Holy Cow…

Ok, sorry my post was like 90 seconds late! I was distracted and laughing and havin’ a good time with an awesome couple of wedding clients! I bolted over here and posted and ran back to chat longer!

I’ll be sending out emails here in a second…I have quite a list to go through so be patient with me! Thanks everyone! I’m sorry I can’t take all of you…:( I’m honored that you were all here tonight and I wish there was some way to accept all 40+!

While you’re waiting

While you’re waiting here for the “Open Registration!” post to arrive (Thursday the 29th at 9pm EST), I’ll fill you in a little more on how this is going to work. That way you don’t have to waste time reading, you can just reply as fast as your little fingers will fly.

1) You must respond to the “Open Registration!” post…comments with the correct information made on other posts won’t count!

2) All you need to put in your comment is your email address. I suggest typing it in another program and copying and pasting so that in your haste you do not mistype it! If I don’t have that, I am completely unable to get ahold of you so make sure it’s right! If I can’t get ahold of you within 24 hours, I’ll have to move on down the list. IF you are uncomfortable posting your email address in the comments section of my blog, you can alternately leave your first and last name but then it is YOUR responsibility to reach me via email within 24 hours to complete your registration. If I do not hear from you, I will have to move down the list.

3) I will send you a paypal invoice to complete the registration.

Also, here are two slight changes to the previously announced plan:

There are only 12 remaining spots open in the class. The winner of my friend Rebecca’s giveaway decided to cash in her freebie this time around and another previous student who had to drop out very early due to illness decided to use her credits for this class as well. And, I gifted one spot in the class to my adorable little brother Andrew who’s interested in pursuing photography. Sorry to tomorrow night’s # 13, 14, and 15 posters, whoever you are, but you just got bumped! Unfortunately, this time I cannot expand the class…fifteen is most definitely my max. Seven layer bars will not move me.

Also, there may be a slight change in the schedule as I am expecting to be taking a week off to attend an amazing workshop in Dallas in early March. This is not a major adjustment but I’m putting it out there for the few of you whose decision may be altered by extending the class one week longer.

That’s all for now! Talk to a few of you tomorrow night! Can’t wait to see who’s in!

The "RAW" in Rawsii

I posted once before about all the reasons why I chose Rawsii as my new brand name. One small piece of that puzzle is that I’m an aspiring RAW foodist. With a long way to go, I might add, but aspiring nonetheless! At one point after my oldest son was born, I was eating 95% raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts, 5-6 days a week. I felt SO great, I had lost a lot of weight, I had so much energy and clarity of mind, it was amazing! But about 2 years later I had a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage and then in the midst of my mourning, immediately found myself pregnant again! Talk about an emotional roller coaster! I spent that 3rd pregnancy so depressed that I barely remember it. I didn’t want to get my heart set on seeing the pregnancy succeed only to be let down again and in my depression I slipped back into some terrible eating habits. I began to let Corban eat more and more “SAD” (Standard American Diet) food as well. He’s taken up the no-sugar thing as his own little crusade, but alternative sweets, chips, and dairy became a HUGE part of his diet. As some of you know quite well, once you let kids get hooked on certain junk foods, it’s terribly hard to backtrack. I haven’t had the determination or the energy to take up the battle…until NOW! I do know I have to move gradually and be understanding in the process, but our family (and myself primarily) is on the road to healthy eating. And to solidify that effort, I’ve decided to share my journey on a separate blog entitled C For Yourself.

My family is generally “supportive” but not exactly what I’d call “excited.” So for added support, I’ve teamed up with my good friend Jamie. Jamie is an amazing yoga instructor and has also dabbled in the Raw Food diet before so we’re both at about the same place…we KNOW the benefits, we just need to own them! The name “C For Yourself” stems from one of many quirky communicative tendencies that started between Jamie and I when we used to work in adjacent cubicles under the buzz of fluorescent lights…we illiterate short phrases just to be stupid. “Time to go” becomes “T to G.” “Shut the door” becomes “S the D.” And so forth. It’s endless. And only funny to us, but we find ourselves pretty hilarious! So when we started talking about the cleanse, it immediately became “the C!”

The C is here, the C is now, come C, come C! And do it for yourself, not for anyone else…do it because you want to feel good! Do it because it’s a good exercise in self-control. Do it because it’s natural and healthy. C for Yourself!

If you’d like to join us in our little gourmet adventure, or if you’d just like to read along and laugh at our craziness, hop on over to the C For Yourself blog and give me a little P on the B! I’ll be journaling daily about the ins and outs (no pun intended) of raw fooding and Jamie and I (and maybe some surprise contributors) will be posting occasional recipes that we love.

(…that would be PAT on the BACK)

nelson008-3.jpg

The Raw Talent Class!

I. Am. Soooooo. Excited!

My first class went (is still going) really well and I am proud of what my grasshoppers have accomplished! We had a few hurdles to jump along the way, but that’s exactly why I told everyone that they got introductory rates for volunteering to be guinea pigs. Lab rats, if you will. In an endearing way, of course! The class lasted a bit longer than expected, in part because of the crazy holiday madness that we all experienced, partly because I enjoyed my students so much that subconsciously I didn’t want to let them go. But alas, all good things must come to an end. The end of one era is the beginning of the next. And so we usher in Raw Talent II.

I have recieved soooo many inquiries about this class! I apologize that I was unprepared for the mass emails and requests and did not have a waiting list set up, nor did I have solid information to give you since I had not decided if and when the next class would happen! I honestly was not expecting this to take off so quickly! But here and now, all your questions will be answered!

WHAT: Raw Talent is an online photography course specifically geared toward beginning and aspiring photographers. If you have a DSLR but are still just aiming and firing like a point and shoot, this class is for YOU! If you are bravely accepting payment for pictures but need to brush up on the basics, YOU need this too! You will learn how to shoot in manual, basic natural lighting techniques, simple Lightroom and Photoshop techniques, and have access to picking my brain on any photographic subject you can think of. Each of the 8 lessons comes with a photo assignment which I will personally review via email.

WHEN: Raw Talent II begins February 12th and ends April 9th.

VALUE: $150 (Prices will continue to increase gradually as we smooth out the bumps)

SCHEDULE:

1&2: Metering

3&4: Camera settings

5: Composing for Strength and Statement

6: Finding the Light (we do not discuss complicated flash techniques…primarily natural lighting)

7: Using your surroundings, personalizing, and getting in the ZONE

8: Post Processing

REGISTRATION: Class size is strictly limited to 15. Open registration will begin on Thursday, January 29th at 9pm EST. I will post an “Open Registration” blog post and the first 15 responders to comment with their email addresses will be accepted and sent a paypal invoice for the full amount. Responders 15-30 will have the option of putting $50 down to hold their spot on the waiting list for the next class and will be guaranteed no price increase. Responders 30+ will be given a coupon code for 20% off future class rates.

And because it goes against every fiber of my being to post without a picture…here’s a teaser for Keren and Sarah who are anxiously waiting to see the rest of this session. Isn’t this girl a natural? And check out the great lighting in their livingroom…mmmmm…more on this awesome session later!

sarah422.jpg

The Rawsii 2008 Picture of the Year WINNER!

The votes are all in…the winner has been chosen! The contest raked in a total of 280 votes (140 people) with 61 of those votes going to this image! That’s amazing! I’m SO excited that a Trash The Dress picture won the contest…in FACT, the 2nd place photo is a TTD image as well! Dress Trashing isn’t about ruining a dress, but about creating amazing artwork and I’m so glad to see that so many people are recognizing that and getting excited about {smashing fabulous} art!

The amazing Sarah C. is the beautiful bride pictured in the Rawsii 2008 Picture of the Year. And she SO deserves this honor…this girl braved 30 degree weather for this wet photo shoot!!! By the end of the session the precipitation was turning from rain, to sleet, to snow. And if THIS picture gives you chills, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! She laid down in this cold mucky mess!! Hair wet and all! Oh my…definitely one of the most memorable photo shoots I’ve ever been involved in! Awesome girl (amazing hubby too), fantastic photo shoot…this image definitely deserved a lot of recognition, so I’m content with the results of this contest. I’m sure glad you all decided for me because I really couldn’t have done this myself!

Our runner up deserves special recognition as well. Congrats to Paul and Crissy for their Trash the Dress image from their Myrtle Beach, SC wedding!

I’ll be posting tomorrow (Thursday) about the start of the next class session…I’ve been inundated with emails asking about when it starts, how much it will cost, what’s covered, etc, etc! All questions will be answered tomorrow and registration will open in about one week!

OH, and I have to add an excited little “EEK” here as well…my blog just reached 20,000 hits! It’s been almost a year since I started blogging and somewhere in the course of the year I began to develop a goal (more of a hope?) that I would like to reach 20,000 hits in the first year! The year is up on 2/21, so I still have a whole month left and I’ve already reached that goal. Pretty excited about that. Thanks for helping me reach it!! I COULD have clicked on my own blog 20,000 times and achieved it myself, but believe me when I say it just wouldn’t be the same without you!!!

sarah335.jpg

paulcrissy096.jpg

Wedding Vid’s

In October, I had the pleasure of working with Brandon and Cybil from BC Digital Media Productions while we documented James and Sarah’s wedding! And what a wedding it was! There was personalization galore, which is just photo-heaven for me! And James and Sarah are two of the craziest characters I’ve ever EVER had the pleasure of meeting. I’m proud to have retained them as friends since shooting their wedding…they’re so great! So I was really excited to see their wedding videos posted on the BC blog! Since a lot of the footage was captured when I was just outside the frame directing poses, I feel quite a bit of pride and accomplishment in this production as well! We were havin’ FUN! Go check it out HERE! And leave Brandon and Cybil some love…they’d love to know what you think!

Last Day to Vote!

Today we inaugurate a new president. Alas, it is too late to vote for that. But it’s NOT too late to vote for the Rawsii 2008 Picture of the Year!! Call in all those favors from family and friends…tell them to head on over to the blog (or to my note on facebook…either on my personal page (add me) or on the Rawsii page…and while you’re there become a fan!) and vote for their TWO favorite images!

It is also not too late to nominate a couple for free wedding photography in my 2010 {Smashing Fabulous} Wedding Photography Giveaway! We’re looking for a very special couple…Send their story to weddingstories@rawsii.com.

More picture posts on the way soon! I’ve held off while the contest was running, but I have some great pictures on the way!!!

2008 Picture of the Year! {CONTEST!}

It’s really HARD to narrow down my own artwork!!!! REALLY REALLY HARD! I am VERY emotionally invested in every single one of my customers and subjects!! And 2008 was a VERY amazing year!! One that will be hard to top as far as amazing photo-ops go! I was in Oradea Romania, San Francisco, CA, Napa Valley, CA, Myrtle Beach, SC, Cape Coral, FL, Madison, WI, and Mackinac Island, MI…all in one summer (and I probably missed a place or two in that list)! I knew before the summer even started that it would be a roller coaster ride and it certainly was that! It kind of left me with that same crazy feeling too…a little dizzy, glad I did it, but wow my head hurts and I’m not sure I’ll walk straight for awhile!!! I owe one enormous hug to all my wedding clients from this year who have been so patient with me! My traveling, a couple of unexpected broken bones, and tyring to juggle family, church, homeschooling, and sanity (or lack thereof) have pushed back my turnaround times more than expected. But EVERY single one of them has just been amazing and this endears them to me even more than before. I’m proud to call them all FRIENDS. My customers really mean the world to me and I am so excited to be involved in their lives and to have them in mine. They have each changed me every so slightly for the better, made me look at the world differently, they have challenged me to improve and grow and stretch myself! They inspire me with their trust and their amazing lives! I’m a lucky girl. I thank God every. single. day.

The fact that this post comes two weeks into 2009 is proof that I was floundering on this project by myself! I took my friend Leah up on her offer to help me out! Being a highly successful children’s photographer herself, she was MORE than qualified to narrow down my favorite 180 pictures (I had multiple favorites from every single session!!). It took her a couple days, but I was SO impressed…she managed to get it down to 53! I decided not to alter her list at all…I respect her opinion and I’m relieved that I didn’t have to pick because I don’t think this post ever woulda happened! (when you’re done voting here, go check out Leah’s site here!)

Now let’s see if we can narrow it down to #1! In order to vote, use your google account and leave a comment listing your TWO favorites…you’ll probably vote for your own or the picture of someone you know, and then I want you to vote without bias on a 2nd. (I will not count single votes or annonymous votes. You MUST choose two different subjects…if you vote twice for the same person, even if they’re in two different pictures, both votes will have to be discarded) ! The person pictured in the image (if possible or applicable) with the most votes will receive a free 16×20 on matboard of that image! I’ll leave the voting open for one week (last day will be Tuesday, January 20th).

#1

romania6_434.jpg

#2

romania8_077.jpg

#3

ryleigh206.jpg

#4

ryleigh_103a.jpg

#5

sarah335.jpg

#6

sszuba_0232a.jpg

#7

vacation002.jpg

#8

vacation025.jpg

#9

_093.jpg

#10

_MG_0295.jpg

#11

_MG_7112_0396a.jpg

#12

_MG_9067a.jpg

#13

ayden6 134.jpg

#14

clifton040.jpg

#15

coblentz207.jpg

#16

counsellor33.jpg

#17

counsellor67.jpg

#18

crowel010.jpg

#19

crowel026.jpg

#20

Eliana030.jpg

#21

Flatt_0137.jpg

#22

Flatt_0167.jpg

#23

freeze_493.jpg

#24

freeze_509.jpg

#25

halleeli103.jpg

#26

IMG_3063.jpg

#27

IMG_8839.jpg

#28

isabella_066.jpg

#29

jack_010a.jpg

#30

jones046a.jpg

#31

JSCULP_395.jpg

#32

katiem001.jpg

#33

katiem061.jpg

#34

katiettd140.jpg

#35

katiettd276.jpg

#35

katiettd344.jpg

#36

ketterman005.jpg

#37

kubsch 051a.jpg

#38

Lena106.jpg

#39

lily_030.jpg

#40

lilycaden116.jpg

#41

maddie_175b.jpg

#42

nelson002-2a.jpg

#43

nelson_089.jpg

#44

paulcrissy051.jpg

#45

paulcrissy096.jpg

#46

paulcrissy742.jpg

#47

paulcrissy824.jpg

#48

pauljill_560.jpg

#49

reighter559.jpg

#50

reighter569.jpg

#51

rhizal094.jpg

#52

richer071.jpg

#53

romania2_200.jpg

Party Like a Rawk Star!

I don’t think I’ve ever hung on someone’s every word like I did the day I heard J* speak in Chicago several months ago. I can’t explain why exactly she had this motivational effect on me…I’ve never been prone to celebrity faints or dreamed of being a roadie. Never really cared much at all what the rest of the world was doing…in fact, I could almost always be found heading the OPPOSITE direction as the masses, forging my own path in disdain. But there’s something very special about Jasmine, and the fact that I’m not the only one who thinks so doesn’t seem to bother me. Which is odd. But that is beside the point. What matters is this: I came home with her words cemented in my head and I didn’t take the mapped route to accomplish my goals…I went as the crow flies: straight over and high above all the obstacles. By the end of the year, I had a new business name, a new look, a new website, a new office, and…wait for it…yaaaaah, cards that finally say, “BAM!” Yah, that’s right! These ain’t yo mama’s business cards! They say just exactly what I want them to say about my business, my art, my style…it’s all there in one little 2×3.5″ megaphone. I have J* to thank for launching me down that path.

But that’s not all…I have a list! Aheeem, I’d like to thank my very amazing bff Rebecca from Uptown Design Studios who took my very sketchy design ideas and turned them into something {smashing fabulous}!! She is right this very moment packing for tomorrow’s trip of a lifetime…to pick up her sweet little boy Owen from China!!!! I’m so with her in spirit!

My trusty sidekick Bridget gets a tribute for being absolutely invaluable to me. And since I’ve always thought the word invaluable sounded exactly opposite of what it means, I’m going to hit that again…she’s absolutely irreplacable!!! When it came time to rename this little biz of mine, Bridget was not just a brain storm, she was a fierce and mighty tornado! 🙂

rawsii017.jpg

And since you ALL have been asking, I’ll TELL you. Exactly why I named my business Rawsii. It is a very specific combination of thoughts that come together to define who I am as a person and a photographer.

I’m part Italian (I make a kickin’ lasagna to prove it!) and my favorite color is red. The word “red” in Italian is rossi (atleast one version of it). I know the correct pronounciation but I also knew that using it as a freestanding word, everyone here would pronounce it with American phoenetics, so that’s the direction I was going. While I almost settled on naming my business Rossi, I decided I could add even MORE meaning and depth to it (and make it more unique) if I spelled it differently. Using “raw” just made sense in several ways. Those who know me personally know that I aspire greatly towards being a raw foodist. Even when I don’t meet my own aspirations, I’m still a little bit of an earthy flower child at heart. In my business I strive to capture raw emotions. And RAW is a camera term referring to the type of image files I capture with my camera. That part’s not unique to me, but I’m pretty dedicated to it. The double “i” in Rawsii is because there are two i’s in my name. So there you have it. A multi-faceted word that encompasses who I am as an artist. I’ve experienced the gamut of reactions to it, which is FUN! I love that it simply invokes such a strong reaction in people, no matter which side of the fence they fall on! That’s another way that it reflects me…I like it because it’s different, nobody else is doing it, and it’s just ever so slightly confrontational. I’m so happy with it, I may just get a tattoo. Kidding. James would NOT let me do that.

So here’s the new office that you’ll see when you stop by now! We’re excited to show it off, so if you can’t find an excuse, call us up and we’ll give you one!

rawsii032.jpg

rawsii030.jpg