Posts with tag: "love"

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


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, October 27, 2015
By Tina L. Scott
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As I pondered what words to use to describe Emily & Andrew's wedding, one single word kept recurring: Romantic.  Their wedding was, without a doubt, romantic in every sense of the word.  From the blush colored bridesmaid dresses to the beautiful blush on the bride's glowing face.  

From the heart cut from Emily's late grandfather's shirt stitched onto her wedding dress . . . to the dreamy fountain in the garden outside the church.  From the love evident on the father of the bride's face as he saw his daughter in her wedding gown for the first time to the tears in both their eyes.  From the moment before the ceremony when Emily & Andrew held hands and shared a few loving words before the big moment, separately only by a door so they wouldn't see each other before she walked down the aisle, . . . all the way up to their first dance and beyond, romance was in the air!

Every moment seemed magical.  It truly was a photographer's dream-come-true!  If I had possessed pockets full of pixie dust, this wedding would have seemed the appropriate place to sprinkle it.

But enough words!  Let's look at some of the gorgeous images that tell the story far better than my narrative.  A picture really is worth a thousand words!



Special thanks to Laura Schmidt Hiller for asking me to second shoot this wedding with her.  It was wonderful working with Laura, and what a perfect day this was!

Wishing you all romance & pixie dust ...


Friday, June 19, 2015
By Tina L. Scott
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Take two pretty girls ... a gorgeous summer day ... and a  scenic outdoor location ... and what do you get? Well, that's my idea of an awesome opportunity for a fun photo shoot and the chance to create some beautiful images!

Add in tickles & giggles, smiles & laughter, love & hugs & kisses ... and let the magic begin.  How Sweet It is ...

In this particular instance, these two pretty girls are my daughter, Katarina, and my granddaughter, Lily ... the two most beautiful girls I know, inside and out!  I brag on "my girls" every chance I get, because I am just so proud of them and love them so much, so I won't do that here. (I'll save that for when I see you in person!  LOL)

I'll just let the images speak for themselves and tell the story of how much this mother and daughter love each other and love spending time together!  I hope they will grow to be best friends when Lily is an adult, in the same way that my daughter is my best friend and my Mom and I are close!

Wishing you beauty, love, and laughter ... and beautiful images of your loved ones!


Monday, December 22, 2014
By Tina L. Scott
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As the holidays quickly approach, I am like most women and moms ... burning the candle at both ends to get everything done to make it a picture perfect Christmas for my family.  As a photographer and business owner, I am also focusing on the "picture perfect" part of things for my clients ... ensuring they get their images in time for Christmas gift giving.  

Sooner or later (probably sooner), I will be forced to modify my original vision of what this Christmas will look like ... easing up on the decorating I thought I had to do, eliminating a few things from the menu I probably went overboard on anyway, and letting go of that perfectionist part of me that is totally unrealistic and accepting a more reality-based vision of what I can do and still maintain my sanity.

I want to wish each of you the strength to let go of that image of perfection, too.  It isn't realistic, and it isn't healthy.  So we've got to support each other on this ... on helping to realign our expectations of others and the day and ourselves and all the things we think we must do that we really don't.

And honestly, all that stuff isn't even what the holiday is really about.  The reason for the season has nothing to do with all of the pretty wrappings and gifts and decorations and food and festivities.  It is all about a little baby born in a manger.  

And for me, it's about family.  Spending time with them, treasuring each moment with them, and making memories to last a lifetime and beyond.

You know, that's what I tell people about their portraiture, too.  Lots of women won't come in for a professional family portrait because they want to lose weight.  They want to get their hair colored.  They want to do something.  So they delay, and they miss out.  Because that's what happens when we demand unrealistic perfection from ourselves and focus on all the wrong things.  We miss out.  On life.  And love.  And memories.  

Don't miss out on creating a memorable experience for your kids with a family portrait even if you haven't lost that 10 pounds or gotten your hair done.  Your kids won't care.  They love you just the way you are!  

And don't miss out on the magic and love of this Christmas by focusing on the perfection and consumerism and craziness ... Stop! the Craziness! ... live in the moment ... give up on micro-managing the details ...

... and have a Very Blessed and Merry Christmas surrounded by LOVE!  Because that's what it's all about.

And, if you are a Christian, as I am ... enjoy the miracle of a little baby who came to us in a manger ... the reason for the season ... Celebrate Him!  Because He is truly Love.  In its purest and most beautiful form.  And He ... and His love ... are there for each and every one of us to embrace.  He is Christ the Lord.  This Christmas, let's focus on that!

God Bless Us, Every One!



Thursday, February 20, 2014
By Tina L. Scott
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I want to share a story with you.  It is about a boxer whose name is Spirit ... a dog I photographed last May 23, 2013. Sadly, Spirit passed away on June 3, 2013, just 11 days later.  This wasn't one of those end-of-life sessions I often do for families who know a pet's death is imminent.  In fact, Spirit's death came as a shock to the family.  When Tracy Lambrecht and her son, Dakota Monti, brought Spirit in for portraits, it was with excitement and joy and a bunch of props from Chips restaurant where both Tracy and Dakota work ... including French fries!  They brought hats and t-shirts and the notorious Chips food wrappers and "Follow Me to Chips" bumper stickers, and we had a lot of fun dressing Spirit up to look like a Chips employee. The portrait we were creating was for entry into the Lincoln County Humane Society's 2014 "Occu-PAW-tions" Calendar Contest.  

Spirit enjoyed all the attention she got, and if memory serves, she may have even gotten a couple of French fries as a reward for good behavior.  We loved the images we created, and Tracy and Dakota were excited to see the image that would be entered into the calendar contest. 

But on June 3, Tracy, her husband Rob, and Dakota got devestating news.  They were at the veterinarian's office with Spirit. She had previously been in for two different visits, and the vet thought Spirit had a bladder infection.  However, antibiotics had helped somewhat but had not resolved the problem.  Now Spirit was visibly uncomfortable and in pain.  This time xrays revealed stones in Spirit's bladder ... stones they thought could be removed with surgery.  "So we went ahead with the surgery," Tracy recalls.  "But when they got in there, there were a lot more stones than originally thought.  They removed the stones, but the damage was too much and then they found a stone stuck in the urethra that could not be removed."  They were told her quality of life would never be the same, and the Lambrechts made the very difficult decision to put Spirit down.

Tracy recalls how heartbreaking it was to make that decision.  "We said goodbye to her when we dropped her off for surgery," she says, "But it was the kind of goodbye you say when you think you will see them again."  They never dreamed it would be a forever goodbye.  "We never saw her alive again.  That is why that photo means so much to us," Tracy says.  "She was a great dog, and we loved her so much ..."

The family is so glad they had Spirit's portraits taken professionally and have images that captured her personality.  "Now I get to see her whenever I want, even while I'm at work," Tracy says.  

Tracy is referring to the portrait of Spirit that is on display at Chips.  Spirit's image was one of 12 selected for inclusion in the 2014 calendar by popular $1 votes in the fundraising event.  Spirit's image is the featured pet image in the calendar for the month of July 2014.

Of course, the Lambrechts also have Spirit's image on display in their home, and it means everything to them.  

I asked Tracy what she thinks of when she sees Spirit's portrait.  "I miss her," she says.  "I wish I could pet her and kiss her head."

Sometimes it is the little things that mean the most.  "I remember the crazy things she used to do.  How she used to chase reflections and how she used to sit funny off to one side," Tracy recalls.  "I loved her very much, and when I look at the photo, I feel lucky to have had her in my life."

I guess for me personally, this is why photos and professional portraits are so very important to me.  Life is so short.  For pets and for people.  When we lose someone we love, a portrait certainly can't replace them.  But it can help us heal just a little bit to be able to remember them forever with a precious image that is more than just a picture ... it is a memory. Those good memories are the only balm that can help to soothe the hurt of our loss.

Wishing you love & memories to last more than a lifetime.