Artistic Moments: Blog https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog en-us (C) Artistic Moments amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:27:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:27:00 GMT https://www.theartisticmoment.com/img/s/v-12/u732848522-o540562920-50.jpg Artistic Moments: Blog https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog 120 120 Inspired. https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2011/4/Inspired

 
dis·a·bil·i·ty
1. A physical or mental condition that limits a person's movements, senses, or activities.
2. A disadvantage or handicap.
 
The word disability is a hard one.  The term can refer to countless conditions and situations, most of which are life-altering for the individuals affected.  It has become a label, often replacing the individuality of the person it defines.  Many times, the biggest obstacle faced by a person with a disability, is overcoming the stigma attached to that description.
 
In our family, disability is a word that simply describes something to conquer.  My mother, Becky Guinn, is a a brilliant artist and teacher.  She brightens the lives of everyone that comes in contact with her and serves as an encouragement and inspiration for people around the world.  She is also a quadruple amputee.  The loss of her arms and legs was a horrific event in all of our lives.  However, she never stopped long enough to be defined by that loss.  The things that made her an amazing woman before are still the same and the strength that allowed her prevail is quick to outshine any visible disability.
 
Being a quadruple amputee is not a common situation and finding people and families that can relate to our needs and concerns has not been easy.  Because of this, I will never forget attending my first baseball game with CAST ministries.  As we approached the group, we quickly saw that a majority of members were amputees.  Everyone was welcoming, gracious, and having a wonderful time.  For once, mom fit in better than we did and it was truly a fabulous evening.  I have no idea who won the game (or even who played), but I remember loving the entire experience.
 
 
 
 
Because of this, I was thrilled to join CAST Ministries' for their 3rd Annual Walk, Run, & Roll Benefit and Health Fair.  This was a wonderful event for families and supported a truly inspiring organization.  The day began with a one mile family fun run which preceded the main 5K run.  The focus of the day was disability awareness and many organizations joined the event to provide information to attendees.  Inflatables, a maze, wheelchair races, a Birds of Prey show, and guest Storm Troopers kept the crowds very entertained throughout the morning.
 
 
 
The most inspiring moment of the day was when the final participant of the 1 mile race came across the finish line.  The 5K race had already begun and I was running around with my camera trying to catch shots of my family, who had separated and spread out all over the course.  I happened to glance over at the finish line, as a crowd gathered to see the first race come to an end.  I remembered seeing the man headed down that last stretch of track as the race began.  He passed by long after everyone else and slowly walked with a friend for support.  I had honestly forgotten about the first race with the excitement of the start for the second and certainly hadn't realized that it was not quite over.  As he came toward the finish line, the power of that moment hit me.
 
This man had taken every step of this race with determination and perseverance.  Each time his foot lifted and returned to the ground, he was a step closer to his final goal.  He didn't care about who had passed him or the speed of his race, he simply set his goal and took one step at a time to achieve it.  There were many other participants who overcame many personal obstacles that day.  The finish line in this race became much more than a judge of speed.  In the end, it wasn't about how quickly you finished, but about the journey to the goal.
 
Watching the final moments of this race, I realized...
 
- You can only experience the elation of crossing a finish line if you set a goal and enter the race.
- The people that pass you have no affect on your ability to cross the finish line.
- Sometimes, the most important part of a race is the journey there.
- True friendship is found in the people who walk at your pace and encourage you along the way.
 
 
Life can change in a moment.  It is easy to take for granted that tomorrow you will be able to run, speak, see, and move through the day as you always have before.  However, it is not guaranteed.  We cannot know what obstacles we will have to face in our future, but we know they will come.  The qualities that allow you to persevere in life do not come after tragedies.  They are a vital part of the character you build within yourself over a lifetime. You may not know what tomorrow brings, but you can live your life in a way that ensures you will see the finish line, regardless of the obstacles you may face along the way.
 
 
CAST Ministries‘ 3rd Annual Walk, Run, & Roll Benefit and Health Fair
 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2011/4/Inspired Fri, 08 Apr 2011 20:09:00 GMT
Celebration. https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2011/3/Celebration Childhood birthdays are so exciting and this was no different. Swimming, pizza, games, spa treatments, a fashion show, and so much more made this birthday celebration nothing short of fabulous.

 

 

How loud can 25 children get in a hotel pool?  How long can seven-year-old girls stay awake when clustered in groups?  Do five-year-old girls get more make-up on themselves or the bathroom counters when left to their own devices?  How many ibuprofen does it take to repair your head after listening to high-pitched squeals for nine hours straight?  I learned the answer to each and everyone of these questions a few weeks ago.

At the same time, I saw how precious young friendships can be.  I saw a mother express love for her daughter by moving the world to show her how special she is.  I watched little faces light up as they held the largest piece of birthday cake ever distributed at a party and instead of wasting it, decided to wear it.  I discovered the magic that surrounds little girls as they dress up and imagine the women they will become.  I found out that giggles really are contageous.  I renewed old friendships and started new ones.  And ultimately, I was reminded of what a precious thing it is to be a little girl.

Following an afternoon of swimming, yard games, pizza, cake and presents, the girls all retired to suites on the top floor of the hotel.  They were endlessly pampered.  They were given facials and were taught relaxation techniques by Blakely Stevenson of BeautiControl.  She is one of the best make-up specialists in our area, as well as being patient, generous, and caring as shown with each of the girls (and the adults).  The girls were also treated to manicures and had their make-up done.  Of course, they had to redo the make-up, because we didn’t use nearly enough.  The natural look was a bit unpopular there.  After all of this, the girls raided the dress up clothes and we hosted a fashion show.

 

 

It was a wonderful night and I am thrilled to share a few of these moments with you!  If you have time, take a look at the video and see a little more of the details.

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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2011/3/Celebration Wed, 30 Mar 2011 23:49:00 GMT
Fresh. https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2011/3/Fresh In the spirit of Spring...a fresh start.

 

 

Spring is finally here and I didn’t even have to look at my calendar to know it.  Here are a few revealing clues…

 

  • The divas and I have eaten the past two lunches outside enjoying the weather and dodging bees.
  • Each time they come in from playing outside, I get a handful of little flowers deposited on my desk.
  • My car is yellow from pollen and we are buying Puffs Plus in bulk.
  • The birds are filling up our trees faster than the cats can run them away.**
  • The sun is bright and color has finally returned to our yard.

It is a perfect time to appreciate life and start something fresh.   So that is what I am doing…starting fresh.

Over the past seven months, I’ve gotten buried in the business of having a business.   I have been honored to capture so many memories for my clients and have enjoyed my work very much.  However, somewhere along the way, I started letting go of my creative side and simply worked.   I gave up what was most unique about my art and exchanged it for a higher volume than I could handle on my own.  So, I’ve decided to go back to the basics and start over with a fresh new direction for Artistic Moments.

Step #1: New blog √

 

-AM

 

**If you’ve never seen a cat fly 10 feet through the air to land in a tree and displace 30 birds at once…you should…and be prepared to duck.

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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2011/3/Fresh Wed, 23 Mar 2011 23:24:00 GMT
Defined. https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2011/3/Defined Defined.

 

 

Moments are the elements of life.  They are linked by time and come together to define who we are.  Some are big and some are so small that we barely feel them passing.  Each of them holds a unique value that may be immediately apparent or take years to discover.

Art is the physical manifestation of the imagination, driven by passion, and designed to elicit an emotional response.   It provides a means to empower the ordinary and alter the way the world is viewed.

Artistic Moments are what I create.

-AM

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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2011/3/Defined Tue, 22 Mar 2011 20:24:00 GMT
Catching Up! https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2012/7/blog-post


This last season has been the busiest I have faced so far.  Although stressful, it brought some of the most amazing memories with it.  I would love to share some highlights with you and will be working to do so over the next few days.  I will start by posting the video for the Netherton wedding from this past Halloween.

 

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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2012/7/blog-post Fri, 04 Mar 2011 04:15:00 GMT
Afternoon at Oakland https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2010/10/afternoon-at-oakland
Kirk and I go way back...back when Aqua Net was a necessity, "where's the beef?" was hysterical, Space Invaders and Frogger were the games to beat, and everything was like totally awesome. He had a wicked sense of humor, an abundance of charm, and was an amazing friend.

When I heard that Kirk was getting married and that they were interested in having me photograph their wedding, I literally cried. I was honored that they thought of me, completely lost in nostalgia, and devastated that I was already booked on the day they needed me. Luckily, plans changed and I couldn't be happier. The wedding is coming up on Halloween and we will be there with camera in hand. The only question is whether we will be in costume.

An early treat for me was this engagement session. After more than a decade, I got to hang out with Kirk again and also had the privilege of meeting Tina. What an amazing woman! She is so vibrant, creative, engaging, and beautiful...inside and out. Seeing them together and so happily in love still has me smiling.














 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2010/10/afternoon-at-oakland Wed, 27 Oct 2010 01:00:00 GMT
Georgia Snow https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2010/2/georgia-snow
We don't get snow very often here. It is one of natures most beautiful special effects and I love being able to photograph our home in it. Of course, playing in it isn't too bad either :) Our dog was kind enough to wake me up around sunrise the following day, so I thought I would share a few images I captured that morning...


 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2010/2/georgia-snow Mon, 15 Feb 2010 02:15:00 GMT
One Big Loving Family... https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2010/1/one-big-loving-family I had the extreme pleasure of joining the Armes family at their home as they celebrated the Christmas holidays with their children and grandchildren. I stayed just a little while to take some family photographs, but could quickly tell that they were a loving family, full of many talents...one of which is certainly hospitality.

Maybe one day I will have the chance to return and enjoy a closer inspection of the gorgeous artwork throughout their home. Not only are their granddaughters budding artists, but their daughters-in-law both have artistic talents as well. Their paintings and scrapbooks were breathtaking. It was also a treat to see the little girls getting ready to help bake in their personalized aprons and the Christmas decorations filled the home with such a cozy feeling.

Even though my visit was short, the impression made was great. Here are just a few of the images captured during my stay.

 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2010/1/one-big-loving-family Tue, 12 Jan 2010 02:15:00 GMT
The Prophetts... https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/11/prophetts
This is one of my favorite families! I have simply fallen in love with these boys and their parents are wonderful as well. My girls are always thrilled to know we are having them over to our home or going over to visit at their house. I cannot think of anything better than taking photographs of friends and I count myself quite fortunate to call Shannon a dear friend. Watching her boys grow through my viewfinder is something I will always cherish. Unfortunately, I am quite behind in posting their images, but thought you might like to see them despite the delay. There will be more to come, including a first birthday session that we are scheduling soon!





 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/11/prophetts Sun, 22 Nov 2009 02:15:00 GMT
The Grays... https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/11/grays
It is easy to remember why I love my job so much when I encounter children like Noah and Olivia. They were so delightful and the entire family is just beautiful, inside and out. They came out to the studio, and in spite of the wet grounds and dreary day, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the images that resulted from our brief session together. I hope that you feel the same.


 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/11/grays Sun, 08 Nov 2009 02:15:00 GMT
A Perfect Family... https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/10/perfect-family
What a delight to spend an afternoon with the Thompsons! Everyone was so relaxed and willing to just enjoy this experience together. The girls were amazing and I would not be surprised if a modeling career is in their future. Their perfect smiles and natural beauty made my job very easy. The twins were adorable and kept a smile on my face during the entire session.

I think the hardest part of this session was narrowing down the choices for their gallery. With a family this beautiful and children this cooperative, I ended up with more successful images than I expected. Because of this, I was able to be a little more creative in my "darkroom." I spattered their gallery with vintage images, black and whites, and even a few fairies. Here are a few of my favorites...

 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/10/perfect-family Sun, 25 Oct 2009 01:15:00 GMT
Brand New... https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/10/brand-new
I had the extreme pleasure of photographing this precious newborn recently. Every once in a while, I have a chance to simply enjoy everything about my work. It was wonderful to spend time with this family and share in the joy they felt over this addition to their family. It didn't take long before I was captivated as well.

Due to the remodeling of my studio space, I stretched outside of my comfort zone quite a bit. Most of the session was indoors and with low lighting. Of course, challenges are just food for creative minds and it was a lot of fun to experiment. Mom came ready with some wonderful ideas and was so patient with my girls fascination with the baby. The mini-diva duo played the role of assistant photographers. I would not recommend having a five-year old rearrange your lighting as you are shooting!

Overall, this session has been a bright spot in my October. I have loved every step of this process and have been so encouraged by this family. I am looking forward to watching as this beautiful little girl grows.

 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/10/brand-new Wed, 21 Oct 2009 01:15:00 GMT
Sunset Silhouettes https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/5/sunset-silhouettes
We had another gorgeous sunset over the lake today and it proved to be the perfect solution for my current creative drive. I have been wanting to try shooting silhouettes for a few days now and everything worked out for me this evening. There were so many appealing shots, that I had a very hard time narrowing them down for editing. These are just a few of my favorites.

I also created a new preset for Lightroom while editing. You are welcome to download it here.


 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/5/sunset-silhouettes Tue, 02 Jun 2009 01:15:00 GMT
Spin Baby Spin!!!! https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/5/spin-baby-spin Thanks to Photojojo for the brief tutorial that got me outside and acting like a nut with my family. We saw a picture like this a few months ago in a travel magazine and wondered how to do it. Basically, you need to have one person spinning the very happy child while the other holds the camera from behind the adult and snaps like crazy. We used the shutter priority setting (1/15th sec was suggested, but I ended up as fast as 1/60 on a few) on my 5D with my 17-40L at 17mm. Here's a few that we got...



I can't wait to get out and try again!
 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/5/spin-baby-spin Sat, 30 May 2009 01:15:00 GMT
Spring in the South https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/5/spring-in-south


Spring offers a wonderful variety of subjects for any photographer, but I am usually chasing children through the flowers and rarely take the time to capture their beauty. This season has been different. Our home was surrounded by beautiful plants and we made a few trips to Callaway Gardens in Georgia. Nature was just too amazing to ignore and my macro lens was itching for some attention. Here are a few of my favorites...

 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/5/spring-in-south Sun, 24 May 2009 01:15:00 GMT
Playing with Izze https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/4/playing-with-izze
There were lots of photographs started last weekend, but dentist visits and rain have taken over our home and I am pretty far behind on the editing process. In the meantime...I thought I would share some of my favorite picks from a session with Izze. She is a delightful young lady who really enjoys playing with bubbles...so glad I had that machine! I think the girls would have enjoyed her staying a few extra hours to play with them, but we may have to arrange that another time.



 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/4/playing-with-izze Sat, 04 Apr 2009 01:15:00 GMT
Fire Safety https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/3/fire-safety
As you probably know, we homeschool our girls and are always looking for ways to step up their education and comprehension of facts. When Keith was asked to videotape our local fire departments at a training burn, we jumped on the opportunity to let them see our heroes in action. We all took photographs of the event and the girls were able to meet the firefighters and EMTs on site. They learned first-hand how much heat a fire can produce, how smoke can effect your body and how quickly a fire consumes a home once it reaches the attic. Everyone was so gracious and kind while working so hard to improve their skills for this dangerous profession. Here are a few shots from the day.


 
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amy@amymcdow.com (Artistic Moments) https://www.theartisticmoment.com/blog/2009/3/fire-safety Mon, 30 Mar 2009 01:15:00 GMT