i received a card from the REAL SANTA!

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i got a card from the REAL SANTA!




i’m not even joking.  




a few years back i had the opportunity to meet the kindest man…the REAL SANTA. 




i called him on the phone (yes, i was able to obtain his REAL phone number….now i just need amy grants!!!::)

and i talked to him about visiting us at Brady Street Florist for our vintage Santa pictures. 




the whole time i talked to him, he “ho ho ho’d” and his beautiful, loving spirit gushed out with his every word. 




THIS YEAR, he agreed to visit with us once more. 




and yet again, on our shooting day, i was blessed with the opportunity to hear him love on the children as they whispered their wishes…

he listened attentively, encouraged each child, showering them with praises and sincere interest. 




i watched a grown man, laugh and love on so many children, welcoming them into his arms…without judgement…only love. 

THIS is Santa’s gift to the world. 

what God has spoken on his heart to share.




i know the images speak for themselves in how Santa enjoyed these children. 

but i can’t show you pictures of what santa did for me. 




Santa shared with ME, his delight in giving of himself. 

he didn’t try to show it, he lived it. 

and i realized that this was something that i had somehow let fall on my list. 




yesterday, i was able to speak with someone that needed a gift that i could give. 

they didn’t ask for this gift, but i felt the need all over my crowded, busy, self consumed heart.  

i felt God reminding me of whom He created me to be and why…

and i went to sleep feeling full of divine joy. 




today, as i was going through all of the holiday cards i have received, i picked up this special one again. 

the card that the REAL SANTA had sent to me. 




my heart leaped, and i laughed out loud with gratitude. 

seriously WHO gets a card form the REAL SANTA (not a helper!)??!!

and how blessed am i, that i was reminded by such a special individual that to GIVE is to live. 




you don’t need the real santa to be reminded of this. 

there are examples of this kind of love, living all around us. 

this season is so quickly coming to a close, but the need for us to share of ourselves, lives immensely all throughout the year. 




just a reminder, as you finish your wrapping and bustle…

it just may be, that the biggest most precious gift that you can give this year, is simply…YOU. 




-xx

joelle

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baby armando thomas...

i first met this soul sister of mine when she was pregnant with her first baby, amelia.






we had many connections in common, but we also shared the same classic timeless taste.

it is said, that when you are on the right track, you attract people who are most like you.

i must be somewhat on the right track…heck, no! i’m on the golden track!

i’m so fortunate my clients believe in my vision and style, as simple as it is…it is not effortless!







meet mr. baby armando thomas the IV…

this beautiful babe…

i’m in love for a lifetime with this family.




baby armando had his first photo shoot all fresh and new, still in the hospital.

these hospital sessions when the family and especially the siblings meet their new love, are some of my favorite sessions to shoot.

grab a tissue and watch armando’s hospital video:

just a few days later, we were able to schedule baby’s newborn session

look at this love from heaven!



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i you would like to see baby armando’s full newborn video, here it is!

much love fortunato family…

i think you may have received the best christmas gift you could have ever imagined!

































vintage santa pictures / small business saturday / brady street florist

this is the second year that i have had the privilege of spending Small Business Saturday at Brady Street Florist, shooting Vintage Style Santa pictures.

i’m so fortunate to have my CLICK group, my own kids, my mom, and friends who volunteer to help the day go smoothly and magically for everyone.

how please i am to say that this year, the day was nothing short of magnificent!

i was able to implement a brand new scheduling system, that each client was able to book their own time slot, and we ran the entire day on schedule…with NO WAIT!

the Serene Bean was present, offering hot chocolates and drinks to the guests. jennifer jackson, with Brady Street Florist, designed another window front masterpiece that i was able to shoot all of the Santa pictures in, the DAMS drama team, showed up for a mini flash mob, treating us with carols outside the storefront, and LAST BUT NOT LEAST, our very special Santa, brought the very best magic ANY Santa ANYWHERE could bring.

i’ve received so many compliments on the images that have been floating everywhere on Facebook, and i appreciate every single compliment! i do however want to point out, that our images are special, largely in part to the heart that Santa has. the way he looks on each child with love and tenderness, and his authentic Santa spirit, just makes our images come alive with the magic a love like that can bring.

one last “thank you!” this year, i heard of a shortage of food for middle school students. staff will stuff children’s backpacks (student’s that they see who have a need) with food for the weekend. thanks to everyone who participated in the Santa pictures this year, your donations of money and food, we were able to deliver a large amount of food and cash, to help support this need at the middle school.

as you look through some of these portraits (all of these have a special editing that makes them look like a painting…to see them in person, they are just gorgeous!), i hope you are reminded of the innocence that we are born with, the simple joys of the world that are all around us, and the love that was given first, through the birth of our Savior, and given again again through special individuals, just like our Santa.

merry christmas!

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a different take on a “classic!”

a different take on a “classic!”

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mary therese...Villa Maria Academy, Erie Pa

erie, pennsylvania has easily become one of my favorite places to shoot.

did you know that erie has been rated to have one of the top 5 sunsets in the entire WORLD?

erie :)

the lake looks and sounds like the ocean.

you can walk the beaches and find treasures of smooth beach glass…

and the people there, are genuine and loving.

a friend explained to me, that “ erie has the coldest, most brutal winters…but it also has the warmest, most heartfelt people.”

i couldn’t agree more.

meet mary therese…

a sweet, beautiful girl reigning from the beaches of lake erie.

this girl is one of 8 children!

we met up JUST at the beginning of the fall season for her senior pictures.

and yesterday…they had 9 inches of SNOW!!!

oh erie! :)

enjoy the images of this special girl!

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mercedes...DCC senior 2019 and CLICK member!

mercedes…

i can’t believe how time truly does fly.

i’ve known this special girl since she was about 15 months old.

and here we are, as she gets ready to graduate from high school, and follow where her heart leads her.

speaking of her heart…it is HUGE.

overcoming her own obstacles has given mercedes the desire to help others as she was given help.

that’s a big reason that she joined CLICK this year…to help, to give back, and to serve.

a lover of nature, plants and art, we were able to find the perfect backdrops to express herself fully.

mercedes, you are a special girl, whose heart is feels big time.

i’m honored to work with you, and mentor you.

and i cannot wait to see how you change others lives as you enter art therapy.

-xxoxoxo

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hair & airbrush mu: shannon cooper

Gaige...Baldwin High School Senior

gaige.

i’ve known gaige since he was a newborn…actually, gaige is my cousin michelle’s handsome son. :)

i can’t believe the young man he has grown up to be…

this guy is so talented!!!

he has accepted TWO EMMY awards as a student director on the Reel Teens of Pittsburgh.

and he in his 4th year of working with his film company , Steeltown Entertainment Project.

we had to shoot these images in pittsburgh - gaige’s stomping ground :))


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love you gaige!