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I Heart Faces: Smile



I really wasn’t planning on entering another I Heart Faces challenge this week since I still need to pack for my upcoming move this Sunday. Of course I couldn’t stay away from Facebook and saw their update that they have a new challenge… So here I am.

I captured this last summer once again at Camp Arbolado. This was one of the foreign staff from Australia, Callum and one of the campers Jakori on our out hike to Primitives. That little boy did not want to give up hanging out on Callum’s sleeping bag even though he was moved off it; and because he wanted to stay on it, Jakori decided the next best thing was to jump on Callum so he couldn’t rest. It was a hilarious site to see and glad I was able to capture part of the whole fiasco that went on.


Camp Arbolado Winter Session ♥

Here it is a new year with many changes to be expected within the next few weeks. I spent a week up at the beautiful Camp Arbolado ♥ where I get quite a bit of work done. I absolutely love photographing the children and my fellow counselors up there and being able to capture the true emotion of what was going on at that moment in time. Here are a few of my favorites as I’m still going through quite a few, ok a ton of pictures that I took last week. Enjoy :)


I Heart Faces: Best Face Photo Of 2010 Contest


I’ve been wanting to enter into more contests and art shows this coming year and see where all I can go with my photography while learning and grow as a photographer as well. To start off the year I decided to enter a I heart faces challenge. I spent a week up at my beloved home away from home, Camp Arbolado and got some amazing pictures that I had a difficult time choosing. The one I decided to go with is Devin’s:

Bittersweet Changes

Thanksgiving… Where has the year gone? These past few years have just flown by, especially this year. As the holidays are approaching,  I’m finding it a bit bittersweet and I’ve found it a bit difficult to even pick up my camera and that in itself is depressing…

There have been so many struggles and changes this past year and I couldn’t be anymore thankful for them because of the lessons they have taught me. The biggest change is coming up in January when I plan on moving back to Texas and the closer it gets, the harder it is for me to accept this change though it was mine to make. I don’t regret making the decision but at the same time I feel selfish because this move is for me and I love it more than Cali. Yes I said it! I love Texas much more than California… Sorry Bessie but it’s true haha.

I made the move to Texas May of 08 at the drop of a hat for my younger brover because he needed help and I ended up staying there for year; during that time I knew things were going to be the same when I got back and I could always go back  to a home when I wanted… This time around I won’t be as fortunate.

I don’t care for change because with it, comes a sense of loss. Since losing my mother at the age of 12, I tend to handle change a lot differently than most people (if you’re also a motherless daughter, then chances are you know what I’m talking about). These will most likely be the last holidays I’m going to be able to spend with my grammers and a good chance it’ll be my last with my father as well; and knowing that makes this upcoming change that much more difficult…

I’m extremely close with my baby brover Danny and it’s usually pretty hard for me to go any length of time over two weeks without seeing him let alone speaking to him, so I knew that was going to take a toll on me but he let me know that he wants to move back with me, that just made my day. He decided to go into a 6 month rehab program which means I can’t see him when I want which is good because it teaches us that we can’t be so dependent of one another and it’ll give me a chance to adjust back to life on the hill until he can join me.

One of the best parts about moving back to Livingston is that, if and when anything does happen to either my grammers or father, I’ll have a strong support system, something I don’t really have out here; or at least not what I would need.

I’m hoping there aren’t many more changes from now until January but at the same time I know if there are, they’re for a reason and something good will come out of it somewhere down the line and I’m able to take comfort in that much.


This past week I’ve been thinking back about the past few years and all that has happened and what I believe I’m supposed to do. A lot. Such a large part of my heart was left in Texas when I moved back here to Cali and though I’m not one that likes to live in the past, I’m guilty of that when it comes to the relationships that I built there and the thoughts of what could have been seem to plague my mind quite a bit lately; and yes I do mean about a boy but not the way you would think.

I’ve always seemed to have a hard time finding someone who I just clicked with more on the emotional level than just personality. I have a few close friends who I see myself being friends with til the end and though they get me, they don’t at the same time and it makes it hard for them to comprehend what’s in my mind because of the way I process information.

As I was straightening some papers out on my desk this evening, I found an old journal that I had written all my random thoughts and ramblings in the first few months I was in Livingston; and I know I didn’t dig this journal out and to be honest, I forgot all about it and I still don’t know how it came to be on my desk…

As I was reading my entries I couldn’t help but laugh at myself a bit because they are written in a way that not many people would truly understand and as I came to the end of that first entry, I saw my buddy’s comment on it; and that just brought me to tears. You see,  my buddy was the one who I hit it off with right off the bat and we became very close and he’s the one who understood my ramblings that no one else could. He had wanted to know what I was writing all the time so I made the journal and gave it to him; later that day he gave it back to me and he commented on every. single. entry. A few of the comments were fairly lengthy which was nice because I was able to see how his thinking is about a certain subject; but what many of them were about how they were him, how he thought, what he believed, and how he felt. When it came to sharing out testimony’s of how we came to know God, we talked for hours and not only did we realize we had a lot in common but we felt this comfort around each other and ended up sharing more details about certain things that we wouldn’t share with anyone else, and here we are acting as if we’ve been best friends all our lives when we’ve only known each other a few short weeks.

We still keep in touch though it can be difficult with the distance and time difference but when we do talk, it’s as if nothing has changed and I guess that was one thing that I was dreading about when I move back, “How much have things really changed between us?” when we’re face to face again.  Life for the both of us has gone on and though our lives are much different; the more we talk we realize that we’re at the same cross-roads and we take comfort in knowing we aren’t alone and know that the other understands and will be there for the other.

Seeing his comment, “This IS me whether you meant it to be or not…” clarified for me that; even though a lot of time has passed and our lives have gone down separate paths, we’ll be there for one another and still understand each other like before and there is no greater comfort than that and knowing though we may not always say what’s on our minds, we don’t need to say anything because the other already knows.

Miss Maddi

Saturday I had the pleasure to shoot the Whittier Artists who have an exhibit at the Pomona Art Show on the Art Walk and I must say; their work is UH-MAZING! They are very talented, if I had the money and a place to put them, I would have most definitely have bought some of their pieces.

As I was walking around doing my thing I noticed this cute little girl named Maddi that one of the artists Lisa was holding; who happened to be her niece. She was so adorable! As the night went on and the wave of people coming in seemed to die down a bit I ended up doing a small shoot with her I guess you could say. Every time I’d take a picture she’d say “my turn!” and would want to look at what I took; it was too cute. If she had not been Lisa’s niece, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get the shots I did; so to Maddi’s family, thank you for letting me get some awesome shots of her.

Poison Oak

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”   – Romans 8:28

I have come to learn so many verses that are within the Bible and when I was living out in Texas it was amazing as to how much they would correlate with what was going on in my life and seeing them acted out so to speak. I loved that God was working things in my life and in ways that I was able to learn and understand that He is who He says He is.

Romans 8:28 is probably one of the few verses that I remind myself of quite often; especially when things seem to be going through a rough patch. Back in 2008 when I was guardian of my brover; it was a tough time for the both of us and my other ‘family’ would recite this verse to me, mainly Jeremiah, and I could not for the life of me understand what it was he was trying to say. Long story short, things happened and at that time it seemed like it was going to be the end of the world, but I kept reciting that verse to myself in the hopes that it would calm me down a bit and finally make sense to me. A few months down the road things seemed to be right again and though I still cringe at the thought of that one bad moment in my life, I still remember that it was that moment that helped us get to where we are today and I wouldn’t change it for the world and that’s when I learned what that verse was saying.

Last weekend was the reception for the “Wings” exhibition at the Whittier Art Gallery; which was also my first. It was an experience to say the least and though I was nervous as could be, I enjoyed seeing all the work that was a part of the show and meeting other artists. I ended up placing second for photography and it was an amazing feeling but it also hasn’t hit just yet.

I was talking to Vicki about the show the other day and while we were talking she had said that she remembered the other day about how I had come down with poison oak up at camp this past summer by a freak accident from a mattress mind you (and there is none up there what so ever). It ended up being bad enough that she had taken me up to Big Bear to get it checked out and while we were driving up there she had asked me what I did for myself since most of my time is spent taking care of family. I started telling her about how I was getting into photography and that’s when she asked me to take some photos for her when we got back down the mountain and everything kind of fell in line after that.

As we were talking about everything that verse came to mind and she was right, had I not come down with the poison oak she probably would have never known that I’m into photography and I wouldn’t have my work in this show or these other wonderful opportunities that are because of her. At the time I knew something good was going to come of this eventually but I honestly wasn’t really thinking much about it; I saw it more of a lesson learned and I’d go on with my life laughing how something like this would only happen to me.

I just love how certain people are brought into our lives and we don’t think much of it until certain events come together and that random piece that you remember and put in the “not so important” category, and God brings it back up to remind you that it is Him making this all happen and that we need to keep our eyes open and not take those small random things lightly because we never know when that one itty bitty thing can change our lives.

I have received many congratulations and compliments about my work and though it is nice to hear those; it wasn’t just me, it’s God that has blessed me with an inspiration and talent for photography and it was because of Him that I was able to win that award the other weekend and though I’d like to take credit for it, I can’t; all of my successes are and will be because of Him.