Kismet Photography: Blog http://www.kismet.photography/blog en-us (C) Kismet Photography gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) Wed, 27 Jun 2018 23:13:00 GMT Wed, 27 Jun 2018 23:13:00 GMT http://www.kismet.photography/img/s/v-5/u940193246-o721553352-50.jpg Kismet Photography: Blog http://www.kismet.photography/blog 120 120 If I Could Make Every Day Be Like Yesterday http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2018/6/if-i-could-make-every-day-be-like-yesterday You don't have to be full on crazy to be in this family but a dash of pshyco will help.

You don't have to be full on crazy to be in this family but a dash of psycho will probably help. 

Yesterday I had the opportunity to have all my kids together which is very rare. Everyone showed up and we spent the day laughing, eating and spending unplugged quality time together. The smiles were contagious from one kid to another as they chatted and goofed around with each other. 

I watched them and all I could do was smile. My heart was so full and so proud of these seven babies I have been blessed with. I looked back on our life and thought “Wow! Look at us. The fact that we can smile is nothing short of amazing”

Life has not been the one of the greatest rides for us. We have watched drugs and alcohol destroy our family, and tear us apart. We have been first hand witnesses to what poor choices and rebellion can do, and we know what it’s like to live with regrets. Yet, we still smile. 

I made the statement that “if I could make everyday like yesterday, I would” 

Then I started thinking...

Happiness isn’t a one day thing. It isn’t just having my kids all together, and it certainly isn’t in the activities and fun events we do. 

Happiness is within. It’s learning to let go of what we cannot change. Leaving the past in the past and working towards a better future. 

Happiness isn’t things going our way all the time, but it’s being content and trusting God when things get tough. 

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens,
but often we look so long at the closed door
that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
~ Helen Keller

Campfire and some music... everyone laughing, even some impromptu dancing and of course the Cha Cha Slide... there are no pictures of that since everyone got in on it. 

 

I don’t want to WISH that I could make every day like yesterday. I want to MAKE every day like yesterday. 

The smiles, the laughter, it’s all up to us how we handle situations and how we let them impact our lives. I don’t want to wish it to be different when I have the opportunity to make it different. 

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life
in which chance has placed us,
but is always the result of a good conscience,
​​​​​​​good health, good choices,
occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.”
~ Thomas Jefferson

 

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) Bar-B-Q BBQ Bonfire Campfire Camping Canada Cookout Dancing Debec Family Food Good Life Well Lived Love Music New Brunswick Quarry Siblings Smiles http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2018/6/if-i-could-make-every-day-be-like-yesterday Wed, 27 Jun 2018 23:06:39 GMT
Photography Is Truth http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2018/6/photography-is-truth

"A snapshot keeps the moment from running away"



I can't express the sentiments I feel when I look at these pictures.

Being a photographer, its our job to preserve these moments. The capture of time to experience the same emotions at the split second of a flash and the click of a shutter.


These photos remind me time and again as I look at them, of the pride and overwhelming joy. Watching these guys happily spinning across the dance floor. These are moments I want to freeze. Misty eyes fogging up my camera at the smiles and laughter. It's Tammy and Mike's wedding day. Their overriding wish is that all their guests have a great time celebrating their special day. Enabling them to look back on their photos, and laugh, or cry happy tears at the preserved slices of time they cant get back but they can replay. We did it!!!!
One thing that I have learned as photographer, is that I fall in love with the people I photograph. It's not so much looking, as it is feeling. Connecting in the moment with the emotions our clients are feeling. Shianne, you look so incredibly happy! These captures pull me into your heart, happy that your mother is marrying such an amazing man. A man who is going to take on the role of a step father to you and your sister. It's priceless, truly. Pure emotions are captured through my lens in that moment. A flash of realization, "Photography IS truth." It is a truth that can now be printed and put in a frame for them to walk by and look at everyday, and smile as it washes away the grit of a tough day with the smiles of yesterday.

 
As David Alan Harvey says...
"Don't shoot what it looks like, shoot what it feels like"

 

~Jennifer~

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) 24-105 5D 70D Atlantic Canada Canada Canon ceremony Dance Family food Fredericton Friends Kismet Kismet Photography laughter matrimony Mike Mike & Tammy Mike Roberts MKIII Moss N.B. NB New Brunswick New Maryland Roberts. Siblings Sisters smiles Tammy Tying the knot Wedding http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2018/6/photography-is-truth Mon, 18 Jun 2018 22:56:10 GMT
Heartbreak & Triumph http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2017/10/heartbreak-triumph

Gene: My excitement spiked as I looked at the details, almost giddy I shared it with her. 

Jen: "OKKKKK... Soooo why so excited? It looks pretty small. Why are you going nuts?" 

Gene: "This is a game changer in photography. You cannot make great pictures without great light. It is the singular greatest factor in the capture of great portraits. And yet only incremental changes have occurred in lighting for a very long time. But there it is...  A continuous LED light that is also a flash." The possibilities began to daisy chain in my mind and elation exploded in me. 

Jen: As I learned more of what this little light could do my questions change to amazement and wonder. How can something so small, do so much? And then I caught the fire and couldn't quit looking at it and the videos of what it could do for our business. I simply HAD to have it! 

Gene: Uhhhh Ohhh, I may have created a monster here. She is even more excited than I am. 

Jen: Business took off and I became exhausted with the overflow of work so set my desires for a new light on the back burner. Then the unthinkable happened. One evening in the middle of a shoot our Mr. Dependable lighting system began, shooting sparks, and smoking. My horror was indescribable as struggled to keep my composure and finish the shoot with smiles and professionality. 

My horror became almost outright panic at the next shoot. When despite careful troubleshooting my second light and my only back up, burnt up before my eyes. 

Gene: When I found out about the lighting system burn up my stress spiked to stroke levels and a sense of helpless frustration engulfed me. I scrambled to figure out a solution. I was elated to learn the lights could be repaired and if we did it ourselves the cost would be cut in half. 

Jen: The panic and shaking in my hands as I reached to take the first screws out was horrible. I was literally sweating and breathing like I was going into labor. Handling it so carefully. "Sssshhhhing" the kids and acting like I was about to perform surgery. Then I did it! I fixed the light and suddenly I went from panicked breathing, to dancing around the kitchen shouting "Who da boss, oh yeah, girl power!!" Knowing that I saved us a pile of money in fixing them myself was a HUGE proud moment for me.  

BUT the best part was realizing I had enough money now to buy the new light myself. I had worked so hard doing my job at the care home and then heading straight to photoshoots to be able to save money to get these lights. It felt like everything was coming at me when my older light system "went up in smoke". In a panic, I had to learn to shoot using natural light again. I kept pushing and finally had enough saved up to get this new light system.

As I was hovering over the "checkout" button, I was seriously so excited I thought I was going to be sick. My tummy was doing flip flops and I turned into this giggly, big sparkly eyed child who was let loose in a candy store. I literally closed my eyes and squealed "I'm doing it, I'm doing it" and "Click" that little sound echoed through me as I stepped into a new place for me. I had earned the money to make my first big photography purchase and the rush that surged through me was the best feeling in the world. 

Gene: What the new light gives us for capabilities is secondary to seeing the accomplishment glittering in her eyes. The swell of triumph tightened my chest. I can't wait for her to show off what her new toy can do in moving us forward in our pursuit to be the best people photographers. 

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) 2 dreams elinchrom flash high speed synch kismet kismet photography led lighting neo photography portrait portraiture quadra rotolight http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2017/10/heartbreak-triumph Sat, 28 Oct 2017 16:54:51 GMT
Down & Dirty http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2017/9/down-dirty

What do you and your clients do for the perfect shot?

I have had people say to me "Your job is so easy. You just stand and point a camera and take pictures. It's not a real job."

Ummmm, Say what?

Anyone that's been on a shoot with me can tell you that it is no simple small task to take pictures, nor am I just pointing and shooting.

“If you want something you've never had.
You must be willing to do something you've never done.”
― Thomas Jefferson

This applies to photography. To get that unique shot, that unique location and unique pose, you have to go to places where others don't want to. I always warn my clients that they will leave the shoot sweaty, messy and sore… If it's not painful, it's not pretty.

This client, in particular, was willing to go to those unique places. She climbed waterfalls, was freezing cold, stepped on jagged rocks in her bare feet, but was a complete trooper and was eager to take on the next task. She even submerged herself in the water with just her floppy hat visible. Funniest thing ever. 

It's these kinds of things that believe it or not make shooting so much fun. To see the clients reaction when they look at the pictures and their mouth flies open saying "Omgosh, that's so pretty”

We don't want to be like other photographers. We want to stand out, and we want our brand to be recognized by someone simply seeing our pictures and say "Hey, that's Kismet"

 

We love what we do and will go anywhere to do it. Even in freezing cold water in the middle of the winter. We may be a little side of crazy but it's the unseen places I want to see.

 

“The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before.” 

― Albert Einstein

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) barefoot camera crazy dirty funny kismet mud photographer photography unseen places waterfalls http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2017/9/down-dirty Fri, 29 Sep 2017 15:21:14 GMT
Share Your Flame http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2017/9/share-your-flame

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle” ~ James Keller

 

As of late, I have had many people ask me why I would help other photographers build their business. Why I would share with them poses, lighting, and locations etc. 

Why would I want them to be good and take from my business? 

One thing I have learned in this business, is that everyone, even the greatest started at the bottom of the totem pole, and didn't have two sweet clues what they were doing. They simply had a passion for photography and wanted to learn. 

Thats me! 

I looked at my very first family photo shoot I did the other day and cringed. I remember at the time being so proud and thinking it looked amazing. Knowing what I know now, after studying, doing seminar after seminar, spending countless hours watching Sue Bryce, Luigi Fedeli, Sal Cincotta, Doug Gordon, Kelly Brown and so many other photographers and having my fiancé coach me till my eyes glazed over. I realize that I too, still have so much room to grow. Even the greatest of the great are still growing and learning.  

The photography world comes out with a new invention and creative ideas everyday. Someone has to test them and get to work using them as tools to create new artwork. 

If I didn't have the help I had when I started this journey, I may not be where I am today. I have made friends with some of the industries greatest influencers. In my naiveté I just started talking with them (there are some humorous stories that shall remain untold here) unaware at the time how little I actually knew. Instead of them disdaining me and refusing to speak to me, they were gentle and responded with kindness. Now they are among my best friends and I feel the open, unthreatened warmth from them. 

Just last week I finally had a lightbulb moment with getting my lighting to the place I have been pushing for. I'm still working on it and haven't perfected it yet, but the excitement when that light bulb went off was something I talked about for days. I would tell Gene "I'm certain your tired of hearing this, but I am just soooo happy." He would smile and say "I know you are babe, and that makes me happy.”

 

Why wouldn't I want someone else to feel like that?

 

Lifting each other up by remembering where we all begin is going to bless you more than tearing each other apart. For me, it's not a competition. It's about learning, changing lives, hearing the young girl who was having a panic attack over being in front of my camera say "you made me feel so beautiful and you made it so easy" is what it's about. 

 

A flower doesn't watch the flower next to it.. it just blooms. To all you who are starting out in a business whether it be photography, training, baking, whatever. Keep blooming in the direction your heart wants to go. Don't look around at others and how good they are. They worked hard to get to that point. Cheer them on. Remember a rising tide raises all boats and business is dynamic and not a static pie in that I have to jealousy guard my slice.

 

I will continue to strive to get better and more accomplished in my skill set. That isn’t to angrily protect my “territory” but to answer that creative drive for the pure joy of expressing the artist within me. 

 

Don't look down on the ones starting out. Offer them tips and advice to help build them up. Remember there are always those above you and below you no matter what level you are at. In the end, you will be blessed by being the candle that lit another candle.

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) #genenjen camera empower enrich fulfillment grow growing impart inspire james keller kindness kismet kismet photography life memories mentor motto photographer photography satisfying share shine synergy teamwork http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2017/9/share-your-flame Thu, 28 Sep 2017 23:39:36 GMT
#GeneNJenSetSail http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2017/3/wedding-announcement Eugene: Hey guys!!!! The news we have been working on!!!! Super pumped!!! Excited!!! Jennifer and I have set a wedding date, June 16, 2018 and location, Bar Harbor, Maine. It all hinged on the photographer we wanted. I know huge newsflash there huh?

Jennifer: One of the most important things around our wedding is having a great photographer. I have followed many and there are so many fantastic ones out there. I know that when our special day is over, and I have nothing left of our day (flowers have wilted, expensive dress that will never be worn again, and the fun and entertainment of the venue is long passed). I will have show stopping photos and and an amazing experience to look back on. That is what is important to us.

Eugene: She had a dream. There were several more convenient options and even conservative thoughts of holding money back to start a new life and expand our business in a new location and… So many things and all of them require money. That is just the cold facts of life isn’t it? In the end while driving through the darkened night hours talking it through from every possible angle I knew we would regret it if we didn’t push hard for our dream.

Jennifer: We want our day to be about making, capturing and preserving our memories. Ones that we can't do a "redo" on. To insure that happens, we have chosen one of the best photographers out there. One that I admire and have a ton of respect for. Not just for his work, but for his heart and passion for what he does. Luigi Fedeli, I could not be more proud and honored to have you as our photographer for our special day.

Master Collection 2016 - Wedding Fine Art 2016 from Luigi Fedeli on Vimeo.

Wedding FineArt 2015 from Luigi Fedeli on Vimeo.

POST WEDDING ROMA - A Memorable Shoots from Luigi Fedeli on Vimeo.

Website: http://www.luigifedeli.it

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/luigi.fedeli.108 

Eugene: The awards he has won are virtually endless but it's that his art often makes me stop breathing. This is the artist I wanted and we are soooo excited to share with our friends and family the joyful merging of two life paths and our families.

The practical discussion… the cost of this announcement is staggering to us. We are NOT wealthy or even close to it. This is the second wedding for each of us so no bank accounts but our own to tap to cover it. The ripping reality of that made this a heart rending decision and in the end we have decided that this is central to our dream of our day and we want it captured magnificently. 

Jennifer: For Eugene and I, this is a dream. We know as photographers how very important pictures are. We have heard so many people say "I wish I would have spent the money on a photographer!” Above my dress, our venue, music, location and all the other details of our day, our photographer was the top priority. Luigi, your friendship to Gene and I through this process has been so rewarding. I am more excited now than ever and can breath so much better knowing that our day is going to be captured the way we want it to be.

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) #GeneNJen #GeneNJenSetSail #GeneNJenTieTheKnot Bar Harbor Canon Kismet Kismet Photography Luigi Fedeli Maine Photographer affordability can't afford costs dream expensive family price wedding http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2017/3/wedding-announcement Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:11:39 GMT
Caylin and Ally http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2017/1/comfort-in-front-of-the-camera
Being a girl is cool, but everyone knows that being a teen girl in today's society can be rough. Trying to discover who you are, your likes, dislikes and growing into your own body while your baby face vanishes and you take on a more mature look. It can awkward and sometimes scary. Some hide away, others embrace it!  Yesterday, these two girls embraced it.
It was so awesome for us as photographers to watch their confidence grow with each capture. They both had been worried about it being awkward being in front of the camera and having a stranger take their photos.  As time went on and with each pose and smile, their smiles got bigger.
That is what Kismet is about. Making people feel beautiful and confidant with themselves. Capturing lifelong friendships and empowering young girls to love who they are and be the best they can be while building each other up. Seeing the excitement on not only their face, but watching Mom and Dad's excitement and pride as they tried picking out favorites. Then our joy comes, when they say "We want all of them!"
We had a blast with you girls and despite the freezing cold temperatures, you rocked it! I hope you both continue on the path you are on. Smart, beautiful young ladies getting ready to take on the world!


"You have what it takes to be a victorious, independent, fearless woman"- Tyra Banks

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) 24-105mm 70-200mm Awkward Canon Comfort Friendship L-358 MKIII Photography Teen Teenager and blond blonde braces brunette cold curls early elinchrom ezybox flannel freezing girls golden hour plaid quadra sekonic smiles snow teen http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2017/1/comfort-in-front-of-the-camera Thu, 05 Jan 2017 01:00:52 GMT
Ordinary Days, Slipping Away http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2016/11/ordinary-days-slipping-away We ThreeLiving with regrets & Missed opportunities.

Saturday November 11th, Kismet photographed our first church fund-raiser. We had many people come and go and each impacted our lives in very different ways. One client we had though, really touched our hearts... 

As I called her into our temporary photography studio at the church, she said in a quiet voice "I have an unusual request", to which I responded "sure." She proceeded to tell me about her husband's passing due to cancer in April and wanted to know if I could get a picture of her and her daughter with his picture.

I remember looking at her tear filled eyes at just the mention of his death. It smacked me in the chest like a ton of bricks. My automated but emotional "Yes, I can do that" slid out. I was immediately grateful for every bit of constructive criticism I endured and every detailed lesson on posing and lighting and camera operation they worked on autopilot in the background as I struggled to hold back my own tears to capture this moment for them. 

As we were viewing the pictures, she told us how they had always wanted family pictures done but kept putting it off with comments of "Wait until we lose some weight" and "When we aren't so busy." He was diagnosed with cancer, and 8 weeks later passed away. Tears flowed as she spoke about how they thought they had so much time. They never expected for their life to take such a tragic turn.

Now, all she has left is his closely cropped picture and she wanted to include him. I couldn't help but weep with her.

In my own life, my kids would take pictures and I would respond with "ewww, delete that, I look horrible" not even thinking that it could be the last picture of them, or of myself. It made me realize that in the end, people don't care what you look like, if you're hair is a mess, you're a bit over weight, or if your smile isn't perfect. They care about the memories. The moments of laughter and joy in the capture and what you were feeling.

When our time on this earth is up, they will look back on those moments and wish them back more than anything in the world...even the goofy selfies. Don't wait to capture your moments. Take pictures, love fiercely and make memories, because in the end, the memories are all we have left. Bits and pieces of the time we've spent together. No matter how long that time was, it'll never seem like enough and we can never get it back.

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) Kismet don't wait grief loss memories missed opportunities opportunities photoshoot portraits regret sadness today http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2016/11/ordinary-days-slipping-away Mon, 21 Nov 2016 15:39:28 GMT
Orchestrated Moments http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/6/orchestrated

On our way to Jackson Tennessee to meet family, Gene and I stopped in Nashville at a McDonald's to grab a quick bite to eat and shoot a file over to a client.

 

As I was coming out of the bathroom to pick a table to sit at, I noticed an African American lady ,probably early 60’s, dancing to the music and singing along. She looked beautiful. Her hair looked pretty, she was wearing a really nice blue top with a pretty blue scarf that had silver specs through it. I remember thinking to myself "Awwe, God love her, what a sweetheart." 

 

I don't know what it was, but something inside of me pushed me, and I went over and grabbed her hands and started dancing with her. We both laughed. And I sat in the booth I had picked and I looked at her and said "That was awesome. Stay young, I love it”.....

 

She started asking me all sorts of questions "Where are you from, Where are you headed" and she wanted my whole life story. I shared some with her as Gene joined us with the food. She talked to him a bit, and then excused herself and said she was going back to her table. 

 

Instantly my heart loved her, and I told Gene how sweet she was. We ate and sent the file and headed back out to the bike after saying goodbye to her. I watched her as she stood in the window watching what she called "Two love birds on a journey". I motioned to Gene to look at her as she had her faced pressed as close to the window watching us and waving. 

 

"A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal." ~ Steve Maraboli

 

I put my helmet on and said again "Oh babe, she was so sweet, I just love her." Gene came over and quietly said "You know she's homeless right babe?"  I looked up at him in shock and said "No!! How do you know?" He pointed out that she had her little bag that she carried of clothes beside her, and her newspaper was all over the table with some belongings. I was shocked as I looked back at her still waving. "But she was dressed so nice and her hair was so pretty", I stated. Still shocked and feeling so hurt for this lady. I couldn't handle it, I took my helmet back off, fighting the tears and told Gene "I'll be right back"

 

She watched me as I ran back in the McDonald's and met me at the door. It was a moment I'll never forget. It was like the world paused as she stood there holding the door open for me. In that moment, I noticed her messy hair, that was standing up straight and had pieces of fuzz and what looked like bits of tree leaves. I noticed her beautiful blue shirt was stained and had dirt all over it. Her scarf that I thought was so pretty was ripped and  had matted strands of thread hanging down. I looked at her hands which were covered in dirt and her nails were ragged. 

 

Then I looked at her face. Such a beautiful face with the biggest brightest smile. It was rough and dirty as well. Then the pause ended and she was in front of me with the biggest smile saying "You came back, did you forget something?"....I grabbed her dirt stained hands and said "Yes..I forgot to hug to you. You are so beautiful and carefree, and you made my night. I just wanted to let you know how special you are, and that Jesus loves you and cares for you." 

 

She didn't move nor say anything.  just stared me straight in the eyes as tears started to fall. I continued and I don't even know where the words were coming from, but in that moment, they were spilling from me with such a urge for her to hear.

I wanted her to know she had a purpose. "I don't know you, but I do know that by you being so kind, and having such a sweet spirit, you have impacted my life and I couldn't leave without telling you.”

 

She let go of my hands and opened her arms for a hug. I grabbed her, and there we stood, in the middle of McDonald's hugging and crying. "You just made my night honey" she said as we loosened our grip. I smiled and said "No, you made mine”

 

"I just have a question for you honey...do you know what the weather is supposed to be like. Is it going to be sunny or raining" she asked. I knew why she was asking and my heart felt like someone was squeezing it. "It's supposed to be nice tonight, really nice" I said with a smile. 

"Oh that's great" she said as she threw her hands excitedly in the air. 

 

I knew the next night was calling for rain, so I gave her a little squeeze hug and said "But guess what?” I asked. “What’s that's" she replied. I looked her in the eyes again. My heart was so full of love for this lady that I didn't even know. "No matter what the weather is, It's always sunny in your heart if you let Jesus shine through” 

 

More tears fell as she squeezed my hand and said "Honey, Jesus sent you to me. You are an angel" 

 

"I'm no angel, I just think you are special. I hope you have such a great night." I said fighting tears. 

 

I gave her one last hug, and left as she pressed herself up to the window once more to wave goodbye. 

 

I can't recall how many times Gene kept asking me if I was ok on that bike ride to Jackson, but I could not stop crying and kept praying for God to protect her and look out for her.  

 

If she can stay so positive through everything, what did I have to ever complain about. I'm certain she cries when she's alone, but she made the effort to make other people smile. People more well off then her that have reasons to smile, and she did it with everything she had. 

 

It made me thankful for the many blessings God has given me. My children, My home, my family, an amazing boyfriend, and so much more. 

 

If we just stopped looking at all of our problems and stop playing victim to the pain of the past and started counting our blessings,  we would realize how much we have. 

 

As Steve Maraboli said "The problem that we have with a victim mentality is that we forget to see the blessings of the day. Because of this, our spirit is poisoned instead of nourished"

 

Don't poison yourself by looking at what you don't have. Find beauty in what you do. You can choose to be angry that the rose bush has thorns, or you can be thankful the thorns have roses. 

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) Homeless compassion connecting connection gratitude heart love orchestrated reaching tears time-stands-still touching http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/6/orchestrated Mon, 29 Jun 2015 23:34:27 GMT
Truth Hurts http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/6/truth-hurts "Do I have broccoli in my teeth?" "Does this shirt make me look fat?" "Does my breath smell?" The feedback we often seek is from people who care about us and they are very cautious in their response to our probative questions. If we are truly honest we are not expecting a negative response or it is something easily remedied. As things get closer to our center of well being we become more and more defensive and easily offended. 

We love our friends because they tell us what they know we want to hear. And while encouraging us to continue to excel so often their constructive criticisms are watered down and seasoned with an overdose of reinforcement.

I am reminded of an American Idol episode where a clearly terrible singer was auditioning and Simon Cowell stopped them to ask, "Who told you you could sing?" The quick response was "All my friends and my family have all been so encouraging and supportive..." Simon's reply was cutting and harsh in it's brutal brevity and telling truth. "They lied." And dismissed the would be contestant abruptly.

 

"That which can be destroyed by truth should be" ~ P.C. Hodgell

 

The sad truth is, most of our friends and family will lie to us hoping to not shatter our self image. The most honest people in our lives are often our enemies. We get so angry when we hear some of the things they say to other people in their estimation of us. The untruths and outright lies we brush off without a backward glance and a curt reply of "Haters gonna hate."

Sadly there are those who are jealously angered by our successes and the outpouring of love for who we are and what we do. Those people have their own issues and it is immediately clear to most others. We can dismiss most of their nitpicking and fault finding.

What I have come to learn though, is a difficult pill to swallow. Truth hurts and when someone offers up evaluations that are painful there is some indication that we know there is at least some measure of truth contained therein or it wouldn't hurt so badly. Those are the things we mull over and chew on. The challenge is to not allow those things to stop us but change us. Our approach, wording, actions, appearance, grooming, intentions, and motivations, the list goes on and on. These are all things that we have the power and ability to to take stock of in self assessment. And affect change for the better.  

 

"Pretty words are not always true,
true words are not always pretty;
and yet, they are still true.

Aiki Flinthart, The Yu Dragon

 

It has been accurately said that iron sharpens iron. And finding those with whom we can trust to speak into our lives with difficult direction and course altering advice are hard to find. My thoughts are: Seek those people out who possess the skill to assess and direct without killing the dreams and aspirations. Carefully craft your personal "Board of Directors" and intentionally populate it with those who have proven success and values that matter most to you. It is they who are able to cut through the noise to core issues and help us establish our foundation and footing to withstand the coming storms and successes of life. 

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) Aiki Flinthart Hodgell The Yu Dragon development growth pain painful personal development personal growth pretty words true truth http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/6/truth-hurts Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:52:02 GMT
Milestones http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/4/milestones

As a startup photography business with extremely limited funds Kismet has pursued Social media as a primary form of marketing. Constantly learning and pursuing training with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and an insatiable appetite for tips and methods of other successful photographers. It has become clear that one of the things to pursue is building a growing and thriving online presence. Both Jen and Gene have added their individual contributions in attempting to make first of all our Facebook page a fresh and dynamic place for prospective clients to see samples of our work as well as collaborating with other photographers. 

We are over the top ecstatic that in just 9 weeks we have gone from 0 to 1023 likes on our Facebook business page. This has been accomplished organically without spending any money in promotion. Accomplished by hard work in trying to move forward in launching our business. We would like to extend our heartfelt thank you to all of you have come on board by liking our page and making us a part of your Facebook world. We will continue to strive to bring you great content and keep you posted on the growth of our business in the coming weeks, months and years to come. Thanks again for joining us on the journey to our dream. 

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) Facebook Likes Milestone http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/4/milestones Fri, 03 Apr 2015 02:47:52 GMT
Lost & Found http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/3/lost-found

“Life is 10% of what happens to us, and 90% how we react to it.” ~ Dennis P Kimbro

 

Two years ago, my life was a mess. I was in an abusive relationship, and my marriage was falling apart. It seemed like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. I became very withdrawn and cut myself off from all my family and friends. I went months, without even stepping outside my door. I was so depressed the only thing that made me feel better was eating. I remember feeling so trapped inside myself. 

 

My inner voice was so afraid to speak, screaming for help, but I couldn’t speak out loud. Day after day would go by in a hopeless loop, where I would tell myself “Tomorrow I am going to make changes, start eating right, and taking care of myself.” 

 

Somehow, in all the distractions and issues of life, my tomorrow never came. I became adapted to my way of living, and it became the norm, my comfort zone. Many nights, sitting up awake and in tears at the mess my life was in, I would chow down on ice cream, or whatever I could grab to help ease the pain. It didn't ease the pain, and day after day I felt worse and became more insecure. 

 

After my husband and I ended our marriage, and I was raising 7 kids alone, it got worse. I would always make excuse of "I can’t afford to eat healthy, I'll just grab what I can find", or "I don't have time to exercise". 

 

I remember looking in the mirror one day standing there, staring at myself.  What I saw was not pretty. The pain in my eyes, was enough to bring me to my knees in uncontrollable tears. I didn't want to be this person. I was tired of hurting, tired of being hurt, and tired of making excuses as to why I was almost unrecognizable to myself. I could have pointed the finger at so many people, and things that have happened. But that day, something stirred up inside of me. I realized, only I could determine how I respond to what life has thrown at me. This wasn't the way!

 

The next day, I started out with a mission to walk every day. It didn't seem like a big deal, but I even made excuses to why I couldn't do that. I would fight with my mind and will power daily, but I stuck to it. Another day, I decided to add a workout routine. I went to Google and found a Jillian Michael’s video and added that to my daily walking routine. 

 

I became tough on myself, and told my kids to hold me accountable if I tried to quit. It's amazing how the brutal honesty of your children can motivate you. My seven and 10 year old became my toughest critics. It was actually quite humorous at times, and there were other times I wanted to ground them for life. They would take my water bottle and hide it, if I didn't complete my workout. Shouting "You can do it, Don't you quit! GO! GO!! GO!!!” 

 

There was something about knowing they were watching me, that gave me that extra drive and determination. I couldn't disappoint them, and I knew I needed to be the best person I could for them. 

 

I chose to take all the hurt, anger, frustration, and turn it into something positive. I begin working out like a mad women. I didn't let anything stop me. If it rained and was cold, I would walk around my house, climb my stairs and do as much as possible. At the end of every day, I began feeling accomplished. Stepping on the scales five weeks ago, and weighing in at 160lbs, was the best feeling in the world. I haven’t reached my final goal yet but the transformation has pushed me to step out and brave the scary place of being transparent in a chilly world. 

 

Not only has my weight loss helped me get healthy, it's given me so much confidence. That 210lb girl, who didn't have a voice, and held everything in, now has a voice, and I'm able to express myself. That girl who used to let people use and abuse me, now see's my worth and I know that I don't deserve to be treated like that. That girl that was hurting and so lost, has found an inner happiness, and has come to the conclusion that, I really like who I am, and who I'm going to be. 

 

It's been by the grace of God, and the support from my friends and family, that I was able to find myself after years of being lost. 

 

If you are struggling, to make a difference in your life, STOP IT! Make today the last day you make excuses. Make this moment the last time you let someone misuse you, and make yourself accountable from this day forward. It won't be easy, and you will have days where you want to give up. It's ok to have those days, but don't stay there. Get back up, and start your fight again. 

 

Every choice you make has an end result, so make sure that choice is one that is going to be positive. Believe in you and who are, and make it a point to be your best. 

 

As Henry Ford said, "whether you think you can, or can't, you are right". Don't be afraid of the changes, even though they may seem scary. Take it one day at a time, and only be afraid of standing still.

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) abuse alone conquering depression diet exercise fears losing weight passion self image transform transformation weight weight loss weightloss workout http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/3/lost-found Wed, 11 Mar 2015 23:40:45 GMT
Baby Bumps http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/2/babybumps I climbed out of my truck to a blast of wind off the waterfront in downtown Louisville, Kentucky it was February 10th and freezing. I am pretty crazy and virtually impervious to the conditions when I have my eye in a camera. However, it is rare to find any subjects who are willing to brave the chill let alone pay for the privilege. Babies however are going to make their appearance on their own timetables irregardless of what the weather or season is. So we all grimaced and trooped out into the wind leaving the warm Starbucks behind. 

Carlton Maternity-65High FivesWe did a series of shots of them walking towards the camera framed by the cityscape behind them like an urban canyon. It turned out very well as several of the pictures made the final cuts. In this picture I loved that Bug was in the air to make this high five.

We did a series of shots of them walking towards the camera framed by the cityscape behind them like an urban canyon. It turned out very well as several of the pictures made the final cuts. In this picture I drawn to Bug jumping to make this high five. 

Carlton Maternity-220On The BoardwalkI love getting the whole family involved in the experience. Quality photography is not an end in itself. I feel like the whole experience should be something everyone in front of my camera should enjoy and at the same time be willing to commit to the posing that showcases them in their best light. I absolutely loved this capture of these two. I love getting the whole family involved in the experience. Quality photography is not an end in itself. I feel like the whole experience should be something everyone in front of my camera should enjoy and at the same time be willing to commit to the posing that showcases them in their best light. I absolutely loved this capture of these two. 

Carlton Maternity-309The Clothes AwaitThe starkness of winter with the barren trees and empty flower beds contrasts the growing life that make his grand entrance in a few short weeks. These three will then be four... Everyone is eagerly anticipating the little man that will fill out those clothes with shouts and laughter, throw bread to the ducks and give Mom a heart attack trying to climb in the river after them. The starkness of winter with the barren trees and empty flower beds contrasts the growing life that will make his grand entrance in a few short weeks. These three will then be four... Everyone is eagerly anticipating the little man that will fill out those clothes with shouts and laughter, throw bread to the ducks and give Mom a heart attack trying to climb in the river after them. 

Carlton Maternity-273Celebrate LoveIn the end of the day a maternity shoot is the celebration of the love shared between two people. The resulting family isn't about biology or DNA but it is about building a protected place where tiny bundles can grow in their own individuality into their own person. Life isn't always as ideal as we would like it to be and sometimes it gets a little messy, and the lines get a little blurry. It is my incredible honor to be invited as the storyteller into those life changing moments that redefine who we are and everything in our world is forever irrevocably changed.

At the end of the day a maternity shoot is the celebration of the love shared between two people. The resulting family isn't about biology or DNA but it is about building a protected place where tiny bundles can grow in their own individuality into their own person. Life isn't always as ideal as we would like it to be and sometimes it gets a little messy, and the lines get a little blurry. It is my incredible honor to be invited as the storyteller into those life changing moments that redefine who we are and everything in our world is forever and irrevocably changed. 

Thanks Jamaal, Jessica, Bug and Baby Carlton for allowing me to be a part of preserving these magic moments in your lives. I am grateful and so honored as well. ~ Gene 

The slideshow of the photoshoot gallery: kismet.photography/carlton/slideshow

 

 

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) 100mm 5D 70-200mm Babies Baby Baby Bumps Bellies Bokeh Camera Canon Chilly Cold Expecting February Kentucky L L Lens Louisville MKIII Macro Maternity Memories Mom Momma Moms Photographer Pregnancy Waterfront http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/2/babybumps Fri, 20 Feb 2015 20:16:30 GMT
Don't Let It Die http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/2/dont-let-it-die Don't Let It DieEveryone has a dream, Don't Let It Die!!!

Everyone has a dream. As a child we all had plans of what we were going to be when we grew up. I recall listening in school, to students say they wanted to be everything from doctors, lawyers to rock stars and artists. I always loved photography, and was always a nature nut. I'd macro the life out of the little lady bugs, worms and house flies. Sometimes though, in the midst of dreaming, life throws us curve balls. 

 

I met my High School sweetheart in grade 10, and fell completely in love but I made some choices that left me a teenage mom at 17 struggling to simply get my high school diploma. I inherited some grit and determination trait from my parents and despite leaving my baby crying in the morning while I stepped on that bus with tears streaming down my face... I did it! I graduated with pride. 

 

I got married and 7 kids later I had pushed my dreams aside to completely focus on being the best housewife and mom I could be. My husband had a great job so I was fortunate to be able to be home with my kids and devote all my time and life to them. I loved it, but the dream of being a photographer was always there. I would practice taking pictures of my kids, and for the longest time I'm sure the Facebook world was wishing I would just put that camera down. There were tons of pictures of me saying how adorable my daughter looked in my shoes, or how proud my son was of his first fish. I was pretty post happy but that was my life! My family and my photography always came first. 

 

In March of 2013, my world fell apart when my marriage of 16 years ended. It was like the life was sucked out of me. I couldn't eat, sleep and spent a lot of days crying on my couch. One day my daughter, who was 7 at the time, came down the stairs as I as laying on the couch. She walked over to me and patted me on the back, walked over to the window, yanked open the curtains and said "Mom!! Look, it's a beautiful day. The sun is shining and we should be outside playing”... 

 

I am not certain what happened in that moment but it was like her words just spoke to me. I realized the time I was losing with them by feeling sorry for myself. That was time I could never get back. I got up, got dressed and we went outside. 

 

We ran around our yard chasing each other. I had tears streaming down my face but not from being sad anymore, it was tears of thankfulness that I was so blessed with these children who needed a mama that could be there for them. 

 

I made it a point from that day on to only improve and not waste any moments. I've moved us out of our old house that held many haunting memories, into a big house where I can have my own studio, and finally pursue my dreams. 

 

I didn't want to be the single mom on social assistance and I wanted to teach my children that you don't give up....EVER...No matter what life hands to you! You don't have to give up on what is a part of you. If you have a dream, you go for it, and pursue it. 

 

Don't get me wrong, life isn't always a picnic and we have our struggles. I still have days where I feel like I could sob my eyes out in the corner curled up in the fetal position. I also have days of pride and joy which far outweigh the bad days. My kids are watching their mom fight all alone against all odds against criticism and doubt by others. Watching me overcome every hurdle even if it is with tears streaming down my face some days. I am determined and doing it and I won't let them see less of me. 

 

Photography is my dream, my children are my passion. They deserve the best life I can offer them and they deserve a happy mom. It's not all about the housework and homework, kissing bo boo's and mending broken hearts. It's about showing them that they have a place in this world and there is nothing that can stop them if they believe in themselves. 

 

Most days are spent praying "Thank you God for your blessings" while other days are spent praying "it's me again God, I could really use your help right now" God has always provided for us and seen us through. He has guarded my heart from negativity, and protected my mind from self doubt. He created each of us with a purpose and dream that we are to live out in the best way possible. It's never too late to start new. It wont always be easy, but I promise you, it's worth it. Pursue your passion and Dare to live your dream.

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) Broken Children Dreamer Dreams Forgotten Kids Life Mother Photographer Rebuild Restart Restoration never to late http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/2/dont-let-it-die Thu, 12 Feb 2015 17:12:34 GMT
Learning To Love Ourselves http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/1/learning-to-love-ourselves Learning To Love Ourselves

Self love is a beautiful thing and something a lot of us lack. The world we live in, portrays it's own image through the media, even children's toys suggest that the "perfect" lady, is slim, blonde and beautiful.  Is beauty really only appearance? Don't get me wrong, all of us desire the perfect body, face, and hair.  How often are we so focused on the outer flaws, that we never ask "How perfect is my heart"

 For starters, I don't believe anyone is perfect. Everyone has flaws, makes mistakes, and finds something about themselves that they don't like, even if they are being praised for being "flawless".

The definition of perfect is: having no mistakes or flaws, being completely correct or accurate, having all the qualities you desire in that person, situation, etc.

As much as we would all like to think we are perfect, not one of us is completely flawless, accurate or correct, nor do we have all the qualities we want. The sad part is, these feelings of what "perfection" is, are not just being passed on to the average mom, the well dressed career woman, even Grandma who hates her silver highlights. It's being passed to our children. I have watched my 7 year old (who is truly a diva and loves fashion) take an outfit off, because it makes her look fat. How heartbreaking it is for a mom to witness that at such a young age. Yet when asked why I changed an outfit, when my kids thought it looked good, my response was "I thought it made me look fat"...I am guilty of teaching my children MY definition of fat. I'm not huge, nor a stick, but in my mind, I was "fat". Now no matter how much they praised me, and said, "But mom, you're beautiful, you looked so good in that", it didn't change my mind. My point in sharing that, is to say, what one person thinks is beautiful, another person may not. We are all unique individuals. We have our own taste, preferences and things we find appealing and not appealing. 

For example, I met a lady once. A curvy lady, who others defined her as "out there" She wore the blue eye make up clear up to her eyebrows like Mimi, off the "Drew Carey Show".....Everyone's first reaction when seeing her, with her bright clothes, big heels, and mile high bleach blonde hair, was "whooooa, she needs to calm it down". What we didn't know, and I only found out because I looked beyond what I thought was a whole lot of crazy, was that she has a sweet but broken spirit, because of things that had happened to her in her past. Horrible things that would break most people. Yet she smiled. The makeup, hair, heels and flashy clothes were her protective covering. In her mind, she felt that if she could attract peoples attention to all the "bling", no one would see her shattered heart. If I chose to judge her based on what others said, and on my first reaction, I would have missed out on meeting one of the most courageous, strong, BEAUTIFUL, kindest souls, I could ever be blessed to meet.

Perhaps we all need to take a step back, look in the mirror, and find our beauty within our hearts, so we are able to find it in others.

The definition of beautiful;  having beauty; possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.

Beauty is attainable, Perfection is not.

Let go of anything that darkens your heart, or causes you to feel "not good enough." Find the beauty in everyone, and in every situation as hard as it may be. Beauty is NOT perfection. It's letting the light that God gave you, shine from the inside out and learning to love yourself for who you are. Does that mean sit on the couch and eat a bag of chips, because you think your fat anyway, so your just going to love all the extra padding you have. NO! It means improving what you are not happy with, it means being the best you that you can be, in mind, body and spirit and being Christ-like. Not without fault, because we will all fail, but accepting our failures, brushing ourselves off, and trying again.

We were all created equal in God's eyes, and we need to love ourselves despite what others think, just as God loves us. We need to let our light shine out of our smiles, and pass it on to those we meet. Choose positive thoughts, take back the shine that others may have tried to take from you, It's yours to own.  When you start that little flicker of a spark, it will ignite into a flame, and the world will see it. God loves you, so love who you are :)

 
]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) Average Beauty Courageous Cover Fat Flawless Flaws Hide Honesty Love Mom Perception Perfect Perfection Perspective Self Love http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/1/learning-to-love-ourselves Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:00:00 GMT
Creating Your Artistic Legacy http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/1/creating-your-artistic-legacy Chasing The ChillChasing The Chill When working on a business one has to define who you are going to be and what differentiates you from others out there in the business. It is an extremely laborious and time consuming process to do it correctly. We wrote a blog to share some of our thoughts behind our company's new slogan catch phrase. We thought we would share it as is speaks from the Why of our passion as photographers. Maybe you can grab a cup of coffee and join in the discussion.

"Creating Your Artistic Legacy"

We know that a picture can say 1000 words. We've all looked at pictures of our parents, or grandparents, and laughed at the big hairdo's, and Elvis style suits. Though these pictures bring us much laughter and joy, it brings us so much more than that. It's what connects us to our heritage. We can look at them and find resemblances to ourselves, our children, even grandchildren. How many times have we heard the words "you look just like your Father", or "your daughter is a spitting image of your mother when she was that age". It happens all the times while looking through old photographs, and because of that capture, the legacy of Grandma and Grandpa is passed down from generation to generation. It's pretty amazing when you think about it.

That's why we do what we do.

We know that your brand new baby, will never fit in your arms this way again. That their first birthday, will be the only "first" birthday they will ever celebrate. That all these "first moments" from the day they were born, right through to becoming a great grandpa themselves, will never happen again, and that is where we fit into the picture. We want to create your artistic legacy, through your emotions and capture them so that you can cherish them forever.

Almost anyone can TAKE a picture now-a-days and grainy, blurry cell phone pictures abound everywhere. They get posted to social media in mind numbing numbers. It takes a photographer to MAKE a picture. The truly great captures happen when an artist captures a memorable moment clearly and with quality that will stand the test of the mantle portrait. An artist is someone who sees the world in ways most never do. They get awestruck over the glint of the setting sun in the eyes of a senior, they huddle freezing over a cup of coffee waiting for the first rays of a sunrise, without a second thought laying prostrate in a mud puddle to capture the angle no one else sees. Those are the people who shoot for the passion of what they create and those are the people you want behind the camera to capture your legacy. 

It is after all yours. No one else in the world is that unique mix of you. Wether you like your family nose or hate your lazy left eye. That familiar slope of your shoulders and the split in your center teeth may not be Hollywood perfect but they are completely you. You've earned everyone of those gray hairs Dad. Mom each and everyone of those wrinkles, you labor so hard to conceal, are all testaments to sleepless nights and chaos filled days that birthed and raised those babies. 

Someone who sees you as you are but sees that just over there in the corner of the maternity suite would be perfectly organic place to capture the moment you hold your first grand baby. That waiting 15 minutes for the sun to drop just a bit more will silhouette you perfectly as the bride on a bridge to a new life. That dropping down and shooting through the litter on the first birthday table will allow there to be perspective as your firstborn plunges face first into a captured moment with you cheering wildly at their side. Just as you will when they hit the winning ball for the city little league championship, walk across the stage to make their valedictorian speech, smear cake all over the face of their soul mate, when their firstborn makes their grand entrance and you become a proud grandparent... at each and every milestone. We want to be there and be your recorder that sees your world as an artist and preserves your memories.

Your legacy is when your grand babies show their kids the moments that define them and their family roots. It gives perspective to the glitter in the eyes of what they see as just an old person in their sunset years. When they are shocked to see proof that grandma was once the belle of the ball and great grandpa was once an all star. Life is a circle and it does turn swiftly through the seasons and the years fade so quickly along with the memories. But your legacy of memory moments that changed your life can be preserved as the mark of your passage.  

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) Artistic Brand Slogan Branding Byline Camera Catch Phrase Catch Slogan Create Differentiate Fredericton Knoxville Legacy Memories Moments New Brunswick Oak Ridge Passion Personal Photographer Pictures Tennessee Why http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/1/creating-your-artistic-legacy Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:55:09 GMT
Kismet http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/1/kismet  

Gene & Jen

 

Navigational markers and maps,

Longitude and latitude, 

Smooth sailings and smashing storms, 

Tides, low and high, 

Bathed in sunshine 

Drenched in brine...   

 

Life takes us through so many ups and downs and the landscape is dotted with roller coasters of emotion. Everyone has a story to tell that is far more fascinating in it's twists and turns than any writer could ever conceive. Those "You'll never believe this!" moments, seasoned with the "I can't believe I made it!" moments, against a backdrop of "You've got to be kidding me!" moments. It's your life and it truly does deserve a voice, a recorder, a storyteller... An artist who transfers your life to a canvas of your own personal work of art. 

 

That, is who we are and what we do. 

 

Our own story is irrelevant but so typical... 

 

Jen ~ As Albert Schweitzer once said "Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light." I always dreamed of being a photographer, but a failed marriage and raising 7 kids on my own, caused me to push my dreams aside. 

 

Then I met Gene. One online conversation, led to the greatest friendship I've ever had. The day he placed a camera in my hands and looked me straight in the eyes, telling me to keep pursuing my dreams and not give up because he believed in me, was the day my life changed forever. There was something in the way he said it, that caused me to believe in myself, and strive to be the best photographer I could possibly be. He rekindled that light inside of me and I am forever thankful for his place in my life, and that fate gave us a story. 

 

Gene ~ My life was mapped for me from childhood and it was a storybook one filled with elevating levels of Norman Rockwell like idealism. That all ended one morning at the breakfast table when like the screech of a needle ripped across a record player my world plunged into darkness. It was in that dungeon of my life I met a friend who miraculously gathered the shattered fragments and meticulously reassembled me. Then gently nudged me back into the sunshine again. So here we are embarking together on a dream that has organically and naturally just happened. We think it just might be a destiny that was meant to be... it's our Kismet

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) About Albert Schweitzer Art Artist Artwork Biography Camera Canvas Friendship Kismet Norman Rockwell Photographer Poet Story Storyteller http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/1/kismet Fri, 16 Jan 2015 19:37:46 GMT
Power Of A Picture http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/1/power-of-a-picture Cell phones with wonderful cameras, point-and-shoot, mirrorless and wireless. Big lenses, small lenses, wide lenses and tiny lenses, what are lenses and who cares lenses. What camera should I buy? If I get one big enough can I be a photographer too? Where, oh where should I buy? Online or specialty shop, big box or little box but maybe Walmart or Target will do. 

 

It’s all so very confusing so most of the time it is usually a choice that is embarrassingly close to random. Despite our best intentions it rarely comes out of automatic mode no matter how much money we spent or how great the camera was or wasn’t. So often it ends up collecting dust and we resort back to the cell phone camera or none at all because pictures are a pain and we all know there is never any convenient time to take them. We all dislike the person who is always snapping away and getting people together with “Now smile and look at the camera.” Wow, yes that didn’t look forced or painful or anything. 

circa 1968Robert & Marion Grace circa 1968Robert & Marion Grace

According to Buzzfeed an estimated 3.8 trillion photographs have been taken. In 2014 alone 880 billion, or more than 10% ever taken. The numbers continue to escalate at a mind blowing exponential rate. So, in that tsunami of pictures there is without a doubt an overload of amazing captures correct? I mean even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while right? The sad truth is that as the proliferation of photographs continues to explode, the quality of the pictures continues to sharply fall off. The intentionality and careful capturing of life’s great moments is replaced with complete randomness, shot at the speed of an assault weapon on full auto. The instantaneous gratification of split second pictures has become the rule of the day and the shelf life of a photograph is how long it takes you to get bored and replace your profile picture with another mindless blurry selfie. 

 

Recently my family experienced the loss of a loved one to cancer. In the process of healing we went through immense volumes of pictures. The telling and retelling of family history and the emotions it carried with it was amazing in binding up the wounds of a fractured family. One of the most arresting pictures featured my parents. Twenty three years ago Dad was tragically taken in a car accident. The thing most moving in the picture was his striking resemblance to my son, who never had the opportunity to meet his Grandfather. When he saw the photograph he was stunned and said “I have never seen a picture of them that young.” The connection to the legacy of his grandfather was incredibly powerful, a kinship I now share with him. Across the decades of time a young man starting his own fledgling family is now profoundly rooted to where he came from, thanks to the power of a picture.

Colton Grace 2011After cutting the cake at his reception...

 

Time has a way of indelibly stamping our lives with change bringing to us pain, loss and heartache, offset by accomplishment, joy and love. I cannot predict precisely what tomorrow holds but I can most certainly and with unwavering accuracy tell you it will bring irreversible change. The value of capturing life as we know it with all it issues and struggles will never be exactly like it is today.  Especially in those life changing moments why not be intentional and plan to capture and preserve your story for those that will follow? With your own personal works of art instead of the weirdly distorted cell phone selfie or the shadowed captures in front of the bay window in the living room? 

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) Buzzfeed Family Grandfather Grandson Legacy Memories Photography Portrait cellphone death funeral good intentions loss preserve selfie http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/1/power-of-a-picture Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:49:43 GMT
The Day Before You http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/1/the-day-before-you "Sunshine, On a Cloudy Day." After a homegoing service for a lon"Sunshine, On a Cloudy Day." After a homegoing service for a lon So many places I could begin to tell you about this man, but there are so many Im not sure where to start. So I'll start here....

In the middle of all my brokeness and the nights of crying myself to sleep, when I thought love was lost and I would never know what it felt like to be loved completely, he came along...

Every girl dreams as a child of the man she will end up with. Of course, movies and story books always make him out to be the prince who rescues the fair maiden in distress, the lady who is being held captive or the one who cries out in song wishing for "dreams to come true"

I had lost all belief in my fairy tale ending, thinking I would just have to suck it up and settle for some nut case wearing tin foil for shining armor....I was wrong. This man came into my life and truly did rescue me. Night after night, day after dayand when I was grieving over a broken heart, he was there. Even through his own heartache he took the time to be there for me, and every time rescued me from my own tears that I shed so many nights before him. When I was feeling like I didnt amount to anything, he made me feel like I was the most important person in the world. When I stopped dreaming, he gave me a reason to not only dream but dream bigger than any dreams I could ever imagine. The respect, love, and care he showed me, made me realize that I am worthy of being loved...(hang on, I need to grab a tissue)....


The days I felt like everything was going wrong and I was drowning and being held underwater, he tossed me the life ring. By quoting scripture after scripture, doing something silly to make me laugh or getting fired up and being very firm with me refusing to let me play "victim" of my circumstances. I remember thinking "who does he think he is" and voiced it to him once, as he came back at me with "I'm someone who cares". He's been my best friend and even though neither of us know where this journey is going to take us, we are enjoying where we are at.  He's been there through everything, and one thing I am certain of, is that no matter where we end up, I never want to wake up to a world where he doesn't exist and I never want to take his friendship, love and loyalty for granted. Gene, you are my "Prince", my hero and even though all this seems so crazy and there are many miles between us, the distance means so little when someone means so much. You mean everything to me, and I thank God every day for your place in my life. I never want to go back to ........"the day before you"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HNzB5oekes

"Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses." Ann Landers

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) broken brokenness day before you dream dream come true friendship love love story loved pain prince princess rescue rescue me victim http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2015/1/the-day-before-you Wed, 07 Jan 2015 00:25:00 GMT
Does Gear Matter? http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2014/10/its-not-about-the-gear  

Does Gear Matter Does Gear Matter?

 

In the middle of the night, the house is silent except for the sounds of a sleeping family and the occasional click of a mouse. The red eyed face of the figure hunched over the blue glow of a computer monitor holds an oddly mixed expression of excitement and agony. As the images and the words slip across the screen. The long awaited and highly anticipated camera has just been released. Every review fans the fevered flames and the consuming need for the camera as the key to unlock the door to the magical world of prize winning photography. 

 

It is sad to say that this is a scene repeated over and over again. Each piece of gear, lighting, lenses, modifiers, and filters magically fill countless bags and boxes. Seemingly there is always a next critical piece of gear to be scrimped and saved for that is the “difference maker.” Then one day you are looking back at some old pictures taken with the shunned old gear and you realize that those are amongst the very best shots you have ever captured.

 

When asked for advice on great photography and improving the quality of the shots captured. So many are quick to spout the “It’s not about the gear.” mantra. Speaking of artistic vision and harnessing great light and capturing the moments and composition and, and, and… The discussion is convincing and gleefully some leap up and go out to capture the next award winning photo. Sadly that experiment often leads to a disheartening failure as well. 

 

So what is the truth here? Does the gear matter? Is the person shooting the difference maker? Is the quality of the picture in the size of the camera, the digital sensor, the aperture, the lens, the light… What is the answer to this question? I will answer it in a short quote that I have heard and salted away, ruminated on, and concluded it is the most accurate answer to the most disturbing question. For a photographer or a Mom wanting to capture her children growing up… Wait for it… Here it is.. The deepest and most illuminating nugget ever shared…

 

It’s not about the gear, until it is all about the gear.

 

The most critical part of the equation is the natural ability and developed skill of the the eye behind the lens. Experience is the best teacher of what makes a great photograph. It is a pursuit that will inspire a consuming passion of those that will become its greats and an addicting drug for the scrapbooking Mom alike.

 

One conclusion is quickly made, there is no right or wrong way, no matter what the rules or the books say. There is only learning to see what you want before you squeeze the trigger and figuring a way to make it happen. The advice is myriad and bewilderingly confusing from a thousand different voices all seeming to tell you the opposite… So do you turn the subject to face the setting sun our do you put the setting sun behind them? Both is the maddeningly correct answer… 

 

There are the times though that one has to learn the limitations of the gear they are shooting with and learn to work around it. Figuring ways to get those pesky and rebellious subjects to turn into a light source in low light conditions, creatively convincing them to pose so you can get the light just right in their face… All in a valiant effort to hide that you don’t have the newest camera that captures those amazing low light shots with ease.   

 

In the end there are times when you simply have to say, “I can’t capture the Sports Illustrated looking shot of my son running in for a touchdown in the championship Middle School night game. I just don’t have the gear to accomplish it.” Instead look for the opportunities to make the most of the gear you have until you have better in the future or gasp, you might consider hiring a professional if it matters deeply to you. Wink… Keep shooting because: “It’s not about the gear, until it is all about the gear.”

 

 

]]>
gene@kismet.photography (Kismet Photography) 5D 70-200mm Canon Lenses MKIII Modifiers Photographer http://www.kismet.photography/blog/2014/10/its-not-about-the-gear Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:56:02 GMT