October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and in more than 200 cities across the country, communities and their leaders are coming together to take action against bullying. Bullying is a serious issue facing more than 1 in 4 children nationwide. This is an important topic for me as both my children were bullied when they were in school. There are 3 different types of bullying – verbal; social and physical – and between both my children, we experienced all… Read more »

christina2

by: Christina Estrada CAFFEINE OVERLOAD!! Can’t Stop Shaking. Heart is POUNDING. Barely feeling like you’re able to breathe or speak. I wish what I’d felt was a caffeine overload. That is the best way I can explain to someone what an anxiety attack feels like, although the symptoms get worse. Trying to get up, but the feeling of almost passing out would overcome my body. The worst thoughts in my head would take over my brain, and I couldn’t help… Read more »

Last week I had the opportunity to photograph NAMIWalks Los Angeles for the 2nd time.    This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week and I am sharing several links which take our society one step closer to breaking stigmas, educating, and helping others. I hope you will take the time to share this too, and help raise awareness. Thank you 1. I’m so proud of my friend Randi Silverman.  Please watch the movie Illness to understand what those of us who raise families with Mental Illnesses… Read more »

Encourage Courtney

I am not what I have done but what I have overcome Courtney Jones (23) was critically injured in a motorcycle accident in February. Due to an infection in her stomach, the Dr’s had to amputate both her legs in order to save her life. Courtney epitomizes COURAGE. I didn’t know Courtney until her best friend Caroline (a remarkable person herself) called me to ask if I could photograph the first fundraiser she was organizing. Courtney spent 5 months in… Read more »

Power

It doesn’t matter what people think of you – it matters what you think of you. When I photograph my clients I have them choose a word that resonates with them at that moment, one which reflects what they are experiencing deep within. This can only happen after trust is established, after they have let their guard down and realized this experinece is FOR them and ABOUT them. This is not to please anyone. Nor to prove anything. There is no right or wrong…it… Read more »

Boundries

At some point during a photo session, I have my client write a word on a stone – “soulstones” – is what I call them. Their word absolutely depends on what has transpired during the photo session. My intention is to guide people to help themselves, to give them permission to view life a little differently, to celebrate the realities of life, break stigmas, and to be a reminder to appreciate and accept who we are and what we have… Read more »

scar

My scar makes me happy. That could sound strange to a lot of people, but it’s the truth. Like the stem of a flower, it keeps me grounded and growing. It represents the most challenging hurdle I’ve faced: Crohn’s Disease. I understood that even in the depths of survival, if I had a positive attitude, I could do anything. I don’t choose to attach my scar to painful memories anymore. I choose to see the scar pointing upwards, as my own personal “yad”, guiding me to… Read more »

Metamorphosis

by: Steven (age 15) No one understands. No one can help. Here I am crying in silence, lost in a world of my own creation.  I stay here all day and night, but there is no difference. Time passes indistinctly; a blur of suffering and agony.  The only emotions to be found here are anger and sadness. There is no end to my tears, I cannot break free. I have tried before, only to be rejected by this uncontrollable mind… Read more »

Spotless Future

I think we all know how difficult it is to match the way we feel about ourselves on the inside with the outside. It is easy to fix our hair and makeup, wear nice clothes, dress a certain way…but it only goes so far if you know on the inside that is not how you feel at all. My goal is to help people feel stronger, healthier, happier on the inside, to help guide others to free themselves of their limitations… Read more »