“Good Morning” | A Short Story

It’s 6:35am. Mom’s up and had two cups of coffee already. It’s also Wednesday, trash day. I hear her outside my window getting the bins ready to put on the street. I wipe the crust from my eyes and find my footing on the floor. As quick as a blink, I’m awake and making my way to the front door.

I open the gated door and climb up on the rock wall, “Mom!” I’m yelling and smiling. “Good morning, sugar!” she says. I’m her sugar. She grabs the second bin and brings it to the street. That ones blue. I like blue.

She walks the driveway to me, stands in front of me, and says, “Can I have a hug?” I quickly oblige. I love my mom. I squeeze her neck as tightly as I can. I lean back and then look at the mountains we live by and we take in the view for a few breaths. She asks if I’m ready for some cereal. Excited, I scream, “Yahhhhhhh!!”

#elpaso #elpasophotographer #fortbliss #fortblissphotographer #familyphotography #storytelling #lifestylephotography #lifestylephotographer #illuminatedanchor #childhoodunplugged

Landscape | El Paso

I’ve started a time lapse photo project of my own, which you can see two of the images(the last two) in the project here in this post. I was inspired by this project because I’ve been walking my pre-k kiddo to school all year long so far! Just a smidge under a mile and I’ve gone three routes and have been blessed to see things that I don’t get to see while driving!
  
  
  

I’ve lived here in El Paso for about a year and a half, so I’ve officially seen all “four seasons” here in this desert. What many people assume is that the desert doesn’t change much; I’m here to give witness to all it’s beauty! 🙂

Hopefully you’ll follow me on this journey until we move next year!

E L I S E

Getting Business Legal

On the side of my own life, I’ve recently been “mentoring” another photographer who I happened to be in the military with, which now… seems like ages ago!

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The unit we served in together, used this FDR quote, well, part of it, as their motto. A “Rendezvous With Destiny” we certainly had! (This is part of the FDR Memorial in Washington D.C.; photo courtesy of my husband, who tries so incredibly hard to be the photographer husband!! Bless his heart and shakey hands!)

He’s been diving into the photography art and discovering how it works and all the glorious things that come with it. One thing I wish I’d have done better as a young artist would be that I’d have gotten completely business legal, much quicker. There’s something about it that gives you the ultimate confidence to stand behind, ahem, your business. Yep, your business! Not “hobby”.

I know that when I wanted to start a business, it seemed daunting and terribly difficult. If you’re looking to start a business (of any kind, really) yourself, I’m here today to lend starting points for you so you’re not lost! Hooray, small business owners!

Here we go:

  • Choose / select / be good at a specialty or niche AND build a portfolio
  • Develop a business plan
    • business formation type
    • policies — look at some legal contracts to start some ideas
    • how to process a client from start to finish including basic timeline and product delivery
  • Choose a business name
  • Reserve your business name within your state
  • Apply for an EIN on the IRS website
    • THIS IS FREE!! Do not pay a third party to do this for you. It is easy, quick, and PAINLESS.
  • Submit for business license in your state
  • Apply for Sales Tax License / Permit, doable on your state’s website
  • Open a business bank account; you will need your EIN for this
    • Shop around for the best perks of accounts at different banks
  • Set up a professional email account
  • Set up an accounting worksheet or purchase “The Easy Client & Money Manager” from The Modern Tog. (Not an affiliate link, she’s just really that great!)
  • Develop a list of session types / packages / price list. Make sure to do your Cost of Doing Business (CODB) BEFORE just throwing down some numbers.
    • Find business(es) to print your product with, and open a pro account with them.
  • Develop a photography contract. My recommendation is to use a professional one reviewed by a lawyer.
  • Put your business out on social media
  • Market your business
    • Offer Portfolio Building (PB) prices for a short term or selected number of sessions. Let these clients see your full value, but that they are also receiving a discounted price for letting you portfolio build with them / their images.
      • PB will do two things: 1.) Let you PB ANNNND get paid AND use those images for marketing material, and 2.) That full price you put out there and show to the world anchors a price at the beginning, versus putting out a price and then having to quickly RAISE it while people are still anchored to the *cheaper* price. You’ll quickly see how people will value you / your work… MORE.

Of course, please do also look into what your state requires of you to have a business; your state could require more or less. This, to me, is a sound starting point, however, I’m no lawyer by any means. This is a great starting point to lay down a solid, forward path in getting business legal. If I had been wise enough in my early years and confident enough to chase my dream full-force, I’d have done these things. But, everyone has doubts at times, it’s just a matter of being confident and positive and researching what it takes.

Well, I really hope that I’ve been able to help someone out! Till next time, friends!

E L I S E

Gasworks Park

I’ll warn you now: things are about to get real here.

I’ve been here before, as many have as well. Today’s visit was different, although you wouldn’t know it if you were with me in person. My two boys and I spent the day with my mom and dad, and big brother J with a trip to the zoo following a sunset at Gasworks. It was Father’s Day.

This year was the first year I had gotten to spend father’s day with my own dad in ten years. It was over nine years ago that I had decided that I was meant for bigger things than anything that could be offered to me in my hometown; I joined the military. This is currently where the boys’ dad is: serving his time in Korea (boy, doesn’t that sure sound like exile when I say it that way?). Today, I kept thinking about how amazing it is to finally be here with my family after such a long separation, but I also couldn’t wipe away the thought of my husband, not that I really wanted to either.

While I was out all day, my mind would keep me from the present and the activity about my physical being. There is so much about my life I currently struggle with, and most of the time, it’s quite a secret. Today was no different. I was struggling with the fact that my family had been split apart. This thought is on my mind day in, and day out; sun up and sun down… This missing part of my life.

We’ve passed the 100 day mark of our 300+ coming. Not a day has gotten easier. Around me, I’ve struggled to find the beauty in life, including my own beauty. I’ve pushed through the days mulling about in my own personal misery since the boys can’t exactly speak their own miseries or joys or worries or cares with me. I see things and ache when I want my husband to be able to see it too. I ache when there is so much the boys are doing and he is gone.

And so, I just wait. Wait for the days to pass. Wait for the sun to rise (yes, I have early risers!!) and the sun to fall.

Wait.

And remember.

Remember the promises we made. Remember the amazing love that we share. Remember how honestly perfect we are for each other. Remember the life that we shared and will continue to share. Remember that there will be more to come.

And for now, the sun has fallen on this day, and will continue to fall on many more. When the sun rises on the day that we are reunited, I won’t so much mind seeing the sun disappear below the edge and produce a beautiful, warm, purple palette on the sky.

HDR Gasworks Park

Childhood

Growing up, I seldomly remember a camera in my childhood. There were some, of course, because there are pictures of my childhood that still exist.

There is one picture that I’ve always remembered, mostly because it was proudly displayed in a dusty frame atop a wooden, scalloped window valence, but also because it was a nice black and white image, with lots of texture, just trimmed grass in my hair, and… those really dorky and embarrassing glasses my mom forced me to wear. I remember being at the eye doctor and choosing a pair for myself, and totally being denied because these ones were “cute”.

And to be seven and in elementary school? Yep, the sixth graders asked me, “Why are your glasses so big?” and then I could hear the girls giggling and saying as they walked away that glasses seemed to get bigger as the ages were younger. Oh, those dorky grandma glasses… Thanks, Mom. 😉

My brother and I. Ages 7 and 8.
My brother and I. Ages 7 and 8.

I’ve always liked this picture. Thank you, neighbor-lady-the-photographer.

So when I took this picture of Phoenix and a little girl in the neighborhood, it immediately made me think of the one from over twenty years ago. I knew they had to be shown together.

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I am also keen on the color version.

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Hopefully I can do a few more fun ones with my boys, recreating my years as a little girl. Don’t worry, I was quite a tomboy. I remember quite clearly throwing Barbie out of the two story window.

And as it seems, everywhere we go, he is always holding the hand of a little girl.

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Do you have any favorite images you would like recreated?

ELISE

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