Photography, isn't just a passion, it is now nearly an obsession to help others balance "life" yet still capture moments of life that are here, today... so they have those images to share when today is suddenly "yesteryear".
My goal, is to simply capture, and give the gift of special moments of your life, of images that you will have for all those generations that will follow in your shoes.
It's hard to believe that it has been nearly two years, since Heather and Addie stepped in front of my camera lens. I am so excited that they are scheduled for portraits here in the studio in a couple of days. It seems like only yesterday we were out just after sunrise, in the heat of August, working around the wind to capture their first set of portraits. I will be honest though, we were all grateful to get back into the studio where the a/c was cranking that morning!!!!! But seriously, they were phenomenal, and real troopers. Their portraits easily tell the story, without words, about the mother daughter bond these two share. Yep, every family session makes that much of an impact on me, to remember it two years later!!!
I can't wait to see the images that we will capture this week, to help add to Heather's family portraits. These two have very busy lives, so I am excited that we all get to get back together again.
I know that families do their best to make their sports practices, piano recitals, holiday programs, and grandma's birthdays, so we are doing our part to help make sure that all those little moments that add up to a lifetime of memories also get captured along the way just because, and not a decade at a time. Our lives continue to change as we all grow, making it even more important to have pictures to capture our stories for us. They help us to remember feelings, emotions, and events that are easily forgotten. That makes regular portrait sessions a valuable gift. Imagine being able to have a series of pictures to be able to look at, instead of just from one session, but from five or six. Oh the stories and memories they would all be able to tell!!!!!
While Heather and Addie's timing is perfect for their hectic lives, its also perfect for the studio!!
This week we are launching our "Once upon a Forever" program. In today's busy world where we live by what our handheld device tells us to do next, time can really slip away!! There are a few families that go years, not only between family portraits, but even between a sit down meal together!!! It's crazy how fast this world spins!!!!! But at least now, your first family session is the last one that you will ever be billed a session fee for. Its time to get back into the habit of getting regular family session. Those little devices in our hands are replaced every couple of years, so don't let those selfies, quick pics, and calendar reminders get recycled too, if that is all you have to recap where your life has flown by. Have professional portraits that are on your walls and in your home withstand the test of time.
Feel free to ask for more information on the "Once upon a FOREVER", program while waiting for Heather and Addie's 2015 family portraits. You can start your own session planning as early as today.
Its hard to believe that the studio is set to celebrate being open for its second year, in just a matter of days! Where has the time gone? Its been a great couple of years getting to slow down, and get back to simple living in the country, and a small town. This little town helped raise me, and its been a blessing ten-fold to be able to give back through our little portrait studio.
Our special events have had us all over the State of Oklahoma supporting both small and large causes. They have been both rewarding and physically challenging at times, but we always over delivered to every client. Its been great to meet new people while running in to familiar faces! Well, as familiar as " I remember you from 1982" can be.
Senior sessions have simply helped me get into gear, since I opened the studio days after my own son graduated High School. It was a significant milestone for him, as it is for all seniors. I will never forget that his last spring break, was spent on a road trip with me, halfway across the country, to finish his senior pic portfolio on the family farm, as well as to help start remodeling what would be the studio of Sonya Petre Photography only two weeks after he graduated. It was a long hard week, but one we will never forget.
Since then I have had phenomenal High School Seniors step in front of my lens. Each with a passion for living that should be bottled. Looking forward to life, and not wanting to spend another minute waiting. Big dreams of jobs, a few college courses already behind them, scholarships in hand, and another on the way. I try to stay in touch with every one of them, just to hear their stories of what real life is like once they are actually living their dreams. While they may have whined about getting their Senior portraits done early one morning, or late one night, they all end up having the same conversation. Their senior portraits started their life story being documented.
That makes every minute of every consultation worth it.
Looking back it is the family sessions that have never ceased to amaze me. They have really helped me reconnect to my roots. There has been 20 years of renters through my great grandparent's house prior to our taking ownership and permanent residence on the homestead. There hasn't been a month go by, that I haven't had a family session that someone ends up sharing how one of their family members lived for a time, in that little place we now call home. There are countless stories, spanning decades, that come to light when tracing bloodlines back. Even during a simple family session, everyone leaves feeling a little more like family. And that, after all, is what it is all about, and why I have been so driven to move back to Morrison. Family.
I have so few pictures from just three generations ago. The two I have I hold on to dearly. At least with my Grandparents I have a few more to pass on to my son. They mean so much when telling a story of family. More than any selfie or quick picture on the run every will. These last two are the last I have of even visiting with my Grandpa. Both of them, I nearly missed my flight on, but I wasn't leaving until I had one more picture with him. I don't want others to live on the edge like I have, of missing out on those family portraits for the next generation, and the next. There is a reason I focus on designing sessions from the location up. I want to include the details that mean the most to a family, so their portraits can tell their story. I want details in the portraits to bring even more stories back to mind, that a normal picture can't. That's why I opened the doors of the photography studio, and that is why I came home. And this year, like every year, celebrating that we are exactly where we are supposed to be!!
Senior sessions continue through the photo studio this week. I simply can't believe I am working on the next Class of graduates, that are destined to have me crying in May watching them graduate! It's so worth the tears that are guaranteed to flow though! I absolutely love my job, and being able to watch the transformation of individuals over this crazy and exciting time of their life. There are a select group of Seniors selected each year, to help out in our little photo studio. I quickly found out that running a photography business single-handedly isn't for the faint of heart. Due to the amount of volunteering and community service that I am involved with, even in the surrounding towns, its a great opportunity for Seniors! They earn their senior portraits, get some community service under their belt, and have a blast seeing what zany ideas I am going to come up with next! I even try to make the painting, mopping, and even the reflector fun!
Just shy of one year ago today, Kenzee came thru the studio for a full session. Her father was really wanting to get caught up on a few years of missing getting portraits done. (Don't we ALL have that feeling at times?!) We had a blast during her session, even though the summer was warming up on us and tried to bake us once we stepped outside. That didn't stop her from relishing every minute in front of the lens.
During her reveal session, it was discovered that she would soon be a Senior. She was so relaxed in front of the camera, and was so outgoing, I just had to ask... "Would you like to be a Senior Rep for the studio next year"? She couldn't say "yes" fast enough!
Well lo and behold, the calendar called for the Class of 2016 to step in to action, and she was the first in the door here at the studio on Senior Night. Kenzee has already helped with a family session, and shared some ideas to alleviate a little stress off the planning for our annual Downtown Christmas event. This event requires months of design and prep work before Santa drops by to visit. I am lucky to have her helping out so much in the studio this year!
It happens every year. Time flies by, as page after page is pulled off the calendar. Suddenly a group of "kids" graduate in May before our very eyes. Before we know it they are out in the world to making their unique mark on the world. By then its too late to get those Senior Pictures you had been wanting to get on the wall, and in the announcements.
We can't make time stand still, but we can keep the tradition and value of Senior pictures proudly in place. While a lot of Seniors may think "Senior pictures" are just another couple of head and should shots, I am here to tell you... Our Seniors LOVE u s!! Why? We don't just pick a day and grab a camera. We help celebrate this special time, by asking what's important in their life!
Already have some senior picture ideas? GREAT!!! Stuck on where to begin? No worries at all. We can start with a few basics, and before long we will have a list of senior picture ideas that will be proud of for decades. Have a favorite fishing hole? How about a prize winning FFA show animal? From a unique location, family farm, or Grandpa's truck, we strive to DESIGN sessions around the Senior.
Even if you are in a hurry, our portrait studio is set to deliver the unique senior photos you are searching for come rain or shine. No plain white backdrops here or allowed in our studio unless you are requesting a passport photo! Studio Rules!
We are already scheduling senior photos for the Class of 2016. I simply can't believe that! Where did the Class of 2015 go? 2014? My goodness time is marching on, and I still haven't been able to get through Commencement exercises without crying. I have had some amazing people step in front of my camera lens, but Seniors are by far, my favorite group to capture. Seniors are optimistic and full of energy, ready to try out their ideals and plans on the world. Inevitably there comes a time each year, where the conversation lends itself to the reality of what it is. This is the big step into adulthood, adult responsibilities, and self reliance. I have done several split senior photo sessions, that capture images both at the beginning, and close to the end of the Senior year. It is amazing the difference only a few months can make in their faces! Comparing these images never cease to amaze me, while bringing tears to both moms and dads!
Its time... to pick up that camera, face the fact that this is their time, and its going to be okay when, not if, I cry while watching them cross that stage.
Family reunions and casual gatherings are usually the highlight of the summer packed with activities. I recall countless summers on the farm with tiring hours spent helping with harvest. Actually when I was too young to ride on the tractor or hang out our truck, affectionately called "big blue", all the way to the mill, I entertained myself at the house in grandma's garden, patiently waiting until she was ready to drive to her sewing shop in the big city of Stillwater. The colors of the garden were magical and hearing her explain each flower and the importance of their colors will never be forgotten. Oh the smiling faces and laughter of long hot summer days. Aunt's, uncles, cousins, and hired hands from OSU would bounce in and out as long as the sun was up. I learned a lot as those days flew by. I especially recall, in the cool of the evening, various local farmers hung out at Grandpa's tool shed talking crops, equipment, and livestock. Oh how I wish there were more pictures taken from those summer days. So many memories and faces, that I will admit, are fading over the years. I regret that the last several years of my Grandparents were alive, I was on the other side of the world, rarely prioritizing a visit home. My lack of having those family portraits on my own walls, is the passion and fuel for our little studio. I simply can't go back in time to capture those moments. But I can help other families, like yours, take a pause long enough in your busy summer, to capture the family pictures that will be appreciated, for generations.
If your summer has the extended family coming in to visit, take advantage of the opportunity to capture precious family photos. I mean, how often will you have three and four generations together? Make sure you call our portrait studio as soon as everyone's travel plans are scheduled. We work with you to design a family photo shoot that captures what matters most to your family. Our portrait studio is conveniently located just moments from Stillwater, if you are in search of a studio portrait setting. If your family has a favorite summer hangout, we can easily design your family photo shoot around that location as well, to help these family pictures become even more valuable, and help in recalling special family memories from the landscape.
Even if this year is just you and the kids hanging out at the house, there may come a day where you realize that they are simply growing up entirely too quickly. We can easily design a session with your kids, so you have your family pictures before another year flies by. Lets work to design a session to capture their likes, their interactions, and favorite hobbies at this point of their young lives. This summer is only going to happen once, so lets work together to stop time for a matter of minutes, and capture the memories for you for ever.