Tag Archives: haiyan

Pennies Add Up

6 Feb
Winter Sunrise

Winter Sunrise

Winter is fully upon us, and life has been 100% getting in the way of shooting.  I am actually planning, weather permitting, to finally get out and shoot today.  Forecast?…more snow photos are in your future. haha

Care

In the meantime, I’ve spent my time editing my photos from Peru, trying to finish up that folder so I can make some use of the images I shot.  At the moment, my plan is to submit them for publication….so you can’t see most of them yet. haha  But trust me, they are awesome.

I’ve also spent some time “house keeping”, so to speak.  I’ve had a lot of little things to do, and no time to do them.  One of those many things was making a donation to CARE.org….YOUR donation, in fact.  For those of you who spent a little time shopping in my store…well, clap yourselves on the back.  You did a great thing.  Not only did you get something purty to hang on your wall (or an awesome mug to drink out of, or a card for your friends…etc) but you made a difference in someone’s life.

Karma points, in da bank!

So, many thanks to all of you for helping me make the goal of a donation to the Philippines a reality.  I could not possibly have done so without your support.  You Rock!

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read up on the project here.  Also, if you haven’t already done so, please follow me on my FB page, where you can timely updates on the things happening with SSP….the movin’ and the shakin’.

xoxo

Shannon

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Shooting With Purpose

17 Dec
Snow Bound

Snow Bound

I’m going to start this photo blog post out with a horse reference…  Makes perfect sense, right?

Picture yourself walking on an idyllic horse farm in Kentucky.  Crisp white board fences, manicured fields and paths, and running around inside those fences is a group of young race horses.  (Thoroughbreds, for those of you in the know.) They’re delicate, yet powerful.  Their hair shines in the sun and a cool breeze lifts their manes and tails, so they float in the air, giving the horses an air of magic.  One of them lifts his chiseled face from the grass and looks your way, and you almost drown in the liquid softness of his eyes.  That kind of horse makes a statement.

Now, picture yourself on a farm wading through ankle deep mud and a cloud of black flies.  To your left is a red, dilapidated barn, the paint is peeling and the roof is caving in.  To your right is a huge, clunky beast – a draft horse – standing 1.5 times taller than you, with dinner plates for feet and a matted, tangled mane and clipped off tail.  He is powerful, my god is he powerful, but refined…no?  Elegant?  Absolutely not.  Then again, he doesn’t need to be.  He wasn’t bred for speed or beauty (though I suppose it’s in the eye of the beholder).  He was bred to work.

Two very different animals, the Thoroughbred and the draft horse, but both serve a purpose.

In photo-land, you also have your statement shots and you have your work horse shots.  Your statement shots are the one that catch people’s eye, that whisper to their soul (hopefully whispering, “Buy me”) and help you build your brand.  On the other hand, your work horse shots are meant to build your wallet.  They are the images you take with a purpose in mind, to license, to use in products, marketing, etc etc.  The photo at the top of the post, that’s a work horse.

Currently, I have an online store and a a series of free images available on my Facebook page, and when I’m out shooting, those projects are always at the back of my mind.

Free Facebook Banner - Autumn Reflections

Free Facebook Banner – Autumn Reflections

This photo – taken in October in Granby, CT – is one of many, many work horse images in my portfolio.  When I took it, I knew the sky was a bit lackluster, but the crisp reflection in the swampy water were stunning.  (That’s all part of training your eyes to see the beauty in a scene, even if the scene as a whole isn’t breath-taking.)  Now, over the last few years, I’ve put together a series of banners for anyone who follows my FB page *hint hint*, which only utilize a narrow band within the image.  That made this autumn photo a prime candidate for one of my freebies.

As for the winter scene at the top?  That is already getting a lot of mileage.  When I went out shooting that snowy day, I knew I needed more winter scene images to put together “holiday products” for the store.  Know of any ladies looking for a pretty new wristlet? 😉

Wristlet - www.zazzle.com/skalahan

Wristlet – http://www.zazzle.com/skalahan

UPDATES!

The fundraiser for the typhoon victims is done!  Many thanks for everyone who helped by spreading the word, making a purchase, or donating directly to your relief organization of choice!  Also a big thanks to all of the small businesses who added their own donations to the pot.  There is strength in numbers, and I’m so proud to be a part of community efforts like this.

Also, if you’re interested in joining our fun little Winter Photo Challenge, email me your final photo by December 21!  Hope you can join us!

An Attitude of Gratitude

27 Nov
Vortex

Vortex

Having a positive outlook on life can be hard, but intensely rewarding.  It’s easy to say a glass is half empty.  It’s much harder to say, “Thank goodness I still have half a glass to drink.  I’m thirsty, and that will help.”  Like anything else in life, seeing the silver linings in life is a skill, and when done faithfully, can become a habit.

Imagine a life where you exchange your expectations for gratitude.  The disappointments in life become much more manageable.  And there are fewer of them.  It’s easier to feel like you have enough, to appreciate the gifts you’re given and to see the blessings in life.

That is what I love most about tomorrow, Thanksgiving.  It’s yearly encouragement to be thankful for the things we have already accomplished, to see how far we have come, to appreciate our families and friends, and to see that often, we are lucky to have so much in our lives.  Most of us have a roof, even if we don’t own it.  Most of us have food, warmth and a computer with which to read this awesome blog…  We have life.  Even when it’s hard, it’s precious.

Tomorrow is a day to appreciate the positives.  Spend a few moments between tofurkey and pie reflecting on the good things in your life.  In the end, we can’t keep the gifts, the wealth, the stuff we surround ourselves with…but we can remember the path we took in life, the moments of joy and accomplishment, and be proud of how our experiences shaped us, and the choices we made because of them.  We can practice an attitude of gratitude.

The photo above was taken on a hike with my friend David (an awesome photog from Cali, check out his work!) while he was visiting in CT.  The leave whirlpool reminds me a little of the way water drains from a tub.  Felt appropriate as we make our transition from beautiful, beautiful Autumn….to very cold Winter. haha

 

❤ < 3 ❤

For those of you interested in helping me raise funds for the victims of Typoon Haiyan in the Philippines, when the time comes for holiday shopping, go here.  50% of profits through December 15 go to Care.org and the Filipinos in need.

For those of you interested in winning a holiday gift, go here, “like” the page and leave a comment on the contest poster letting me know which image you want.  Winner announced on Friday, so you only have a few days.

Finding Balance

19 Nov
Wild and Free

Wild and Free

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” -Henry David Thoreau

That quote by Thoreau really struck me.  It was an eloquent reminder to be a “smart shopper” and to invest in the things that matter.  Sometimes, taking a break to appreciate the beautiful chaos of nature is the most therapeutic thing we can do.  Find time for the things that make you happy. Appreciate, be grateful, smile, laugh and love. ❤

FUNDRAISER UPDATE

As you all know, I’m running a fundraiser for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. (50% of profits from sales through December 15, go here: www.zazzle.com/skalahan) Turns out, zazzle is also running a deal through 11/21 (sorry, I know, not much notice)…use the code HOLIDAYCOUNT for up to 60% off! And I’m pretty sure it is on the production end, not mine, so the donation to the Filipinos will be the same!