WHY THE PHOTOS IN YOUR HOME MATTER

Do you have photos displayed in your home? I’m sure there are at least a few. A wedding photo in the silver frame that was a wedding gift. A picture from a photo booth that’s stuck to your fridge. By the way, I really enjoyed time spent at the photo booth, as it was completely new experience for me (contact Inside Out Booth if you are looking for a great booth). The craft your kiddo made with their school photo for mother’s day last year. All of them are important to you in some way, or you wouldn’t have them up.

But have you ever thought about why they are important? There are a lot of reasons, but one is because they help us remember. We want to remember our wedding day or what our child looked like when they were first born. We want to remember happy times and surround ourselves with them. I for example got breast implants in Johnson City, and we can see the difference in some of the pictures that we took, some that are displayed and some that are not. It’s very interesting noticing the difference in how clothing fits, and how I seem far more confident in my posture and posing for the camera after the procedure.

Another reason the photos in our home are important is because they show what or who is important to us. Only the people who are most important in our lives make it into the photo frame or onto the fridge. They also show everyone who steps across our threshold who are the most important people in your life.

What got me thinking about this? Well, a couple of months ago, our son, Cooper, found that he could reach the frames on our table tops. He left most of them alone, except for one. A photo of my dad.

Both my mom and dad have thought it was weird that I’ve had that photo framed for years. It’s one of my favorites. It’s actually from the very first roll of black and white film I ever took in my first photography class. I loved how it was just so my dad. 

Cooper carries that photo around all the time. I find it in his room, the hallway, the bathroom… and do you see those smudge marks? those are from the kisses he give it. He loooooooves his grandpa. And I’m thinking this photo helps him remember one of his most important people when he can’t see him. So cute, right? 

Another photo we love is this one of my husband’s grandma at our wedding. Don’t you just love her old school film camera? She was so excited that her grandson was getting married (finally!). That was actually the last time we saw her since she passed away a few months later. One day Cooper brought this photo to me and grunted at it, pointing. I told him, “That’s your great grandma. She would have been crazy about you.”

As our kids grow up, who or what is important to us will be communicated by what we surround ourselves with in our home. If a child sees their photo in a frame or on the wall, it says,you are important to me“.

So print your photos! Get them up on the wall!

Do you need some new portraits? I can help with that! Contact me for a consult today. Let’s fill your walls with the people you love most.

Have a great week!

~Jen

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Christiana’s Preserves-Orange County Headshots

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Recently I had the privilege of meeting up with Christiana Christian of Christiana’s Preserves to do some headshots. She makes the most amazing jams and preserves that I’ve ever tasted! So of course I worked in a few jars as part of my payment. Let me tell you…. her apple butter… to die for! I think there’s magic in there.

She has recently been selected by Ball Canning Company as one of their users/makers. She is also working on a food blog Lemons & Twine with delicious recipes and just plain ol’ love of beautiful food! Check her out and follow Lemons and Twine on Intagram.

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Come Learn with Me!

So for those of you that were hoping my announcement had something to do with me being pregnant… well… you might be pretty disappointed. I’m not. Pregnant, that is.

But for those of you who are wanting to start a photography business or are feeling stuck and wanting to take it to the next level… well, my announcement may just be great news for you!

I am so excited to offer, for the first time, one-on-one mentor sessions!

I have been running my photography business for almost nine years now (wow, has it really been that long?!?). I’ve done some things right and have fallen flat on my face at other times.

But through the trial and error of it all, I’ve learned A LOT! I’m an open book and I love sharing what I have learned with other photographers. I have created these one-on-one mentoring sessions to help you learn in the best way possible so I will be completely open on how I run my business, from client meetings, to pricing, to final product.

Everyone is at a different place, from dreaming of breaking into the photography biz to needing that extra push to grow your business. Let me help. Your one-on-one session will be customized to fit YOU and what YOU need most. Here are the details:

Mentor Session Postcard

 

A New Look

So a little while ago I decided I needed a change.  It was going on three years since I had re-branded and designed my last website.  I loved my site, but the creative in me was itchin’ to do somethin’ new!  That’s one of the reasons I use Showit.  It allows me the freedom to make changes to my website whenever I want.  I love the fact that if I can dream it up, I can probably do it in Showit.

So I started playing.  I had so much fun and I’m really happy with the new look.  It’s lead to new business cards and a bunch of other things which is also super fun!

So go on over and take a look if you haven’t already.  And drop me a note to let me know what you think!

www.jendisney.com

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Happy Love Day- Hand Made Valentines

Dear Reader,

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I know for a lot of single people out there, this day can be one that is dreaded, hated even.  The idea of being alone on yet another Valentine’s Day can make them sad, wishing they had someone to give them flowers and tell them “I Love you!”

I can certainly understand that.  I mean, I did feel a little sting of jealousy as I scanned through facebook today, seeing photos of breakfasts in bed and people claiming to be the luckiest girl/guy in the world.

But in general, I don’t have negative feelings about Valentine’s Day.  I actually really like it!  Maybe it’s because when I see pink and red hearts everywhere I associate them with my birthday, which is on the 11th and has always been a time of the year I’ve been made to feel really special by my family and friends.  Maybe it’s because it’s when those cinnamon heart-shaped gum drops are in the stores and I always remember my mom keeping those in the house around Valentines Day.  Over the past week I’ve almost been able to taste them as I’ve been thinking about them!  Or maybe it’s because s lot of the married people I know don’t actually do anything special on Valentine’s Day, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

Whatever the reason, it’s a fun day in my book.  It’s a day to celebrate the fact that I have love in my life.  I have family and friends that I love and am loved by.  I have a job that allows me to celebrate love all the time.  And I have a God who is crazy about me!  This morning I was reading Matthew chapter 10 and I came across this passage:

“Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Now that makes a girl feel pretty special.

A few weeks ago, my roommate, Ally, got me to sign up for a Valentine’s exchange through Aunt Peaches’ blog.  I was given three addresses of people around the country and was to send each person a hand made Valentine.  In return I received three hand made Valentines.  Pretty fun huh?

Here’s what I made.  I stitched these little felt envelopes.

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Then included a little note inside.

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Here are the ones I received.  I just got the little bookmark one toady.  Isn’t it fun!

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My roommate, Ally, left this one for me on my keyboard this morning.  I love it!  She’s so creative!

Valentines 4So, Happy Love Day, everyone!

Love, Jen

Thank You

Dear Haylee & Megan,

I know you’re not really supposed to say “thank you” for a thank you note, but I don’t care.  So….

THANK YOU!!!!!!

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There’s just something about a hand written note.  It’s so personal.  I love getting to do what I do.  It’s fun for me and an honor to be able to take your photos.  But getting your thank you notes in my mailbox (which honestly sees way more bills and junk mail than fun mail) feels like a little part of you just showed up at my house to give me a hug.  It’s things like this that make not just my job, but my life an absolute joy.

It made me think about the people I am thankful for.  Do I show them enough?  How can I let them know how much I appreciate them?  And it sure as heck makes me want to write more notes so the people I love can experience that “hug in your mailbox” feeling too.

And this may sound corny, but how can my life be a “thank you note”  to the One who has given me life and has given it to me more abundantly than I could have asked or imagined?  Or what about the times when I feel like God hasn’t listened and things aren’t turning out at all like I hoped or imagined?  What then?  I read this in Shauna Niequist’s book Cold Tangerines this morning and I think this is a good answer to that question and a great thought to meditate on this weekend.

“Celebration when you’re calling the shots?  Easy.  Celebration when your plan is working?  Anyone can do that.  But when you realize that the story of your life could be told a thousand different ways, that you could tell it over and over as a tragedy, but you choose to call it an epic, that’s when you start to learn what celebration is.  When what you see in front of you is so far outside of what you dreamed, but you have the belief, the boldness, the courage to call it beautiful instead of calling it wrong, that’s celebration.

“When you can invest yourself deeply and unremittingly in the life that surrounds you instead of declaring yourself out of the game once and for all, because what’s happened to you is too bad, too deep, too ugly for anyone to expect you to move on from, that’s that good rich place.  That’s the place where the things that looked for all intents and purposes like curses start to stand up and shimmer and dance, and you realize with a gasp that they may have been blessings all along.  Or maybe not.  Maybe they were curses, in fact, but the force of your belief and your hope and your desperate love for life as it is actually unfolding, has brought a blessing from a curse, like water from a stone, like life from a tomb, like the actual story of God over and over.”

Vintage Travel Save the Dates

Josh & Kristin,

You are getting a lot of air time on my blog these days.  But you guys are so cool I can’t help it!  I loved the save the dates that you guys sent out!  I loved them so much they got their own photo shoot right before they flew off on their honeymoon and I got to go on vacation for a few days to Cabo. For those planning on taking a trip very soon, then make sure that you have International Insurance.

You guys are a great example of what it looks like to carry a theme through.  Nice work!

vintage travel save the dates1I mean, seriously.  You thought of every detail.  I love the custom rubber stamp with the little airplane.

vintage travel save the dates2I blurred out your website so all your adoring fans can’t stalk your website. 🙂

Look at you!  Even your stamps are fun!

vintage travel save the dates3I love it!

Love, Jen

PS- I can’t wait to post some pics of your custom designed guest book!

Making me happy

Dear Ralph’s floral department manager,

Thank you for putting these on clearance.  You knew that I have a hard time passing up a bargain and that I wouldn’t be able to resist them.  I’m so glad I gave in!

sunflowers01Every time I walk into the room they give me a little infusion of joy.

sunflowers03They have been making me happy all week.

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$3.49 well spent.

Love, Jen

Ronda, Spain- A sweet surprise

You know… I realized that I never finished blogging my trip to Spain.  So I’m determined to finish before the end of the year!

When last we checked in on this traveling duo, they were in Granada.  We had decided that we would rent a car for part of our trip so we could see more of the countryside.  I was really excited to be our designated driver so I got an international driver’s license before we left.  I thought it would just sound cool to say that I drove around Spain’s countryside.  Little did I know, an automatic car is hard to come by in Europe.  And this girl never learned how to drive stick.  Stink!  Luckily, Lanette does drive stick, so she became our driver I took on the role of navigator….. somehow not as cool.

We arrived in Ronda a little past half way through our trip and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  Scattered throughout the southern part of Spain are a bunch of little white washed hill towns.  Ronda was the first one we visited.  The main feature of this little town is the gorge.  The town is sorta divided in half by it.  Here’s the view fro the top.

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I decided I needed to hike down to get a better shot of the gorge.  It was a lovely little hike.

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I loved these yellow pom pom flowery things!

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And the poppies!

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And here’s the view from the bottom.

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Aaaaannnnd that’s about all there was to do in this sleepy little town, so we headed to our “hotel”.  We hadn’t booked any places to stay before we left the States (except for in Barcelona) so we would find a wifi spot and get on booking.com to make our reservations for the next town we would be visiting.  We booked this place just outside of Ronda, but had no idea what a treat we were in for.

Here’s what we saw as we turned onto the dirt road to get to our place.  That’s it nestled in the middle of those trees.

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We kept pinching ourselves.

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We had no idea when we booked a room at Casa de Campo that we would be staying in paradise!

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I sat out here and read.

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The door to our room and our little balcony.

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The comfiest bed of our whole trip.  And I loved all the little lanterns everywhere.

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After the wonderful dinner that they served us, one of the ladies brought us a basket of wood and built a fire.  We sat here in disbelief at how spoiled we were.

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The view from our little balcony.

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We heard lots of noises from different animals and on our walk we found some of them.  The best one was the turkey that gobbled at us!

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Cute little bunny!

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The next day we decided to do nothing.  We needed a little rest from being on the go all the time.  Lanette took a nap on that comfy bed while I read and journaled and then explored the property a little more.

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A peahen

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Isn’t that pool awesome?  It even had a water slide!

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More poppies and one of the bunnies we found in the barn.

ronda27ronda26Such a wonderful place to stay.  We were treated like family.  I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole time we were there.  I just felt so at peace that the joy of it all oozed out of me.  My friend Jess would call that a “little Jesus hug”. 🙂

New Fine Art Site

Lately I’ve had some people email me, asking about purchasing some of my travel photos.  That’s such a wonderful compliment!  Well now you can!

Da da da da!!!!!! (That’s my best trumpet impersonation)

I am pleased to announce the launch of Jen Disney Fine Art.  It’s very exciting for me and feels a little bit like one of those “full circle” deals, since I was a fine art major in college.  Now you can purchase any of my art prints for your home or for a gift.

So go on over and take a look and let me know if you’re interested in having a “Jen Disney original”. 🙂

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