Lianne, Ruby, and Jack: photographed at Scioto Audubon at the end of September.

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Recently, I have been inspired by the portrait work of others.

It said to me:
You can do this, you can do more.
You can put something beautiful into the world.

I have been wanting to do some work with mothers, their children, and breastfeeding. I wanted to portray the relationship between mothers and their children within nature to create portraits that are beautiful and ethereal, yet grounded in reality…as in I wanted the images to be beautiful, but not overly edited or processed.

I have also been inspired by the Maria Lactans, the religious imagery of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding the baby Jesus. I am not a religious person per se, but I do enjoy the concept of spirituality and divinity within human nature. There was a time when breastfeeding was considered divine, and I would love to reawaken that notion within our culture.

As mothers, our whole body goes toward the nourishment and growth of another being, long after they are carried in our wombs. Let us bring some light to that beautiful, necessary and sometimes difficult relationship.

I am very grateful to my friend Lianne and her children for lending me their time.

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A thing I love about photographing weddings is getting caught up in the energy of joy and celebration that such an occasion brings. Even though the rain began to pour right before the ceremony, I would say that no spirits were dampened. It was the light of love that which made it bright and sunny. I am grateful to have shared with and served two friends on their special day.

I am also grateful for the honor and privilege of photographing with my Dad. You can see his handiwork in the photo of the groom during the ceremony.

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I am grateful for the honor to have gotten to know and lived with Renie during our college years. She is an especially bright star in this vast universe of ours. I am equally grateful to be a part of and watch her career unfold as a Yamuna Body Rolling practitioner in Columbus. We did this photo session together a couple of weeks ago at her home studio. It was challenging to shoot in a tight space, but I think we came up with some good work.

Yamuna is a unique body work practice created by Yamuna Zake. “She lives her vision that a fully aligned body with all of its capacity for movement free and available is the most beautiful body possible. She is committed to sharing with others what it takes to know and love their bodies, and be better in them.”

I have experienced a Yamuna session with Renie, and practice on my own. By rolling on the ball, it gives you the power to align your own body, roll out the kinks (literally), and is an essential body work practice essential for today’s stressful modern living.

 

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Renie’s practitioner information from the Yamuna site:

Renie Viola

Columbus, OH 43202
USA

Phone: 917.324.6821

Email: renieviola@gmail.com

Certified Modalities: YBR

Renie studied YBR under creator Yamuna Zake at the Yamuna flagship studio in NYC from 2005-2011. She became a certified YBR practitioner in 2008 and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in modern dance from the Ohio State University. Renie is a company dancer for CoMo Dance Company. As a professional dancer, she believes firmly in finding efficiency, ease and joy in all movement, and believes YBR to be the most powerful tool for this and for overall wellness. Renie is eager to make YBR accessible to everyone.

Last week I had the honor of photographing this lovely couple at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center. I love when couples bring the energy and excitement of love for each other and their life together to the session. I am excited to also have the honor of photographing their wedding in July.

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I like to think about the countless number of mothers that brought us to this point in existence. With them we are everything. With mother love, there is sunshine. Mothers bring us into the light. Today, I imagined all the things that these mothers did that brought me to these moments that I spent with my family.

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How many little faces did they kiss, how many hands stroked while they said goodnight? How many meals made, how many boo-boos mended?

Did they cry sometimes at night after bedtime, because they wished they could keep all their little ones from pain and suffering?

Were they tired? Did they long for a day to themselves even though they loved their children dearly?

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I know about the things that they do, the things that they think, and the things that they feel. They made it possible for me to be a mother today. I am grateful for all of them, and all of the things they have done. I am especially grateful for the ones that are close to me, both family and friends. I am eternally grateful for the mother that I call my own, and the gifts that she has given me in life.

Only mothers know the inexplicable joy and other immeasurable amounts of feelings, duties, and sacrifices involved with totally living for another little person.

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When I pick up my camera, I have a mantra. That mantra is “let me be here.”

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Help me to live fully and be in the moment. Help me see and experience something that wasn’t there before.

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Show me what is important, and what isn’t.

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Let me be here with her, my daughter, who taught me to walk the path of mindfulness and to stay on the path towards self-employment and doing what I love.

Let me be here so I can teach her how to be here too.

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