Who Wants Photographs just AFTER giving birth?

father and daughter meeting newborn twins

Important Moments deserve more than mediocre photographs

The day after giving birth doesn’t sound like prime time to have professional photographs taken, does it? Typically someone in the family is mindlessly documenting the occasion from behind their phone and posting them online without your approval, before you’ve had a chance to announce your news!

big siblings meet new born baby sisters

I am speaking from experience. After the birth of my child, I asked my own mother to remove the unflattering photos she’d posted to online.

We photograph EVERYTHING about our daily lives forgetting to the savor the joy in the moments. From behind our screens we fire away, technology separating us from the events unfolding in our midst.

These days camera phones tell the story of our lives. Notoriously bad lighting and low resolution, pixelated images are snapped for instant online sharing. Occasionally we find a stellar frame among the hundreds of mediocre ones.

big brother meets newborn sisters

Imagine someone you trusted was capturing these moments instead?

What if you had professional photographs taken when your children met one another? Showing you the beauty of those first moments rather than the imperfections??

newborn baby twins
newborn baby girl hold hands with big sister
newborn twins meeting big sister for the first time
big siblings meet new babies
brother investigating newborn baby sister

Instead of trying to capture everything yourself, imagine relaxing and being present focusing on what’s really important. Living in the moment, while someone else does the work.

big brother holding newborn baby sister
black and white photograph of newborn baby face

Hiring a professional photographer will solve these problems for you!

professional photograph of newborn baby girl
family welcomes newborn baby girls
mother hands newborn baby to little girl
newborn babies with big sister
father looks at his newborn baby

This is where I can help! After 16 years in business and hundreds of story’s told, I’ve learned the importance of capturing BIG moments within a family. Throughout the years I’ve sought out nuances, small gestures and discovered the unspoken beauty within a scene. In years to come, these ‘little’ moments bring back the joy and share the magic of your story.

Want to celebrate and capture a momentous occasion? Sign up here.

xoxo adrienne signing off

Learning from Failure and starting again

At some point, I simply stopped writing.

My inner critic stood in my way. Her voice, harsh and painful, reiterating my darkest fears of ‘what if?’.

Every time I sat down to write, she immediately began criticizing my efforts reminding me of my failures. The last year was one of the hardest of my life and my inner critic shut me down. I struggled to accept a truth: my marriage had failed.

But that did not mean I was a failure. Some things are bound to fail. Sometimes, it’s truly the best thing to happen.

For a while, creative endeavors that once fed my soul, seemed impossible to complete. I was running but with no sense of direction. Every time I sat to pour out the words, I remained still silently recounting my fears.  My inner critic paralyzed my ability to move forward; for a little while, she won.

Failure leads to the Greatest Success.

This is a hard concept to grasp when in the throws of a major life crisis. We operate on survival mode maintaining our daily lives.

I maintained a sense of ‘normalcy‘ for my daughter when her father moved out. He wasn’t around much anyway. His new career in law enforcement had him working all hours and when he wasn’t working, he was asleep or who knows where… It was hard to accept, but I knew I needed more than what I was getting.

My situation had to change.

Our daughter was quickly turning from clumsy toddler, to an independent thinking child. The tension in the air was palpable and she was always encouraging ‘family hugs‘.  But we hadn’t functioned as a team in almost a decade and whatever we once were together had long ago disappeared.

When he said he was moving out, I found myself beginning the journey into remembering who I was and the dreams I once had. I needed time to mourn the death of one dream and time to welcome another.

Accept failure then MOVE forward

I’ve spent the last year re-evaluating before stepping into the future. My harsh inner critic, still stands there, reminding me of all those times I’ve failed, telling me I am still that scared little girl who’s afraid to take a chance on herself.

But I am pushing forward, taking deep breaths and starting again.

I am not defined by others. I will no longer Justify, Apologize, Defend or Explain my actions. I am an artist. I am a mother. I am determined; therefore, this is not the end of my story. This is just the beginning. 

‘Try and fail but never fail to try.’ -Steven Kaggwa

***

Four tips to help push forward after failure

I poured through some websites online to grab a few gems as I worked through this process. I found this by Charles Franklin via www.mindofawinner.com.

  • Acceptance: Don’t sugarcoat failure. It feels like crap and it should. Don’t deny or ignore the feelings you have on failing. They are key in motivating you to try again or try differently. Give yourself some time for your brain to process what happened.
  • Control: Take stock of what you have left. Not every failure is final, nor is every final complete. Take a minute to see what failure actually means to you in this moment. Realize that your meaning of failure will change with time, but address any urgent issues or questions you have now.
  • Trust: Believe in your brain. Failure only has the meaning we ascribe to. In other words, the fact that you didn’t get that client, that business, or that relationship doesn’t mean you failed. We tell our brain that we failed. Because we are the person that defines failure, we can also redefine if we allow our brains to do its work of asking questions and seeking answers.
  • Lean In. Wonder about your failure. Pema Chodron, a Buddhist teacher and author, offers a very unique way to understand failure in her book, “Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better”. In that book, Chordon suggests that we deal with the uncertainty of fear with questions. Failure doesn’t tell you what will happen the next minute, next hour, or the next year. It can only tell what happened before. Because of that, your failure does not impact what can happen next. Take some time to wonder, “What does this mean?” and see what comes to mind.

These four observations represent a pathway from failure to lesson.

We first have to accept what’s going on, control what he have left, using that control to build trust and wonder. It was that process, unintentionally, while trying to redefine myself from scratch. Learning that it was OK for me to take some time to redefine my failure into a lesson gave me the insight I needed to actually learn from my failures.

We’ll all failed in life… in SOME form or another.

When reviewing these failures, what did you learn about yourself? Was your process going from failure to learning the same or did you encounter something different?

Failure can be the road to self discovery if you ask questions!

Until Next Time-

Pushing Limits and Conquering Fear

The training wheels didn’t come off my bike until I was almost ten.

My brother, David, decided I was far too old for training wheels; therefore enlisting his best friend, Barclay, to convince me to give up my ‘baby wheels’.

They cornered me after church one Sunday afternoon, determination in their eyes.

“I can’t do it! I shook my head. Fat crocodile tears rolled down my cheeks.

I was afraid of failing.

Terrified of embarrassing myself, I panicked at the thought of removing my safety gear. I didn’t trust in my own abilities to balance without the extra support.

What if I couldn’t achieve the goal and disappointed my brother? What if I crashed in front of Barclay?

What if I got hurt?

These doubts were racing through my head. I couldn’t turn them off. Those incessant thoughts were stopping me from taking action and believing in myself.

But my brother was resolute, refusing to take ‘NO’ for an answer. He knew I could do it and he made certain I got back on again and again. Failure wasn’t an option.

My brother was an entrepreneur early in life.

He was brave, overly extroverted and was involved in a wide variety of high school activities from the debate team to theater to the student body. He made friends easily and was accepted within every social circle.

Without any encouragement, he started his own paper route when he was 12 and launched his first business when he was just a teenager.

Did he truly believe his first business at 16 would be a success?

Knowing David, he probably did!

But I couldn’t tell the difference. Perhaps he was faking all of that confidence but not once did he fail to try. He took initiative and he took risks.

From where I stood, my brother never failed.

Now that I am an adult I know this isn’t true. Of course he missed a few steps along the way. But looking back, I can only recall the things he achieved. 

That’s the point, though, isn’t it?

Even then, he pushed me to try something I was afraid of doing.

That Sunday afternoon they ran alongside my bike, guiding me through the church parking lot. They cheered me on, building up my confidence. Before long I was soaring! I was experiencing a newfound freedom that comes with conquering your fears.

Conquering my Fears…

Over the last few years, I’ve only dipped my toes into the icy waters of social media. It’s difficult finding my voice and determining how to proceed into this new arena of direct contact and instant gratification.

It’s a new way of doing business and it’s scary without training wheels.

If you take a step back, it’s easier to see the bigger picture.

We are social creatures and we NEED others to help lift us up and move us forward. Let’s make social media have THAT purpose!

It looks perfect on the outside

The cold, hard truth is that social media gets us focusing on the outside success of other people while simultaneously obsessing over our own failures!

With instant access to everyone you’ve EVER known, I can easily get ‘sucked in’ only to find myself an hour later wishing I had a new car or a puppy or that cool thing-a-ma-gig…

This never ending cycle gets us scrambling to document every mediocre detail of life and this contributes to our feelings of inadequacy.

And it isn’t healthy for children to begin feeling inadequate at such a young age. That’s for their teenage years! Ha.

I want to help forge a new way to interact online. Create online communities.

So here I am, pouring my words onto a blank screen choosing to move forward in positive and productive way. Social media is not a place to openly air your grievances or chastise others.

It should be a place to share, support and learn from one another. Knowledge is power and it’s right here at our fingertips!

So here I am hoping on the social media bicycle. I am blogging again, telling stories with words. Pushing forward into uncharted territory.

I’m ready to feel like I did that day on my bike… flying free, watching the ground beneath me drop away. Zooming forward into a brand new day.

Until Next Time,

Baby Animals, Easter and Spring Photos

It’s Spring and social media is ripe with animal photo shoots of all kinds!

It’s Easter and photographers across the nation are planning photo sessions with babies animals of all kinds. And yes, every year, I’m asked if I’m planning to do a session with baby animals.

The quick answer : No, I am not.

Including family pets in your photographs is PERFECT! They are part of your family and part of your story. When you get a new pet or move into a new home- this is when you should call your family photographer.

But I don’t want to involve myself with the red tape and potential disasters that can occur from using non-personal bunnies, baby chicks and other live animals with my clients.

Now- there are plenty of photographers that have perfected this process and I won’t hold it against you if you go see them. I’m sure they’ve nailed down the process of acquiring the appropriate paperwork necessary to facilitate one of these shoots.

That being said, it’s a great marketing ploy to bring these photographers business for the Spring!

But since I don’t really work that way, I’d like to give you another reason to visit me this Spring! If you’ve seen me before, I have something special if you schedule a session before June.

Repeat Clients receive ALL small digital files + an edited set of 5 WHEN booking a session before June Book Now

If you are reading this, you probably already know I specialize in telling stories, capturing moments and freezing time if only for a moment.

It’s not something I can do well under the clock and other pressures… it’s not really how I work.

A License is Mandatory for photographing animals

One of the most important things to note is the requirement of an USDA license in order to use animals on set. Part of the licensing process includes an inspection of the site & animals in question. Ugh… that’s enough to stop me right there.

Additionally, if an animal is hurt or killed on set- the fines are pretty steep and I could be banned from doing business altogether. Not to mention the nightmares that would haunt me for the rest of my life! YIKES!

A USDA License under the Animal Welfare Act is required for anyone using a regulated animal for regulated activity. Follow this link to the USDA web page focusing on the animal welfare act. You can review this information by downloading a pdf of the Animal Welfare Act.

Baby Animals are Messy

I’ve had plenty of experience photographing animals big and small; it’s definitely not an easy feat. Let’s be honest- children, babies & animals are unpredictable!

baby kittens sleeping

While I LOVE the unpredictability of my pint sized subjects, I don’t love the mess that follows them everywhere. When we bring animals into the mix, things can get messy and complicated pretty quickly.

Some animals get excited and pee when they are held. Others may hide or run away. Lots of human interaction can cause stress for a little animal. This can might result in erratic behavior & in some cases sudden death.

(Re: my rabbit Becky who died suddenly of a heart attack when I was a child. It was quite traumatic and not the ideal situation you want on your photo shoot.)

What if things got out of control, a child pulled a tail or squeezed an animal too hard and was bitten? AHHHH… the list of potential dangers is limitless. So I’ll stick to what I know best, capturing amazing moments that represent your life today. Because that’s what really important.

xoxo adrienne signing off

Photography and Podcasting;

I’ve been keeping some pretty big secrets. Behind the scenes I’ve been rebuilding my life and career as an artist. Taking control of my future and guiding my daughter by the example I lead.

Over the last ten years, I’ve watched as photography and social media have stolen our lives from the present. And as a photographer, I feel partially responsible for the desire to create a ‘picture perfect’ moment.

What’s a photograph to you?

A moment frozen in time? A feeling you don’t want to lose? A memory?

There’s a tiny Adrienne, in the bottom corner of the photo below. And those are my grandparents reading to me when I was about three years old.

Too young to recall these moments, this photograph brings me a sense of what this moment felt like. Papaw appears to be seriously addressing storytime while grandma has a silly look on her face.

I imagine she’s probably making a silly joke at my grandfather’s expense. This photo still makes me smile. I felt both joy and sorrow when I look at this frame.

Thirty-five years have gone by since this moment was captured.

This photograph was printed in the 1980’s and long ago the negatives were lost.  The 4×6 paper copy remained and this weathered piece of paper was scanned and digitized; making it possible to share it online with you now.

The advancement of technology has revolutionized our daily lives and forever altered the idea: ‘image is everything’

Photography has undergone a revolution since its inception. Within arms each, everyone had access to a camera and a world audience. We rely on our phones to tell us the stories of our lives. We qualify our lives with snapshots of our daily highlights, inundating the world with images of everything.

In the early days of photography, skilled photographers could alter images in the darkroom through creative printing methods. But this was a talent few possessed. Equipment was expensive as were the costs of printing through ‘trial and error’ to create a perfect image.

Photographs lie, this I know. I want to share authentic conversations and provide perspective behind the images that drive our lives

Today with easy access and the affordability of a digital application, almost anyone can alter an image to say whatever they want. So how can we trust images tell us the truth because they don’t?

It’s hard to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not real??

These are my grandparents circa 1950’s

I’ve learned the conversation & the experience I provide WHILE photographing are just as important as the images.

I’ve been a storyteller my whole life. With a camera in my hand, I had the authority to engage and find a story to tell. It gave me the confidence to engage with anyone I found interesting.  A free ticket to start conversations.

We are losing the ability to connect authentically when our communication is limited to screens. Our sense of reality is affected when we enter into an echo chamber instead of sharing conversations with others who offer an alternate point of view and a varying perspective.

Images have become our primary form of communication

How did my career as a photographer & the evolution of social media bring me to the idea of a Podcast?

I can’t possibly have daily conversations with every single person in my life. Period. That’s why we all love social media so much!! We can catch up with others in a fraction of the time.

But it works against us if when we focus on what we are missing. It’s an easy trap to fall into because we compare our afternoon napping to someone who ran a marathon!

This Podcast is about connecting through conversations and storytelling.

With the invention of social media, we are now comparing every moment of our lives to the snapshots of others.  Instead of connecting when we are online, so many of us are DISCONNECTING.

I’m starting with my grandparents. I want to tell their story. So here the experiment begins. (Gulp!)

Thanks for being here.

xoxo adrienne signing off

Spotlight: Michael Beers

michael-beers-spotlight-HeaderQ::      Mr. Michael Beers, for readers that are just hearing about The Michael Beers Band, can you describe & tell us more about your approach to rocking a party?

We are a full service wedding and event band, dedicated to making the music at our client’s events both seamless and organic. This is derived from an endless supply of energy and attention to detail on my part as the leader of the band. The understanding of how important every reception and event is for our individual client, our mantra that we only have one chance to get it right, and an experienced band of top-notch talent that knows the Michael Beers system inside and out.

 Q::   Oftentimes, when I refer a bride to you, you are ALREADY booked?!  It drives me crazy that I don’t get to work with you more often.   When do brides typically book with you? 

In times gone by, we could have been contacted late in the planning process. But over the past ten years, the youthfulness of the world has made the older people younger and the younger people older. The result has been the desire of our clients above almost all else to “throw a big party for their family and friends.” This has increased the importance of the music and what-in-the-world the guests are going to do for four or five hours.

The answer lately has been dance and have a whole lot of fun. I’m happy and proud to say, we now are often the first or second call. Exciting!

 Q::      Now, I know that you had already been playing great parties for many years before I moved to Kansas City.   And I’ve gotten to see your lovely face at some of my absolute favorite weddings over the last 12 years…  so how long have you been the class act band that you are?  

I am no spring chicken as they say, but the actual amount of years is “top secret.” Suffice to say, I started playing weddings in college, and minus a five-year hiatus when I was playing and recording my own music, I’ve been playing ever since. I’m serious when I say the amount of weddings and events played could be approaching a thousand or more.

That is some serious experience, and something a bride and groom are welcome to explore. I will take all the time you need to tell you what I’ve seen that works well and what I’ve seen that perhaps should be left for another day!

Q::     Do you have a favorite wedding that you are most proud of?

I honestly must say I’m proud of every one of them. It would be easy to describe some large amazing wedding that cost hundred’s of thousand’s of dollars as the one that was the best, but truthfully, the smallest of small can be equally if not more exhilarating. It’s not all about the bass, it’s about the people. You put a great fun group of loving people together, add our incredibly danceable non-stop music to the mix and baby, get the memory book out—you’ll have a doozy on your hands.

 Q::     What types of things inspire you?  Where do you get your fresh ideas?

Getting things to work inspires me. I love a good plan carried out to work the best possible. I love words and great sentences, but even more I like writing a good sentence. Learning a really hard song (Uptown Funk) is really satisfying. Running and cycling and lifting weights nearly every day; wondering about the universe and how unimaginable it is that we even exist. Traveling and my commitment to seeing the world; food and my constant search for the greatest Mexican food on the planet!

Lastly, but most importantly, people provide the inspiration and ideas. People are why we do what we do, why we laugh and cry and know the value of living.

Q::     Speaking of Mexican food.. what’s your favorite in Kansas City??

I love El Patron and El Taqueria on the Boulevard, and Los Tules across from the Kauffman. Try the giant inexpensive frozen house margarita at El Taqueria (bring a driver!) and the enchiladas with red sauce. Try the fajita steak taco at El Patron a la carte (get two, one at a time); and Los Tules, go to say hi to Savadore and the great vibe he has going (also bring a driver, margs are strong!). Hit happy hour and enjoy the tacos for $2. Love it!

spotlight-deatils-michael-beersQ::     What is typically your favorite moment at a wedding? 

I have two.
I love the toasts. It is rare when you won’t look at me at the soundboard and find me wiping tears from my eyes or laughing hysterically. The beautiful words people say about the people they most love endears me to the benevolence of existence, and I’m forever indebted to this experience for which I’ve been so fortunate to be a part.

The second most favorite moment is when the songs we’ve chosen to play and the order we are playing them fills the dance floor to capacity and, right before my eyes, the magic that only a wedding reception can engender—or sometimes a rare event—bounds to life. Some groomsmen breaks out and does the unexpected, the bridesmaid or sorority sisters gather together for their favorite song. I’m singing Piano Man and an impromptu circle gathers around the bride and groom to shower them with their appreciation and love, the bride and groom jump up on stage to sing, or a proud old grandmother comes out and dances with her grateful son. Ah, the wonderful moments I have witnessed….

Q::      I love asking this question, especially asking someone like yourself who has seen & been a big part of some of the best parties in Kansas City!!  What’s the best advice you can give brides who are in the early stages of planning their wedding?

Pick a location that gets you excited, choose really experienced vendors, trust them, plan like crazy early on when excitement is high and you have an excess of energy. Most importantly, know or learn the difference between prioritizing for yourself and your fiancé, and prioritizing for your guests. They are often times two different things. There is everything right about both priorities, but decide early on which one needs to be catered to the most and then stick with it.

Q::     That was some stellar advice.  Anything exciting in the works that we should know about!?!

Yes! I now have two bands. We turn down fifty weddings or more a year because we are already playing, and I’m excited that we no longer have to do that.

I have formed a band around two of my top players I’ve played with throughout my career, Rachel and Pat, and we have duplicated the Michael Beers Band down to the last detail. Both bands share the exact same song list, same top quality PA system and lighting, the same style of how the announcements are made, how the songs are played to sound like the original recordings, our guarantee to always be the right volume, dressing in black tie and tuxes for the men and a formal dress for our female vocalists, and in both bands the most talented and dependable musicians in Kansas City.

With Michael Beers Band II, I am very involved, handling all the details, communicating with the brides and grooms and working with Rachel and Pat to insure everything goes as planned. The Michael Beers Band II also is less expensive so that we can match the varying budgets and price points of today’s weddings and events. We are excited and ready for the future. Bring it on!!!

 

Here is how to contact Michael & book the band for your next event:

Website:  www.michaelbeersband.com;

Call:  816-753-9700

Email: michaelbeersband@gmail.com

 

Welcome to the Podcast

In this digital world, it’s easy to lock ourselves away behind a screen only engaging in online echo chambers.

We want to push past the way we’ve normalized screens and encourage others to engage positively, being productive with social media.

Finding ways to be more connected by the devices that so often disconnect us.

#bethechangeinsocialmedia

WELCOME TO GETTING SOCIAL

This podcast is a place for conversations, connection and storytelling. Join me throughout the year to hear stories with artists, creative professionals and other talented entrepreneurs throughout Kansas City.

Together we’ll explore the individual journey’s that have brought us to where we are and we’ll discuss how social media has changed the landscape for artists and entrepreneurs in all fields.

Recent Episodes:

The first series: “Conversations with my Grandparents’ is a collection of interviews Adrienne holds with Rubye & Max 71 years into their marriage. Together they explore their lives over the last century and their lasting love that’s endured all of life’s hardships.

Parenting in a Digital Age

https://blog.mamashealth.com/organs/human-brain/

Parenting in a Digital Age

cute girl princess dress crown

All at once, my little girl is seven.

Just like that… she is nearing the end of her childhood and I feel as though I’ve missed everything. Now classmates are showing up with cell phones?

WHAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!? Silly me, caught off guard, I thought I had more time?

Recently I attended a talk put together by the local PTA. Here I listened to reputable, professional sources sharing some ground rules we can implement that will make a difference TODAY.

Join me by educating YOURSELF!

WHY are screens bad? Follow the research on Brain development-

Everything in moderation

“Try reading a book while doing a crossword puzzle that’s what you’re doing every time you use the Internet.” says author Nicolas Carr

We all know the brain isn’t fully developed until our mid-twenties. But until recently, something I didn’t consider was the cumulative impact mobile devices are having on my daughter’s developing brain.

The pre-frontal cortex is the LAST part of the brain to develop {the organizing, planning, decision making, focusing part of the brain}. It’s the part of the brain that requires LOTS of sleep and LOTS of time in the real world to develop properly.

quote about the price of everything

Screens stimulate our central nervous system, creating an emotional reaction when we turn them off. Neurotherapist Susan Dunaway compared this effect to the likes of a merry-go-round. You feel out of control when you ‘jump off’ of the merry-go-round aka. screen.

I’ve ‘tested‘ this myself… unintentionally proving the point by pulling the screen away from my daughter when she doesn’t listen to me.

A full blown meltdown ensues.

{Yes, some Sundays… I have been known to give her the ipad in the morning for waaaay longer than I should…}

Eyeballs are important!

When I close down my laptop, I’m acutely aware of the headache that’s been rising. My eyes ache and the world is blurry.

In order for our eyeballs to develop properly, we need sunlight! It’s silly simple when I think about it. But everything moves so fast these days. I haven’t really considered how the screens in my life might adversely affect my daughter as she grows up.

Making eye contact; Good for eyeballs; Good for micro-interactions

Feeling known and knowing others; Relationships take time to develop and eye contact is an important component of micro-interactions with others. These micro-interactions are important for our social brain to develop properly.

Myopia- nearsightedness- has increased by 20% in the last few decades!! Wowza.. that’s a dramatic increase and a direct result of mobile screens.

Our children are build to learn and play. When we hand them a screen we are limiting their imagination, handicapping the brain and hurting their eyeballs.

Establish Boundaries; Here are the ground rules

AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. Set these boundaries for yourself as well.

I am taking the advice  of Natasha Burgert, whom reviewed 3 boundaries that are important for reducing risk of our children engaging in risky, deadly dangerous behaviors online during adolescence. Detective Moore from the Overland Park Police Department reviewed some scary statistics… I’ll spare the details for this blog post.

Believe me, you’ll thank me later. Just start here.

rules for technology boundariesLet me simplify 3 easy rules- 

  1. No Tech at the Table. Family meals are a valued ritual that connect us to one another and build reliancy. FOUR times a week, 18 minutes. That’s all. PB&J is ok!! It’s the time that matters.
  2. No tech in the bathroom OR bedroom. {Yes, this goes for you & me too. You’ll live & sleep better!} We all sacrifice sleep for screen time. Be the example and you’ll be more present & productive during the day.
  3. Just because it’s mobile doesn’t mean it’s mobile!! Establish expectations & limitations. We shouldn’t ALWAYS be on our screens when waiting in line, at the doctor’s office or at the RED LIGHT- try starting a conversation instead?!

Where do we go from here?

  • Stay Engaged
  • Stay Involved
  • Stay Educated

And what about our good friend.. social media???

Establish age limits that you can abide by in your house.

Personally, I’m still working through MY challenge with managing social media… I don’t think it’s a healthy place for the adolescent brain. So I plan to spare my daughter the option of having a choice in the matter.

This summer I got back to engaging online.

Each and every time I get online, I actively choose to make a positive impact. Get online with positive intentions! Spend time online WELL setting and achieving small goals while you are there.

I set a small goal of positively interacting with at least THREE people each time I am online. Give yourself time limits on social media, achieve your goal then log out!

So… I’m getting offline and engaging!

Like RIGHT NOW..  after I hit publish, I’m turning off this computer, throwing my phones in the drawer and starting a dance party with my little girl…

Because tomorrow WILL come… and she won’t be so little-

xoxo adrienne signing off

__________________________________________________________________________________

*Resources:

Dr. Natasha Burgert is a KC based pediatrician, National Spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the AAP’s counsel of Communication and Media. She shares her expertise in child health as a regular contributor to NBC’s News Parent Tool Kit, US News and World Report, and KcKidsDoc.com.

Susan Dunaway is a Neurotherapist and board certified in neurofeedback, a specialized technique that improves the brain’s ability to communicate, task and use energy efficiently. She helps clients at her clinic, Amend Neurocounseling and speaks occasionally about technology’s impact on society through the Face2FaceMovement.

Books you should check out:

Websites for Reference:

Common Sense Media – Reviews on Apps, Video Games and other research that will help you navigate as new media gains popularity.

Screenagers – Great information for tips and research. Find contracts to hold your child accountable with their smart phones

 

 

 

Accepting Social Media and finding the Positive

Accepting Social Media; How can you BE part of a positive change? #bethechangeinsocialmedia

The connectivity that comes with Social Media

A decade ago, I heard about this innovative photographer, Jasmine Star stopping through Kansas City on tour and I made a point to see her speak. She talked about authenticity and selling yourself to your clients instead of just ‘services.’

Authentic and magnanimous she ignited the room with her words. Offering sage advice for those attempting to break into the photography market. Afterwards, everyone clamoured for her attention.

All the while I thought to myself; this woman could lead a revolution. —

Personally, I’ve had a difficult time coming to terms with social media and a few years ago, I checked out.

One can easily slip down the rabbit hole.

We hop online, scroll through the latest ‘highlights’ from others. 

We see their perfectly crafted happy little world while concurrently devaluing ourselves and our own sense of worth. It’s a self perpetuating cycle that can lead to depression and anxiety.

We must break this vicious cycle and teach our children how to responsibly utilize the power of social media & the instant gratification that comes with a screen.

the ever changing information age graphic

My daughter will grow up with technology and social media intricately intertwined in her life. 

It’s really scary to think about the direct access my child will have to her peers & limitless information from unsavory sources. 

The information of the world will be at her fingertips; both good & the bad. It’s up to all of US to teach the next generation how to use the influence of social media in a positive, responsible way.

A new set of rules must be established.

Fortunately I’m not the first to realize the impacts from progress of technology & social media. In a search to find my own answers, I stumbled across plenty of inspiration: Simon Sinek, Common Sense Media, Screenagers among others already taking the lead in this revolution.

‘Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. We empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.’ *(Common Sense Media)

Again I stumbled across the lovely Jasmine Star when searching You Tube to find information videos. She is always positive, honest & willing to share her failures in order to offer others inspiration. I purchased a membership to Social Curator, to give me a head start on my jump back into Social Media & online marketing.

****

If you are having trouble getting inspired, then I have a some GREAT resources for you.

Find your why? And inspirational idea to start your journey begins here: https://startwithwhy.com/

Check out Social Curator ; a monthly membership fee will provide you with content for your business & the inspiration of Jasmine Star.

Which again… my point, THANKS to connectivity we should take advantage of the benefits & share our discoveries with others!

This IS our revolution, this IS our opportunity to BE the change.

This is how together we WILL change the world.


But it only works if we join forces with like-minded others than share similar values. Together we can do better. Do you want to start living life better??

Great Gift Ideas

personalized belt clip

Best Guy Gifts. Seriously!

The holidays are just around the corner and those close to me are asking my advice on gifts.  I’ve got a-zillion ideas for the ladies but when it comes to the men in their lives?!

Zilch. Zero. Whaaaa??

The truth is I love helping find the perfect solution to celebrate friends! And while beautiful photography would be my first suggestion 🙂 we need other ideas now and then!

For years, my brides have relied on my advice when shopping for their groomsmen. It’s important to think about individuality, without spending too much energy collecting gifts for everyone.

Here in Kansas City, I direct them to work with a company that puts together personalized Kansas City gifts! It’s a great way to support the community AND give an unforgettable gift.

This summer I received a call from a small business working out of Connecticut: Groovy Guy Gifts.

After working within the wedding industry for many years, they noticed how few gifts were available for the guys. Viola! Simple business model- great gifts for guys + personalize it with their name. Affordable, easy and thoughtful.

BAM! Why didn’t I think of that??

Support other Small Business.

This is truly the BEST part!

I’m an advocate of shopping local and supporting other small businesses; however, I’m often directing my out of town friends to buy something online via Amazon.

Personalization is their specialty!!!

‘we truly believe by engraving a name on the gift, it becomes more meaningful.’

The best gift ideas for ANY kind of guy! Whether you are shopping for grandpa, your nephew or the man in your life- this is the PERFECT solution.

Check out this amazing list of gifts for ANY type of fella.

shaving kit gift

superhero customized flask

mug worlds best lawyer

The gift that keeps giving

Ultimately, photographs are the most personalized gifts that you can give!

You’ll never forget the experience of celebrating your most cherished moments through professional photographs.

But for a quick fix, these Groovy Guys have you covered!

xoxo adrienne signing off

 

professional photographer
with more than 15 years experience
Meet Adrienne

I’m Adrienne Maples

I'm a southern gal who invested all my effort into Art School to learn the secrets of photography before digital re-invented the market! In addition to art and photography, I love my emoji pj pants, fresh garden tomatoes, and working from home beside my daughter while she plays make-believe. My mission? Capturing beautiful moments with my camera, inspiring others, as together we navigate this new age of social media, instant gratification and constant contact!

 

#amaplesmoment
true artistFirst and foremost,

Adrienne is a
.- Kayla White | Clients since 2013
Robin & Ventsino one else can
capture things as
you do..
You are Amazing.
BeautifulOur Photos
are
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Hi! I'm Adrienne Maples

A professional photographer, podcaster & entrepreneur based in Kansas City.

I love preserving memories for my clients. I'm creative, passionate, fun-loving and I hope to inspire you!

When I'm not behind the camera, I enjoy normal things like perfecting my evil laugh, impromptu dance parties with my daughter and singing Bohemian Rhapsody like the epic song it was written to be.

(Yes, Mom- I did indeed end that sentence with a preposition.)

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