It’s been awhile…

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared on the space. I’ve missed you, but sometimes we just need some time to breathe. It was that time here.

But, now it’s a new month and September 1st feels like the right time to begin blogging again and share where I’ve been.

You see, September brings a wide range of emotions in the world of Beryl and Be Young Photography. On this day, two years ago, we received a devastating blow in our world.  Today was the day we were delivered the news at our 20 week sonogram that our first baby, Bella, was sick. Really really sick. It makes me sick just thinking about it.

11 days later she was gone.

And even though the passage of time has lessened the hurt and the pain, September will just never ever be the same.

I love more strongly because of her.

I hurt more deeply because of her.

I embrace each moment tighter because of her.

I found the true meaning of passion because of her.

And the only reason Be Young Photography even exists is all because of her.

For a long time I tried to pretend like I could run a business focused on photographing families and teaching moms about their camera while also honoring my unborn daughter that died. I wanted to house it all here. Sharing the excitement that comes with capturing photos of a happy family in the same place that I was sharing my heartache, empathy, and hope for those dealing with a loss that is impossible to imagine if you’ve never walked in our shoes.

This month I realized that it just isn’t possible.

Things needed to change.

Enter the Illuminate website.

A labor of love all in honor of our Bella and a place for my heart to continue to grieve along with the women who know this journey as I do. A place for them to come find support and learn a new way to heal their heart. I created this website in a weekend. I locked myself in a bedroom for 3 hours, tears spilling on the keyboard, writing Bella’s story from start to end.

It’s raw.

It’s emotional.

It’s the honest account of Bella and her legacy.

And it’s been taking up so much more of my time than I envisioned. So I’d love it if you’d stop by and try to understand the journey that started this all and brought Be Young Photography to the place it is today.

CLICK HERE to go to Illuminate.

And if you are so moved, come follow along with this new venture on FACEBOOK.

But, the story doesn’t end here. And this space is now dedicated solely to the photos, tips, tricks, and teachings I know were meant to be housed here.

Family Friday will return tomorrow.

Like I said September brings a range of emotions and one of those is pure and utter joy.

Because our Brielle also celebrates her birthday this month. And it’s hard to believe in just a few short weeks she’ll be turning ONE!

Time sure is flying by.

And it’s time to make the most of the range of emotions September will bring.

 

Wisdom Wednesday | Finding Inspiration

What inspires you to photograph?

Children and family? The serenity and beauty of nature?  The simplicity of everyday life?
 
For me, it’s my Bella angel & my Brie baby.
 
The lessons they’ve taught me about family, compassion, love, creativity, and healing. Those are my inspiration.

What lights you up? Makes your heart sing so loud that you lose track of time? Gets you lost in the moment? Fills your soul with joy? And keeps you snap snap snapping away? Comment below and tell me. Or even better yet, show me.

Wisdom Wednesday | Stuck

Yesterday I didn’t shower. (please feel free to follow with a chorus of “ewwwww gross” or “that’s disgusting” here). The desire to be clean just wasn’t there. Being on summer vacation, free from the “day job” has opened up a whole host of new schedules and new routines. And apparently motivation isn’t a part that routine.  I wake up, drink my morning coffee, plop myself down in front of the ______ (TV, computer, ipad, smart phone, insert your choice of technology device here), and zone out completely.  By the time I snap myself out of this bubble of brain zapping media it’s already afternoon. Another wasted day.  And this is why a shower at this point seems futile and irrelevant. So I just stink up my house until its time to go to bed and do it all over the next day. (don’t worry I do actually decide to shower when I can’t stand my own stink anymore).

Can you relate?

You know how it goes.  We get so caught up in the daily grind that we get stuck in rut. Or a funk that we can’t seem to shake.  Or something comes along that puts us in a bad place mentally. Ruts can be small and caused by routine. Or they can be much much bigger.  Sometimes, things are seemingly going along great in our world and then something happens to send it crashing to a screeching halt.  A bad day at work.  A relative gets sick.  A loved one passes away.

This rut I am in right now, for some reason brings me right back to the place I was in 2 years ago when we lost our baby girl, Bella Rose.  At 20 weeks pregnant I gave birth to her and she did not live. In an instant our world was changed. For someone who is Type A like me (a planner, a thinker, an organizer) this was absolutely devastating. The life I had planned for me, for us, was not going to be the one we would get.  In the months that followed I was in that same state of not showering, not interacting, and I felt very isolated.  That time in my life was so much more than being stuck in rut, yet so similar to today on many levels.

So how to we climb out of a rut? a funk? a bad day? a bout of depression?

Today begins my first e-course: Illuminate: Lighting the Path to Photographic Healing where we are going to be exploring just that. The course was designed out my own experiences in using my camera to heal from the loss of our precious first daughter, Bella. It’s a community for baby loss moms who have lost their “spark” to come and learn some new photography ideas and techniques to get out of their own personal funk.

In honor this new journey I am embarking upon with the Illuminate launch, I want to offer a few suggestions for those of you who may be in a creative rut and looking to heal your own soul through photography, take some time to reflect , and bring some change to your daily routine:

  1. FIND YOUR ENERGY Are you are morning person or a night person? When do you feel your most you, your most friendly, your most easy going, your most energetic, your most emotional? This may be a clue to when you should be trying to tap into your creativity.
  2. GO FOR A WALK  Make today the day you schedule in that nice hour long walk. It’s summer, the weather is warm, the sun is shining, there are no excuses for being indoors! Bring your camera along. Take pictures of anything you think is beautiful.  Unique architecture. Pretty flowers in bloom. The sun setting behind your house.
  3. PICK A THEME Is your favorite color blue? Photograph anything blue you find this week.  Try to take a photo of something that represents each letter of the alphabet (A – photograph a apple, B – photograph a teddy bear, C – photograph your fresh corn on the cob for dinner, etc..). Nature lover? Photograph nothing but trees, flowers, and shrubs. Now go make a collage using this fun online mosaic maker.
  4. MAKE A SCAVENGER HUNT Brainstorm a list of items you want to photograph and go find them! Better yet, find a list that has already been done for you. The Great Scavenger Hunt is a fun one to get some really obscure ideas. Or check out this Digital Photography School Group. They aren’t very active anymore, but they do have lots of previous lists to get your creative juices flowing.

Are you feeling inspired yet? Go take a shower (I’m about to get off my butt to go take one now!), get your camera ready, get snapping, and please come back and share what you’ve done in the comments below.

Let’s get out of the routine, find beauty behind our camera lens, and inspire each other.

Wisdom Wednesday | Breathe

When there aren’t enough hours in the day and your to-do list is a mile long, don’t forget to BREATHE.

When life throws you a curve ball and the odds seem stacked against you, don’t forget to BREATHE.

When you’re striking a new pose on the yoga mat, don’t forget to BREATHE.

When the kids are all going bonkers and you need that one photograph of them all smiling at the camera, don’t forget to BREATHE.

When it’s time for bed and your mind is still racing, don’t forget to BREATHE.

When another year seems to be passing by waaaaaay to fast, don’t forget to BREATHE.

Today begins my annual summer vacation.  8 years of teaching complete.  The perk of having a teaching job by day is the annual hiatus that begins every June. This summer I’ll be snuggling with my “little love”, relishing in 6 weeks of stay at home motherhood, and launching some really special new photography ventures.

But for tonight I am going to forget responsibility, put away the camera, enjoy the sound of silence, ignore the to-do list and simply BREATHE.

A Vision of Baby Loss | Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Photography Class

My fellow baby loss moms, I’m going to let you all in on a little secret tonight. You all are such an inspiration to me. I shed more tears this week than I know what to do with. For your babies. For your pain. I have been deeply touched by each and every one of you who have already reached out to me through our Vision of Baby Loss contest.  Your stories. Your words. Simple. Beautiful. Strong.

Your revealed your stories of emptiness, the cries you’ll never hear, the unused belongings, the ways you remember, the siblings left without a brother or sister, the favorite outfits, the tiny toes and fingers, the wishes you keep in your heart, and the hope you still cling to dearly.

I am even more empowered to get the first Illuminate class underway and continue the process of using our cameras to process our emotions and heal.

I am also so thrilled that Kristin Cook, founder of Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope will be joining on with the first group.  If you want to be a part of the Illuminate e-course, registration is still open HERE and there are only a very few spots left for our July class.

However, one lucky mom has won a free registration.  After a random drawing using random.org the winner of the free seat to our July group is Sefanie S! Her powerful image titled “Four Hands” is featured below and she shares these words:

Someday we will be holding hands again in Heaven. I long for the day that Sam will reach his hand out to me and guide me to the home that has raised him and we will be together forever. I miss my little boy. Mommy loves you Sam.
~Stefanie~

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