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Calling All Local Yogis! Last Minute Mini Photo Session Opportunity!

 RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

HEAR-YE, HEAR YE!  Calling all local yogis!

Boy, have I got a morsel of goodness to share with you!

Let me tell ya a wee story about one of my favorite peeps in all the lands.

[Spoiler alert:  this story ends with a rare mini session opportunity for YOU!]

 RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

You may or may not be familiar with this shining star in our local yoga community: a one Ms Jessie Dwiggins.

Not familiar?  Let's get to know her, shall we?

Here are some photos I took for her kick-arse holistic yoga teacher/nutrition counseling website, www.jessiedwiggins.com.

 RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

This was the day I fell in love with her.  It was November in Rhode Island.  It was very cold.  I kept asking her to flick her hair in the wind from the edge of a windy cliff and not once did she even look like she WANTED to complain that it was REALLY FLIPPING COLD.

Impressive.

They say that how you do anything is how you do everything, and through that whole shoot, Jessie stayed steady in radiating an energy of enthusiasm, light, and great heart.

We had so much fun, we decided to work together again.

 RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

Here are some photos of Jessie and her rockstar husband Brian and their beloved pupp, Cassidy...who is right now reading this post from doggy heaven and showering sloppy puppy kisses upon us all.

I'm so grateful to have met Cassidy and was touched by how thoroughly she was loved.  Let's pause a moment to enjoy those sloppy kisses she's sending our way.

 RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

The point I'm trying to make in humanizing Jessie by showing you these photos is:  if you met Jessie, you would really really (really really really) love her.

And if you had a chance to get involved in anything she was doing, you'd really want to.

[No pressure, Jessie.]

Not for Nothin', But It Might Also Be Worth Noting:

You can probably tell from these photos that Jessie is fabulous not only because she REALLY IS FABULOUS but also because she happens to work with a photographer who specializes in CATCHING PEOPLES' LIGHT.

The photographer is a very important part of the equation for a radiant photo, too.

I'll let you read between the lines regarding which photographer I'm alluding to here.

[Hint:  I'm talking about ME here.  ME is the person I am complimenting.  That is my only hint for you today.]

 RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

Why am I telling you about Jessie?

My friends.  Jessie is working on a very exciting project.  To my great pleasure, she has hired me as her photographer.

For this project, I intend to capture Jessie in a teaching context.  In a beautiful space.

We have the radiant teacher all set.

We have the beautiful space all set.

We just need the peeps to pose as students.  We need to get the "students" all set.

THAT'S WHERE YOU COME IN.

 RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

RI Yoga Photography; yoga photographer rhode island

*************

WANNA JOIN US??

Check out this link for all the info you'll need.

Or contact me with any questions.

BUT, FOR REAL, YOU WILL WANT TO HURRY THOUGH:

...because we only have FOUR slots available.

By the time you're reading this, some of those may have sold.

This event is ONE WEEK from today - on Thursday, 1/29/15!

Grab your spot while the grabbin's good, m'friends!

Now get on over to the detail page, lovahs!

Can't WAIT to see you there.

1 Comment

CLASS ADDED! February Photography 101 Class (Last 101 class of the year!)

 RI Photography class - photography workshop at Bellani Maternity

RI Photography class - photography workshop at Bellani Maternity

Great news for fellow photography-lovers!

By popular demand, we've added a second (and final) Photography 101 class to the 2015 line-up!  If you missed the first opportunity, here's your chance!

WHAT:  Photography 101 Class with Bethany

WHEN:  Sunday, February 8th, 2015  1-3:30pm

WHERE:  Best Parenting Shop Ever  (Bellani Maternity, 1276 Bald Hill Rd, Warwick, RI)

WHY:  Because you have a nice camera and you’re not using it to it’s potential.  Or you love photography but feel intimidated by it.  Or generally you are just awesome and enjoy hanging out with other awesome people in awesome places.

HOW MUCH:  $99

HOW TO SIGN UP:  Click the "Buy Now" paypal link below or call Bellani ((401) 822-9900) or email Bethany.  You have many options.

I JAM PACK as much good info and light-heartedness as I can possibly pack into these two-and-a-half hours!  Don't miss it!

See the grey box titled "KIND WORDS" at the bottom of this post for a few of the many awesome reviews from previous attendees!

************

FAQ’s

Can I give this as a gift to someone?

Absa-freakin-lutely.  You can and you SHOULD give this as a gift to someone.  Just say the word and we’ll even give ya a gift card to give ‘em.  How ’bout that?

 RI lifestyle photographer_1276

RI lifestyle photographer_1276

Aperture, shutter speed, and the rest of those shenanigans are SO CONFUSING.  Do you like to make things confusing?

I’m so glad you asked, Friendly-Question-Asker!  No, I do not like to make things confusing.  I like to make things fun.  I took a similar photography class at the ripe young age of 15, and the teacher made things so confusing that I didn’t attempt to learn photography again until almost another 15 years had passed.  I won’t do that to you.

 RI lifestyle photographer_1277

RI lifestyle photographer_1277

Do I need to have a fancy camera to take this class?

No, the concepts we’ll be covering will apply to all photography captured by all cameras, including iPhones.  If you do not have a camera, though, the class is going to leave you WANTING a camera, because of the extended control the DSLRs [i.e. “fancy cameras”] give you over your camera settings.  Consider yourself forewarned.

 RI lifestyle photographer_1281

RI lifestyle photographer_1281

Do I need to bring my camera with me for class?

It’s encouraged that you bring your camera so that you can familiarize yourself with the controls and settings we’ll discuss, but this is not a workshop, so a camera is not necessary.

 RI lifestyle photographer_1278

RI lifestyle photographer_1278

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Honestly, has no one gotten to the bottom of this yet?  Woodchucks DO chuck wood, don’t they?  Is this a test?

 RI lifestyle photographer_1279

RI lifestyle photographer_1279

Which lens do you recommend for a beginner learning photography?

If you’re a Nikon shooter, get this one.  That lens is not only an incredible value, it also lays the smack down on all other lenses as far as learning lenses go;  I’ll tell you why in class.  For Canon shooters, I recommend this lens, which is almost as good.    You do not need to have either of these lenses for the class.

I don’t receive any kick-back if you purchase those lenses, if you're suspicious like that.

 RI lifestyle photographer_1280

RI lifestyle photographer_1280

This class is being held at Rhode Island’s best pregnancy and parenting shop.  What if I’m not a parent, or I am not interested in photographing kids?

Do not fret yourself, sweet grasshopper!  All are welcome, and this particular class is not specifically about photographing kids.  The concepts we will discuss apply to all types of photography, which may or may not include children, depending upon your preferences.

 RI lifestyle photographer_1285

RI lifestyle photographer_1285

Will you cover XYZ topic in class?

This class is going to be a discussion of basic photography concepts:  shutter speed, aperture, ISO, how they interact, tricks for how to deal with difficult shooting situations, concepts that can improve any photo, etc.  If you are wondering about specific subjects that will or will not be covered, feel free to email Bethany.

 RI lifestyle photographer_1282

RI lifestyle photographer_1282

What about refunds?

Since seating is limited, we are unable to offer refunds or exchanges for tickets purchased for this event.  HOWEVAH.  You are welcome to sell or give away your admission in the unlikely and frankly insane event that you change your mind about attending.  Kinda like a concert ticket, you know?  Only better.

 RI lifestyle photographer_1283

RI lifestyle photographer_1283

Should I sign up sooner…or later?

SOONER, for shizzle!!  Spots are limited and last year, seats sold out lickety-split.  So get on it!

Here's that payment link again:

 RI Photography class review - Bellani maternity photography 101 workshop

RI Photography class review - Bellani maternity photography 101 workshop

9 Comments

Oh, Fear: You Little Punk. (Also: New Music Video.)

 Oh fear you little punk

Oh fear you little punk

Oh, Fear.  You little punk.  You have snuck up on me again.

You disguise yourself as overwhelm and perfectionism and I'm-too-busy-ness, but I'm not buying it anymore.

You, fear, have been apprehended.

Again.

It's been said that there are only two emotions in life, and all the others stem from these:  fear and love.

 Steve Carrell - I want people to be afraid of how much they love me - FB dimensions

Steve Carrell - I want people to be afraid of how much they love me - FB dimensions

But I might wager that even fear stems back to love.  If you could strip the smelly onion layers off of that prickly pear called Fear, it too would reveal a core of Love.

We crave love from the depths of us.  And we're afraid we're unworthy of love.

We're afraid we're not "enough."

THAT is what breeds all the negative emotions, if you're asking me.

I've learned that whenever a project sits on my "haven't-had-time-to-get-to-this" list for long enough, I need to ask myself what I'm afraid of.

Because it's fear and nothing else that keeps our creative projects from seeing the light of day.  Any parent or creative person can tell you how scary it is to allow our babies into the world.

At the beginning of this year, I hired (the super talented) Jarret Blinkhorn of JB Horn Films to create a video for my website.

Jarret is not only super talented but also super speedy:  the video has been ready for viewing for several months.

I simply have not been ready to be viewed.

I thought the reason I hadn't publicized it yet was because this site needed major updates.  And I have clients to tend to!  And a FAMILY!  And OTHER THINGS!

But those excuses were just Fear, dancing around in Halloween masks.

That little punk.

The real freaking irony here is that I SPEAK in the VIDEO about the tendency to fear that we are not "enough."

When we SPEAK INTELLIGENTLY about things, it is supposed to mean that we are IMMUNE from them!  I have stabbed my victory flag though the heart of Fear!  He is KAPUT for me!   Hence why I have called him out in my VIDEO!  I am a verified expert!  DONE with Fear, I am!  DONE!

So WHY am I procrastinating?

[Drums fingers against cheek like the Grinch pondering Christmas.]

Oh, Fear.  That little punk.

It's scary to the bahjeezus degree to put yourself out there.  Even an expert would tell you that.

But I, for one, refuse to let a silly little thing like fear stand between me and my plans.

When we turn our backs on fear, we see that all that's left is love.

So today I stand before you once again as I (lovingly) tell my fears to F*ck Off.

I present to you:  the new Bethany O Photography music video*.

I'm afraid of how much I love it.

*And by "music video," I mean that it is a video.  And it has music in it.    If embedded video isn't working, click here to see it on youtube.

***

Do you have any creative projects that have been sitting on the "to-do" list for a long time?

Join me in telling Fear to F*ck Off!  

Tell me one TINY step you could take towards moving that project along today!

***

9 Comments

4 Comments

Beautiful Engagement Photos In a Field - Rhode Island Lifestyle Photographer

 RI lifestyle photographer_0361.jpg

RI lifestyle photographer_0361.jpg

Mmmmmm, mmm, mmm, mmmm, MMMMM, I tell you!!

Boy am I sure psyched to finally share these photos with you.  (I got very much behind on blogging photo sessions during the wonderful craziness of last fall!  Many more fabulous updates to come!)

But this one.  This is a very special shoot, you see.  It is special because our family is GROWING.  We are growing to include this downright spectacular LOVE of a man named Matt who sure does already feel like family to us.

He IS already family to us.  Next October, we'll just be tying up the legal ends of that equation.

Not to brag, but the first time I won the sibling-in-law lottery was when I married my husband and gained two soul sisters:  Maggie and Audrey.  The second was when my blood sister married P-Diddy.  And now.

NOW I HAVE DONE AND WON IT AGAIN, FOLKS!

We love you, Matt and Maggie.

Wishing you all the love and all the light for your many wonderful years ahead.

I would say how much fun it was to do this shoot with you, but I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

 RI lifestyle photographer_0362.jpg

RI lifestyle photographer_0362.jpg

Above:  my fav.  :)  We're saving a couple of their favs to be revealed in the Save-the-Date cards!

 RI lifestyle photographer_0365.jpg

RI lifestyle photographer_0365.jpg

 RI lifestyle photographer_0367.jpg

RI lifestyle photographer_0367.jpg

Above:  I cannot help but smile giantly when I look at that one.

 RI lifestyle photographer_0366.jpg

RI lifestyle photographer_0366.jpg

Above:  Stop it.  Just stop it with your wonderfulness.

 RI lifestyle photographer_0364.jpg

RI lifestyle photographer_0364.jpg

 RI lifestyle photographer_0368.jpg

RI lifestyle photographer_0368.jpg

Above:  YOW to the ZAS.  Just LOOK at her light.  BAM!

 RI-lifestyle-photographer_0363.jpg

RI-lifestyle-photographer_0363.jpg

*** 

Now tell me:  WHICH SHOT IS YOUR FAVORITE??  :)

 with love and light

with love and light

4 Comments

Photography 101 Class for February!

Photography 101 Class for February!

Photography 101 Class with Bethany O Photography at Bellani Maternity; How to get your camera to do what you want it to do
Photography 101 Class with Bethany O Photography at Bellani Maternity; How to get your camera to do what you want it to do

Hey, now!  You know what's great?  I'll tell you what's great.

This weekend I taught my first Photography 101 class at Bellani Maternity.  And it was awesome!

So awesome, in fact, that we had to turn people away due to overcrowding.  (Thank you, Universe, for this Grade-A problem!)

You know what this means?  This means you have another chance to get off your laurels and join our merry selves, you do!

Here are the deets:

Great news for fellow photography-lovers!

WHAT:  Photography 101 Class with Bethany

WHEN:  Saturday, February 8th, 2014  2-4:30pm

WHERE:  Best Parenting Shop Ever  (Bellani Maternity, 1276 Bald Hill Rd, Warwick, RI)

WHY:  Because you have a nice camera and you're not using it to it's potential.  Or you love photography but feel intimidated by it.  Or generally you are just awesome and enjoy hanging out with other awesome people in awesome places.

HOW MUCH:  $99

HOW TO SIGN UP:  Call 401-345-4177 or email bethany@bethanyo.com.  Or call or sign up at Bellani.  You have many options.

I plan to JAM PACK as much good info and light-heartedness as I can possibly pack into these two-and-a-half hours!  Don't miss it!

FAQ's

Can I give this as a gift to someone?

Absa-freakin-lutely.  You can and you SHOULD give this as a gift to someone.  We'll even give ya a gift card to give 'em.  How 'bout that?

Aperture, shutter speed, and the rest of those shenanigans are SO CONFUSING.  Do you like to make things confusing?

I'm so glad you asked, Hypothetical Question-Asker.  No, I do not like to make things confusing.  I like to make things fun.  I took a similar photography class at the ripe young age of 15, and the teacher made things so confusing that I didn't attempt to learn photography again until almost another 15 years had passed.  I won't do that to you.

Do I need to have a fancy camera to take this class?

No, the concepts we'll be covering will apply to all photography captured by all cameras, including iPhones.  If you do not have a camera, though, the class is going to leave you WANTING a camera, because of the extended control the DSLRs [i.e. "fancy cameras"] give you over your camera settings.  Consider yourself forewarned.

Do I need to bring my camera with me for class?

It's encouraged that you bring your camera so that you can familiarize yourself with the controls and settings we'll discuss, but this is not a workshop, so a camera is not necessary.

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Honestly, has no one gotten to the bottom of this yet?  Woodchucks DO chuck wood, don't they?  Is this a test?

Which lens do you recommend for a beginner learning photography?

If you're a Nikon shooter, get this one.  That lens is not only an incredible value, it also lays the smack down on all other lenses as far as learning lenses go;  I'll tell you why in class.  For Canon shooters, I recommend this lens, which is almost as good.  :)  You do not need to have either of these lenses for the class.

I don't receive any kick-back if you purchase those lenses, in case you were wondering.

This class is being held at Rhode Island's best pregnancy and parenting shop.  What if I'm not a parent, or I am not interested in photographing kids?

Do not fret yourself, sweet grasshopper!  All are welcome, and this particular class is not specifically about photographing kids.  The concepts we will discuss apply to all types of photography, which may or may not include children, depending upon your preferences.

Will you cover XYZ topic in class?

This class is going to be a discussion of basic photography concepts:  shutter speed, aperture, ISO, how they interact, tricks for how to deal with difficult shooting situations, concepts that can improve any photo, etc.  If you are wondering about specific subjects that will or will not be covered, feel free to email Bethany.

What about refunds?

Since seating is limited, we are unable to offer refunds or exchanges for tickets purchased for this event.  HOWEVAH.  You are welcome to sell or give away your admission in the unlikely and frankly insane event that you change your mind about attending.  Kinda like a concert ticket, you know?  Only better.

Should I sign up sooner...or later?

SOONER, for shizzle!!  Spots are limited.  I think it was Abraham Lincoln who once said, "You snooze, you lose."  Or something like that.

3 Comments

How Bellani Maternity Has Changed My Life. And a Huge January Promotion.

Bethany O Photography_0357.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0357.jpg

Above:  A photo from the Big Latch On event I photographed at Bellani Maternity this summer.  I later did a family session for this radiant baby and her lovely parents.

***

As a small business owner, it's important to me to go out of my way for my clients.  To get to known them and to provide a level of service that I am tremendously proud to represent.  A customer experience that injects every dollar my clients invest in me with tremendous value.

I learned a lot about the added value that a small local business can offer though my experiences with Kelly LaChance Guertin of Bellani Maternity.

Bethany O Photography_0358.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0358.jpg

[Above:  A photo of Kelly with her three kids last summer.]

I realize this post is gonna read a bit like an advertisement, and that's not my intention.  Genuinely good reviews just sound a little like ads, and there aint nothin' I can do 'bout that.

But if you read my blog, you know that truth is of the utmost importance to me in life and in my business.  I would smash my beloved camera to the cement before I promoted a business here that I do not believe in.

The following is just information I think you should know.

I found Bellani Maternity five years ago when I was pregnant with my first child and searching for a local maternity yoga class.  I later learned that it is owned and lovingly operated by a (North Kingstown) high school acquaintance.

I first thought Bellani was just a shop for classes and maternity and infant gear but quickly learned it is so, so very much more.

Here are three of the many ways that Bellani Maternity has changed my life, ranging from least to most important:

1)  Kelly helped me get out of the house.

If I tell you that Kelly "helped me find the right stroller for me," it might not seem like a big deal to you.  But when you've got post-partum depression and a colicky baby and you feel guilty about giving him formula but he can't latch so you pump your breasts eight times a day and you have already bought and returned six--count 'em--SIX other annoying-assed strollers, and quite frankly you are really not getting out much at all because EVERYTHING IS JUST SO HARD…finding a good stroller is a very big deal.

It makes getting out a lil easier.

You need to get out, you know.

Regain some normalcy.

Kelly understood everything I was going through.  She named challenges that I was struggling with but couldn't put words to.  She knew every feature of every stroller on the market, the ins-and-outs, the goods-and-bads of each one, and she was forthcoming about all of it.

When she demonstrated the one-handed fold of a Baby Jogger stroller for me, I just about fell to my tired knees with happiness.  I think I actually did cry.

The Bellani team knows their stuff.

2)  She helped me feed my child who would not eat.

Eventually (three months later), I waived the white flag over my breast pump and cut that masochistic sh*t out.  But I didn't do so without tremendous Mommy Guilt, so I had to come up with a way to make up for the fact that I was denying my child precious breast milk and also a bonding experience and thereby f*cking with his entire LIFE because I SIMLY DID NOT WANT TO PUMP.

Or at least that was one of the sweet nothings I whispered to myself.

Shortly after sobbing to my husband that our child would inevitably go to California for college because of the lack of a breast-feeding maternal bond, I devised a plan to compensate.

I would make all of his baby food.  I would lay the smack down on the Gerber baby food industry and feed our child only homemade organic baby purees made with love from scratch.

But apparently it would be (and still is) very hard to feed this child--not just breast milk--but ANYTHING.  Probably because of the psychological scars I inflicted while trying to get him to latch.

Also.  I didn't know anything about infant nutrition, and I didn't know anything about making purees.

Kelly did.

I took two of her baby-food-making classes, both of which were chucked to the gills with information that only a ton of reading and YEARS of experience could get ya.  She also knows all the fun tricks for storage and travel and other such good things.

One of my favorite tips from her at that time was to crush up cheerios into dust and shake em around in a plastic bag with banana pieces.  That makes it easier for the little ones to pick up the bananas.

Kelly helped me to feed my child who would eat almost nothing, and more importantly, she helped to calm my nerves and remove the guilt about the whole feeding thing.  MAJOR WIN.

[Noteworthy fact #467:  Our second child LOVES Gerber.]

3)  She empowered me to hold my second baby immediately after giving birth via c-section.

This one.  This one, I will be grateful for until the day I die.

When I was pregnant with our second child, I was in Bellani because my son was enrolled in their *awesome* toddler art classes.  During my visit, I rubbed my belly and bemoaned to Kelly that I was sad I'd have to have another c-section.

My first c-section was a surprise, and the doctor later told us it would be risky and unwise for me to attempt a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), which was extremely disappointing news.

"Have you ever heard of a Gentle Cesaerean?" Kelly asked.  I hadn't, and neither had my OBGYN.  But Kelly put me in touch with Amanda at ICAN RI (Amanda, BTW, also works at Bellani), and Amanda helped me lay the groundwork so I could have a Gentle Cesaerean.

It was the first Gentle C-Section in the history of Women and Infants hospital, thankyouverymuch.

(The best part of a Gentle C is that they allow you to hold your baby on your chest immediately after s/he is born, instead of making you wait until you get to the recovery room, which is what happened when our son was born.  Instead of feeling like you're in the hospital to have surgery, it feels like you're in the hospital to have a baby.  That's good.)

Mark this as one of the very best moments of my life, and one I will remember for ever, evah, evah to infinity and beyond.

Gentle C-section.jpg
Gentle C-section.jpg

[Above:  To answer your question, yes.  My forehead does have an end to it.]

Bellani Maternity has had a huge impact on my experience as a mother, and has connected me with a community of other wonderful moms:  both when I was a stay-at-home mom, and now as I run my photography business.

Have you seen my photography display in their shop?

_DSC2508-569.jpg
_DSC2508-569.jpg

[Above:  Me, this summer.  Listen.  I said I can help YOU to not be awkward in front of the camera.  I did not say that I am not awkward in front of the camera.]

Getting to My Point:

Every time I visit Kelly, she is helping another mom with something totally unexpected.  Last week, I overheard her helping a mom whose three-year-old daughter is insistent upon knowing how babies are made.  On my previous visit there, she helped a pregnant mom relieve her back problems.  (The mom didn't know she was wearing the wrong kind of maternity bra.)

I cannot express how much Kelly and the team at Bellani Maternity have impacted me, and that's why, when they approached me about collaborating on a January promotion, I was eager and excited to jump onboard.

(This promotion also coincides with the same month I am teaching a Photography 101 class at Bellani!  There are only two spots left in the class so please register soon if you're interested!)

You can read the details of the January promotion here.  Basically, when you spend $100 at Bellani this month, you are entered to win a photography package with me (worth over $1K!)

This promotion is my way of showing gratitude to the whole Bellani community for the many ways they have positively touched my life, and it's Kelly's way of showing gratitude to all of her supportive clients, and of adding even more value to her own client experience.

As if she needs to.

***

Has Kelly or someone else in the Bellani community touched your life in a positive way?  Tell us about it in the comments!  :) 

3 Comments

I'm Teaching a Photography 101 Class in Warwick, RI. Come!

Facebook Ad for Photog Class.jpg
Facebook Ad for Photog Class.jpg

Great news for fellow photography-lovers!

WHAT:  Photography 101 Class with Bethany

WHEN:  Saturday, January 25th, 2014  2-4:30pm

WHERE:  Best Parenting Shop Ever  (Bellani Maternity, 1276 Bald Hill Rd, Warwick, RI)

WHY:  Because you have a nice camera and you're not using it to it's potential.  Or you love photography but feel intimidated by it.  Or generally you are just awesome and enjoy hanging out with other awesome people in awesome places.

HOW MUCH:  $99

HOW TO SIGN UP:  Call 401-345-4177 or email bethany@bethanyo.com.  Or call or sign up at Bellani.  You have many options.

I plan to JAM PACK as much good info and light-heartedness as I can possibly pack into these two-and-a-half hours!  Don't miss it!

FAQ's

Can I give this as a gift to someone?

Absa-freakin-lutely.  You can and you SHOULD give this as a gift to someone.  We'll even give ya a gift card to give 'em.  How 'bout that?

Aperture, shutter speed, and the rest of those shenanigans are SO CONFUSING.  Do you like to make things confusing?

I'm so glad you asked, Hypothetical Question-Asker.  No, I do not like to make things confusing.  I like to make things fun.  I took a similar photography class at the ripe young age of 15, and the teacher made things so confusing that I didn't attempt to learn photography again until almost another 15 years had passed.  I won't do that to you.

Do I need to have a fancy camera to take this class?

No, the concepts we'll be covering will apply to all photography captured by all cameras, including iPhones.  If you do not have a camera, though, the class is going to leave you WANTING a camera, because of the extended control the DSLRs [i.e. "fancy cameras"] give you over your camera settings.  Consider yourself forewarned.

Do I need to bring my camera with me for class?

It's encouraged that you bring your camera so that you can familiarize yourself with the controls and settings we'll discuss, but this is not a workshop, so a camera is not necessary.

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Honestly, has no one gotten to the bottom of this yet?  Woodchucks DO chuck wood, don't they?  Is this a test?

Which lens do you recommend for a beginner learning photography?

If you're a Nikon shooter, get this one.  That lens is not only an incredible value, it also lays the smack down on all other lenses as far as learning lenses go;  I'll tell you why in class.  For Canon shooters, I recommend this lens, which is almost as good.  :)  You do not need to have either of these lenses for the class.

I don't receive any kick-back if you purchase those lenses, in case you were wondering.

This class is being held at Rhode Island's best pregnancy and parenting shop.  What if I'm not a parent, or I am not interested in photographing kids?

Do not fret yourself, sweet grasshopper!  All are welcome, and this particular class is not specifically about photographing kids.  The concepts we will discuss apply to all types of photography, which may or may not include children, depending upon your preferences.

Will you cover XYZ topic in class?

This class is going to be a discussion of basic photography concepts:  shutter speed, aperture, ISO, how they interact, tricks for how to deal with difficult shooting situations, concepts that can improve any photo, etc.  If you are wondering about specific subjects that will or will not be covered, feel free to email Bethany.

What about refunds?

Since seating is limited, we are unable to offer refunds or exchanges for tickets purchased for this event.  HOWEVAH.  You are welcome to sell or give away your admission in the unlikely and frankly insane event that you change your mind about attending.  Kinda like a concert ticket, you know?  Only better.

Should I sign up sooner...or later?

SOONER, for shizzle!!  Spots are limited.  I think it was Abraham Lincoln who once said, "You snooze, you lose."  Or something like that.

Announcing Awesomeness:  Last-Minute Holiday Mini-Sessions

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Announcing Awesomeness: Last-Minute Holiday Mini-Sessions

 Bethany O Photography - OFFICIAL LOGO

Bethany O Photography - OFFICIAL LOGO

Announcing...

Awesomeness.

Hey, now.  We* have some big news up in here today.

Firstmost, if you're reading this, it's because either you've hired me in the past, or you're interested in possibly hiring me, or we share DNA and you are thereby obligated to receive my emails forevermore.

Either way, thank you.  Thank you for being wonderful.  And thank you for believing in me.

Which brings me to the exciting tidings of today...

 NOVEMBER MINI SESSIONS - REVISED.jpg

NOVEMBER MINI SESSIONS - REVISED.jpg

BAM.

Mini-sessions**.

And Good LAWD, are they ever a deal.

Let's discuss.

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_DSC1999-324-325

What You Want.

Based on feedback.

It's November.  Nat King Cole is already on the radio singing about which way he prefers to roast his chestnuts.***  You know the holidays will be here any minute and you've already inserted your palm into your forehead because you MEANT to book a photo session when it was warmer.

I hear ya.

I know you still DO want to book that full session next year, and you're saving your pennies for that.

In the meantime, you just need one good photo of your family (or your kids, or yourself) for a holiday card.  Or for a frame at home.  And one at the office.  Maybe you want a couple other prints for gifts for Grandparents.

Let's do this thing, my good people.

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DSC_3765-189-199.jpg

How Will It Work?

You meet me at a tree farm in South County.  We'll bang out 20 minutes of good fun and photos.

Maybe you tag a tree afterwards.  If your holidays don't involve bringing perfectly good trees into your home, maybe you can just enjoy the great outdoors afterwards.

Maybe grab a hot chocolate.

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DSC_5401-282.jpg

Then What?

Magic, that's what.

Within a week of the session, I'll post 15-20 GORGEOUSO images in a private online gallery for ya.

You pick your fav.

From that favorite photo, I will then give ya:

  • Three gift prints, 8x10 or smaller.
  • 25 Holiday Cards
  • THE DIGITAL FILE.  So you can print it as many times as you want.  Pepper your walls with them and such.  Or use 'em as gifts, if that's more your flavor.  Digital files are usually priced at a premium!

The whole package is a $545 value.  But I'm offering it for $195.

It's a holiday MIRACLE, is what it is.

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_DSC8549.jpg

What If I Want to Buy More?

Can I do that?

A couple of people have asked me this question and each time, I have sniffed their breath to ascertain whether they were drunk.

If you would like to purchase more prints or use additional images, I will be happy to allow that.  I'll even offer discounted rates, in keeping with this holiday theme.

But in all seriousness, thank you for asking.

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DSC_3363-278.jpg

How Do I Reserve My Spot?

It's easy-peasy.  (Lemon-squeezy.)

  1. Hurry up.
  2. Email me.  (bethany@bethanyo.com)
  3. Pay the online invoice I send you.
  4. Relax.  You're in.

Due to the nature of time being what it is, I have to limit how many clients I can take on that day.

I want you to be amongst them.

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DSC_5651.jpg

Why Mini-Sessions Are the Answers to Your Holiday Wishes.

I'mma tell you.

Because they're not only useful for holiday cards.

They're useful for gifts, too.

Not sure what to get Gramma this year?  Get her a photo of you.  It will make her smile the whole year through, which officially makes it the gift that keeps on giving.

Better buy her a few.  Life-sized, if you're festive.

You do like to make Gramma smile, don't you?

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_DSC6706-255.jpg

Who Should Consider a Mini-Session?

Families.  Couples.  INDIVIDUALS.  Children.  Your pet already tried to sign up.

Namely, any consumers of oxygen would be suitable for a mini-session.  But only if said consumer of oxygen enjoys photos that are so beautiful that they blow that consumer's hair back.

Should you find yourself to be someone who A) consumes oxygen but B) does NOT enjoy having your hair blown straight backwards by viewing kick-ass photography, then I would kindly suggest that you refrain from booking a mini-session with me.

Sessions can include up to four people per time slot; additional persons/animals/creatures are $25 each.

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_DSC8791

Good News for Recent Clients, too.

You will not be left out of the fun, my Lovely Peeps!

For anybody I have photographed in 2013, I'm offering the same 30% off prints and canvases (and 15% off holiday cards) to you, too.

Because I love ya.

And also because I want you to see how stunning canvases look on your walls.  Which will inevitably lead you to buy more of them next year.

Kinda like a crack dealer, giving away the first hit of crack to get you coming back for more.

I know what you're thinking:  nothing says "holidays" like conjuring images of crack dealers.

You're welcome.***

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_DSC0041-381

Don't Forget!!

These sessions are limited and are expected to sell out.

So if you want first dibs on a spot, fling me an email.  ASAP, home-fry.

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DSC_5493-231

Hold Up.  Just a Second.

It's the Holidays.  So Let's Share the Love.

Can you think of two (just TWO) people who might be interested in this opportunity, or in my photography services in general?

Think of them in your head now.  I'll wait.

Okay.  Now can you please forward this email to those two people?

I can't tell ya how much I'd appreciate that.

In return for your kindness, I will send YOU--immediately--18 certified good karma points and 1 MILLION virtual kisses.

Thank you, kind soul!!!!!

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_DSC3544-395-427

Important Footnotes.

*      "We" = "I."

**     Some of the photos in this email were taken during regular sessions, not mini-sessions.  If you want to view photos from the mini-session day I did back in June, click here or here.

***    Made ya look.

Thank you for being you.  Thank you for the unique light you bring to this world.  And thank you for your interest in my photography!

I so hope to hear from you soon.

 With love and light

With love and light

Remember:  Santa's Watching!

So Don't Forget to share this!  :)

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Portsmouth Maternity Session: Rhode Island Maternity Photographer

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Bethany O Photography_0148.jpg

These radiant, expecting parents were referred to me by another photographer (Kath Connerton - who was on maternity leave at the time.)  What an honor and a compliment to get a referral from another photographer!  Thank you, Kath!!  :)

These parents-to-be came all the way from Southern Connecticut for their session.  I knew I would like them when they pulled up to the beach in Portsmouth, RI, honking their horn enthusiastically.

Enjoy their photos!

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Bethany O Photography_0150.jpg

This candid moment turned out to be one of their (and my) favs.

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Bethany O Photography_0153.jpg

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Bethany O Photography_0152.jpg

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Bethany O Photography_0151.jpg

…And taking this last picture was when the idea for an in-the-water session was born.

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Bethany O Photography_0154.jpg

I also put the following two templates together as options for them to use for baby shower thank-you cards.

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Bethany O Photography_0147.jpg

****

What's your favorite photo from this session?  I always love feedback!  :)

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Sunset Photo Session in a Field: Rhode Island Family Photographer

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Bethany O Photography_0142.jpg

One of the other arguments against mini-sessions is that you simply can't give every client the sunset slot.

Sunset light is so very yummy.

I met Meghan through my friend Bonnie and I think Meghan and I might be soul-sisters.  I feel like I have known her forever.  And by "forever" I mean "since before I was born."

What a beautiful soul she is.

If you are curious about the thought-process that went into planning these mini-sessions, check this out:  this session was featured on Spark, an inspirational website for photographers!  :)

To see more photos from other sessions on this mini-session day, see my previous post!

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Bethany O Photography_0145.jpg

****

What's your favorite photo from this session?  :)

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Mommy and Me Mini-Sessions: Rhode Island Family Photographer

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Bethany O Photography_0139.jpg

Back in June I ran a promotion for a Mommy and Me mini photo session day.

It was an awesome opportunity to meet new clients, make new friends, spread the word about my business, and build my portfolio.  Each family who came that day truly touched my heart, and I am so grateful to have met them.

Will I do it again?  This, I am not sure.

I am still navigating this photography business thing.  Here are a few thoughts factoring into my thought-process regarding mini-sessions:

1)  They are a good thing for the reasons above, and for serving clients who have either recently had a full photo session and want updates or for working with potential clients who either want to "try" my services at a lower financial commitment or who don't have the budget for a full session.

2)  Many fellow photographers and industry experts discourage the idea of mini-sessions because they encourage clients to wait for a "deal," can devalue your work in the eyes of clients, and can lead to the all-too-common "photographer burn-out."

3)  On a more personal note, how do mini-sessions affect ME?  The reason *good* photography is not cheap is because there is a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work involved.  Was the sudden barrage of a very heavy workload good for my life balance?  Do I feel I can put forth my best product when we only have 30 minutes to shoot?  (Often we are just getting warmed up at the 30-minute mark.)  How does decreasing my rates affect my self-esteem?

I intend to build this business around honesty, authenticity and openness.  So those thoughts are me being real with you.

If you want to weigh in on this debate, I'd love your opinion.

Okay, on to the photos!  :)

(Many thanks to my fabulous and oh-so-helpful assistant, Audrey, for all of her helpful help that day!!)

****

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Bethany O Photography_0128.jpg

First up was the incredible Kelly LaChance Guertin of Bellani Maternity.  Kelly has been such a valuable resource for pregnancy and parenting information for me over the last five years; it was an honor to photograph her with her dynamic, kind, intelligent children.

Kelly recently won a few awards for being an outstanding businesswoman in Rhode Island.  If you're a parent, regardless of whether you're local, you'll want to be a part of the Bellani community.  Here's their facebook page.

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Bethany O Photography_0129.jpg

****

Next up was the fun and lovely Bridget, whom I met for the first time that day by means of a mutual friend.

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Bethany O Photography_0130.jpg

Isn't it wonderful how good people have a way of connecting you with good people?

My fav of these photos is the bottom right.  Aint nothin' like the safety of a Momma's arms, especially at this age.

I love capturing that bond.

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Bethany O Photography_0131.jpg

****

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Bethany O Photography_0132.jpg

I mean honestly.  These two!!!  BAM!  BAM!  BAM!  One great shot after another.

Jenn and I were in high school and at Boston College together; it was so nice to see her again.

Such an effervescent soul, she is.  Baby, too.  (OBS!)

I so appreciate the passion and enthusiasm Jenn brings to her online business as well.  Wellness Enthusiasts:  check her out!!

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Bethany O Photography_0135.jpg

****

I met the kind and loving Lindsay thanks to a friend sharing my mini-session announcement on Facebook.

These are the joys of Facebook.  (Thank you, friends!)

Hard for me to choose a favorite here.  I think I'd go with the one above, and the top two in the grid below, since their emotions are so unharnessed.

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Bethany O Photography_0136.jpg
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Bethany O Photography_0137.jpg

****

Mike was a random passerby who asked me to take a photo of him with his dog when I was in-between sessions that day.

He really loves that pup.

"Fred" is an awesome dog name.

****

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Bethany O Photography_0138.jpg

I used to think it sounded very southern when people used the word "dear" to describe a friend, but I can think of no better word to describe my dear friend Linsey.

The shot of her two boys snuggling together below is one of my fav photos ever.

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Bethany O Photography_0141.jpg
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Bethany O Photography_0140.jpg

****

We did

one other mini-session that day

, which I'm going to share as its own post because the light was so very magical.

***

If you want to weigh in on my mini-session debate from the top of this blog post, I'd love to hear your thoughts.  

Any favs from these pics?  :)

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Coral Brown Photos for Be Present Yoga Clothing, Inc: New England Yoga Photographer

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Bethany O Photography_0117.jpg

Could it even be POSSIBLE that I never blogged about this session?  HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

Oh yes:  I remember.  I was being silly.  And also wrong.

This was my first session with Coral Brown for Be Present, Inc (a yoga clothing company.)

I love Coral.  And I love Be Present.  So it works out nicely, this relationship.

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Bethany O Photography_0118.jpg

One of the perks of being a photographer for Be Present is that after we do a shoot, they send me clothing.  Which is awesome, because no one else is sending me clothing.  And also because I don't enjoy shopping.  But if I did enjoy shopping, I would be shopping for clothes like these.

So if you see me around on any given day, I'll probably be the one wearing the "Be Present" outfit.

I like that message:  "Be present."  I wear it mostly ironically, but I like it a lot.

It's a good note to self.

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Bethany O Photography_0120.jpg
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Bethany O Photography_0119.jpg

Here's one of our shots from that session being used as an ad in Yoga Journal.  Oh, baby!!  YOGA JOURNAL, my good peeps!!

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Bethany O Photography_0121.jpg

****

Do you like these photos?  Which is your favorite?  I always love to hear from you!  :)

3 Comments

Playing Catch-Up:  Rhode Island Family, High School Senior, Headshot Photographer

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Playing Catch-Up: Rhode Island Family, High School Senior, Headshot Photographer

Bethany O Photography_0111.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0111.jpg

I said I would start posting recent photo sessions to my web page.  I'm going to do that with photos from Aug 2013 forward, but there are some photos from the previous year that I couldn't bear to scrap.

Here they come.

***

(The photo above was not from an official photography session, but I love how it captures my mother-in-law and her sister:  eyes closed and all.  It's a real moment.  That, to me, is beautiful.)

****

Last fall, my friend Kaila Wilcox needed headshots for her website; she is a therapist in Boston.

In executing this shoot, it was important to me to show how approachable Kaila is.  When someone visits her website, I want them to know that she is a kind and vibrant soul who is incredibly easy to speak with.

The photos, in my opinion, needed to be professional without being stiff; relaxed without being unprofessional.

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Bethany O Photography_0110.jpg

The second photo above is obviously too relaxed for a professional headshot, but I love it to pieces so there it is.   :)

A client of Kaila's recently told her that, in choosing between two psychologists for his child, he chose Kaila because of her photo.

Headshot WIN!

****

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Bethany O Photography_0105.jpg

My cousin James needed senior photos last year, and his high school's requirements were specific.  Gray background.  Black and white.  Chest and shoulders only.

BAM.  We got that shot, then had fun capturing James' love of skateboarding.

For what it's worth, my aunt told me the shot on the left is her favorite photo she's ever seen of James.  Because that's his real smile.

That comment--and the photo--make ME smile!  :)

***

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Bethany O Photography_0106.jpg

Last year, another of my aunts wanted to surprise my uncle with photos of their sons for Christmas.

The headshots above touch my heart.  These are their real smiles.  These are my cousins.

The photo below was my aunt and uncle's favorite of the three boys:

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Bethany O Photography_0108.jpg

And these were two of my favorites:

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Bethany O Photography_0107.jpg

That session marked my first canvas order.  The individual head shots look INCREDIBLE as square 16x16 canvases, and the 24x36 canvas of the three boys is a jaw-dropping focal point in their living room.

If I do say so myself.

***

This spring, these two spring chickens celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary:

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Bethany O Photography_0112.jpg

As an anniversary gift, their three daughters (left) hired me to do a relaxed photo session of their extended family (right.)

I felt like a part of their family by the end of the day.  What fun we had!

The photo on the bottom right is now a 24x36 canvas hanging in their parents' house.  I received a handwritten letter (*happy sigh*) from their mother this summer, telling me how much she loves looking at that photo when she steps out of her bedroom every day.

Here was one more of my favs from that session:

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Bethany O Photography_0113.jpg

***

Finally, a family session this spring.

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Bethany O Photography_0115.jpg

Bonnie is one of the first Momma-friends I made when I became a mother.  We had been talking about doing photos together for a while.  I'm so glad it worked out this spring!

The photo below of Bon with her three kids is one of my favorites ever.  So real, so true!

She is one inspiring Momma:  let me tell you what.

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Bethany O Photography_0114.jpg

Two more of my favs from that shoot:

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Bethany O Photography_0116.jpg

***

Sweet sauce!  Those are some of the photos I just couldn't bear to keep off the blog.

Up next:  some mini-sessions from June!

***

Did you like these photos?  Any favorites?  :)

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Not Only Silly. Also Wrong.

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Bethany O Photography_0104.jpg

"When am I going to see more of your PHOTOS?" my sister asked.  "You post a teaser to Facebook once in a while.  You make me want more.  And then...nothing."

"Aye aye aye," said I.  "I don't know how to handle this.  I want to post recent photo sessions to my blog, but many of my blog subscribers found me because they like my writing, not necessarily because they like my photos.  I don't want to inundate them with photography if they came to me for joyology.  I don't want to annoy people."

"That is not only silly," said she.  "It is also wrong."

I like her style.  And her opinion.

Segueing to my point-du-jour:  I am about to post a bunch of photography-related posts.  But I won't send them to you as seven separate emails; I will send them in one giant, conglomerative email.  Because I don't want to inundate you.

And apparently because I'm still learning to let myself shine.

If you signed up to receive my emails because you are primarily interested in my Joyology thoughts, fret not, mon ami.  I'll be back with more of those toute suite.  In fact, I've got a great one up my sleeve.

Love and light to ya, homefries.

Love,

B-Dizzle

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Be the Elephant. (Also: Photo Session for Be Present, INC with Coral Brown - Live Love Yoga.)

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bethanyo.com_0066.jpg

Remember the fable about the ant and the elephant?

I didn't either!  Good thing we have children's books to remind us of such things.

Here are the Cliff's Notes:  Ant gets stuck on a reed in a river.  Other animals are snarky and will not help ant.  Elephant kindly and easily swoops ant to safety.  Ant thanks elephant profusely.  Elephant is all, "it was nothing."  Ant quips, "to you, it may have been nothing, but to me it was everything."

[Pause for effect.]

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bethanyo.com_0070.jpg

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Okay--just for a paragraph, now--let's leap from children's books to self development literature.  Because we're multi-dimensional like that.

Sonja Lyubomirsky (a positive psychologist whose books are as ground-breaking as her name is hard to spell) has scientifically proven that acts of kindness not only boost the happiness of the person RECEIVING the kind act, but also of the person DOING the act and of anybody OBSERVING the act.

WOAH, right?

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bethanyo.com_0067.jpg

So what do you get when you cross an elephant fable with a positive psychology study?

You get an easy recipe for widespread happiness, that's what you get.

[To flesh that out, the fable shows that seemingly small acts of kindness can be life-altering.  Sonja says those "teeny" kindnesses will help everybody involved in or watching the acts.  So, lots of small acts could help a whole sea of people, right?  (A + B = SEA of Happiness.)]

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bethanyo.com_0080.jpg

Since I like efficiency and I like practicality and I most definitely like happiness, I ask myself:  what is the simplest thing that I can do throughout my day that requires little of me but might mean a lot to someone else?

The answer that comes immediately to mind is:  Smile.  Genuinely.  Soulfully.  Kindly.  Contagiously.

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bethanyo.com_0086.jpg

But let's be real:  can a smile really make a difference in someone's life?  And what in tarnation does any of this have to do with these mind-blowingly beautiful photos of Coral Brown?  

Patience, Dear Readers.  I shall weave those answers into the remainder of this post:  swearsies.  But first I need to address something important.

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bethanyo.com_0071.jpg

Most of us get in our own ways when it comes to happiness.  I've come up with a list of reasons that I think we do this (more later), but one reason is that sometimes we feel GUILTY about being happy.  Who are WE to be happy when so many people have life so much harder than us?  We think we "should" be dedicating time to other tasks or people instead of nurturing ourselves.    Afraid to rub salt on open wounds, we assume that our happiness will make the sad sadder.

But could our happiness make the sad happier?

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A few years ago, I was having a down day.  Not a woke-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed kind of down day, but a remind-myself-to-breathe kind of down day.  Frankly, I don't remember if I was sad about one thing or lots of things or nothing at all.  It doesn't matter:  I was down.

So I went to yoga, which is one of the action-items on my Emergency Depression Plan.  Basically, when I show my face in a yoga studio, I might as well be pumping out "S.O.S." signals in morse code, because inevitably my spirits are tanking.  I love yoga--really, I do--and some day I will practice it when I am not capsizing.

But not today.

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bethanyo.com_0078.jpg

When I walked into the yoga studio that day, Coral--who didn't know me at the time--was squatting at the front of the room, talking to someone.  She looked up, made eye contact, and smiled at me.  Coral is such a soulful and radiant person that when she smiled, she communicated such tranquility--such LIGHT--that time paused for a moment and I felt peace.

I FELT that smile, Lovely Reader.  I felt it as PEACE in my HEART.

In that slowed moment I knew:  I have been that happy before and I will be that happy again.

I will be okay.

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bethanyo.com_0074.jpg

To Coral, the elephant in that moment, that smile was insignificant:  she doesn't remember it.

But to me, the ant in that moment, that smile was everything.  That smile was hope.  It was assurance.

It was humanity and spirit all at once.

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bethanyo.com_0079.jpg

I think most of us are afraid to be happy.  At a bathtub-deep level of consciousness, we are afraid that if we go around SMILING at people all the time, people will think we are push-overs and try to take advantage of us.

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bethanyo.com_0073.jpg

But if we dive approximately seven leagues deeper than that, we realize that we are actually soul-shakingly SCARED to be purely happy because when we are happy we are vulnerable.  When we are happy, we wonder when the other foot is going to fall.

So we CREATE THE OTHER FOOT by not letting ourselves get super happy in the first place.  It's safer here.

"How genius of us," says I, sarcastically.

[No judgement here, Homies.  Creating the other foot is my M.O.:  I'm freakishly super-human in my ability to create feet where there were no feet before.  If you do this too, you are amongst friends.]

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My point is this:  in most cases, happiness demands infinitely more courage from us than sadness.  People who go around projecting happiness are kind and courageous HEROES, not selfish or ignorant push-overs.

And you have a calling to be one of those heroes.

Taking care of ourselves so that we can truly BE happy and PROJECT happiness is not an act of selfishness but a profound act of public service.

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A simple smile--as Sonja L. would say--not only helps the person we are smiling at, it also helps US and ANYBODY OBSERVING US.

A smile can be a gift of hope, of reassurance, of peace.

A simply smile--which comes so readily and soulfully when we are doing the work--may feel to you as insignificant as the effort required for an elephant to lift an ant.

But the person on the receiving end of your smile might just be thinking, "to me, it was everything."

***

What can you do to be an elephant today? 

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Be Present, Inc. recently hired me to do this photo session with Coral for their spring clothing line.  Check out their beautiful and super-comfy yoga clothes here!

[A photo from our previous session together landed in Yoga Journal!  Hot Dog!!]

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Also.  I can't recommend Coral's yoga classes highly enough!  She's a world-traveler, teaching yoga (and training yoga teachers) all over the globe…lucky for us, Rhode Island is her home.  Here's where to find her.

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Namaste, Loves.

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The Truth.

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I've come to realize I have a physical response to truth.

When something strikes me as fundamentally pure, truthful, soulful, brave, or kind, I get chills.  Teary-eyes.  My heart skips a beat.

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My son, in one exaggerated swoop of his arm, wipes a pile of papers onto the floor.  When I exasperatedly ask, "WHY???!" he blinks at me, genuinely confused.

"I don't know why," he says, and I believe him.

The pureness of his honesty makes my heart stumble.

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Waiting in the grocery line, I overhear a man boasting about his granddaughters.  His love is pure and palpable; the tears in my eyes are, too.

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A confidante shares a "secret" that has been poisoning her insides for forty years.  I get chills - not because her secret is remotely juicy (group therapy has taught me that secrets are mostly only juicy to their keepers) - my arm hairs stand to attention because of the pureness of her courage.

Perhaps these sensations are not just reactions to truth - perhaps they are my body's way of telling me when I have seen a glimpse of a person's soul.

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I have seen their soul and I am touched.

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I've heard it said that people today have keen noses for B.S. (we can smell a rat from a mile away)--but I don't think we give ourselves enough credit for how perceptive we are in recognizing GOODNESS, too.

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Our bodies have a sense for when things are pure and true.  They are reliable and consistent sources of guidance; it's just up to us to pay attention.

I know I haven't been paying enough attention.

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Of course I've known that my eyes water a lot, but I've never stopped to think, why am I getting chills in this moment?  Why did I just skip a breath?

What is my body trying to tell me?

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When somebody does something courageous or selfless or honest or good and we get chills, that's the universe's way of saying, "Did you see that?  That was good.  See how it gives you goosebumps?  You are connected to that.  You are good too.  Go that way.  Do more things like that.  You are not alone."

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This is why, when a twice-bereaved father runs towards the explosions in Boston to pinch between his fingers the severed arteries of a man whose legs have been blown off, our entire nation vibrates at a higher level.

We are one with that cowboy-hat-wearing Patriot.  His fiber is our fiber.  We are capable of that valor.

We get chills when we see him because God/Universe/Spirit is telling us:  "Go that way.  Be like that."

We are also one with the man in the wheelchair who is shocked and afraid.  If we can see ourselves in him, then we, like him, have no choice but to be valiant in the face of our fears.

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Isn't it remarkable how much soul can come through a photograph?

When an image captures the essence of a person, I inhale sharply.  My eyes water.  I get chills.  Not because it is beautiful - many photos are beautiful - but because it is true.  

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As a photographer, I have no interest in taking a photo of what a person or a scene "looks like."  Taking that kind of picture requires zero talent.  It is boring and unremarkable.

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I have even less interest in photographing who a person wants to pretend to be.  I spent far too many years thinking I had to be someone I wasn't in order to be lovable; if you want a contrived or "perfect" or super-posed photo, please find somebody else to take it.  

Pretense makes me shiver.

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When I push the shutter on my camera, my goal is to create a photograph--not of what my subject looks like, but of who my subject is.  It's no easy task, because people generally feel uncomfortable with a lens in their face, but--quite frankly--bringing out who YOU ARE in a photo is my enjoyable challenge and my specialty.

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I catch your light and I show it to you.

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I aim to show you that your truth--your soul--your ESSENCE is extraordinarily, vibrantly, and wildly beautiful.

Because that, my friend, is the God's Honest Truth.

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***

I'm currently running a photography special:  $470 worth of photos and services for only $165.  Details here!

FYI, I changed the name of my photography business.  I now operate as Bethany O Photography.

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Mommy and Me Mini-Shoot Special: June 1, 2013

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Wondering what to get for that luminescent Mommy in your life this Mother's Day?

Or...are you a hard-working mother wondering which hints to drop for your Baby Daddy in preparation for the upcoming and much-deserved celebration of YOU?

Look no further.  Bethany O Photography is holding a "Mommy and Me" mini photoshoot special:  $470 worth of photography and services for only $165.

This is what you call a "NO-BRAINER," my friends!

Mini-shoots will be held three weeks after Mother's Day, so if you plan to gift this as a surprise, that special Momma in your life will have plenty of time to prepare.

Spots are filling quickly!  Contact me to reserve a time-slot.

The Nitty-Gritty Details

  • This photography discount applies to mini-sessions held on June 1, 2013 (or rain date June 2, 2013) only.
  • All sales are subject to a 7% Rhode Island state sales tax.
  • There are a limited number of time slots available.  Your session is not considered reserved until the session fee and signed contract have been submitted.
  • Session fees are non-refundable.
  • Mini sessions will take place in the East Greenwich / North Kingstown, RI area.  Contact Bethany for more specific location information.
  • Digital files are not included in the price of the mini-shoot but are available for purchase after a $300 print order.
  • Online gallery will be available for 21 days, during which time customer's print selections will be made.  After 20 days, Bethany O Photography will re-host galleries upon request for a $40 re-host fee.
  • Online galleries will include 8-10 professionally edited digital files from which to make print selections.
  • Session fee includes one adult and up to two children for a 30-minute shoot.  Additional children may be added for $25 each, which will include an additional 15 minutes of shoot time.
  • No substitutions may be made for the included 8x10 or three 5x7's, except for substituting smaller prints.
  • Facebook timeline header will be created from session photos as well as the Bethany O Photography logo.
  • By entering into contract with Bethany O Photography, you are bound and legally required to have a wicked fun time and to fall in love with your photos.  Violators of this caveat will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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Rock the Omnipotent EVERYDAY Vote

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Rock the Omnipotent EVERYDAY Vote

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As a ridiculous amount of luck and love would have it, I had the opportunity to jet-set to DC on a whim this weekend.  For free.  Just me and my hubby.  WHAAAT.

Oh, America.  Sweet, sweet land of liberty.

As my brain is swirling with reflections from two days in our nation's capital, I find myself both excited to share some newly-budding ideas and also leaning towards quiet contemplation.

Given that you're bound to be inundated with lots of charged political opinions today, I want this post to serve as a haven amongst the noise.  That's why I'm including a few unrelated impromptu photos I recently took of my cherished friend's two sweet sons.  Are their smiles not intoxicating?

Before jumping back to the political commentary of the moment, let's just pause, take a few deep breaths, and appreciate the restorative effect of happy souls, eh?  [Happy sigh.]

My two grandfathers (one who risked his life in Iwo Jima to defend this country, the other who immigrated to America for the liberties afforded us) would want me to remind you to vote today.

While, yes, I do believe that casting an educated vote is an important birthright and national responsibility, personally, I feel more inclined to remind you to consider the votes you make (maybe unconsciously) every day.

For example:  if you're voting for the candidate who you think will make the better decisions for our environment, then--please--tell me you you don't ask for the extra styrofoam cup to keep your iced coffee cold when you go to Dunkin Donuts.  Tell me you use a refillable water bottle instead of the disposable ones.  Tell me you--at least occasionally--buy organic.

(Otherwise, please think twice before you claim on Facebook that you are concerned with the opposing party's decisions regarding the environment.)

If you're voting, today, against the power of big businesses, then please be conscious that every dollar you spend at big businesses is a vote against your cause.  To support small businesses, cast your vote DAILY by shopping locally whenever possible.  (That's as much a reminder to myself as it is to you.)

You get my point.  The argument can be extended to whatever your hot topic is for this election.

I do not claim to know which candidate is better for you or for our country.

What seems blazingly obvious to me, though, is that if we took half the amount of passion we are using to defend our candidates in this election and applied that energy to conscious decisions in our own lives, we could do a hell of a lot more for our nation (and our world) than one president could ever do on his own.

Voting in an election is important but--please--let's not confuse ourselves into thinking we've done our part if that's all we've done for our causes.

Together, let's take a few more restorative happy-soul breaths in this safe haven and then let's charge forward while we rock the omnipotent everyday vote.

Let freedom ring, Light-Catchers.  For the children.

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Couples Photography Challenge: Let Me At It. (Boston Couples Photographer)

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In case I confused anybody by posting wedding photos last week, I want to be clear that I do not consider myself a wedding photographer, nor do I aspire to be one.

While I very much enjoyed capturing my cousin's SPECIAL day, my true passion for photography lies in reflecting the beauty of the EVERYday.

When I do a photo shoot for you, my aim is to create permanent reminders of the "ordinary" little things that were important today.

For example, I may want to show you (and the generations that follow you) the intensity of your husband's always-thinking, always-planning, always-loving blue eyes.  I may want to show you (and all the people who love you) that your natural, genuinely happy soul-smile renders a tiny black triangle between your back teeth and the corners of your mouth.

I may want you, fifty years from now, to remember how cozy you used to feel when your husband let you borrow his down jacket when you were cold.  I may want remind him how perfectly you fit into his heart space when you snuggled into him for warmth.

Those are the things I feel drawn to preserve because those will be the things that matter the most.

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On that note, while WEDDINGS aren't my forte, I DO consider myself a COUPLES photographer.  (And a FAMILY photographer.  And a BABIES photographer.  And...let's just simplify it as a "fun-loving SOUL photographer.")

My sister and brother-in-law, like many people, had not had professional photos taken of them since they were married three years ago.

We scheduled a session to capture this phase of their relationship:  two professionals, just-beyond-newlyweds, living in Boston, feeling out this thing called life together and mutually strengthened by the presence of their partner by their sides.

The thing about photography, my friends, is that a good exposure is a FORMULA:  there's a SCIENCE behind good lighting and an EQUATION for "proper" exposure.

What I'm trying to say is that pretty much anybody with a camera, access to the internet, and an intense desire to learn photography can (and deserves to) call himself or herself a photographer.

What separates a professional portrait photographer from an amateur, in my opinion, is the professional's ability to artistically represent his or her subjects in a COMFORTABLE state despite the fact that he or she is pointing a camera in their faces.

That's what I aspire towards.

Because let me tell you what:  aint NOBODY instinctively actin' natural with a camera in his or her face.  NO WAY, NO HOW.

But if the whole PURPOSE of a portrait is to capture the essence of a person's character--the very embodiment of a person's BEING during his or her brief stay on this planet--then if your subject looks uncomfortably cognizant of the camera in a photo you create, then let's face it:  you have failed that client as his or her photographer.

I am not going to fail you.

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Before every shoot, I have a conversation with my clients to make sure I deliver exactly what they're looking to achieve.  That convo is also a great opportunity for me to get an understanding of my subjects and their general mindset going into the shoot.

My brother-in-law (perhaps you will remember him from this almost-grammy-winning rap video) was not unlike many of the men I photograph:  compliant, but not exactly psyched for picture day.  (I love him for supporting my soulful sister (and--oh--ME) by doing this shoot despite his hesitations.  MUAH, P-Diddy!!)

I can't say I blame the man for having reservations:  for one, he was of the opinion that people often look unnatural in photos.  (I AGREE.)

He also said he didn't know what to do in front of the camera.  (ME NEITHER!!  Despite my knack for directing OTHERS in a photo, I'M A GOON WHEN I'M IN FRONT OF THE LENS!)

But then he said something that was as if he waved a juicy steak in front of a hungry bulldog:  it induced much salivation and excitement in me.

He said he's not sure it's possible to depict the richness of a multi-dimensional relationship in a two-dimensional photo.

[Writer chuckles in a cocky manner.]

LET ME AT IT, BROTHA.

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Know any couples who may want photos like these?

Why not send them a link to this page?  (Please and thank ya!)  :)

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A Beauty, An Update, and A Question

26 Comments

A Beauty, An Update, and A Question

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Good morning, Catchers of Light!!

Three quick nuggets for you this AM:

1)  A Beauty

These photos of my sister make me catch my breath. They are so "HER."  I can feel her strength, her creativity, her pensiveness, her fierce passion for life, her silly side, the LIGHT of her BEING right through the photo.

That's what makes me breathe in suddenly when I look at these pictures.

When I take a photograph, I do my best to catch a glimpse of the person's soul.  My heart does a twinkle-toe fairy dance when my photos make people catch their breath.  The catching of the breath is pretty much my goal.

Maybe I should have named this site "www.catchingthebreath.com."  [Chuckles to self.]

If you want me to do photos for you that make you catch YOUR breath, contact me soon!  I am almost completely booked for the fall.  

(I limit the number of shoots I take so that I can provide a high-quality product to my clients (and a high-quality of sanity to myself.))

2)  An Update

Check out my new pricing page!  HOLLER!!!  I'm happy with the way it came out.

The links on that page are broken; thanks for bearing with me as I continue to build this site at the break-neck pace of only the fastest of snails.

3)  A Question

One of the web pages that I'm working on right now is my FAQ page.

Do you have any questions you would like to see answered?

I'm making two FAQ pages:

  • one FAQ page for my photography business (ex:  How long will it take to massage, edit, and deliver my photos?  What should I wear?  Can you make my photos black and white but then add the color of our eyes back in?  etc.) and
  • one FAQ page for the happiness theme of my blog.

I have not received as many questions related to the happiness / optimal living / self-improvement theme of the blog as I have received about photo shoots.  I'm trying to figure out whether this is because:  

a) people are uncomfortable asking questions along this subject line,

b) people would rather go somewhere else to discuss these things,

c) people have no interest in reading my thoughts on such matters,

d) people have the "happiest life" question figured out; I am the only person navigating this ship,

d) people very much enjoy the reflections on happiness that I'vebeensharing but they're just super busy (is all),

e) I have knocked the socks off of my readers and they cannot type responses, thoughts, or questions because they are too busy looking for their socks.

f)  None of the above.  (Insert reason here:  __________________________)

Care to weigh in on this?  Even just a one-letter response would be helpful.

If you ever have ideas on things I could improve or things that (come hell or high water) I MUST CONTINUE doing, I'm always receptive to both constructive feedback and praise.   :)  [Heh heh heh.  I was being serious about the constructive feedback.]

I love hearing from you peeps.

15 Extra Credit Points if you submit an FAQ for FAQ Page Number two.  (You just submit the Q and don't you worry yourself about whether it's F.A., you hear?)

Aaaaaaaaaaaand BEGIN!!!

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