More Than Just a Day at the Beach

“Ride the wave baby”

Today was not just any day at the beach, it was a sort of celebration with friends.  One of those friends has been having the battle of her life; cancer.  But not today, today we are celebrating the fact that she is 100% cancer free. Her journey began last October when she wasn’t able to stay awake for very long at a time. Not a good thing when you are driving back and forth to work. She finally got to the point where she was having a difficult time waking up at all. A visit to the ER ended up being several weeks long as they immediately did surgery and found two small brain tumors which turned out to be a Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She was given radiation and chemo and with the prayers from so many, now six plus months later she has been set free! So today we her friends gathered on the beach to simply enjoy the company of her in our life and rejoice in the fact that we are here WITH her.

I have written about her before and I guess this is a sort of catch up on that past article.

We need to make sure we love on those that are close to us because life can change in a heartbeat literally. For me personally I love hard & deep, but sometimes it’s difficult to let those important folks in my life know how much I do care. I’m trying to be better, I’m working on being more open and authentic with how I feel, it’s especially difficult in new relationships because not truly knowing the person makes it difficult to open up……again an area I’m working on.

You may be wondering what all this has to do with photography, well of course I am going to post photos of our outing, but it’s more than that. I did take photos of my friend after she lost her hair, but they were for her eyes only, because I felt she needed to document this blip in her life. I wanted her to have not just the memory, but the fact that she can look back on this and KNOW she beat something that could have taken her life and to give her strength whenever she needs to have a dose of it.

This experience has changed how I think and how I view life. I’ve learned so much from her, how to be strong in the face of life’s greatest adversities, how to share love with the people I care about and most of all to embrace the passions in life and to not put off my “bucket list” items. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so we must live today as if it’s our last, and we must love like there won’t be a tomorrow.

I also see a difference in how I take photos as minor as that may be. I am becoming less technical and more intuitive, allowing my heart and my eyes direct what I shoot, I feel it’s making me a much better photographer.

Opportunities Abound

As each day passes I wake up to new opportunities as a photographer.  Who would have thought a few months ago that I would be this busy and have more work than I know what to do with.  I truly love being a photographer and I am enjoying every opportunity that is crossing my path. 
This past weekend I was honored to be the official photographer for a very large fund raising event in the Port Charlotte area.  I was able to participate in helping to raise money for the Homeless Coalition of Charlotte County.  I not only offered a couple of my photographs for a silent auction, but I helped up the ante with the five bands who performed and raised money by offering my services as a photographer to the band who raised the largest amount of money for the event.  Copperhead was the hands down winner by raising $1800 and I am in the process of securing their contract for my photographic services.
It really felt good to be involved knowing the money raised would buy an entire years’ worth of food for the Homeless Shelter.  I love giving back to those who need a hand up.  God has been good to me and my goal is to give back as much as I can and share my blessings with others.
I will be photographing some really large concerts for 94.5 “The Arrow” this month so stay tuned!