Welcome to my blog, the place where you'll see glimpses of the fun I experience each time I have the honor of capturing abundant moments full of life, love and laughter for people just like you! I enjoy sharing tid bits from my sessions, but occasionally you might see a post of some of the dearest people in my own life: my incredible husband Rahul or perhaps one of our four children (yes, 4)... Collin, Griffin, Eden Grace and Matthan. They are my constant inspiration! I look forward to getting to know you, whether we meet over a cup of coffee or just chat via email. Take a look around, leave a comment or two and check back often- you never know what surprises might be waiting!
Blessings Always, Annie
Dream Calendar sessions started bright and early this morning! My first heart-breaker was Anthony who greeted me with the brightest smile and warmest hug. What a sweet boy! Seriously, can you even resist this grin?!!
Next, I had the opportunity to meet Bekah, who was quick to grab my arm and head out into the field. We were fast friends. Bekah also had the opportunity to meet Julia’s mom, Lisa. What an incredible honor to have her there, watching The Dream Calendar unfold and to see her sweetly interacting with the children. Without a doubt, I will count this as one of the most precious moments of the process this year!
Oh, sweet Mr. Jonathan was next and goodness he is adorable. He was giving us a fit being so serious, keeping such a straight face while we certainly looked silly trying to get a little grin. 3 grown ladies standing over head doing just about anything to get a reaction. It must have been a sight! But, after a good bit of coaxing and a little singing from his mom he pulled out this smile and stole our hearts.
I closed out the morning with Megan, who appeared in the first Dream Calendar. She touched my heart deeply then, just as she did today. Her beautiful eyes and her sweet little spirit captivate me everytime. Ah, just see for yourself!
Thank you to all the parents who shared their morning and their children for these precious images! As always, it is such an incredible honor!
Since the story did not air on Bay News 9 this evening, they have requested that you tune in Friday during their 5:00 broadcast.
Yesterday was so incredibly precious, yet so very bittersweet. I met up with Allie, her mom and big sis Abbie to shoot her session for the calendar. Kristy Wolski, from Bay News 9 graciously brought her team to help cover the story of The Dream Calendar as well. Below, Renee is sharing about Clouds of Hope.
Allie will be the model for September in the 2011 calendar, the same month that Julia held in the original piece. When I was first working on the concept for this year, a Jonny Diaz song started playing on my computer. Here are the lyrics that penetrated my heart:.
Soon she will run on fields of green and never wake up from her dreams
Embrace with joy the mysteries of beautiful that she’s never seen
Soon she will run…
This chorus was perfect as I thought about Julia, now healed, running through Heaven. I couldn’t get the image out of my mind. It was truly the inspiration for the location and we immediately began looking for a field where we could photograph all of the little models. The journey for the perfect place was a tough one. Dozens of friends were on the hunt. Then I drove by this barren piece of property that my husband had suggested for weeks, but now it was suddenly full of pinkish colored flowers. I couldn’t believe it. Each month was already slated to have a pink accent, as a continued reminder of Julia’s life- so this field, truly was a gift from God. It couldn’t have been more perfect!
Yesterday the concept for the entire calendar came full circle. Allie was standing there in this incredible field holding 12 pink balloons, 1 for each year of Julia’s life and for a moment I was speechless. Just watching this unfold:
And then she ran and it simply took my breath away!
The story of The Dream Calendar will air this evening on Bay News 9 at approximately 5:20pm. Be sure to tune in!
A special thank you to Kristy and the Bay News 9 team for their extreme professionalism and sensitivity towards the families involved. It was an honor to work with you!
Ah, the anticipation of finally being able to share a few of these precious little children with each of you!
Logistical plans have been in the works for several weeks, but many of the details were needing to be ironed out…fields, clothing, props, paperwork- the list could go on; but finally we were at a place to start meeting the children and shooting their calendar sessions yesterday afternoon.
I have to admit before heading out my heart was racing. I always love these sessions. They are simply some of my favorites. The stories. The families. The love and acceptance. The hope and the joy. Children, created in the image of God. Beautiful. Priceless.
What a responsibility to capture them for who they are, to freeze their sweet faces and to then share them with the world. It is a task I can not take lightly. So my heart races, butterflies flutter in my stomach and my hands get sweaty…until I meet them and I fall in love.
Now, you get to do the same…
Darling Siblings Evan and Emma and Allie and Abbie
My heart is full as I look at these images, as I wipe tears from my eyes knowing the joys and the struggles that life has brought to their families, but so excited to share their darling faces, their bright eyes and their smiles with you.
Would you like to get involved? There’s still time!
Your business can sponsor an ad or make a donation…and don’t forget, we’ll be selling the completed calendars in mid-November too!
Yesterday, Eden stood by my side watching me edit and work on blog posts for quite some time. She was twirling around in her bright green dress when she crept up beside me and whispered in my ear, “Mommy, can you please take my picture?”
As a photographer, those words are convicting, because usually my children run from my camera, chanting phrases like “Not again. Please, mom, not again.” But for the past few weeks, I’ve been the one running. Running out the door to capture lots of beautiful moments of other people’s lives; and indeed, I love it. Yet, never to the extent that I miss opportunities to capture mine. So, in her tender and sweet little voice Eden reminded me to stop and freeze some precious memories of her.
We slipped on her leggings, found the really fun headband from my cousin Sarah and hand in hand walked outside for a little mini photo shoot. And I do mean mini. We’re talking 10 minutes. Yet, 10 grand minutes of undivided attention that meant the entire world to my little sweetheart, just before heading out to pick up her brothers from school.
These are a few of my favorites. It’s easy to see why she simply melts my heart. Thank you Eden for your sweet spirit and the truth you may never know you spoke to me when you whispered in my ear, “Mommy, can you please take my picture?” I love you girl.
Moon. What a cool last name and what a great way to incorporate a unique flare to your wedding day! Shelley was a pro at creating a beautiful setting for this incredible celebration of love.
It began with her stunning dress, hand-crafted by her talented aunt and followed with jewels and glam galore! Perfect for a bride like Shelley, who sparkles all the time!
Check out their awesome invitations!
Could the soon to be Mrs. Moon have found a better pair of flip flops to wear while getting ready?
Loved this of Shelley’s dad and her niece watching as she got ready…
…and this one of Shelley’s sister and other niece seemed just as perfect.
Time for the first look…
Some couple time, right after my sandal busted and I proceeded to shoot barefoot so as to keep us on schedule! Thank goodness on this particular day I had packed a second pair of comfy heels! Thanks to the bridal party and sweet couple for finding the grand humor in this predicament!
Love this next one so much!
Just before the ceremony, Sarah, my cousin and second shooter extraordinaire captured this image of Shelley. It’s one of my favorites from the day!
Beautiful programs for the ceremony.
I loved these two images of Alex with his family. First, the lighting of the unity candle and then a charge from his dad on how to have a wonderful and fulfilling marriage.
I thought the family prayer time over Shelley and Alex was such a significant part of the day and one none of them will easily forget.
After a funny little stunt, the bride and groom found themselves in each others’ arms.
These two could have danced all night…well, actually I think they did!
Thank you Shelley and Alex for allowing me to be a part of your incredible day. I pray that your marriage remains rooted in The One who brought you together and that many years of happiness and joy await you!
Don’t forget if you view this post and leave a comment on the blog by October 27th, the new Mr. and Mrs. will win something cool! For 25 comments, they’ll receive a free 8×10, for 50 comments they’ll receive a free 11×14! So start sharing the love!
If you, your family or your business would like to sponsor an ad for The Dream Calendar, please let me know. I will be happy to send you specific information. Or, if you would prefer to make a donation just click on the donate button below. We need your help to make this dream come true for children all over our community!
We still have a ways to go and need your support to make this a reality for Clouds of Hope!
Whew! What a busy weekend! I spent Saturday celebrating with Alisha and Anthony on their big day. It was a beautiful occasion and as you can see, the new Mrs. Evans could not have been more beautiful.
Sunday afternoon, I finally had the chance to meet Adam, Lauren’s soon to be hubby. We set out on a fantastic adventure to capture their love. I have fallen head over heels for this image!
Today, it’s back to business- editing, ordering and working on The Dream Calendar. If you, your family or your business would like to sponsor an ad, please let me know. I will be happy to send you specific information. Or, if you would prefer to make a donation just click on the donate button below.
We still have a ways to go and need your support to make this a reality for Clouds of Hope!
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet up with this super sweet family on a beautiful, yet slightly windy day, while they were vacationing. The beach was the perfect backdrop to capture some precious moments and the love they have for one another. Seriously, we were about the only ones there, which made shooting such a blast! Check out a few of my favorites!
Mr. C enjoyed the sand. I loved watching him sift it through his little fingers. It completely reminded me of my own boys doing the same exact thing.
We were trying to get a really great natural expression. The solution? Let him play with his grandfather! Look at that grin!
Ah, the sky was perfect and so is this adorable smile!
Love this picture.
This is another one of my favorites. Mr. C was really hamming it up and he had quite the audience cheering him on just a few feet back.
Love it when a family has a moment where they forget the camera is there!
Such a sweet couple- couldn’t let them escape without a few shots too!
As an alumni from F.S.U., there is simply a lot of orange and blue in this picture. But, let’s be honest… I love it! So I’m attaching a “Go Dolphins” theme with this one… we were at the beach, so it’s not a far stretch!
Thank you Barrett’s for spending the afternoon with me and thank you to Beth as well for sending them my way. It was an honor to capture these sweet memories of your family.
Finally, if you haven’t heard about the Dream Calendar, please see below! We still need a good bit of sponsors before the project goes to press! If you own or know of a business or family that would be interested in helping us reach the goal, please respond in the comments or send me an email via the contact form on the blog. Thanks in advance!
This post has been writing itself on my heart for about a month and now it’s finally time to share it with each of you.
About 5 weeks ago, I wrote about precious Julia, who deeply touched my life. Julia had been in front of my camera, once as a surprise for her mother and once as a model for the Dream Calendar 2009; but it was really her everyday life that so inspired me. Even while being confined to a wheel chair, Julia displayed indescribable joy and peace. She shined. She glowed. She radiated love and happiness and she shared it freely with everyone she met.
In August, Julia passed away. My heart broke. I looked through image after image of her beautiful smile and cried. I recalled hearing her sweet voice singing praises to God and was deeply moved. I thought about her laughter and love for Jesus that could transform an entire day, and I was reminded that one person really can make a difference.
In the days after the celebration of Julia’s life, my heart was burdened to do something to honor her and the impact that she had on so many. I began to pray. And pray. And pray. Then, after so many “God-incidences” that I could no longer ignore, I talked with Julia’s family about doing the Dream Calendar again. Just as with the first project, she would still be the inspiration. The size of this task is incredible- and it is only going to be by the power and grace of God that it can be accomplished so quickly! But, we are trusting that where God guides, He completely provides!
So, what is The Dream Calendar?
It’s a charity project that will benefit Clouds of Hope, a non-profit organization which is committed to providing support for groups, organizations and families who care for or have children with life-altering illnesses or disorders. The Dream Calendar will feature 13 children, who are affected by these illnesses to help raise awareness of their stories and the mission of Clouds of Hope.
100% of all Dream Calendar sales will go to Clouds of Hope, as they work with the City of Temple Terrace to refurbish, rebuild and recreate playgrounds for these amazing children; as well as helping to fund their monthly respite program Camp Cheer and their newest branch connect, which helps families find local churches with special needs ministries.
The first Dream Calendar was a FABULOUS success, thanks to an incredible group of sponsors, the precious families who shared their children and the community who rallied around this project! We raised over $7,000.00 that went straight to Clouds of Hope. This year, it’s time to top that number!! However, this project is enormous and we need YOUR HELP!
How can you get involved?
Right now, there are two pressing needs that we have to make this project a success…and we have a month to get it all accomplished!
1) We need a large field for on location shooting. Imagine green grass that’s a little whispy… if you have a piece of property or know someone that does, we would love your insight! You can leave a comment below or email me directly.
2) We need sponsors and donors! The calendar takes approximately $3,000.00 to print. When this expense is covered, 100% of the calendar sales can go to Clouds of Hope.
Sponsorscan purchase an ad that will appear on a month of the calendar for $150.00. This will allow promotion of a business to 1,000 individuals, all while helping this worthy cause. Interested? Just contact me via email.
Donorscan support the calendar, by making a monetary contribution and will be recognized in the calendar as well. No donation is too small or too large. Everyone can get involved, whether you can give $5.00 or $500.00! Everyone can help. Just like Julia, everyone really can make a difference.
So, what can you do today?
This calendar has the potential to make an enormous difference in the lives of many children. In honor of Julia and her love for others, let’s take a stand and make a difference, one calendar at a time!
Please note, as a 501(c)3 organization, donations to Clouds of Hope are tax deductible as allowed by law.