Sunday, December 28, 2008
"My dear friend, Jennifer, whose 3 1/2 year old daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in mid-October. Jennifer is an incredible woman. She is a single mother of 2 girls, Savannah, age 8, and little Miss Shayla, age 3 1/2. Prior to the diagnosis, Jennifer was a head start teacher at Weaverville Elementary school. With Shayla's illness, she can no longer work as she is either at the hospital with her daughter while she undergoes chemo or at home, unable to venture into public very often as Shayla's immune system is so compromised by the treatments. Jennifer & Shayla will be traveling to Duke at the end of this month for surgery to see if they can remove the tumor. Shayla has kidney cancer and neuroblastoma, a less than 30% survival rate. As a mother, I can only imagine how horrifying all this is. They don't have much but they have wonderful friends who are helping in as many ways as possible with babysitting for her oldest daughter while Jenn is at the hospital with Shay, with fundraisers, and with love and support. Undoubtedly, it would be a wonderful gift to have some candid and professional photos taken of the family."
I can't imagine finding myself in this situation either. The struggles that Jennifer, her daughter, Shayla, and her daughter, Savannah, are facing are tremendous. There is a web site that follows Shayla's progress (http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/shayla1) and a fund established through Jubilee Community Church in Asheville to help the family with the many expenses.
When I spoke to Jennifer to let her know of the giveaway and my gift of $1000 in photography services and prints, she was so appreciative as I can tell she is of all the loving support she is receiving from her friends and community. I told her how hard of a decision this was, that many families were nominated and there are so many struggling this season. She asked if she could share her gift with them! Little did she know, I have already planned for that!!
In this process, I realized how blessed I am and how much I can give to others through my photography. I decided to honor each nominee with a mini session and a gift print. I will schedule a day for all the nominees to come for portraits as my gift to them. Thank you to everyone who emailed me with a nomination! I am honored to share with these people who all sound so wonderful.
I pray that you all are having the happiest of holidays and that you are blessed in the New Year!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I'm in Hilton Head, totally enjoying my vacation...wondering why we don't get away more often! And when I return, it will be pedal to the medal. I have shoots both Sat. and Sun. after returning Friday!
I also took over 500 shots of my own family today. Something I don't always make time to do. So I'll be sure to post some of those images in the next day or so.
AND stay tuned, I'll make the selection tomorrow and give the winner a call. If they are agreeable, I'll post their story here and their images once we have their session.
Have a Merry Christmas!!!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I have been busy, busy booking sessions and I'm booked out for the next month. So if you are planning to book a session, look ahead to mid January, and call or contact me via the web site www.sonyastone.com soon!
I am always surprised when someone says, "I was reading your blog today and ..." Oh, people are reading this?!? That's great! I don't bother with a traffic follower so I rely on the comments section to know that folks are following my blog. So when you stop by, please leave a comment!
And for those who were following my travel plans for the holidays, I am happy to say that we have made our Christmas beach trip happen! We'll be leaving for Hilton Head next week where today's high is 88 degrees!!!!! I am so excited! Now we just have to find someone to take on our sweet puppies while we're gone. Any takers?? : ) Maybe I should include some photos of them looking really cute and then ask!
Monday, December 15, 2008
While checking out some other fotog web sites tonight, I was really having a mixed experience. Some work was fabulous and makes you want to get out and try some new things. Other sites were getting on my nerves, not because of the photography work so much, but of the amount of popular music that is playing. Of course, there are a lot of great songs that are sure to tug at the heart strings, but really, the music is licensed to the artist (and the record company and everyone else who might have an interest in it). And it should not be playing unless the photographer has purchased rights to use the song. Now, some of the sites I looked at could very well have gone that route and be playing that music that is legally their's to play, but I can't believe that they all have. The rights to play a popular song don't come cheap, my friends.
And then, I stumbled onto this...www.givingisawesome.com and it softened my heart and made me appreciate all the web sites I meandered through to get to it. It is not going to save the world. But it just might make a big difference in someone's life, it might show them that blessings can come just when you need to believe that the world is a good place. It is my contribution to making someone's holiday a little brighter.
Here's the deal...
You know someone. You know someone who's experienced a tragedy, is struggling to stay afloat, is raising kids while holding down more than one job, or is volunteering selflessly despite extenuating personal circumstances. You know someone who can't afford custom photography, but who would cherish it this holiday season. You know someone who deserves a year-round reminder of their family's spirit, love, and beauty.
You know someone. I guarantee it.
I want to know who they are, and I want to give them the chance to experience complimentary custom photography -- $1000 worth, to be exact. Whether it's canvas or albums, prints for Grandma, or a slideshow to watch over and over, it's in your power to give them the artwork they deserve this holiday season.
Oh, and another great part? The person who nominates the winner also receives a $200 credit. What better reason to show some love could there possibly be, people?
* You cannot nominate yourself, and the person nominated must sincerely be incapable of purchasing my services. (Being unable to make mortgage payments for a two-million-dollar-vacation-home in Paris does not qualify as sincere financial need.)
* The nominee must reside in Western North Carolina. Tell me who you know, what they're experiencing, and why they deserve my artwork. Please include a way to contact both your nominee and yourself as well.
* You must e-mail me the full story : firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve -- get nominating! I can't wait to read all of your entries!
Open your heart to someone this holiday season -- and thanks for giving me the opportunity to open mine.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I'm sitting here avoiding cleaning my house by contemplating the 1000 other things I have on my list. Really wanting to just get my camera out and take some shots of our cute new puppy, Bitsy. More on her another day though. Today I don't have any photos I want to share. Today, I'm going to take some liberty with my "other inspirations" my blog title includes.
I was in Raleigh yesterday meeting with the leadership team of NC Friends of Midwives. We are working on improving access to midwifery care through the legalization and licensure of Certified Professional Midwives. For those who don't know me well, I have had home births with both of my children and I'm planning another now with my third. (I bet you almost forgot I was pregnant, huh? Yeah, another thing I gotta blog more about!)
There isn't much outside the love of my own family that I care this much about! I feel passionately that a woman should be supported to learn about options for birth and free to make whatever choices she feels is right for her family. The idea that the only birth attendant who is required to have home birth experience is illegal to attend home births in NC is insane to me. Home birth is a safe option and is legal in NC. The state's limitations on who a woman can hire as her care provider make it almost impossible to find a legal home birth attendant.
We will introduce legislation in a few months seeking to license non-nurse midwives who have attained the Certified Professional Midwife credential. This is about women having a right to make informed choices about the type of care they receive, the environment in which they labor and give birth, and the care and experience their babies will have. It is an issue that reaches beyond the women who choose to birth at home and includes any woman who feels her rights to educate herself and make her own choices about her health care and her child's care are important.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association have placed on their agendas making home birth illegal and the only option available to birthing women a hospital or birth center. More can be found here:
The medical establishment has drawn a line in the sand making it clear that they will disregard women's rights in the interest of pursing their own agendas.
So I will continue to give my time and energy to promoting informed birth choices and to respecting the personal decisions of where and with whom families choose to have their babies. If you want to learn more, you can check out www.ncfom.org, www.nchomebirth.com or locally Asheville Area Birth Network, www.ashevillebirthnetwork.com. You can also voice your concerns to NC Legislators by going to www.ncleg.net and finding your elected officials.
Liberate Labor, Mandate Midwives!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Here's a fun family I shot a couple weeks ago. We had one location in mind and it fell through at literally the last minute. So we made it work, but let me just say, this is the FIRST time I have ever longed for studio lights. Maybe Santa will bring me some! : ) Hopefully, he doesn't ask how many times I will use them, because I still love me some natural light and would only use them in desperation.
I wish I had one of these of my husband and me...where she looks great and happy and he looks adoringly at her. I love it!
And you may have already noticed this about me, but I am somewhat obsessed with blue eyes. I think they are marvelous, probably because mine are brown. Or maybe everyone thinks light, sparkling eyes are beautiful...I mean, look at this! Now, please do not share this with my own children who are blessed with the same brown eyes I have...damn the gene dominance! My husband has fabulous blue eyes, along with every other member of his family, except his children. Ok, back to the photos...
And I think this last one just might be my favorite. All she needs is a little elf hat! : ) And seriously, who's husband looks at them this adoringly multiple times during a photo shoot, with no coaching!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! We have been so blessed this year. We celebrate many things this time of year...my oldest's birthday, my wedding anniversary, and this year the one year anniversary of my photography business! And in honor of this milestone, I am offering an amazing holiday package deal. Sitting fees are only $25 (normally $115) for the month of December! And I have customized print packages for gifts, scrapbooking or cards at greatly reduced costs. Consider a portrait session to capture this magical time of year and to give one-of-a-kind gifts to family and friends. And what better way to shop local in Asheville! Visit my web site, www.sonyastone.com and use the contact page to get more information.
Friday, November 14, 2008
This is my favorite...super silly, I love it!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I know the kids in the classes are 3-12, but who can resist the baby photography? the "big" kids could not leave this little guy alone! He's just too cute.
And to top it off, we had entertainment in each of the rooms and as the kids went down the hall, they heard a story or song and a riddle. Answering it correctly won them a puzzle piece and when they reached the end, put their puzzle together, and handed it over to our good witch...they each won a treat bag. So here are a few of the characters we lined up to add some flair to the event!
And a mother's blog post on Halloween would not be complete without showing off her own kids' costumes. Here are my rodeo girls at their school party.
"Go ahead, make my day."
But as seems to be the pattern, the costume we start the day with is not always the costume we finish the day with! Savannah decided on being a witch at the last minute for the trick or treating finale. And my husband, well, I guess when you play a doctor in real life, sometimes it's fun to dress up as a patient.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I took these photos at about 10 AM and look how much snow was still around! Tomorrow the high is supposed to be 69 degrees. Talk about crazy! But what a fun opportunity for some of my own family portraits. My kids were so excited to get out and play in (aka eat) the snow, and obviously, our dog, Baker, was quite excited too. But it didn't last long as you can see, they didn't really dress for the weather!
This is Savannah tossing a snow ball to Baker. He thought this was a great game!
Our Jack-o-snows! As you can see in the background, I hadn't even brought my plants in off our porch. It was a sad, sad end to the lives of two peace lilies and one fern.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The other excitement is that we are entering into the Holiday and Birthday quarter of the year. We have Halloween coming up...the girls are going to be cow girls...with matching outfits. OMG! They are soooo cute (special props to my friend Lisa who made the costumes, because while I am many things, a great seamstress is not one of them!)!
Then we will celebrate Savannah's 6th birthday!! We were party planning fools this weekend. She's having a harvest party and it is going to be so much fun.
Next is Thanksgiving and my wedding anniversary...on the same day!!!!!!!!! I haven't even begun to think about how to work that out. We're thinking of traveling to Mississippi to visit my family for Thanksgiving, but the thought of 20 hours in the van over the span of 4 days just may be too much.
Of course, next will be Christmas and we're planning a trip to sunny Florida!! Everyday my kids and I plan, let's get ready for the beach! And we talk about all the fun we're going to have there and all the things we need to pack. Hopefully, this game doesn't get boring over the next 2 months!
Then New Years and Sacred's birthday, which I'll start thinking about a little later. My brain can only take so much right now!
In between all our planning and partying, I will be taking clients for Holiday Sessions! It's not only our holiday season I realize!!! So I will be offering a really great holiday package for those who wish to have their portraits for gifts or for holiday cards. We can customize your session to include the whole family, the kids, the pets, whatever and whoever you wish to send greetings to your family and friends. And I personally think the perfect gift is a beautiful portrait!! Something that is a keepsake not a space taker or something someone already has or can't use! I admit, I may be biased, but really, you know I'm right!
So contact me today to book your holiday session...to guarantee prints in time for shipping, please schedule early! You can complete the contact form on my web site, www.sonyastone.com,
to secure your session.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Until then, enjoy...
List Of The Day: Great Olan Mills photos
Thursday, October 23, 2008
And at 5 months, I'm pretty sure this is the last time we'll be able to fit this little guy into the tea cup!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Meanwhile, I am hanging out at Growing Young Cafe while my kiddlets have a Spanish playgroup. Those of you who know me are probably saying, "what? I thought the kids are taking German classes!" Yes, they are. How many language classes are too many? I don't know. I just know that I'm going to need a translator when we are traveling the world and my kids brains are much more pliable than mine...especially since contracting pregnancy brain.
And for those of you who have not had children, pregnancy brain strikes early and viciously draining you of most short term memory, of your ability to rationally balance emotional impulses, and in my case, of taking in any new information.
The good news, is I have not forgotten how to take photos or write so as long as I can remember to #1 take the photos, #2 download and edit the photos, & #3 post them to my blog...you should get to see some soon. Oh, and as long as I don't have an emotional breakdown some where along the way!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
getting down to business...picking apples!
Visiting with the animals...and the highlight of the trip, wagon rides down the hill! I am pretty sure that the sign specifically says this is a "no, no." But what can I say, my hubby was leading the pack.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
But we did have some fun just splashing in the river, just being careful not to get swept away by the current!
Monday, September 29, 2008
we're driving down the road and Savannah asks, "How old are you, Mom, 13 or 14?" I answer, "I'm 34." And Sacred says, "Oh, 34, that's, that's, that's...as tall as a tree!" "Yes, I suppose it is."
Here's the other reason I got behind in my blogging...
Stone baby #3 is on it's way! Yay! And I promise, now that I'm feeling human again, I will stop making excuses and keep posting away.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
So I'm back. I have so many photos since my last post, I hardly know where to start. Oh, sorry, another excuse! Lord, I may need a shock collar until I can let it go.
I left you hanging on the kindergarten transition and haircut regret phase. So here's a couple of shots from a trip the girls and I took to Zimmerman's Berry Farm in Marshall. What fun we had!! And you can see "the haircut"...it really isn't as bad as I thought that first day. But I have learned my lesson.
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