NYC - CDG

It was a Tuesday late morning around 11am.  All was quiet around me except for the occasional click click click of my mouse as I checked off junk emails to be deleted.  "Amazon top 10 deals" - delete, "Groupon save 10% on a facial - delete, Sidestep Fair Alert NYC - CDG (Paris) - dele.. oh no wait I actually might want to see this one.  When I opened the email the price I saw for a round trip non-stop flight to Paris was around the same cost you would pay for a trip to Wyoming.  A whopping $365!  I thought maybe I wasn't reading it right.  So after staring intently at the details and price of the airfare for several minutes, I decided that this was it.  I would be going to Paris in March! Perhaps the reality of it all should've hit me a few weeks prior when I signed up for the Scott Robert Lim photography workshop in Paris and drained half my savings.  The feeling that I had after doing that was...numb.  I had one of those "what did I just do" moments after the transaction was complete.  I was scared.  Not about investing in the workshop; I have no doubt that it will be worth every penny.  But I was scared that maybe I should've done something else with the money like um...I don't know...pay a bill? My flight to Paris was booked, my seat at a photography workshop for a top world-class photographer was booked.  The reality of it all hit me like a ton of bricks.  I cried.  Cried my heart out I tell ya!  I don't know what it was.  I just became so emotional that my dreams of traveling and practicing my craft had came true just like that!  No longer was it just an empty claim that I couldn't back up.  It's really happening; dreams do come true!  I feel like such a sap for even saying that and telling this story but if you've been reading this blog long enough; you already know how sappy I can be :). Wishing you a lovely 2011 and beyond! See Beauty... Ariane
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Pursuing the Possibilities...

During my junior and senior years in high school, I would get these brochures in the mail all the time from local colleges and universities luring me to attend classes at their institution.  Tag lines like "Your dreams are within your reach" and "A great career awaits you" made my eyes brighten as I flipped through the pages excited about all of the classes I could take to land my dream job and make buckets of money.  I wasn't really sure what I was looking for or what I wanted.  So I figured hey, you can't really go wrong with an education in business.  Yeah, Ariane Hunter, CEO of XYZ corporation had a nice ring to it and so I went with it. Seven years later with a Bachelor's in Business and an MBA under my belt and after several office jobs, I find myself in a position that I would've never imagined.  Sitting at my desk writing my very own business plan with an actual mission statement and objectives.  Budgeting through finance statements, tracking my business expenses, and creating pricing strategies for Ariane Hunter Photography.  Yeah, I know, that doesn't sound like a lot of fun.  It isn't, but this is my real attempt at bringing "my dreams within my reach" and finding that "great career that awaits me".  So for all the boring spreadsheets and trying to remember what my Accounting professor said, to me it is all justified for every moment I aspire towards living creatively.
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I Am...

Yesterday, turned out to be a very weird day for me.  Not only was it Monday, my least favorite day of the week, but events throughout the day had left me mentally and emotionally drained.  You ever have those kinds of days where people just seem to misunderstand you and trying to show them who you are inside just proves to be pointless?  That was my day in a nutshell.  When I have days like this, my first thought is to eat!  And not just eat anything, specifically junk food, lol.  I know, I know, that’s so not good but alas my cravings for junk food took over.  I found myself in a nearby McDonald’s munching on fries and thinking about the day I had.  Someone called over to me and snapped me out of my deep thoughts.  It was this lady who saw me munching on fries with my camera placed on the table close at hand.  She asked “Excuse me, miss?  Are you a photographer?”.  These words suddenly put a smile on my face as I started to answer her “Yes, I am a photographer”.  She then proceeded to ask me for a business card because she was interested in having portraits done of her grand children.  That was all I needed to put me in a better place.  Not only for someone to recognize me as a photographer but for the strength I had to claim who I was – Yes, I AM a photographer! You are who you say you are.  The moment you can admit it to yourself, you’ll have no problem admitting it to others. Fries
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Warmth in September

You ever meet a person that is just so incredibly kind-hearted, warm, and genuine?  I haven't met a lot of people like this in my life time but I had the great opportunity to work with two truly warm souls, Rob & Dominique, who are expecting their first child.  We did a maternity photoshoot at Astoria Park in Queens.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  After days of rain, clouds and cold temps, one Sunday afternoon in September, the sun reappeared and provided a perfect fall day.  Out of three years of living in Queens I had never been to this park in Astoria but it was really a charming place to hold a maternity shoot.  Great views of the Manhattan skyline, tree-lined streets, and fields of grass that stretched for miles. I really wanted to capture Rob & Dominique in a way that would portray a reflection on this exciting time in their lives.  At that moment, they have each other, but before long this tiny person will enter their lives and bring so much joy and love in their hearts. I like this one.  It was hard keeping a straight face after so much posing.  But I took this one after they finished posing to get the natural smiles that usually come after a posed shot. I love how they both look so calm and peaceful in this photo. Dominique & Rob, I'm so happy for you both and I know you two are going to make wonderful parents.  Thank you for choosing me to not only photograph you as two proud parents-to-be, but for being the wondeful kind souls that you are. I look forward to seeing your beautiful baby boy.
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I Am an Amateur

According to the dictionary, an amateur is defined as: a person inexperienced or unskilled in a particular activity. Sounds pretty accurate, right?  For years we hear this word and it has taken on somewhat of an negative connotation; a negative way to describe who we are and what we do.  She's an amateur writer, he's an amateur basketball player, she's an amateur photographer.  How do we feel when we hear ourselves described like this?  Does it take away our confidence?  Does it make us feel like we're not good enough?  For most people, the answer is...yes.  Since starting photography, I wanted to hurry up and get good so that I wouldn't be classified as an "amateur".  I spent countless hours and days reading photography articles, learning techniques, and snapped away with my camera to practice, practice, practice.  I was indeed an amateur but an amateur for the wrong reasons.  To me, being an amateur represents so much more than being a beginner.  It's the passion, the drive, and the energy behind learning something new.  But most of all, its the enthusiasm that engulfs you when you're on that journey to something great.  When I started learning photography, I didn't stop for a moment to appreciate the fact that I was finding my passion and learning something new in my life. Here is one of the first photos I took when I first started my photography. 3285595700_b85dc36e32 It's one of my favorites because I could remember the excitement I felt being in Grand Central with my camera in hand and ready to shoot. This photo reminds me of how I felt when I saw this lady.  In a wheel chair and alone but on the surface I could see that she was full of character. 3423152476_480f3b06f6 Since finding photography, I've learned so much about myself and am experiencing personal growth each and every day.  This can be such an exciting time in one's life; does it all go away when you are no longer an amateur?  I choose to always remain an amateur and experience new possibilities with excitement and enthusiasm. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences as an amateur.   Feel free to post your comments below or shoot me an email.
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