Year after year, I’m inspired by telling the stories of Goodwill’s Achievers of the Year. These are people who have had lives that aren’t as easy as mine but their desire to work hard and be good citizens makes me proud to know them.
And if you’re not familiar with all the wonderful things Goodwill does for this community, you should: http://www.goodwillwm.org/
Changing LIVES through the power of WORK.
I love Muskegon — my home now for over 16 years. I especially get excited when I get to be a tiny part of big project in our fabulous city. The USS LST 393 Veterans Museum used to be great but now it’s even better. With a fresh coat of “D-Day Gray,” she now looks the same as she did during the invasion of France on D-Day in 1944. Volunteers helped transform the floating museum just in time for a grand celebration that will happen Saturday, June 6th. Sadly, I won’t get to be there but come out and celebrate this local gem.
North Muskegon, Michigan
The day I photographed Brynnley, her parents said she wasn’t quite herself. She was sleepy and a little fussy. And you know what? That was quite alright with me. I’ll tell you why. Parenthood and being a baby – – especially a preemie like Brynnley – – isn’t always easy or “perfect.” There are good days and really bad ones. To me, what IS perfect is how a mother and father can love a child so much. They know the right songs to sing, the way she likes to be held, the things that make her feel safe and secure. So that’s what I got to photograph that day, tears included, but that’s life and what a beautiful one it is.
You know you have a creative teenager on your hands when they help scope out their own locations for their senior session. I remember Jon’s mom calling me and telling me where they were waiting for me. “You can’t miss us, Jon’s playing his guitar near this old red building.” I thought right then and there that this would be a great photography session.
As well as photographing Jon, we took some family portraits, too. Besides being creative and just really cool people, I loved their playfulness, authenticity and enthusiasm for one another. I left feeling like I wanted to be around these people more. It certainly didn’t feel like work. A few days later, I got an email telling me that they expected being photographed to be a bit like pulling teeth but they actually had fun. That’s what it’s all about – -both of us leaving feeling fulfilled.
Best of luck to you, Jon, in your senior year at North Muskegon High School and may your family always be by your side.
I love Natalia for being so unique. Vintage clothing, a viola and her tutu-wearing pug probably topped my most interesting senior session this year. And, we had some amazing light and a kind local who let us “borrow” his farm for the day. Congratulations, Natalia, in all your future endeavors.
Rebecca is a fitness instructor and trainer who makes really yummy vegan whole food bars and granola, too. The first time I met Rebecca was the day I took these photos. She has a positive energy about her with a killer smile and laugh. Rebecca runs a small local business, like me, and I’m fortunate our paths crossed. If a healthier you in on your horizon, look up Rebecca. You’ll be glad you did.
There’s something refreshing about a teenager who can be bold and have her own style. Natalia came wearing a vintage black birdcage veil and jewelry for her senior session. She also brought her viola and pug named Peri who happened to be wearing a pink dress and bow tie. (You’ll have to check the blog in a few weeks to see Peri!)