Mother’s Day is in two weeks! (More info after this picture)
Book you session Before Friday, May 5 to receive a complimentary 8×10 from your selected images.
WOW! What a journey.
When I started working in the drum industry almost 4 years ago, I didn’t really have a goal. I didn’t have any “bucket list” people I wanted to photograph, I was just content meeting new people as they came to me.
Over the course of my short career, I’ve met really phenomenal musicians, BIG players, people who have revolutionized the industry, the instrument, the process. Some have been clients, and some have become dear friends.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to England, photograph a custom drum builder as he put the finishing touches on a hand-carved snare for QuestLove [The Roots, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon].
I met with his brother-in-law, who has become a sweet friend, and we ventured up the super fun, high tech elevator bank to several different floors at NBC inside 30 Rockefeller Center in NYC.
It felt almost like a Monty Python Sketch moving from one elevator to another, floor to floor to floor.
We only had a little bit of time to get together with Ahmir, but I was able to get a couple of shots with him, of his gorgeous snare, and of him with his drum.
I’m super thankful to Serenity Drums for including me in the process of bringing beautiful, masterfully created works of physical art to the hands of those that will create musical art with them.
From Serenity’s Instagram:
Our client @questlove proudly holding his new Serenity sculpted snare-portrait commission by master drum maker and artist @jon_serenity. Tonally carved as Jon’s impression, reflection and audio-portrait of Questlove as a drummer and artist from five different reclaimed historic woods: Oak, Cherry, Teak, Mahogany and most importantly the Ironwood Ekki, the centre band, known as one of the hardest exotic woods in the world, tonally exquisite, part of Teddington Lock on London’s River Thames from 1948 to 2013. Among many great historical events, The Beatles walked on this wood in the 1960’s and Monty Python shot their famous ‘Fish Slapping Dance’ on it in the early 1970’s.
Fitted with our resonance-enhancing Serenity Leather-and-Coin lugs, each hand crafted from reclaimed Norwegian leather impressed with the Serenity logo and antique British One Penny coins, the coins on the outside are dated from 1876 to 1898, the coins on the inside are of the same denomination but dated 1936 and 1937, the birth years of Questloves Father and Mother respectively, representing the beginnings and birth of music in the heart of the great drummer within the heart of the snare itself. This is a true Serenity drum portrait, a masterpiece snare that sounds like no other.
Hand delivered to New York and photographed by our very own @drumphotos.
I meet a lot of people in my journeys.
I meet even more people on the internet, without ever stepping out of the house.
If I meet an internet friend in real life, it’s because we are shooting, or I’m passing through their town.
It’s not entirely often that my friends end up in my town, and if they do… I’m hardly ever around.
This week though! This week I was here, and John drove cross-country from my favorite Nashville and happened to be in Folsom!
I have been Facebook friends with John for a couple of years now. We have mutual friends and a mutual love for adventures and photography. So, of course, we had to hang out. (he’s a rad shooter, check out his work here: http://www.johndecovic.com )
It has been so fun to watch his journeys and his work grow… We traded some headshots and talked shop and life.
Did I also mention, he’s about to turn 20 tomorrow? Because he is. This dude is adventuring all over the country by himself at 19. I didn’t even want to go to the gym by myself at 19.
High five DeCovic. You’re a badass. Happy Birthday, man.
We had the most rainy day last week. It was craaaazy. You could hardly see 20 feet in front of you while driving, and the wind was ridiculous.
I happened to make plans for a family session and luckily, before we had even known the rain was coming, we opted for a home-based family session.
I love photographing families in their element. I love couch snuggles and being photobombed by the family cat.
I love when kids show me their room, and their favorite toys for the moment, and the pieces of art they draw. Beautiful, well orchestrated family portraits are amazing, but there’s something special about a lifestyle session, when a family lets me into their world for a small piece of time…
This little family is super rad too.
I have worked with Shane (dad) before, too… He interviewed me for his podcast [http://noisysnailstudios.com/hearandnow/hear-now-episode-12/]
and I photographed him with his other hosts for his show Backyard Brews and Reviews: https://www.facebook.com/backyardbrewsandreviews/?fref=ts#
But enough about the past. Let’s talk about the cute cute now:
Oh, what a wonderful, amazing way to spend a rainy day!
This sweet baby G and his mama and daddy came in to the studio on the rainiest ever day. It was cold and wet outside, but inside was absolute magic.
I was so lucky to photograph G’s parents’ engagement portraits, wedding, maternity portraits AND now him!
What a beautiful chunky little dude. What a lucky photographer (me!).
Love love love, LJ
Hey hi babes!
OK, so in case you didn’t hear sooner, I’m going to be on tour on the East Coast.
Boston to Baltimore with all of the stops in-between. 😀
At the end of my quick tour, I’ll then be joining the Serenity Drums Family (OH MY GOSH) on a delivery tour for their amazing, beautiful product.
(PSST – Go check them out: http://www.serenitycustomdrums.co.uk )
Their drums are handmade from start to finish and absolutely entirely beautiful.
I am so fortunate to have been asked to join them on their tour.
(Philadelphia >Miami>Trinidad & Tobago>Miami again)
Once my tour with Serenity is over, I’ll be spending another couple of days in Florida. Specifically, Orlando, though, I’m not necessarily planning on being there the whole time, then, once I’m done with Florida, I will likely be headed back up to New York for a short time.
AND AS AN ADDED BONUS!
I’ll be IN Nashville at the end of November, as well.
SO, Nashville babes. Get in touch so we can book your shoot. I want to get a little weird, let’s make it happen.
I would love, love, love to see you. I would love to photograph you.
<3 <3 <3 L
[tl;dr – I took pictures of myself shirtless, and this is a justification]
Insecurity is such a funny thing. It makes you hide from some things. It makes you do other things you might not do if you were more confident. It makes you feel like you’re nothing most of the time. Other people’s opinions of you are so potent, and when their opinion doesn’t lean in your favor it’s crippling. and not just like, “ugh… Im so sad I need to go eat ice cream or cry to feel better” sometimes it is so strong, the words that people say and the things they do cause hurts that take up residence in your being for lots and lots of years.
Sometimes it’s hard to get past those things and believe otherwise even if a thousand people tell you differently.
I know this all from personal experience.
I’ve been there. I STILL deal with the little reminders of things that people have said and done in my past to make me feel less than stellar.
I’m Fat. I have been my whole life. Except when I was horribly ill.
I’ve learned that people don’t like that word, though.
SO, for the sake of the more sensitive hearts, let’s just say I’m fluffy. Chunky. Full Figured. Rubenesque. Statuesque. Rotund. Curvy. Bigger. Heavier Set.
Whichever one of those feels nicest to you… you can use that one.
But, for all intents and purposes: I’m fat.
Despite what the media tells you, It’s not such a bad thing. I mean, I can’t run 5 miles without stopping, but I can keep up with my kids. I have awesome blood pressure and good feelings about life in general… I’m doing ok.
Despite the general contentment, though… I have lots of little hurts from the past that have hung around in my head a lot longer than they should have. I have mean playground words from insensitive children and drug-induced comments from my mom and her addict friends that are sewn into my soul. I have little stabs from well meaning significant others that take up too much space in my heart.
I have worked so very hard to quiet those words. To give them exit. To rip the seams that have formed to keep them in the deepest part of myself. The holes from the threads are still present though. And sometimes… even when I’m feeling my most magnificent self, Sometimes the hurts show up. Sometimes they make a point to say… girl, he loves you, but let’s be real… he can’t actually want a girl with an ass that big, or you’re too tall… he’s going to to bail because you just don’t fit him.
The voices tell me that my face is too wonky, that I have a double chin, they tell me that my feet are too big, and my voice too loud. They tell me that no one cares to see me naked, and I should never wear a bikini. They tell me that I should never show more than the top of my shoulder or my collarbone because I don’t want to lead people on only to let them down one my clothes are off. They tell me that I’m not worth my business. They tell me that I am too fat to be a good example to my kids.
They tell me that I need to be better, skinnier, prettier, different in order to be attractive to anyone. But it’s not true.
ON the other side of the coin: I’m not here to be someone’s object of sexual, physical, emotional gratification. My body isn’t here for anyone else’s enjoyment.
… But my body isn’t something to be ashamed of either.
it’s not here to specifically make anyone’s pants tighten, breath shorten or pulse quicken, but should I choose to engage in that with another person… it’s on. I’ll do my best to make it awesome… because my body is awesome.
This body has created people. It has fed those people. It has run races. It has built home. It has put together innumerable ikea pieces(which may be the greatest feat in this whole thing) It has cared for people. It has hugged hurting hearts. It has loved fiercely, gently and everywhere in between. My body is a celebration. It’s the vessel that carries everything wonderful about me. It carries my flaws, sure, but it’s simply a vehicle for my existence.
Despite the ever present reminders from shame-feelings past, I am not ashamed of my physical self. I do not have negative feelings about it.
It is good. it is SO good. it has been good to me, and in return… I am going to be good to it. I am going to praise it. I am going to congratulate it. I’m going to give it rest and good food. I will not starve it. I will not let it shrivel in front of a computer screen. I will give it abundant water and sunshine. I will play in the rain and I will not. [i repeat] I WILL NOT hide behind pillows at the coffee shop.
I have never felt confident enough to show more than very little of my body. I photograph women, and encourage them to celebrate themselves all the time, but I have not been a good example of this. I posted a blog a big ago about how being fat and attractive can happen at the same time. There was one person who made snotty comments about the post saying “of course she’s fat, you can’t see anything but her face in the pictures” well… that’s because they were all selfies, and I don’t have arms long enough to get past my headshot space.
That bugged me.
I was coaching Katie on some light today, and how to use the camera, get her used to being behind it… and she got some DOPE pictures of me. I’m REALLY proud of them. Both because I think she totally killed it, and I feel like for once in my life, I’m ok showing parts of my body that literally never see the light of day.
So… because I am celebrating myself. Because I know this body is effing phenomenal…
Because holding hands with my fears and choosing to quiet the little voices like a patient kindergarten teacher, gently reminding them that it’s not their turn to talk is a much better way to take care of those fears than still ignoring them.
** and yes, we used creative posing and lighting and it’s edited, because this is my playtime, and a teaching tool, and dress-up make believe is fun.