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The Dream is Over…

Philando Castile was my George Floyd.

In 2016 Philando Castile was pulled over for a traffic stop and then shot five times and killed in front of his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her four year old child, after Castile told officer, Jeronimo Yanez, that he was carrying a licensed gun.

My son was four years old when Philando Castile was murdered, the same age as the little girl in the car. Realizing that I could protect my white son from even knowing about police violence, let alone ever experiencing it, was my wake up call.

I didn’t have to have “the talk” that all Black and Brown parents have to have with their children to try and keep them safe from police officers. Police officers were the “good guys” who my boys wanted to be when they grew up.

The fact that I was able to live for 36 years in the “Dream” is my white privilege.

“In his book “Between the World and Me,” Ta-Nehisi Coates describes whiteness as a Dream. The Dreamers, defined by Coates as people who believe themselves to be white, live in varying states of power over black people and other people of color. Usually oblivious to having that power, we don’t think too hard about how we got it. The Dream relies on forgetting and denial. The Dream says, “I have nothing to do with slavery. My ancestors weren’t on this continent at that time. Everyone has equal access to opportunities. Racism is over,” writes Mark Gunnary for the Baltimore Sun.

My boys and I have done a lot of reading, watching, and talking about racism since I woke up from the Dream. Now my 6 and 8 year olds know about systematic racism, police violence and they can explain why we say, “Black Lives Matter,” instead of, “All Lives Matter”.

My boys understand that no one wants to spend their Saturdays protesting against police violence, but if we don’t protest, things won’t change.

It has been four years since Philando Castile’s death. For those curious what happened with Castile’s case:

• The police officer was found not guilty.

Diamond Reynolds was awarded $800,000 but then was publicly insulted by Former Rice County sheriff’s deputy Tom McBroom, who tweeted in 2017 that Reynolds’ settlement would be “gone in 6 months on crack cocaine.”

• Tom McBroom (the insulter) became the town’s mayor.

And the police shootings are worse in 2020 than they have been in previous years. As of September 2020, Police have killed 781 people and Black people have been 28% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population.

In the words of Philando Castile’s best friend, Greg Crockett, after George Floyd’s death: “They won’t stop killing us. We want you to stop killing us.”

How do we stop racism and dismantle white supremacy?

In his book, How to be Anti-racist, Ibram X. Kendi argues that it’s not enough to say you’re not a racist. “Saying you are not racist signifies neutrality: ‘I am not a racist, but neither am I aggressively against racism.’ One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist.”

Below are some of my favorite antiracist actions and resources….

1) Vote Vote Vote – national, state and local politics matter (53 days until the election)

2) Read:
Books Nonfiction
How to Be Antiracist in adult/teen and kid versions by Ibram X. Kendi
My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (you can watch the movie or the documentary)

Books Fiction
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas (also a movie)

3) Listen: Podcast: https://www.sceneonradio.org/seeing-white/

4) Follow and Donate:
Colors of Change
NAACP
Equal Justice Initiative
Teaching Tolerance
The Conscious Kid

5) Act Locally: find out how you can get involved in your schools and community. If you live in Petaluma, we’d love for you to join TIDE.

What are some of your favorite antiracist resources?

My Stimulus Pledge to You…

 

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Dear Friends and Family,

Who would have imagined that in 2020, our lives to go from this…
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To this…
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So I wanted to check in with you, because we have been through a lot of life together.
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Over the past 15 years I have photographed close to 200 weddings, and at least twice as many families, one birth, and one almost birth (thanks to rush-hour traffic crossing the Bay Bridge on a Friday). I’ve documented birthday parties, anniversary parties, before and after cancer journeys, and most recently I photographed a couple who just learned one of them is facing a terminal cancer diagnosis.
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I’ve photographed a documentary film, 20 books, dozens of small businesses, artists, non-profits, and some of those for over 10 years.

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It has been an incredible honor to be invited into so many lives, and a gift to be able to support my family through photography.
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To those who are struggling during this time, because of health and or financial reasons, I am sending my deepest love. This is the hard. Really hard.
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My family has been lucky (so far) to have our health, but because both my husband and I are self-employed, we are likely not receiving much help from the government, so we are definitely nervous about the future. We are trying to figure out what jobs are fire proof, recession proof, drought proof and pandemic proof. (Let us know if you have any suggestions that would work for a photographer and a musician/farm educator.)
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But we are the lucky ones. We have an incredibly supportive and encouraging family and community… we know we will be ok. This is a challenge for us to get creative, downsize and try new things.
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We know that so many other people have a much harder reality and are struggling with much bigger challenges. If you are struggling, please know I am here for you, for your family, for your business, if you ever need me. Together we will make it through this.
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If you need photography for any reason, once the shelter-in-place order has been lifted, please let me know. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. I want to help artists, small businesses and non-profits, who have struggled the most, get back on their feet.

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This time has made it very clear that our teachers, doctors, nurses, grocery workers, farmers, garbage collectors, postal workers, and first responders keep our bodies alive.

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But our artists, musicians, authors, dancers, comedians and nature keep our souls alive. Our bodies can not live without our souls, and our souls can not live without our bodies.
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I am excited about the stories of wildlife making a come back, air pollution clearing up, animal shelters being out of animals, and local farmers finally getting the recognition that they need. It gives me hope that because of this pause, we will see what is broken and take the time to fix it.
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This article really inspired me and I encourage others to read it and I’d love to hear what changes you’ll make when life eventually starts up again:
This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullsh*t and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud. We care deeply about one another. That is clear. That can be seen in every supportive Facebook post, in every meal dropped off for a neighbor, in every Zoom birthday party. We are a good people. And as a good people, we want to define — on our own terms — what this country looks like in five, 10, 50 years. This is our chance to do that, the biggest one we have ever gotten. And the best one we’ll ever get.
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And now for my Stimulus Pledge to YOU. For those who are financially secure during this crisis, and who anticipate getting a stimulus check and can afford it, please consider pledging some or all of your coming stimulus check to prevent homelessness, hunger and illness for our hardworking immigrant families through the Stimulus Pledge: https://stimuluspledge.org/
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I don’t have the money to donate right now, but for those who donate, please send me an email with proof of your donation and I’ll put your name in the hat for a free all day photo shoot. That is up to eight hours of photography for whatever you want! Or you can donate your photo shoot to a non-profit of your choice (in the SF Bay Area).
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I am grateful that we are all in this together. As my middle school motto taught me. “Together we can.”
With love and gratitude,
Paige
ps: check out our friend Christian’s drawings. He’s making them again and that makes us happy:
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one voice, one town, one year later…

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One year ago I wanted change, but I didn’t know what.

I wanted to be involved, but I didn’t know how.

So I offered to take portraits, because that’s what I know how to do.

But photographing removes me.

I’m involved, but I’m on the outside.

This was clear when I went to take this portrait.

I had no idea who this teenage girl was standing in front of me.

I hadn’t heard her voice crack on the stage moments before.

The emotion swell in her voice.

The fear on her face as she told the sea of strangers, who didn’t look like her, the truth.

The truth of discrimination and racism in our schools and in our town.

I hadn’t seen the tears stream down her cheeks.

The embraces she received once the truth was out.

I was in my corner of the park hidden behind my shield of photography.

Hers was the last portrait of the day.

I was just about to pack up.

But yes, I could take one more portrait.

One more round of questions to try and get a good portrait.

“So do you like high school?” I asked.

Her face dropped.

Didn’t you hear? 

Didn’t you see?

I hadn’t heard.

I hadn’t seen.

But once I finally did see and hear, I couldn’t unsee. I couldn’t un-hear.

I had to do something more than take photos.

I am so grateful for this brave student.

For the leaders of our community who helped her have the courage to share her story.

For the organizers who created the stage.

It is because of their work and her testimony that TIDE (Team for Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity) was created and I am now a part of a movement that fills me with so much love and a purpose greater than taking portraits on the outside.

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To learn more about TIDE and how you can join the movement to make sure our communities are welcoming for ALL of people…

Here is our newsletter from December:

https://mailchi.mp/81d7192e5160/tide-is-only-10-months-old-but-were-already-planning-our-10th-anniversary-party-3-ways-to-help-us-meet-our-10-year-goals?e=fdce8e8085

Here is a link to our very first article about TIDE in the Bohemian: 
https://www.bohemian.com/northbay/turning-the-tide/Content?oid=9415015&fbclid=IwAR1l6DXRJQwmtZk1V7SRToc-rdaAOCpbdW_n2ZCe7My98KDnIn_8j1FPT0U

You can listen to our podcast with Rabbi Ted:

https://talkingwithrabbited.castos.com/podcasts/337/episodes/missions-milestones?utm_source=listennotes.com&utm_campaign=Listen+Notes&utm_medium=website

Sign up for our newsletter here:

https://forms.gle/fLc3GpcGwrVLMXv59

TIDE is a grassroots organization running entirely by volunteers. We are facilitating conversations within our community to make sure that our schools are welcoming to all of our diverse students. We are offering trainings that are FREE to teachers and school staff and sliding scale for all other community members. 

If you would like to make a contribution on Martin Luther King Jr Day that will directly make a difference for the community we live in, please consider donating to our movement here: http://petalumapeople.org/donate/ (be sure to designate your donation to TIDE)

“In a fractal conception, I am a cell-sized unit of the human organism, and I have to use my life to leverage a shift in the system by how I am, as much as with the things I do. This means actually being in my life, and it means bringing my values into my daily decision making. Each day should be lived on purpose.”
― Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds

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Supporting Women makes the world better EVERY day! (but you can get credit towards photo shoots on Giving Tuesday!!!)

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On October 4th, I made a public declaration that I want to work exclusively with other people, nonprofits and businesses committed to doing work in social justice and/or environmental protection because I want my children to live in a world where people are treated equally and kindly, with clean oceans, thriving rainforests and healthy air to breathe and water to drink.

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It was a scary statement to make, as the primary breadwinner of my family, but to do anything else feels wrong. So I posted a call for help connecting with agencies and nonprofits who work in these areas.

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And through the amazing interconnected web of social media, I was introduced to WEA: Women’s Earth Alliance. I fell in love immediately.

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WEA is doing exactly the kind of work I want to support, and I was lucky to be able to photograph their first U.S. Grassroots Accelerator for Women Environmental Leaders, in partnership with the Sierra Club, which supports women leaders from the U.S. and U.S. Territories with skills, tools, and networks critical to transforming pressing environmental and climate challenges into scalable solutions for all.

Last year on Giving Tuesday, I raised over $10,000 for the migrants at the US border and Al Otro Lado by giving away photo shoots. I am so grateful that because of my generous community I was able to give that gift, but it’s hard to support my family on free photo shoots.

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So for Giving Tuesday this year, I want to support the amazing women I met through WEA and the incredible work they are doing in their communities, while also supporting my family. Luckily the wonderful Women’s Earth Alliance has agreed to hire me to help document of these women.

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So EVERY person who donates to WEA will be supporting these women AND my family.

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And for EVERY person who donates a minimum of $350 to Women’s Earth Alliance between now and December 31st, 2019, if you send me proof of your donation, I’ll give you credit for $200 that can be used for ANY photo shoot. Here is a link to where you can donate on WEA’s website or their Facebook page, where they are holding a Giving Tuesday fundraiser:

https://womensearthalliance.org/
https://www.facebook.com/womensearthalliance/

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A few photos from some of my 2019 Giving Tuesday photo shoots.

Thank you! For supporting me and my family for so many years by supporting my photography. I am very GRATEFUL to be able to give back because of YOUR support on Giving Tuesday and EVERY day.

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And now HERE are the women, who INSPIRED me to tears multiple times, and the important work they are doing to:

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Huda Alkaff Founder & Director, Wisconsin Green Muslims West Bend, Wisconsin Bridging faith and environmental justice to educate her Wisconsin community on energy and water conservation.

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Angel Amaya Communications Director, Western Organization of Resource Councils Billings, Montana Shifting the narrative on climate change through storytelling projects in Montana.

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Mishka Banuri Utah Youth Environmental Solutions Salt Lake City, Utah Empowering young people in Utah to engage with the root causes of local environmental issues from an intersectional perspective.

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Dolores Belmares Texas Field Consultant, Moms Clean Air Force San Antonio, Texas Fighting air pollution and protecting children’s health in her community of San Antonio, Texas.

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Brittany Bennett Development Director, Data for Progress Denver, Colorado Building climate resilient and socially just communities through hackathons.

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Elizabeth Chun Hye Lee Climate Justice Lead & Executive for Environmental Justice, United Methodists Women Queens, New York Using faith to grow a culture of climate justice and gender equity in Queens, New York.

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June Farmer Marin City People’s Plan Marin City, California Empowering local underserved youth and adults through eco-literacy training and nature-based adaptation models.

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Brynn Foster Founder & Director, Voyaging Foods Honolulu, Hawaii Reclaiming a regenerative food system and Hawaiian food sovereignty.

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Camille Hadley Program Director, Little Growers Inc Palm Bay, Florida Building sustainable food production systems and providing STEM opportunities for underserved youth in Palm Bay, Florida.

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Crystal Huang Co-Founder & President, People Power Solar Cooperative Oakland, California Creating regenerative economies and making solar power accessible in East Oakland.

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Monica Ibacache Founder; Executive Director, Beyond Organic Design New York, New York Organizing sustainability and permaculture education in New York to prepare children facing the permanent consequences associated with climate change.

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Jordan Macha Executive Director, Bayou City Waterkeeper Houston, Texas Incorporating nature-based solutions and nature-centered practices in Houston municipal structures.

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Lyrica Maldonado Fellow Organizer, Uplift Flagstaff, Arizona Mobilizing young people all over the Colorado Plateau to train, learn, and develop relationships in the face of climate change.

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Sabina Perez Senator of Guam Prutehi Litekyan/Save Ritidian Hagatña, Guam Preventing environmental degradation in Guam and mobilizing community members to protect Litekyan, a sacred land scheduled to be the site of a firing range.

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Tosha Phonix Food Justice Organizer, Missouri Coalition for the Environment St. Louis, Missouri Organizing against the food apartheid in St. Louis to improve food access and representation of local food systems.

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Beth Roach Co-Founder, Alliance of Native Seedkeepers Richmond, Virginia Rebuilding culture and food security for native peoples through preserving and proliferating native seeds in Richmond, Virginia.

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Magaly Santos Youth Organizer, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice Gonzales, California Educating agricultural workers on their health rights, and fighting against pesticide-use in the Central Valley of California.

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Erin Foster West Western Campaigns Director, National Young Farmers Coalition Denver, Colorado Aiding young farmers to ensure success in adapting to climate change on their farms across the Western U.S.

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Melody Zhang Climate Justice Campaign Coordinator, Sojourners Washington D.C. Creating a cultural shift within the church around the issues of climate, and building a church network of climate advocates in Washington D.C.

#givingtuesday #womensearthalliance #paigegreenphotography

Free Photo Shoot with Donation to Fire Relief

The deadly wildfires that have ravaged Northern California over the past week — killing dozens and forcing thousands to flee their homes are not out yet.

At least 40 people have been confirmed dead in four counties. Hundreds are still missing. Statewide, an estimated 5,700 structures have been destroyed, including whole neighborhoods reduced to smoldering rubble. Nearly 100,000 people have been displaced” Washington Post.

“This is truly one of the greatest tragedies California has ever faced,” Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said Saturday.

These fires surround the town I where live and I want to do my part to help…

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So once again I am offering FREE one hour digital photo shoots to the first 5 people who donate $400 or more to the Redwood Credit Union to support the relief efforts for the victims of the Sonoma and Napa County fires.

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“No matter who you are or where you’re from, home means something to you. Homes serve as the backdrop for our childhood memories as well as the background of the interpersonal dramas in our lives. Our homes hold an iconic status as a place we can always belong. A place we can always be ourselves, let our guard down and still be loved. Home is a place you look forward to, a place where just being yourself is good enough,” Dr Robi Ludwig.

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While having your home burn down isn’t the end of the world, when your whole community and the land around it burns down as well… I think it might feel pretty close to the end of your world.

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It is certainly not something I ever hope to experience.

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This being the first time I have lived so close to a crisis of this scale, it is so powerful and moving to see my community rally together to help the families who have lost everything.

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Once you make a donation directly to the organization, please send your proof of payment to: studio@paigegreen.com and we will set up a time to photograph your family in your home.

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Offer is good for a one hour family digital photo shoot and it includes ten high-resolution digital files. Additional files can be purchased. Additional travel fee for photo shoots outside of Petaluma. 

#photographfighter #sonomacounty #sonomaproud #tubbsfire #northbayfires #napavalleyfires

An Invitation to Celebrate Spring with a Florist, a Stylist and Me…

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Chloris Floral, Grace & Gather and I have been playing with flowers to create photos for Betany’s blog….

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For our last photo shoot we invited the whole family to play…

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After the official photos were over, we absolutely had to take some cute family photos…

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And after we took cute family photos, we wanted to keep going (to honor the trees who gave us the flowers and Betany’s beautiful arrangements) but the problem was we didn’t have anyone else to play with.

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So we agreed we had to have another photo shoot (while the flowering fruit trees are still full and beautiful) and this time we had to invite you. Here are the details:

Floral design by Chloris Floral, Styling by Grace & Gather, Photos by Paige Green

Windrush Farm on March 5th between 10am-3pm

Come solo or with your loved ones (limit six people per session)

Cost is $500 for a 45 minutes and includes 10 high-resolution digital files of your choice.

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So if you would like to celebrate spring with the most glorious locally grown flowers, arranged by Chloris Floral, styled by Grace & Gather, photographed by me at Windrush Farm (with brand new bouncing lambs) on Sunday March 5th then please click the photo below to register…

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(Flower arrangements and backdrops will vary depending on what is growing and where we are photographing.)

 

Zero to Two happened fast, too fast…

Two years ago, I started this blog post:

Welcome to the world baby, Alistair Henry Harris…

_44A0092We waited a long time for you to arrive.   000061900007A long, long time.

000061910012And you didn’t come how we expected…

IMG_7010But you eventually came, all whopping 10.2lbs of you.

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Everyone was excited to meet you, but no one more excited than your big brother…

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And then, as it happens with the second child, I blinked (and didn’t finish this blog post) and suddenly TWO YEARS flew by…

Ally_44A9060-2And now you are a little boy who has become very serious about baseball…

paigegreenAlly-000076640010-2Making people laugh…

Ally_44A9139And dance parties…

But best of all, you have a relationship with your brother…boys14042016bwthat just keeps on getting better and better.

ally_44A9101Happy To You, Ally Boo Boo! To show you how much we love you, we are going to get you some shirts for your birthday, so you aren’t half dressed in all the photos in your next birthday post.

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(MTV video footage by: Laura Schneider.)

Keeping it real…

If I had been planning a photo shoot: Ally would have been wearing clothes; Harper would have been wearing clothes that didn’t clash with the couch; I would have cleared away the dirty laundry and Harper’s hair wouldn’t have been wet.

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But if I had planned a photo shoot… it wouldn’t have happened. Someone would have been grumpy and hiding, and someone else would have fallen and inevitably obtained a face injury.boys14042016sInstead… we were playing; I grabbed the camera that was left out from an earlier photo shoot; I took a few photos then put the camera away and the playing continued.

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So the photos aren’t perfect… but they are real. This is exactly what 4.5 and almost 2 look and feel like with my boys.

thoughts from a house full of boys…

Once upon a time I believed gender was a social construct… but along came my two very adorable and completely truck, mud, ball and wrestling obsessed little boys. And I quickly learned that girls and boys are indeed different creatures, without any help from society.

After four years of living in my boy centered world, I find myself standing next to my sons, also staring at little girls like they are from another planet. A planet that I once belonged to and will happily jump at the opportunity to visit any chance I get…

I want to learn how to drive a monster truck in 2016….

paigegreen11102015-000014890001sSaid my four-year-old, after my very inspirational and thought-provoking lesson on new year’s resolutions.

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I was hoping for, “I want to help more in the kitchen,”

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Or, “pick up trash on the beach.”

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But unfortunately I don’t get to pick his new year’s resolutions… just my own.

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And this year I am dragging my feet into the new year.

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Because I am a little terrified.

paigegreen04262015-544A1679sLife is moving much too fast. 

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While I am so incredibly ready for some long overdue and very exciting changes that are coming in 2016…

paigegreenLindsay102715-000010780002sI am not ready (and never will be) for other 2016 changes…

christmas2015-544A508024 years of Carbondale Christmases at my grandparents’ house ended this year.

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Last summer my grandfather announced that he is moving to a retirement home in Chicago by the end of January.

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While we all know this is the best decision for him…

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If we could put it off a little longer we would.

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But just like we can’t choose other people’s new year’s resolutions…

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Unfortunately we don’t get to control their actions either… just our own.

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So it is another reminder that life is short and we only get one chance to get it right.

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In trying to figure out what new year’s resolutions I should make, to help prepare me for the emotional hurdles of 2016…

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And in honor of this being my tenth anniversary as a professional photographer and my twentieth year out of high school,

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I did some journal digging while I was at my mom’s house for Christmas and I found some notes I wrote on January 22nd, 2006, from a website that was giving advice to photographers.

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Since I did not take much of that advice 10 years ago, it seems fitting that I write them again, in the hopes that it won’t take me another 10 years to get them done.

Life/Photography goals for 2016:

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Find your own vision and develop a style that will set you apart from the 30,000 other people who want your job.

paigegreenLindsay10272015-037sFind a subject you love and spend 10 hours a day, every day, photographing and editing.

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Study all major photographers’ work and life. Study all major painters, writers and composers’ work and life.

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Set a standard for your photography and your professionalism as someone who gets the job done above and beyond the call of duty.

paigegreenHabitat05142015-554-editsDon’t let yourself get in the way of yourself. If it were easy, everyone would be a professional photographer.

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Remember you are only as good as your last picture.

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Floss.
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Keep your overhead low.

Laura25-000014860009bwsStart a retirement account now.

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Keep your credit rating as close to perfect as possible – pay bills on time.

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Keep a separate account for taxes and divert a percentage that is equivalent to your tax rate. Always pay taxes on time.

paigegreenMargaretAlex08292015-0561s

Don’t be afraid to ask for an advance for large jobs.

544A0165Don’t piss people off unless absolutely necessary.

paigegreen06182015-544A1651s

Get liability insurance.

dec2015-544A8934s

Diversify client base.

paigegreenDaVero07292015-093s

Register copyright on everything.

paigegreenAnnPoe08222015-036 Get model releases whenever you can.

paigegreenSEB11182015-0366

Make sure everyone is clear, in writing, who gets what, for how long, how much.

chateaustjean-s

Never leave home without your camera, be ready always.

paigegreenTylerYoung11152015-000004950012s

Always be professional: equipment, dress, knowledge, research client.

paigegreenAnnPoe08232015-045s

Call before to let client know what to expect and call immediately after to let them know how it went – without talking about images.

paigegreenEmmaSam06072015_1216s

Edit immediately and deliver.

paigegreenBetsySkelton08242015-088s

Assist but don’t get stuck assisting.

paigegreenOperaHouse6192015-177s

Study as much work as you can – try to figure out how images were made and get inspiration for your own images.

paigegreenSpring2015-000000230003s

Think about stock photography.

paigegreenSarahDan12012015-138s

Family is forever – everything else is not.

paigegreenBeach082015-000074250012s

Take a workshop.
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Don’t neglect your personal work.

paigegreen032015-000034750003s

Learn how to relate to people.

paigegreenFibershed06142015_385s

Find 50 strangers, introduce yourself, shoot a portrait that says something about who they are not just what they do.

paigegreenSEB11192015-0895s

Invest.

paigegreenCloverdale072015-000002660007s

Have fun.

paigegreenCarlyDan06272015-0955s

Happy 2016 and here’s to learning how to drive a monster truck through all that life has to offer.

 

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