Posts with tag: "child"

Life is about the stories we tell. Every story is another page in the book of our lives.

I am a story teller. And I want to tell the story of your love ... and your wedding ... this beautiful chapter in your life ... through professional images on your wedding day.

There are no do-overs on your wedding day. That's why quality counts. And professionalism. And experience. Photography experience. And story telling experience. 

Let me tell the story of your love ... contact me to photograph your wedding.

But first, let me share with you some stories here. In words and in the images I captured. I hope they warm your heart.

                                                                                                - Tina

 

Monday, March 28, 2016
By Tina L. Scott
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For Christians the world over, the meaning of Easter is clear:  It is the very foundation of our faith, the celebration of the Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is our hope. Our assurance. The very reason we are Christians.  

But hundreds of years ago, the Easter holiday also took on some secular traditions:  like dying or decorating eggs, baskets of treats and goodies on Easter morning, and the like.  

In our family, we celebrate the true meaning of Easter, and Easter Sunday would not be complete without the beauty, tradition, and meaning of going to mass. But we also celebrate fun traditions like coloring eggs, Easter egg hunts, the Easter bunny coming, Easter baskets full of goodies for the littles ones, and a big meal with loved ones ... so Easter means all of that to me, too.

 

This blog includes images that depict some of those latter things ... little ones loving their Easter baskets and a delicious Easter dinner at one of our Easter celebrations. There is absolutely no doubt that the look of delight on a very special little boy's face as he discovers a new matchbox car and a small four wheeler in his Easter basket captured a magical moment for all of us. And just as adorable the delight of a certain little girl at the discovery of Chocolate! in hers!  

Cheesy potatoes, fresh-baked rolls, corn on the cob, and steaks hot off the grill can make your mouth water! Colored eggs in an antique wooden bowl make a beautiful centerpiece. And homemade cheesecake in a trendy pie plate is enticing to say the least.

But as I experienced Easter Sunday mass this year, the photographer in me really, really wished I had had my camera in hand and could have been discretely capturing some of the images that just spoke to me and would have really depicted the true meaning of Easter here for me. It wouldn't have been appropriate, of course.  But these are the images I really wanted to include in this blog.

If I could have created those images with my camera, this is what they would have looked like. A picture really is worth a thousand words, so these descriptions won't compare to the images I could have created with my camera, but follow along with me to see if you can envision these images in your mind's eye. How I wish I could have created them for you to see here!

The first image I wanted to create would feature the red eternal light of Christ candle in the foreground, its light flickering, with the gold and ivory crucifix on a stand in the background. In between stands the stately and shining brass tabernacle where the consecrated bread/the body of Jesus is kept between masses, flanked on either side by candleabras holding five burning candles each with pink potted azaleas before them, ivory and gold altar cloths beneath them. It is a holy vision. Appealing both visually and spiritually.

In the second image, you would see two men in white, ivory, and gold embroidery trimmed robes and stoles, white collars visible at their necks, standing behind the altar and facing the congregation. The altar is covered with ivory and gold trimmed altar cloths. Before the altar is a huge basket of fresh spring flowers, with green leafy potted plants, and potted flowers spread on the steps in a blanket of color:  yellow blooming daffodils, purple crocus, yellow spring mums, white Easter lilies, blue and pink hydrangeas, pink azaleas, and more. Amid the flowers on the lowest step are two baskets on either side, filled with food donations for the food pantry. On the altar is the red hardbound book of the mass, open on a stand. Flanking the altar are two tall communion candles on each side standing in tall, ornate stands. To the left, a little further away and taller, stands the ornate Baptismal candle, lit for this occasion. In the middle of the altar stand two chalices containing wine and brass plates filled with bread ... communion hosts ...

But the focal point of this image is above the altar, in the outstretched arms of the two men. The deacon is on the left, his arm and eyes stretched upward, holding a brass chalice of wine. The priest on the right holds in his two hands a large host, broken in half and held so it is overlapping, arms stretched heavenward, eyes focused on the bread with an intensity of faith and belief ... In this image I wanted to create, the vision would be so alive you could almost hear the priest's words as he speaks the doxology: Through Him, With Him, and In Him ... in the unity of the Holy Spirit ... all glory and honor is yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever. 

There are other images I would take during this beautiful service ... Of a congregation with many churchgoers outfitted in new Easter dresses and a few little girls in bonnets and gloves, little boys in suits and ties.  ... Of a toddler reaching for the host ... Jesus ... as the woman who is holding him partakes of Holy Communion, and after all, who wouldn't reach for Jesus given the opportunity. Of the new father carrying his sleeping baby girl in his arms coming back from Communion, the sleeping little angel in pink obviously only weeks old. Of the toddler two pews ahead of us who keeps errupting into delightful giggles during the service and makes everyone around him smile. Of the priest and the deacon blessing the congregation with Holy water. Of the choir of school children singing songs celebrating the Resurrection. So many images I do not actually have, but hold only in my mind. These I would have created, had I had the chance.

It's a funny thing to share in a photographer's blog, isn't it? Stories of the images I didn't get to capture, the photographs I didn't get to create. But such is the mind of a photographer and what often consumes me. For every beautiful image I create, there are dozens more I miss.

But there is always the hope that one day I will have the opportunity to create those images. Hope.

Really and truly, that is the meaning of Easter to me. That is the gift Jesus gave us when He rose from the dead. Hope. Eternal hope.

I hope that you and your family had a blessed Easter Sunday, and I hope that you are filled with renewed hope in your life! It is, after all, the gift and meaning of Easter.

Tina



 
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
By Tina L. Scott
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Mason Carpentier was just 2 years old when, in August 2014, he began showing signs of severe bone pain. It took a series of visits to several different doctors before his parents, Joe and Stephanie Carpentier, finally got some answers. On October 9, 2014, Mason was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma. Three tumors were discovered between Mason’s kidney and liver, in addition to cancer in his bone marrow.  Thus began a whirlwind of appointments and procedures that hasn’t yet let up to this day.

First Mason had a biopsy and a Hickman central line placed in his chest. Doctors harvested some of Mason’s stem cells and preserved them in anticipation of using a stem cell treatment at a later date. Six chemo treatments to try to shrink the tumors followed.  “The chemo was very successful in reducing the size of Mason's tumors and clearing his bone marrow,” says Stephanie, Mason’s Mom. “Within just a couple rounds of chemo he was back to his old self for the most part.”

On January 28, 2015, the tumors were successfully removed without damage to any vital organs.  Then it was back to Marshfield to continue with more chemotherapy.

I met Mason on March 14, 2015, about a month before his third birthday. “He is really doing amazing with all of this,” Stephanie said.  “If he wasn't bald, you wouldn't guess he was even sick.”  His mom described him as a “typical boy who loves trucks, trains, race cars, hunting, his yellow lab “Izzy,” and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.”


I tapped into those insights into Mason’s character when I planned his special “fighter” photo shoot. I started out with a ride on train as a prop. But the train wasn’t doing it for Mason that day. He didn’t want to have his picture taken, he informed me. Our family/studio calico cat, Snickers, happened to stroll in about that time. Having seen Mason’s interest in the cat when he first arrived at the studio, we decided to pull her in and use her as a prop. Petting Snickers did temporarily result in a few smiles, but it didn’t last long. Before we knew it, Mason was face down and butt up hiding his face in the carpet. When his mom tried to inquire what was wrong, he snuggled into her for a mini-meltdown. Stephanie had warned me in advance, “It is tricky to get him to smile for the camera sometimes, but I am sure you have lots of tricks.”

I do. I just figure out what will capture a child’s attention or illicit his or her interest. In this case, I decided to capitalize on one of Mason’s other interests. “How would you like to get your picture taken with a gun, like a real cowboy?” I asked him. Now that got his attention. We switched locations in the studio, added a bandana, holster, and a cap gun, and then Mason couldn’t hold back the smiles! He also had, as you can see here in his images, a delightful variety of expressions that kept me and his parents in stitches.

For the ultimate cowboy experience, I pulled in a rocking horse and encouraged, “Ride, cowboy, ride!” and “Shoot those bad guys!” It was an awesome experience seeing Mason come out of his shell for me!

And I love the images we created for his family!

Not long after our photo session, Mason returned to Milwaukee for his stem cell transplant. This involved a high dose of chemo and transplanting Mason’s own stem cells back into his body to help his own bone marrow return to normal.  While the bone marrow/stem cell transplant was considered a success, Mason developed something called Veno-occlusive disease from the high dose of chemo. “Essentially his liver function reversed and he was retaining fluid,” explains Stephanie. “We spent two weeks in the ICU, and they drained more than 10 liters of fluid from him.  Poor little guy was in rough shape, but he bounced back quickly. We spent a total of 55 days in Milwaukee.”

Mason returned home and began radiation treatments in Marshfield. He had 14 days of radiation to his abdomen, for which he had to be sedated each time to keep him still. The week afterward was filled with tests and scans, and “All of the tests came back excellent and showing that Mason was neuroblastoma free,” Stephanie says.

“The following 3 months consisted of immunotherapy. This is a mix of pills, injections, and intravenous medication to train his body to fight off cancer cells,” she explains. Mason was hospitalized 5 weeks on and off for this.

But the family’s elation was short-lived.  On October 10, 2015, Mason suffered a massive seizure and was rushed to Marshfield Children’s Hospital via flight for life.  A CT scan revealed two large metastatic brain tumors. His neuroblastoma had relapsed.  Daily radiation began immediately and a search began to find a surgeon capable of attempting to remove the two tumors. 

The Carpentiers found that surgeon in New York City, New York, and on December 7, they took up temporary residency in the Big Apple for Mason’s treatment.  Regular scans and courses of radiation treatment have been ongoing to try to shrink the tumors small enough to perform the surgery.  Mason is in good spirits and feeling well, and the entire family has been experiencing all that New York City has to offer as they await more news and the surgery.

As of approximately a week ago, Mason’s medical team has scheduled surgery for Friday, December 18, to remove both tumors and place a catheter in his head for chemo. Stephanie says the doctors are anticipating a speedy recovery and can then decide on the next course of treatment to follow.

Despite all of the ups and downs, Mason, like many young children with cancer, has taken everything in stride. He is every bit your typical three-year-old boy!  Stephanie and Joe, while coping with so much that no parent should ever have to deal with, are also remarkably resilient. In fact, the family is expecting a new arrival. Mason will get a new little brother in April 2016!

If you would like to offer any encouragement or cheer to Mason or his family, you can reach them care of the Ronald McDonald House in New York City at this address while they are staying there:

Mason Carpentier, Room #502

Ronald McDonald House New York

405 East 73rd Street

New York, NY  10021

There is also an account set up for Mason called Mason's Benefit at Merrill Federal Savings & Loan in Merrill, Wisconsin.

“We really appreciate the continued thoughts and prayers!” Stephanie Carpentier says. Friends and family can get updates on Mason’s treatment and progress on Stephanie’s Facebook page.

Thank you, Joe and Stephanie, for allowing me to create these special images of your amazing, strong, inspirational little boy! Stay strong, Mason! I’m praying for you!

Love Tina

 

 

 
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
By Tina L. Scott
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Two stories speak to me from these images ... the magical storybook narrative I could write from them ... of a little girl in a log cabin discovering Santa arriving with presents, then playing and dancing with him, before she tires and he tucks her into bed before disappearing back up the chimney.

... And the story of a little girl getting her portraits taken with Santa ... she on his lap ... the traditional thing.  And then, when it was done, that little girl asking Santa if he would play trains with her.  And so he did.  He got down on all fours and played trains.  And then she said, "Santa, wanna dance with me?" and he said, "Sure!" ... she told me to turn on the music and turn it up LOUD, and then she showed Santa her best dance moves and told him to do what she did.  And he did.  And they had so much fun.

    

Then that little girl got playful with Santa and told him, "I'm gonna get you, Santa!" as she came up behind him laughing. Joyously that Santa picked her up and that little girl snatched the hat from the top of his head ... And she laughed and laughed and then put it back on his head in a somewhat haphazard fashion.  Silliness.  Playfulness.  Fun.  Magic.

And then the little girl was tired, and she wanted to lay down on that little chaise in the studio.  And she was cold, so she wanted a blanket.  And Santa got her one, and tucked her in ... on the chaise, and in that special place he holds for her in his heart.  

And memories were made ... for Lily and for Santa ... and forever.  And I was so blessed to be the photographer who kept on shooting and captured some of that magic in these images.  

Love & Blessings to you all this Christmas!

Tina

P.S.  As I am writing this, I just looked up to see the snow beginning to fall here.  Perhaps there is hope for a white Christmas here after all.  That snow lasted only minutes, but we shall see ... With Christmas magic, anything is possible!


 
Sunday, December 13, 2015
By Tina L. Scott
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Here in Wisconsin, it's looking like we may actually not have a white Christmas this year.  I can't remember the last time that happened.  Today it was 45 degrees out, Fahrenheit, and we have green grass.  As quickly as I can tire of long, cold winters, it just doesn't quite feel like Christmas is less than two weeks away without fluffy white snowflakes in the air and a blanket of white covering everything in sight.  

But one thing that does make it feel like Christmas here at the studio is our annual "Professional Portraits with Santa" event.  That was really the Christmas kick-off for me!  Three elves arrived a couple of weeks ago to help me decorate the tree in anticipation of Santa's arrival, and then they came early last Sunday to make sure the hot cocoa and cookies were ready for Santa and the kids.  Then Santa arrived!  Oh, what a joy!  Santa here at the studio became an annual tradition for us six years ago.  It was a way of making Christmas "real" now that my own children were grown and since, at the time, we didn't yet have grandchildren.  Watching the magic that happens when children anticipate and see Santa in person quickly became one of the greatest joys ever ... and a Family tradition for our family and the families of the children who come here to see Santa!  

Now, with six years gone by, it is an incredible blessing to see how many of the children return to my studio year after year to be photographed with my Santa, and Santa and I can see how they've grown and changed, how their little personalities have developed, how one year they are scared of him and the next year they are absolutely entranced with him or totally fearless and go right up to crawl on his lap and give him hugs!  The letters they write him, the pictures they draw, and listening to their Christmas wishes are an integral part of our holiday.  Watching them enjoy cocoa, Christmas cookies, and the elves is a delight. 

We always have some adorable babies who snuggle right into Santa's arms and could stay there all afternoon, perfectly at home.  Santa enjoys snuggling them just as much as they love being tucked into the crook of his soft red suit.  The very next year, those same babies have sometimes developed stranger anxiety and he is met with tears.  Santa hates seeing those little tears, so we go to great lengths to calm children and bring elves or parents into the portraits to hold the child so they aren't distressed, or bring in little chairs or props or whatever it takes.  I'm also known to go completely over the top making goofy faces and noises to get those adorable smiles.  It's worth every ounce of extra effort we put in to create those picture-perfect moments their parents will cherish for so many years to come!

I wish I could have included all of the images from last Sunday's Santa event!  While I can't fit them all in, I hope these adorable images will help ignite the true Christmas spirit in your heart this season ... whether it is a white Christmas outside or not!

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed & very Merry Christmas!

Love Tina


 
Saturday, February 07, 2015
By Tina L. Scott
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Josiah Patrick Hoerter, age 2 (he would have been 3 in a few months on May 21), passed away this morning at 8:04 a.m.  (The photo above shows Josiah with his family.  Top row L to R:  Micah, Patrick, and Destiny. Lower row L to R:  Jasmine, Isaiah, and Josiah)  His family celebrated that he is now in the loving arms of Jesus where he will never know another moment's pain. They rejoice for his gain. They cry for their loss. I cry with them ... for their heartbreak.

Josiah's life wasn't an easy one. Born with a condition called MECP2 Duplication Syndrome, his family knew he had a shorter than average life expectancy, but only recently did they learn how very short his life would be. To try to explain to you in words what this family has gone through ... the highs and the lows, the ups and the downs ... is impossible. I will let them share their story with you in their own words ... through the blog posts Josiah's mother has written and shared with the world.  I will include the links below.  

What I will tell you is this:  Josiah and his family have been a remarkable testimony to faith. A remarkable witness for Jesus Christ. A living and breathing example of how we should live our lives. Through all they have endured, they have called upon their faith. God got them through it. Along the way He provided doctors, nurses, aides, friends, family, church members, and even strangers to help them walk the path He set out before them.  

There have been tears to be sure. No one can be strong all the time. The Bible says even Jesus wept.  

But there have been many smiles and much laughter all along the way. There has been joy, not the least of which was from the knowledge that their dear Josiah would get to meet and live with Jesus forever. Even when they knew with certainty he would die within just days, they chose to celebrate Josiah's life.

I will not try to recount Josiah's story here. I could not do it justice.  Rather, I will share with you images I created of this family, in their home, this past Tuesday evening ... images of Josiah with his mom, Destiny, and his dad, Patrick ... with his siblings, Jasmine (almost 5 years old), Isaiah (age 3 1/2), and Micah (an adorable little 1 1/2-year-old who loves to ham it up for the camera). They are images of a family spending an evening at home together as a family, with friends and members of their church coming and going to help them during this difficult time ... images of one of their last evenings together with Josiah. I will let those images speak to you and to your heart.

And I will share one other thing that touched my heart deeply. I will tell you what this family did on Wednesday evening, just shortly after Josiah's IVs and other tubes were disconnected. They held Josiah, surrounded by family and friends, and sang to him ... with a birthday cake covered in candles ... his very favorite song, "Jesus Loves Me" ... and they celebrated his life with him. This video was shared on Facebook. I am not ashamed to tell you I bawled like a baby watching it, and I still cannot watch it without crying.

Through it all, Josiah's parents will tell you God is good. All the time. All the time, God is good. They know their precious Josiah ... JoJo to many who loved him ... touched many lives in ways that many people do not do in 90 or 100 years of life. They know their son was a precious gift from God entrusted to them for just a short time, and they were blessed and honored to receive this gift and to share it with the rest of the world.

Please join me in praying for the Hoerter family for peace and healing. Please join me in celebrating the life of Josiah Patrick Hoerter. Our world will be a sadder place for having lost his joyous smile. But our loss is heaven's gain.

Love & Blessings! Tonight, hold your children extra tight. Tell them how much you love them. Cherish them every single moment.

Tina

Click on these links to read the story of the Hoerter family's journey with Josiah in his mother's own words: 

http://philippians4-12-13.blogspot.com/2015/01/itstime.html ... January 22, 2015 blog

http://philippians4-12-13.blogspot.com/2015/01/a-nightmare-no-parent-wants-to-live.html ... January 29, 2015 blog

http://philippians4-12-13.blogspot.com/2015/01/what-is-pallitive-care.html ... January 30, 2015 blog


And if you can, please help the family with a small donation they will use for funeral and other expenses: www.gofundme.com/josiahhoerter   

 

      

 
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