If you've only visited my Facebook page recently, you may think all I do is take pictures of beautiful half-naked women (or as my daughter likes to call them - "underwear pictures"). I had such an amazing response to my introduction to boudoir photography that I have definitely been busy with them! But spring is upon us, which means it is again time for Easter pictures! This year, however, there is something different about them.
I have been a part of the YMCA of Pierce & Kitsap Counties for over 15 years. At first, I was only a patron, using their gym to train for fitness competitions and stay in shape during my time on the Sea Gals. But for the past 6 years, my role with the YMCA changed to being a dance instructor. It is a wonderful place to work because our mission is to help others, whether it is to get healthy, provide learning and recreational opportunities to families, or create a safe place for people to take care of basic needs like showering and getting exercise. One of the biggest goals for the YMCA is not turning anyone away and providing a more positive environment for children and teenagers. This can only be done by generous contributions from our community. Our biggest fundraising effort is happening right now during our annual campaign! With money raised, the YMCA can provide financial assistance, offer attendance to Camp Seymore, and also provide a safe place for teenagers to hang out during their weekly Late Nite events. This year, I pledged to raise $1000 and will donate ALL proceeds from my Easter Mini-Sessions to the 2014 YMCA Annual Campaign! I really want to raise this money, not only to help the Y, but also because my class - the only hip hop class offered at the Tacoma Center Y - will get a banner that will hang prominently in the gym! I know that sounds trivial, but I want to show that a small class can make a big difference! I would be so proud!
Just like last year, the Easter photos will include baby chicks! I already have 9 grown chickens that lay either white or brown eggs. But because of my selfish desire to have blue & green eggs as well, I have decided to get a few Ameraucana chicks. What a perfect opportunity for another cute Easter mini-session! But not only chicks - I will also have a bunny this year!! It really doesn't get much cuter - chicks and a bunny to accompany your adorable kiddos! So, if you want some Easter photos, spring pictures, or just a great deal for family portraits, please join me for my Easter mini-session event - March 29 & 30. For $50 you will get 5-10 digital photos and 1-8x10 print. Contact me to book your 30 minute session!
Remember back in the 80's when "Glamour Shots" was really popular? It was such a great idea. Women carry so much responsibility on their shoulders and have to constantly be compared to perfectly photoshopped models on magazine covers. It's no wonder that so many women have low self-esteem and decide to give up on themselves and focus on their kids or job instead. Glamour Shots was a way for women to feel beautiful again. They got professional makeup and hair done and really flattering photography taken so they could always look back and feel special or give the photos as gifts to their husbands or significant others. But of course, big hair and fluffy boas soon went out of style and now those Glamour Shots look like something that should be featured on "Awkward Family Photos". So, how do we help women feel beautiful in this day and age?
Boudoir photography has become very popular in the last few years. It's really simple - highlighting all of the beautiful parts of each woman from her face, her back, her legs, down to her feet! It is not raunchy or pornographic. It is classy and beautiful. I really wanted to add this to my portfolio but wasn't sure how to approach it. Do I ask a friend to volunteer or try taking pictures of myself (that was a quick "NO"!)? Luckily, Kayla contacted me and asked if I would do them for her. She didn't care that I hadn't done them before and was willing to let me try anything. It was a strange and wonderful experience all at the same time. Here is this girl that I have known since she was maybe 6, so that is how I always see her - a 6 year old innocent girl! But here she is - now 21, about to be married and wearing lingerie! It was a little awkward at first, but the more time passed, the more I appreciated how great it was to be able to see her grow into such a beautiful woman. I think her fiancé is a very lucky man to get to have such a stunning bride!
As soon as I posted a picture from her shoot, I got a call from an old friend of mine that wanted to have some done too! I was so excited to do more and Crystal was so open minded and willing to do pretty much whatever I asked! One of the best feelings and compliments I get as a photographer is showing someone their picture and hearing them say, "That's me?! OMG, I look amazing!" That's when I knew I wanted to do more and more of these kinds of shoots!
As a single mom, I know how busy life gets and how easy it is to put yourself last. Take the time to allow yourself to feel beautiful, even if it's just for the 1 hour that we shoot! Everyone has insecurities and in todays world it's so easy for women to feel bad about themselves. But no matter what size, shape, color, or age you are, you are all beautiful in your own way!
Before & AfterThe new LindaYoshi Studio - Before & After
Wow, I haven't written on my blog in such a long time! But what better reason to get back on the writing ball than to announce the opening of my new and improved studio! As some of my clients may be able to attest, my previous studio was not very good. It was in an odd room inside my house and was very small. It always made me a little apprehensive to bring people into my home that I did not know, not to mention that I had to make sure my house was clean before they arrived (which isn't always a very easy task!). It just was not an ideal location at all.
But I finally got my butt in gear and moved my studio to a better location! I converted my shop, which was becoming the dumping ground for all of my junk and not utilized for any real purpose, into my new studio! I spent about a week clearing it out and re-organizing it, and now it is such a great space for my home studio and I am so excited about it! It is not inside my home anymore (so no one will know how messy my house usually is!) and it is a much bigger space.
Being a photographer in the Pacific Northwest can be a challenge in the winter months with the constant rain and cold weather. But with my studio, I will be able to provide my photography services throughout the year. So, I hope you consider LYP not only for outdoor photography, but for your studio photography needs as well. It is a perfect location for headshots, newborn photos, family portraits, holiday pictures, and more!
New Studio PhotoMy beautiful daughter modeling in the new studio with our holiday themed backdrops.
I have entered my photography in the National Arts Program's annual show for the last few years. The first year, I was just excited to have enough courage to put my work out there for the public to see. I didn't win anything, but I was happy I did it. The second time, I actually won for my division! It was a $100 prize, which I thought was pretty amazing (the prize AND the money!). This year, I didn't end up winning a prize, but I ended up selling both of my pieces. To me, that was more flattering because it meant that people liked them enough to want to put the pieces up in their homes.
I titled one of the pieces "Olympic Mountain". It was a photo of the Inuksuk from the 2010 Winter Olympics on the top of Whistler Mountain, Canada. I took this photo on my most recent trip up there. It was a glorious day and we were way above the clouds, which created a very unique view. It was the first time I was able to bring my 5 year old daughter to the very top and her first time skiing all the way down. I was so proud of her! Not just because she could ski, but because she and I have endured a lot of hardship and loss over the last few years and here we were, just the two of us, still able to stand on top of the world and make our way down together. It was a really wonderful day and whenever I see this photo, I am reminded of that day.
I had no idea that this photo would mean anything to anyone else. But after being displayed in the art show, I got a call from someone that wanted to buy it. Seeing it brought back a lot of memories for him and he wanted to give it to his wife as a gift. He told me why it meant so much to him - He and his wife have been to Whistler many times, but their last trip was really special. They had an amazing opportunity to go during the actual Olympic games! But that's not why that last trip was so significant. Soon after coming home from their trip, they found out that she had cancer. It marked the beginning of a very long, painful, and scary road for both of them. Luckily, she was able to beat the cancer and is much better now. But he told me that when he saw the photo, it made him remember their last trip to Whistler and how happy they were before her fight with cancer. He wanted to give it to her not only as an anniversary gift, but also to show her how grateful he is that they can still celebrate it together.
Attached is a picture of my wife and me at the Olympics in front of the statue. The picture you took now hangs prominently in our living room; it brings us back to a very happy time in our lives. Shortly after this vacation we were thrown into a brutal battle with Cancer. When I gave it to her for our anniversary there were many tears of joy. Just wanted to let you know the pleasure you and your camera provided us.
Thanks again, Tony"
That is probably the best compliment I could ever get as a photographer. It means so much more than winning a prize. Thank YOU, Tony, for sharing your story with me and I wish you and your wife all the best!
Most people hope their first wedding is their last, but I am hoping my first is the start of many more to come! Of course I am talking about photographing the wedding – not actually getting married a bunch of times! But just like the bride and groom, the first wedding is very special to photographers. At least, it was for me.
I had several people ask me about doing their wedding, but once they found out I hadn’t shot one before, they weren’t comfortable hiring me. I didn’t blame them and completely understood. Weddings are a very special day so it’s a big risk to give a new photographer that responsibility. So when Andrew and Shayna asked me to take their wedding photos, knowing it would be my first, I was so flattered and honored. Flattered because Shayna is a photographer and artist herself, so it meant a lot to me that she liked my work and wanted my pictures for her wedding. But more than that, I was honored that they trusted me with their most special day and felt comfortable giving me the job.
It was a long day – starting with the bride and groom getting ready, then taking photos of the venue and all the handmade details that Shayna worked so hard on, getting group photos, then finally the ceremony and reception. But I didn’t mind staying all day and capturing as much as I could for them. Everything turned out beautiful and their family and friends had a great time!
I’m sorry I am just now writing about this wedding that happened in March! Things have been so busy and hectic for me. But I didn’t want to neglect writing about this very significant day for them, and for me!
Thank you Andrew and Shayna for believing in me and letting me be a part of your big day! I am grateful for the skills and experience that I learned from your event and I will always remember you as my first.