A Year In Books

I stood in front of my bookshelf this morning proud of myself for having read a ton of books this year; 12 to be exact ;).  I noticed that the content of my reading material had skewed towards positivity and inspirational messages.   This year, I was in the zone and full of excitement as I got deeper and deeper into my passion for photography. Gradually, everything began to have more meaning and I understood myself on a deeper level.  Books were my medium of choice to fully immerse myself in an artistic journey towards allowing myself to be more creative and free to be who I am.  And now my perspectives have been broadened and I almost feel fully equipped with the tools I need to continue developing myself from within.  But alas the journey has just begun ;).  Although majority of the books I read were photography related here are a handful that I would recommend to anyone who are exploring their lives and delving into their passions.  My top five reads for the year would have to be:

5.  The Secret, Rhonda Byrne - Awesome book that that explains the law of attraction through positive thinking.

4. Circle of Quiet, Madeleine L'Engle - Charming little book that gives a refreshing look at life through thoughtful reflections.

3.  The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle - deeply motivating and thought provoking that shows how embracing the moment leads to spiritual enlightenment.

2.  The Alchemist, Paolo Coelho - This book I could read again and again.  Such a captivating and inspirational story of following your dreams by listening to your heart and having faith.  Definitely a must-read :)!

1.  The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron - Ok so if you know me personally, I'm sure I've mentioned this book to you at least 100 times lol.  In this book Julia teaches you how to become "unblocked" creatively by engaging in activities and exercises that in a way sort of liberate you from your fears and doubts.  Get it. Read it! Live it!!! Trust me on this one :).

These books have helped me tremendously and energized me in so many ways.  My Amazon Wishlist is already queued up with a boatload of books for the new year.  I'm curious to know of if any of you have read any books this year that really got your juices flowing.  If so, I'd love to hear about it!  Perhaps we can swap :)?!!

See Beauty...


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Surprise...Happy Birthday Mrs. Martin!!

Happy Monday all! Today's a holiday and for most of you out there lucky enough to have the day off, I hope you can enjoy some time with your family and/or Bff's today.  And for those of you that are working today...uuuggh, I feel your pain.  But try giving a call to someone in your family or good friend (that is off today) just to say hello and stay in touch.  Ok, so what's with all the family and friend talk on the blog today, you ask? lol.  Well, today's post just warms my heart because I had the privilege to photograph an event that was filled with happiness and excitement from adoring friends and family to celebrate one woman; Mrs. Martin.  Here's the story... The crowd was hushed with giddiness for the impending surprise for the one unsuspecting Mrs. Bridget Martin who would be arriving in just 5 minutes.  It was her birthday and her husband and children wanted to throw a surprise birthday party to celebrate her 60 wonderful years. This event was very special.  I could feel the energy from all 100+ guests who were present.  Mrs. Martin is someone special who has touched so many lives; the love was amazing.  Here are a few photos from that night that I'd like to share which only touch the surface of how she celebrated her special day with her many loved ones.  Enjoy! She walked through the door.....SURPRISE!! They got her good! lol She dance with her husband of over 20 years; beautiful! Her whole family and friends came out to not only celebrate her birthday but to celebrate "her"...now that's what I call a party! Truly spectacular! See Beauty... Ariane
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Shooting With Purpose

I once read that "In order to be purposeful, the mission for the action must be derived from inner conviction, and the action must benefit others beyond self".  As a photographer, this statement has so much meaning for me.  When shooting weddings I get caught up in the excitement and splendor of everything in front of me, I just start shooting away until I have a shot of EVERYTHING.  One wedding photographer in the industry that I admire greatly gave the advice to shoot everything no matter what because that way you will have a wide variety of shots to choose from.  I somewhat disagree.  In my experience, shooting this way left me with photos that fell flat or didn't have any meaning.  Now, when I shoot, I like to know why I'm shooting a particular scene and what the shot says to me.  This is a five-second dialogue I would have in my head as I lift the camera to my eye. I tend to take photos of couples from behind especially if they're walking hand in hand.  I do this mostly because I think it shows their bond and/or connection when they are in most cases unaware of the camera or that I'm taking their photo.  Take this one for example. At that moment, after clicking the shutter I decided to hold the camera to my eye a little longer.  I asked myself "what is the reason for this shot" and "what can I do to make it more interesting".  And I'm glad I did! Turns out in this case I didn't physically have to do anything to make this a better photo.  I just waited.  I had no idea that Hoyu and Annie were going to spontaneously turn around and wave to the crowd behind them.  I really love the way it turned out! So I think, in my humble opinion :),  sometimes shooting just to shoot just doesn't cut it.  Think about what you want your photo to portray, wait for the moment to unfold,  aim, then....FIRE!! Happy Shooting! See Beauty... Ariane
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