I first came to Itaosy back in 1999. It was when I was in Madagascar for my DTS with YWAM. One of my friends, another student, would invite me over to her house from time to time, in Itaosy, to visit her family.
From that time on, they took me in as one of their own. They treated me like family.
If I was sick, they would take care of me, they made sure I had all I needed, they cared for me.
I’ve seen so many of these kids grow up before my eyes. I love seeing them again.
These are just a few shots from my Itaosy family. There will be a lot more to come!
This guy right here has been anticipating my coming. He’s been wanting to do photos again and hang out since the last time I was here.
I hope to spend more time with Fita, as well as the others, taking as many photos as I can.
We need to do photos again soon Fita!
“I almost fell asleep during that sentence.” Jean Ralphio
“I made my money the old-fashioned way. I got run over by a Lexus.” Jean Ralphio
“I like your energy, Hombre.” Jean Ralphio
“Why don’t your turn that frizown upsidizity.” Jean Ralphio
“That’s too much responsibility. I got to find a way out of this.” Jean Ralphio
If any of you watch Parks and Rec and know the character, Jean Ralphio, you understand these quotes!!! His character inspired this photo session. I LOVE me some Jean Ralphio, he’s hilarious!!! J and Jean Ralphio both have some amazing hair!!
I love this kid!! He's so much fun to work with. For every session, I get exactly what I am hoping for and more!! I love it that he also gives me ideas for the photos!! He has an amazing creative mind!
I've wanted to do this session for a couple of months now, and finally got the chance yesterday.
I got the trucker hat from my dear friend Kelsea, when she was visiting. And the jean shirt, we actually found when we were doing some thrifting in Nashville. Kelsea actually eyed it first, and I'm so glad we got it!!
I knew I had to do some type of photo session with J, using that shirt and the cool trucker hat. Add on the sweet glasses, cut off jean shorts and the name tag...perfection!!
This kid is a natural in front of the camera!!
He had the idea of leaping into this field!!
Darell, you're awesome!!
Though our time together this trip was way too short, I was so thrilled to be with these boys for a day!!! It had been two years since I'd seen them and oh how I've missed them!!
We went all over Des Moines together....visiting their favorites places. We walked around downtown Des Moines, went to their favorite donut shop, favorite coffee shop, and favorite burger stop!!
We have known these boys for over 7 years, since Hayes was about 2 years old (I think).
I hope the next time we see each other, we will have more time together.
The boys loved this water spot we came across, in the middle of the all downtown buildings. Of course Vonn had to dart across them, trying to not to get drenched!
The boys got their favorite, some hot cocoa at the coffee shop. It was too hot for them to drink though. I told Vonn, why don't you go and ask the lady for a cup of ice, to cool it off. He came back proudly with his cup of ice!!
One of my favorite things about Hayes is he LOVES telling stories and he's SO good at it!! He was telling us stories about things he's been learning, stories about his recent trip to the air show and more.
This little guy has always been such a ray of sunshine!! He's always smiling and so full of joy!!
I loved it when Hayes would rest is shoulder on Mom or I, whenever we were in the back seat, sitting next to him.
I'm glad I could capture a few photos of these two together!! They have a such a special and unique bond and love for each other, ever since he was born.
We love you Hayes and Vonn and miss you like crazy!!
Most of you know I'm planning a fall trip to Madagascar, Africa. I used to live one other for 9 years, and now I try to go back every 1-2 years. It's been 2 years since I've been back, and I'm aching to go!
This trip, I'm hoping will be full of adventures, spending time with friends, making new friends, investing in different mission groups and doing other humanitarian work.
I not only hope to photograph/video as much as I can, but also to be open to other things God has for me while I'm there.
I plan to stay on the Big Red Island for three months on this trip. I will based in Tana, the capital. I'm not sure if I will travel to any of the other provinces on the island, as most of the work I plan to do is in and around Tana.
On my last trip, I was able to visit my friend Faly and his family and their school. During my 8 month stay on the island, I was just with them for 8 days. But those 8 days were some of the best times. This trip, I am hoping to stay a bit longer with them and the kids.
When I was staying with them for those 8 days, I was able to play with the preschool class almost every day, I taught English to 3 different high school classes and American History to another high school class.
I also hope to visit some other missionaries and organizations. Some of them work with the street children, orphanages, women and child ministry, street evangelism, schools, and more.
I still have so many connections there from over the years and working there so much. I hope to have time to see as many as I can during my stay.
I have been raising funds for my trip. I still have things for you to purchase if you would like. I have a few more copies of my Madagascar book, 'Through My Eyes: The Big Red Island'. This is a 60 page book full of photos of Madagascar, facts and fun information.
I'm also selling sets of greeting cards, with different Madagascar photos on the front.
The other thing I'm selling are t-shirts, with a Baobob tree on them.
If you are interesting in buying any of these things, just contact me through Facebook, or my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
When Kelsea told me she was going to be in town a few days, I was beyond excited!!!! We have been trying to get together for a long time now, and so happy it finally happened!!
I have know this beauty since we were kids, but had been over 10 years since had seen each other. Kelsea is like my creative twin, I love her creativity, whether it be in her photography or some other area of the arts.
So Kels and I were in a vintage store, with all kinds of cool treasures. She found a bunch of trucker hats. She said, let's each pick one out and take some photos with the hats?! I was like, sure, why not!! The next store we went to had a bunch of old name patches. We picked out two that we thought suited us and our hats!!! So here are some photos of Curtis, and a couple of Darrell!!
"She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something"
"You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery."
Thanks again Kels (Curtis) for the awesome two days, you're a blast to be around!! Let's do it again soon!!
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it" - Ferris Bueller
"Follow your heart kid, and you'll never know wrong" - The Sandlot
"Stay gold Ponyboy, stay gold" - The Outsiders
We had a lot of fun on this session!!! We both used our creative imaginations for this one!!
I always love working with J, he has some crazy fun ideas!! I love having him share his ideas with me when we are working together, and implement them into the sessions. Like this photo above...he started to take the strong and throw it all over his head and said, hey, take my picture like this!!
Stay creative and fun little dude!!
We had a lot of fun yesterday in the studio!! This one's a joy to be around and enjoyed getting her photos taken. We had some fun and added a little creative twist so some of the photos!!
This shot above, I held a pair of sunglasses up to the lens. There's a lot you can do with things you find at the dollar store, or even around the house.
I had this paper (packing from a package) that I usually use to hold up to the lens. I decided to tape it to the wall, and see what happened...I like the outcome!!
This was a piece of yellow cellophane paper that I hung in front of the camera.
This last shot, I had a piece of plastic, with some paint smeared on it. I love the paint in the corner, as well as the light and shadows around her.
Thanks again A, for hanging out in my studio!!! Hope we get the chance to do it again!!
"All good things are wild and free" Henry David Thoreau
Cy wears his coyote tail everywhere he goes. He loves that thing! One day, the end had fallen off, and he sewed it right back on.
"Keep the wild in you"
"Brave and free and wild as the sea"
"I don't know where I'm going from here but I promise it won't be boring" David Bowie
"For her the ocean was more than a dream, it was a place she needed to visit to find herself. And when she returned to the city, you could see the sun in her eyes, the wind in her hair, and taste the infinite salt on her lips" Joses Chaves
I love the beach. I have always loved the beach. Ever since I was a little kid, going would bring so much joy and bring so much peace. I never really liked going on in the waves and swim, but I loved sitting and watching the waves, watching the surfers. Or just walking along the beach, barefoot, letting the water come up to my toes.
Whenever I get to the OC, I always have to make at least one trip (this time I went twice) to the San Clemente Pier. The main reason, my cousin leaves just a few minutes away, and it's seriously the coolest pier!!
Jen---I love your smile and your laugh!! Thank you cousin for everything!! I love spending time with you, even if it was just for the weekend. I need to come back soon, I already miss you and my pier.
The ocean is everything I want to be. Beautiful, mysterious, wild and free.
Another day, another great beach.
This was another windy beach, but it didn't stop us from enjoying our time. The boys had a blast building onto this cool structure!! It was pretty much built, but they added new additions to it. And it blocked most of the wind, once inside.
Thank you Kaleen and family for taking us all of favorite beaches that day!!! We loved it and loved your company even more!
Even though the wind that day was crazy, we still loved walking around Moonstone beach in Cambria, and searching for some cool moonstones.
Everyone was digging around, looking for the best moonstone!
We went across the street and had a nice cup of Joe at a cool little spot!
I could stay at this place forever. I love the sound of the waves, I love the color of the water, I love how calming it is. California, you always have my heart.
Morro Bay is my favorite place to go to when I'm back home. It was one of my favorite places to go to when I was a kid. We would travel there often, as it wasn't too far from where I used to live. My Dad actually worked in this city for some years before they moved.
The last two or three times I've been back, I have been able to catch the sea otters in the bay. Some of them had babies, but it was a little difficult to scope them out. They were all fun to watch though!
Morro Bay would actually be on my top 5 cities to live in, it's so cute and I love the bay!!
This VW bus actually belongs to my friends brother-in-law!!
I remember going to the movies at the theater when I was a kid. My Aunt Mel used to work there, so we would go and visit her and see a movie!
I was able to visit the streets and beach of Venice this trip. I haven't been to this beach since I was a kid.
We walked along the beach, away from the boardwalk, towards the pier. After, we decided, let's go walk down the boardwalk and see how it's changed.
This is how I looked when walking down the boardwalk. It has really changed so much. Though I was a kid when I was here last, my Mom shared how much it had changed over the years. It's really not the same anymore. It was still cool to experience though.
This family rocks!!! I was so happy to be able to spend a few days with this amazing fun family while in my hometown. I've known Sarah since we were teenagers, and I love seeing her family grow over the years!!
I love seeing her with her kids...she's one cool Mama!! She loves her kids, has their backs, takes care of them, provides for them, prays for them, encourages them....she's one fun loving lady!!
Thanks for always letting me crash at your place when I'm home!!! Love you guys!!
I love this session I had with Deonte, and the time we could spend together!!! I always try to see him and his family when I'm back home, and this one is serious model material!!!
I love seeing his character and personality come to life in these photos!!! He remembered our last photo shoot together, a couple years back. So needless to say, he had a blast!!
He seriously has THE best hair!!! The night before I helped him take out his cornrows, since my idea was to have his hair exactly as you see it in these photos!!!
I grew up with his Mom, Sarah, so I have known Deonte and his siblings pretty much for forever!! We always have so much fun when I'm in town!
Deonte, thanks for keeping it real!! Until next time!!
This was such a fun photo shoot with J!!! He did such an amazing job, I love working with this kid!!
These photos were also featured on the magazine blog of Babiekins, which was an exciting opportunity!!