Well, several months into blog posts and a couple years into the studio, and we're finally getting around to introducing ourselves. (And you're thinking "It's about time.") Many of our followers already know us quite well. But for those that don't, we would love for you to know a little about the people that make up Charity Jean Photography.
We feel that there's a special connection between the photographer and the story the subject wants to tell. For that reason, we hope that we can help connect with you, our reader, by sharing a little more of ourselves.
By the way, this is in no way an exhaustive list of the people that have helped make Charity Jean the success it has been so far. We definitely realize that. Thank you so much Tony Sherman, Rachel Frank, and everyone else that has had a hand in it! Thank you, thank you.
Cherith Lynn Plesscher
Occupation: Photography Business Owner/Photographer and Nurses' Aide
1. Can you give our readers a short background story of your life?
I grew up in the U.P. of Michigan and still call it home. I was home schooled and went to two different Christian schools. I spent my freshmen year of college in Wisconsin followed by two years at LSSU. I started my photography business at the end of 2011. Currently... I'm living on a prayer.
2. What are some of the things that inspire you?
The first thing that comes to mind is people, but really I think it's individual moments. Moments- when it's golden hour over a beautiful landscape. Moments- when the couple is posing for a picture, you're talking them, and you realize they are so infatuated with one another they don't even hear you. Moments- a family posing for a picture and the teenage boy lets one rip and they burst out howling in laughter. Moments- a little boy is riding on his father's shoulders and playfully covering his eyes. The moments you can't photo shop or manufacture.
3. What did you want to be when you grew up?
The answer would depend on what age I was when you asked me or what book I was reading. But for a large part of my life, I wanted to be a writer.
4. What DO you want to be when you grow up? (In other words, what would your fantasy future look like?)
Honestly, worshiper. Photographer. Wife. Mother. Writer. Adventurer.
5. What is your favorite type of photography shoot (Wedding, senior pictures, etc.)?
Yikes, I guess weddings, although I have a lot of fun with seniors, families, and kids.
Nope, I think it is weddings.
6. What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
I have successfully used three full tubes of chap stick.
7. If you could travel to any country or place on earth, where would you go and why?
Country? How about continent. Right now it's Europe. I want to see Big Ben and spot the second star to the right. Kiss the Blarney Stone in Ireland. Eat chocolate in Belgium. See the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. See Auschwitz, former Nazi concentration camp. Swim in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. See Athens, Greece, and pretend to be Russel Crow. Place a lock on Love Lock bridge and see the Mona Lisa in Paris. See the Sistine Chapel... I could go on and on.
8. Do you believe in the Lochness Monster?
Absolutely. And you probably think I am joking.
9. Do you have any creative outlets besides photography?
Yes. I like writing, restoring furniture, and I love music.
10. Do you think, as a photographer, it's important to maintain a creative element in aspects other than just behind a lens?
Yes. The more you actively you do something, the easier it is to do it. And you get better at it. To be creative is a skill in itself, and it can be applied almost anywhere. From the way you handle problems, to how you decide to decorate a room.
Corinna Joy Haller
Occupation: Registered Nurse
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. My family moved to Michigan in my early teens and I attended a Christian high school (where I graduated.) I've had at least one job almost constantly since I was 14 years old. Everything from working at a day care to a green house to a butcher shop. I attended two different colleges on my journey to earn a BSN degree in nursing. I'm married and work in an inpatient psychiatric unit. I'm the only daughter in my family and am the oldest of five kids. I have four younger brothers who are some of my best friends in the world.
2. Tell us one person you look up to artistically?
Really anyone that can pursue their niche passionately without worrying about what others think inspire me. There aren't many frontiers left in our world today. I think art is one. And I appreciate people who aren't afraid to pioneer new frontiers in art. Specifically, I think my most respected artist is J.R.R. Tolkien. He was a pioneer of the fantasy genre and we owe so many brilliant ideas and inspiring concepts to him. I never get tired of anything he did and if I need inspiration, all I have to do is pick up one of his books.
3. You had a quite a few big events happen this last year. Tell us about them?
It's going to be hard to top all the changes that I went through this year. I was interning at the psych unit that I'm working at now at the beginning of the year. I was also dating an amazing boyfriend at that time. I completed my BSN degree in April. The day I completed my final exam of my undergrad career, my boyfriend picked me up from school and proposed to me (apparently he had promised my parents quite a while before the proposal that he would wait until I was done with school to propose). A few days later I went through my graduation ceremony and became a grad nurse at my workplace instead of an intern. I passed my state boards for school about a month later. And about three months after that I married the man that is now my amazing husband. (I also finished my first novel and started working with Charity Jean Photography.) It was a bit of a whirlwind year. But I loved it!
4. Ninjas or Pirates?
Pirates. Is that even a question?
5. Name one goal you have this year?
I'm in the process of editing my first novel . I would love to finish that and ATTEMPT to publish, as well as write another.
6. What exactly do you do in Charity Jean Photography?
Anything you [Cherith] tell me to. You da boss. ;) I usually act as second photographer for weddings and big events like that. Assist any way I can for photo shoots. And I write a lot of the blog posts.
7. What is your favorite quote of the moment?
Hmmm....currently it's a quote by Ronda Rousy (she's arguably the best female UFC fighter in the world). "I'm scared all the time. You have to fear in order to have courage. I'm a courageous person because I'm a scared person."
Another one I've loved for years and years is one by C.S. Lewis. “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
8. From where do you draw your inspiration?
Other artists, my patients, every day life. I think every moment of every day can inspire us if we are looking for it. I've learned the more I try to create, the more I notice the world around me.
9. What is your favorite place in the world?
Probably the place on earth that means the most to me is the place where Chris (my husband) proposed to me. There's this little park area in our town that overlooks the river separating the U.S. from Canada. It's beautiful at night. The lights shine over the water. There's a lot of special memories for us there that started back when we first started dating. So that might be my favorite spot.
10. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
All the time. I kind of see creativity where a lot of people see insanity to begin with.
But I will see pictures or poems or...whatever, and just glance over it thinking there's just too much. Or that it doesn't have any meaning for me at that particular moment. And later I'll come back to it and it will mean something then. Maybe because I will have had a new life experience that changes my perception and I go, "Oh, I get it now." Or maybe it just had to sit in the back of my mind and brew until I come back to it and then all the pieces fell into place.
And then there's my work environment. I work with one of the most beautiful, creative population groups in the world. I can't tell you how many patients I have that could be, or are, musicians, artists, writers, and so, so much more. I see so much creativity and inspiration in my patients.
So there you have it. Hopefully you have a little snapshot of who we are and what makes us tick. Now you! We would love if you would "interview" us this week. Any questions you have for us you would like us to answer? No question is too ridiculous or difficult. Give us a challenge. Go!
Three years ago I was contemplating dropping out of school and getting into photography. It wasn’t a decision made in haste; I thought and prayed about it for a long time.
I wasn’t happy in school. I was restless, and I needed a change. After a month went by, I finally voiced my thoughts to my parents and a few friends. My parents told me to pray about it, and do what makes you happy. My friends were a little warier of it, and they had every right to be. I had a tendency to start things and never finish.
I remember coming across this quote, “You can do anything as long as you are willing to fall flat on your face.” I can’t remember where it’s from. I looked it up and couldn’t find it, but I wrote it down on a yellow sticky note and stuck it in my wallet.
One night in early December of 2011... I did it. I finally decided to drop out and get into photography, and it made me sick to my stomach. I didn’t want to waste years; I didn’t want to waste time. I most certainly DID NOT WANT TO FAIL.
When I first started out I was so… naïve. I didn’t do enough research. I definitely didn’t have the skills. I didn’t understand posing or lighting. And if I had realized how saturated the market for photography was I really don’t think I would have ever begun this adventure. I am almost glad I was ignorant because I would have always wondered.
I look at myself now, excited at the changes that have happened, and excited for the changes to come. A little overwhelmed, but excited all the same.
I am definitely not sitting here talking to you as if I am someone who has arrived. I am still currently employed full-time outside of photography. I am, however, sitting here as someone who plans on never arriving, because no matter how good you get you can always be better. I don’t care who you are.
Remember earlier when I told you about that yellow post it?
Well, it's saturated with holes from being pinned on my bulletin. Dirt and fuzzies now cling to where it used to be sticky. The ink smeared a little from my fingers rubbing across it. I remember picking it up numerous times about to throw it away because I didn’t think it was written neat enough. But I didn’t.
I have moved twice, completely forgot about it, and last week it fell out of one of my filing bins. I couldn’t believe I still had it.
“You can do anything as long as you are willing to fall flat on your face."
TO BE CONTINUED
Side note: The fashions we are about to discuss may be old news to all you sophisticated members of the civilized world. If that seems to be the case, your assessment is probably accurate. It takes about five years for our region to catch up as the fashions have to make their way to the upper peninsula of Michigan via dogsled.
Ever have one of those moments when you stop and think, "This is what the world is coming to? This is...ATTRACTIVE?!"
Us too. As a matter of fact, we had an animated discussion on this very subject several nights ago. Current fads we loathe and hope die an agonizing death as we bust out with "Auld Lang Syne." We could potentially write a book on the topic, but for the sake of time and our sanity, we decided to limit this to a list of ten.
Does this style even have an official name? It's just an awkward mouthful and...and...awkward! The essence of beauty is symmetry. And there is nothing symmetrical, beautiful, or even remotely attractive about having a bald patch on your head. It's not quirky. It's tasteless.
Sorry. This fad needs to be put away in the closet of bad decisions right next to the mullet.
Why? Just why?
Whoa, whoa. Ok, I can hear everyone rioting on this one. What's wrong with cake pops you might ask? "How dare you! They're tots adorbs!"
Here's why I have an issue with cake pops. I have yet to see a single person actually make this recipe. They're the rage. Pinterest has full boards dedicated to cake pops. Magazines and web sites are littered with recipes. Walmart has a supply section for creating your own cake pop masterpieces. Here a cake pop. There a cake pop. People love cake pops!
But no. One. Makes. Them. (Here you are about to see the depth of my over thinking habit.)
Cake pops are the epitome of perfection and good intentions. Pinterest and social media can (if used incorrectly) place a lot of pressure on good moms and people everywhere to be better, be original, be unique.
A blah, boring cake isn't good enough anymore. A labor of love isn't good enough anymore. Ohhhh no. Now instead of spreading batter in a pan, moms have to roll them into balls, poke them on sticks, and dip them in frosting goodness one at a time. How dare you give your child a cut rate 9X13!
But ain't nobody got time for that. So cake pop sticks lay in the cupboards collecting dust, and good moms everywhere feel like second rate underachievers as they simply spread batter in a pan and bake it.
While I'm sure they're delicious (and I would greatly appreciate the labors of anyone that actually had a go at them), in my mind (my mind, mind you), they epitomize the dangers of social media pressure. The cake pops aren't so much the thing that bothers me as the general concept they embody.
In my mind.
7)People who use Facebook to make an antagonizing statement, share their problems, or debate
Make a statement with your life, take your problem to the people they involve, and if you want to argue, go to an online forum where there are 100s... no. 1000s of people just like you.
6) Footie One-Piece Pajamas for Adults
5)People who complain about the people who use Facebook to make an antagonizing statement, share their problems, or debate on facebook
So let me get this straight...as a hipster, your goal is to reject all things mainstream and strike out on paths and side streams all your own. You fly the flag of originality. There's no one in the world like you. You wear thick rimmed glasses and listen to indie music because you are different! (cue emphatic applause).
No! If your goal is to be original, you tanked that mission by creating a clique and a fashion style that defines you. You're a walking controversy. If individualism is what you seek, be weird. Be original. Be you. DON'T be a hipster.
Sorry guys. This is something we just can't get behind.
3) What does the fox say
I don't have a clue why people gravitated towards the "What Does The Fox Say" video. Maybe because it is completely obscure... I don't know. I would bet money that this video will die in 2014, but I won't be surprised at the next weird video to come out.
2) Love triangles in young adult stories
Gag. Me. (And darn Stephanie Meyer who started it all.)
These complicated and endearing love triangles. The storyline is almost always a female protagonist being pursued most fervently by two handsome, strapping, and much-sought-after-by-the-other-ladies male specimens (while all this is going on they may run around and do some other stuff). The poor female just can't make up her mind and, of course, has to test the waters to finally be able to make up her mind in the end. This causes painful and glorious tension between these three characters which sometimes leads to a spectacular fight between the two men. And although she may be able to finally settle on one, the snubbed male she does not choose still remains a part of her life (often referred to as her best friend) and pops in and out to cause continued tension between our female protagonist and her man.
There are at least three huge movie trilogies that are out right now showcasing this plot, but I promise there will be more. I can think of at least four more off the bat that already have contracts in Hollywood (I read a lot of YA fiction).
I am aware this theme existed in classic literature long before Ms. Meyer graced library shelves with her books. I get that ("Gone With the Wind" and "The Great Gatsby", anyone?). But Ms. Meyer stumbled onto a subgenre that is essentially a cash cow in YA fiction. The writing doesn't have to necessarily be good *cough* as long as this element is in play.
Why don't we like this? Because it boils down to human arrogance and the need to be adored by many. The theme feeds the animal inside of us that desires admiration and a fan base. The story plays out as a confused and suffering heroine attempting to decide who she really loves. Translation: It's basically the high school cheerleader who needs to be chased by the football team. If you can't decide between the two men, you shouldn't be with either (Jezebel). We can't wait to see the marriages of the generation of young girls influenced by heroines who couldn't commit and be faithful to one man.
1) Shocking People
I think its safe to say that Miley Cyrus shocked America in 2013. You can also quote me as I say it is the fad that will never DIE (Madonna, Janet Jackson...), except for those classy people that have a set morals.
Ladies, DON'T TWERK. Save your future self the embarrassment. Young ladies, things that get you instant attention while jeopardizing your integrity are not worth it. Picture the morning after as you watch the video the guy standing next you took... and was kind enough to post on Facebook. And tag you in. How thoughtful.
And you think to yourself, "Crap, I didn't know that jiggled."
We looked into our crystal balls and had some fun making predictions for the year 2014.
1) I think records are coming back. I have waited 8 years for vinyl to come full circle.
2) I think Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson is going to start dabbling in politics...and eventually run for president.
3) I remember 9 years ago when everyone had side-swept bangs, I think bangs in general are coming back.
4) Social media fasts will be the next rage.
5) I think the brand "Xersion" is going to get big.
6) I think balloon animals will take off and be the next cool hobby.
7) The color lavender or coral is going to be hot.
8) Tulips. Will. Be. Huge.
What about you guys? What's going to be the next hot commodity? Disagree with any of the fads we dished on? Hit us with it! Go.