Loyalty and Devotion

Loyalty and Devotion

How I shot this: ss 1/60 f 4.8 ISO 2500 – natural light – Nikon D800, Nikkor 100mm f2.8

In the Victorian language of flowers, Alstroemeria mean devotion and loyalty.  My husband gave me a beautiful bouquet of them on our 20th anniversary in November.   The flowers kept their beauty for three weeks, when I finally had a chance to photograph them.   The funny thing is, they have never been my favorite…I am unsure why, and needless to say my husband was teased about brining home flowers that he knew were not my favorite.  His intention, however, was perfect.  The Day Lily is the flower for the 20th anniversary.  As he was not able to find Day Lilies he purchased another flower that is in the lily family.   Now that I know the meaning of the Alstroemeria, and because of the occasion that introduced me to the meaning, they will become a flower I appreciate and treasure.

And with that, I leave you with a quote that could not be more perfect to accompany this post.

“Through devotion, your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, the service we owe to the prince more faithful, and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.”

~ Saint Francis de Sales

Beginning, Middle, or End?

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“Life is not so much about beginnings and endings as it is about going on and on and on. It is about muddling through the middle.” ~ Anna Quindlen

Are you in a place of a new beginning, muddling through the middle, or at the end of something good, something bad, or something you’ve already muddled through?

Please check out my Thursday post on Monochromia.  I posted a photograph of another Star Magnolia, but from a completely different perspective.

Women Supporting Women

I have been super busy with head shot sessions over the past few weeks.  The wonderful women and entrepreneurs in the head shots below are just a few of the amazing people I have photographed.  Lisa, Joanne, Beverly, Michelle and Christine are all members of Network Now, a premier business support and networking organization for women.  Each session was unique based on the individual personalities of the women being photographed, but all were equally as fun.

Most people who come to me for head shots say, “I don’t like to have my picture taken”, or “I hate to have my picture taken.”  These women were not exceptions to this and each was a bit nervous about being photographed.  The good news is that my sessions are always relaxed.  We talk and I get to know them and learn about their businesses and families all while helping them relax and just enjoy their moment in the spotlight.  I really make it painless and pleasant for each and every one of  my clients.   And the best part is, I feel like I’ve not only made a business connection, but a friend at the end of each session.

A statement that each one of the women featured in this blog post made during their session was  “as women we need to stick together and support each other”.  I couldn’t agree more and am happy to be able to share their beautiful smiles and links to their respective businesses.

To learn more about my clients and their businesses be sure to check out their websites by clicking on the links below.   You just might find something you’ve been needing or looking for.

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Lisa, Executive Director Nerium International

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Joanne, Owner and Pastry Chef at The Lucky Cupcake

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Michelle, Founder and Educational Counselor of Forward College Counseling

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Beverly, Owner and Pastry Chef at Sweetah’s – a gluten-free bakery

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Christine, Principal/Agency Manager at The Bailey Insurance Group

 

Tranquility I

Tranquility I

ss 0.5 f 22 ISO 50

Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-70 58mm

My family and I spent a couple of weeks in Hawaii this summer.   Our trip was nothing short of amazing.  I have so many stories to tell through photographs, but so little time to blog.  I want to share so much with all of you, but with the start of school, sports and activities for the kids, and work, I just haven’t been able to dedicate the time needed to effectively write blog posts.

I am thrilled to be as busy as I am.  I have had a steady flow of head shot clients, family portraits, and events to photograph, which is all good and means business is growing.   The best part about all of it is that I am getting to meet some really spectacular people.

My children are busy running cross country, playing high school football, dancing and playing tennis.  I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoy watching them run, dance, and play.  My heart bubbles with joy every time I see them working hard and having fun while doing it.   One would think that I have a lot to photographs to share with you of all of these fun activities, but, I have actually been taking the time watching them to relax and do just that, watch them.

Enough about why I haven’t been blogging and a bit about this shot.  If you haven’t already figured it out, the subject is the ocean.  I took a long exposure shot of water to create that flowing, cotton candy like effect.  I find it to be peaceful and tranquil, thus the title.  The location of the photograph is Kauai, Hawaii

To see a similar photograph but in black and white visit Monochromia for my Thursday post.  Which do you like better, the color edition, or the black and white edit?

Introducing “FHAPP” ~ Finding Hope and Peace in Photography

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~Therapeutic Photography~

~Photography as Therapy~

~Photography for Personal Growth and Mindfulness~ 

~Finding Hope and Peace through Photography (FHAPPTM applied for)

What is Therapeutic Photography

Therapeutic photography is a method in which photography is embraced as a tool for mindfulness, meditation, gaining insight, self-discovery, transformation and/or healing. The process of making photographs serves as therapy, with or without a mental health therapist involved. Therapeutic photography programs involve creating photographs and talking about them.

Therapeutic photography helps individuals explore photography as a vehicle for seeing and connecting with the world around them, and with themselves.

When individuals stop to photograph something, or someone, they stop to truly see it. Once a subject is truly seen, a more intimate, meaningful relationship to the subject can be attained.   Through the process of truly seeing a subject, creativity is unleashed and there can be an increase in appreciation of life, a better understanding of self, and an enhanced ability for self-expression.

No matter how photography is practiced, it creates opportunities to experience a place where different realities intersect; individuals become aware of new perspectives, both on the world, and themselves. Photography can help people explore life, learn, grown, heal and get more joy out of life. When making photographs, we co-create the image with the subject. Cartier-Bresson and others have described this as falling into a moment of oneness.

Achieving a sense of oneness with self and/or the world can help people enter a phase of mindfulness that helps them achieve a sense of joy and contentment.   When people are struggling to overcome life events such as significant loss, dealing with anxiety, depression, or other emotional or mental challenges mindfulness work can help to ease the pain and help people find their way back to peace and stability.

Photographs are specific moments frozen in time and contain multiple layers of meaning. We may see what is in the frame for exactly what it is, but composition, color, and tones of black and white offer a wealth of metaphorical meanings and associations.   Developing skills and passion for photography is one path on the destination to mindfulness.

The Practice of Therapeutic Photography

Individuals draw different benefits from therapeutic photography. It is not a one size fits all program. Therapeutic photography can be practiced individually and in groups. An integral part of therapeutic photography is sharing with others, for example, with group workshop participants, family, friends, or in a public exhibit. Sharing photography work with an audience offers an opportunity for individuals to take pride in, and ownership of, their work. Sharing work builds confidence, helps individuals feel validated, heard and respected.

Photography offers naturally therapeutic healing properties. The key to therapeutic photography is having a balance of photographic instruction, creating pictures, and reviewing and discussing photography work.

Photography as therapy emphasizes well-being versus illness or struggle. Photo Voice, a U.K. based organization, uses photography as a tool for change and empowerment for disadvantaged or marginalized communities. Photo Voice has observed central therapeutic benefits of therapeutic photography workshops to include; peer support, socializing and learning new skills.

It is important to note that therapeutic photography is not within a formal counseling process like Photo Therapy. Therapeutic photography programs are facilitated by photographic and community practitioners rather than mental health professionals.

Summary of Potential Benefits of Therapeutic Photography

For Individuals

  • Reduction in social exclusion
  • Increased self-knowledge
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Improved well-being
  • Improved relationships
  • Influencing positive change
  • Social healing
  • Reduction in conflict
  • Building self-confidence
  • Improving belief in self

“FHAPP”

At the end of the day, if I can believe I have helped someone feel, even a glimmer of hope, peace, and joy within themselves I will feel successful and happy. At Robyn Graham Photography, LLC we call our therapeutic photography program “FHAPP” ~ Finding Hope and Peace through Photography.   We support all individuals in the program by giving them a kind, gentle, positive environment to learn photography, to share their photography and work towards a sense of inner peace through their own creative intentions and feed back from peers in the program, and others. The studio space offers a beautiful, peaceful, inspiring environment for learning, creating and sharing.   The studio is also a space for exhibits, through which program participants will be able to share their work with their family and friends and with the general public.

Participation Details

To enroll in FHAPP, please visit the Robyn Graham Photography, LLC website. Programs will begin the fall of 2016. We will offer programs during the week initially, and will add sessions as demand rises.

The cost for individual/private participation is $600 for 8 1 to 1.5 hour sessions or pay as you go or $75/hour.

The cost of group participation is $360 for 8 1.5-hour sessions. Space is limited to 6 participants.

Groups programs are open for ages 12 years to adult.

Individual/private sessions are available for younger children, teens and adults.

For more information and to register, please visit FHAPP page on my website.

Credentials

Robyn’s original degree was a doctorate in pharmacy through which she studied mental health. In addition, she is well read in the are of anxiety which she has had first hand experience with one of her children who suffered from moderate to severe anxiety. In addition, Robyn was adjunct faculty at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, has taught CCD, and multiple teen and adult photography classes. Robyn has all clearances through the state of Pennsylvania to work with ,and teach children.

References:

  1. PhotoVoice:
  2. Therapeutic Photography: Judy Weiser
  3. The Preconscious Eye
  4. Institute of Mental Health
  5. Best Thinking Arts and Entertainment
  6. Through a Different Lens

 

Sunset Glow

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Sunset Glow

A Beetle and a Dragonfly

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ss 1/125 f 7.1 ISO 400

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To view an image of the dragonfly in black and white please visit Monochromia.