Lindsay Baumgartner

Launching Lindsay Baumgartner to #SOAR!

Today, we are going to do something magical on the blog! We are going to launch our final and third SOAR! Recipient, Lindsay Baumgartner! This was the video that Lindsay submitted with her SOAR! Application last January. (seriously, you will need some Kleenex!)

When I watched this video, I was feeling like many of you probably feel right now–in utter shock and amazement for what this little family had gone through. The ending of their video is so triumphant and unforgettable. How does a family, a marriage, survive something like that?! And yet, the Baumgartner’s have done more than survived, they have overcome.

When the panel of judges brought Lindsay’s video to the forefront, I had a secret hope inside. If Lindsay was picked as a SOAR! Recipient, I hoped she would have a year of discovering “her” story. Her video shared a lot about what happened to her husband, Kyle, and how it affected their family. But now that they were out of the woods with Kyle’s condition, where did this put Lindsay? I know what it’s like to go through traumatic events and wonder where your voice is or whether or not it’s okay to ask for more–more than just survival.

Kyle survived a horrific event. Is it okay to ask for more? Are we greedy to want more? Will people think we aren’t thankful for what we have been given? Is it selfish to want more for your life, apart from overcoming the trauma? At the time, I had no idea if Lindsay thought about these questions. But these are the questions I hoped her heart would have space to explore and find answers too during the SOAR! year.

And a year later, with great pride, I stand in awe of how this woman has come into a better, richer sense of who she is and what she’s capable of. Just like Linda and Jennifer, Lindsay rolled up her sleeves and took on the SOAR! Scholarship with every thing in her. She didn’t hold back, she worked her tail off, she swam in deep waters, and she discovered more than I can put into words. Here are few things she wanted to share with all of you…

We LOVE Lindsay, and we are SUPER proud of her!

Will you join me in today’s blog post and post a comment of congratulations as we release Lindsay Baumgartner to SOAR! Not to soar in the shadow of a horrible accident, but to soar in the wide open skies of her own dreams and impossibles. To know that she is a woman who is worthy of the best. And for her to want more than her husband’s recovery is not only okay, but necessary because the world is in need of her gifts and beautiful heart.

Check out Lindsay’s NEW WEBSITE! It’s pretty amazing!

Lindsay, your growing portfolio is just…wow…incredible. I’m so proud of you, all your hard work, all your courage, and Brian and I feel honored to call you friend. Now SOAR! girl because you have everything you need (even when you don’t feel like it :) ).

love YOU!


p.s. Do you want to SOAR! this coming year? Does the SOAR! Scholarship have your name written all over it? Get ready because it has re-opened!! The SOAR! Scholarship is now accepting new applications/videos for Year Two! Woo-hoo! Spread the word!  Browse the pages on this website for all the juicy details!

Discover. Explore. Apply (today!). SOAR!

The 2010 SOAR! Scholarship begins today ladies!  WOO-HOO!

Go to the SOAR! WEBSITE for all the juicy details!  Discover the new prizes (check out the SONY DSLR this year!!)  Explore the forum! Apply to be one of the THREE Recipients, and you may find yourself SOARING this year!

Got questions? We’ve got you covered!  Post up all your questions on the forum, and Linda, Jennifer or Lindsay will be on hand to answer them for you!  Take advantage of their wisdom and experience ladies!  They are so excited to help our new recipients SOAR!

Deadline to apply is Monday, December 20th!

Be sure to meet ALL FOUR video requirements before uploading!  (hint: see #3 thru #7 on the FAQ)

So many things to be thankful for with this year’s Thanksgiving.  SOAR! stepping into its’ second year is one of them.  I also want to give a special thanks to my amazing husband, Brian, who has been working for a couple months on all these details with a team of amazing people under him.  Babe, you make it possible for me to soar.  i love u.



*To hear from last year’s recipients, click on their name; Linda, Jennifer and Lindsay!

Meet My Amazing Man

This has been quite the year and how blessed we all are to have such amazing support from each of our husbands.  James, Michael, and Kyle have been the silent steadies in our background.  Encouraging and supporting us along this journey.  Goodness knows where we would be without them.  Here is a small part of what the Soar year was like for Kyle.  Sure do love the guy!!

Shine On,


Our Little Pickle

So my Blog this week was intended to be on shooting in someone’s house and making adjustments based on light.  I have done this but don’t have the energy to put it together at this point.  My husband just left to take my little girl in to the hospital.  She has been sick since last Thursday and has been feeling worse rather than better.

Tonight was one of those nights that I hate most as a parent.  The moments where it is beyond your ability to make them feel any better.  When they are crying and writhing in pain that you can not identify nor cure.  It absolutely breaks my heart. Perhaps nothing is wrong and she just has a nasty virus that is running around in her little body.  But perhaps not, that unknown has just been eating at me.  We were told yesterday if she was not better by Thursday that we should bring her back in.  I assumed she would be better, why wouldn’t she?  After all she had medicine in her and was feeling pretty ok when we saw the Dr.

But why is she not feeling any better?  Why is she so miserable that even Momma holding her does not bring her comfort?  So on went her little red robe with the Sleeping Beauty, and into the car she went with her Daddy.  They are off to the Hospital to see a Dr to tell her and us what in the world is going on with our little Pickle.

All I can do is pray that it is nothing, and that my little Pickle and Kyle will return home tired but safe.  That is all I have in me to do at this moment.  Sit and pray that all is well, and they can somehow do something to relieve my little angel’s discomfort.

***Our Pickle has Strep Throat.  Now that… I can work with.  Antibiotics have been prescribed and soon we will all be tucked safely into our beds.  Here are a few images of the newborn shoot I did today while caring for my sick girl and keeping her far from the baby.  All the images were taken in my home.  By the end of the shoot and all the furniture moving my house was an absolute disaster.  It is however my pleasure to introduce the adorable Miss Emma!!***

Shine On,


***Update…Last night was a rough one, and we are hoping over the next day the antibiotics will begin to work a Ella will finally feel a bit like herself again.***

Do I need to give up my dream?

We are supposed to be talking about what is so in our year.  The reality of what has happened.  Get out… could Linda or Jen have done a better job??

So a week ago I wrote my Blog talking about riding the waves of life.  Well that night brought high fevers and smacked me clean on my rear.  I had to cancel two sessions, and give up on a promotional idea I was working on for Halloween.

Strep throat sat me on my bummer forcing me to take a back seat for a number of days and pray that my clients would be willing to reschedule.

It has been slow going since then and alas, another life event almost drowned me.  My husband and I received shocking news that we may need to pay back an insane amount of money stemming from his head injury.  I was sick to my stomach and heart broken.  I feared that I would have to put aside everything that I have dreamed of and worked for in order to keep our family from loosing everything.

I shed many tears in that car ride in to talk to my husband.  I ran through all the ways I could possibly help our family, and all I felt was this wave of disappointment and fear that my dreams had somehow put us in this position.  I will do anything for my family and if it means giving up all my dreams to make sure we have a roof over our head and food on the table you better know I would do everything in my power.

With tears in my eyes and a blotchy read face I went in to see my husband. The amount of love and support that I felt the moment I saw his face made me smile despite my concern.  In his amazing fashion he assured me we would be ok, and that “I did not have to give up my dreams”.

I don’t know how it will work out, but I feel blessed to have a husband that supports my dreams even when times are not the rosiest.

So what is so right now is…that I just shot pictures of two adorable newborns today and had a blast.  I am feeling tons better, no more body aches and burning throat!!  I got my house picked up, and cooked dinner.  I am sitting on the sofa next to my husband and will go to bed in our newly floored room.  My other canceled session is rescheduling, and my sons school is willing to pass out my belated gift bags.  I wake up every morning loving what I do.  I continue to pray that the money situation get worked out.  And lastly I have laughed, and smiled today, thank God for that!!

Shine On,

How Smug is Your Mug?

I have long dreamed of having my own website.  I have perused the Internet looking at others who had done it envying that they had achieved what I had only dreamed of.  I could only dream that someday I might be so blessed.  So here I am acting out my dream, and is it everything I imagined it would be?  To that I would say yes and no.

Designing the look of the sight was pretty easy and fun for me. My only problem is I could design a new website every week, but since that is neither productive or realistic I needed to be happy for some time with my design.  I tried hard to design something that I felt reflected who I was by sight alone.  So you will all have to tell me if I have succeeded at it or not.  Here is another sneak peek ; )!!

It was also hard at times to mesh my dreams with reality.  There was a fine line to walk between getting what I wanted, and realizing that it might not be practical nor possible!

It is equally difficult to not compare what I am creating to what Jennifer and Linda are creating.  There are those moments where you doubt yourself and say “does this make sense?, will everyone think it looks cheesy and homemade?” (don’t ask me how a website can be homemade, but nonetheless I thought it).  I think we have all equally had moments like this.  We love and support one another, but it is equally difficult to not compare ourselves.  One thing I can tell you with all certainty it that each of our sites will be as unique and different as each and every one of us is.

Smugmug is awesome and it has been an absolute pleasure working with them and their people.  They have amazing ways to share, protect, buy, and sell images, and you even sign up for a free trial.  How awesome is that?!!  They have so much to offer and I can hardly wait to get my hands on it all.

Recently, I loaded images into a gallery for clients and I was pleased with how easy of was.  It went smoothly and I was able to send it on to my client no problem.  There is so much more I will need to learn as time goes on, but I can not express how incredibly thankful I am to Smugmug for being an instrumental part in making my dreams become a reality!!

Shine On,


Who Am I? No Seriously…HELP!!!

Hmmm…that is where my mind goes when it come to branding.  Karen wrote about it so beautifully and alas I’m stuck.  I’m not sure what words I would use to describe me and inevitably they might be quite unkind at the moment.

So with a shove in the back I’m going to force myself to figure it out.  Graphically it has not been hard for me to show who I am.

(Small pieces of the bigger picture.  How did I use these for my website design concept???)

However…I know that sooner rather than later Billy of Fast Line Media will be calling to know of I have my content ready.  I tried to tell him that doing my content was part of his job, but he laughed, so I think that was a NO.  I am so observant ; ).  Hey maybe that could be one of my qualities!!

So as I sit here I am trying to remember nice things people have said about me, and I am drawing a complete blank.  I was tempted to grab my High School yearbook and come up with a thing or two.  So let me think…

I am a hard worker
I am creative

So that was all I could come up with, so I asked Kyle for some help. And he added.

I am kind
I am funny
I am loving

But how does that help me brand myself.  It’s not like putting…kind, creative, hardworking, funny, and loving photographer for you most cherished moments.  Haha, cheesy!!  So while I might be good at the graphics I need some desperate help with the rest. Jen (Soulful Quality) and Linda (Simple/Engaging/Authentic) both seem to have a better grasp on this than I.  So if anyone can help….please throw me a bone.  Otherwise I will be the “kind, creative, hardworking, funny, and loving photographer” that needs to find a new job!!

So let me leave you with a couple images that haves gone into creating my visual brand.  Billy at Fast Line Media has been nothing short of amazing in working with me to make my website be all that I could dream…minus the content (come on Billy ; ) !!).

(Now for the second images of influence…don’t you love the orange ball in the background!!)

I just feel so thankful and blessed to be as close as I am to a real, live, big girl website for my photography.  I can’t wait to share the real deal…with content…in the near future.

Shine On,

P.S. My baby girl turned six yesterday.  I just wanted to wish her a Happy Birthday in print.  I can hardly believe my Tiny is really 6.  My how the time flies!!

What will you do today to shine tomorrow?

Do you ever read something with the plan of underlining a few things here or there that stand out?  Well that was my plan when I sat down to read chapter 8, “Recovering a Sense of Strength” in Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way.   I would say that on the first page alone I underlined more than half of the words.  So with pleasure I share with you some of what stood out to me.

All artists must learn the art of surviving loss: loss of hope, loss of face, loss of money, loss of self-belief.  In addition to our many gains, we inevitably suffer these losses in an artistic career.  Because artistic losses are seldom openly acknowledged or mourned, they become artistic scar tissue that blocks artistic growth.  Deemed too painful, too silly, too humiliating to share and so to heal, they become, instead, secret losses.  We must remember that what we can handle intellectually far outstrips what we can handle emotionally.

Loss of one sort or other seems to be the common thread through all of life’s experiences.  Some times these losses are crushing, sometimes they throw us off our beaten path, and sometimes we barely even notice them.  I think that recognizing the losses that occur in our life and making a decision to step in one direction or another is one of the greatest blessings we have in this life and in this country, we inevitably have a “choice” to deal with the loss and move on, or succumb to it and crumble.

I have experienced many artistic losses in my short life, and without fail I will see many more.  Along with the artistic losses there will be personal ones that will challenge all notions I have and force me to the edge of a precipice where I can jump or turn back.  In this instance the jumping is what will set me free and the turning back is what will keep me where I am.

In life I have found it easier to rise to the personal losses and move on.  It is those darn artistic losses that seem so defeating.  In the past year I have been trying harder and harder to not fall victim to these artistic losses and give up.  I am trying to recognize the losses, grieve them, and move on.  As an artist I think it is easy to dwell on what has went wrong and not count all the blessing that have come in our direction.

My husband is one of the greatest teachers on dealing with loss that I have had in my life.  He has faced the loss of so much personally in his short life.  The loss of time, movement, independence, memory, and so much more.  With each step he has grieved the loss and moved on.  And it is with the moving on that he shines a little brighter.

Julia Cameron also speaks about how some gains in life can be disguised as a loss.  And that every end is a new beginning, so don’t get stuck on the loss.  In doing this we as artists often balk or sabotage ourselves by our fear, our low self-worth, or more simply by other agendas we might have.  Cameron suggests that the best way to distinguish one from the other is to simply ask ourselves…

How can this loss serve me?  Where does it point my work?  The key to doing this is to know, to trust, and to act as if a silver lining exists if you are only willing to look at the work differently or walk through a different door, one that you may have balked at.

And finally at the end of the chapter Julia asks us to name our dream right now, to write it down.  “In a perfect world, I would secretly love to be a_______.”  This reminds me of the assignment that Me Ra gave us a couple weeks back asking us to say out loud our dreams.  You can find Linda’s, Jennifer’s and mine (Lindsay’s) simply by clicking on our names.  This was one of the hardest assignments that Me Ra has given me, it was uncomfortable and very naked, but I can not begin to express how freeing it was to put my dream out into the world.  The most amazing part being that someone actually cared enough to read it and push me gently in that direction (Thank You Jowhara).

So… am I willing to follow that dream at the risk of experiencing an artistic loss?  Well…yes I think I am.  With a new commitment I am going to allow my inner artist to grieve the losses that come her way.   I will remind her that a silver lining does exist if I believe it can.  I will learn from each loss and move on, showing my children that it is okay to grieve a loss, but it is not okay for that loss to defeat you.  And at the end of this journey I pray that I too will shine a bit brighter just like my Kyle does.

Shine On,


***The Images are from Ella’s first day of Kindergarten.  My sweet girl is growing up at lightning speed right in front of my eyes.  She always knows the right thing to say to life my spirits.  She is the greatest 5 year old fan you could ever ask for.  When I have those artistic losses I try to pick up my camera and capture one of my best creations I will ever make…my children!!***

Who is the narrator of your story?

So this week was a partners week and I just wanted to share with you some great advice that I have received over the months from my two amazing business coaches Karen & Fay of the Wisdom Connection.  Karen and Fay have a way of dropping little nuggets of truth into my reality that sometimes slap me upside the head, and other times gentle nudge me forward.  Either way I am undeniably thankful for these truths and I have found they move me along in my train of thought and with the inner conversations that I am constantly having with myself.

We will learn more thru acknowledgement than through criticism.  The more we have the more our internal dialog will become that of acknowledgement.    The more we learn from acknowledgement the higher degree our learning will be.

So my first one is this conversation that they said we need to tell ourselves when looking at our own work.  That in the midst of all the learning that I am doing, I am actually experiencing that I am proud of this picture, and that in fact I like it.  Speaking of your self in a continuum of learning.

“Pride comes from the gentle subtle place inside that finds the delight in what you are doing.”

These words were followed by an exercise that I thought was interesting.  Try it for yourself and tell me what you think of it.

The circle represents the time in our lives.  If you divide the pie into pieces they will not amount to more than the size of the pie.  It divides itself into percents.  We each only have one life where we can direct our energy.  We don’t get more than one pie.  At any given time we are directing our life somewhere.  There may be things that don’t get done…but we will never have more than the pie.

Acknowledge where you are putting our lives energy.  Notice and acknowledge where you are putting your time.  Within that time we must make choices.  At any given moment we might change the direction of my life, and it is our choice.  We only have one life.  Allow yourself to be right for the choices that you make.  If you go into doubt or self-judgment then you are actually making a choice to direct your life towards doubt and self-judgment and waste your time directing your life into a useless place.

Are we telling our kids that if they were not in our life we would have more time to do what we wanted to do, is that what I want my kids to think?  If we bring our presence to everything we do, somehow everything gets moved forward.  Since we can’t put our attention where we don’t, we might as well have it right where we do.  The pattern of our thinking is reflected in the patterns of our lives.  How we think puts certain patterns in place in our life.  If we are thinking about what we don’t have in life, it will match what we get in life.

Lastly something that Karen told me on our last business call really struck a chord with me.  I was talking about how I felt that Linda and Jennifer were so much further ahead of me in their accomplishments.  I felt that they had a better direction and would ultimately be very successful.

Now please understand one thing as I write this.  From my point of view I don’t feel competition with Linda and Jennifer, I feel like every accomplishment they make is one of my own.  I could not be more happy and more proud of them.  That being said I evidently was more than willing to place myself under them, and see all that they were doing and accomplishing and feel that I could never match up.  Karen quickly asked me if this was a reality or was it a “Story” I have been telling myself.  That stopped me dead in my tracks, and was one of those slap upside the head moments I was referring to.

How many times in my life have I told myself stories like these?  How many times have a lost my direction because these stories seemed so true?  What path in your life has been changed by a story you have told yourself?

Since this revelation from Karen I have been paying attention to the stories that run through my head.  By no means have they stopped, but I think I am getting better at indentifying them.  I think these stories are told from a dark place that is meant to hold us back.  A dark place that does not want our dreams to come true.  I am trying to change the narrator of my stories because I want a story teller that can see all the potential in my life.  I am ready to be the heroin of my own life, and to show my children all that this amazing world has to offer if we just put our faith and our belief in the right things.

So let me ask you…What stories have you been telling yourself?  How are you going to make a change?  Be honest with yourself, don’t convince yourself that these stories are reality.  Remember we only have on life and one pie to live.  Make sure that you are making the best of it each and every day.

Shine On,


***The images from this Blog are from a wedding that I shot in mid August.  Kristina and Valentine were two of the sweetest people that I have ever worked with.  They were unbelievably kind and caring towards me and my assistant (my Mom).  They booked me off of the newborn images I took of their beautiful daughter Ava, and I am so honored to share with you one of the most beautiful brides and handsome grooms I have come across.***

Who me…overcommit?

I am nervously posting my first, and THE first SOAR video blog. You should be expecting 1 of these a month from me and my two Soar partners from here on out. I think we are all a bit nervous about the endeavor so please bare with us as we figure the flow of this out.

I must first tell you that I am a bit sick. Me Ra asked that the video be two minutes, and of course my original video was 6 minutes. I spared you that and tried against my husbands wishes to narrow it down. In order to squash a brewing argument with my husband this video at 3 minutes and 23 seconds was the best I could do. I am a stickler for rules, but my husband constantly pushes me to skirt the boundaries in situations like this.

In my life of overcommitment I am constantly neglecting the needs of others and myself in order to complete my obligation. I frequently feel incompetent and it is all my own doing. I am working hard to complete my projects and take a well needed rest and focus on my children, husband, and Photography more. With fall fast approaching I feel a need to settle in and fluff my nest that I just worked so hard to create.

I hope that you are all able to find a sane place to rest and a place to sort out all of those commitments we have.

Shine On,