Monthly Archives: November 2013

Martin + Barbora – Brno, Czech Republic

After living in Prague for a few months in 2012, I had become friends with a family – the McClure’s.  Brian & Ali are some of the BEST people you’ll ever meet and I’d say that even if they weren’t incredibly generous.  When I knew that I would be traveling to the continent for a wedding in Asti, Italy earlier this year, I knew I wanted to go back to Prague.  Go in a warmer month, hug the neck of Adad, and see the McClure’s!  Brian offered to pick me up from the airport and as soon as I walked into their apartment, Ali was offering me food and tea.

Previously, when I told them the weekend I wanted to visit, Brian laughed.  “I’m photographing a wedding that weekend – want to help?!”
Um, YES.

Within hours of landing in Prague, my jet-lagged self and the McClure’s were off to Brno to capture the day of Martin + Barbora.  I learned a whole pile of things that are unique to European weddings & almost felt like a new photographer in a lot of ways.  And when I walked into the house to spend time with the bride as she got ready, I remembered one of the things I loved the most about the Czech Republic.  See, many from the States don’t understand the personalities of those living in eastern Europe – if you’ve been, you know that we Americans are quite loud and sometimes obnoxious comparatively.  Only after spending time with people of the region do you realize that most are actually really really lovely.  This rang true the rest of the day.  At the end, I was pretty exhausted (I hadn’t worked a 14 hour wedding day in a while!).  But, given the circumstances all over again I would do it all over again.

On my way back to America, I returned to Prague for just one day en route from Italy.  We took some pictures with the McClure family and then I did a few portraits of the single staff working with them from Louisiana State University.  (They probably all just fist pumped.)  It was absolutely refreshing to be in Prague on a warmer day with people who laugh as hard as I do.  Starbucks certainly didn’t hurt.

Děkuji, Praha!
It was SO great to spend some time with you. 🙂

xoxo & objetí!
amaris

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Portraits give worth.

Love Wins.  October 2012.

Love Wins. October 2012.

This couple overcame homelessness.  With four kids and against all odds, they pulled themselves out of the quicksand that can be life on the streets with a lot of help from community and quite a bit of hard work.  It is possible and, in the midst of it, they found each other and found love.  On a gorgeous October afternoon, they got married.  Just that week, I was asked to capture it.  “They have no money”, the email said.  “Could you do it?”
YES.

My raving positive opinions of the organization who did the asking aside, I regularly work with people to achieve win-win situations.  Wherein they get wonderful memories and I get to be a part of their story.  So often, it is absolutely beautiful.  Throughout this entire journey, I’ve learned that capturing someone’s portrait is a way to show them how worthy they are.  It’s a reminder of how much beauty they really possess.  There’s a reason I laugh so much during a session – I’ve found it’s the best way to help others relax.  When you’re relaxed, I get a shot to show the world how great you really are.

Like this couple, portraits aren’t always in the budget.  Sometimes, they are so far out of the budget that they’re a dream.  There are quite a few deserving families in highly impoverished situations that would benefit so much from some time with a photographer and a print that reminds them they still possess beauty.

There is an organization that strives to close this gap and they are incredible!  Each December, I hop on a team with other photographers, make-up artists, and stylists worldwide to contribute to Help Portrait.  It is an experience I can’t properly give a voice to.  Through much generosity, folks who might not have ever had their picture captured get a chance to have their portrait done by a professional.  Often, there are hair cuts, food, and sometimes even clothes up for grabs.
And the only hitch is that it must all be free.

As Help Portrait rocks the planet, I’m grateful to be involved.  However, as money for prints is quite limited and the event is only one day each year, the reach is limited.  Prints are, too.

This tiny little project right here is a chance to change that in Carolina.

For a donation of $100, an individual or family will receive a mini-session with one of our photographers and a $20 print credit.  Their images will be hosted in an online gallery where we can access their images for up to two years.  If they lose a print?  We’ll happily replace it.  There are non-profits that have come forward in both Charleston, SC and Raleigh, NC with deserving folks.  I definitely wish we could spend time with each of them, but supplies and prints and gas come at a cost.  Your donation covers just that – costs.  All of the labor will be given out of Love.

We are super excited about launching this and especially at such a special time of the year.

If you can, give.  If you can’t, let us know if you know of a family that could benefit.  Above all else, we hope you show kindness to all this holiday season.

Happy Holidays!
Thanks for being so stinking awesome.

xoxo,
amaris

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