annhennessyphotography

kelci alane photography

I have a dear friend that I want to write about. Her name is Kelci Alane House, and she is one amazing photographer. She is also an amazing person. She is incredibly sweet, but will also tell you like it is. I am so grateful that she came into my life! She is so naturally energetic that she doesn't need coffee. Actually, she should stay away from coffee. Decaf will still give her a burst. Or maybe that is just her. I really can't figure it out. I see a younger version of myself in her.. although she is an old soul (and is wise beyond her years). But she can be a total goofball, which I love! I am so excited for her future. She is going to shine.

We are teaming up to do weddings together, so check her out if you are interested in working with me! If you want to work with me, and I am not quite in your neck of the D.C./Maryland woods, hit up Kelci. She is on the Maryland side of town, while I'm down in Northern Virginia.

This girl rocks! Check out the headshots below I took of her (and you can see the ones she took of me on my "Me" page). She has taken a ton of beautiful photos of my bump and my family. And I am forever grateful for that. 

We recently got together and had an incredibly productive coffee date called "Let's Make Sh%t Happen". Here are few things that we went over, that might be helpful for other photographers (or aspiring photographers):

• Establish your pricelist and stick with it. Be fair to yourself and your clients.
• Create questionnaires for you clients. Here's a sample Bride/Groom questionnaire from a well known photographer, Katelyn James.
• Organize all of your pricelists, contracts, questionarres, etc. through a virtual studio manager like ShootQ.
• Hire a lawyer and/or accountant to help you with contracts and making things legsl. Register your business.
• Take a workshop that is right for you. Maybe this one is better.
• Never stop learning.
• Sign up for a photography conference.
• Practice practice practice. Call your friends if you have no bookings. Use your iPhone for practice. You can learn a lot about framing and lighting (seeing how light bounces off subjects, available light, back-lighting, etc.) Sign up for Instagram. Follow other photographers that inspire you.
• Work with other photographers, like Kelci Alane Photography or your Aunt Pretty!
• Do something good for the world and use your photography skills to volunteer, near or afar.
• Go on location scouting trips! Speaking of… our headshots below were shot in Old Town, Alexandria VA and an overpass near the Rock Creek Parkway. My bump photos were taken at Lockhouse 22 C & O Trust.

turquoise waters // finnstagram // NEW turquoise logo

I decided to write about my BIG news first. I am changing my name to Ann White! After five years of marriage and birthing a huge baby boy, I decided it would be super awesome to share a name with my little clan. I am all about unity, and think that quite honestly–the whole world should be more on the same page with unity. You know, world peace and all that. So, I'm starting with uniting with my family. No more division! I would rather keep things simple, so I am changing my photography name to Ann White Photography also. SO, my url will be changing to www.annwhitephoto.com and my Finnstagram stream is now Annwhitephoto. Please have patience while I slowly make this transition. Blarg. Anywho, you'll also see my new Ann White Photography logo in this post, and my new "AW" mark on the blog post photo. That will be my signature on all photographs posted on my blog–and throughout the interworld. Aw, so cute! Sorry, had to.

For any of you that follow me on Instagram, you know that my stream is called Finnstagram. This is because my son pretty much takes over the whole stream. Don't make fun. Is it so wrong that I am obsessed with my child? Plus, he is a great test subject. Regardless of the fact that I am using an iPhone so frequently, it is PRACTICE. For any aspiring photographers, the best thing you can do is practice, practice and practice some more. The iPhone is great practice, even if you can't use all of the fun settings on your SLR. You are practicing framing, timing and how to use light. I did have the pleasure of assisting my Aunt at my cousin's newborn photoshoot last weekend, and of course I learned a few new things! Such a blast. I will post about that shoot soon!

But today I felt like we all needed a much-needed boost that summer is right around the corner. Here are some of my favorite photos form my Babymoon in St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands (almost two years ago!). Oh, and that fat donkey you see? She was pregnant! I fed her because I knew how hungry a prego can get.

fluffy face

A year ago I experienced one of the greatest losses of my lifetime. My 12 year old "Fluffy Face" went to Kitty Heaven. Any other pet owner can sympathize with this loss. ANYone who has experienced a loss can of course sympathize. When anyone or anything passes away, it is incredibly difficult. Fortunately, I had only experienced such a great loss as my Grandfather and Grandmother passing away. The passing of my Grandpa was pretty hard at the age of 19. It was confusing and shocking. He was my idol. I still am overcome with emotion over him 13 years later. But to lose such a dear companion like a pet is heart wrenching in an entirely different way. And simply because, I miss her.

I miss the way she would jump up on my bed early in the morning and wake me up with her squirrel call (brrrrrrrrp!!!). I miss how she would snuggle inside my chest and arms, and wrap her paws around my arm. I miss her purr. I even miss when her bratty fuzzy butt would jump up on the dresser and start slowly pushing an object to the edge until…. CRASH! I miss how she would push the door of the bathroom open and barge in, as if she owned the house (and she did). I miss how she would jump up on the edge of the bathtub to get her "steam bath/meditation" session in while I showered. I oddly now miss how she demanded fresh water every morning and evening, but would still jump up on the bathroom sink to drink the water. I miss how she started snoring and getting a white patch on her chin in her later years. I miss that oh-so-fluffy fur that I could burrow my face into. I miss how she played hide-and-seek with my husband and I (no joke), and her tail would always give her away. She would get so worked up and hyper, zipping around the apartment, sliding on the floor. Lol. I miss how on beautiful days I'd find her asleep in a lush, green bush outside. I miss seeing her climb a tree like a monkey and anxiously make her way down backwards. I miss the days that we would sit peacefully together on the stoop watching the sunset. I just. Miss. Her.

How could I forget all of these things? I'm terrified that I will. But recalling them all is also painful. I was told it would get easier with time, and it has. But when I recall those feelings it is just as hard as the moment she left. Sometimes I feel like time crept into my world and stole my Fuzzy Butt like a thief in the night. She was my first child and forever companion. When something becomes your little trusted shadow, and loves you unconditionally, unequivocally–bearing that loss is more than words. Yes, she was old-ish. Yes she lived an amazing life. But she could have lived a few more years. She could have been Finn's buddy. They could have snuggled, and he could have pulled her tail. But what can I do now but cherish those years that I had with her.

I'm sorry if this is hard to read, but it has been cathartic for me. I have bottled up a lot of these feelings over the last year, and it was time to release them. It is time to release her. I want her to be as happy as can be in kitty heaven, and wait for me at "The Rainbow Bridge". What is this bridge of magical colors, you ask? It is one of the three main things that has given me comfort in this grieving process. Our animal hospital was so sweet and sent a card with this poem enclosed.

"Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…."

-Author Unknown

The other thing that gave me peace was a dream I had about her. I've only had one, and it occurred fairly soon after she passed. She looked like her younger self, but she wasn't a kitten. She was sooo full of energy, you could even see it in her eyes. They were bright with life. Her tail was twitching with excitement. We were outdoors and she was running everywhere and zipped up a tree. I woke up KNOWING she was at peace, waiting for me in this crazy place with rainbows and bunny rabbits. She didn't get along too well with other cats though, so I hope there weren't too many in her little spread of grass. 

The third thing that has already given me peace is the process of letting go. Letting her go. Experiencing the emotion and grief. I came across this awesome blogger over at High On Health, and she went through this herself and suggests a few things. I haven't done them all, YET.. but I have started a few. 

Thank you for reading this, if you did. On with some photos! Here are some of my favorite Instagram photos of the Fuzzy Butt. Follow me! It's all about Finnstagram these days.

You are forever in my heart, Macy. I will never forget the first moment I saw your tiny, squished, grey, fluffy face...

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