Valuing Intention

I have been reflecting a lot lately on the idea of valuing intention and letting go of results and especially letting go of perfection. This applies to lots of areas of life but especially to photography sessions.

I think as a photographer you have a vision for what you want to come out of a session and as a client you also have a vision of what you want to come out of it. It’s important to share with each other what we’re thinking and what’s possible and explore new ideas.

As a parent when you are coming into a photography session you can’t help but feel a little stress. Will the kids behave. Will we get at least one decent picture of the whole family looking at the camera? These are valid desires! It’s good to intend to get those pictures that you want but it’s also important to let go of the perfection of how exactly they will look.

I love this quote above it very eloquently points to what I’m talking about. I can’t tell you how many clients pull up Pinterest during the session and want to re-create an exact pose or moment. There is nothing wrong with that at all the only suggestion I have is to show those photos to the photographer before your session and resist the urge to pull them up and look at them again during the session to make sure that details are matching up. Your photo is your photo. There is no possible way to create an exact moment again. And that is a good thing! Your photo will be drenched in the beauty that is you and your story. Most of those photos on Pinterest that draw you in are happy accidents. They are photos that happened after everyone just let go and have fun.

So yes think about your photos and dream about how lovely they will look on your walls and how everyone will behave and the lighting will be perfect and angels will sing.

Then do your best to show up for the session and relax. The art that will emerge will surpass your expectations and be better than you ever imagined.

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My mental health toolkit

Hi all! I love to share with you what has helped me on my mental health journey. If you’ve recently joined me I started my journey in 2005 with panic attacks and severe anxiety. Fast forward to 2017 when I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed right before I found out I was pregnant with our third baby so it was quite the roller coaster ride to say the least. Balancing out post partum hormones with medicines was challenging and I feel that I am still swimming in a turbulent sea. The past year has been so intensely healing though. Let me tell you a bit of that story.

In addition to seeing a psychiatrist and therapist through my health care plan I started trying alternative healing options. I did this because it seemed that my symptoms were only temporarily helped by the prescribed medications.

The short list of what I tried on the spiritual side of things:
Emotion code healing
Numerology readings
Yoga
Psychic medium readings
Essential oils
Protective Crystals
(email me if interested in more info on any of these!)

All of these things helped. The Numerology readings helped show me the pieces of my puzzle as seen from the sum of my birthday and other numeric codes. The Emotion code healings definitely helped me identify some trapped emotions and let some healthy energy flow to start the healing.

Despite all of this my panic attacks would randomly intensify. I felt like i was running from something I didn’t want to know. Do you ever feel that you know things in the far corners of your mind? Sometimes something will remind you of it and gives you a deja-vu feeling or goosebumps or something. I felt that my panic attacks were related to something that I was blocking myself from knowing.

I had read a book about QHHT which is basically healing through past life regression. Patients with illogical fears can sometimes find a source and opening up the memory through hypnosis can help resolve it. I was at the same time terrified and drawn to this idea. It was like I knew it would help me but I sooo didn’t want to go there. I sat on the idea for a full year before taking the leap. It was meant to be. I found a practitioner local to me who had an opening that worked perfectly. I was scared but a part of me said YES do this.

The evening of my reading was snowy and peaceful. The drive out to my destination was serene and I knew i was heading in the right direction literally and symbolically. My practitioner’s name was Karen and as soon as I walked through her front door I knew I was in the right place. I immediately saw a painting on her wall that reminded me a lot of one I had done. Her’s was a little different and included a child’s swing on the tree but I just felt immediately at home. As I settled onto her couch and began to relax into the process I had no idea what I was about to find out…. but that is for a whole other blog post. I will get there but my mind is still digesting all of it. I will say that an illogical fear I’ve had since I was a little girl came to light and I can now start to heal it. The relief is amazing!

past life regression pittsburgh pa

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Photo storage option for our clients

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this yet! Last year some of our clients expressed a desire to have all of their photos easily accessable in one online location. We are thrilled to be able to offer this through our photo storage site Zenfolio. We can group all of your galleries from your photo sessions with Viva together in one place. You can click on each session and it will expand to show all of the photos you purchased from that session. It’s especially nice for baby’s first year when you get newborn, 3 month, 6 month and one year photos. photo storage for pittsburgh clients
Above is an example of a client with three sessions in their photo hub.

newborn photography pittsburgh

This photo above shows how you can expand the gallery to show all the photos inside.
Another thing that’s really helpful is we have the galleries hooked up to Mpix photo lab which is where we recommend our clients get their prints done. It has great prices and great quality. However if you would happen to want a canvas wrap definitely talk to Tricia because she can get you a better deal than Mpix!

Here is an example of how you would order a print right from the gallery:
baby photography pittsburgh

This is a great perk of being a Viva client! You can easily access, download, and share your images. You can even send Tricia personal photos taken with your iphone to be added to your hub. Another bonus is having your photos stored online and offsite from your own computer. Be sure to also save your photos to a USB drive after downloading for extra security.

We love our clients and are happy to offer this free of charge. If you have had a session in 2019/2020 and are interested please contact us at tricia@vivaportraitstudio.com or 412-965-9674

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

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Evoking you for mental health

How can a photo help with mental health?

Seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes can be so powerful. A photo brings hope. It brings possibility. It brings the opportunity to take another look from a new perspective.

Hi, I’m Tricia. I own Evoking You and it is my passion to help Moms who are surviving with mental health issues. Yes- surviving- not struggling. I have been there. I have dealt with depression and anxiety since 2005 but things got pretty intense when I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2016. I was pregnant with my third child and just felt completely overwhelmed and confused. I consider myself “in remission” now but I am no stranger to the darkness that is mental illness.

Let’s talk about the power of an image. We have images running through our heads all day long. When I was depressed the image in my head that had the worst grip on me was this: I’m crying in the bathroom on the floor because I feel so crushed by everything that is going on. In this image I also see my kids on the other side of the door. They are worried and sad and they need me to feel better. Even writing this now brings tears to my eyes. The other image is of myself completely slumped over not able to look my therapist in the eye and sobbing to her that I can’t even go to the grocery store I just don’t feel able. When we feel that bad it is so hard to even find one image of ourselves that makes us feel better. Our brains are too stuck.

A few months after that day in my therapist’s office I felt a little better and I  scheduled maternity photos. I was terrified of how it would go and had a straight up panic attack afterwards, but they turned out so good. Seeing myself with my girls opened up a little light in my brain. We looked ok! The girls were smiling, I was having fun. It just helped me to have something other than the gloom and doom going on in my brain to have something tangible like this.

Here is the photo:

pittsburgh maternity photographer

photo credit goes to Sara Lease Photography

 

I think any Mom who has mental health issues deserves to have a photo like this. This is how the session would go:

Our team would arrive at Moms home. We would clean up and prepare an area to take photos while Mom has her hair and makeup done. We would bring fresh flowers, coffee, pastries and someone to help wrangle the kids.

We would be there for about 3 hours total. During the time we would capture photos of Mom and kids together as well as one of Mom on her own- this is called The God Damn Angel photo. Because that’s what she is.

These sessions are done free of charge. We pick one name per month. Comment on the blog to be entered for February 2020. You don’t need to put your real name just a valid email address.

Disclaimer: this service does not replace therapy and psychiatric care. Please seek professional help if you think you are depressed.

Please reach out to me to talk more about our services: tricia@vivaportraitstudio.com or 412-965-9674

If a friend or family member of yours is too sick to contact us herself please let us know.

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Enjoy the gifts

how long do you let yourself enjoy a gift? whether it’s a kind word from a stranger, a valentine’s card from your partner or a bonus from your job?

for me I let the pleasure go away so quickly.. honestly sometimes I don’t even allow myself to receive a simple compliment from someone. Am I alone in that?

I was thinking about pregnancy. sure there are a lot of wacky things your body goes through but some of that 9 months we are literally holding this gift inside us and letting it grow. For me my 3 pregnancies were the few times I allowed myself to really enjoy a gift. Cherish a gift. Sitting with that lovely expansive feeling knowing something is growing.
maternity photography pittsburgh

Let’s do that more often right? Let’s take a few minutes and absorb it when our 5 year old says “I love you”. When someone buys you a coffee let yourself really enjoy that coffee. You will attract more situations where you feel that satisfaction this way.

I received some lovely gifts today and truly let myself receive them. I was driving with my 2.5 year old son and I was singing along to a song on the radio. I can’t remember which one. Suddenly I noticed my son was making singing noises and trying to sing along as well! I never heard him try to sing before. It made me so happy I got goose bumps and had a huge smile on my face.

Then later my husband texted me and asked what “we are making for dinner” – the we in that statement means the world to me. It reminds me that he and I are a team and that he doesn’t expect me to do it all myself. What a reassuring feeling!
These things are simple but mean so much to me. There have been many seasons in my life where I chose the negative perspective consistently. I missed so much that way but I didn’t have the tools to flip it yet.I would love to hear some gifts you have truly allowed yourself to receive in the comment.
love and light to you!

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