We had a few other things we were going to blog about, but since we didn't really do much for Jenny's birthday half a year ago and since we really loved photographing Maggie's 30th Birthday Session, we decided to celebrate Jenny's 30 & a half birthday this week with a little Session in our "front yard" on the river in front of our house.
Jenny has been working hard on her way up to and during the big 3-0. When we met she was 27 and in the midst of completing her MFA: creating fine artwork for her solo show, writing a thesis-type document and getting it professionally edited while going through revision after revision in preparation for her defense. Her work to finish her thesis continued past the point at which we moved across the country from California to Michigan. We spent our first months re-doing the photography website while learning about our new area and booking clients. In an attempt to make things in this new place feel a little more like home we even adopted a cat 4 months after our move while working full-time while working to establish our new brand.
The past couple years in this area have had their ups and downs, but we have been trying our hardest to enjoy the little things. Partially to blame for our underwhelming celebration of Jenny's birthday came as we both got a house and a hyperactive dog just weeks prior! At this point we're happy with our career, offices, and studio and are still finding our footing with meeting new friends and colleagues in the area.
Throughout all of this she's dealt with a fair amount of adversity. For someone constantly striving to help others and maintain an inclusive attitude toward all people, she has run into an excessive amount of negativity. This sort of response can be expected to a point when taking on controversial topics. More often than not however, people's issues with her ideas and actions to help educate those around her have resulted in attacks on a personal level. Resilience has a way of forming against constant negativity, and I can only see other's snide remarks and ignorance making Jenny's future work hold a stronger message. She has worked hard for the educational degrees and just wants to help use her education to teach others. Bullying is something neither of us like, but unfortunately something Jenny has been forced to deal with all too often recently. Honestly, the subtlety of the effects of seeing women as objects has a stronger influence on society than many would think . Often this bias appears when I incorrectly receive attribution for all our photos, ideas, and success. In reality, the business is a 50% venture, with this reflected in just about all of our shoots, photos, product sales, and media presence.
This weekend we're throwing and attending an awards banquet for the 5th grade volleyball team that she helped coach (after we set up for a couple hours for the bridal event we'll be participating in with our business AND attend a Growing Summit with the Unity Gardens and a plethora of other plant experts at the St. Joe Library)! She was unsure about volunteering since it had been 12 years since she was starter on her high school team. When I saw her coaching at a few games and heard her talk about the girls I know that juggling coaching, work, and raising our new massively energetic, full-grown, & destructive puppy greyhound was worth it for her and we're excited to see the girls get their first sports letter jacket patches this Saturday!
One sad observation we made is that apparently sports teams in elementary school do not necessarily still have team photos for the yearbook. No hired photographer took a photo of the team, so Jenny made sure that I brought my camera to their last game and to make sure the girls got a team photo. We even printed 8x10 physical photos for all of the girls because we wanted them to have a physical memory of the team! Jenny wanted to make sure that one of the girls who didn't make the last 2 games got into the photograph, so she gave me a photo from her cell phone of the girl from earlier in the season and I photoshopped her into the team photo.
Semi unrelated: THIS weekend we will be participating in Morris Park Country Club's Bridal Show here in South Bend, Indiana again this year! It's happening this Sunday in a few days from Noon until 3 p.m. and should again be a blast! Out of the 7 expos we've been to in the past year, this one was one of our top 2 favorites and definitely favorite Indiana one. There will be free hor'douvres, a huge raffle of a ton of great items, you can try different wedding cakes, there will be a cash bar, and you can meet and chat with a ton of other wedding businesses such as florists, hair stylists, tux shops/ bridal gown shops, etc. And of course: Us! Make sure to tell your friends and family who are engaged to swing by! Admission is just $5 in advance, so make sure to pre-register here: www.louiestuxshop.com/morrisparkbridalshow and check out the Facebook event page here: www.facebook.com/events/815328241939063/ ! We can't wait to see you there!