January 10, 2010 | Posted by: Julie Cruz | Category: My Life
Wow....it's still crazy to think that it's 2010! When I was in the apparel/footwear industry, I always seemed to be a year ahead because timelines for those items were always a year ahead, so if anything, I was already accidentally writing the new year far ahead of when it actually happened. Now that i'm a photographer, here it is, almost mid January and for the past few days i've accidentally written 2009 a few times. Whoops. Hopefully i'll snap out of that soon since I was so anxiously awaiting 2010.
2009 was an AMAZING year for me. I had more business than I could ever dream of (thanks to all of you!)......which also meant more than I could handle....which in turn caused me to be booked for the remainder of the year in APRIL (which is pretty crazy for a photographer who doesn't do weddings). I met SO many wonderful families, children, couples, etc and wish I could have met all that had contacted me for shoots, but unfortunately, I had to draw the line somewhere :( This leads me to my goals for 2010!.....
1) More time with my family. Last year was a whirlwind, and because of that, I spent countless hours shooting and editing. This year, since PJ will still only be in Pre-K for 2 half days a week, I will be doing a few less shoots per month so that I have more time with her. There were many, many days in 2009 where I felt terrible that I was editing ALL day while she was left to keep herself occupied. My goal for this year is to continue to try and do most of my editing while she's at school (which like I mentioned is only for 4 hours, twice a week) or if i'm lucky, when she happens to nap or is asleep at night. As fast as kiddos grow, before I know it, she'll be gone to school all day long (and i'm sure it will be a nice "break", but I will miss her like crazy!), so for now, I would love to spend time with her.....REAL time, not "sorry, I have to work, so how about you play with your Littlest Pet Shop toys or Leapster for a while?". After all, she IS the reason why I started photography (and my own business) to begin with. I wanted to spend as much time as I possibly could with her. Last year I just took on a little too much, and I don't want that to happen again. As much as I love my job and all of my awesome clients, just like the rest of you guys....family comes first :)
2) Try and be healthier. My goal is to try and eat healthier and exercise a few times a week. Although chasing all of your kids counts as SOME kind of exercise (yes, plenty of you have seen me sweat to death during shoots, so you know i'm burning SOME kind of energy LOL), it's not enough. Now i'm not saying i'm going to be working out 7 days a week and never eat a bite of bad stuff, but compared to last year, I have already started trying to change my ways. I WANT to be a grandmother one day (of course a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG ways away from now), so making steps to make sure I WILL be one day is what I need to do.
3) Travel. I love to travel....but unfortunately don't get to do it nearly as much as I would like. In fact, the last vacation we took as a family was to Maui....in 2006! Part of this is due to the fact that I have been booking so far in advance. Last year we talked about going to New York (which I LOVE) in the fall....but of course by the time we really started thinking about it, I was already booked for the year, there was NO way I could have gone. This year, I REALLY want to go somewhere....anywhere...even if it's for work! Although I haven't traveled out of CA for shoots....I would LOVE to. In case you missed this blog post, check it out! Have camera....WILL TRAVEL! So yeah, for anyone interested, shoot me an email! Get me out of San Diego for a few days! ;)
Since a blog post isn't much without photos, here are some photos of PJ from the other day. I have been working on goals 1 & 2 already, so last week we packed up a picnic basket (turkey sandwiches (mine was on whole wheat - PJ got the last of the white bread that I will be buying), Triscuits and grapes), grabbed a blanket and headed to a park to have a picnic and play for a bit. It was a gorgeous and sunny day. We will definitely be doing this more often......
Last but not least.......
If you love photography and are looking to learn more, click on this banner below and join. You'll LOVE it! You can find me over there under the user name "julieoflot116". Whether you're just starting out, don't want to become an actual photographer but want to take better photos of your kids, etc, in general, this is the place to go. Everyone is SO extremely nice and helpful. You will learn a ton and they have contests, etc all the time :)
Also, don't forget to add Lot116 on Facebook! Why? Well since comments aren't enabled on my blog just yet, you can leave comments for shoots there, see when I post new blog entries, hear about upcoming news, etc :) My goal was to reach 600 fans by Christmas...and that goal was not only met (THANK YOU!!!!), but surpassed!.... and not even 2 weeks into January, i'm around 650 now, so a HUGE thank you to all of you who have added Lot116, suggested me to friends, etc. You sure know how to make a gal feel good :)
Here's to 2010!!! It looks like 2010 is following in 2009's steps and I might be booked up for the year quite quickly. I'm currently booked until May (with only 3 spots left in May), so please don't hesitate to email me to book a shoot for this year. I look forward to seeing (and meeting!) so many of you this year! :) I will be posting FALL mini-shoot info within the next few weeks, so be sure to check back if you'd like to nab a spot. Thanks!! :)
January 07, 2010 | Posted by: Julie Cruz | Category: Press
The fabulous folks at The New Children's Museum booked me again, but this time it was to shoot the Snow Day they had on December 28th :) The turn out was WAY higher than anyone expected, and I enjoyed watching all of the kids in the snow. Here are some of the (SOOC - straight out of camera/UNedited) shots I snapped that day......
January 06, 2010 | Posted by: Julie Cruz | Category: Previews
If you've followed my blog for about a year or more, you might remember my posts about Elyse. Well Elyse has been doing her work up in heaven and has been watching over her parents...and her little brother Jensen :) Jensen wasn't due until later this month, and not only showed up early.....but on Christmas day! My Christmas was complete the minute I got the news that he had arrived and was doing great. Even though he was a month early, he was still great size (5 lbs 7 oz) and never needed help breathing, an incubator, etc. He's a strong little guy....and proved so during the shoot! My jaw literally dropped to the floor when we tried to set up the first shots I wanted to get. For those of you who work with newborns, you know about the infamous "pose" (for those who don't, it's where the baby is laying on their tummy and their head is propped up straight on either their arms (chin or head resting on arms) or theirs hands (so hands on cheeks propping their own head up)). Since Jensen was a month early, I thought "Sweet! He'll be knocked out the whole time and be super poseable!". Well what I didn't know is that Jensen is baby Superman! As we layed him down and tried to get him into "the pose", I kid you not, he pushed himself up with his arms and turned his head! Needless to say, he wasn't having it. After I picked my jaw up off of the floor, we moved onto the next idea.
For those of you who know me, you know that i'm not a copycat. It's just not my style. I love finding inspiration through other photographers, but blatantly copying is not my thing. If someone has done something I like, i'll either not do it at all...or think of a way to try and do it differently. So anyway, as I was strolling through an antique store one day I saw this amazing vintage produce scale that was in pristine condition. Anyone who is familiar with newborn photographers knows that Carrie Sandoval is literally THE most amazing newborn photographer in the world and has used scales in her newborn shoots for quite some time now. So as I was at the antique shop, I shot Carrie an email and asked her if she wanted me to pick up the scale for her (like I said, i'm not a copycat and in my opinion, Carrie has "trademarked" so many unique baby shots and I literally cringe every time I see another blatant copy of her work - so yeah, I wanted her to have it). As much as she loved it, she decided that she didn't need 3 scales, so she told me that I should still get it and use it. I debated for a while and went back the following week and it was still there......and on sale (on top of the fact that they were having a moving sale and I asked if they would drop the price again (even though it was already ridiculously cheap hehe - hey, that's the chinese in me! I'm a bargain shopper!). I took the fact that it was still there, on sale (plus extra discount) AND that Carrie said *I* should get it.....and grabbed it.
With only about an hour to shoot (mini session for a mini guy, I guess lol), close to no natural light (see post below - this shoot was right after that one since I was already up in Orange County....and we ended up having to call it quits at 4:30pm because it was literally night outside) and super baby, here were some of the shots I was able to snap.
*Disclaimer* - I am NO Carrie Sandoval.....not even CLOSE, but she is a true inspiration and a total sweetheart, so Carrie, thank you for your friendship, encouragement and for sharing your talent with the world.....
January 04, 2010 | Posted by: Julie Cruz | Category: Previews
Before I start my first post of the year, let me just say "HELLO 2010!!". I still need to do an official "New Year" post, but I wanted to get Dylan's sneak peeks up first, so that post will have to come later on this week (after another sneak peek) :)
Dylan was due on Christmas day (25th), but had plans of his own to show up on the 17th :) So although I was supposed to be "off" until this past weekend (1/2), I actually ended up with 3 shoots last week (another shoot for The New Children's Museum, Dylan's shoot...and another early newborn). It's ok though, because I love the people at the Children's Museum....and I love newborns....so although my vacation ended earlier than planned....it was all worth it :) Dylan was the perfect model and slept pretty much the entire time. In fact, I only saw his eyes for about 3 minutes the entire shoot. It would have seemingly been the perfect newborn shoot IF the weather gods didn't rain (literally) on my parade. I had checked the weather (like I always do) the days before (and even night before) the shoot and it didn't show any rain in the forecast until later that evening. So I hopped in my car that morning and headed up to Orange County with Starbucks in hand, music on....and a smile on my face. Everything looked perfect.....until I hit Irvine....and suddenly it was the DARKEST and most gloomy day ever.......and it was RAINING! Had I been in San Diego, I would have turned around and postponed the shoot....but I here I was an hour from home with clients just 10-15 minutes away, so I cursed the weather gods and worked with what I had. The light outside (all day) was literally as if it was the last 5 minutes of light in the day....although there was NO light. To give you and idea of what it looked like that day, here is an iPhone pic I snapped right after I left the shoot (and keep in mind that this was around 2:00pm....which is usually one of the brightest times of the day)......
As you can see, "natural light" was a joke (more like non existent) that day....but it's ok.....I made it work (with ZERO flash - i'm not a flash kinda gal). Ok, ok, so now that i've completely consumed my blog with random blabbering, let's get to the pics of adorable little Dylan :)
Now you know why Dylan is so cute! Mama is gorgeous! Oh and I think Dylan was winking at me here ;)
Oh and P.S - the next day was GORGEOUS (of course!). Sunny, warm, you name it. Oh well...that's one of the hardest parts of this job....you never know what kind of weather curve balls will be thrown at you....so you just learn to work with what you have. Luckily for me, the shoots were indoors that day ;)