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twenty~six on friday {takes my breath away}

what? no… i am not turning twenty six on friday…i’ve already done that, a while ago. this is better.  i’ve been invited to participate with a group of phenomenally talented photographers in a collective creative group project called twenty~six on friday(s).
 i don’t have to remind myself how much i love creative projects and as i’ve been so consumed with our  513{eats} magazine, i have not had the time for my own as such. so the invitation had me smiling, thrilled, and then, honestly, a bit nervous as this group of photographers are amazingly talented…
as in there will be no just getting by. this is a good thing. it will make me push myself. we should all push ourselves.
it is to be our own interpretations of a given theme. this time, it’s {takes my breath away}. so many possibilities with this one. my children came to my mind first. moments with them that have left me speechless, breathless. i think those are the hardest to capture, as they are certainly not planned and are the parts of our everyday moments. how could you know when they will happen? or even be ready with your camera. it can happen, but i have found that i’m usually living those moments as they happen so i’ll have to remember them in my mind’s eye and heart forever. so, instead of witnessing a moment that took my breath away, i created one. beauty, a rose, a gentle breeze. these are always things that take my breath away because they are pure and they are simple.

{takes my breath away}

from here you can continue the circle and see what kristin rachelle brown’s artistic visions were for this theme right here.


April 27, 2012 - 10:10 am

Michael Carr - The image on my desk takes my breath away every morning. Children have a special way of doing that!

April 27, 2012 - 10:20 am

Kara May - Um – definitely breathless! Wow, so stunning – everything about it. Gorgeous post!

April 27, 2012 - 10:21 am

Beth Ross | Tyler TX Photographer - These are gorgeous! I love the soft light you used. I love how the wind blows her hair in the first picture. She is beautiful. Her eyes are amazing.

April 27, 2012 - 10:33 am

MrsFun - These are beautiful. Love her expression in the first one.

April 27, 2012 - 11:36 am

martha schuster - oh my goodness she is a beautiful girl!!! the gentle flit of wind is gorgeous, and i completely agree about the most breathtaking moments never being caught on film.

did i mention how gorgeous this gal is? is this your daughter? 🙂

April 27, 2012 - 2:26 pm

Kristin Rachelle - Wow, these are simply stunning and she is gorgeous!!! Beautiful work.

April 27, 2012 - 3:25 pm

jesszwo - She’s gorgeous. beautiful soulful images, Gina.

April 27, 2012 - 3:40 pm

Ilene - mesmerizing.

April 27, 2012 - 4:06 pm

Jessica Drossin - beautiful girl..

April 27, 2012 - 4:27 pm

gina - thank you all. olivia is a good friend of my daughter, sophia. she is as intelligent and sweet as she is beautiful and all of 13 years old.

April 27, 2012 - 9:48 pm

Life with Kaishon - Your daughter is exquisite!

April 30, 2012 - 12:24 am

aubry - i’m already loving you in this group. your daughter is beyond beautiful and you captured her perfectly!

May 10, 2012 - 12:29 pm

Christi Traster - oh gina, breathtakingly beautiful. all of them. but the bottom image? gah. I gasped. Perfect.

where in the world has my portrait business gone?

wow! did i really just write that? uhm, yes i did and for good reason. it occurred to me, yesterday in fact, that my usual ‘fills up pretty darn fast mini session time slots’ are still all open. i know that not too many business owners would choose to share this fact, but, i’m not average (ask anyone who really knows me;) and it’s ok because it’s my own fault.
it just didn’t really hit me until…yesterday. four years ago i stepped into this portrait boutique business arena as kiwi street studios totally unprepared for how fast it was to grow. not until the end of the second year did i choose to sit back a bit and review what and where my business was going. it was all good, but i started to realize i needed to add in some boundaries for my own sanity. i did and all went seemingly well until…i started accepting commercial/editorial work…and got really spoiled. i won’t go into the why’s except to say i loved it, it was fun and i wanted more. my energies started moving in that direction. somehow i was still able to maintain a comfortable place with my portrait business just on word of mouth, past clients and reputation. after a year or so of both, i started to get…well, burned out? sound familiar? i really started to think about what sessions i did and did not want to offer.  you may remember starting to hear the music starting with this post, this post, then this post and finally this post. i guess it’s been a theme and yes, it was a journey. i cut back, took some personal time. worked on more than a few personal projects that i both craved and needed. it gave me room to explore and frankly be a little selfish with my time. yup. that’s when it all started and that’s when i really stopped trying to grow my portrait business from anything more than the comfortable place i found it to be in. i’m not going to groan about the cycle of events. i absolutely believe what happens is completely meant to be. i know that i am exactly where i should be and in fact, i love where i am now creatively more than any other time in the previous 2 years mostly because i am doing exactly what i want to be doing. there is one problem. aside from where i find almost all my time being spent…with my huge baby of a project 513{eats}, i still hands down love making images of children. i’m not even flinching. there is nothing, to me, that tops the innocence and rawness of making portraits of children. and i miss it. so… i carved out time where there was no time for what i thought would be a fabulous day filled with giggles, smiles, jumping…even shyness (which i love almost more) but, instead, am looking at an empty schedule with less than a week to go. why am i surprised? i haven’t been around for over a year except for styled shoots that i have put together or a random session here and there. it’s been my choice, but i am sad about the realization that i basically lost that end of my business. there lies the problem. i am so busy with the food/lifestyle/editorial side of my business (which is so rewarding and exciting on it’s own levels) that it honestly leaves no room for the portrait side. i have passed on head shots, full comps, senior sessions, family sessions, an engagement session and two weddings to other photographers over the past 4 months. yes, all my choices,  but i feel a little sadness too.
listen up, this is not a please feel sorry for me plea…it’s simply an honest place of where i find the evolution of my business to be, that’s all. i have been so lucky to be able to do this thing that i do and where my business is heading, i have no room for complaints. i am beyond thrilled and blessed about where i have been for the past 4 years and more recently the thrill of these past 5 months as well as what the rest of this year holds. i just miss me some beautiful, real, honest, raw, genuine children in front of my lens! and that’s the truth.

let’s wrap this post up with some images from past mini session years.  good times.

all photographs ©kiwi street studios


April 14, 2012 - 10:42 pm

Brandy - Well, I saw your post on FB saying you were opening up a mini session and inside my head I said “if only she’d hurry up and move to Oregon like I told her a couple years back I’d snap a session up lickety split”. 🙂

April 15, 2012 - 6:04 pm

Ilene - I love seeing all the beautiful faces of angelic children that I know! Nobody captures the sweet innocence of a child as you do <3

April 16, 2012 - 12:10 pm

Natalie - Gigi, I have to say, “I too have missed those baby faces!” Nobody catches their heart like you do. How many times have I said, I want that picture of a complete stranger! Anyway, your commercial business is phenomenal. Love those pictures too, but I gotta say those babies steal my heart!

spring mini sessions

it is that time of year again and i am so excited to be photographing lots of little faces for one simple reason…
as much as i have loved, and i do mean love, photographing lifestyle and food related goodness for my 513{eats} adventure nonstop these past few months…
photographing children is my first love, hands down. and i miss it.
so, if you are a past client, a mom, dad, aunt or friend that has or knows a little one that needs to have some new or updated photos~i don’t have to tell you how fast our kiddos change~or if you just want to finally have a really really nice photo taken of your child, here is your chance! kiwi street mini sessions are a great way to tiptoe to the world of custom portraiture. they are fun, lively, fast and not run of the mill! i should give you a heads up that my philosophy is to let children be themselves. you’ll no doubt notice this as you look through my galleries. you won’t hear me ask them to say cheese or be all posey~stiff. i want them to relax and just . be . themselves. shyness and frowns are welcome…although i can usually always squeeze some laughter out of them.
i’ll have several backgrounds and areas set up, some fun props if anyone is inclined…or even think about letting your kids bring their own. do they have a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, a hat they refuse to take off…have fun, let your children be a part in picking what they bring or wear. let them be themselves. they will love it!
and if you really want to go all out, you could even hire awesome child stylist lindsay dewald to help you get your little one all fashionably decked out for their session. think outside the box!  it’s spring and getting pictures taken should be fun!

saturday, april 21st . 11am-4pm
the spotted goose in oakely
reserve your time with a $50 deposit (non-refundable)

book your session at the spotted goose or call/email 513.884.4417


sophia is {14} and her birthday gift to ‘me’

i learned something(s) from my 14 year old over the last two days.
i don’t remember a time (pre- fb) when i shared so much of my ‘every single minute’ with the world~or with anyone who also happened to be on fb at the same time, or even cared. but two nights ago, i wished my littlest girl, sophia, a happy birthday eve ~ on her fb wall. she promptly came into my office and asked me why i posted it. well, i responded, i was just wishing her a happy birthday early. she explained that she didn’t want anything about her birthday posted on her wall that night and in fact, she thought that i should have just told her in person, myself, instead of posting it on fb. after all, she was right there. i couldn’t utter a word because i was shocked at the bold truth of her statement. how true? when i could finally speak, i told her she was so right. she was right there, in her bedroom, right next to my office, real time…flesh and blood. i apologized and wished her an early happy birthday ~ in person. she sat down next to me and we talked. as the conversation lightened, i turned back to my computer and continued working while we were talking. she continued as i half listened while i tried to get one last thing finished for the night~she was on the floor with her legs on my lap trying to get me to stop tweaking the image in photoshop that i couldn’t tear my eyes away from instead of looking at her while she was speaking to me. then, like a splash of cold water, she said another thing that cut even deeper because i knew she was right and i had been secretly aware of it for quite some time. she pointed out, in a very conversational manner, that she’d noticed that i put everything else first. i didn’t need for her to explain what she meant by that because i knew exactly what she meant. i was horrified. i was outed. a jagged knife cut through my my mommy heart. i did the ultimate selfish. it hurt to hear the words come out of her mouth, it hurt a million times worse to know that she saw it, expressed it, but mostly, felt it. i looked her right in her big brown eyes, again, and told her she was right, again. i had taken on too much in the last 6 months or so that there weren’t enough hours in the day and so the days fed into the evenings and almost all the minutes in-between. everyday.
dare i say a switch flipped on and then off. a horrible scenario flashed in my mind…my children talking about their memories of growing up and their mom being so busy~ all the time, everywhere, everyday, wherever they went.  the feeling that they were never as important as everyone or everything else that had to be done, to only be half way listened to and spoken to. it was wrenching. it didn’t matter that it was a rather recent scenario and that all the years up to then i felt confident that they would have happy recalls, but that this would overshadow the past and they would only remember how they felt now. we talked for a long time and i listened~fully. when i kissed her goodnight, i went to sleep too, exhausted and with a feeling of heaviness in my heart.  that night i dreamed of flying~ so high and feeling so light, so free. i felt no fear. it was amazing, empowering. the next morning, the dream was still fresh in my mind and the feeling was so strong. i’ve never looked up the meaning of a dream, but on this morning, i did. i was happy and relieved at it’s meaning.  i realize i still have so many things i’m working on, want and need to do, to create, to build…as a person, as an artist, but i was reminded of a quote i read from jackie kennedy about 10 years ago ~“If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.”  i believe this too.

yesterday was sophia’s 14th birthday. from the time i woke up to the time i kissed her goodnight, i walked through my day with my eyes and heart wide open.  i took the time to offer small, simple gestures towards all, but especially towards her.  that made my heart happy and that made her feel loved, valued and special.  simple gestures are possible to do every single day to make anyone around you feel that way. how wonderful for them and how wonderful for us. it may have been her birthday, but it was she who gave to me the best gift of all…a reminder to breathe, fully live in the moment and be grateful for the people who surround and love me. most especially, to see a happy, joy filled little girl know she is loved, valued and respected. thank you sophia. i believe it’s no accident your name means wisdom.

i didn’t photograph her formally or even anything with my real camera this year for her birthday day as i’ve done in the past, here and here. instead, it was an instagram kind of birthday day which i think fit perfectly with just enjoying all the little moments of her day as it unfolded, simply. aside from eating the double dark chocolate cake with both cream cheese and ganache icing…and with chocolate covered strawberries…my most cherished part of the day was when we were alone and i gave her my card which had a letter in it that i wrote to her earlier that day.  things i wanted her to know about herself and the joy she had brought to us.  my handwriting has gotten so bad, i ended up having to read it to her, which, of course, made me cry. the part i loved the most was that she paid full attention to me while i read the whole letter and then thanked me for it.

happy birthday my little boho girl.

xo mom(my)




Related Posts with Thumbnails
March 16, 2012 - 10:54 am

Lindsay - She’s is seriously the cutest little thing. And this post Gina, is beautiful. you are beyond inspiring as a momma.(and artist and friend and….) xoxo

March 16, 2012 - 2:00 pm

anne - this post is so touching, gina! thank you for sharing it 🙂 i almost cried reading through it!

March 16, 2012 - 3:10 pm

Carolyn - Touching post, beautiful girl, lovely sentiment, fun day, wonderful photos, amazing, hard-working mother who’s trying to do it all for everyone. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, Gina, and its nice to be brought “home” every so often just to remind you what is truly important. She learned it from you, but sometimes life seems to get in the way. So glad you connected in this special way. Happy Birthday, Sophia!

March 16, 2012 - 4:21 pm

gina - thank you lindsay, anne and carolyn;) i felt pretty vulnerable sharing this, but it was true and i love that our children have much to teach us.xo

March 16, 2012 - 6:07 pm

Natalie - Right from the mouths of babes, not necessarily a babe anymore, but we all know that the words that come out of our children’s mouths are true and come straight from their hearts. bottom line…no matter how old they get, they all just want our, love, affection and attention. Kiss that little angel for me..I miss her!
<3 Aunt Nat

March 16, 2012 - 8:34 pm

George Kalomeres - Gina,

You named her well…….WISDOM

March 17, 2012 - 12:56 pm

Ilene - Just love.

March 21, 2012 - 3:55 pm

Christi - Oooooh Gina, you already know that I’ve been struggling with the same kind of thing (aren’t we all?). You are such a gem. And I think I love you. 😉 Thank you for your honesty, your transparency, your vulnerability. It’s good to know that I’m not alone (as I sit here with my breastpump. yay. TMI.). Reading this was such a good reminder for me to be present, fully living in the moment, appreciating the good times and the difficult times. Thank you, lovely friend. xo P.S. LOVE your boho girl. Oh my. She is something special.

March 21, 2012 - 10:26 pm

gina - oh my dear christi…you are in the thick of things now, i know. but, you also know, how fast it goes. even the run on minutes, hours, days, nights where you swear it will never end. you will never have two moments to yourself to finish something let alone create something for yourself too…but, it will be gone in a wink. newborn, little, a little bigger and even big…we need to remember we are there solid base, always. we are human, and forget sometimes, but thank goodness, they remind us.
yes, my little boho girl…she is filled with so much spirit and full of life! i only wish i had just a tiny bit of her zest! xoxo

March 31, 2012 - 5:57 pm

Deborah Carr - I just can’t help thinking how wonderful it is that Sophia felt she could be honest with you. And that you heard her. Really heard her. And honored her with your own honesty.

Your photos of this sweet girl make me suddenly wish I was young again. And believe me, I’ve never wished that before. Love to you sweet Gina. You’re a special mom.

April 14, 2012 - 6:53 pm

Susann Saarel - Thank you, Gina! Have known this for a long time myself, but needed to read this. My twins are 12, but for the last several years my biz and life’s challenges have made ever-increasing demands on my time. Your daughter is lovely in so many ways and it is a testament to her love for you (and the love you have shown her) that she could feel safe in being honest with you. What an amazing experience for you both. Many continued blessings. xo