Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chase Your Dreams

5 years ago this week, I was sitting at a restaurant with my entire family, including my parents.

The topic of conversation was very heavy. I was MISERABLE. We were young and extremely poor, we had two children, I had a very secure job with free childcare for my baby Gabby, free tuition to one of the top private schools in the area for my preschooler Mikey, great benefits, unlimited access to my kids whenever I had a break, and was always just a short walk away from my Dad, who worked at the same place I did. Yet I had been taking pictures for years, studying and practicing, and in the winter had begun taking paid clients and received my tax and business licenses. The hours from doing the photography AND working full time at the church were too much, and I had to choose one.

Did I take the safe route, where I was unchallenged and just getting through the day? Or did I really take a chance and try and make a full time career of my passion?

I sat at the table with my parents weighing the pros and cons. Finally, I said "OK, I think I'm going to turn in my notice tomorrow. I'm going to do this." I promptly jumped up from the table, ran to the bathroom and was sick. This was absolutely the scariest thing I had EVER done.

I remember that my boss was not surprised. She saw it coming. She had watched as parent after parent would file into our office over the months, requesting photo shoots. She wasn't happy about my leaving, but she definetly understood.

2 weeks later I worked my last day, said tearful goodbyes to all the parents and friends I had made, and to my Dad who hated to not be able to see his daughter and grandchildren every single day, and walked out the door with the feeling that I had NEVER FELT SO ALIVE. Scared, yes, but it was like my eyes were open to the world for the first time, and the possibilities seemed endless.

What followed was definetly NOT a piece of cake. Guillaume Barre Syndrome hit me the week I left and I was incapacitated for months. Then learning to balance the Mom thing and the working thing, all at home. Then another baby, and then the difficult events of this past year. But the business has never suffered, it took off on it's own and it has thrived for years, and I truly believe it is because of the passion behind it.

When you love something so much, everything just falls into place. If you would have told me back then that in 5 years I'd be a single mom of three kids, living in a house I bought in Plano, supporting myself and the family....well, I might not have gotten so sick at the restaurant :)

I definetly have my moments of burnout, but only because when your passion becomes your way to pay the bills, it can sometimes feel less fun and more like a burden. But I have always found a way to make it exciting again.

And what is REALLY cool about this milestone is that my younger brother Tim just turned in his resignation to his miserable job today, and is going to chase his dreams full force as well. I know the rush of adrenaline and anxiety and fear and excitement that he feels right now all too well. I am SO proud of him and know from experience that he will succeed and be happy.

Life is too short not to love your life and to be stuck just paying bills and getting by. Chase your dreams, whatever they are!!!
(this is Gabby, who is now the middle child, at the time that I quit my job 5 yrs ago)

and here she is this weekend, before her dance recital. *sigh*
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Love this baby boy SO MUCH. He is such a joy to take pictures of. As a matter of fact, if you haven't been to our website lately, you must check it out--Mr. Charlie is the blue eyed baby on the main page!

Notice a common theme to my pictures lately? The Arboretum seems to be the #1 choice this time of year, which I love because you just can't go wrong!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Family of Fun

Love this sweet might remember these twin girls from their infant quickly time goes by.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back to What I Know...

...families and adorable little 1 year old boys!

(my favorite action shots of all time are catching new walkers mid-stride)

Monday, May 11, 2009

One Opening Left

I have one opening left for this Saturday's Spring Mini Sessions. (info here) Please email us at if you would like to book this final spot.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Devine U Workshop

I'm already planning my next Devine U parent workshop, please email me if you are interested and we can get a date set for June or July!! The fee is $250 per person, and it is 2.5 hours of small group instruction and exercise.

Some feedback from this weekend's parent workshop:

"I've taken photography classes before in a big classroom setting and gotten jack-squat out of them. The concepts of f-stops, ISO and shutter speed, just didn't make sense to me. I gotta tell you, I was worried about the cost of the workshop and not getting my money's worth, but it was TOTALLY worth it. I mean, I've got this fancy, schmancy SLR camera and had NO idea how to work it (I'm a very bad instruction-reader, I learn much better in a hands on, one on one environment.) You took the time to explain what all those knobs and buttons on my camera do and now I can correct those pictures that I couldn't get when the camera was on auto mode. PLUS, I now know how to manipulate the photos and make them look even better using my computer (I used Picassa instead of Photo Shop because it's free, and you helped me with that too). THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!" -Vivian

"When I saw that Devine Photography was offering their Devine U Workshop, I couldn't wait to sign up and save myself a spot! Not only had Deanna taken photos of my family since I was expecting almost 3 years ago, but the idea of being able to pick her brain about questions on photography and photography equipment that random "Googling" wasn't answering for me was just a few of the reasons I wanted to go.

After signing up I knew this was going to be more than some simple little workshop/class that you could take a Wolf Camera or community college. Deanna sent me an email asking if there were any questions upfront that I would like answered at the workshop, um WOW. Never had
a workshop ask me that before hand so that I didn't have to remember when I got there.

As the days got closer to the workshop, I wondered how Deanna was going to know how "my" camera worked. Everyone has a different camera, I knew mine was way different than hers, how was she going to help me understand my camera any differently than anyone else's? Well to say I was wrong in my thinking was a gross understatement! She asked everyone to pull out their cameras and right away she was telling each person what "this" and "that" did on their cameras - I even learned about buttons I didn't know I had!

Deanna was clear and spoke on a level of clear understanding that not only kept my interest in what she was talking about, but made me feel like all the information I was getting out of it was something that was completely ascertainable that I could, WANTED, AND COULDN'T WAIT to use them!

The next day I to say I was "itching" to pull out my camera and "practice" everything that I had learned is, well lets just say I was like a kid in a candy store! Thank you Deanna for giving me a better understanding of my camera - from the inside out." -Denise

Monday, May 04, 2009

High School Senior Photography

I was so excited this last weekend to do my first ever high school senior only photo shoot! (I've had teens with their families before, but never a whole session for just one!!) I was so excited and was even more excited to show up to the shoot and find this beauty Julie, who made the shoot so easy.

I have been considering opening a High School Senior division of Devine Memories for a while now, and this shoot absolutely sealed the deal. So send 'em on over!!

The Devine U workshop was great this weekend! Stay tuned for dates for the next one!