At Home with Lo-Lo

San Diego Lifestyle Photographer: Leslie Patrice

I had the sweetest time photographing the newest addition to the Newberry family just a few days before Valentine’s day.  This little beauty, Logan, who they call “Lo-Lo”, graced their lives on February 2, 2016.   After packing up my new (used) Highlander [praise JESUS for a larger vehicle to tote around my own newborn and 2 year old], I headed out to the Newberry home.  When I arrived, Lea (mom), 11 days post partum (who looked AMAZING) helped me unload the car – posey pillow, blankets, blankets and more blankets, scarves, a crate, space heater, and on and on and on.  We chatted about the joys of newborns and laughed at the sleepless nights together as we headed towards their apartment.  Once inside, I was immediately drawn to the natural light just spilling out of the nursery!

Lea’s mom is my dear friend from the Rock church, who is by trade an interior designer, so I just knew this home was going to be super cute, and it was. The darling nursery simply brims with natural light and soft touches of cream, pink and gold – classic!  Lea joked that she managed to buy all of the items for the nursery “on her own” but then had no clue where to hang anything, so mom to the rescue.   Well mom did a crazy fantastic job.

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Little Lo-Lo was quite awake when I arrived, so we jumped right into mother-daughter shots. Even though my second daughter is only a few weeks older than Logan, it was still so sweet to hold a “tiny” baby.  You can’t help but get lost in their cuteness.  Finally, when she fell asleep – and that deep deep sleep that only newborns can do with ease (and adults crave), the real fun began – posing her any which way we pleased.  🙂  And mom was just stunning, so I’d be a fool to not capture her beauty as well!

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LNewberry-5LNewberry-6LNewberry-7After I spent way too long photographing in the nursery … way too long (I was having too much fun and of course you have to stop to make sure the little one is well fed and had a clean diaper), we moved to the living room to get dad in the picture.  The decor was perfect – soft gray and white, and so I asked dad to show me a few tops of his choosing, and we selected a purple-ish one that went perfectly with their decor and a scarf that had for the baby.  Every time I see a loving father doting on his baby girl, its like watching the manifestation of all that is pure and right with the world, you know what I mean?  In that moment you have to agree that she is the luckiest baby in all the world.  I think that every time my own husband snuggles with our two girls.  [ahhhh…..Okay, back to the blog!]    LNewberry-11LNewberry-10LNewberry-9LNewberry-12After some father daughter time, and a few family shots, dad had to go and it was just the girls again.  By this time, Lo-Lo was completely milk drunk and there was no waking her for awhile.   Isn’t she just perfect!  This family is like right out of a magazine cute!  We finished the session on the gray shag that I LOVE, and had a bit more fun with the wrap and a completely knocked out baby girl 🙂   All in all it was such a sweet time.  Speaking of time, I completely lost track of it and spent at least 4 hours with the Newberry family (and completely forgot about my own – eek!).  So my fond thoughts of this session were short lived as I raced home to relieve my sweet husband of a newborn and 2 year old, as he had to get to work himself.  Tis the season of chaos for sure, but my heart is glad to have forever captured such precious moments.LNewberry-14LNewberry-13LNewberry-17LNewberry-16

With gratitude toward God’s precious gifts,

Leslie

 

Tender Moments with Brittany and Ava

San Diego Lifestyle and Maternity Photographer: Leslie Patrice

Deets of this super fun session with my sweet friend Brittany forthcoming!

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Learning Love from Behind the Lens

I had this dream, vision if you will, of being a photographer that blogs, blogs and blogs about all things photography. Each week, a new and inspiring blog that would attract hundreds of budding clients my way. And, as I write this, my third post, with the average of two months in between posts, lol, I say to myself, “Leslie – what is up girl, get it together!”  So here I sit, 9:42p.m., with photography magazines splattered all around me on the bed, and Neftlix playing in the background, and I wonder what you – my readers (or reader – smile) might want to know about photography or maybe just me.

Why has it taken two months to write another blog posts you ask? Well, I’m a wife to an amazing husband, a working mother of an almost 10 month old baby girl, and a professional photographer and law professor. Two months in between posts isn’t looking so bad after all.

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Today I received a heartwarming text from my friend and former wedding client who, when asked what she would want to hear about from a photographer, responded, “…one mom learning everything there is to know about love, from behind the lens.” I was totally inspired by that.

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So back to my dream of being a photographer that blogs, blogs and blogs about all things photography. Well, I think I’m ready to change the dream or at least change the perspective. I’m a natural born teacher, the best gift that God has given me, and not only has photography taught me a lot about life and myself, but being a mother has increased my passion for photography, specifically in wanting to capture and treasure every moment and teaching others how to do the same.

What has photography taught me about life and myself?  Where to even begin?  It taught, continues to teach, me to see the world and people without judgment; to find the beauty – the good – in people.  My favorite part of every session, especially with total strangers is how intimately you get to know each other through a one or two hour session.  To capture the genuine smile, the depth of soul through the eyes, or to get a person to feel so at ease with you that they expose their vulnerabilities on camera – that is a beautiful thing.  3G5A2745EStewart-104-2EStewart-98-2EStewart-31-2

And honestly, I love how the images clients receive allow them to see me differently.  I have no doubt that as I show up to a session in my chucks, oversized khaki cargos and usually one of my husband’s t-shirt, I hardly give a sense of  Professional of the Year – but, as I live and learn, you can’t (or shouldn’t) judge a book by its cover.  Leslie

The reason for the chucks?  I could care less if they get dirty.  The khakis – easy to roll up when I run into the ocean with my clients.  The t-shirt – it’s not mine, so who cares what happens to it – LOL!  Don’t tell my husband I said that.  I’m willing to get in the trenches with my client – to take them out of their comfort zone (and go there with them).

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And then there is the matter of how being a mother has increased my passion for photography.  The day my daughter was born, as the old cliche goes, “everything changed.”  What was once important, what I once cared about, what I once valued, all fell into the lap of this tiny 7lb 11oz perfect little being.  Capturing such innocence will be lifelong journey.  But more than anything, being a mother and photographer has given me an appreciation for the sweet moments, but also allowed me to realize that most  of these moments come with their own dose of chaos, which simply comes with the territory.  You take the good with the not so good and I’m pretty sure that’s the recipe for life [or the “Facts of Life”].  Below is my daughter’s newborn session that I photographed.  Perfect little nugget, right?  Well, what you don’t know about the images below is that I obtained about 10 good shots after at least 1.5 hours, where I and the blanket were peed on, and I had the put the camera down at least three times to nurse my own newborn in order to then photograph her.  I was a nine day postpartum, sweaty mess – but when I look at this picture – I see perfection and I smile.

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I mean, that’s life, isn’t it?  Lol!  Its messy and beautiful all at the same time; it sprints by and if you don’t slow down to capture it – its gone.  I get it – well, I’m getting it.  My life before my daughter went 100 miles an hour; always on “Go.”  My life since my daughter, still goes 100 miles an hour, but not every day, not each moment.  I sprint when I need to, take advantage of her naps and daddy/daughter time, and I slow down to a snails pace when its our time together so I don’t miss her learning to hold a spoon, learning to crawl, or any other first that will only happen once.  If you see my life from a distance, you will only see my dust – but if you watch up close, there are purposeful pauses.  I enjoy cooking for my family, making my daughter’s homemade food, doing our laundry, taking walks with my husband.  I guess I am finally learning to stop.

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I am not totally sure how this new season will continue to shape my photography, but I am definitely going to enjoy the ride.  My daughter has accompanied me on shoots already, although I’m not quite ready to hire her as a second shooter.  It would be one thing if she sat quietly and sucked on her pacifier or something, or could even attempt to hold a prop; but when my client, another mother, has to entertain my cranky baby so that i can photographer hers – – oh yeah, she is sooo not ready to be my assistant.   🙂  But, I’ll keep her.

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I’ve blabbed long enough.  Time to put the photography magazines away, return to my Netflix and my tea and enjoy the stillness of the night as the family sleeps.  I will certainly write again before two months passes, exploring some other lesson of love from behind the lens.

Leslie

 

Genesis Recovery Baptism: A new life in Christ!

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . .  .”  (Matthew 28:19).

It was another gorgeous weekend in San Diego as I followed my husband to “work” on Saturday, August 16, to De Anza Cove in Mission Bay.  I hedge when I say “work” because it was really more of a privilege and honor than actual work, but I digress.  He serves as a Christian counselor for Genesis Recovery, a faith-based treatment center that helps men recovering from substance abuse.  The daily blessing of being used by God to transform lives is only part of the joy of his job.  On Saturday, Genesis held its first baptism for not only the residents, but members of the Rock Recovery community.

To be perfectly honest, I went with my husband (and baby girl and sister-in-law who was visiting) to simply get some sun. And, in a last minute decision, I grabbed my camera, as I thought I may want to take pictures of my family before we regretfully had to take my sister-in-law to the airport.  But, this last minute decision paid off…

GenesisBaptism-2GenesisBaptism-1As my friend and President of Genesis, Tommy Hathorn, opened with a simple but clear message to the group, I quickly ran and grabbed my camera.  Squeezing myself between openings of bodies huddled together, I snapped away as Tommy first read Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . .  .”  and then read Romans 6: 1-7:

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

While my mind was half focused on capturing images, I had to pause at Tommy’s words when he emphasized to this recovery community that they “do not need to be a slave to sin anymore!”  What a breath of fresh air that had to be for someone (or many) listening.  I accepted Christ when I was 6 years old, and I grew up in a Christian home, so hearing these words can unfortunately go in one ear and out the other at times.  But, since marrying my husband and having the privilege to get to know many members of the recovery community, my heart is much more sensitive to the impact that not only these words, but the truths in the entire Bible, have upon those whose lives are in turmoil and who are desperately seeking something,  anything, different.  This is why Jesus died after all, isn’t it?  And it is in His rising again that we have such amazing hope for a different life. Jesus provided the template; He was our model and that is something to never be desensitized to.  

Tommy made it very clear that baptism was for the believer because it is not an act that “saves you,” rather it is the manifestation that frankly you get it, that you accept what Christ has done for you, and that you are choosing to live a new life in Him!  So, for those in the crowd who had not yet made the decision to accept Christ, they had their chance right there, and MANY took it.  GenesisBaptism-4

As I watched chiseled arms bearing tattoos rise in the air my own heart lept for joy.  

GenesisBaptism-5Jesus was clear – “Therefore GO and make disciples of ALL nations” – how??  By “baptizing them ….”  So, after hands went in the air to accept Christ, these men and women made a public decision to live anew with Christ as their head.  Then, Tommy, my husband Carl and another employee Frank went into the water and invited all those desiring to get baptized to follow suit.  

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One by one hard exteriors walked into the water, and went under “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . .”, and what emerged were softened hearts washed in the newness of Christ.GenesisBaptism-7

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It was an awesome sight.  Thank you JESUS!

Welcome to the New Normal…

It seems every few years I find myself redefining my photography brand . . . or perhaps I’m subliminally redefining my own self, who knows.  (and that’s an entirely new blog in and of itself!)  All I know is that once again, I was sitting in my favorite local coffee shop in Bankers Hill, Cafe Bassam, this time with my good friend Shannon – my marketing guru.    A little less than two years earlier I was in this same coffee shop with my husband and our friend Matt, a web-design guru. Bassam Common denominator in both meetings: I was mildly overwhelmed, yet excited, as we discussed at length my brand identity.  It was then, as it was now, quite difficult to create my company brand.  You have to find a unique voice through colors, symbols, textures and the like.  But even more so, your brand has to say – via a static object – “hey world, this is who I am, what I offer, here’s why you must have me as your photographer!” which absolutely requires that you, as a person and business, know who you are, the effect you have on your clients, and the impression you wish to leave.  Whew!
Lest we think that I am trying to find myself or my brand every other year, I should back up.  In retrospect, two years ago, I think I laid the foundation for the brand, and now, I feel as though I’m refining it.

Two years ago, here was the light bulb moment:  While the guys talked about HTML, CSS and a whole host of acronyms that stymied me, I found myself looking around the room, my eyes dodging in and out of conversations. She sat in the corner with an iced latte with whip cream reading a book; He was at a table working on his laptop, teacup in hand; They were discussing some latest business venture as they each gently sipped what looked to be a cappuccino and perhaps a mocha; along with many more.  And at my own table – I sipped my usual white mocha (hold the whip), my husband had a soy latte, and Matt enjoyed a hot tea. In this tiny coffee shop, whose walls are riddled with random and vintage artifacts that bear no sense of cohesion, yet match wonderfully, I found myself smiling and excitement welling up within me. Turning back to my husband and our friend, I exclaimed, “I’ve got it!  I am this coffee shop. This is the experience with Leslie Patrice Photography!” And so the brand identity began.

 

Leslie This coffee shop is not a chain, it is certainly not outwardly or inwardly flashy, and you won’t find any commercials about its products, nor even a website in this tech-saavy age. However, I have logged more hours in this coffee shop than any other in San Diego for one reason – organic comfort (that . . . and the white chocolate mocha). There is no formula, no cookie cutter experience, not here.  After placing your order, you sit down and your drink is brought to your table. I just feel like I’m in my living room – especially on days when I wear leggings or sweatpants for long out-of-office working days. This is my coffee shop, and my guess is everyone who has visited more than once claims similar ownership. The static object of coffee, and this coffee shop, took on a life and personality that so perfectly described my photography, or the feeling I wanted my brand to have. When I think of coffee I envision an organic source of energy that awakens the senses, and the coffee shop that houses that source of energy beckons the individual to engage in a delightfully intimate experience that warms the soul.  In the same way, I pray my photography – whether a wedding, maternity, or lifestyle portrait session- has an atmosphere that is warm, an interaction that is natural and an experience, organic.

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Lifestyle    _G5A1154Now, in 2014, I still cling tightly to that organic experience, but my focus has changed a bit.   I’m now a mother to the most wonderful baby girl, and both time and the sweet moments life presents, have slowed me down yet hurried my soul to capture them as fast as I can.  Because of this awesome shift in my own life, I seek to not only create an organic experience for my clients, but to also capture those organic experiences – as they happen – with little to no interference.  And I delight in them. Lifestyle Welcome to the new normal . . .