Her blog had me at "Shoes" and has continued to entertain me with her absolutely honest thoughts of being a wife, a mommy AND a photographer. I even followed her to Wordpress when she moved there, traitor! But its not just her thoughts that are worth checking out, she takes AMAZING photographs and if I didn't live so far, I probably would hire her to take pictures of the twins every other month... so Jeff and my bank account are probably happy about the distance. Here she is:
Andrea here from "In Her Shoes and Through Her Lens". Long title, hey? Well, I'm a photographer and I love shoes so there ya go! :) I'm a wife to a firefigher (no, the novelty has not worn off!) and mama to two kiddos - Eli who is 2 1/2 and Gabriella who just turned a year. I'm a stay-at-home-mom who runs her business when the babes nap and while my days are crazy and hectic, I love every minute of it!
Which do you enjoy buying more: Shoes, Cameras or Books?
HARDEST QUESTION EVER!!! I guess I'd have to say cameras. I get a rush out of buying all of them but there's nothing like purchasing a new piece of equipment that will take countless amazing images for years to come. I'll never say no to a new pair of shoes though ;)
What would you tell yourself about being a Mommy if you were able to go back three years in time?
I would tell myself, "You will be pushed to your limit in every way possible. You will love like you never loved before. Get angry like you've never been angry before. Become frustrated like you've never been frustrated before. But it's all worth it. You know you're going to love your kids but you will not truly comprehend that love until you feel it with every fiber of your being. Also, don't be surprised if your perspective on things change. You will consider things that never crossed your mind before - natural remedies, new eating habits, parenting styles. You'll never be the same person...in a good way though".
Best memory so far of your adorable Eli and beautiful Gabriella?
Ah, there are so many. It was a bittersweet moment, but I'd have to say the last time I nursed Eli will always be with me. We had a long, painful journey and I made it to 7 1/2 months but that last time was still really sad for me. I cried so hard that night. I don't want to hold on to that sadness but I do want to remember that special bond we had. With Gabriella, I think I'll always smile thinking about how she interacts and laughs with her older brother. I can't explain the joy of watching these two grow up together. I grew up as the only child so it's really amazing for me to see sibling interaction.
What's your secret to losing your baby weight? Because you know: I hate you (with love!)
Hehe....oh, it takes a TON of discipline. I really wish I could say I was one of those mamas who saw the baby weight disappear with no effort but that's far from the truth. Like most people, I adore pizza, chocolate and wine and it takes a lot of self control to say no to those things. The majority of my time I spend eating Paleo, which is basically food in it's natural form. I don't eat bread, beans or other processed foods. I track my food intake using an app called My Fitness Pal and try to keep my carb intake under 20% of my daily diet. So that means I eat a lot of protein and healthy fats - eggs, coconut oil, grass fed beef, avocado (I LOVE avocado...I eat one every day!) and nuts. Honestly, it isn't a "diet" to me...it's how I always intent to eat regardless if I want to lose weight or not. I can really feel a difference in my mental alertness, energy level and mood. I believe this is how we as humans were intended to eat and I can't see myself or my family straying away from this way of life. Don't get me wrong though...you WILL see me eating pizza and sipping on a glass of wine occasionally ;)
Being married to a twin: weird or cool?
At first I was kind of freaked out by the idea. I had this horrible fear that I would go to my then -boyfriend's house and accidentally put the moves on his brother! (They were roommates). But within a couple weeks of dating, I realized that while they might look alike, they are such different people! Today, it barely registers in my mind that they are so similar in looks and I'm totally cool with it.
Favorite TV show?
Of all time? Friends! Currently, I'm obsessed with The Bachelor (when it's on), Sister Wives and Modern Family. Random, I know.
Vampires or werewolfs?
Ooooh, dang, Team Edward all the way! Did you see Breaking Dawn Part 2?! He's so hot, I can't stand it ;)
How did you get into Photography?
I actually worked for 5 years at a photography studio throughout high school and college. But this was one of those places with the dorky backgrounds and weird poses. At the time I did mostly administrative work and album designing but I found myself studying the images my boss would take at weddings. I never really gave a thought to becoming a photographer though, even after I purchased my first DSLR. But I will say that when I bought my first camera, I swore to myself that I would learn everything about it and not be one of those people who thought the camera did all the work. I simply cannot tell you how many hours/days/weeks I have put into studying, learning and practicing since 2008. My first client inquiries actually came to me...I never sought them out, which was probably the push I needed. After I became restless in corporate America, got sidetracked off another potential career path and had the urge to be my own boss, I started a legitimate photography business. I feel corny saying this but I truly believe this is the path I'm supposed to be on, regardless of the ups and downs it has.
What inspires you the most in your work?
I know the PC thing would be to say my children but that's not true. They hate the camera right now! One day I know they will be the reason I pull my camera out but right I get inspired by so many other things - a piece of old furniture, a stunning sunset over a field, a couple in love, a newborn baby, raw emotion of new parents or a couple in love. I think when I go to a photoshoot and see a family so in love with each other, I'm inspired to be the best photographer I can.
Tell us about your photography business!
What else can I add? I suppose you should come on over to my site, http://www.andreaweissphotography.com/ and check out my work. Right now I work mostly with newborns, young children and families but recently found a strong love for high school seniors. My husband encouraged me to try it out and at first I didn't think it was something I wanted to pursue. But I'm so glad I listened because working with teenagers, laughing with them and hearing all about their future goals really makes my day! Plus, they take direction pretty well so I get like 300 amazing images from one session! That's quite a treat after working with 2 year olds the majority of the time ;) To end, I'll say that being your own boss is quite the personal journey. At first you work simply to get known, then you work to make money so you can afford equipment and classes, but then you find yourself at a point that you work because you LOVE it and you LOVE the feeling you get when you make a client happy. Every time I send off a final disk to a client, I think about how much they trusted me to capture their family's memories at this point in time and I'm incredibly humbled and honored. I'm blessed to do what I do.
Thank You Andrea!
Lets see.... Discipline? that explains it..., Friends? My number one favorite too, Did I see Breaking Dawn 2? Umm, is the Pope Catholic? YES, and it totally had me going ;)