Monday, May 25, 2015

Self-Portrait | May 2015

I usually don't title my self-portraits (basically because I'm just not that creative!), but if I were to title this one my title would be "Saying Goodbye".

You know how every woman has that one thing that they despise about themselves? That thing that they would choose to change about themselves if given the chance? For me that thing is my hair. Hands down my worst feature ever! I've lamented about my hair in a self-portrait a few years ago, and I'm right back in the same place: completely sick of it and trying to decide what to do with it.

For the vast majority of my adult life I have kept my hair length somewhere between my chin and my shoulders, and kept my hair color blonde. I've always liked it like that, but I've ventured away from my usual here and there just to spice things up when I get bored. But I always end up going back to the same familiar style that just feels like 'me'.

A few years ago, I decided that I needed to grow my hair out. Don't ask me why. Every. single. time. I allow my hair to get long I realize just how much I hate it and end up cutting it back off again. In my head I envision long, thick gorgeous waves. Instead I get a thin, stringy mop. I probably should have cut my hair shorter a long time ago, but life got busy and stressful and finances were tight and I kept it long because it was easy and inexpensive. I also can't seem to find a hairstylist here who can get my hair the blonde color that I like, so I gave up and started coloring it myself close to my natural color for the same reasons.

I've decided that I just can't stand it any longer and I've made an appointment with a new hairstylist to get it cut. I'm hoping that in addition to a new hairstyle, the haircut will help me start feeling like me again, which is something I've really been struggling to do since moving to Arizona. While I'm sure I'll still have a long way to go, I'm hoping that cutting my hair back into a more familiar style will be a good start towards regaining what has been missing from my world lately.

So for this month's self-portrait, I decided to take one last photo with my long hair before I cut it off soon. Hopefully it will serve as a memory of why I should never. never. never. grow it out past my shoulders again! If you know me IRL and I mention that I'm considering growing my hair out, please force me to look at this photo and tell me to reconsider!


Did you miss some of my past self-portraits?  Clicking here will take you to all of my self-portrait blog posts. Clicking here will take you to my self-portrait Facebook album.

Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes.
Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2015 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Monday, April 27, 2015

Self-Portrait | April 2015

We have still been slowly working on turning our house into our home, one small step at a time. While this month's project doesn't do much to change the appearance of our house, it is something that has been long over due! I can't remember when our old mattress was purchased but I think it was back in 2001 or 2002. While it may have been a high quality mattress at the time, let me tell you... it still wasn't designed to last for 13 or 14 years and my lower back has been letting me know about it! I'd finally reached my tolerance limit of waking up stiff and sore, so we decided to splurge on a new mattress. It was delivered a few days ago, and the past few nights have been bliss!

Here I am all smiles, with our new mattress...


It's amazing what a good night's sleep will do for your attitude and outlook. (It's also sad what makes you happy when you're an adult!)

Did you miss some of my past self-portraits?  Clicking here will take you to all of my self-portrait blog posts. Clicking here will take you to my self-portrait Facebook album.

Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes.
Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2015 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Snippets + Snapshots | March 2015

Snippets + Snapshots from the past month...
crazy cat | new office furniture | seat thieves | ahh... memories | another seat thief | sick, yuck | painting kevin's office | celebrating dad's birthday | crashed out


If you want to see all of my Instagram photos, you can check them out online here or search for me on the app - my user name is michelewhitacre!

Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes.
Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2015 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Monday, March 30, 2015

Self-Portrait | March 2015

This month has been a doozy!

The defining part of it for me was getting my butt kicked by some sort of horrific illness that I self-diagnosed as the flu (since the last time I was that sick was when I had the flu 8-9 years ago and this felt the same).  I spent the better part of two weeks crashed out on the couch trying to fight my way back to heath.  I even missed a couple days of work. I probably should have missed a few more, but it's hard to pay those bills without getting up off the couch.  Even now I am still trying to get rid of a lingering cough that has taken hold and just won't let up.

I spent the remainder of the month working on painting Kevin's office and doing other random house updates, since my parents are here for the winter and willing to help us with some improvements and changes we want to make.  We were on a time crunch trying to get everything finished before they leave early next month, and before one of my old college roommates (Jen) came to visit.

This month's self-portrait probably should have been one of me crashed out on the couch, but quite frankly while I was sick I was too wiped out to even think about setting up to take a photo and recreating it after the fact would have induced too many bad memories.  A runner up option could have been a photo of me painting or doing work on the house, but after last month's image that seemed a little redundant.

So, instead I opted to use one of the photos of myself taken during Jen's trip to Phoenix when we went to visit the gorgeous Botanical Gardens.  Even though Jen's visit only covered the last few days of the month, it was the most pleasant part of it - hands down - and definitely the part that I want to remember going forward!

So, I give you March's 'self-portrait' (which is a term I'm using very loosely here, as Jen actually took this photo of me)...


I have to admit that I have been feeling uninspired with my self-portraits lately and I have been getting ridiculously lazy with them in recent months - resorting to cell phone shots that happened to be captured somewhere along the way instead of taking true self-portraits.

I've been so busy recently that I blink and another month is coming to a close and I can't quite face the fact that it's time to brainstorm a new self-portrait idea once again.  There are some months where it takes everything I have to toss up a photo of myself and I wonder why I ever started this project.  But when I think about quitting, I can't bring myself to do it.  I know I would end up angry at myself and filled with regret.

I really do love having these monthly memories of my life since relocating to Arizona!  So even on the months that I really, really don't feel like going all out with my self-portrait I force myself to at least post something - which has more or less been my new mantra since moving here!  Instead of my usual perfectionist tendencies, the past few years I've been leaning more towards the life motto of "Something is better than nothing!"

Did you miss some of my past self-portraits?  Clicking here will take you to all of my self-portrait blog posts. Clicking here will take you to my self-portrait Facebook album.

Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes.
Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2015 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Snippets + Snapshots | February 2015

Snippets + Snapshots from the past month...
celebrating the birthday boy | new bar stools! | lexi snuggles | picking paint | decisions, decisions | snuggle bugs | new paint and furniture | new door hardware | valentine's day celebrations | love that sweet zoe face | more painting decisions | barristers ball | win big, honey!


If you want to see all of my Instagram photos, you can check them out online here or search for me on the app - my user name is michelewhitacre!

Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes.
Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2015 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Self-Portrait | February 2015

As I mentioned in last month's self-portrait post, one of our goals for 2015 is to begin working on our house.  So my February was consumed with painting two of our upstairs rooms.  The first half of the month was spent picking a color for our guest bedroom and painting it, and the second half was spent doing the same for my office.  I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of painting, but I love the results of freshly painted walls in colors that we selected!

So here I am doing a little final touch up on my office before my new office furniture is delivered...


I know. I know.  You can't see the color of the walls in a black and white photo. You'll just have to stay tuned for next month's Snippets + Snapshots post to see the color I selected.

Did you miss some of my past self-portraits?  Clicking here will take you to all of my self-portrait blog posts. Clicking here will take you to my self-portrait Facebook album.

Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes.
Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2015 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Heba + Walid + Jad's Sneak Peek

I work with Heba at my day job, and when she shared the big news that she was expecting baby number two this fall, I offered to take some photos in honor of the special occasion. The session ended up being a combination of pregnancy reveal and Jad's two year old portraits, with a few family portraits thrown in for good measure.  So please allow me to introduce you to Heba, Walid, and Jad, and share their adorable photos.

First, a few of the adorable Jad, who just turned 2 years old at the end of January.  This first one is one of my favorites.  I just can't get enough of that amazing light streaming through the trees behind him....



I ADORE this photo of Heba! Gorgeous!...


Sweetness...


There's nothing like the love between mother and son...


Is Jad adorable or what?...


I just love these next two, as well.  So much love...



Announcing the big news!...



A few of the family....


Another favorite!...


Heba is so beautiful, and she has absolute NO IDEA how stunning she is!  I've been dying to get her in front of my camera for months.  I just knew she would be a dream to photograph, and I was right!...



The big birthday boy!...



How cute is this?!...


And this?!...



The growing family...



So cute!...


And a few more of Jad...



Heba, It was a blast taking these photos and getting to know your family a little better during your session.  Congrats again!

Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes.
Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2015 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Snippets + Snapshots | January 2015

Snippets + Snapshots from the past month...
hubby's new car | celebrating the big purchase | double trouble | record lows | book club read | getting spoiled | curly girl life | embracing the curls | visiting with friends | first trip to rainforest cafe | aquarium fun | excitement in the neighborhood | more double trouble | trying something new | the artists | ta-da | night out at benihana


If you want to see all of my Instagram photos, you can check them out online here or search for me on the app - my user name is michelewhitacre!

Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes.
Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2015 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Self-Portrait | January 2015

Even though I have decided to close my photography business, I'm stilling going to be taking and sharing photos on my blog. One of the things that I intend on continuing is my monthly self-portraits.  Perhaps my desire to continue to take and share these photos of myself every month may appear a bit narcissistic, but I assure you that isn't my intent.  Far from it in fact.  Quite frankly, I usually see the photos of my self every month and, after cringing at my appearance, vow to lose some weight, update my wardrobe, and/or change my hair style or color before my next self-portrait.  Of course, I never do.

What this monthly self-portrait project really is is a combination of forced discipline to follow through with something that is often a challenge for me combined with a way to document my life.  I took my very first self-portrait immediately after relocating to Phoenix, and I truly love having these posts to look back on and remember where I was and how much has changed over the past few years.  I only wish I had started this project earlier and had some posts from my life back in Indiana!

Anyway, enough babbling.  Let's jump into this month's photo, shall we?

The beginning of 2015 has me breathing a big huge sigh of relief that a new year is upon us, and we are leaving 2014 in the dust.  This past year brought with it the final steps in the very long process of uprooting our lives and moving across the country for Kevin to attend law school.  Now that we have bought a new house in Arizona and Kevin has found a job, we are ready to put the holding pattern of the past four years behind us and begin focusing on the future.

In the spirit of looking ahead, we have spent the month of January doing some pretty intense goal planning for 2015 and beyond.  Not necessarily your typical new year's resolutions, but more just lists of things that we want to accomplish this year: financial thing we want to achieve, trips we want to take, plans for updates to our house, etc. (One of which is to turn my makeshift office into a real office complete with freshly painted walls and A REAL DESK!)

So, here I am working on my lists and goals for 2015...


Did you miss some of my past self-portraits?  Clicking here will take you to all of my self-portrait blog posts. Clicking here will take you to my self-portrait Facebook album.

Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes.
Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2015 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Monday, January 5, 2015

Big Announcement: MWP is Going Out of Business

It is with very mixed emotions that I write this post, and I suspect it is going to be a long one, so you might want to grab yourself a glass of wine and make yourself comfortable.

If you're all settled in for the long haul, here we go...

I'm feeling an overwhelming need to start this post from the beginning, and since it's my blog I guess there's nothing stopping me from doing just that.  So, back to the beginning we go:

About a billion years ago (ok, maybe more like 11 years ago), I very briefly dated someone.  A few months later the best friend and wife of this someone moved into a house across the street from mine.  One day this couple saw me working in my yard and came over to introduce themselves and explain that we shared a mutual acquaintance.

Fast forward a few years, the couple had a baby and the wife bought a DSLR camera and started a blog to document her son's life.   At the time, I was very deeply entrenched in the blogging world and her blog quickly became one of the many that I followed at the time.  As it turned out, the wife was crazy talented with that camera of hers and before she knew it a senior portrait photography business had exploded for her, and her little ole blog about her son's milestones turned into a hugely successful, and widely read, photography business blog.  I fell in love with her style of photography and continued to follow her blog regularly as one of her many faithful readers.

Once again, fast forward a few years, and I found myself feeling bored and restless with my life, and filled with an overwhelming need to just do something different. Only I had no idea what that something different should be exactly.  So, I ended up enrolling in classes for an associates degree program at a local university.  I needed some elective credits, and I opted to take a photography class.

During my class, I had weekly shooting assignments, one of which was to take portraits.  While I enjoyed the entire class, it wasn't until the portrait assignment that a true passion for photography grabbed hold of me. I honestly think that all those years of following the wife's photography blog sort of gave me 'an eye' for portrait photography, and I instantly felt at home behind the camera while photographing other individuals.  When I turned in that particular assignment, my professor and fellow classmates were all stunned to learn that I was showing them my first attempt at taking portraits. They all encouraged me to pursue it farther, and I did.  I began taking portraits of every single person I could beg or bribe into sitting for me.  It didn't take very long and I was hooked!

Of course, I would have to fall in love with an area of photography that is impossible to do without other people involved.  I knew that taking portraits was what I really wanted to do, but I didn't see a way to continue down the portrait photographer path without having a photography businesses, so I immediately decided to start Michele Whitacre Photography.

At the time, starting my business was the best thing I could have done.  It renewed my passion and excitement for life as I became involved in learning something new.  It occupied hours (and hours and hours and hours and hours) of my time while my husband was busy completing his undergraduate degree, and later when he was consumed with law school.  It introduced me to a ton of wonderful and amazing new clients (some of whom turned into great friends), especially when I didn't know a soul after relocating to Phoenix. It got me out of my comfort zone and got me testing my limits as I taught myself new aspects of photography.  And quite frankly, it taught me a lot about myself.

Part of knowing myself, means knowing when it is time for a change.  As it tends to do while we aren't looking, my life (and consequently my needs) have drastically changed over the past 5 years.  The reasons that kept me moving forward with my photography business in the past no longer make sense with my current life.  So, I've made the incredibly difficult decision to close my photography business effective immediately.  I have been struggling with this decision for the past 6 months or so, and even now I'm not 100% sure that I am making the right one. But that's the way life goes, I suppose.

So now what?

The answer is that I really just don't know.  I do have a few sessions and events that I have already committed to during 2015, and of course, I will be honoring those commitments.  I'm sure I will be shooting some portraits and events in the future for family and very close friends.  I'll probably continue to shoot some fun concept sessions when the mood strikes and I can convince someone to model for me.  And I'm really looking forward to stretching myself and my photography skills in new ways.  There are a lot of other areas of photography I've been interested in learning more about, but just never had the time.  I'm also very interested in sharing what I know with beginner photographers, so I'm considering exploring my options for doing some teaching in the future.

While I have decided to close my photography business, nothing has changed regarding my love of photography.  I still have every intention of continuing to take photos, and I will be sharing the photos I take on my blog just like I always have.  (Although, I may end up closing down my business Facebook Page - the jury is still out on that one.)  So, I hope you will continue to join me for the ride.

As always, a HUGE thank you to every single individual who has been a part of my photography journey the past 5 years.  It has been an honor and a pleasure sharing in your lives, and capturing special moments and memories for you all.  You all rock!

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2015 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC
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