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flashes of hope . camp joy

for two days last month, i was honored to be part of a group of photographers, through a program called flashes of hope, who, collectively, created portraits of somewhere around 200 kids at camp joy. these groups of kids have cancer. pediatric cancer. just the name is, unfair. not right. most of them are at a point where they were healthy enough to go to camp for a week and just be kids. just enjoy the summer, away from a hospital, away from treatments. except for a few, if i didn’t already know, i would never have known.
even so, on the first day of the drive up, i wondered and worried about how i was going to react to the kids and in turn, how i was going to make images of them. these portraits were important. they were for them, for their families. memories of happy days at summer camp. the significance of their meaning weighed heavy in my heart. i shared my worries with gabriella, who volunteered to help as my assistant. shocked, she asked me why i would photograph them any differently than i would photograph anyone else. brilliant. i opened the windows, let the wind in, breathed deeply, changed my thoughts and did what i always do headed to every shoot ~  i clear my head, open my heart and pray that i am open to seeing all the moments that will be presented to me.

we had about 5-10 minutes with each of them. their ages ranged from around 8 to 17. normal in all outward ways, until i looked into their eyes. through those eyes, i could see deep into their souls. they didn’t hide from me. they looked me straight in my eyes. they wanted to take in every moment, every sound, every sight, every breath, every word. they were (are) amazing individuals. they were (are) beautiful examples of living in the moment. their depth made my knees buckle. gabriella and i left that afternoon with both a little sadness and gratefulness, but also with filled hearts and souls.

their light shines bright…

August 27, 2012 - 10:30 am

katie - Gina, these are gorgeous! What a great project, and what great kids 🙂

August 28, 2012 - 7:05 am

Ria Davidson - These are beautiful!!! I love seeing our Dragonflies (and hopefully soon-to-be Dragonflies) smile!!!

January 3, 2013 - 10:45 am

Kimberly Derby - Im in these pics!!!!!! cool colauge thingy however you spell it

twenty-six on friday {1000 words . time to reflect . colour my world }

i am going to attempt to catch up a little bit. no big excuses, just busy with life.  i love being a part of a group project, but it doesn’t work if i don’t contribute ~  so i am posting three in this one post.
this week’s theme is {1000 words} ~ any interpretation, as usual. this image comes from a project/collection of strangers/homeless/street people that i have been adding to over the years. there is so much behind the whole series, you can read all about it if you like here, here and here. there are so many images from that series that have so much to say. it would be very easy, in a series like that, to only show despair, loneliness, or sadness. my goal was to look for the joy and love that reside in all of us regardless of our situations. for today, i’m choosing this one image. to me, it overflows with words. words like hope, joy, freedom, letting go, pure light. to me, it’s full more of pure emotion than of words. one of my very, very favorite images i’ve ever taken of another human being.

twenty-six on friday {1000 words}


twenty-six on friday {time to reflect}

i have written quite a few posts on reflection…reflection of where i am in my business, my art, my life.
this topic can go very, very deep. these past 7 or so months, i find myself on quite a different photography path than any other time in my life.
i have veered way off my comfortable path of fashion, beauty, and my favorite…children. i have dipped into the world of editorial food. food stories, food people, food love.
i have found ways to weave my other loves into this new portfolio, and i am happy.
however, in building that portfolio, i also dipped into the dangerous waters of ‘shooting for free.’
even when i began my first portrait business over 4 years ago, i didn’t do this. i knew better.
i am now feeling the painful outcome of doing so.
this image is a reflection of new boundaries.
quite simply, i am not free, but i am


twenty-six on friday {colour my world}

two weeks ago, i went for a creative stroll through an area of our city called over the rhine. part inner city, part urban renewal, part farmer’s market, completely full of life…and colour.
juicy colours and textures and a reminder of what beauty lies in the cracks and crevices of our everyday.

an interesting outcome of this creative afternoon. my friend who joined me is an executive coach, including being an amazing listener.
he was so ‘moved’ by our little afternoon outing that he weaved it’s meaning into one of his own posts. you can read what paul has to say about being on “automatic” on his blog, defining moments.


be sure to follow the circle and see what the oh so talented jessica of jessica dean photography has to share for her twenty-six on friday!

August 17, 2012 - 8:51 am

Sarah C - Oh my goodness Gina I can relate about having a huge game of catch up to think on! I LOVE these. I Have always wanted to shoot homelessness. It really is something that grabs me and I think deserves so much awareness. I think peoples perception of homelessness and reality are just so different. There are so many people in this world that are genuinely amazing people and fell on bad circumstances that break my heart. And a huge part of the homeless population is children. I can’t wait to go back and delve more into your series! All your images are just gorgeous as always. LOVE your eye for detail and your street photography too!! Just fabulous!

August 17, 2012 - 9:49 am

Jessica Deane - I just love that first shot. love!

August 17, 2012 - 9:57 am

Kristin Rachelle - I love your creativity. That first one really speaks so much!!! Beautiful images!

August 17, 2012 - 1:26 pm

Kara May - Oh wow, this is an amazing post full of eye candy. That first picture says sooooooo much. This entire post is beautiful Gina!

August 20, 2012 - 11:24 am

Beth Ross | Tyler, TX Photographer - These are all so gorgeous. I especially love the first picture. It is so moving. Love all the color in your last set, too. Beautiful images.

arts and lettuce {teaser}

last week, i had the pleasure of documenting a dinner party by the name of arts and lettuce…don’t you just love the name. fun atmosphere, engaging company, and the food-over the top creative, interactive, full of seasonal flavor and simply gorgeous-thanks to chef ryan santos.
you’ll have to wait until the october issue of her cincinnati magazine to see the official spread as well as read what contributing her palate editor ilene ross (and our own 513eats editor) had to say about the evening. for now, a few teasers.

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