Thank You For Your Service

Happy Birthday, America!

I read somewhere that Americans consume 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken on the Fourth of July. Seven. Hundred Million. Pounds.

That’s a lot.

I love the holiday that commemorates the 13 original colonies’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. I love the parade and fireworks that accompanies the celebrations, and I love picnics with watermelon and yes, fried chicken.

I also love veterans for many reasons, one being for all the sacrifices they give to our country. And, I really love my grandfather, who fought – and was a POW – in World War II.

He was captured in France and has many amazing stories about his time in the Air Force as well as his capture.

So it’s very important to me that I support veterans any way I can. One way I do this is by giving all veterans who come in for a pin up shoot one free image.

And, for the month of July, all veterans who come in for a solo shoot will get one free 16 x 20 photo printed on metal (valued at $499).

Are you a veteran and considering a pinup photo shoot?

Two veterans I’ve recently worked with agreed to share their stories. First, please meet Janelle, who was in the Air National Guard.

“The photo shoot with Christi was so much fun! There was swing music playing in the background (I believe it was the Squirrel Nut Zippers). I remember a huge collection of retro clothing for me to try on, and I fit into everything. I always had self-image problems, and they were all gone that day. I was fully celebrating what God gave me and it was a nice change from the regular pinch and poke at myself.

“For anyone considering a shoot, I’d say to do it. In your gear, you are hidden. You are the same as everyone else. But in this shoot you are transformed into the woman or man that you are! You are free to express yourself in any way you want. Christi is so energetic and loving, and is completely different than the officers you work under.”

And now, hear from Aimee, who was in the U.S. Air Force.

“I wanted to do a Grinkie shoot because I never really felt very girly or attractive. Also, I had just gone through a divorce and I really needed to feel like a woman again. It was so nice to be dolled up.

“I most remember how comfortable Christi made me feel. I am a very awkward person, yet she managed to get so many beautiful pictures of me.

“I did a photo in part of my military uniform for myself. I didn’t share it with anyone via social media, and I love the way I look. I want to do another shoot with her and bring in items that are significant to me, like my wings I earned as a flight attendant and probably my dog tags from the military. I know with her creativity she can find the best ways to use them.”

Thank you for your service, Janelle and Aimee, and thank you to all veterans!

If you are curious about what’s involved in a pinup shoot, give me a call. And remember, if you come in for a solo shoot in July, I’ll give you one free 16 x 20 photo printed on metal, valued at $499.

Contact me to learn more, and Happy Birthday, America!  

Identity Portraits – Creating a safe space for transgender people

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So much pressure exists for each of us to fit into a certain mold. But the truth is, we are all unique and we each have our own mold to fit into. So, every day when I work with clients, my mission is to help them tap into – and feel comfortable with – their inner and outer beauty. Two recent clients made me realize just how important that mission is. Both are transgender and are transitioning – one from male to female, and the other from female to male. The experience of working with both was so powerful and fun that I realized that although they are both unique, their stories might not be. I also realized I want to help more people like Michaela and Justin confidently express just who they are though photos.

And so, the idea of Identity Portraits was born to provide a safe place for transgender and non-binary identifying people to decide how they want to present themselves to the world. I admit that working with Michaela and Justin was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve had in my professional life (with all due respect to my other clients, of course). And, based on the tears shed during each session, I think it was a pretty good experience for each of them, too.

Justin says:
“I had wanted to do a shoot like this ever since I had top surgery, and I admit that I was a bit nervous going into the shoot. But Christi made me feel at ease. “I went in knowing it would be fun, but I didn’t realize how much fun it was going to be. Christi’s passion for what she does is reflected throughout the entire experience. She captures so much beauty, her energy is infectious, and her compassion for people will leave you speechless.” He is so pleased with the end product that he is hosting a party to unveil the photos that we took that day.

Michaela says:
“I won a photo shoot from a Valentine’s Day drawing, and Christi and her team were amazing from the very start. “I had not told Christi that I was trans, but it didn’t matter. From the beginning, I was treated as me without anyone batting an eye. I felt accepted as the woman that I am. “Being the center of focus was amazing, and this photo shoot was one of the most affirming things I have ever done. I had never seen myself like I did that day, and Christi helped me realize that’s how other people see me. “It truly changed how I saw myself. When we looked at my pictures, I cried.”

What’s included?
All Identity Portraits are custom-designed for each participant. That means that participants will receive a pre-shoot consultation with me to brainstorm and discuss ideas. Hair and make-up are also included. The goal of the session, along with some quality pictures, is to ensure the participant feels like the exceptional person they are.Pricing for the shoot and any prints are at my standard rates. In addition, I have set up a private Facebook group for my Identity Portrait clients as well as others in the transgender community. I want to extend the safe place beyond my studio, and this Facebook group is an invite-only resource for discussion and questions. For more information about Identity Portraits, including the cost and how to book your appointment, please contact me directly by clicking here.

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