Friday, December 19, 2014


Memories of the Simple Days
Living This Life
December 19, 2014
Team Zybko
Day 88 -Year 3
























Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Engagement Photo Shoot




She's In Love With the Boy
Diane & Michael 
Day 87 -Year 3
Team Zybko
December 16, 2014

I made sure to charge the laptop to full power before we left for the photo shoot. I knew I would be anxious to edit the pictures on the car ride home while everything was still fresh on my brain. I use the term photo shoot loosely. I am not a professional with my Nikon by any means but that didn’t seem to matter to a very thankful college student on a shoestring budget. Michael and Diane knew they were getting what they paid for and some they didn’t ask for. Siblings energetically photo bombing and goofing around and investing the woods around them. Thus, inadvertently lengthening the already drawn out process. Yikes, part of the family package I guess, no extra fee. They gave tons of special love to the future bride and groom while I fiddled with my camera, a lot. Changing angles, ISO settings and forcing natural poses as I prayed silent mini prayers that at least a few of the engagement images would come out OK and usable.

My memory card loaded as fast as it could, allowing me to begin thumbing through the hundred or so pictures even before turning off the long dirt road. Nervous and excited I scrolled up and down, critiquing and mumbling to myself as a woman hired to do a job. At first I noticed the obvious errors. Truck doors left open, random background stuff in the frame, poor setting choices and uncomfortable faces during the extra cheesy mandatory I love you so much kissie faces. Man, those real photographers make this look easy.

The miles flew by quickly, saving, deleting and using massive battery power will do that. Long before reaching our own driveway I began to tear up. Somehow a major switch flipped, I turned to mush, getting all Hallmarky and such. I began to look at the bright screen as a mom in a new season not as a photographer. A mom of a daughter that somehow grew up in fast-forward right before my camera, from film to digital in the blink of the fast set shutter. I honed in and noticed the obvious. I saw the good stuff, the more important stuff, the necessary stuff that surrounds a couple on all sides like a warm group hug. LOVE. Yes, duh. Love of course trumps the un-invited goofy shadows, blurred faces and messed up hair of a discarded picture. Pausing my heart and the editing process I steal a glance of my soul mate as he drives us safety up I-77. Somehow he notices and reads my thoughts, asking me in a an encouraging voice if I got any good ones? With a silent response I reply yes, with a kinda love look reserved just for him, only for him.

The strong feeling of contentment comfortably hangs around the co-pilot side of the van, keeping me company as my old eyes get back to work. Zeroing in on Diane’s happy face and radiant smile. More than a thousand words are spoken clearly, jumping off my laptop into my heart. They sure are crazy about each other. Emotions are clear. That’s the stuff that makes a good picture in my opinion. Michael grins as if he has found a rare priceless gem, winnings better than any jackpot or lucky lottery ticket in his hand. She knows this; in return, she shines bright. His presence and life promises create a joyful glow that comes from the gut and only from love. I notice it frame after frame, she can’t help but smile with all her being. A look most certainly reserved just for him, only for him. It's private and personal yet caught in a Kodak moment for them to have always. Maybe I'm making it up? Maybe my coffee was too strong? Nah, that look is definitely recognizable. She smiles at her fiancĂ© in a very special way. The same way I still look at her Daddy, with a look of love.

I know I will be poked at endlessly for being over emotion but that’s OK, that’s what mom’s are trained to do. It is all part of the unpaid gig. If you have been there you may agree, I wouldn’t trade it for any amount of money in the world. By the way, I am completely biased when I say, I think she will make the most beautiful bride ever.