Sunday Thoughts Archive
Life Lessons through the lense...
Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023
"When one door closes, another opens"... or something like that...
Some doors are revolving, they close and reopen throughout the course of your life.
Some are one way only. Some you might slip through unscathed. Some doors can be revisited, but they aren’t to be walked through again, they contain only snapshots of memories.
Some doors seem insignificant, but turn out to be very important.
Some doors are shabby and sun-faded, covered in vines and years of dust, begging to tell you their story.
Some doors leave you wishing you’d just left them closed. Others, you wish you could open for the very first time, to start over, or maybe relive it the same way all over again.
As we saunter through life, there's a new door, a new thought, a new choice, that we didn’t have the day prior. Like chess pieces we make individualized moves with an uncertain number of outcomes. The idea of the Butterfly Effect comes to mind, that “the world is deeply interconnected" beyond what we can know -- that these moves, no matter how small, affect the whole.
Doors are constantly being presented to us. Some we open, some we pass by. Some we're in before we even know it.
Whatever door you choose, or path you take, or choices you make today, there’s always something else just beyond it. Another door is waiting for you. Another lesson, another adventure, a new friend, new ways of thinking, happiness, contentment, healing, forgiveness, opportunity—they are all just one door away.
When you find yourself questioning ‘why,' just remember what is for you, will not pass you... and when one door closes another opens...or something like that.
Collection of Doors- VJP- Curated and collected since 2018
Lost & Found
Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023
Confession: Lately, I’m stuck on autopilot. 👩✈️Wake up, go to work, come home, do more work, go to sleep, wash, rinse, repeat.
I know I’m not the only one. New York winters are looooooong. 🙄
When we’re living like this, we have to kick ourselves… we’re not doing enough of the things that make our weird little hearts happy. 😢
So what makes me happy… what do I like to do in my spare time…
On occasions that are embarrassingly rare, I enjoy getting lost in familiar places.
“And what does she mean by that?”
It’s taking the same path you always do, but with a perspective shift.
It’s a slow down.
It’s being grateful.
It’s feeling the wind kiss my nose when I roam through the birch trees.
It's hearing the snow fall lightly the ground.
It’s strolling, rather than passing everything at 40 MPH.
It’s noticing intricate details about buildings I’ve overlooked, but driven by a thousand times and of course, for me, it’s about finding new places to take photographs.
On one of these - #getlostinfamilarplaces days, I took a stroll around the Village of New Hartford. What I thought would be a quick 15 minute shoot, soon turned into a night shoot as the moon lit up the sky.
There was a chill in the air, but it didn’t matter to me. It was just nice to take it all in. To be up close and personal with what beauty exists in our backyard, and to be able to see it from behind my camera lens.
Let this serve as a reminder to always explore…the captain has turned off the fasten seatbelt sign, you are now free to roam about the cabin, remove your blinders, and briefly break free.
There is so much more to life than the daily grind, we just have to want to see it.
Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023
The era that I grew up in was pretty cool. Us "elder-millennials" experienced rapid technological advances that rivaled most other generations.
There was always a new gadget on the market. If we were lucky enough to buy it, last year's gadget got buried in the back of the closet with the ✨hitclips.✨ *Cringes in low-fidelity mono*
We swiftly went from cassettes to CDs, to MP3 players, to aux cords, to Bluetooth. We traded in corded landlines that hung on the wall for wireless home phones. We ditched dial-up internet on desktop computers for WiFi and laptops. We went from film to digital cameras.
Ultimately, we ended up with phones that combined communication, music, and photography... phones that seem to do everything for us...phones that have become extensions of our arms. Kinda creepy, huh?
There has always been the next best thing to keep us wired into new tech.
I've enjoyed all of these advances, but to me, there is nothing cooler than the vintage stuff.
While not vintage, per se, at the beginning of last year, I purchased this bad boy *see picture 1*.
I set out to take 27 photos that encapsulated spring thru summer '22.
When I finally dropped the camera off for developing, I couldn’t remember what I took photos of.
How cool is it that I was going to be surprised when I picked up my prints?
The disposable camera produced incredibly low-quality images– but it wasn’t the quality I was after, it was the moment--that raw moment. It was putting down the phone. It was the nostalgia. It was the thrill of winding the film...the utter excitement of the unknown.
So, sure, you see a girl standing in front of a doorway of an abandoned warehouse... but to me, that's just a glimpse into the memory of this day.
Live life like a film camera– you’ve only got so many chances, so many takes, make them worth it— and don’t worry too much about the result. Don’t overthink things to death– what will be will be- and chances are, no matter the quality of the shot you take, you’ll have a great memory to look back on.
The Candidness of Life
Sunday Jan 8, 2023
Like most sentimental people, I tend to hold onto things for reasons of the heart.
I came across this message and vividly recalled driving on Rt. 8 with my car packed, blasting Wide Open Spaces while tears streamed down my face, that was until I decided it was kind of necessary to see the road. Ah, melancholia…
In 2017, I left all that was familiar to me to move to PA with my now husband. I didn't have a job or connections, or any friends, and I didn’t have a timeline of if or when we’d return. I was running on faith and faith alone, and that was waning.
It was a difficult season in life for me, to say the least. I stayed in that fog for what seemed like forever—under mounds of blankets with cups of coffee that had long gone cold.
I spent time with the only friends that I had locally: Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler.
Eventually, I peeked out from the covers and cleared my lens.
To speak to my Dad’s message, here:
If I hadn't taken the opportunity to move, I wouldn't have worked with the well-oiled woman powered teams at @brynmawrcollege and @davidsbridal . Zach and I would have gone on wondering which authentic Philly cheesesteak tasted better (if you don't like @pats_king_of_steaks whizwit best, there's no help for you💁♀️). I wouldn’t have adventured in all of the small towns in that area, and I wouldn't have had the time to find myself a little bit. I would only have the life experience that exists in this small corner of the world.
I'm better for all of it: the loneliness, the feelings of worthlessness, and the difficult, beautiful G R O W T H.🌱
A little perception change was necessary, but there was a light on either side of the Lehigh Tunnel.
Had I not been brave in 2017, I would not be comfortable today-- in my own skin, or in my work.
Today, I’m back in New York. I’m lucky enough to love my day job and the people that came with it. I’m blessed to own a small business and to be putting two passions of mine (writing and photography) to the test, but MOST of all, I love having the opportunity to share these passions with all of you.
A New Year
Sunday Jan. 1, 2023
One of my best friends and I decided we don’t believe in New Year Resolutions.
We don’t believe for a second that at the stroke of midnight the chrysalis of change breaks open and a beautiful butterfly yearning for freedom stretches its wings.
It’s more like we’re all butterflies, all unique, going through our own changes. Each year we fly our own course. Day by day we have to figure out which path we’re walking, who we’re taking with us, and how we get there.
So how do I celebrate change and growth?
Each year I get a planner (yes, I'm 80 years old). And in that planner I keep a list of my goals for the year. Some are seemingly unattainable and some are checked off with ease. At the end of the year, I look at the list and I see all that I’ve accomplished. I don’t hold myself to all of the goals and I certainly do not call them resolutions. Some just serve as reminders.
No matter how far you’ve come this past year, be proud of yourself.
Whatever your goals are for 2023, make sure you do something, big or small, that you can look back on and be proud of. Make sure you're growing. Make sure you're better than you were last year, or even yesterday for that matter. Choose kindness every day. Learn something new, take the time for yourself (you're worth it!). Take the time for others. Do something that scares you a little bit…and all that jazz.
Remember, “Real change takes time. No one knows what next year holds. We can only do our best… Be honest. Be vulnerable. Show up for people… Reconnect with something you love or fall in love with something new. Get lost in the process instead of the outcome. Fight to be present. And stay for the surprises.”
Life is a work in progress, and it always should be. Happy New Year!
People are Gifts
Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022
In the midst of the holiday rush, I’m refreshing, refocusing, and redirecting.
Being in nature has always reset me. I enjoy noticing the simple things– the snow covered tree spires, the quiet stillness in the air …and for the love of all things good–the feeling of a hot cup of coffee between my hands.
You'll read a lot of posts about the holidays this week and I hope you take the time to read mine too. There are so many beautiful things happening, but please be mindful that this time of year can be difficult for some, and even with all of my blessings, I'm included.
There are a couple less seats at our table this year. Meals that are no longer made, by hands that have long since left the physical world...so many beautiful people who exist only in photographs and memories, *cue Jim Croce* (iykyk).
It’s easy to get caught up in that feeling, but mindset check…
We need to look at those who are left at our tables, those little cousins who smirk back at us in delight, the relatives who endlessly poke fun and share the same stories, the cookies, the music, the love and comradery...we can have all of this and we can still be grateful for those old beautiful moments that became fond memories.
In the day to day, it is easy to take a lot for granted, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for the people that are in my life, and those who have shaped me to be the person I am today...
…and if I close my eyes tight enough, I can still feel the warmth coming from the tiny kitchen on Blandina Street, I can hear the murmur of familiar voices and laughter, I can smell peppers, onions, and sauce simmering on the stove, and I can almost feel my heart light up to see her.
Hold the ones you love close.
Spend time with them.
Apologize to them.
Remind them that you love them.
We all benefit from human connection. Don’t let the people who are important to you become memories.
There’s far too much complication and sadness in this life.
Forget the gifts, forget the tree, be the light for someone this holiday season, whatever that means to you.
Ode to Self Love
Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022
We're always picking away at our appearances…and *exasperated sigh* it isn't because we're vain. Actually, it's quite the opposite.
Sometimes when we look in the mirror, we don't see what other people see. We see the warped version of ourselves that we've conjured up. The one where we aren’t satisfied with who we see staring back at us.
To boot, we live in this digital age where we look for satisfaction derived from a 'like’ on our photos and when we don't get it, we pick ourselves apart more.
I've wondered before, what would someone write about me if they were to describe me? Would they comment on my weight? Never. Would they say my highlights are grown out six inches? No. Would they say I have this annoying blemish in-between my eyebrows that appears at the most inconvenient times? They probably wouldn’t even notice. 😂
I guess I'll never know, but the truth is, it doesn't matter. 💁
What I do know is that people generally remember how you made them feel, not what you looked like when you made them feel special.
And when you find good people, they’ll love the things about you that you don’t. They’ll see past your insecurities and be left with only the parts of you that make you wonderful—which, newsflash—aren’t just physical traits.
Even with that said, many times I went to a photo shoot for myself thinking I was going to hate the photos due to my insecurities. Well, I learned to drop it. Every time I got my photos back, I was delighted by the sunny face staring back at me.
When you see yourself through the lens, it is a major confidence boost. Must be something about that mirror image? Nah. It's just you. 😊
You owe it to yourself---book that shoot. Don't let another year go by where you don't have new photos because of an insecurity.
Being comfortable in front of the camera starts with allowing yourself to be a little bit vulnerable— Let down your walls, relax, let your personality shine through, because honestly, we glow brighter when we feel that we can be ourselves. 😎
What are you waiting for to take care of you?
Monday, Dec. 5, 2022
It's a little bit of a conundrum being immersed in these fast-paced lives we lead...always work work work, wash the dishes, laundry, repeat.
It seems like we're always chasing the weekends and then they are here and gone with another to-do list piled up.
Of course, that's only one way to look at it...and I'd be lying if I said I didn't look at it that way sometimes. But, what if, instead, we remembered all the meals that we shared on the dishes that were piled up, the stories told around the table...or what if we went on a walk and took in the smell of fresh laundry outside on a cold day.... What if we simply remembered the things that made us smile throughout the week?
What if we took a moment to just "be."
We should strive to find the beauty in the ordinary. There is so much to be grateful for---even on days that may seem a little darker than others.
We can change the narrative on a day that's going poorly, we can be the light for someone else, we can engage in a healthy behavior that we enjoy, we can reach out to our friends or family--- after all, you never know when they might need to hear a friendly hello, themselves.
I'm challenging you this week to find beauty in the simple things. View life through a different lens. Zoom out a bit. Put on those rose colored glasses. Find something to be grateful for. Throw it in the comments if you'd like.
But remember, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller
Capturing Moments. Making memories.
The Candidness of Life
Sunday Nov. 27, 2022
I can remember sitting cross-legged on the floor as a kid, sifting through old family photos. The scene at 28 years old, doesn’t look much different now– my back just hurts a little bit more when I get up from the floor…
Today I opened this box (lest we forget the chokehold that these geese had on us in the 90s) which is chock full of family photos. This box is one of many. The photos are completely out of date, ranging from the late 1800s to 1970 or so. Someday, I will organize these and put them in an album…but today is not that day.
Rifling through these photos always provides me with a bittersweet/melancholic feeling, followed by a smile, when I remember or wondering about, the times that “were.” Sometimes, it makes me feel like I belong in a different era.
It’s never the posed studio photographs that I connect with the most, though those are nice. It is the in-between moments that I find so captivating….Mom eating her peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Dad outside his childhood home with his brother and dog, my grandmother viewing a waterfall from a bridge…me showing off with my Dad’s old truck…a photo taken of family at an event (there’s so much going on in that photo, I can almost hear the conversation).
How lucky are we to have these tiny moments caught on camera, or film in this case.
Sometimes the best moments are in the candids.
And I think that’s how life is.
I want to live in the moments of laughter that fill my days.
I want to live in the thoughtful head tilts of my dog.
I want to live in the refrain of my favorite songs.
I want to go back to those peanut butter and jelly days when things were so simple.
I have so much to be grateful for, especially the quiet in-between moments.
The best part is, we can live in those moments, if we make the choice to.
I hope that you all had some time this weekend to slow down a bit and reflect on something that you are extra thankful for. I hope you had some time to live in a moment, in the cherished candidness of life.
Sunday Nov. 20, 2022
Everybody needs a support system whether it's a friend, relative, spouse, dog, or a semi-inspirational, mostly sarcastic, meme containing a Golden Girls quote that is pinned to their desk. Everybody needs something or someone to help them keep on keepin' on in life, and in business too.
As much as I don't like to admit I need help with anything... I do...It's only human- we can't do it all on our own. And I like admitting I need help as much as I like being mushy in public, 🤪 but when I wrote this, the mood had struck me. So here goes:
I have said that I wouldn't be anywhere without my supporters, my wonderful friends and family. Well here is my biggest supporter - my husband, Zach.
Not only have I been lucky enough to have Zach with me through almost every stage of life thus far, but he has also been here for me from the time Vintage Junebug Photography was just a self-titled dream in high school.
Zach comes to most every shoot to handle props, placement, second shooting if needed, and when I first started, general moral support. He models VJP merch, copes with my editing marathons, makes sure I break and eat when I get locked into the screen, and always has some sort of solution for when I'm feeling overwhelmed --- typically a cup of hot tea and a pep talk.
He also doesn't ask questions when I gather my camera, tell him to walk out in the middle of a field, turn around toward me, and look angsty 😂 He just does it. And he does it all with a smile on his face (or a smoldering look in this case) 🤪😉 😇
He is my biggest fan and a huge part of VJP. I wouldn't be able to do this without him. I wouldn't be anywhere without him in my life.
My heart is so full and I am so grateful.
What To Wear
Sunday Nov. 13, 2022
This past Saturday, we had so many awesome families for our holiday micro minis in Hamilton. To say I am utterly humbled by the experience of meeting and having the opportunity to photograph these beautiful families would be an understatement.
Many people chose to wear holiday colors (red, green, plaids) to this session. Other people wore neutrals (beige, brown, black), and some even wore super fun colors (hot pink and light blue). All looked amazing against the backdrop of the Mill Street Barn and the surrounding property.
As a general rule of thumb, I would suggest that clients avoid large or loud patterns and any clothing with writing on it, unless your wardrobe contains an unusually large amount of sarcastic t-shirts-– in which case, ROCK IT!
I encourage clients to bring something personal to their photoshoots. My favorite personal item this weekend was a blanket that a client had that was her grandmother’s.
Sunday Nov. 6, 2022
Recently, while looking at a photo that I took, someone told me, "You really captured their essence."
Immediately, I got that overpowering, good kind of feeling in my body, like when someone sings with a lot of soul, or like when *spoiler alert* Sassy comes home at the end of Homeward Bound.
Sheesh, that was the nicest compliment I've received to date.
As a photographer, capturing someone's essence while allowing them to feel comfortable is all I could hope for.
Some clients can be a little camera shy-- and that's totally fine. It's not always easy loosening up in front of the camera.
We gotta give credit to the subject who might be a little camera shy at first.
Sure, I snap the photo, but ultimately, it's their personality that shines through. That's what makes each person, and each photo, unique and special.
Sometimes we all need a reminder to get the wiggles out (as I say to the little ones).
For those out there who are hesitant to be in front of a camera for a photo shoot, know that I'm here for you and we will have fun! You'll be drawn to smile, even in between serious shots, and I promise you will feel comfortable enough to let your guard down, be yourself, and let that marvelous personality shine through.
I'm not here to take stock photos.
I'm here to capture you in a moment in time-- Whether it's a Thursday afternoon, an engagement, a first birthday, or a rainy Sunday... I'm here... To capture your moments, and to make new memories.