Monday, January 19, 2009

Blogging: Modern Pen-Pals

Remember when you were in 3rd grade and your teacher said "Ok kids, we're are going to make special friends with kids that live across the world. They are called pen-pals." Then you started writing a girl in Zimbobway who, through your letters, became one of your best friends. She was your maid of honor at your wedding and is currently your children's God-Mother.
Blogging, is kind of like that...kind of...

I have been blog-pals with Jennifer for over a year,



I finally met her last week. When I started my blog she was one of the first to comment on it and we have been blogging friends ever since. She is much better at keeping in touch than I am. In fact, when I get a comment from Jennifer I feel super validated, appreciated, even understood. I look forward to her feedback, thoughts, and love. When I was sick a year ago she left the most thoughtful comment that helped me smile, almost as much as the antibiotics did. She got in touch with me a few months ago telling me she was coming to CA to pursue some interests, me being one of them. That boosted my ego big time; she made a trip from out-of-state for me to take pictures of her. I was totally flattered and at the same time felt like I was meeting someone very special, someone that was real to me only through words and pictures but not tangible flesh. When I saw her it was one of those moments like, is this really happening? I am really meeting Jennifer? I have an affinity for this woman and I only know her through blogger-land and an occasional email.

Her blog is a treat. If you are not already following her add her to your blog roll immediately. In the world of blogging she really is quite a celebrity. She has even been ask to teach classes at the university close to her home about blogging and the role it can have in society. I thought that was really interesting and a bit crazy at the same time...blogging and society... another reason her blog is so fresh is because she is a really talented and intelligent writer. She is a published poet and is currently studying English Literature. She does some free-lance work, and has goals to publish more someday; I know she will. Occasionally, she will publish her poems on her blog (I wish she did more often ;)); they are engaging pieces that will touch your spirit and make you think. I also really like publishing poems on my blog (not my own), and seeing what Jennifer has to think of them. Her thoughts are always enlightening. She is smart, intelligent, and a real thinker- all traits I love to see in women. She is also tough and has overcome a great deal this past year.

She came for pictures, like I said, to attach with her bi-line for anything she has published in the future. She also wanted to have pictures taken, just of herself, just because. I LOVE THAT! How often do women elect to have pictures taken of themselves? Why would I do that? Where would I put them? Who would want them? All questions women present when thinking of a self-photograph. I thought it was such a great idea. It reminds you of your own personal beauty, that you are an individual outside of your work, home, children, etc. It reminds you of the determined look in your eyes you never notice or possibly forgot you had. It reminds you that you deserve to feel famous, with the cameras flashing- just for you. Having your picture taken can be such an empowering experience.

Especially when you look like this:



and this:



The past year has been tough for Jennifer. She has experienced a few things that she never imagined would happen to her. Listening to her share some of her devastating moments only reaffirmed to me the strength I knew this woman already had. She is currently raising 4 boys, on her own. She deserves much more than a photo-shoot. She deserves fresh cookies and cupcakes delivered to her door each day with personalized affirmation-messages on them. She deserves a new pair of shoes from Nordstrom, also delivered to her home each day. She deserves free passes to Disneyland for the rest of her life. She deserves a massage whenever she wants it!!

She deserves to be loved, honestly and truly loved, and to have lasting happiness.



I was deeply inspired by her depth of character, her drive to overcome, her ability to find the most colorful umbrella when the clouds pour with rain. The year has been rocky, but the sun is starting to shine...at least from what I could observe I think it is safe to say there will be blue skies, soon...

Love the light in both of these:





Love the light she has:





She was so fun to photograph. She was totally confident, but had a few moments of shyness...



Two more black and white favorites:

I really liked this one:




Jennifer, May we continue to be pen-pals! May I be your maid of honor at the next wedding! May I be your children's God-Mother!! :) May you continue to show me and the world that life, regardless of what it offers, is worth living! May the next year be full of many riches!!!! Thank you so much for coming to see me and for the opportunity to photograph such a beautiful, strong, and sincere face!! Until our next chat, xoxo Kam

15 comments:

Bethany said...

Wow...isn't this a fun story?!! I SO love blogging and the way it connects us with friends from around the world!

I was JUST telling my husband yesterday about your upcoming trip to AZ and how he is going to have to get me to you somehow or another so I can meet yet another of my blogging "pen pals!!" That just leaves on CA blog friend that I want to meet before we move back to Kansas!!

As always, amazing images. I don't know the story but I wish Jennifer the best in all she does. She is a beautiful woman!

Jennifer P. said...

SCREEEEEEAM :)!!!!! Now I totally feel like a gorgeous celebrity!

I had the best time with you---you are just how I imagined you would be too, and so very talented to boot! What I love the most about these pictures is the memories associated with each one (especially lying in an alley :)!).

Thank you , thank you, thank you!

KAHigh said...

Absolutely beautiful! I'm already IN Cali so maybe I'll get up the guts to have you take pics of my beautiful family and, uh, me?

*Lissa* said...

What a sweet post! I have met so many wonderful people through blogging! Gorgeous photos!!

wenderful said...

Love those pictures of Jennifer. She is awesome. How fun!

Debbie said...

Hi Kamee...I have lurked over here before..but it has been awhile...I am a big fan of Jennifer's as well and just stopped by after seeing the pics she posted on her blog..they are fabulous...and your work is fabulous...I should have told you that last year when I was lurking about over here. You are really gifted...you just seem to capture the essence of everyone you photograph...Best of luck to you..and I will leave a comment the next time I stop by!

Kimberly said...

It is always inspiring to be touched by someone who embodies and exudes the human spirit. Don't know Jennifer, but wish I did. Gorgeous pictures, gorgeous woman.

angie said...

Jennifer inspires me every day, and seeing these shots and hearing such a wonderful tribute from you to her makes me want to DIE that I didn't get to meet BOTH of you. The photos are fantastic, and I absolutely LOVE the teaser sneak peack.......wonder if that picture is a favorite of hers, too? And, I absolutely LOVE the black and white of her near the door with teh padlock.

Tamie said...

those are fabulous of Jennifer....her shirt is beautiful and as is she....she says she's not photogenic....HA!!!!! great job! (and she is truly, quite and inspiring woman!)

Tiniel said...

I've never had full body shots since B.C. ( before children! ) I'm 100 lbs. over weight and only do shoulders up... ( thanks to weight watchers I'm 16 lbs. lighter yippie yippie!! ) This has given me the confidence to have some fun full on whole bod. shots. Thanks you two... I follow both your blogs and feel like I know you both!

Scott, Amy & Joseph Gneiting said...

oh I love Jennifer!!! she is so wonderful!!! good post. I saw your blog by Jennifers blog.

Blue Castle said...

Your pictures are so beautiful. It was fun to see another side of Jennifer P. I have been loving her blog these last few months. :)

Melissa Lester said...

These are so gorgeous! You are so talented and captured what we all love about Jennifer P.!

tracyallegre said...

Kamee, you are the BOMB. I love reading your posts as you are not only a fantastic photographer but a fantabulous storyteller as well!

The Grainger Family said...

I cannot wait for our photo shoot with you in Phoenix in March, especially after seeing these...wow, amazing how you captured the light of her soul in her eyes, Kamee!