I'm incredibly happy to report that I've taken a giant step forward when it comes to my back and how it's healing. The biggest different: Almost no pain!
I started to notice drastic changes in the middle of last week, and decided to use Memorial Day Weekend as a test run. I brought my camera to a backyard BBQ and snapped a few photos of the Zahn Family. I made sure not to carry my sling-back camera bag, and purposely brought only one lens so I wouldn't be tempted to shoot with something heavier. All I can say is so far, so good! If all goes according to plan, I'll start physical therapy early next week.
Even more exciting? This Sunday I'll be photographing vendors at the Takoma Park Farmer's Market. I'm thrilled the market gave me this incredible responsibility, and look forward to getting to know the local business owners who share their food and culture with the community!
If you're out and about, stop by and say hello!
Focus on Health | Update #4
Memorial Day weekend is here and that can only mean one thing. No, silly. I'm not talking about the start of summer. I'm talking about the start of wedding season!
One of the most important wedding-day aspects for any bride is determining her unique style and look. Finding the perfect photographer, dress and flowers will help, but makeup is the ultimate finishing touch. To help assist brides with this important detail, I've enlisted good friend and professional makeup artist, Sev Gedra.
Sev specializes in event and special-effects makeup and has a client list that ranges from Cosplay fans to blushing brides. We met while working together for a trash the dress shoot and zombie-themed Halloween party, and have been in contact ever since. I've asked her to share her expertise for finding the perfect wedding-day look and makeup artist in this new series, Makeup Your Photographs.
Hi Everyone! Sev here. I've been a makeup artist for four years. I've worked in high-end makeup stores both as a beauty consultant and brand representative. I currently work as a freelance artist for weddings, events and costumes. Finding your makeup artist for the big day can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. In this series, I'll offer a few quick tips to make your search as easy as possible!
Find the right look for you.
Before you find a makeup artist, you'll want to find your "look." Brides are often asked how they want to feel on their wedding day, but knowing how they want to look is an entirely different matter. When you're picking out your look, think about your wedding theme. Will you have a classic event or will it be a fun, casual party? Try to coordinate your look with the overall feel of your wedding.
Remember: if you plan on wearing white—or close to it—attention will naturally be drawn to your face. You’ve got a beautiful, blank canvas to work with. All you have to figure out is how you want to fill it!
Going for that timeless feel? Think classic. Classic wedding makeup should enhance your natural beauty. Ask your stylist or makeup artist for a lighter brown, smokey eye and neutral lip. You can't go wrong with this combination. It fits with every theme, it's timeless, and it makes a bride look stunning.
If you're going with a theme wedding, don't be afraid to try something bold. A pop of color on the lips or eyes can be stunning, but be careful not to overdo it. A little color goes a long way.
Finally, never underestimate the power of Pinterest and Google to find a look that speaks to you. Having an idea of how you want look gives your makeup artist a starting place that you can build from together.
Like what you just read? Share the love. Help send Sev to Hollywood! She's currently a finalist for a scholarship to the Cinema Makeup School in LA, and she needs your help! Just like Cinema Makeup School on Facebook, watch Sev transform a model (yes, the human kind) into Darth Maul, then press "VOTE" in the top left corner of your screen. Today's the last day to vote, so don't delay. (Seriously. You want to see this video. This girl's got skillz).
Be sure to watch for additional guest posts by Sev! In her next installment, Sev will discuss where and how to find an artist that works for you.
Focus on Health | Update #3
This is big. This is like really big. Are you ready?
I can put my socks on. All by myself. Without any pain!
I'm healing. I'm actually healing! ...But I'm not out of the woods yet.
I still don't have full range of motion and there continues to be concern about over-excursion, so I'm still banned from lifting anything over a few ounces. That said, the lack of pain these days is a cause for celebration, especially considering I could barely walk eight days ago.
Cliff and I took these improvements and the weekend's great weather as a sign to get out of the house. We visited Brookside Gardens, a place I've been wanting to go for years. We stayed an hour and explored just a tiny portion of the 500-acre space (including the nature center, Harper Homestead and aquatic gardens), but man, I felt like a million bucks! I definitely want to go back when I'm able to carry more than just a cell-phone camera!
A lot of people have asked me how my injury happened. Spondylolisthesis is caused by a damaged joint--damaged from overuse or trauma. In my case, it was overuse. In other words, I tried too hard to be Superwoman.
I love being green, love living without a car, but I haven't always been smart about it. I made one too many mile-long trips from the grocery/pet/hardware store with heavy bags on my shoulders, and my body simply could take no more. I'm now paying the price.
As sucky as it is, I've learned some really good lessons out of this: I need to take better care of myself, listen to my body, and slow down. The trip to Brookside Gardens (ya'know, to smell those roses?) is definitely a step in the right direction.
Here's a look at my insides:
Focus on Health | Update #2
Nursing an injured back isn't easy, but I'm hanging in there. Thanks to two weeks of rest and TLC, I can already tell some improvements are happening. For starters, I'm able to have some pain-free mornings. I'm still stiff and my range of motion is still limited, but hey, I'll take what I can get!
In addition to copious amounts of rest, there are some additional tricks I've learned along the way that have been super helpful.
p.s. Don't worry about me. Worry about those who can't find relief.
Not long ago, a friend lost her beloved dachshund, Zirka, to cushing's disease. Zirka wanted nothing more out of life than to be loved. Patient and kind, she'd gently wag her tail and look up, a single question in her large, brown eyes: wont you pet me, please?
I first met Zirka at a trash-the-dress photo session last October. The bride, Larysa, had been married the summer before and couldn't wait to transform into a zombie for her Halloween party. Before getting down and dirty, though, she requested bridal portraits with her two dogs, Zirka and Gretchen.
We spent an evening wandering around the grounds of a church near Larysa's home. Rambunctious and energetic Gretchen used the opportunity to explore her new-found freedom. Little Zirka, on the other hand, stayed right with her mama, never missing a pat on the head or scratch behind the ear.
Since that photo session, Larysa and I have become dear friends, and my heart broke when I learned of Zirka's passing. Larysa had been Zirka's guardian for 11 years, and their bond was incredibly strong.
I recently revisited the files from that session. Below are a few previously unpublished photos of sweet Zirka. In Ukrainian, her name means "star." For Larysa, I know it will always mean love.
Zirka Tinker Rosemann Kautz
2002 - 2014
Focusing on My Health | An Update
Anyone who has experience starting a small business knows it's hard work. Work is something I've never been afraid of. I take pride in it, and believe it is the pathway to success. Unfortunately, my photography work is currently stalled due to a medical injury.
I'm suffering from spondylolisthesis, which is essentially a stress fracture of the lower spine. Let me tell you, it's no fun. In addition to constant pain, I'm on a very strict health regimen that includes icing my back three times per day, sitting for no longer than 30 minutes at a time, and zero photography. My doctor has banned me from lifting anything heavier than a few ounces, and that includes my camera.
Time and a little TLC are the only things that heal this kind of injury. And only time can tell when my back will be strong enough for me to return to normal activities. But don't think I'm sitting around feeling sorry for myself.
All of the down time is allowing me to accomplish a number of housekeeping items that I've been putting off. For starters, I completely reorganized my blog. By narrowing categories and removing tags that weren't needed, it is now much more user friendly. Go ahead--check it out and let me know what you think!
Most exciting is a new mentorship I've entered into. Guidance, thoughtful discussion and successful brainstorming sessions with good friend Karen Smidt, co-owner of kande Productions, have led to a new vision for jhPhotography. This new direction will allow me to better serve my customers, and I'm hoping to announce the exciting changes sometime this summer. Stay tuned!
Finally, I've completed the paperwork to have jhPhotography listed on Google. Yay!
As is the case with most major life events, I've got to give thanks to those who have offered so much love and support during this inconvenient time -- namely, my partner, Cliff. He has graciously taken on new responsibilities since he's now my arms around the house. He's helped me put on my socks, blow dry my hair, make lunch and get groceries. I'm not sure what I'd do without him.
Living with pain is rough, but I'm determined to come out of this a stronger, better, smarter person for having gone through it. Here's to positive thoughts and forward momentum!
Celebrate | Mother's Day
Teacher. Mentor. Leader. World traveler. Animal rescuer. Lover of peanut butter. Daughter. Wife.
Hey there! I'm Jonna! I'm a family photographer serving Silver Spring, Maryland and beyond. During the Covid-19 crisis, I'm using my free time to document the lives of friends and neighbors as we live through a pandemic. Learn more.