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the suitcase studio - workspace - lifestyle photography-rebrand I know it's been a while, but things have DEFINITELY been happening in the background of The Suitcase Studio. If you want to know the details through today, be sure to follow me here on Instagram.

But today found me hard at work behind the scenes again... deep in the zone working on some AWESOME new plans for the brand, and I totally can't wait to share with you all soon!!!

the PHOTOGRAPHY 101 WORKSHOP is here!

You've been asking for this for a while now, and I'm happy to announce that it's HERE! Introducing the PHOTOGRAPHY 101 WORKSHOP (aka "getting your camera to do what you WANT it to do")!

Whether it's a point-and-shoot or a DSLR, learn to get the MOST out the camera you have.

You'll learn basic creative and technical skills to help you take your camera off AUTO and get the photos you crave!

Perfect for: Moms, Business Owners, Bloggers, and Creative Types.

This 3-hour workshop will provide printed materials as well as hands-on learning, so be sure to bring your camera!

Date: March 14, 2015 Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Location: Timree's Paint Studio (Newport Beach location)

Space is EXTREMELY LIMITED... click here to save your space!

I hope to see you soon... and I can't wait to PLAY!

 

gotta love my Starbucks lovers...

20150111-192032-69632215.jpg Ever since the first time I heard the song "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift, I've been getting the words wrong.

You know the line that goes, "Got a long list of ex-lovers...?" Well, instead, I heard, "Gotta love my Starbucks lovers..."

And with that one small difference, the entire song played out differently in my head.

I saw Taylor sitting in her local Starbucks, sipping her pumpkin space latte (or whatever seasonal drink might be appropriate), and checking out the different types that wandered in the door.  Because Starbucks CAN be one of those amazing places to meet a lot of new people, right? And she picks out her new seasonal flavor (new money, suit and tie), and the "blank space" is actually that spot on the Starbucks cup where they write in the name you give them... whatever it is you want for it to be.

So, yeah... a far cry from what Taylor was probably envisioning as she originally wrote her song. But that's perfectly okay... and what art (and life) is all about... because you can have 5, 10, or 100 people listen to the same song, see the same piece of art, or even go through the same life experience, and each person will report getting something different out of it. That's how life works. It's all about where we're coming from, who we are, and how we perceive things.

That's what makes this imperfect life so damn beautiful, and what makes us all unique within it.

So, while Taylor keeps crooning about her long list of ex-lovers, I'll keep picturing that magical Starbucks where temporary dreams all come true.

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let the adventure begin.

The Suitcase Studio - Adventure
The Suitcase Studio - Adventure

[one month ago]

December 5, 2014... Let the ADVENTURE Begin!

There's a great deal of rumbling beneath me. A roar of engines, then a pressure at my back... like going light-speed on Star Tours at Disneyland... only 159,982 times better. I give a quick glance out the window to my left (past the bored-looking girl already reading a magazine) and the world suddenly tilts sharply. Drastically. And there's the wing of the plane, acting as a level to indicate just how sharply we are pointed.

Going up, up, up... and I want to throw my hands up and giggle. For real. It's the best rollercoaster I've ever been on. Because this adventure is real.

And just like that, the tears prick at my eyes. Unexpectedly, but not unwelcome. Because I've still got a HUGE grin on my face.

Gaining altitude, plane shaking, and my heart soars and shakes along with it, too. Because I'm uphere... high above the ground... in one of those planes I'd watch from the ground and wistfully tell myself "someday."

That was always it. "Someday," I'd say... dreaming of a future when the timing would be right, the money would be there, I'd have a good travel companion and the stars would be aligned... then I'd "do it." Whatever "it" was. Fly to New York, Seattle, San Francisco, ITALY, or even back to Walt Disney World. Someday I would travel. I'd go, really...

I promised this to myself every day as I'd drive into work, watching the planes fly overhead... looking up and wondering where they were headed. I'd smile and wish them well on their travels, then imagine I was high above myself, in that plane right along side them.

"Someday," I'd whisper to myself on a sigh... driving to my daily drudgery. But someday never seemed to happen. Days turned to years. Same routine, same life, same issues, same promises.

Till today.

My stomach keeps dropping and tightening and the butterflies are definitely putting on a show in there... but I can't tell if it's caused by the dipping of the plane in turbulence, or because I know this is such a big step in my life, and the reality is finally hitting me a bit more.

I've talked about adventures and finding it "someday." But this is finally happening today. The twisting and turning continues, and I've still got that stupid grin plastered to my face.

Alone, but not lonely.

And incredibly excited to see where my path leads next.

 

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minted magic and holiday fun

Several months back, Minted.com asked if they could use a few of my photos as samples for their new holiday cards. It was fun to see my images start to pop up in several new designs, but yesterday was a FABULOUS surprise...

Out of THOUSANDS of entries, a card design which showcased one of MY images was selected as one of four Guest Judge winners of the Let it Snow! Holiday + New Year’s Photo Card Challenge! (squeeeeeeeee!!!!)

Guest Judge Elaina Sullivan, Market Editor at Domino selected the "Handwritten Noel" design by Sarah Curry.

Here is a snippet of this fantastic announcement, as seen on Minted's blog:

minted card design winner - photo by The Suitcase Studio
minted card design winner - photo by The Suitcase Studio

(See all the winners by clicking here.)

Although I REALLY should give a lot of the photo credit to my fabulous clients... this family was SUPER-adorable and it was their idea to bring the little car with the tiny tree tied up top. And, oh yeah... they all showed up in JAMMIES! (I puffy-heart people with this kind of creativity.)

Check out how much FUN we had together during last year's mini-session:

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Ready to PLAY? I am holding Holiday Mini-Sessions this year on October 11 and November 9. Contact me to learn more and sign up for a session of your own.

little girl, don't grow too fast

This girl was SUCH an amazing little model. Such a professional at such a young age, and has already been seen in several magazines and has worked with many large labels. She knows her angles, takes direction incredibly well, and is a DREAM to work with. And then the cameras went down... and the perfect little model disappeared and the little girl she really was came out to play. Twirling in her outfit, crouching to play with some grass, and keeping me thoroughly entertained with a song and dance about a HAMBURGER. Yes, for real. We wandered across the field together; she was skipping and being a chatterbox the entire way. And I loved it. Smiling big, I asked her to teach me the hamburger song (which I never learned correctly), but at least she thought my attempt to dance was entertaining.

Still giggling, she looked up at me and said, "I like you. You're FUN."

And then she continued to happily skip across the field.

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Stopping to crouch in the grass and then twirl a bit in the sunshine... just for the fun of it. TheSuitcaseStudio-OrangeCountyChildrenPhotographer-1.jpg

Singing and dancing to the "hamburger song." TheSuitcaseStudio-OrangeCountyChildrenPhotographer-4.jpg TheSuitcaseStudio-OrangeCountyChildrenPhotographer-9.jpg

I hope she can stay a little girl for a little while longer.  Long live the spirit of childhood, and long live PLAY. Forever and ever.

(wo)man's best friend

He might be a bit too barky, and keep me up at night (grrr...), interrupt me while I'm trying to work, get into things he shouldn't, and make a few messes around the house. (I swear, at times it's like having a toddler.) But he dances with joy each time I come back home, and knows when I need a cuddle. He's always there to put a smile on my face, and has got the utmost patience when I want to practice some new photo skills. He's my exploration buddy, and helps me find my peace. He's my "happy thought."

To my precious pup, my fur-baby, and my little shadow...

Happy National Dog Day!!! My life would definitely NOT be the same without you, little Jasper.

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daddy's little cowgirls

The divorce was final a couple years ago, yet the family photos that filled his home still featured his ex-wife. She would ALWAYS be the girls' mother, but now the 3 of them were their own distinct family unit as well. So we set out to fill his walls with new photos... and their hearts with new memories. In the midst of this western-styled playground, with a plethora of things to see and touch, the girls' favorite thing of all was to reach out to their daddy. He still carried the most magic out of everything they saw that day.

"Carry me, Daddy..." And with those simple words, and in the arms of her father, his littlest girl was content.

They held hands, wrestled, and tickled. They played bartender, restaurant, and even put on a concert with the couple pianos that were scattered about.

But most of all, their day was filled with lots of laughter and love.

What would YOUR story look like? I'd love to show you. Just click here to get started.