I am a traveling, sunshine-loving, picture-taking, food-and-wine-loving, movie-watching, family-loving, spider-hating, animal-loving, people-watching, pizza-loving, big-hearted, happy lady with a passion for photography and an eye for the unique.
My favorite photography-related memories are:
-Growing up watching slide shows of my Grandmother’s travels
-Working with under privileged children in Honduras
-Exploring amazing Thailand with Grandma Rose

The Life Legacy Project has a logo and I am so excited about it!

The best part of this project is that it is a community project. There is no way I could do everything I want to do all by myself. This journey so far has really opened my eyes to the fact that anything is possible through my community. It amazes me how people I have never even met will step up and offer their time and talents to be part of something that is bigger then themselves. As I mentioned in my last post, Casey Sjogren has come onto the project as a videographer and has been amazing! I barely mentioned the idea of a logo and within a day or two he had his brother on it and done with it and it turned out better then I could imagine! I just love it!

Did you know that the #1 fear in America is public speaking? Public speaking is above death!

This past Thursday I got to go beyond my fear and speak to the staff at Garden Court, somewhere around 60 people. I definitely had butterflies in my stomach but I just kept reminding myself that this project is important and if not me then who? I shared the vision of the project, what I have accomplished so far, and then I opened up the possibility for all of them to get involved. Many took questionnaires and couldn’t wait to get the stories of their favorite residents. I am incredibly inspired by the people that are willing and excited to get involved.

Before the meeting I sat down with Bob and Shirley King, a couple which are happy to be part of the project. I spent 90 minutes with them listening to their life story. Bob did most of the talking but would look to his wife of 65 years if he couldn’t remember a name or a piece of the story. She knew all the answers he was looking for and was quick to fill in the gaps. It was wonderful to listen to the journey of their lives but what I was touched by the most was how they are a team, a unit, one hell of a partnership and they both know it and acknowledge each other for it! I am really looking forward to photographing this beautiful couple.

What’s coming up this week?

1. Finalizing who will be the models for the 12 main images.
2. Contacting locations and enrolling them in the possibility of this project and getting on board.
3. Meeting with Casey Sjogren to start brainstorming how we can put together a video that will tell the story of this project.

What has been most exciting and a little bit scary while doing this project is letting it unfold and not trying to control every aspect. This is something I am working on in my everyday life and The Life Legacy Project has given me a great platform to grow in this area. Let’s see what this week will open up?

Starting a blog has been on my list of things to do for a while now. I am finally doing it! One big reason why I finally took the time to take on this very confusing blog thing is because I am working on a special project that I want to share with as many people as possible. I also want to have a record of how the project unfolds, so here we are.

The Life Legacy Project was born out of my participation in the final stage of the Curriculum to Living at Landmark Education called the Self Expression and Leadership Program. We were asked to take on a project that moved, touched, and inspired us. As I started thinking about this I knew I wanted to do something with photography and I also wanted to do something with the elderly. I believe we, as people are great at celebrating the beginning of life but sometimes lack in celebrating the end of life.

It took me two and half weeks from the start of this program to find the exact project that moved, touched, and inspired me. I am thankful for my mom, the director of Garden Court Retirement Community and staff for giving me the idea of my project that has now grown into something very exciting.

So, you probably want to know what the project is?

My project is to create a calendar that will be given as a Christmas gift to all the residents at Garden Court. The calendar will feature photos of the residents in a way that celebrates their lives.

In an effort to get related to the residents and find our models we sent out a questionnaire that asked, “What has been your major contribution in life? It could be your occupation/career, interest/hobby, or any other role in life. Examples: Teacher, Nurse, Mother, Military, Artist, Craftsman.” A few residents filled them out quickly and were eager to share about their lives but the majority just were not sure about this photo project. Yesterday, I was at Garden Court working on another photo assignment and after I finished I started talking to some of the residents as they passed through the lobby. These few conversations were a huge contribution to my life. Their stories are incredible and I cannot wait to share them!

I am so excited to continue to talk to the residents and work with the staff of Garden Court to create something special for these wonderful people. I am also looking forward to building stronger relationships with a few photographers that are also going to help with the project. I will include more about them as this blog moves onward.

As part of this education I have learned how to create new ways of being for my life and myself. Today the possibility I created for myself was bold conversation. I view this blog as one of those bold conversations. I had to give up the idea that I had in my head that I can’t do a blog because writing is not my best attribute. So here I am being ok with being exactly who I am and sharing my project and myself openly and honestly. I hope you continue to follow we on this journey and if you feel touched, moved, and inspired by what you read here please don’t hesitate to contact me and get involved!

The next action I am taking to create this project is holding an all staff meeting on Thursday the 22nd. This is something I would not have done in the past. Talking in front of a group of people is something that makes me very nervous. What I realize is that fear does not need to stop me and I don’t have to do everything right. The possibility of this project is too large to let fear get in the way. I will let you all know how it goes . . .

This is my very first post so please bear with me. I am not totally sure how to do this. I am learning as I go . . .

Amanda and Jeff are a very special couple. They are dedicated to their beliefs and each other. I hope as you look through these images you see the incredible love that these two share. It is pure, innocent and real. I wish these two the most amazing life together.