My Flag- TYSKT

It’s Thursday, so that means time for another things you should know post. Today’s topic, the American Flag. If you’re my friend you probably already know that I served in the Marine Corps for 8 years. During that time I deployed to Iraq for 6 months. As a result of my service the flag has come to mean a lot more to me than it did before. It isn’t just a symbol of our nation or a fun way to show patriotism it is something that I actively worked to protect. It is something that is a representation of the honor and respect I hold for all of those who stood with me. It is a symbol of the blood that has been shed to keep our nation free. I hope you can understand why I get rather annoyed when I see it being used inappropriately in photography.

American and Nevada Flag

So let me tell you what my flag is not. It is not a prop. It is not a pillow. It is not a blanket. It is not a floor, beanbag, or table covering. It is not for hanging babies in. It is not for wrapping around people. There are many other things it is not, but these are the ways I most commonly see it being used inappropriately. If you ever question whether the use you have for it is inappropriate please take the time to read the US Flag Code. It’s the law. If you want to be patriotic there are so many other items you can use such as blankets, bunting, stickers, patches, painted backgrounds, etc. There is absolutely no reason you ever NEED to use a flag inappropriately.

Any time I see my flag used inappropriately I try to think the best of whoever has made the image and assume it was done out of ignorance. I try to lovingly educate the person on why the use is not ok and ask them to please reconsider. Most of the time I get gratitude from the person sharing the image. Every now and then, however, I get a statement such as “My client likes it” or “No one else cares!” I can’t decide if this response makes me want to cry or makes me want to hit something! Yes people care. A lot of people care. Just because they don’t open their mouths doesn’t mean they don’t care. Please show some respect for those who have fought and died for this country and respect the flag that they fought under. Misuse out of ignorance is understandable and completely forgivable. Misuse because you just don’t care is about as disrespectful as you can get.

My Girls’ Dance Show (and YRB Update)

First a little update on the Yellow Ribbon Baby Project. I’m sorry that this project has been so delayed. Apparently Amazon Payments doesn’t care for my bank and won’t verify instantly. That means I have about a week more of waiting for them to verify me so I can launch my Kickstarter. Project is all typed up and ready to go, just waiting on Amazon. I’m super motivated to get started on my book, so if you know any mommies who are pregnant and daddy is deployed have them contact me for info. This project means so much to me and I just can’t wait to jump in! Please continue to share the link so we can get more people involved.

On Saturday Maddy and Leah participated in their first dance show. Maddy was my little star and had a blast showing off her tap dancing moves.

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Next Leah got stage fright and refused to even put her costume on for her first ballet dance. Maddy’s ballet dance was Superman themed. Look at those pointy toes!

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Grandma went backstage with Leah and convinced her to put her costume on for her tap dance. She even got her to line up with all the other little girls and they got as far as the curtain before the stage fright hit again. “I’m happy now, but I’m not going to dance.”

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Of course when I got the two girls together they had to give me their silliest faces.

 

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And I just have to share this one because it’s something I’m sure every photographer mom has heard from their kids more often than they can count. “I don’t want a picture mom!”

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I Am in Love with Makeup-Things You Should Know

If you are going to be my BFF there are some things about me you should know. I’ve decided to join Stephanie and Christine of Vivid and Brave in sharing those things with you here on my blog.

Up first I am in love with make-up, but you’d never know it by looking in my bathroom. I own exactly 2 eyeshadow compacts, 1 bottle of foundation, 2 tubes of mascara, and some chapstick. Not exactly the make-up of a fashionista. You see the problem is I have no clue how to wear this stuff! I love to look at the pictures of people with fun make-up or even nice plain, but beautiful make-up and wonder what I could do with my own face. I often take a detour down the make-up aisle in Target or the grocery store and select several items to buy then put them all back on the shelf. No point in spending money on something that I won’t know how to use right? I’ve watched lots of youtube vids and read all the tutorials, but I’m too scared to buy and try without someone there to walk me through it.

Anyone want to volunteer for a job as the BFF who teaches me how to use all this fun make-up?

Yellow Ribbon Baby is Going Live!!

I introduced my idea for a personal project providing free and discounted photography to deployed dads who are missing out on the birth of their children back in October (Yellow Ribbon Baby). This is something that is very close to my heart after serving in the US Marines for 8 years, deploying to Iraq, and witnessing many homecomings, including first meetings between Dads and their babies.

logo-on-white-circleI will be launching my Kickstarter campaign in about one week to start raising funds to complete this project. I would greatly appreciate any support that you can give me whether it be $1 or $1000 let’s help these Dads get the pictures of the precious moments that they are missing in order to serve us and our country. Even if all you can do right now is share the link with your friends please sign up for the updates and share this project with everyone you know! http://signup.emilyjphoto.com

If you’d like to share on your own page grab this code for the badge and paste it on your own site:

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<a href=”http://signup.emilyjphoto.com/” target=“_blank”><img src=”http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l92/usmc_emmaleeah/062d2e70-b194-4ff1-b162-5fa2ebf3c1a4.png” border=“0” /></a>

 

 

Halfway There!

I had my 20 week ultrasound today. 20 more weeks to go till we get to meet in person!

This has got to be the creepiest ultrasound picture I have ever received! I’ve gotten lots of skeleton faced baby pictures, but never one with such a clear eye in it! I love how they labeled it “Face”, as if it might be mistaken for something else.

 

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And of course the one thing we really wanted to know was if daddy was going to get the boy he was really hoping for…

 

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Looks like the boys are in the lead…for now. Best quote of the day from my husband “I’m so happy we made a boy…Now I want another baby girl.” Come on babe can I at least finish cooking this one before you start dreaming about the next one?

Wood boxes, prints, and blocks oh my!

I’m super excited about some new products that I will be offering. Thank you to WPPI 2014 I was able to visit hundreds of vendors and see thousands of products. there were a few products and companies that I just fell in love with, and can’t wait to start offering.

First up is the wood picture box from White House Custom Color. I am already a huge fan of WHCC for their prints and albums, and was blown away by how much I loved this new product.  These boxes can hold up to 300 4×6 or 5×7 photographs. With a custom photo printed lid it is a beautiful display item you can keep right in your living room for easy photo sharing. I will now be including these boxes with a few selected prints as part of the fee for every session I offer.

Sliding lid with custom photo printing. Image from WHCC.

Sliding lid with custom photo printing. Image from WHCC.

4x6 or 5x7 sizes, can hold up to 300 unmounted prints or 30 mounted. Image from  WHCC.

4×6 or 5×7 sizes, can hold up to 300 unmounted prints or 30 mounted. Image from WHCC.

I then discovered a new company called Photo Barn. They specialize in printing on wood and Burlap. I will be adding wood prints, wood photoboards and wood blocks to my products list thanks to them. The wood prints are 1/8″ thick and meant to be displayed on a desk or framed.

5x7 Wood Photo Print form Photo Barn

5×7 Wood Photo Print from Photo Barn

The photoboards are 3/4″ thick and have keyholes drilled in the back for easy wall display.

5x7 Wood Photo Block from Photo Barn

5×7 Wood Photo Block from Photo Barn

The blocks are my absolute favorite! These sweet 2″ blocks can be printed with a custom image on two sides so you can spell out a name on one side and photos on the other or just have a collection of photos on each side. They also have fun 9 block or 16 block puzzes where they print one photo over the surface of the blocks and you can assemble them together.

2" photo blocks from Photo Barn

2″ photo blocks from Photo Barn

Which new product is your favorite? Any other great products you think I should check out?

I Choose Joy

In August of last year I posted a blog entitled 3 little words. It was the post that started this blog. It is amazing how much personal growth I have achieved in that time. When I wrote that post I had just listened to Jeff Jochum speak on Creative Live about Specialism.  What he said touched something deep in my soul, but I didn’t know at the time just how much it was going to change my life. Shortly after that I joined his Facebook group and was continuously amazed by the support, engagement, and most of all the hard questions that everyone asked of themselves and others.

I have been lost for a long time. I have had no real identity that I could own and offer to others. I didn’t have any real connections with friends or even my own family. I wasn’t enjoying my role as wife and mother, but it was the only identity I had. I’m not sure exactly where I lost my way. In fact I can’t even say for sure that I wasn’t always lost. I’ve always been a bit of a chameleon. Worrying more about what others wanted from me than what I wanted from myself. I thought that making others happy would make me happy. It didn’t work.

When I heard Jeff speak about specialism and the power of defining your YOUniqueness it was like a ray of light shining it’s way into the dark pit that I had dug myself into. It was hope that there was a better way to do things. A message that I could be happy. A belief that I could help others and still help myself. When I wrote that first post I was still focused on what I could do for others. Over the past few months I think I have really learned to focus on what I can do for myself.

At the beginning of March I attended WPPI 2014. I had the opportunity to listen to Jeff Speak in person as well as speak briefly with him and a few of his coaches and mentors. I was struck by just how happy they all were. This was genuine happiness, not fake smiles and social acting. They genuinely loved and enjoyed each other. They are all so different and yet they are a cohesive group of friends because they each have learned how to embrace who they are and love others for their genuine selves. This is what I want in my life. This is what I want in my business. This was the kick in the pants I needed to really do the work of digging into myself. I’m afraid that I won’t like what I find. I’m afraid that I won’t live up to what I want to find, but I know that whatever the outcome at the end of this road I can be one of that happy group of people. I too can Work Happily Ever After!

My business is me, I am not my business.

And this is why my 3 words have changed and why I have chosen to rebrand. The three words I chose in August of 2013 were chosen from the perspective of what I thought others wanted me to be. I was putting on a show. I think now I am closer to embracing who I am and who I want me to be. I am simple, I am maternal, and I am joyful. I don’t know what the road holds in the future for me. I don’t know if I will choose to refine those words or throw them away entirely as I continue to discover myself. What I do know is that today I choose JOY. I choose to rejoice in me. I choose to embrace my imperfections, celebrate my strengths, and love myself completely.

I am excitedly looking forward to the day when I can start my coaching with team-X and dive even deeper into who I am, what I believe, and how I am going to change the world around me!

Show me the bump!

I’ve decided to start doing a monthly baby bump photo contest on Facebook. These contests will be based on due date. First up is Mommy’s Due in April, May, or June. Next month’s contest will be due dates in May, June, and July, so every mom should have three chances to enter. If you would like to enter the contest please send a picture of your belly bump to emily@emilyj.photography. I will create the album on Friday March 21st and sharing, commenting, and liking will run through Friday March 28th. Winner will be determined by the total number of likes, comments, and shares on your photo.

1st prize is a free posed newborn session including 10 watermarked digital images for FB sharing, and a 20% discount on a birth session and all product orders. 2nd and 3rd prizes are a free Fresh 48 session including 5 watermarked digital images for FB sharing, and a 15% discount on birth photography and all product orders. These discounts CAN be stacked with my already offered 10% military, firefighter, Police, and teacher discount and my 25% Yellow Ribbon Baby discount (for babies who are born while daddy is deployed).

Contest is for mom’s within the greater Las Vegas, NV and Boulder City, NV areas only. Please share this post with anyone who may be interested. The more participants there are the more fun it will be!

Jack final belly