Sometimes, when a family truly lets go and just exists in the moment, magic happens...
There is nothing more flattering than when a long time client drives over 500 miles to have their senior photographs take by YOU! Meet Austin, the face of Have a Happy and a senior of 2017. We skirted a few rain storms and Pokemon Go-ers while we wound our way around downtown Naperville. Thank you Austin for stepping up as my first senior of 2017!
Vegetarian Bean + Kale Soup
This is one of my favorite things to eat as it just FEELS good, TASTES good and does so much good for my mind and body. You can use just about any type of white bean (like Northern Beans), lentils or black eyed peas. Canned (rinsed) or dried beans (cooked) can be used. I always use about half a bag of pre-shredded carrots. They come organic from various grocery stores and are the biggest time saver. For the Vegetable Stock I used Penzey Spices Vegetable Soup Base. It is sort of amazing and the key ingredient in all my soups. I also have started added in Organic Apple Cider Vinegar for a little tang, but mostly for its health benefits. To make the soup more hearty you can always add a meat or bacon at the end, pre cooked. Celery is also always a yummy addition. For sick days, some cooked rice goes amazingly well too.
One large yellow onion (chopped into slices and quartered)
1/2 bag of pre-shredded carrots
1/4 to 1/2 cup pressed fresh garlic
One bunch of Kale
Two cups of dried beans or two cans of beans (white beans, lentils, or black eyed peas work best)
Parmesen rind (optional)
1 oz. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (optional)
1 tsp Thyme
2 tsp White Pepper
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
4 Bay Leaves
2 tbsp Vegetable Bouillon or Vegetable Stock
The new year slid in last night while I slumbered away. In bed, intertwined with my two hot bodied kids for hours before I half woke to the sound of fireworks. A few final curve balls thrown at us in 2015, setting us up for a strong year filled with purpose, strength and intention.
So many ideas and dreams swirling around in my head, I wish for eternal time. Now here I stand, we all stand, with an entirely new, clean-slated year ahead of us. So here we go, together, with the pent up cheer in my head that I so desire to share with you all in the coming YEARS.
For a while now, it has been my dream and goal to BE THE MAGIC. It is sort of, totally my tag line for my photography (www.carriecheng.com).
What does that mean? A lot.
In my photography the magic is me, creating the scene, the mood, the story, finding the best of you and capturing that in timeless art. Photography for me is magical. I see so much beauty in the world and so much beauty in the people who do and don't step in front of my camera. I see it in children holding on to their parents, the way they embrace, the look in the eye. The innocence and the fear. I see joy, I see pain. I see a proud mom, a charismatic dad. I see it all and I watch... Photography is my passion and one of my main outlet to help others see that magic that lies within. That is my magic.
The magic is you, taking the risk, making yourself vulnerable in front of the camera. Listening, trusting what I say and seeing the light shine within yourself. It is all of us, letting go of the insecurities, forgetting our short comings and finding the best within us.
The magic is having the courage to be wrong. It is about looking at things for a new perspective. It is about having sympathy and empathy and everything in between. Understanding that we all come from a different place and have different stories to write. Finding the right angle, changing how we think about things. Paving the way for our friends, family and children to follow in a world of good instead of one of gossip, guilt and blame.
Be the magic. Don't rely on others to make you happy. Don't wait for your turn. Find the light within you that you want to show and make it shine.
2016 for me is all about being this magic. I want to show everyone the light that shines with in me. I want to carry that light strongly with me on everyday that I can. I will have my bad days and obstacles will get in my way, but being the magic is a path I choose. I am working on several new ways to be the magic and share the light in 2016. Please stick around a join me and invite everyone you know too!
Like watching an old movie over and over again, I find something new and interesting each time I see Danada Equestrian Center. With most of the horses off on their morning jaunt, I was forced to take a closer look at the OTHER buildings besides the main barn and I was directed to spend more time with the new horses getting acquanted in the front pastures. With new horses and the birds that were tailgating them, new rust after a rainy summer, windows open that I had never seen open before and an exceptionally cloudy day giving way to an ocean blue sky I was in adventurers and photographers heaven - discovering the beauty that is always there but not everyone always sees. I'm feeling a bit fuller and more complete having created this set of images.