Relay for Life of the Soul V2.0

Greetings and my apologies for being so quiet on my blog. I think I’m still in denial about my cruise’s end, some five months ago. Anywho…

I’ve been keeping myself busy with family and photography; and I’m just now rediscovering some time management since school let out. So, let’s do some Show & Tell from the most recent American Cancer Society event!

Friday, June 3rd was my second time covering the Relay for Life of the Soul at Woodward Career Technical High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. The event was created to celebrate cancer survivors and their caretakers; as well as honoring those that have been lost to the disease. Soul also helps to bring more awareness to the African-American communities about early diagnosis, treatment, and support.

Participants are invited to camp out in the football field, walk the track, eat some tasty foods, watch performances from the New Jerusalem Baptist Church, participate in raffle drawings, dance, play games, and party their night away.

So without further adieu…ACS1ACS4ACS3ACS5ACS6ACS8ACS7ACS2ACS9

For additional information on the American Cancer Society and their events, please follow this link.

ACS10To view and/or purchase images from this event, please visit my website under the ‘Communities > American Cancer Society’ tab.

So I Went on a Cruise…

It was my first time ever. I left the kids and the husband at home, and went on a cruise with my girlfriends. And it was AWESOME.

WARNING: I am going to post a bunch of images. We had a balcony off of the back of the boat, so there will be A LOT of back-of-the-boat sky pics. I mean, of course there are a bunch of those, right? Don’t worry, our boat made several stops, so there will be more than just sky. But still, lots of sky. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Our trip was a 7-day, Western Caribbean on the Carnival Splendor, out of Miami, Florida. We had 4 ports; 3 of which we stopped at (more on that later.) My girlfriends and I flew from Cincinnati, down to Miami on Saturday, February 20th. Our ship embarked at 4:00pm the following day.

February 21, 2016 Embarkation: Port of Miamia (1)

*We spammed the heck out of social media, so if you want to see more of the “selfie” shots, you’ll want to go to my Instagram. From here on out, it’s my DSLR that will be doing the shooting.

After boarding the ship and grabbing our FunShip drinks, we set off from Miami, en route to Cozumel.a (2)a (3)

February 22, 2016 Day 1: Fun Day at Seab

February 23, 2016 Port of Call: Cozumel, Mexico

We spent a beautiful day in Cozumel. Our excursion was the All-Inclusive Isla Pasion by Twister Boat. <- So fun!!!! And Passion Island was GORGEOUS! Apparently, the location is so beautiful that it is where the Corona ads are shot.c (1)c (2)

February 24, 2016 Port of Call: Belize City, Belize

This port was the location that “chose” the cruise itinerary (at least for me.) It was uncomfortable, hot and humid, but was still an amazing place to see. Because of a barrier reef surrounding the shores, we were transported by tender from ship to shore. It wasn’t as bad as I imagined it might be, but it was a lengthier ride and the boat was rather cramped.

Our excursion for the day was the Altun Ha Mayan Site and River Wallace. The river tour was awesome. We saw all kinds of critters, including: manatee, bats, iguanas (they are eaten like chicken in Belize,) crocodiles, howler monkeys, etc.

We were lead by our tour guide, Maude, along with the boat captain and river spotter.d (1)d (2)

At the end of our river trip, we stopped off at the Black Orchid Resort for lunch, which consisted of the national food, rice and beans, as well as some jerk chicken and fried plantains.d (3)

The Altun Ha Mayan site was incredible to see, but it was incredibly warm; especially after climbing to the top of the sun temple. Our Chukka tour guides (Maude and Marvin) told us of the site’s history and walked us up and down those steep stones.d (3a)d (4)d (5)

February 25, 2016 Port of Call: Mahogany Bay, Honduras

Today was the day I dieted for. (No joke.) We had planned our Canopy and Gumbalimba Park excursion, which featured zip-lining and spider monkeys, to include a GoPro and all necessary accessories to capture all of the fun. And then we got rained out of port. No docking possible.e

February 26, 2016 Port of Call: Grand Cayman Island

Today we were going to play with stingrays! Our excursion was the Deluxe Stingray City Sandbar. And then it rained again. And all water-involved activities were canceled.

Unfortunately, this stop was more of a let down for me, than being completely rained out of port the previous day. I’d heard so many beautiful things about this location. My experience was on a “chillier” day, with choppy water, decent island food, and the usual port shopping.e1 (1)e1 (2)e1 (3)

February 27, 2016 Fun Day at Sea

And now, as we cruised passed Cuba, the sun came out and the rain stayed away for our final full day aboard the Carnival Splendor.f

February 28, 2016 Debarkation: Port of Miami

We docked in port around 7am on Sunday morning. It was a balmy 61 degrees when the sun came up.g

Debarkation wasn’t terrible. A little sad to say “Good-bye,” but that’s to be expected, right?

After exiting the boat, we hopped into our Uber and traveled to Surfside, Miami Beach. We were fortunate to have a wonderful Airbnb host, which happily stored our belongings prior to check-in so that we were able to explore the community of Surfside and experience one heck of a beautiful beach. (Watch out for those Man-O-Wars though.)h

That night, the three of us ate, drank, and experienced some of what South Beach had to offer.

February 29, 2016 Home

The next morning, the 3 of us boarded a teeny tiny plane and journeyed back to Cincinnati. I was hugging my toddler by 2pm.

Conclusion

I loved it! I had a blast! And I cannot wait to do it again!

I know Carnival Cruise Lines has made headlines in previous years; fortunately, we had no direct issues aboard the Splendor and have nothing but praise for the staff.

Special shout-outs to:

  • Jose, Daniel, Juan and several additional members of the waitstaff in the Black Pearl Dining Room. Our dining experiences were highlighted by the staff and their wonderful personalities, singing voices, and stellar dance moves. 😉
  • Fadil, the man that cleaned up after 3 messy women and still greeted us with a smile whenever/wherever we found him on the ship.
  • Hery, the king of selfies, and the friendly bartender that had the amazing super power of remembering our names and our drinks.

staff.jpg

By the way, I drank a lot of fruity drinks while on board. For those that wish to join me in a fruity toast, you can get the drink recipes here.

Here’s to future cruises!

-Lindsey

To view/purchase images from my trip, please visit: www.eclecticallyforyou.com/prints/caribbean

 

 

 

Nicole + Mike

Saturday, October 24th was a rainy day, but that didn’t dampen Nicole and Mike’s big day!  I only had a few hours with these two; and I had a wonderful time capturing every moment.  Please enjoy some of the images from Nicole and Mike’s wedding day! blog 4blog 2blog 1blog 3

Congratulations again to Nicole and Mike! Best wishes for a beautiful future together!

Stephanie + Ryan

Last Saturday was a rather warm (okay, I was one big ball of sweat,) but gorgeous Summer day in July. I had the privilege of spending it with a beautiful couple on their wedding day.

Please enjoy the following images from Stephanie and Ryan’s backyard wedding!1 Prep-Girls 2 Prep-Girls 3 Prep-Boys 4 Ceremony 5 Formals 6 Formals 7 Newlyweds 8 Newlyweds 9 Newlyweds 10 Reception 11 Reception 12 Reception 13 ReceptionCongratulations, Stephanie & Ryan!!!

Relay for Life of the Soul 2015

I spent my Friday evening with volunteers and participants of the Relay for Life of the Soul event at the Woodward Career Technical High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. The event is held by the American Cancer Society, in support of cancer survivors and those that have been lost to the disease, as well as their caretakers. And as you can probably guess, this was a variation of the well-known Relay for Life events put on across the country.

Relay for Life of the Soul is an overnight event, featuring the survivors’ walk, dinner, dancing, Zumba, and many other activities throughout the evening. The event helps to bring more awareness to the African-American communities about early diagnosis, treatment, and support.blog1blog2blog3blog4blog5Blog6blog7blog8blog9blog10

I had such a wonderful time photographing and meeting so many amazing individuals! “Thank you!” to Carrie and Bev for inviting me.

To view all of the night’s images, please visit my Relay for Life of the Soul gallery on my website. And Please, PLEASE help to pass along this information!
Event website
Facebook page
NJBC Mime website

My 3-Day Trip to Colorado

A few weeks ago, I went for a quick trip to visit my cousin, grandparents, aunt, and uncle. I flew into Denver International Airport and met my cousin, who currently resides on the West Coast.

From Denver, we drove the 2-hour drive to Florence. The trip took us through 3 hail storms, a possible tornado, Colorado Springs (land of the crazy weather,) and a brief stop off at the Garden of the Gods.Garden of the Gods

After our VERY brief visit to the Garden of the Gods (thanks again, Mother Nature,) we met up with our Colorado family. Allow me to introduce to you our team of bandits:teamofbandits

Please enjoy the following images captured on our day 2 journey, throughout Florence, Canon City, Silvercliffe, and Westcliffe.scene3scene2 scene1 scene4

That evening, we stopped by the Grand Re-opening of the Royal Gorge… It poured. And then it stormed. And then it flooded.rg rain candidRoyal Gorge in the Rain

On Day 3, our final day, we decided to return to the Royal Gorge.Royal Gorge Part 2Royal Gorge

And before we headed back to the airport, my aunt and uncle took us on the tour of Skyline Drive. I seriously do not know how parents of driving teens do not freak out over some of these “scenic” routes!Skyline Drive

And then, it was back to the airport…   Through rain, flooding highways, and a nice, little, Spring blizzardSnow                Yup, wasn’t kidding.

Anyway, even with the weather, our quick visit was a great visit. It’s been a while since I have been able to do some scenic and nature photography. If you liked the images enough to want something for your wall, please feel free to visit my “Prints for Purchase” page on my website.

Thank you for looking!

Steve + Jennifer

May 16th, 2015 was overcast, with a 60% chance of rain. And at the Bel-wood Country Club, it did rain. But as “they” say, rain is good luck on a wedding day. So these rain drops were not going to put a damper on Steve and Jennifer’s big day!

PrepDressFirst LookGirls BoysThe BeforeThe DuringThe AfterThe NewlywedsRainCongratulations to the beautiful couple!

Dancing“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…
It’s about learning to dance in the rain.
-Vivian Greene

My Very Pink Day 2014

Sunday, September 14th was the 17th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Cincinnati.  And I was back with my camera gear, my booth, my pink hair, and a team of talented photographers. eftp boothThis year saw a few changes: the date was moved to a Sunday; the 10K competitive run and the kids’ run were both canceled; and the event was relocated to Coney Island.  Don’t get me wrong, I love photographing that pink sea of people covering Freedom Way, but this location added a bit of whimsy to it.

This event was also a little more challenging for me.  Along with the venue change and the usual last minute alterations, this was my first big gig after maternity leave, and it followed my sister in-law’s wedding the night before. Late night of party fun! (Congratulations, Annye and Zeke!)

I was lucky enough to have a team of 9 photographers this year!Photog TeamLet me repeat that… 9 wonderfully busy humans donated their Sunday morning to capturing this awesome event!  Not only were there 9 of us photographing this event; Jill, my favorite henna artist and friend (see my Henna for Heroines post) offered up free henna at my booth.  AND, my Grandma also came out to hold down the fort and man the EfyP booth.  Basically, I was surrounded by amazingly generous individuals.  The 5:30am wake-up call was not so bad.hennaSo, if you’ve never attended one of these events (or read my previous Komen posts,) the morning starts with registration and the opening of the Expo.  The ‘Expo’ encompasses sponsor and vendor booths, kids activities, food at the Komen Kafe, etc.  This is where people can personalize back signs “In Celebration of…” and “In Memory of…”  And most all booths have fun takeaways (knick-knacks to takeaway and keep,) so of course I like to join in on the fun.  I had my safety pin ribbons, made lovingly by hand while watching Game of Thrones; and new this year (and a very last minute addition,) a photo booth, sans the back drop!  I made the props myself (I’m kinda proud of my glue gunning skills -no burns!)propsback signsAfter you worm your way through the Expo area, you make your way to the Main Stage, which was next door to the Start Line this year.  The Main Stage holds Jeff and Jenn from the Jeff and Jenn Morning Show on Q102, general event announcements, check presentations, work-out/warm-up instructors, and performances.  As the morning progresses, the area is gradually filled in with breast cancer survivors, friends, family, runners, walkers, and media types.media mainAt 8:45am, the first gun shot is fired, triggering the 5K competitive run.comp runFollowing the competitive runners, the 5K run/walkers line up at the Start Line, and my short self is finally hoisted above the crowd in a baby scissor lift.  At 9:20am the shot gun pops and the 5K run/walk begins.startAs people start their journeys, Jeff and Jenn announce the teams and team signs as they pass by.  “Bailey’s Brigade,” “Team Carol,” “Team Grandma,” “Kellie’s Believers,” “Peace Out Cancer,” “Team CANcervive,” “Connie’s Crusaders,” “Walking with Double D,” “Team Diana,” “Burke Team of Hope,” “Jan’s Rack Pack,” “Patti’s Posse,” etc….

After people make their way through the balloon-marked start line, I make my way to the Finish Line, which is already receiving the competitive runners.  (This is my favorite part of the day.)

At the final stretch of the 5K, the Finish Line forks.  “Survivors on the left,” The New 94.9’s Jay Kruz is joined by a whole bunch of energetic cheerleaders to welcome the survivors as they finish their race.  After the people in pink (this is a man’s disease as well) make their way through the paparazzi (teehee,) Kruz with his microphone, and the cheering cheerleaders, they are handed pink carnations and rejoined by their family and friends.FINISHFollowing the run/walk, event participants are invited to attend the Celebration of Hope ceremony to honor survivors at the Main Stage.  Q102’s Brian and Laura host the event and invite select survivors to the stage.  This is followed by the annual Survivor Group Photo and a performance of “Amazing Grace.”  And if the performance doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, the dove release just might do it.Celebration of Hope www.efyphoto (54) ceremonyFrom there, some people filter home; while others stay behind to ride some Coney Island rides.

funAnd then the rest of us went home…

THANK YOU AGAIN! to the wonderful photographers that made themselves available to help capture this event. And to Jill with Jaiswal Design, for her amazing henna artistry. They are all kind, local, and incredibly talented individuals!GroupPlease check them out!

All race images can be found at: www.eclecticallyforyou.com/komen/race2014

ROYGBIV #15 Violet

This is my Rainbow Project. Conceptualized November 2010. First session photographed January 2011.

Violet: Violet Vixen
Model: Margo Violet 1 Violet 2 Violet 3 Violet 4 Photographed: May 22, 2011

You can see all 10 images are available on my Facebook page.

Please stay tuned…