What Do Photographs Mean to You?

Exist in photographs. For yourself. For your children. Love never fails, and must be preserved with photography.

www.LoveMeSimply.com | by Lea Ciceraro | NC Family Photographer

We have photographs on nearly every wall and surface in our home. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door. There are huge canvases, small prints, big prints. Framed prints on my childhood piano and our fireplace mantle. A photo of my parents on their wedding day. Simple frames, fancy-ish frames, and sometimes no frames at all. Albums upon albums from my childhood. Instant Polaroids taped to our refrigerator. Candid moments that I’ve snapped over the years. Tiny details like hands and feet and curly locks on new babies. Moments from when my husband and I were dating in the late 90’s, to our wedding and honeymoon in 2006, to each child and adopted animal we have made a part of our home and our hearts since then. [Below: Me as a kiddo in 1986 when we lived in Germany]

www.LoveMeSimply.com | by Lea Ciceraro | NC Family Photographer

Many of the photos were taken myself, of course, but there are also plenty that I have hired other photographers to take of me and my family (like the one below, shot by Alissa Saylor). Why? Because existing in photographs is important. I want to exist in photographs for my children and for myself so we have these amazing heirlooms that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

www.LoveMeSimply.com | by Lea Ciceraro | NC Family Photographer

You know what I think about often? That one day my children will look for photographs of me and their dad, and us with them. What will they have? [See more photos below: on the left is me with Maximilian snapped by my hubs, and on the right is me with Oliver a few years later, snapped by Alissa Saylor] I understand the power of thinking I’m not good enough in any one point in my life to be in photos. It’s easy to get in a cycle of not wanting your photo taken. But what happens when you’re gone?

www.LoveMeSimply.com | by Lea Ciceraro | NC Family Photographer

I am good enough. Right now… today. My family loves me, they want these photos taken as much as I do, and they mean more to me than anything else in the world. I am good enough to be photographed with my kids. I want to celebrate this beautiful life I have been given. I want it to mean something and to tell our family history.

This is why I take photos constantly, and why I hire photographers I believe in to give me these photos that generations of our family will hold onto and cherish forever. Because a portrait is more than just a photograph. These photos are more meaningful than anything our family will ever own or vacation we will take or presents we will buy. These photos, these memories, are the only possible thing we could spend money on that will go up in value the way they do. It must be done right.

[Photo below of my parents on their wedding day in 1971, and to the right is me and Jose on June 3, 2006 – snapped by Bronson Pate]

www.LoveMeSimply.com | by Lea Ciceraro | NC Family Photographer

My husband can count on one hand how many photos from his childhood he has. And when we were dating, I don’t recall seeing any family photos on the walls of his house. It’s heartbreaking to both of us and our own kids to have that piece of history missing. Whatever the reason was, now the photos aren’t there and there’s nothing that can be done about that. It’s a legacy lost. Missing pieces of the puzzle he’ll never get back. So we’re making sure we preserve these memories for our kids.

What’s more important today, in this moment, than photographing your family and existing in photos with them?

www.LoveMeSimply.com | by Lea Ciceraro | NC Family Photographer

Embracing Your Roots While Developing Your Passion

Embracing Your Roots While Developing Your Passion - by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

My Start with Photography

Childhood memories are fuzzy at best. But the really important moments leave an impression, even if the facts are a little skewed. What happens during your youth can forever shape your story and the person you become. One of my earliest, favorite memories was during a summer visit to my extended family in Southern California. It was the early 90’s, so I must have been 7 or 8 years old. I was staying at my Djedo’s (Serbian for grandpa) house, with its perfect orange trees perched out front that we always picked from to make fresh juice in the morning. I’ll never forget the sweet smell and taste.

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How and Why to Support Independent Artists & Photographers

www.LoveMeSimply.com - Lea Ciceraro

Aside from your wedding day or the birth of a child, it’s that time of the year again when you may be the most likely to hire a photographer. Everyone loves updated family photos, because a lot changes year to year and life is fragile. It’s definitely becoming increasingly popular to share your photo sessions online and/or put them onto cards being mailed out for the holidays. As you venture into your photo session (or maybe you already have), pretty please keep these thoughts and kind requests in mind!

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Black & White Film Photography and Reflection

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life —
and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.”
-Georgia O’Keeffe

Lea Ciceraro | www.LoveMeSimply.com

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Why the Daily Photo Challenge / 365 Project / Photo-a-Day Assignment Isn’t For Everyone (and my issues with oversharing in an oversaturated digital world)

I know there are a lot of people who are really into these “projects.” I have friends who are. This is not a diss on you! I love seeing all of your lovely photos and I love when you commit to something and follow through (if it actually is meaningful to you to do so). And if you’re doing something like photographing your child every single day, I do see a lot of value in that because our precious babes grow up so quickly (side note: I’m participating in a film challenge that involves using just one roll in one sitting to photograph your child once a month and I’m so excited about the group of photographers also involved in this community– a manageable and fun learning experience)!

This post, however, is all about what I personally learned after intentionally setting out to take at least one photo per day myself for the last month.

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show me your heart

Growing up, I was definitely one of those kids who easily gave in to peer pressure. And now I’m comfortable enough in my own skin to admit it. There’s nothing wrong with that since it didn’t lead me down any destructive paths. Everything I experienced growing up, shaped who I am today. I used to want to be one of the “cool” kids (whatever that means). Sometimes it meant trying to hang out with people who only dampened my spirit, and who actually weren’t even being true to themselves. Sometimes it meant dressing in clothes that didn’t speak to my own individuality. I wanted to fit in, and not be an outcast or made fun of. Luckily, my awesome mama frequently told me to ALWAYS BE NICE TO EVERYBODY. Can’t we all just get along and be ourselves? Can we all agree to forever keep the innocent childhood enthusiasm and passion that is so contagious (that’s me in the photo below, by the way)?

 

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The Why.

When a person decides to move from creating art for personal purposes, to also creating art for others, a true artist has a real, passionate, all-or-nothing reason behind doing so. It has to be more than just to make a profit. That’s a given. For those who start a business, in the end of course they hope to make some money (and people have different reasons driving that goal as well, which I will also discuss). That’s just a result. However, there has to be more to it than that to really leave a lasting impact on this world.

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