A few weeks ago I set a new picture as my desktop background. A picture very special to my heart. My 3 girls and I – my daughters and my old lady Di (it’s the picture you see above). On the day I took it we already knew we have only a few days left with the old lady and my heart was already broken. She was my everything. My best friend. My companion and the only baby sitter of my kids I ever had.
On that day I put my nice shoes on and we went to the park to celebrate. Celebrate us and our time together. My sweet, old lady is gone and has been for many years now, but she will be in my heart for a lifetime.
I love looking at all the memories we made together. All the moments captured forever.
11 months ago I decided to add another four-legged family member because one heartbreak is not enough, I guess. Rambunctious Oreo. He even has his own Instagram, btw.
This past weekend I made an extra effort to celebrate him and my girls. Us together. Our time, the way we play. The way we hug. The way we love each other.
I know, someday these moments will bring tears to my eyes, just like all the memories of Lady Di. But that’s how it all goes.
So, now is your turn to make memories of the special hugs and kisses and playful moments engraved in your heart forever. The mustard flowers are popping up and it’s the perfect time to celebrate.
Let’s celebrate in joyful YELLOW FLOWERS that are popping out already!
Celebrate whatever you want.
Celebrate Your family.
Celebrate Your best friend: A human, a dog or a guinea pig.
Because the perfect time is now.
In the past, I had clients celebrating Breastfeeding moments perfectly hidden in the tall flowers or proudly standing in the joyful yellows!
I had pregnant mamas and a lot of families just having fun!
And this year, it’s your turn!
The fields don’t last long so book your session ASAP!
Did you know that being a “puppy petter” is a real thing? Well, it is!
I’ve had quite the experience in puppy petting in my life. Let me count… Amor, Rosie, Muffy, Maggie, Oreo, Ewelina, Natalia… Oh wait… the last two are my kids… However, all of my pups came with other (dirtier) responsibilities. The puppy petting I’m talking about today is different. Plus it serves an amazing purpose.
Paws for Purple Hearts, Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy
I recently connected with a non-profit organization which trains and provides service dogs for veterans.
Let’s travel in time to 2006. In that year Bergin University Of Canine Studies (located in Penngrove, California) with the partnership of The Menlo Park Veterans Administration Medical Center started a research program.
Why this program is so important? Because today that program is an amazing non-profit organization with 5 locations nationwide. That organization is called Paws for Purple Hearts.
A few months ago I traveled to Penngrove where PPH’s national office is located. There I met with the founder of the University, the creator of PPH, Dr. Bonnie Bergin, and the team. That was a great experience.
PPH connects veterans with highly trained service dogs. They call them champ service dogs. The organization believes golden retrievers and labradors (or a mix of those two) are the best breeds for the purpose of becoming the champ service dog.
The most amazing thing about their training program is that it involves between 40 to 60 veterans per dog. One pup can have a therapeutic impact on so many people who need it. WOW!
The puppies are born and spend most of their early puppyhood in Penngrove. After they reach a certain age, a volunteer drives them once a week to the Menlo Park location (and back) for a puppy petting event and to start their training with veterans. Now, the best part is that everybody (age 14+) can sign up to become a puppy petter. Yes, you read that right. You come and pet puppies for an entire hour, once a week. I can assure you, just that itself has therapeutic powers! Puppy petting is designed to introduce the pups to all kinds of positive stimulation around people and they need as many of us as possible. 🙂
It costs PPH $35k to fully train ONE service dog! Can you imagine that?
Bergin University programs are growing. PPH is only one of them. When I visited Penngrove’s team they seemed really busy with 3 different litters. One of the litters will go to PPH. It’s the one you can see in the video. The two remaining litters will go to different programs. However, with the growth, they need to increase manpower and raise money.
Simply speaking, they need as much help as they can get.
Volunteers are always needed! Same with donations. PPH’s website has detailed information about getting involved with them, so please visit and see if you can!
Maybe I’ll see you there next time.
Last year, I had a vision for my Holiday card. I’d arranged several dates to do it with my family, and each time there was something that pushed the first date to the second date. And then the second date to the third date. And then the rain came. And then it got very cold. And I finally said, it’s today! With a grumpy husband, hungry kids, and a dog that was all over the place we went out.
For the first 15 minutes, I was trying to figure out HOW for the sake of it all, am I going to manage the big umbrella (behind us on a downward slope), that was flying away with the wind every time I let it go, while running towards the camera to set the self timer, then running back to position myself and manage my kids who were not having it. And the husband. You know, the regular thing. Standing like a statue in a place where he was put, looking up the newest news that might have appeared during the last 15 minutes.
My hands were freezing. In my mind I was just about to commit a murder on somebody. I was ready to throw everything down, and to start jumping on it like a mad woman, smashing and breaking all the equipment.
And here we were, holding a sign that says JOY! Oh the best joke of that entire Holiday Card making process. Isn’t that the truth of self made holiday cards… (at least I got an awesome feedback from almost everybody who received the cart!). The process was similar to a childbirth: you hate everybody around you during it, but after you see the baby, everything is forgotten. (or so they say…) Hehehe (as my 5 year old says it).
If you’re still thinking about doing your own holiday photos (or skipping it all together), because:
- the offers you see don’t look like anything you’d want to have on your Holiday Card, (same old, same old holiday photos), (that’s why I was considering not doing any holiday minis this year because I was struggling with coming up with something special for my clients)
- you really need 1 or 2 (ok, 3 images at the most), – and you could always use some of the iPhone photos you already have. I DARE YOU!
- you want something unique,
Well, then stop that train of thought. I have something better for you. Something that will save your sanity.
We will find a unique message for your card!
No matter if you have kids or maybe…
…expecting a delivery…
or maybe, you have a different kind of kids…
Holiday Mini Sessions – Unique Silhouettes
Detailed address will be available upon signing up. Email me to firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot (or use my contact form).
OR SIGN-UP HERE
If you want to get very special offers and prices for mini-sessions, full sessions and portrait playdates, sign up for the membership to Ewa Samples Photography.
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I’m two weeks behind with posting about my 52 Stranger Challenge. So, I’m getting back to work and catching up. My super awesome stranger from week 12th was Beate. She has delivered to us our two new family members: Jitterbug and Muffy.
My husband met them both two weeks prior to their arrival back in Virginia. And yes, Beate from B’s Pet Delivery drove our four leg buddies from Virginia. Not to mention other places she was heading too, or going from.
She was on schedule an eager to hit the road as her fella pets on the back were not as patient as she was. However, she stayed long enough to have a friendly chat with us about her business. Of course, I had to ask her if she was ever hurt by any of the animal she transports, and of course, her answer was yes.
She was totally surprised when I asked her to model for me, and despite the fact that she was tired after days and days of driving across the country, she did awesome.
She told us, she works 3 weeks (3 weeks on the road driving), and then she takes 3 weeks off. She has visited almost all the states in America. She doesn’t have much time to “visit” the places she stops at, but it didn’t seem to bother her. She just loves what she does the way she does it 😀 What I totally get!
So, thank you so much Beate for safely delivering our new family members. They have already adjusted to us quite a bit, and we already see their cute personalities shining through.
Meet Jitterbug and Muffy:
If you have an interesting story to tell with your life, let me know. Maybe we can create wonderful memories with the story shining through, for you and your family.
I’ve been Natural Light Family Photographer for over 3 years now. For two years I’ve own a tiny set up for portable studio, and used it mostly for Smash Cake sessions in my clients’ homes. However, I’ve always felt like there are other ways to use the equipment I have, and I’m limiting myself by not learning about it. Whenever I tried something new, I did not know where to start from. I lacked inspiration and had great amount of excuses not do dig deeper.
How did that happen?
Well, thanks to a friend I recently learned about a portrait workshop, and I instantly knew it’s something I’d love to do, but again, I was looking for excuses not to take it.
For a long time I’ve tried to convince myself that blasting a great amount of light on my subject to make it look flawless, is to know it all for my business, and I should be happy with knowing at least that much. However deep inside I knew it’s not how I want to do it, and that I want to do something more creative.
One of the excuses was that my equipment is not enough, and I should wait until I get something bigger and better. But the truth is, I didn’t even know what I need, because I’ve never practiced anything beyond my comfort zone which is required to know the limit of my equipment.
And here I am today. Taking the workshop and working on my second assignment. My equipment works just fine. Of course, I could have better and bigger stuff, but seriously, I don’t really need it for now.
In the workshop we have 2 weeks to study one great photographer and then be inspired by that person, and create work based on what we’ve learned about this photographer. It is awesome. Two weeks and I feel like I’ve learned a tone already.
Pictures for this post are inspired by David Bailey work, my first assignment for this workshop.
Each week we are inspired to create something. We’re pushed to get out there and work whatever we have and just learn. I’m loving it.
I’m not sure if my pups is loving it as much as I am, though 😉
Today, I’m working on the assignment for Gregory Heisler and I don’t remember the last time I was so frustrated with photography. I don’t remember when I was thinking so much about a concept for ONE portrait. Where to put what, and where bounce what to get the vision I have in my head. It’s a good frustration, though. It pushes me out of my comfort zone.
Can’t wait to see what’s ahead.
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