chantal stone photography: the blog

April 19, 2008

Project Childhood

When I was in high school, I was the one most likely to change the world. I started my school’s student chapter of Amnesty International, I was the youngest member of our small city’s only environmental group and I was a member of Greenpeace. I helped organize and attend Earth Day events. I was a member of the Model U.N. I always understood the importance of community service and knew that no matter what it was that I did in life as an adult, I wanted to somehow give back. Now that I’m a professional photographer, it’s still so important to me to use my talents to give back and uplift others. And I’m really excited about a new organization designed to do just that.

I recently learned about a new non-profit organization of professional photographers and students called Project Childhood. From the Project Childhood website:

Project Childhood, which corresponds with Child Abuse Prevention Month during the month of April, is about creating a unified front among professional photographers in order to accomplish one goal: TO CELEBRATE CHILDHOOD.

I found Project Childhood via Laura Novak’s blog, and I don’t think she’ll mind if I plagiarize what she wrote:

1. The overall goal is to provide a web gallery of photos that will ultimately seek to inspire others to see the beauty of childhood. It will be a site meant to CELEBRATE CHILDHOOD, a site filled with content by those who spend each day doing just that through the art of photography.

2. By offering a free session to a child who normally wouldn’t be able to afford it, each photographer is making a significant difference in that child’s life. If nothing else, those parents will have a picture on their wall of their child. A picture to celebrate, and that child will grow up knowing that someone took the time to make a difference..

3. By donating the session fee to a children’s charity of his or her choice, each photographer will be making a difference in the community and contributing to a cause that they feel warrants financial assistance.

During the month of April to celebrate Child Abuse Awareness they are having a great contest…

Working on the honor system, professional photographers from across the globe will be asked to complete the following:

1. Offer a free session to a child who normally wouldn’t be able to afford one, and then provide the parents with a free portrait from the session that captures the essence of childhood.

2. Donate your session fee to a children’s charity of your choice.

3. Submit the photo to PROJECT CHILDHOOD along with a link to your charity.

4. The contest is limited to three entries per photographer, but each submission must be of a different child, and must be submitted under the following assumption: You have donated your session fee for each child to a children’s charity of your choice.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION is May 7, 2008 at 11:59 PM PST.

WINNER(S): As of now, the best picture will awarded a free site from BluDomain, One TypePad blog for life, and one logo from Piece of Cake Designs. The judges? 32 high school photography and video production students. The winner, along with three runners-up, will also be showcased in a featured gallery section on the site with several images and an interview.

I definitely plan to participate, and if you’re a photographer I hope you do as well. All I need is a subject! So if you are located in the Greater Columbus area and you have a child or know of a child who’s family can not afford a personal, high-end photo shoot, then please contact me at chantal [at] chantalstonephotography.com, with “Project Childhood” in the subject line. We only have a couple of weeks before the deadline, so we need to get busy!

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April 14, 2008

We’re Home

Filed under: Inspiration,News,Personal,Photography — chantal @ 10:44 pm

As much as I love going on vacation, I love road trips, I love staying in a hotel, I love visiting new places and seeing old faces… nothing competes with coming home. We had a great time visiting family, eating out, relaxing, going to the beach, etc. And I took TONS of great pictures… of the kids, of the road, even a Wedding photo or two, and of course lots of pics for my SoFoBoMo project.

We actually returned Sunday night, and I spent most of Monday resting since I woke up feeling a bit under the weather. Hubby and I also finished up our taxes and we got that filed finally. Now I’m ready to get back to business! I have some photos to post from a great photo shoot I had before we left for our trip and of course loads of pictures from the actual trip, I’m so excited to share!

But first, for you photographers out there, I just need to share something I read tonight while catching up on some of my favorite blogs. From The Landscapist:

To paraphrase Brooks Jensen – forget about what you have been told is a good picture and simply start picturing what you “see”. What Jensen failed to mention in his dictum is that it is very important to “forget” everything you “know” about pictures and picturing because then, and only then, can you hear what you feel. What you feel is the best “knowledge” that you can harness in the cause of making good pictures. [emphasis added]

Sometimes I do find myself over-thinking what I’m doing, and it’s quotes like these that serve as the kick-in-the-pants reminder to just shut-up and shoot. Shooting by feeling is the way to go folks, and I’m so excited by some great shoots I have planned over the next couple of weeks.

Stay tuned for some new photos all this week!

April 2, 2008

I just need to add…

Filed under: Inspiration,Personal — chantal @ 11:56 am

(2 posts in one day, I know…crazy!!)

But it’s sooooo nice out!  I’m so psyched it’s finally beginning to feel like Spring!  I wish I didn’t have so much to do inside today, I would love nothing more than to just take my camera, go out somewhere, and just shoot like crazy.  Thankfully though, it’s going to be wicked nice this weekend too!

March 13, 2008

My Attitude is GRATITUDE!

Filed under: Inspiration,Personal — chantal @ 5:00 pm

Pardon me for a moment, while I get slightly emotional 🙂 …

My heart is so filled right now thinking of all of the blessings in my life. When I think about the things that I want, the goals I want to achieve, I can’t help but stop for a moment, look around me, and notice all of the wonderful things I already have!

I have the most incredible job in the world! People let me into their lives, allow me to witness very intimate and precious moments, I meet their friends, their families, and for a short time, I’m part of that family. I get to be creative, and have fun doing what I love. And people pay me to do this! I love being a photographer. Its’ the only thing I have ever wanted to do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

I have the best husband and children in the world. They make me happier beyond belief and I owe everything I am to them. My husband has been my biggest support and my #1 fan from the beginning. He owns my heart and knows my soul like no other. Every day that I get to be by his side is heaven on earth. And my children— words can not describe how they make me feel. I never knew love like this was possible. They inspire me, they motivate me, they energize me.

My clients! I can’t forget to mention the amazing people I get to work with. They aren’t just clients. They quickly become good friends and I appreciate so much that they trust me enough to let me in like they do.

And my friends are so great too…both the old ones whom I love like flesh & blood, and the new ones whom I can not wait to get to know better!  This afternoon I had the privilege of having lunch with 5 really amazing photographers.  They are all such great people— funny, smart, creative….and such great inspiration to me.  I love the community of photographers that is growing here in Columbus…that nurtures and educates and shares with each other.  It’s something that I have felt was lacking here in Central Ohio and I’m so glad to be part of it!

Do you ever feel so loved, you feel like you will explode?  It’s a great feeling.  And I’m thankful for this amazing life and the fabulous people in it!

February 6, 2008

Mid-Week Round-Up vol.2, featuring Barack Obama

Filed under: Inspiration,internet,Make A Difference,Music,News,Personal — chantal @ 10:06 am

(the 2nd installment of random things I come across…)

1) Most of you have probably seen this by now, but if you haven’t, take a moment to watch. Even the biggest skeptic can’t walk away from this without feeling inspired. I love what creative minds can do…

Barack Obama – Yes We Can music video

2) Fish Lips Paper Designs. This is so cool….gift wrap with beautiful and unique designs made from 100% Post-Consumer recycled paper. (found via Anna Kuperberg’s blog)

giftwrap.jpg

3) DIY Bride. This is GREAT resource for Brides who are planning their own wedding and want everything to be FABULOUS! Get creative, often inexpensive ideas on DIY Bride. There’s a forum that you’ll need to register for, but it’s FREE.

4) Jack Johnson – Sleep Through The Static – It released yesterday, and from what I’ve heard so far it’s AWESOME. It usually takes a while for a new album to grow on me, but I’m a big JJ fan, and this one definitely delivers.

jj.jpg

5) BABIES!! It’s official, I have baby fever. With my last two photo shoots being all about the babies, I can’t help it! And no, I’m not going to go for #4 of my own, I want to shoot YOUR baby. So if you or anyone you know has a BABY give me a call or send me an email… I’m offering a limited time special package for BABY PHOTO SESSIONS. (email chantal@chantalstonephotography.com for details)

6) Avoid “The McWedding”. For Brides on a budget, this article is a MUST READ….in fact, the whole blog is awesome!

courtesy: Cocktails and Details, The Wedding Planners’ Fabuluxe Blog

February 4, 2008

Reason #86 Why I’m So Blessed To Be A Photographer…

Filed under: Inspiration,Photography,Portraits — chantal @ 6:32 pm

I really wish I was a better writer. Then I’d be able to find to words to describe the most AMAZING event that I am so incredibly blessed to be able to witness. I literally do not possess the vocabulary to express the extreme love, gratitude and good fortune that I feel right now, at this moment. Let me fill you in…

A few weeks ago I did a family/maternity photo session for an amazing person, and truly special family. They welcomed me into their home and into their lives. We laughed, joked around, and in the short span of a brief afternoon, I really feel like I bonded with Erin, an amazing woman, incredible wife and mother, and an awesome photographer.

(I have the habit of falling in love with each of my clients. Perhaps its because I need to get to know a person really well before I can really photograph them, to show who they are with imagery. I really believe that it’s one thing to show what someone looks like…it’s something entirely different to show who they are. That is what I try to do. And in the process, as I explore what makes each of my clients laugh, what their hopes are, their dreams, what makes them tick…as I make them laugh with my lame jokes and try to put them at ease as I click away, something unique happens…the beginnings of a friendship is formed.)

Often after a photo shoot, I feel a little sad because I have to say goodbye to my new friend(s). But with Erin and her family, instead, I said “see you soon”. Today, Erin checked into the hospital to have her baby boy, and I was there to photograph this milestone in the life of this incredible family I have come to love. All night last night I couldn’t sleep and I was a nervous wreck all day. I usually don’t get all worked up over a photoshoot, but 1) I’m shooting another photographer so the pressure is really on to perform (she knows all of the tricks we use;) ) and 2) she’s having a baby and I get to watch!!

As I sat with Erin and her husband today, I felt overwhelmed. Not at the task at hand– photographing life changing events is what I was born to do– but overwhelmed with knowing how tremendously blessed I am to have a job that allows me to experience something so profound: the birth of a human life. And how amazing is Erin and her husband for welcoming me into such a private moment!! I can’t thank them enough for this opportunity.

This is Erin’s 4th child, and she tends to labor for quite some time. So after sitting with her for a few hours, we realized it was still going to be a while before her new baby boy would enter this world. So I came home for a bit and will rejoin Erin later on, when Baby Brody is ready to say hello. Stay tuned for more photos…

hospital1.jpg

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