Hayes Maternity

Miracle. That’s the word that comes to mind with this blog post. Why? Because that’s exactly what baby Holden Silas is. He’s a miracle. Let me start a little farther back. Tracie and T.J. have been married around 14 years. Tracie is my best friend. A few years ago, I did a shoot with her and I called it “Twelve Years a Bride”. At the time she and T.J. didn’t have any children. It wasn’t because they didn’t want any. They have wanted children for 11 years. But there have been none. They, like many other couples in this world, have struggled with infertility. They have tried fertility drugs, IVF, and a couple of other options to help, but nothing ever did. It has been a long and heart breaking journey.
But there’s something that makes this post so much more special than anything I’ve ever posted. Earlier this year she and I were talking and she was telling me she felt bad. She started naming off the symptoms and in the back of my mind, I somehow knew. But I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to get her hopes up. In the meantime, she had been to the doctor to get a few tests run to make sure everything was okay. The doctor’s office called and let her know everything was normal. But God!!!
She got another call from the lab a little while later. They asked if she was driving and told her to pull over. She did and sure enough they ran a pregnancy test and it came back POSITIVE! Yep, you read that right. She found out that day that she and T.J. were expecting! When she called me and let me know, I may have cried as much as she was.
It was an honor to be asked to do this shoot and I CANNOT wait to hold Holden Silas. He doesn’t know how long we’ve all been waiting for him. He’s already so loved!
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Til next time.

Do Well and Do Good

J

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Dunaway/West/Glosup

Have you ever had a group of friends who are more like family than friends? I have. I have always considered the moms of these kids my sisters. I love them very much and I consider their kids as nieces and nephews. Everytime I get to take their photos, it’s an honor. They could ask anyone and they always choose to ask me. This instance was no different. Kate, (the oldest), asked me to take some photos as a gift for her mom. I told her to bring all of her cousins along so that we could get an updated photo of all of them. It turned out very well and I’ve been waiting since before Christmas to post them.
Kate, Klayton, Maddie, Kylie, Ryder, and Austen, I love you like you are my own. And I always will.

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This is a very silly little boy.  We had no problems getting laughs out of him.

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Until next time.

Do Well and Do Good

J

Warren, AR-Captain Cast Party and Premiere

So we all know it takes a whole lot of work to put together something as big as a full length film. And usually there are crews that help and get paid to do just that. Crews of probably hundreds, by the time you count the studio, directors, producers, and actors. So think about this. One guy. One guy who did the work of so many. He found the actors, selected the music, found the producers, researched the story, and so many more steps that it takes to put together a film. So many, that if I tried to list them all, it would take up this whole post. That guys name is Rob Reep.
He is a one man wrecking crew who took on all of those jobs and put out the film, “Captian”, which premiered this past Saturday. It is a big deal and our little town was buzzing with excitement and anticipation. We all couldn’t wait to view the finished product.  Rob brought the idea up to his mom around three years ago and they got the ball rolling.  And I just want to give a huge shout out to everyone that worked on the film. So many volunteered their time and talents to help Rob realize a dream. For those of you that didn’t get to attend the premiere, you can buy a copy of the DVD for $20.00 from Rob.
Rob you did a fantastic job! We all can’t wait to see what you come up with next! Congratulations!

CP (1)CP (10)CP (24)CP (28)CP (29)CP (33)Above:  All of the actors that were in the film.

 

There was a red carpet and interviews going on while people were arriving.

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Rob has put out a few other documentary films that you can find on Amazon.com. Go check them out! Til next time.

Do Well and Do Good

J

All Things Tomato: Part 4 (Steak cook off and Lonestar)

This year at the Pink Tomato Festival, the first annual steak cook off.  Let me just say, it smelled beyond good when I walked down that street.  If I could’ve stayed there the whole day, I would’ve.  But there were just to many events to cover.  I did, however get to taste a sample of some ribs that were cooked that day and they melted in my mouth.  I’m not sure how many contestants there were, but tents lined Main Street in Warren.  This was the first time I had ever seen Main Street closed down.
But just around the corner was the main stage, where Lonestar played. And it was a great concert too! They sang songs that everyone knew and a few new ones also. Along the way, they threw in a few including Margaritaville. The whole crowd was singing along and some even had their phones out, waving them back and forth in the air like lighters. One of my favorite sights, though, was a man who had a baby in his arms. He was rocking the baby back and forth while the baby slept. So precious!

DSC_6454DSC_6461DSC_6465DSC_6471DSC_6499DSC_6513DSC_6533DSC_6546DSC_6573DSC_6602DSC_6652DSC_6656I was honored to get to capture so much and I hope that I’m asked back next year to do the same. Until next year, Pink Tomato Festival.

Do Good and Do Well

J

An After-the-Wedding Photo shoot-Jacob and Kasey

A couple of months ago, I put out a call on Facebook for a couple who had recently gotten married, to put their wedding wardrobe back on and redo hair and make up and pose for me.  Mainly, for the reason, that I wanted to add this kind of shoot to my portfolio.  I’ve done this sort of thing plenty of times before, but never without a time constraint. I received a few messages and a text or two. I went over each one, and ultimately picked Kasey and Jacob Johnston. I had never met either one of them in person, but I had seen them here and there. After all, my town and the next one over aren’t that big. I did, however, run into them at the Pink Tomato Festival and they were some of the sweetest people. I knew our session was going to be great. And I was right.

They arrived right on time, looking fantastic! They were easy to talk to and very relaxed. Both Kasey and Jacob were into the shoot. I didn’t get anything but cooperation from either one. It was a dream shoot. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Jacob and Kasey, you guys were amazing and I am more than pleased with the results of your shoot. Thank you so much for volunteering! I would be pleased to take your photos in the future anytime! I could go on and on and on, but I won’t. I’ll post a few of your photos now. 🙂

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Til next time!

Do Well and Do Good

J

All Things Tomato: Part 3 (Tomato eating contest and All tomato luncheon)

Two traditions of The Pink Tomato Festival are the tomato eating contest and the All Tomato Luncheon.  Contestants of the contest start with a bag of tomatoes, which they aren’t allowed to rip into until the clock starts.  The bag is weighed before and then once again, after the contest is over.  Whoever has the least amount left is the winner.  It’s pretty funny to watch and maybe one year, I’ll have the courage to enter and see just how many I can consume.
The All Tomato Luncheon is a benefit for people to come and purchase a ticket to receive a plate lunch featuring dishes that have or are made out of tomatoes. This was my first year to attend. Although I didn’t actually eat, everything looked very appetizing.
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Often, the luncheon is a place for people to reunite or meet for the first time.
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Ms. Jean Frisby, who was in charge of the Bradley County Home Extension Office, for many years. She retired a few years ago, but still attends when she can.
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And this lovely lady is Michelle Carter. She took Ms. Jean’s place and is in charge of many, many things including putting together the luncheon. She has many volunteers who help, but she is a very busy lady.
DSC_6337 As usual, she did a fantastic job and deserves a lot of credit. Way to go Michelle!!

I still have more photos coming, so keep checking in. Til next time.

Do Well and Do Good

J

All Things Tomato: Part 2 (baseball and parades)

Saturday is probably the biggest day for the festival. There are many events that happen all day long and a lot of people work hard all year to make sure there’s not a dull moment through out the day.
The first couple of things I got to photograph were the baseball tournament and parade.
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Many more to come. Til next time.

Do Well and Do Good

J

All things tomato: Part 1

One thing Bradley County is famous for is the Pink Tomato Festival.  It’s been going on for 59 years and that makes it one of the longest running festivals in the state of Arkansas.  There’s quite a bit of history behind it too.

Farmers in Bradley County have been raising tomatoes for sale since the 1920s. They chose a variety of tomato that would ship well if picked when the tops of the fruit just barely turned pink.  In 1956, a group of Warren merchants decided to host an event to celebrate the tomato industry and to help promote business in the area. The Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival was born. It has since become a major summertime event!

Since that first celebration in 1956, the festival has evolved into one of the most well known and respected events in Arkansas. Many people have contributed to the success of the annual event, from those present at that first celebration to the dedicated volunteers today. The Festival Parade and Pink Tomato Beauty Pageants were added in 1957. The All-Tomato Luncheon and Street Dance have always been crowd favorites. Other events have included: Arts & Crafts show, Tomato Eating contest, 5K Race, and the Pink Tomato golf tournament. Thanks to the vision and creativity of those involved, new attractions are added each year.

From a one-day event the festival has grown to a week long celebration, with activities for all ages. The Pink Tomato Festival is now attended by 30,000 people each year and many are Bradley County natives who come home to be a part of the giant homecoming celebration.

There are so many events going on at one time, I decided that I would post each one in separate blog posts.

Friday night, we were pleased to welcome past winner from NBC’s The Voice, Craig Wayne Boyd, as entertainment.  Before the concert, he did a meet and greet where a few people got to talk to him and get his autograph.  He was a pretty nice guy and was happy to sign many posters and even a guitar that was to be raffled off.

His concert that evening, was a lot of fun and a great show.  I enjoyed myself and I know many others who visited the festival did as well.
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There are many more photos from the whole event to come, so keep checking in.  Til next time.

Do Well and Do Good

J

Slideshows, slideshows!

I absolutely love a good slideshow.  Photos, that I love, put to a song that I love…I don’t think it can get any better.  Each time I have a photo shoot, I take photos from each session and put them to music, so I can send it to my clients and they can fall in love, as well.  I am more than happy to share them with you, my readers.  Enjoy!

Til next time

Do Well and Do Good

J

A great client meeting

Recently I decided to give away a few engagement sessions via Facebook. One for each month of Summer. I posted my status and got my first response pretty quickly. The email was from a friend of mine that I’ve known for at least 12 years. But when I first met her, she was very young. Her name is Selena and her fiance’s name is Justin. In the email was a short story of how they met and what made them fall in love. I decided after a little while longer that I would pick them as the winner’s of the first month.

Today we met for lunch so I could get to know them better as a couple. Such great people! As I listened to their story, I could tell they really loved each other. They made me laugh because the smiled the entire time. There may have even been a few tears involved. I knew right away I was going to enjoy working with them. I will share their story more in depth when I post their engagement photos. We have those set for later this month. I am so very very excited about working with them and I cannot wait to get behind my lens and capture these two. Justin and Selena, you guys make love look good. 🙂 Til next time.

Do Well and Do Good

J