Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Zimbabwe Missions Trip

Zimbabwe has one of the worst economies in the world. With the highest inflation rate in the world, over 80% unemployment, a corrupt government, and a skyrocketing AIDS epidemic - the situation seems to be hopeless. For no one is this more true than the children who have been orphaned by AIDS and are left to survive on their own. These orphans have voices that have been all but forgotten. My friend, Ryan Keith has a heart to help these children, and so he began an organization called Forgotten Voices International (FVI) to do just that. FVI works with leaders in Zimbabwe to develop Local Action Plans. In working with local leaders, they are sending orphans to school, starting farms, providing HIV tests, offering grief counseling, supplying vitamins, and developing skills in the local community.

So, this Fall (October 25 - November 7), I will be traveling to Zimbabwe
with Ryan and my good friend, videographer Adam Merritt. Our mission is to document the work of FVI, to tell the story of these children, and to help make their voices heard!! We will be traveling through the country photographing & videotaping the work that FVI is doing and those who are serving and being served by the ministry. I am so excited to be using my gifts in this way! As many of you know, my passion is documentary Missions Photography - and this trip is exactly that! It is such a blessing to feel like I'll be doing exactly what I know God has called me to do. I cannot wait to be a part of this trip!

Though there are just a few of us going on this trip, we can't do it alone -

We desperately need your prayers. Prayers for our safety, prayers for God
to open up doors and create opportunities to connect with people, prayers for this picky eater to eat whatever she's served :) Prayers for Zimbabwe, and for the work being done there. Prayers for the documentary we're shooting, and for the impact it may have on these kids. All sorts of prayers!

We also need financial support. Each of us needs to raise $3500 to cover
our expenses on this trip. If you would like to contribute to the trip costs, please download this form, and send it with your check to the address on the form (a church in PA is handling all of our support for us). If you'd like to support me personally, and you don't care about tax deductions, you can also send a check directly to me at the address below with Zimbabwe in the memo. All contributions will go directly to the costs incurred preparing for and going on this amazing trip. Please prayerfully consider supporting us financially! If you'd like to follow along with us while we're on our trip, I hope to be able to make updates on the blog. You can also keep track of us through Ryan's blog as well! If you'd like more information about the trip, or have any questions, or just want to send some love - leave a comment below, call or email me! I can't wait to see what God will do with this opportunity, and I hope you will partner with us!

Friday, August 24, 2007

I've been tagged!

There's a little game going around the world of photography blogs, and I've been tagged by the wonderful Matt & Enna Grazier! (Sorry for taking so long, Matt :) From what I understand, I have to share 8 little known facts about myself, so here goes...

1) I am like the world's pickiest eater! I have crazy issues :) I don't like anything spicy - and I mean that MILD salsa is too spicy for me. I am really particular about texture. There are very few vegetables that I'll eat and almost none of them are green. It's almost easier to tell you what I DO like - I LOVE pizza (and I mean that I can eat it EVERYDAY), fried chicken, mcdonald's cheeseburgers, FRENCH FRIES, quesadillas, reduced-fat wheat thins, and COCA COLA pretty much sums up an average week for me. Ordering a meal at a restaurant is a bit like a scene from When Harry Met Sally (but not the part where she fake's it at the table ;)

2) When I was a kid (age 4-6), my family lived in Nassau, in the Bahamas. So, I grew up on the beach, a tan little blond girl. My favorite memory of our days in the Bahamas - Sunday mornings, picking up a bucket of KFC and taking a boat with all of our friends to a practically private island to spend the day digging in the sand and splashing in the water. Good times, good times.

3) I was a synchronized swimmer for 15 years. I swam for Indy Synchro (formerly known as the Indianapolis Synchronettes) from 1984-1997 (my final year we won 8th place at US Jantzen Nationals), then swam for them as a Master in 1999 (winning a gold medal at the US Masters Championships for duet that year), and I coached for them from 1998 - 2000. Some of the best friends I've ever known are my synchro girls and those years hold some of my favorites memories!

4) 3 of the 4 cars I have owned over the course of my life have been minivans. This can be explained by the fact that I've never actually paid for a car, but have received the wonderful hand-me-downs of my mother and sister. My first car was a 1986 maroon Plymouth Voyager which I drove until it had 220,000 miles on it. My next car was a 1992 white Plymouth Voyager (this one had power windows and locks, ooooooh) and I drove that until it literally died in my sister's driveway and a dump paid us $200 for it (also over 200K). The next car was a 1994 silver Ford Explorer that my sister gave me after she received it from a family in their church and drove it for a few years (another 200K + beauty - which died on my way from Indy to Chicago last year :( And now, I drive a 1999 Pontiac Montana that is a lovely shade of brown. Who knows how long this one will last - but hopefully I won't have to buy my first car for a long long time!

5) When I graduated from Butler University in 1999, I had a degree in French & Psychology. My first job in the real world was working as a Research Technician for the OCD & Autism Clinics at the Psychiatry Clinic at Riley Children's Hospital in Indy. Talk about a crazy year. After that, I got a job in HR/Recruiting for a hedge fund in Chicago. It was only after getting fired from that job that I decided to pursue photography (let's just say I wasn't a good fit for Corporate America)...

6) I have a few mild addictions... Pizza, Coca-Cola Classic, time spent w/ my niece & nephews, music (listen to it, sing it, whatever), LOST, email, and bejeweled (my newest addiction)

7) My family is big into traveling. We have a huge map in my parent's house and we each have different color pins. It's a big competition to see who has the most pins in the map! My pins are yellow, and I've got them in about 24 countries so far - and I'll be adding 2 more when I go to Zimbabwe & South Africa in October!! I'm pretty sure I'm winning the competition, though my sister is a close second. Some of the more exotic/interesting countries on the list: Sri Lanka, India, Albania, Curacao, Belgium, Greece, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Bermuda, etc... :)

8) I love my family and I love my friends - they are just about the most important thing in this world to me!! But, as much as I love my family, the most important relationship I have is the one i have with God. I love Him and am loved by Him in ways that I never could imagine. And He loves EVERYONE this way! It's the most amazing and crazy thing I've ever heard, but I am so incredibly grateful for it.

So, that's me in a nutshell! I think I have to tag 8 people now - but most of the people I would tag, have been tagged already. So, I'm going to tag YOU! If you're reading this and you haven't posted 8 things about you on your blog - leave me a comment below and post your 8 things on your own blog! I can't wait to read all about you :)

Going Solo!

Back in February of 2002, I lost my HR job in Chicago, and I was wondering what to do with my life. Someone asked me one of the most important questions of my life... What would you do if money didn't matter? For me, the answer was easy - travel and take pictures. So, I decided to find a job in photography and see what would happen. And the rest, as they say, is history...

Flash forward 5 1/2 years. I now live in Boston (well, Woburn actually) and I'm preparing to leave my part-time studio job and take on my own photography business full-time!!!!!!! I can't believe it! It's been such a blessing to see how the Lord has provided for me over the years, especially since I moved out here last year.

I still can't believe how much I've learned and grown in 5 years. This, of course, is all thanks to the many amazing photographers who have graciously taught me along the way... Steven E. Gross gave me a chance and the opportunity to learn the hard way - by actually doing it. My 5+ years working with Steven at Real Life Weddings has truly made me the photographer I am today. And the wonderful Matt & Enna Grazier who I've worked with for the last year have been such an encouragement and inspiration! Since working with them I can see such a change in myself - my work has improved, my passion has increased, and my confidence is up! Without them, I don't know if I'd even feel ready for all of this. Every photographer I've worked with has taught me something and I'm so thankful to each one - Robert Mirani, Stephen Serio (aka Serpico), Mark Tomaras, Alternate Angles, Tsar Fedorsky, and many more. Thank you for all of your encouragement and help over the years!

I'm so excited for this new chapter in my life and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mark & Kirstin's E-Session

A few weeks ago, I met Marc & Kirstin out in Beverly, MA at Lynch Park for their engagement session. It was so great to meet them, especially since they'd booked me over the phone! They were both totally camera shy and had joked about not being "models" like my sample-album couple, Mark & Courtney. Boy were they wrong! These are some of my favorite e-session pics ever!!

Thanks for being such awesome models you guys! I had a blast hanging out with you!!

Here's your slideshow:

p.s. The wedding photos are coming soon... :)

It's all worth it!

Do you ever get so stressed over the mounds of work piling up on your desk? Do you ever feel like you'll never get it all done? I do, all the time - especially this summer! My photography business is finally taking off here in Boston, and I've got lots of work (this is a GOOD thing). Plus, I'm still working part-time for Matt & Enna Grazier - so I'm pretty much up to my eyes in work these days.

With all of that going on, it's been easy to get frustrated and feel like I'm not making my clients happy. I want to turn things around so much faster than I can right now! But, yesterday was a great day! Not because I got so much done (though I was fairly productive), but because I heard from 2 of my favorite couples!

Maria & Paul's images were released on Pictage this week, and I got their slideshow finished and up online on Friday. Maria emailed me back with this...

Hi Krista, I have no words to describe how much I love the photos. You captured so many wonderful moments. I can not stop looking at them. Thank you so much for all your beautiful work! It will be so difficult choosing the photos for the book… :)

THEN, I was hanging out with my sister and the kids, and I got a text message from Mark & Courtney who's wedding album was just completed and delivered this week...

Hey K. Got the wedding book, its frekkin amazing! U'r an artist of note! Tks so much Love M & C

Yay!! That's what I live to hear! I LOVE being able to take photos that bring people that much joy! What could be better?? I love my job (busy and all :)!