Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Special Gift - and Giveaway!

You probably know someone like my Husband....extremely hard to buy for!
Anything he wants, he just goes and gets himself.  He doesn't have "wish lists" like you or I can effortlessly name off, nor does he want "our" money being spent on something for him.

Needless to say, he doesn't get much in the way of Christmas gifts from or two agonizing choices we hope he'll use or enjoy....and that's about it.

....but this year was different!

Maggie and I got him something from the heart, a reminder of who appreciates how hard he works to provide, a way to tell him that we are here, thinking of him and loving him all day long!

We gave him us.....a portable us he can carry around with him or put on his desk, so he can see our faces and feel connected to us even when we are apart :)

It was hard keeping this secret photoshoot to ourselves!

The phenomenal photographer that made this awesome gift possible is Taylor Kalander.
I've followed her blog for a while and decided to ask her if she had any openings so close to Christmas.

To my surprise (and delight!), not only did she make herself available at the last minute, but after asking me what I had in mind for our photos, suggested a perfect location where we could meet up halfway.  She even bent over backwards to work within my budget! Crazy, I know :)

We are tree lovers, so you can imagine how much we enjoyed being among these!
Taylor was breezy and personable, engaging Maggie in conversation and making us both feel instantly at ease.  I already liked her from what I had read on her blog....but, she is just so much sweeter than I ever knew.  I just know you'll like her, too!
To prove it, I did a little interview, a formal introduction, if you will.....because I want everyone to meet this talented, generous and nicer than nice fellow Blogger/Photographer!
Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging so that I could show my mom/aunt/grandma/friends the condo I purchased a few years ago without having to email them all photos. A few people started reading regularly, so I started posting more often.
**Her Blog is Here ------> and blog button up at the top of my sidebar***
Have you always enjoyed/aspired to be a Photographer?
Not at all. I didn’t really do anything creative until a few years ago. I was always a very type-A kid. I focused on school, swimming, dance, water polo, diving, field hockey, MUN, my hostess job, my job at The Gap, et cetera. In high school, I was just trying to get out of Orange County. In college, I was just trying to learn and party as much as possible. Post college, I was working in commercial real estate and thought that I might want to go back to school to become a nurse midwife. I became a birth and postpartum doula to make sure I really wanted to go back to school for this career path. I bought my first dslr so that I could take decent photos during labor and delivery, if the parent(s) wanted them. I decided that going back to school to become a nurse midwife was not the path for me, but fell in love with photography. And here we are…..
These are her favorite photos of 2012. Will one of yours be included in 2013?
What did Little Girl Tay dream of being?

 Little Girl Tay wanted to be a bad-guy-busting-power-suit-wearing district attorney!

 I have a definitive moment in time where I started feeling comfortable introducing myself as an Artist......when was it that you finally felt you could call yourself a Photographer?

 Actually, I’m just kind of reaching that point. I’m hoping to fully be there soon. Photographer is a big word, literally and figuratively.

What inspires you most?

A blank roll of paper and a set of crayons. I love making timelines, setting goals and making lists of things I want to accomplish. It’s also a fun way to plan photo shoots. I love seeing the progression of one idea to the next; one goal to the next. About once a month I unroll about ten feet of paper in my living room, turn on some music, pour a huge glass of wine, and just let my mind go.
You should try it. It’s really fun.

When I’m looking for inspiration from outside sources, I love flipping through the ‘New York Times Magazine Photographs’ book, Herb Ritz’s ‘The Golden Hour,’ reading The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho or ‘The Power of One’ by Bryce Courtenay. I also love watching George Michael’s ‘Freedom’ music video (random, but so great), or Jay-Z’s mini documentary ‘Where I’m From.’ I also love to read Vanity Fair (the magazine, not the book). Those media sources always inspire me to make something profound and beautiful.

Where would you like your path (as a photographer or otherwise) to lead you to eventually?

I want to be a storyteller through both my photos and words. I think this is what all photographers want? I want the things that I think are beautiful, valuable or important to be saved and preserved. Not necessarily for everyone to read about, but so that I know my thoughts and memory will be there somehow forever and ever. I want my great grandchildren to know what I did and thought and saw and accomplished.

 What is your idea of perfection?

 Smiling a happy smile no matter what the circumstance. Also, bubble baths are pretty perfect.

 How is it that you so darn nice?! (I just had to ask...she really is!)

 This is going to sound bad, but there were some key people in my life growing up who are so ugly on the inside; miserable, scared, mean, egomaniacal. From a young age, I knew that I didn’t want to be ‘like them.’ I didn’t realize what exactly they were, or which characteristics they had that caught my attention, but I knew that I didn’t want to live my life in the way they were (are) living theirs. I am not one to be self-congratulatory, but something I have done very well is to learn from other people’s mistakes. People who I love and think are fantastic and people who I love and think are not living their lives in a kind way. I love thinking about how these people got to where they are. What happened? What was the sequence of steps that led them to act this way? I try to identify similar points in my life and act differently. That has made me who I am and has led me to act a certain way. I’m so glad that you perceive it as so darn nice. :D 

It's not often that we get to meet people so giving of themselves and their craft, that the results are better than you could've ever expected....but it does happen.  And when it does, it just makes you all warm and happy inside. 

Maggie and I had a great time with Taylor and were so excited to give these photos to the Hubs!  This one is his favorite...

Taylor wants to offer you a special gift...
...her services....for free!

Would you like a chance to have your very own photoshoot?  Camera shy?  It's okay! Get stunning photos of your kids or grandkids, your pets, you working in your studio (wouldn't it be nice to have professional profile and adverstising pics!).  Maybe make a plea for someone else you know?  I just don't want anyone to miss an opportunity to have her take beautiful pictures for you...

....and she's willing to travel to you!!  I told you she's a Sweetheart!  She will come to your location (not just out of the city or out of the county....but out of state, too!) at a later date this year as agreed upon by the 2 of you....
Once you see the pictures, you'll be so glad you entered....heehee!

Please just leave a comment stating why you'd like/need the uber fabulous, super talented Taylor to come take pictures for you.  Take your time, be as detailed as you like.
She'll choose her favorite answer on Monday, February 25th.
I can't wait to see your photos :)

Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to get him next year. These are going to be impossible to top......haha!

Creative Blog Buddies are the best....Love you all!


Kyra Wilson said...

What great pictures of you! :) And a great idea for a gift too (I'm the one who can't think of anything on my Christmas list, my family hates me for it! LOL)

Rachel said...

Hey Cameron

Those photos are beautiful. Your husband must feel so proud to have a beautiful wife and daugher who also comes up with such a wonderful present for him.

Rachel x

Debi said...

W O W !!!! you are stunning! and your mini-me is going to break hearts forsure...your hub is surrounded by beauty what could he possibly want? next year a video..your and cutie write a play and perform a story..there you go..
Taylor is one in a million to be sure...shine on!!!! ♥Debi

Lisa Graham said...

Wow Cameron...these photos are all so and your sweet daughter among those fabulous trees! Mother/daughter at their best! Your husband sounds like mine. Taylor is a wonderful photographer. I know she won't want to come to Kansas to take pictures though. Plus...I like to avoid the camera these days.


Unknown said...

La tua arte è bellissima! la tua neo follower

Magaly Guerrero said...

LOVE the shot of you two standing by the tree ;-)

Tammie Lee said...

ah, that is such a lovely and personal gift for your husband. your photos are beautiful.

wishing someone a fabulous photo shoot!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It really is perfect! I can't imagine that I would win something like this! But I do live in Florida and it's a great place to visit! My hubby and I have been married almost 20 years and never had our photos taken professionally! That would be awesome!

Magic Love Crow said...

First I have to say, the pictures of you and your daughter are so precious! I love them all! Thank you for the great interview! It was great to meet Taylor! I hope whomever wins, really treasures the pictures ;o)

Getrealmommy said...

The pictures are amazing. I would like nothing more than to have family photos taken, however I am guessing she wasn't planning on traveling to Oakland, but I will play along anyway. Why do I want photos? We had lovely professional photos taken when my first son Zack was two. We had been trying for months to conceive our second son Evan, and it did not look like it would happen. The day our photos were taken was my final fertility treatment, and it was the day I conceived Evan! Now we have three boys, and I would love to have a complete family portrait for our home.

Carmen Wing said...

Such beautiful photos Cameron and a great idea for a gift. My Craig is just like your hubby for gifting so I know what you mean ;)

I suspect yhe UK might be a *teeny* bit out of bounds but had to comment on how gorgeous you both look. And SO happy :)

Šolanje na domu-Waldorf said...

Great gift idea and you two are just adorable. :) The photographer sounds like she has the perfect job.

trisha too said...

Cam, those photos ARE uber fabulous, what a talented lady! And the comment about a roll of paper and some crayons, she a girl after my own heart!!!

Anyway, I just stopped by to say you got the destash goodies at my giveaway, so send me your snail mail addy. I'll try and find stuff that's YOU! :)
trishatoo at hotmail dot com

PiaRom said...

awww Cameron those pictures are amazingly sweet...your hubby will love them! What a gorgeous idea and Taylor is such a talent !! My favorite is the one when Maggie kisses you ♥ PS you look so beautiful in this one!!

Kristin said...

Ohhhhh! THEY are gorgeous! I'm totally gonna try :) I love these pictures - and agree with the hubs - his favortie is mine too - but I really love the one of you both reading a book, and of Maggie on the bridge and and and . . . xoxo!

Joyce van der Lely said...

Oh how wonderful, me too I loooove trees, I would have had a hard time picking a fav pic from these gorgeous photos ! Yes I would love to have her do a just wondering if she would travel to NZ....haha ! Wonderful photo opportunities here for her for sure.....;) She sound like such a wonderful person to get to know...but then on a same note I would love to meet you for real and a couple more cyber-art-soulmates. So I guess I'll just work hard, harder, hardest to make many $$ so that I can come visit you all some day... ♥ the post, thanks for sharing ! xx J

Victoria said...

Wow Cameron..Beautiful!!what a visually stunning array of such special pictures..all so heartwarming..magical..( wow those trees!) can feel the love and spirit shining through each deeply beautiful..a journey of love! She is very talented and super fantastic at what she does!! Shine on!!
HUgs..thanks for sharing your magical world!

Micki Wilde said...

Aww you and Maggie are gorgeous, what a lovely gift idea for your hubby, men can be such a pain to buy for and you bought something totally awesome and memorable. I hope he loves the pics!!

Don't put me in the giveaway I doubt Taylor is up for a UK visit ;o)

Hugs x

Fallingladies said...

These are soooo wonderful, but honestly, as you two are so beautiful she didn't have to work THAT hard! Probably her easiest photo shoot ever.... I would LOVE to have her come here to get a photograph of my son and I, as he is extrememly difficult to get into a good photograph. being autistic it is very hard to get him to look right at the camera, just like eye contact is hard for him. But i couln't ask her to come all the way to NY anyway, soooo far. Thanks for sharing, i am off to check out her blog...

Wini said...

I love your beautiful photo shoot among such majestic trees!! What a fabulous Valentines gift. I also enjoyed reading this lovely interview. I wish I could enter the giveaway but I don't live in the USA. The winner will be very lucky!

Jacque said...

The photos of you and Maggie are so beautiful and natural. I would love to have photos of my two girls. We recently welcomed or 9 month old into the world and it is hard to believe how time flies. Her big sister absolutely adores her. I take photos of them but they are like "look at me and smile". It would be amazing for someone to be able to capture the love they share in such and unscripted way as the photos of you and Maggie.

Jennifer Michelle said...

So happy to see these pictures you were telling me about! They turned out so beautifully, I would be thrilled to receive such lovely gift if I were your hubby. Very heartfelt and unique!

Treehugger_31 said...

Such beautiful and touching photos! I imagine your husband thought they were the best gift ever!

This would be such an amazing giveaway to win. I'm getting married in June to my best friend. Marriage is something I never thought would happen for me, so to have it documented in such a beautiful way would be truly magical.

What a generous offer from a wonderful artist!

Zorana said...

I'm late for the giveaway, but that's a good thing :-) As sweet as Taylor is, I don't think I could ever be comfortable in front of the camera. But I LOVED seeing you and Maggie. You two are super-cute!

Theresa MacNaughton said...

She's a wonderful photographer! What amazing photos she took of you and your little sweetie. Thanks for introducing us to Taylor!

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