Behind the Lens

 

Hello friends!! Chrystal here! I think it’s so important to get to know your photographer on some sort of personal level to make sure they are a good fit for you . . . especially your wedding photographer! After all you are trusting them with capturing your love story, AND you have to spend the entire day with them!!

SO here is goes –

I am the owner and photographer at Chrystal Photography. When I am not working, you can find me spending time with my husband and 3 awesome kiddos. Two teenagers and a 4 yr old – It’s LOUD, and super fun!

Some things I love: a good cup of coffee – just black sometimes with a shot or two of espresso, a clean house – it’s scary how much I love the smell of Pine-Sol and bleach, reading, writing, 90’s hip hop – or as my kids call it “the oldies” LOL, the beach, scavenger hunts on long hikes, Scrabble – I’m the QUEEN, and vacations – take me anywhere.

Some things about my biz: I am an NEPA photographer just 10 miles outside of Scranton, specializing in weddings. My images capture a mix of candid and traditional portraits, sprinkled with my artistic edge and love for photo journalism. I’m inspired by straight lines and modern designs, genuine moments and all the details….it’s all about the details people!!

Let’s grab a cup of coffee together and talk about your upcoming wedding or much needed family photos! http://www.ChrystalPhotography.com

How Would You React?

A good friend of mine sent this short story to me.  I hope it brings a clarity and deep meaning to you as it did for me.

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Potatoes, Eggs and Coffee Beans

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He took the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.

Turning to her, he asked. “What do you see?” “Potatoes, eggs and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer”, he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft.

He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity – the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which one are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

The moral of the story:

In life, things happen around us, and things happen to us. The only thing that truly matters is your choice of how you react to it and what you make of it. Learn, adapt and choose to make the best of each experience.

I don’t know about you . . . but I want to be the coffee beans

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“For the highs and lows and moments between, mountains and valleys and rivers and streams, for where you are now and where you will go, for “I’ve always known” and “I told you so”, for “nothing is happening” and “all has gone wrong”, it is here in this journey you will learn to be strong — you will get where you’re going, landing where you belong.”

-Morgan Harper Nichols

 

 

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What is Success?

About a month ago as I was sitting at my mom’s house for dinner a conversation was started around the topic of being successful.  It was interesting, surprising even, to hear how different my siblings thoughts and opinions were as we each defined success in our personal lives.  The egos began taking over the conversation!  Money and material things, and meaningful relationships were top on the list of things that would make us feel successful.  Days and now weeks have gone by, and I’m still thinking about that conversation!  What is success?  What counts in my life?

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Webster defines “success” as favorable or desired outcome; also: the attainment of wealth, favor or eminence.  Ugh, my heart sank a little when I read the dictionary’s definition.  I wasn’t thrilled about the “attainment of wealth, favor or eminence” part.  So that’s it!?!  Only the rich and famous, the business owners, the big shots can have success?  What about the rest of us?  Is is really about “things” and “achievements”?

Here’s what I found:

Success is not the key to happiness; happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful    – Albert Schweitzer

Yes, THIS is it; not “things”!  Money, business, beauty, fame, relationships are all fleeting.  We all know that ultimately everything changes or ends at some point.  Money is gained and lost, businesses shut down, beauty and talents fade, and loved ones pass away.  Things that we deemed perfect and brought us a feeling of happiness yesterday will either suddenly or gradually diminish.  And then what?  If we are searching for something truly satisfying and fulfilling – something more permanent we need to see through what is fleeting.  Nothing in this world will ever satisfy you beyond a temporary quench of thirst.  Feelings of happiness come and go, but those who have found inner peace and tranquility can find JOY and CONTENTMENT in any circumstance of life.  You see, true happiness, JOY is a state of mind.   Truly joyful, successful people do not cling to the objects or relationships that contribute to their success because they are aware that every situation they are in is impermanent. Instead, they are content and have inner peace which in turn generates joy; and joy gives birth to success.

Happiness [JOY] isn’t having what you want, it’s wanting what you have   – Hyman Schachtel

 

 

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Spreading Seeds of Happiness

every person carries the seed of enlightenment within  ~eckhart tolle

 

Wow, it’s been a year since I’ve posted anything on my blog.  Again time has flown by, and I have managed to busy my life with so many things as we all tend to do.  I originally started my blog as another avenue for advertisement in my photography business.  I needed more business traffic, so my goal was to add more SEO’s and beef up my internet exposure.  It was purely another JOB . . . another daunting task that I added to my already overflowing plate!  In the very beginning I was determined to blog a photo a day.  That was next to impossible for me to do!  What was I thinking?!?!  I made it to “Day 107”  before I completely stopped blogging all together.  Months went by and I realized how much I missed blogging.  I actually LOVE to write.  My grandparents, who happen to be my “biggest blog fans”, also mentioned to me that they missed reading my blog posts.  I didn’t even think anyone was reading them!!!  So again, I started to write. BUT this time, I decided to give myself some wiggle room.  Instead of blogging everyday, I would commit to blogging once a week!  I mean, who can’t find time to sit once a week and post a blog!?!  Umm, the answer would be ME!  Yup, I failed again to post one simple blog per week!  Ugh, what is my deal!?!  Here’s what the deal was – – – I had placed my love for writing on my TO DO LIST and was still treating it like a J. O. B.

Well, it’s time to fix that!

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I want to treat my blog as a mental getaway . . . a retreat.  I want to inspire and spread seeds of happiness through photos, and everyday life.  I will not commit to posting everyday or even every week, but I will commit to sharing things that I love and learn through my journey on this “crazy train” called life.

My blog will not always be focused on my photography.  I want to add in more of me and what I cherish. Beside my career I have a love for family, finding happiness and peace, cooking (not so much baking), reading, running (more of a love/hate relationship), the number 23, straight edges and clean uncluttered spaces, small spoons, and the sun on my face. I know it’s a ridiculous mishmash of a list, but these are some of the little treasures in life that bring me joy.   I believe we should do something everyday that makes us smile . . . and when you can share that joy with someone else, it’s even more rewarding.

 

 

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Happy Memorial Day!  Spend time today with people who make you happy.  And don’t ever take for granted the freedoms we Americans have been blessed with.

 

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Easter 2017

 

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I hope you had a wonderful Easter this year with your family and friends.  Between celebrating our Saviors resurrection, eating too much candy, dying eggs with my kids and taking lots of adorable pictures of children with my model bunny “Flopper” and his chick friends I’ve been keeping myself busy!  Take a look at some of the fun shots we got . . .

 

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Yay for Spring!

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Stella’s First Birthday!

It’s been a little over a week since my last post, and with all this snow that just got dumped in North Eastern Pennsylvania, I’ve literally been snowed in my house for 3 days AAAANND I’ve found some spare time to squeeze in a blog!!  Lately I have found myself photographing so many first birthdays!!  February and March must have been popular birthday months in 2016!

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One year old Stella is all about FUN!  This kid is FULL of personality!  She had me cracking up with the faces she would make for the camera!!  She’s a daredevil, she claps, waves bye-bye and gives kisses!  But, best of all . . . she’s already mastered eating cake with no hands!!!

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My Leap Year Baby

Today, on February 28th we celebrate my third baby’s birthday!!  But today is NOT his birthday . . . tomorrow is . . . well kind of!!  Jaxon was born on the Leap Year Day last year – February 29th, 2016!  So you see, he won’t really turn ONE until he is FOUR . . . according to the calendar at least!  Today he is wearing a shirt that says Party LIKE it’s my birthday! hahaha  AND who better to invite to a smash cake birthday photo session then your stuffed FROG FRIEND!

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This kid!!  He has been nothing but laughter in our house!  His brother and sister fight over him, AND he enjoys the attention!!  He has 6 teeth, he claps his hands, blows kisses, waves hello, dances, climbs the steps, and has just started taking a few steps on his own.  He’s growing too fast, just like all kids do.  I am so blessed to have been given these three beautiful healthy kids.  I love being their mom!

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Happy Birthday To My Little Leapster

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The big ONE!

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I love photographing first birthdays!  I photographed miss Ashlynn when she was just a few days old and now look at her!  She stands up, laughs, claps her hands, waves hello and dances!!  First birthdays these days are all about letting your one year old “smash” into their own personal birthday cake!  It’s all about getting those fun messy pictures of your child enjoying their first sweet tastes of sugar!

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 . . . . But what if your one year old doesn’t like cake!!!

well, we decided to just go with it!!  Happy Birthday sweetie!

 

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A Mother’s Day session . . . with a cherry on top

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On Saturday I had fun with an ice-cream-loving mom and her son!  I love when my clients want a “different” photo shoot!  When you make the session fun and light-hearted it’s easier to get those REAL smiles that mom wants to see from her kids.  On picture day I tend to see a mom who barely made it to the session on time, dragging her husband along and the kids are already bouncing off the walls because they are so excited about the “surprise” that mom is bribing them with IF they listen and smile for the pictures!!  AND, so many times bribing the kids turns into threatning the kids and both parents end up losing their patience hoping and praying that the photographer got just ONE good shot!  When my clients look at that framed family photo they have in their living room I don’t want them to remember the stress and frustrations of that day . . . I want my families to remember the FUN they had, the LOVE they felt and the LAUGHS they shared as a photographer captured their family being REAL!! That is what I want to give and show in my photographs.

I think this mom and her little boy had a blast making and eating sundaes for their Mother’s day pictures!  The smiles are real and the memories are happy!

 

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Rainbow Baby

a276bd5fd8a9c365dd78076a50606b16 Rainbow baby – a baby born after a miscarriage or infant loss. 

“The phrase ‘Rainbow Baby’ is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath. It means something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.”

The concept is beautiful, after the storm… comes a rainbow to give hope.   The rainbow has become the symbol for parents who have been through an indescribably difficult time of grief on their journey to parenthood.

      Below is a picture of one of the most beautiful rainbows . . . BELLA!

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Happy 1st Birthday Bella!

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