Posted on April 23, 2014
Jessica and Rolando have the most gorgeous family, and I was thrilled to be shooting their family session. Their three children are not only beautiful but some of the most well behaved I’ve met! Jessica’s younger sister and her best friend also took part in the photo shoot, and I think these pictures capture what a fun, playful and loving extended family they are.
Category: Blog, Children, Featured Tagged: beach, childhood, children, children's photographer, children's photography, family session, Florida photographer, holiday mini-session, holiday portraits, lifestyle, Miami photographer, Miami wedding, parenthood, photographer, photography, portrait, portrait photography, south beach photographer, South Florida, Vivian Marie Photography
Posted on April 2, 2014
My husband and I are quickly approaching our seventh wedding anniversary, and soon our 14th year together. I am the last person to claim that I am savvy enough to give advice on marriage. Victor and I first ‘dated’ when we were barely 13 years old, back when dating meant exchanging letters in the hallway and holding hands between classes. Two years later, having matured into earnest, wise 15 year olds we started a relationship, and this time it lasted. Our road has not always been smooth, there have been ups and downs, casual criticisms that devolved into fissures in our relationships, missteps on both our parts, and of course the daily humdrum of family schedules that can leave you overlooking the very person you so anxiously wanted to build your life with. Most of our trials have been commonplace, some are exclusive to us, and the majority of the heartache we’ve caused each other has been solely our making. I wouldn’t change a thing though, we’ve educated one another, and there are a few patterns I’ve noticed in myself and others around me that I just have to bring up.
Expectations. My mother raised me with forewarning that expectations will only hurt you. Of course intellectually I understood this, but it has only been within the last year or so of my relationship I have fully tried to grasp on to this statement and put it into practice.
I am certain men have unrealistic expectations just like women do, but I’m not positive their expectations are so numerous, or wrapped into some grand scheme of how they envision their lives to be.
I cannot tell you how many female friends of mine, say things along the lines of, “I’ve always envisioned my marriage this way since I was a child, and I don’t understand why he is being so distant.” I’ve always wanted to respond, “Well, you only met Tom when you were 24, so I suppose you are trying to jam him into the mold of a marriage you’d projected since you were a little girl.” Yet, I don’t because I also had apparitions of some spectral romance.
As a teenager, these dreamy ideations manifested in expecting my husband to be as superfluous and flowing with his words as I was. I expected tit for tat, and it made me miserable. I frequently roamed my high school hallways complaining to my best friend about how I wasn’t sure why Victor was so distant. He wasn’t distant though, he just wasn’t me. He shows his affection and love in different ways, back then he would pick me up after school – even though he went to a different high school. He would drive 20 minutes out of his way just to see me for a few minutes, but since he didn’t arrive spouting poetry I was too young to see it.
I’ve seen numerous relationships fall apart because one partner already has the framework of whom their significant other is, and what duties they are to fulfill – sometimes long before they even meet. If this was done as routinely to women as we do it to men, we would be calling foul. We’d lambast men for thinking we had to fit into their outline of what a woman is. As I’ve said, I’m sure men do this – but I’ve yet to meet a man who creates the elaborate backstory for his future wife that women do for their husbands.
Perhaps if we all took a breath and saw each other for who they really are, and not who we project due to our own needs, our history, or our insecurities, it would make for a more honest, multifaceted relationship. It’s the old adage that you can’t change a person. Too often, people marry great expectations and not the individual.
Posted on May 3, 2013
For Manny’s 60th birthday the Gutierrez sisters decided to surprise their dad by throwing him a huge party. The party didn’t stop until well after midnight and everybody had a blast! From the delicious cupcakes to dancing to the pop up photobooth – it was a terrific night and I was so pleased to have photographed this event!
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Posted on April 2, 2012
In fact sing that mantra to yourself “It’s not about me, it’s not about me.” Truly having a child, and especially in the case of multiple children, or children with special needs, you are on hold. Don’t get me wrong; parenting isn’t a selfless act by some martyr. But so many of the things you were accustomed to will vanish upon having children.
I have to admit, in a way I was saved from the shock of this a bit. I came from a large family, was raised by a mother who believes it’s tacky to talk about yourself, and started having children so young I had just graduated from teenager to college student. I hadn’t spent years cultivating an adult lifestyle; I went from accepting my high school diploma to becoming a parent within a very short period of time. I know many people who parenthood has hit pretty hard. They’ve been used to their freedom, their careers, and their weekends sleeping in or traveling. They’ve been accustomed to writing their own ticket, on their schedule, and it seems the more habituated they are to that, the more difficult the transition to parenting can be.
I’m sure these parents bring a more adult perspective into their child rearing, than perhaps I did at the time. Many though are appalled to learn that babies and children have no schedule. Of course, eventually you can get them into a sleep pattern, school routine, etc. but children are a lesson in unpredictability. Not just in their behavior, but in their very essence. Children become sick at one in the morning, they throw up on you just after you’ve gotten dressed for work, they decide to melt down in the middle of the grocery store when you’re rushing to get home and get everybody fed. They are completely capricious. As their parent, you are as well.
I hate to even think about how many birthday parties, weddings, family gatherings, double dates (and the list goes on) my husband and I have canceled at the very last minute due to our children (or should I say our role as parents). Being a parent requires you putting your wants on hold for your children. Most of the time that is effortless, some days it can be excruciating. Everyone has days where they say to themselves, “I can’t remember the last time I took a shower in peace!”
If you aren’t willing to change your lifestyle, if you think you can just ‘tweak’ a few things and a baby will slide right in, you’re on the precipice of a huge revelation. I’m not telling you to give up going out, to quit your job, become a hermit for 18 years and only venture into the sunlight once your child is ready for college. I’m certainly not advocating giving up your identity, but there has to be a gargantuan shift in priorities. Whether you ease into those changes naturally or surrender to them screaming is your choice.
While child rearing may sound exhausting and almost thankless to some of my single friends, it is the most amazing experience. Not only does loving and caring for your children benefit them, it benefits you. You don’t fathom your own strength until you’re a parent. You can’t grasp the depths of love until you are a parent. Sure you may be giving up many things, but nothing is more amazing than snuggling your newborn, or hearing ‘I love you’ from your child for the first time.
My young sons routinely tell me I look beautiful (usually late in the day when I’m covered in baby spit up, dust and who knows what else), and I have to take a step back and look at myself through their eyes, and that is pretty spectacular. They don’t notice that I still am carrying around baby weight, that my hair hasn’t been coiffed properly in who knows how long, that I haven’t gotten a real pedicure in years. They just know I’m their Mommy and they think I’m great. In the end, what did I really give up anyway?
|Barbara on Our Happy Halloween!|
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