Valentine's Day!! And Things

     So it's that time of year again: Valentine's Day! We'll start this love train with some self-portraits we captured a week ago that our favorite Russian artist requested for a crochet fine art body of work ("Kiss") that she is working on. Though the world in the past couple weeks has seemed a bit dark & hard, we recently took time to focus on our little family as well as all of the family and friends we were able to visit with in the past month.

     We're very fortunate to have been able to visit our only grandparents as well as our immediate families, Jenny's aunt, some in-laws, our new niece & nephew furry pets, and a couple friends in the past month, but were sad that we missed catching a friend in Arizona as well as 8 other friends during our last 8 hours in California. It's impossible to cram everything in especially when on the road or in a plane for at least 4 hours every single day, but we'll keep working on a schedule for visiting family and friends that gives us more quality time with everyone since the past 2 holiday visits haven't gained us as much time with each household as we'd hoped. It's hard to juggle travel when you have pets and a home to take care of, but we're thankful we're at least able to see everyone annually or bi-annually! 

     This year for Valentine's Day we have plans to go to a fancy dinner- something neither of us normally does for Valentine's Day. (It's been a habit for Valentine's Day to just go to an Indian buffet or low-key make food ourselves). We may not do presents this year since our house is packed, but we WILL celebrate Jason's birthday mere days later with some awesome presents! And cake. And probably authentic Mexican tacos. Again. 

     For Valentine's Day this year for our business unlike last year, we won't be holding Valentine's Day Mini Sessions, but we still plan on photographing love as we always do! We're actually in the middle of planning a little Portrait Event for Muslim members of our community to celebrate the love this month! We're hoping to hold it this coming Sunday February 12th in order to share the images on our blog for Valentine's Day, but we'll see if the date changes! We're still setting an indoor location since our studio we've decided is a bit boring and the great outdoors have been extremely unpredictable lately (Read: Intense, intense thunderstorms & pouring rain all night and day yesterday, then snow today...) and chatting with the awesome imam (mosque leader) to hash out details for the flier! 

     We've been planning to do these photos and collect any words people would like to share ever since we moved back to the area in the Fall of 2015 (even talking to Muslim friends about it back then), but never got the ball rolling due to business rebranding, Portrait Sessions with clients, marketing, adopting 2 pets, buying a house, setting up our offices + studio, family things, and all of the chaos that the past year has had after literally moving across the country. We set out to embark on this project because we deeply appreciate and love all of our friends and family regardless of what religion they are, but unfortunately it seems that again there has been an intense resurgence of Islamophobia and general xenophobia from both strangers and family alike. 

     We love to imagine a world where everyone is treated equally, but that simply isn't true yet. All we ourselves can do is continue to fight for truth and combat needless fear. Did you know that Islam is the second largest religion in the entire world...? 1.6 billion followers that account for literally 25% of the entire population of the world. 1 out of 4 of us humans are Muslim. 2.2 Billion people are Christian in this world which accounts for 33% of all humans. 1 out of 3. Just like Islam, Christianity it is an Abrahamic religion founded in the Middle East. Now, if we look at real statistics it does not make sense to ban those from 7 Muslim nations from coming into this country.

     This is not a political issue at all. This is an issue of justice. This is an issue of intelligence, statistics, and pure facts. This is an issue of people being fearful of people and a religion that they know nothing about. True fact: 7 years ago some of Jenny's earliest jobs in the first couple years of photographing weddings independently on her own were Muslim weddings. Some of the people most supportive of our endeavors are Muslim friends. 

    So... We plan to write more on this later with more of a loving focus on the amazing people in our community and their exact words. For now please keep checking in to our Facebook Page for the flier for the event!