'Lord, I want to be just like You 'Cause he wants to be just like me I want to be a holy example For his innocent eyes to see Help me be a living Bible, Lord That my little boy can read I want to be just like You 'Cause he wants to be like me'
A friend of mine recently gave me a CD of Phillips, Craig & Dean, with the song 'I Want To Be Just Like You'. It's about a father, tucking in his little boy at bed time, and realizing how important his own, personal walk with Christ really is, because he's beginning to understand just how much his little boy wants to be just like him. Those little eyes are watching every move, and that personal walk isn't so personal after all. The lyrics are very powerful, and so true.
My little boy was running around with his little camera just this week, taking pictures of people, all the while shouting, "Look, I'm a photographer, just like my daddy!" It made me proud, and also served as a humbling reminder of my responsibilities.
It was the same with Connor and Carter during our shoot with the Vandevoort family. What struck me most was when dad forgot to take off his tape measure that was hooked to his belt. Immediately those boys were all over it. Big brother Connor showing little brother Carter just how easy it is to pull out the tape and measure things, and little Carter, at just one year old, trying already to measure up to his daddy.
It's in the simple things that they really learn from us. Not how we act when company's over or when we're wearing our many different hats, but how we are when nobody's around, in the day to day struggles. Such great strides can be made when it's bedtime and everyone's tired, when it's just us, and we take the time to say a prayer and give thanks for one more day.
I had to take a break from the pictures to post this... My boy and I have Father/Son Day. It's just the boys, and we do fun things that just boys like to do. You know, hiking, exploring, County Fair Arcade...:) Well, this week it was climbing to the top of the old lookout tower in our town. Shooting up like some kind of prehistoric rocket over 50 feet into the air, it looked to be a thrill for a 6 year old boy, so off we went. From the bottom, it's very impressive, but then when you get to the top, on a windy day like today, you can feel the whole thing swaying back and forth. It's this great, slumbering, sleepwalking Giant kind of feeling. Just as I was taking pictures of the surroundings I commented on how scary it was up there and that we should get down, because it was too windy. I heard my boy saying in his Superhero voice, "I Laugh in the face of Danger!" I didn't quite put it together, and I just chuckled while looking through the lens out over the tree tops, until I spun around and saw this! See below:
At first I about dropped the camera! My heart skipped about 5 beats, and I was unsure what to do. I knew if I lunged for him he'd slip and fall out of sheer surprise, so I slowly raised the camera and snapped a picture. Over 50 feet up in the air and there he was, with certain death at the slightest slip, cool as a cucumber! Talk about nerves of STEEL! I was so impressed!! Look at the picture, one foot was even hovering above the plank! He climbed down under his own steam, and I told him that if his mother ever found out that I let him do that I'd be a dead man. All the way home we laughed and talked about doing it again next week.
So are any of you mom's completely freaking out yet, ready to find me somehow and pummel me into the ground? Would you let YOUR sons get away with this? :)
We both decided while we were up there it would be great to fake a shot for Mommy and act like we really did it.
The picture isn't real.
Are you insane!? That boy would have blisters on his bottom if he ever pulled something like that. Not to mention that my wife would have promptly ended my life long before I could ever post something about it.
This is the Jensen family, Tom, Tiffany, Sam and,(drumroll), the latest addition, Baby Laney! :) It's so exciting to see the family growing. What a blessing. Sam has turned out to be a great big brother with the way he watches over his new kid sister, and there's already a wonderful bond between them. She thinks he's the cat's meow with the way she looks at him. Laney is a lucky little girl. Big Bro duties fulfilled, Sam still made sure to get his time in with Dad too. I watched Tom transform from husband and father into the Walking Human Jungle Gym. :) It's what we Dad's are good for at this stage. Tiffany is beaming. She's got her boy and her girl, and she seems very content. She smiles with her eyes and it's easy to see she's very happy. Tom's got a new location in Sioux Falls for his Chiropractic services, and a great focus with attention to detail for kids. You can check out a little more about him by clicking this link for Your Family Chiropractor.
We first met these two a year ago as the planning for the wedding was just getting under way, and even since the engagements there's been a great connection. Shannon has such striking features, coupled with a soft and quiet elegance. Her demeanor makes me think of Jackie-O with her undercurrent of poise. Jared then, is the perfect match. He's a very calm person, quick to smile, ready to listen. Even as Shannon was busying herself with the details and the dress and making extra trips back to the house, there was Jared, looking very relaxed, sitting in the front pew in a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt. There, right in front of him was where the X marked the spot, the place where, in just a few short hours, he'd commit his life and his love to the woman of his dreams, forever. You'd think the palms would be sweaty, the eyes a bit twitched, knees maybe knocking? Nope. Not Jared. He was quietly expectant, ready for whatever the day may bring. Smiling, and not just for show. Smiling even with his eyes.
The vows were in Canton at one of my favorite churches on a very short list, and the day was as beautifully sunny and warm as could be, just right for a wedding. After the ceremony the wedding party was whisked away to Terrace Park, where everyone and there dog had gathered for the day. Literally. There was even a patch of ground ear-marked for a very classy Lassie, getting primped for her first-class pet shoot. We found throngs of couples, 2 other weddings and dozens, yes dozens, of prom-goers. There were at least 4 other photographers. :) But amidst the gowns and tuxedos and cumber buns and corsages...there were these two, in a moment of bliss, and nothing that was swirling around them mattered or compared. They were strikingly in love, locked forever in one anothers eyes, and the day truly belonged to them.
With the issues we've had at the studio over the winter and spring, a trip to New Orleans in March, a family vacation at the end of April, hiring Angela in May, and now being in full swing with wedding season, I've been slacking off on posting the shoots on this blog. I'm trying to get back into the swing of that now, and I'd like to start with Lisa and Jessy. :) These two smolder when they are together. Wow, there is definitely an intensity between them. I remember at the park, I asked them to kiss during the outdoor segment of their session, and a gentleman walking on the path next to us stopped so he wouldn't be in my background. After seeing them kiss he called out to us, "You mean to tell me that you get paid to see them kiss?! Wow, what a job!"
That's just it. This isn't a job. It's a wonderful blessing. I get to see love in so many forms, almost every day. From a couple like Lisa and Jessy, brimming at the cusp of a new life together, to a bride and groom at that moment just before they voice their vows in front of God and family and friends, to a new mom holding her little one, bristling with hope, a new daddy, evolving into a super hero right in front of the lens, ready to take on the world to protect his little girl...then, to see that love come full circle in the families and the seniors, to search for that signature, that breath of life that only God can take the credit for, at every shoot, and finally to have the privilege to capture the moments for those family's who have laid one of their own to rest, for those who are just learning what it means to take it with them, even beyond the here and now... This life, this love, this passion, this gift that is given to us all by perfect design, is something I'll be grateful for, every day.
God has truly overflowed our cup these past few years, and it's been amazing to look back at those "Aha!" moments and realize what all He's done for my family. It's never during the trials that you realize how much He was really there for you, only in hindsight do we understand His plans. That said...We're Growing! Everyone, I'd like to introduce you to Angela Pike, a very bright and talented young photographer that just today we've added to the staff. Angela has a serious passion for capturing the world around her, and the ambition to take her dreams to task. Starting out, she'll be learning the ropes, but it's certainly not going to take her very long to get into the swing of things. By summer she'll be handling things around the office, and in no time at all you can expect to find her coming on board with family and senior sessions as the first junior associate photographer under our studio banner. She's got an excellent eye and a wonderful personality, and we're very excited with her potential. Since last year we've been booking our daily sessions anywhere from 1-6 months in advance, and we're really hoping that in the busy season, Angela will be able to step in and open up more availablity and greater customer service. She'll be shooting with us at all of the weddings in 2006-7, and by 2008 she'll be taking on her own clients. Please, if you call or stop in, give her a warm welcome. She's already a blessing to our business and a pleasure to have around.
Sorry for not posting sooner. We just got back from a trip to Disneyworld with the family. I brought my laptop with every intention of blogging (and hopefully working before anyone got up at 4 in the morning) but we packed so much into this trip that there just wasn't the time. Getting enough sleep to get ready for the next big day was priority. :) It was Abby's first time on an airplane and her first trip to 'Dinneyworode'. She was a little nervous when we left the ground, and again when we touched back down, but otherwise she loved the butterflies in her tummy :) Logan looked out at Orlando as we were flying in at night and said, "Look, it's Hopscotch!" Abby talked all day long about finding Cinderella, and when we finally did, she was too bashful to sit on her lap. :) Logan and I rode the racecars and finally, after 3 years, got to go on the Big Boy Rides. From Dinosaur to Space Mountain, Big Thunder and the Safari Rapids to the brand new Expedition Everest roller coaster, we jetted from one hotspot to another, quickly learning the art, and it is an art, of the Fast Pass! He loved every second, and apparently does NOT have my stomach, as I was sick after one ride on the Tea Cup! :)
There was amazing food at the Polynesian Resort, where they actually entertain your kids while you eat! That little feature made that place Kari's new Number One, All-time Favorite restaurant. We hit Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, and even spent a day on the Gulf playing at the beach. Logan used his body to try and stop the waves from rolling in and demolishing his sandcastle. Kari got her one wish, a sunset picture with the two of us, courtesy of my step-dad and a few minor pointers, and I'm happy just to get to enjoy it with them.
Everyone got to take home a little bit of the magic.
We came back beat and glad to be home. :) Now, I have to get cranking on some pictures. Time to buckle up for Wedding Season, which is a great thrill ride all by itself! "Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. Please, no flash photography, and oh yes, Have a MAGICAL day!"
There's not much to tell. I've been taking pictures since i was a kid. I started down this road years ago with a kiosk in the mall. People would bring in their family pictures and I'd write for them, make a montage and frame it, on the spot. Eventually people began to ask if I'd just snap the picture also. We started photographing kids, then families, then seniors and weddings, and now we work with missions. God has blessed us to be able to do this. It's something I'll never in my life, ever, take for granted. I love it too much. :)