Keep Your Face in the Sunshine

“Keep your face in the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you.” ~Irish Proverb

This is normally a joyous month, and has been full of what I expected getting ready for Christmas: crafts with my kids and shipping out a few lovely orders in time for gifting…

Trying to face the sunshine.

Trying to face the sunshine.

I was about to use Friday morning as a time to run last minute errands and update here with some lovely photos, but instead I cried. I ran my errands and cried all the way to my daughter’s preschool to pick her up. The tragic loss of students and staff at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School cut me to the heart.

It was all I could do to wipe up my tears before my daughter saw me as she galloped out of class, arms full of her coat, and ready to head home. Thankfully, a friend and her baby dropped by shortly after we got home. Her baby boy is 4 months old and his smiles and coos – every smile and sound he made as he enjoyed my 4-year-old’s attention was like a sweet balm to my heart.

Life is indeed short and full of heart ache, but also joy. The struggle is to not let the ache overshadow the beauty and light in our life at every moment. And, I try my best to keep my face in the sunshine, after a good cry. It reminds me of the beauty sunshine makes on rain drops after a storm…They seem like diamonds.

I try to enjoy the diamonds in every day life, and hope you do too.Fall Rain

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Fine Art Photography Gifts Are Ready!

The Fauntleroy Art and Gift Show was a great experience to meet local artisans. I learned  as much from fellow vendors as I did people who stopped in my booth to chat, praise or purchase some gifts. Since this was my first Arts AND Gifts show, I found some new and fun ways to use my photography…here’s a peek:

Fern Magnet Set of Four: these sold out at the show! Folks were purchasing them for neighbors, men and mothers {here in my etsy shop, $10}!

iPhone4 Cases: The favorite Pink Star Gazer Lily is now available as an iPhone 4 case! {available here in the etsy shop, $30, Gift wrapped and ready to go}

iPhone 5 Cases: This lovely Pink Waterlily is now ready to grace the latest iPhone 5 {here in the etsy store, $30, stocking stuffer?}

There are several other new things available from floral prints to floral magnets, postcards and wood prints. Everything in the shop is 10% off through December 8th – just in time to get these in your hands before Christmas!

So, dear friends, I have a question for you:

What is your favorite useful art item? Do you love to have art on a journal, clock, or purse?

I’m exploring other gift ideas for Valentine’s Day;)

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When Are You Ready For An Art Show?

Walking toward my first show felt a little scary!
{photo by my 3 year old}

I was talking to a friend at dinner a few weeks ago, and she commented that she’d like to do an art show someday…

I tweeted with another friend wondering if I’d see her work out during the holidays in our neighborhood…and she’s not ready yet…

I used to daydream about doing a coffee shop art show. I really wanted to get my work out there and see if it resonated with people and made them smile the same way it did to me. But, there was always an excuse standing in my way:

My work isn’t good enough yet.

I don’t have the time.

I can’t afford to put it together.

The kids need me – I can’t possibly justify hiring a sitter to put everything together.

I don’t know if I’ll sell anything.

And then, I attended a live show on how creatives can make money with their craft. My take-away lesson was that I just needed to try, and try and try but only if I learned and applied the lessons each time. Sitting next to me during the show was a man who had just done his first “Coffee Shop” Show. He had years of commercial photography under his belt and as a result loads of artful photographs.

I asked him how it went. He said no one bought a single thing. But, they did compliment his work. His voice had an edge to it. He was hurt by the experience. I did my best to brush off the negativity of his experience, and not let it get me down about my first upcoming show.

And so, I did my first art show and found myself in the midst of a good experience. People bought my work. Compliments were gratefully received. I almost broke even on the expense of getting my work up on the walls.

What I have learned from almost a year of doing this is that you’re ready when you’re willing to face your fears. Put in the work, and see what happens. Learn from each experience and don’t be afraid to make changes.

Lessons I learned:

1) Choose a location that participates in an Art Walk, not a coffee shop in a strip mall that people run in and out of without looking at the walls. This applies to small businesses not just coffee shops.

2) Check out the location or event first. It will help you decide if
it’s a good fit and what work to show.

3) Tell your friends and family and dentist. Don’t be shy about this – everyone you know should be invited either verbally or through your media of choice. These are your people. They want to see you succeed!

. . . . .

And now that I’ve shared my advice, I must admit that every show, every time I feel some “stage fright.” There are butterflies in my tummy. I feel this sense of urgency to get everything ready. I am not sure if I have enough of the things people will want to buy.

My Little Photography Assistant – sometimes I take her out to photograph along side me:)

I know everything will be okay. The hardest part is getting everything there and set up. On Friday, I get to juggle my daughter’s pick up from Preschool, loading my brother’s truck up, my wagon, and unloading with my brother’s help, my little girl in tow and setting up everything. Thankfully, my husband is coming home early to pick up my son, then the girl and helping me set up in the final 30 minutes before this show opens!

I could not get my work out there without the help of my family. And, I’m sure that if it’s time and help holding you back from getting your work out there, all you have to do is ask the people who love you!

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Holiday Show Sneak Peek: wood prints, calendars, magnets!

There will be something for everyone – from ready to hang fine art prints in a frame to magnets and postcards! Here’s a peek at the wood prints, calendars and magnets…

Fern Rising wood print on Bamboo

Floral Magnet Set of 4 images…
Floral Calendar for your desk…5×5 inches.

See you there,
Holli

p.s. There will be a few special iPhone 4 cases available too!

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Mark Your Calendar!

New Florals will be available as well as old favorites!

Yes, it’s that time of year again: Holiday Shopping is here! The stores already have Christmas stuff filling the shelves…

I’ll be at my first ever Holiday Gift Show here in West Seattle at The Fauntleroy Fine Art and Gift Show!

When:

Friday, November 16, 5 pm to 8 pm

Saturday, November 17, 10 am to 4 pm

Sunday, November 18, 11 am to 2 pm

Where:

9140 California Avenue SW, Seattle WA 98136 – this venue is a space within a Church, so they have a parking lot and some overflow spots along the street.

What you’ll see from Holli With An I Photography:

  • Framed Fine Art Prints
  • 8×10 and 5×7 Prints
  • Cards
  • Postcards
  • Magnets
  • iPhone 4 Cases
  • Calendars

So, bring a friend and have some fun browsing locally made arts and crafts while you get a jump start on your holiday shopping. Hope to see you there!

p.s. Can’t wait or won’t be able to make it? Check out what’s new in my etsy shop: holliwithani.etsy.com

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Crossfit Mama: Pregnancy Portraits

Have you ever seen a pregnant woman lift weights? I did for the first time during this photo-shoot. BeckyJo is one strong Mama. Her husband, Darrick is the trainer behind CrossfitRE. So, BeckyJo is under the best coaching possible while she keeps her muscles strong and grows a healthy baby.

It was such a treat to do a new-to-me type of portrait session. I’ve done fitness class photographs for business owners, but this was the first time I did one for someone who simply wanted to document her own achievement…

And, no, we didn’t forget to do a traditional style portrait session too! I can’t wait to meet their little lady, and know they’re going to have such fun being parents.

There’s one more portrait session opening for November 11th – contact me if you’d like me to capture your beautiful life!

 

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Pregnancy Portraits: Here comes fall baby!

Fallen Chestnut, ready for a small creature to eat.

Fall is officially here in Seattle. And with it, a new season to be born. For the past two weekends, I’ve had the pleasure of photographing two couples expecting baby number one. This session took advantage of one of the last Sunny Sundays in October…here are a few favorites of the growing Leonard Family!

Rain or shine, I’ve had such fun photographing growing families. Next month, I have 2 photo sessions open before Thanksgiving – starting at $175 for an hour-long photo shoot,  you’ll have your photographs ready for Christmas cards or gifts. Contact me to book your session: photoholli (at) gmail (dot) com – I look forward to capturing your beautiful life!

p.s. I can’t wait to share my second Pregnancy Photosession – Crossfit + Pregnant (aka one tough mother!)

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