a short trip. a must trip. {the rocky mountains}

A short trip. A must trip.
The mountains.
...because feeling this small reminds me of how big it all really is.
jodi renée

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Jack turns 4. The fine art of Cake Eating and the best Christmas present eva!

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirit of trees, and for the blue dream of sky; and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is Yes. 
~ e. e. cummings 

My sister-in-law had mentioned the blank canvas that was her kitchen wall multiple times.
Then a conversation with my brother a few months ago:
Me: what inspires you about the kids?
Ryan: Jack teaches me to stand back...to let him do it. He's personified fun, a person with wants and needs...he understands. Natalie. She's so easy going and trusts that life will provide.
Me: what do you wish for them...so what are the most important beliefs you hold for your family? what do you dream...?
Ryan: Love. For the family dynasty...Love. For the children and their children to love life.

{insert melting heart}
While I already knew this about the kids...AND that this would be my brother's somewhat response, it's still heart-warming and awesome to hear and experience.
My brother and sister-in-law SEE these little beings not only as their children...they see and experience them as people. And in this huge space of really seeing them - they don't impose their own ideas, and beliefs. It allows for radical authenticity. For Jack and Nat to BE themselves - making their own way in this world. And trust me! They do.
It's inspiring to see two adults surrender to parenting and work more on being really great people.
What's more inspiring is being in the presence of my niece and nephew.

So back in the summer I had taken two images that for some reason seem to move me every time I looked at them. Ironically neither image had the kids looking at the camera. Jack IS the epitome of fun. He's like this container of joy. Tapped into the never-ending source which is evident in his sometimes sheepish smile and the twinkle in his eyes. He is infinite...he is Yes.
Natalie is curious about the world around her. Evident when she plays. Utter fascination.
Things that most overlook, she SEES and explores. Like the small lights on the DVD player (photo above). And there's a calm, an ease...a comfort in her presence. My brother's right when he says "she trusts"...and in this trusting, honest space that is Natalie, I believe that because she's alive...Everything is possible.

A blank kitchen wall is a canvas.
Two inspiring little beings.
= art.
I was presumptuous to think that they'd want such big pieces in a place where most don't hang anything but photos of food or...(I don't even know what people place in their kitchen?? Fruit baskets and clocks, random photos of things that just inspire more eating?) And yet the kitchen is THE place in the home. Families coming together, nourishing themselves and connecting. Thus the importance of family meals together with all things electronic OFF - just my humble opinion anyways.

It's a sacred space.
The things you love, your family, your life...IS the inspiration.
Mel (my sister-in-law) upon asking if the photos were up, did they look good? BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVA! ...(I kinda guessed this when she bawled unwrapping Christmas day...ironically not blood related and we both share the emotional flood that is anything striking the heart chords...like ANY THING.)
"The pics look awesome in the kitchen. It's a great reminder to keep myself centered and focus on what's important when I'm about to lose my patience!!!" ...amazing.

Try not to overlook the opportunities of inspiration that are already in your life. Right in front of you, right at your feet...(often knee-height, stained fingers and complaining of hunger.)
Use your space to remind you...inspire you...

I can hardly believe that my nephew is now 4...Happy Birthday bud! I LOVE you.
Words are not enough.
Graceful and guilt-free my niece hangs onto the legacy that is pure, indulgent cake eating.
ESPECIALLY when it's not even your own birthday. Have your cake and eat it too.
Have others cake and eat it...often.
sweet love O mine, there is so much these little people can teach you...
(ahem...and my birthday is coming up too. I like cake. I love cake. Jus sayin...)
jodi renée

Comments! Or just conversation! Would love to hear from YOU on the Facebook Fanpage!

Be daring. Be different. {inspiration}

shauna + brian wed at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club {Ontario weddings}

While I'm doing some organizing, renovating and planning, getting into the groove of 2012...
I thought I'd rewind and post Shauna and Brian's gorgeous October wedding at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

Lots of emails went back and forth before Shauna and I actually met up, one snowy day I believe in 2010. Taking only limited weddings for the past couple of years, she was concerned that I was going to turn her down. And it's not so much turning people down...
As working with the 'right fit'.
People write books and if you're intrigued, you buy it.
Artists paint what inspires them and if you're intrigued, you invest.
It's a completely different process using a medium of photography.
Clients hire you, investing...money AND emotion - only having seen the work that's inspired through working with others.
So many variables, pretty much everything is out of your control.
The one really important thing that IS in your control however?
The relationship and connection you have with your clients.
Your muse.
The work that's created is based on a foundation of trust.
I knew through our dialogue that it was important for Shauna to invest in something that truly resonated with her. When we met (and this is not uncommon) we dove into the day and the details like old friends catching up. Big embrace...lots of rambling and laughing.
She was inspired by the work she'd seen.
I was inspired by...her.
The twinkle in her eye...
Her gorgeous smile.
She's beautiful, inside and out.
Sharing a bit of her and Brian's unconventional love story...
I was Sold.

The outcome?
As you can see...One incredibly perfect day.
I am blessed that I get to spend a day like this with such unbelievably amazing people...laughing, crying...laughing some more.
(ok. And eating some melt in your mouth prime rib).

So be picky! More than just a client, this is a, relationship - an important one.
One that is SO worthwhile for both parties when you know what you want, and won't settle for anything less.
Win win.
Shauna and Brian I love you guys and thank you SO SO much for knowing that it was me that you wanted to work with...
Can't wait to see the photos up on your walls! ...happy new year.
much love,
jodi renée xo

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