He really has.  Every year, about 1 1/2 months before we leave for camp I go into panic mode. Complete. Panic. I begin listing all the things I have to get done and get so overwhelmed that I shut down, shove my notepad aside, and go to sleep. Because if you know anything about me you know that when I get thrown too many things as once I just kind of look at them and walk away, not wanting to do it and not knowing where to start. And then every year I get to camp and am in awe of God and what He has done. For some reason He's chosen me to do this job and I love it. I mean absolutely love it. I get to experience Him using me in such a simple way to bring an environment to these kids where they can have fun and learn how to love Jesus more.

That's why I come back every year. I want to be used by God and He uses me at camp so show me how good He is. It's crazy.

It's been a crazy ride, honestly. The pictures I take each year bring me back to where I was in life during that time and it just brings me back. I've been through the mountain and the valleys but each year I come back to camp. Camp Geneva. Good Lord, Camp Geneva...

I pray for the team I'll have with me each year and am constantly provided with some of the best people I'll ever meet.  They're heart to serve-I love it.

Here's a couple of pictures from this year- Uncommon 2013.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Family Shoot:: The Maurilus Family

She's like my sister from another mother. My Haitian twin. The peanut butter to my jelly. Emmy my love, you are amazing. And your family is hilarious. I think I knew the instant your father peered at me over his sunglasses and said "I make this look good." I hope you guys enjoyed yourself and the pictures even more!