2013

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing – Helen Keller

I must leave this year admitting to my friends, the internet world, and to whomever crosses path with this blog, that I have been totally, 100%, without a doubt in my mind…selfish this year! I have been ensuring I “did not waste the pretty” as a good friend of mine might have said.

I took every moment and really seized the day. It ended up being an amazing combination of minutes, hours and 365 days that I will never forget! When a friend called, I answered; I was reminded of my love for music and danced ALOT; I spent time with my nieces and spoiled them rotten; when I got an invite to go out, I went; I ate well and enjoyed yoga; I rejuvenated relationships that had strayed a little too far and I created new friendships that added value and fun to my life; I took chances and loved with all of my heart like my parents taught me; I stayed up too late and sometimes drank a little too much; I watched as friends got married and had babies; I took lots of pictures; I enjoyed staying home on Friday nights to make pizza; I heeled my broken heart and realized that when one door closed another would open as long as I faith and could figure out how to trust the process; I had fun and traveled (7 amazing trips to be exact, two of which included bucket list trips); I was regularly reminded that every once in a while I should take some time off from work because life is too short; I read some great books and became a fan of fancy beers; I found the beauty in being single but still prayed for a partner; I rebuilt my dreams and came up with some big ones to replace the old ones; I daydreamed a little too much; I enjoyed the holidays and Thanksgiving day parades; I got a promotion, gave thanks and gave back; and I lived the way I have been dreaming of for a long time. I laughed, cried, prayed and enjoyed every moment along the way!

I’m not 100% sure of what will happen on my path next year but my goodness I’m thankful for this past year and wouldn’t have been the same without it! So as I round out this year, I realize it has big shoes to fill!

2014 I welcome you with open arms and know that whatever is next will be an amazing journey.

Bon Voyage and much love to my family and friends – Cheers to a NEW YEAR and a new chapter!

XO – J

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list” – Susan Sontag

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The Whole “C” Crew

When I say the “whole crew” I mean ALL of them!

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It’s not often that I’d have the opportunity to work with this entire family. Some drove from the west coast of Florida and some flew in from Boston.  Regardless of how far it was to travel I am so very happy that I had the opportunity to work with all of them before they all took off on vacation and left me behind in Orlando  (PS i am happy to join you guys on vacay next year…just think of me as the family photographer – haha!)

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I’ve known this family for about 13 years (gosh…I can’t believe it’s been that long) but this was the first time working with the full /extended version of the crew.
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We had one opportunity and a small window of time – so rain, shine or heat stroke (seriously it was so hot) this session was a go.  I can only hope that I caught some images that each of them can enjoy.

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It was so very evident (when I jumped into my “photographer role”) that these “kids” have some great role models!  More than anything, during this session, I enjoyed seeing the love that is shared between Pete and Kelly.

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Each time I took an image I was drawn towards their affection for one another and how proud they are of their kids. It was an absolute pleasure and I hope to have the opportunity to work with them again in the future.

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XO to all you guys and thank you for the opportunity - J

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Shall We Recap…Oh May…..Oh My!

Holy Heck…where did May 2013 go??   Well I can say it went toward photography….especially on my Sunday mornings.  The only Sunday I wasn’t booked was Mother’s day Sunday.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend that day with my momma…but don’t worry we got to see each other a few weeks later :)

As I look back on the month, I’m glad it flew by and I am glad June came flyin’ in on positive note.  Thank you to all of these beautiful clients for sharing your Sunday’s with me.

May took me to: the beach on a rainy Sunday morning and then to breakfast in hopes of seeing the sunshine….glad we saw the sunshine!

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May took me to: one of my favorite locations for photography on a bright and toy filled Sunday morning….
Oh and by the way – WELCOME to baby Brady - Lil guy was born this morning!!! Can’t wait to meet you!
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And then May took me to: the house of one of my good friends and long-time clients for some newborn goodness. Hello Baby Kate!!

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Peace out May…..glad to be enjoying June….who’s interested in a recap of June now that it’s almost over??  XO – J

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Calm My Mind

Thank heavens for other people….
other blogs that captivate me and occupy my mind when it needs to be calm.
I read the below on someone elses blog and wanted to remember it myself
and lets be honest….
I can’t post without an image attached…
this one felt right although its not mine.

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The Kama Sutra of Kindness: Position Number 3

It’s easy to love
through a cold spring
when the poles
of the willows
turn green
pollen falls like
a yellow curtain
and the scent of
Paper Whites
clots
the air

but to love for a lifetime
takes talent

you have to mix yourself
with the strange
beauty of someone
else
wake each morning
for 72,000
mornings in
a row so
breathed and
bound and
tangled
that you can hardly
sort out
your arms
and
legs

you have to
find forgiveness
in everything
even ink stains
and broken
cups

you have to be willing to move through
life
together
the way the long
grasses move
in a field
when you careen
blindly toward
the other
side

there’s never going to be anything
straight or predictable
about your path
except the
flattening
and the springing
back

you just go on walking for years
hand in hand
waist deep in the weeds
bent slightly forward
like two question
marks
and all the while it

burns
my dear
it burns beautifully above
you
and goes on
burning
like a relentless
sun

“The Kama Sutra of Kindness: Position Number 3″ by Mary Mackey, from Breaking the Fever. © Marsh Hawk Press, 2006

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The H Family: 10 of them to be exact!

Like I said in my prior post, I consider this new momma somewhat like family.  She is awesome and I just loved being able to capture this time in her life.  It was an absolute pleasure working with this entire family!

K, I knew you were a great guy, but it was so wonderful meeting the whole crew and I have such an appreciation for how fantastic they all were too!!

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Coordinating 10 people seemed like a daunting task in the early stages of my planning but I must admit I am so happy with these images and hope the family enjoys them for years to come.

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Lil’ Miss Andi stole the show and towards the end of the session and decided to give me a big ‘ole smile – It couldn’t have ended on a more perfect note!

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XO – J

P.S. I promised that April was going to be a busy month around here and I’m so glad to be back up and blogging (its been a long time coming).  I fully look forward to the challenge of delivering great service to each of my clients this month. Keep your eyes peeled for newbies, a few 6 month olds and a special engagement session toward the end of the month.  If you’re on Instagram find me at Jennypeppers21 and on facebook at jennypeppersphotography.

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I’d say the ladies are completely out numbered by the guys…but the good news is that there’s room to grow!

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I can’t help but post this last one.  I really believe that the love of a grandmother or great grandmother is one of the most capativing loves of all.

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Happy Wednesday everyone!!

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Bucket List Item: Photograph the Cherry Blossom Trees in DC

Let me start this post by saying I have NEVER tracked something like this in my entire life!!  Seriously, as odd as this is to admit (yes I’m fine if you call me crazy), I have been slightly addicted to tracking the Cherry Blossom bloom date for over 6 months now.  I have been dying to see these trees in bloom for over two years…stalking was totally warranted!  Unfortunately, tracking the date in which a tree will bloom in Washington DC is almost impossible for someone who is 860 miles away and not in control of the weather patterns!!

Needless to say I gave it my best effort and was pleasantly surprised when the National Park Service issued their first (FIRST is the crucial word here) forecast indicating the exact dates I was hoping to be in DC….BAM!  I scheduled the trip and got really excited.

Long story short, everything was moving along smoothly until March 18th.  That’s when the “experts” chimed in and decided to revise their original forecast…..to 4 days after I would be leaving – stupid cold weather!  Anyone who knows anything about these trees is aware of the fact that they only bloom (on average) for about 7-10 days(start to finish).  At that point, I was bummed because I felt like I might miss the blooms all together and I’d without a doubt miss the puffy blooms!

Unfortunately with my trip being planned for the following week, I felt like it was too short of notice to reschedule and push to the anticipated “peak bloom” date.   So I hunkered down and began to accept the possibility that I was going to miss seeing these blooms at peak bloom and possibly the blooming all together.  That is where everything started to get fun.

I was fully accepting the fact that I wasn’t going to see peak bloom when I received a text from my “traveling buddy.”  As a side note: oh how I ADORE my “traveling buddy!”  She is one of my closest friends and luckily for her she has lived in Japan and experienced the beauty of these trees in their original environment (not fair!!).

Anyhow, she texted me 3 days prior to our anticipated departure and surprised me with, “Do you want to push our road trip to the following week so you can see the blooms?”  I didn’t originally consider this an option because my traveling buddy doesn’t have as flexible of a schedule as I do (or at least I thought she didn’t).  BUT just like that, I slept on the idea and went into full “let’s see if this is even an option” mode the following morning.

The main concern for me was two client sessions I had already scheduled.

Client No. 1 – AMAZING! She basically said, Jen we are flexible…if this is something you really want to do, we’d be okay with swapping dates.  SCORE!  AND thank you to those awesome clients – more to come on them next week!

Client No. 2 – I consider her slightly like family…I mean her sister in law has been my best friend since 6th grade and I had my fingers and toes crossed that she would be okay and forgive me on this one.  SCORE again!  Forgiven, with me owing her my first born child (ha-ha just kiddin’).  You’ll see their family session pop up sometime in the next few days.

We hit the road and boy oh boy was it 100% worth the fun that ensued the moment we pulled out of the drive way.  12 hours later we arrived in DC and who’d like to guess what happened at that point?? Any takers??

We were officially greeted with the “experts” (I do NOT like these “experts”) revising their bloom date AGAIN…seriously?!?!  Of course it was too late to do anything about it and I must say I’m glad I was lucky enough to catch a few of the trees around the City and Basin in full bloom.  When I say that these pictures do not do the trees’ justice, I’m not kidding!   It was absolutely stunning and I can only imagine what it looks like around the Basin at full bloom.  I will return at some point in my life to catch the spectacle but it might be a while.  I am so happy with what I did see and am so excited to display some of these images around my house.

I don’t think I could ever thank my “traveling buddy” enough but I plan to keep trying because this was one vacay I’ll never forget!  I look forward to our next trip…of course we already picked the location.   More on the road trip and our shenanigans around DC later!

For now enjoy the amazing Cherry Blossoms (Anyone notice the new header?? Copyright: yours truly).

XO – J

There are several types of Cherry Blossoms – these are Magnolia Cherry Blossoms, which were already in full bloom when we arrived.
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I think this was one of the Weeping Japanese Cherry’s – I have really fallen in LOVE with this image!

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A Little History: Around the Tidal Basin are about 3-4,000 Yoshino Cherry Trees (now you might understand why I wanted to see peak bloom).  In 1912, the people of Japan sent 3,020 cherry trees to the United States as a gift of friendship. The majority of those trees were planted around the Basin.  These images will show you the progression of blooming that took place over the few days I was there. It was amazing to see how much they changed from day to day.

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Each tree gave me a peak at different stages, the next two images show one sole bloom on an entire tree.

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The tempatures started to warm up during the day and almost overnight things began to change:

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Rememberance Day 2013

I had a different type of blog originally planned for today.  It was highlighting the past few days of my trip to DC.  However, while touring the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, on Friday morning, I decided immediately that today’s blog needed to focus on something different.

Beginning today at sundown and though sunset tomorrow is known as Remembrance Day.  It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, which occurred in 1943.  I encourage everyone reading this blog to take a moment and reflect on the events of the Holocaust and to memorialize those whose lives were forever changed as result of a terrible act on humanity.

Below you will find a link to a 9 minute video which is titled “Why we Remember:
http://www.ushmm.org/remembrance/dor/video/?content=whyweremember

If you are ever visiting the DC area I encourage you to visit this memorial.  It is a moving, thought provoking and an educational walk through of the Nazi assault, the Final Solution and the Last Chapter of the Holocaust.

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There are no real words that can describe the feelings conjured during my visit to this memorial.  My “traveling buddy” and I both exited the museum and could not easily articulate our overall thoughts of the space.  Photography is already such a strong medium for me and images of such terrible acts of inhumanity have now been imbedded into my mind and I am genuinely appreciative of what this memorial offered and the education I received.

I was humbled and overcome with emotion as I walked into the museum’s Hall of Remembrance.  A space created for reflection where a solemn flame burns over dirt gathered from death camps, concentration camps and sites of mass execution. On the main wall reads the following inscription:

“Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully.  Lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life.  And you shall make them known to your children and to your children’s children.”

May God Bless this country, the people living in it and the people fighting hard to keep it safe. Much Love, J

http://www.ushmm.org

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