My fourth class of Everyday Beauty finished last month.  Each opportunity I get  to work with these students is always so unique and such a gift. During our time together I am always excited to see my students grow and continue to be inspired by their daily lives. Below is a collection of work and words from some of the ladies from my May class. Thank you each for taking part in our three weeks together. I hope you will continue to seek the beautiful moments and details in your everyday life.

(You can continue to follow the students from my past classes at the Cherish this Day blog.  It is a project filled with inspiration.

Tiffany Dahle

website | instagram | facebook | pinterest

Taking Ginger’s workshop has completely changed how I approach photographing my girls. It gave me the time to take a breath and step back from the action. I learned to document what was happening before me without manipulating the scene too much. I have finally learned how to capture childhood without posing it.

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Lara Gowder

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I had this workshop on my to do list for a while, and I am so glad I was able to get in this time! I love Ginger’s work, the way she captures her daily family activities so beautifully, is something I have wanted to do with my boys. Ginger shares so much with her students, from her tips on what to capture, how to look for the perfect light, and so much more. Her own images of her family are so full of love and fun.

I needed a push because I was in a creative rut, and this class pushed me in so many ways. From exploring new rooms in my own home, to finding light throughout my home, to view our everyday in different ways. I truly believe I have grown and my photography has grown, just from this workshop. The lessons are very well laid out, and Ginger is so giving with her feedback.

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Jill Marzion

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If you are considering this course….take it!  you will not be disappointed one bit!  Ginger is by far one of the best instructors I have experienced.  She is extremely organized, the class is set up in a way that you keep building on what you have learned, the feedback is very helpful and Ginger is so easy to contact and beyond willing to answer anything. In fact, she continually encourages me, this course was a great reminder to photograph all the little moments and details.  I walked away from the course feeling refreshed and full of new ideas for documenting my four kids!

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Emmy Treganza

I’m not a professional photographer.  I’m simply  a mom who takes a lot of photos of her kid.  And taking Ginger’s Everyday Beauty workshop was pure inspiration.  I adore her style and jumped at the chance to learn from someone whom I admire.  I believe her philosophy and approach to capturing everyday beauty is one of the main reasons why I admire her work so much.  She has definitely helped shape my thinking and approach to taking pictures.  I can’t give away the specifics.  All I can say is take her workshop!  Do it!  You’ll be happy you did.  I know I am.

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Kristin Wahls

Ginger’s workshop truly opened up my eyes. Prior to the Everyday Beauty workshop, I was in a creative rut where I thought my life just wasn’t photogenic enough and that capturing my busy 10-month old day to day was far too great a challenge. Ginger helped me to be unafraid of any lighting condition and encouraged us all to look at our everyday world in a new way. Suddenly, the way the light hit my son’s hair became truly beautiful and worth capturing. The way his eyes lit up while playing with his dad became much more noticeable…or how his wrinkly little hands clung to bath toys in the tub. Little details that went unnoticed before suddenly became moments worth photographing and now pieces of art I will absolutely cherish forever. Ginger and her encouraging words as well as the supportive women in the workshop with me helped me climb out of my rut and celebrate my day-to-day life, however perfectly unperfect it may be.

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Emma Morgan

I love Gingers work, it drew me to this wonderful workshop. I have enjoyed every part and have come away with more insight on how to observe, be part of and capture the moments of unspoilt everyday beauty. Really inspiring, I’m feeling so much more connected with my photographs.

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Andrea Skidmore

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I’m not very good with truly expressing myself through words, but wanted to take the time to say how thankful I am to Ginger and for the opportunity I had to take her Everyday Beauty class. From the very first time I saw Ginger’s work I knew I wanted to learn from her. Through her images it is easy to see her passion for her family, photography and the beauty of every life…I wanted the same thing for myself.

When I signed up I was in a slump photography wise; and had been for the past few years. I was stuck and exhausted after retiring from the business of photography. Pictures of my family were only quick snapshots without much thought given. I wanted more for my family and myself. Ginger’s class has given me the kick I needed. She was so attentive; always answering questions and giving great feedback. It was so nice to take the 3 weeks to slow down, pay attention, and really see the beauty of my family life. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from Ginger. I know this class will be something I look back on for inspiration time and time again.

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Christy Balogh

The Everyday Beauty workshop was such an inspiration for me. I have been taking pictures for many years and have really felt burnt out lately. This workshop inspired me and taught me how to capture beauty in our everyday world! Ginger was such an encouragement and was open to teaching, helping, and relating anything she knew to us. Thank you Ginger for being an inspiration to me and the other photographers in the workshop! Worth every penny!

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Mikki Skinner

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I was in need of some inspiration and perhaps a reconnection as to why I love to take photos so much. Signed up for Ginger’s class and am so incredibly thankful I took the plunge! So much of Ginger’s heart is weaved into her class, everything from the materials, the videos, the critique, the encouragement, the love. I have learned to let it go, and just let your heart direct. Take photos to remember the place, the story, the details, the memory. Thank you Ginger for a beautiful handful of weeks!

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Gina Baggs

After discovering and viewing Ginger’s images online, I knew I had to take her class!! Her images are just beautiful, filled with so much emotion, story and soul. I learned so much from her; from sparking my passion of learning photography, seeing the everyday beauty of everything around me in all different perspectives, and becoming a better mother/wife and to embrace and enjoy every minute with my family.
Ginger and her workshop is a blessing and inspiring!  Thank you for sharing your amazing talent and abundance of knowledge with us!
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Janielle Granstaff

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When I signed up for Ginger Unzueta’s Everyday Beauty workshop as a silent student, I wondered how much I would be able to take away from it if I wasn’t having that one on one interaction with her. But I also knew this was not something I wanted to pass on yet again. And boy was I glad I didn’t. The class was so organized, so well presented, and so interestingIt definitely kept me on my toes the entire 3 weeks, always looking forward to more knowledge, more tips. And she delivered those every time. She was able to not only open my eyes to the things that surround me, but to keep them open and to SEE them in a new perspective. Ginger has a magical way to show you the world around you and this is a lesson I will forever keep with me.

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Melissa Rowley

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I can’t thank Ginger enough for all her encouragement during her amazing Everyday Beauty workshop.  The first time I saw her images, I fell in love with the simple but powerful way she was documenting the life of her family through her photography.  I signed up thinking that I was going to learn technical skills that would magically translate into emotion and connection, but it was through her lessons in honing in on the details I wanted to remember about my children, the memories I wanted to preserve, and the thoughtful stories that I wanted to share with others that I learned to be patient with my journey and process, and that’s what created emotion and connection in my images.  I especially appreciated her gentle way of giving critique and the confidence she instilled in all of the participants.  I truly believe she gave her all to support us during the workshop as an instructor and will continue to support us after as a mentor and friend.  This workshop is one of those life changing experiences – I will be forever grateful for all that she taught me.

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Angie Schueren

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The Everyday Beauty workshop with Ginger Unzueta was beyond perfection. Ginger was a true inspiration and taught us how to think outside the box to capture the moments of our every day.  Besides teaching us composition, lighting, framing and all of the technical photography information, she taught us how to be present within the moments of our children’s life, how to capture the emotion and not take any moments for granted.  She was phenomenal at answering all of the questions that were submitted, no matter what the content.  Ginger was truly devoted to all of the students, and she cared about each and every student’s outcome of the course.  She pushed everyone to see their true talent, and was so encouraging.

Thank you Ginger for being my inspiration and to help me see the everyday beauty within my chaos called life.

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Staci Schonbrun

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Hi Ginger- I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed taking your course. I specifically did not want to take a class that told me how to do this technique or set up lights a certain way, but rather wanted a class that would focus much more on the everyday. You fit the bill with a beautiful class that not only encourages, but celebrates and highlights the beauty of everyday life. This class really encouraged me to improve my way of looking at the normal chaotic scene of life and seeing small parts of it that elevate a snapshot into a beautiful piece of art. You patiently answered the many questions asked of you and always left encouraging feedback that made the next assignment even better. I am  sad to see the class end, but thank you for the wonderful opportunities and insight that you shared. I hope to continue and build on the inspiration you filled me with. Sincerely, Staci Schonbrun

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Amy Bernard

think perhaps the most meaningful ‘takeaway’ for me – in learning from Ginger – has been in how it impacted the very way I function in my everyday.  With my camera, and without.  Somewhere in the course of motherhood I’d lost perspective and got stuck in an ‘on to the next’ rut.  And while I’d long looked to my photographs to kind of pause and appreciate or truly ‘see’… it was during Ginger’s class that I rediscovered and owned a bit of more of the moment.  Being present.  I mean, sure – there have been other influences (hello life) but it’s all about the timing and these lessons just could not have come at a more giving time.  When I look at Ginger’s Joy Project what I have envied most – and am drawn in most by – is the feeling that she is there and that framed the way I took in what she offered.  Some of my own recent / favorite images came about from letting the lessons sink in, and what I found most especially helpful was the examples she provided of her own images and the background story of light or composition, the perspective and just the ‘why’ this moment.  It allowed me to process the technical information on a practical level while also prompting me to focus more fully on capturing my children and our days as I see them.  I intend to keep going back and re-learning from the materials and truly loved having this window in to Ginger’s approach and workflow.

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Registration for Ginger’s September class is open NOW. This will be her last class for 2014. There are a few active seats left at this time. You can register here.

  • Diane - Hello Ginger,
    I’m considering taking your everyday beauty workshop, but I have one concern. Your own children, as well as those featured in this blog post and on the bloom website are young. I have three kids, an 18 year old son (soon to be leaving for college), a 15 year old son and a 10 year old daughter. They all give me a hard time when I take out the camera. I very much want to document this time in their lives, but I also want to be respectful of their feelings. Will your course address ways to capture everyday life, no matter the stage/age of the family?
    Thank you!
    DianeReplyCancel

I am thrilled to have one of my favorite images in the July/August 2014 edition of Click Magazine. Seeing my work in print is something pretty special and I am so grateful to be included.  This publication is by far one of my favorites to get in the mail. Every issue is filled with gorgeous inspiration and thoughtful articles.

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I am so excited to be able to give away THREE 1-year subscriptions to Click. The giveaway will end Friday, July 11, 2014 at 11:59 pm.  The winner will be announced on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

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  • Kimberly - I would love to win because I forgot to renew my subscription when it expired! :) ReplyCancel

  • Kim Kelly - I love Click magazine! It would be nice to win to extend my subscription.ReplyCancel

  • Heather Pearson - I LOOOOVE Click and would love to win this year-long subscription!!! There is so much inspiration and advice for newer photographers (like me), as well as the established photographer…never stop learning or being inspired by the amazing work of others!!!ReplyCancel

  • Laurie Joetzki - I love any magazines that deal with photography. I get a lot of ideas by looking at the beautiful photos. If I see something that I really like, I strive to figure out how it is done. While I can never quite achieve the same gorgeous photos that are on the pages of magazines such as Click, I do surprise myself with something beautiful that I never thought that I could do. I strive to always learn something new with my camera!!ReplyCancel

  • Mickisha - Congratulations Ginger! I love Click! There’s something about holding printed images in your hand theta brings them to life so much more. It’s such a great magazine and I would love to win a subscription!ReplyCancel

  • Christa McCann - Love this blog post & would love a subscription to this magazine!!ReplyCancel

  • Bethany Giannini - I love this magazine and already have a subscription- and I would love to continue to receive it! :D ReplyCancel

  • Angela Hatch - I would love it because seeing all of those different photographers and their styles and their inspiration, truly inspires me.ReplyCancel

  • Christine b - Such a great magazine, love every issue would love to win it to gift it to my cousin who loves photography as much as me.ReplyCancel

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When Mozi Magazine contacted me to write for their Family and Child issue, I was beyond excited.  It means so much to me to be a part of this amazing issue. I am grateful to be able to share a passion that I love so much .  Capturing my family and finding the beauty in the everyday is how I create art. My family is the reason I pick up my camera. Realizing that I can be an artist, without being in business, was one of the most freeing moments for me on my journey as a photographer.

God has given me these talents and this passion and I pray that I will use them for His glory. He has given me the eyes to see that each day is so far from ordinary and that each moment should be cherished and celebrated.  My daughter and I share a love for the song Write Your Story, by Fancesca Battistelli.  I never want to forget that my life is His to use.

                    I’m an empty page. I’m an open book.Write Your story on my heart. Come on and make Your mark.
                    Author of my hope. Maker of the stars. Let me be Your work of art. Won’t You write Your story on my heart.

                    My Life. I know it’s never really been mine. So do with it whatever You like.I don’t know what Your plan is. But I know it’s good.

 

I am giving  away one free digital copy of this gorgeous magazine. You will love the imagery in this magazine from cover to back. It includes so many amazing photographers. 

Thank you again to everyone at Mozi Magazine for including me in this fabulous issue. And if you can’t wait to see if you win a copy, you can purchase a digital or print copy here.

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  • nikki matthews - How exciting Ginger! If I haven’t told you lately, you are a constant source of inspiration for me. I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in your class. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Liesel - Such amazing images Ginger! Reading your feature in Mozi would be wonderful! A big fan xoReplyCancel

  • April Nowotny - Love your site. Would also love to win a copy of the Mozi magazine.ReplyCancel

  • April Nowotny - I would love to win a copy of the magazine because I am inspired by your work. It would be great to have my own copy of the issue with your work in it.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Green - I would love to win because just as you mentioned, in trying to realize I can be a photographer, an artist, without a business and I can get back to enjoying photography by being in the moment with my kids and photographing these moments that are going by way to quickly!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda B - Amazing work; congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - I absolutely love your work, Ginger. Your are an inspiration and one of my favorite photographers to follow.ReplyCancel

  • susie - I would love to win because I am always wanting to learn more about family and child photography as that is my primary focus as a photographer.ReplyCancel

  • Aleksandra K - I would like to win because I simply need more tips to take photos of my two naughty boys:)ReplyCancel

  • elise - I would love to win this! I adore your work!ReplyCancel

  • Hope D - Would love to receive a copy!ReplyCancel

  • Kirsty - This looks wonderful – Congratulations GingerReplyCancel

  • maibritt olsen - Ooooh I have always wanted to try out this magazine. Hope I win the free copy :) ReplyCancel

  • Cindy Cavanagh - Congratulations Ginger! So well deserved.ReplyCancel

  • Christine b - I would love to read to article of course! You know I love you and I am so proud of you!! If I don’t win a copy I will buy one for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Angel - Congrats, you are amazingReplyCancel

  • Mandalyn - Congrats, Ginger! Love that you credit the Creator for your gift! :) ReplyCancel

  • Trisha Murphy - I have four children that I capture every day moments for! Would love to win this!ReplyCancel

It is rare to find any of our children or myself up before sunrise.  This week we were up early every day so we could get to Vacation Bible School. One morning we had some extra time before we had to leave. Our middle child and only son loves to fish, so we shared some time together just the two of us. I love when I get time with any of our children one on one. The water and the light were beautiful, but our talks by the lake were the real highlight of this morning.

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Being still, being quiet, listening, and waiting. None of these things come naturally for me. My mind seems wired to think ahead, to plan, to talk. But the older I get the more I realize how much I need to take time for all of these things. I need them to hear, to know, and to feel God’s presence around me.

Please visit the Cherish this Day blog to see a collaboration of work from photographers across the world. Each of these ladies were a part of my Everyday Beauty workshop and I am so grateful to know each of them. We are all inspired to capture the beauty in our lives daily.

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You all finished a great week of Vacation Bible School today with Splash day. You love VBS each year and were sad to see it come to an end.  I am so grateful that we have a church filled with such amazing people who share the love of Jesus.  Daddy arrived home from his work trip shortly after we got home from church. You were all super thrilled to have Daddy home again.  You are so blessed to have a father who truly gives his all to our family.

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Today we attended Hollywood Studios’ Star Wars Weekend.  The highlight of the day was when you were invited to be a part of the parade: the  Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade.  You were given light sabers and Jedi robes to wear. It was such an awesome time and one I think we will all remember.

(all images taken and edited with iPhone)

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Most often on my  blog I share my heart on motherhood. For quite a few months, my heart has been stirring about another topic. Marriage.

I believe it was Valentine’s day when I first started feeling this desire to share on marriage.  I kept seeing advertisements and social media posts about love and relationships and it got me thinking about love.  What love really is and what is isn’t.

I read these words on a Valentine’s Day post by Ann Voskamp:

“None of us ever know whom we marry. And falling in love never made anyone angels… it’s only made it clear how far we’ve fallen. Who we say ‘I do’ to —  is not who we roll over to touch twenty years later. The challenge for the vows is to fall in love with the stranger to whom you find yourself married.

The vows are a vow to make the stranger you marry —  come to intimately know love everyday.

This is the only way we become married to the right people.” 

My husband and I will be married for 15 years in September.  The time has flown by.  Many of us have ideas of marriage that begin at a young age. I grew up in a home with two very loving and committed parents.  My husband did the same. We are  blessed to each have parents that have been married over 40 years. There are many commonalities between our two families: both mother’s stayed home full time with the children, both homes had 4 children, both of us were raised in the church.  When we got married I thought that all these things in common would mean the picture perfect life for the two of us.  There were many things I didn’t realize and perhaps, didn’t even think about.  I had this strange idea when we got married that strong, loving couples would never argue and they would never hurt one another.

Our marriage has not been picture perfect. And to be honest, I don’t think there is such thing as a perfect marriage. I believe our marriage is one that will last forever through the good and the bad, filled with an unconditional love and commitment, but it isn’t a story of “happily ever after”.  Over the last five to ten years we have seen many of our friends get divorced. Marriage is not easy to begin with, but the military life  brings its own set of challenges.  It seems that many people are in love with the idea of the perfect life, including the perfect marriage. No matter how hard you try or plan, it will never be that way. We get married and then experience the reality of living life together. We begin to experience the realities of life’s hardships and then we see each other through a different lens. For many, it is easier to walk away when life gets hard. A long lasting marriage takes work, commitment and sacrifice.  Some people never realize that “the grass isn’t always greener”.  Perhaps, they don’t see that other couples have normal arguments and problems to work out.  I remember when we first got married, thinking we were the only couple that ever struggled. Our society in general has this idea of EASY.  Easy is not the answer to a life of joy, and easy is not the road to a forever marriage.

Our marriage would not have survived the past 15 years without Christ at the center of it.  Our life together has been through so many highs and valleys.  We have endured moves, new life, miscarriage, loss, sickness, war, and more.  Life has not been easy. It has been full of blessings, but not without heartache as well.  I know that there are circumstances that marriages simply cannot survive. Circumstances that are too much.  I understand that and my heart aches for so many that have been through this. But I feel that sometimes we get lost in this idea of what love is and should look like, and when it isn’t this way, we feel we have failed.

My husband will be the first to share that sometimes his delivery of words is not the most graceful or kind.  His expectations for our home, meals, and other daily routines are some times different than my own. Many times I have felt that I wasn’t appreciated or doing enough in his eyes. Many tears have been shed under our roof.  There were times I got in my car and drove off, without any destination, crying out to God and asking Him why? Through the years,  I’ve seen my husband grow more patient, more appreciative, and more loving, through really giving his life and pursuits to God.

I have my own shortcomings as well. God has shown me areas I also need to continually work on.  I want to exhibit servant hood as Christ did, not only to my children, but to my husband.  I want to live selflessly. I want to show him love that never fails and never gives up. I want to encourage him.  To show him I desire him and love him for the man he is.  I mess up and fail as a wife many times.

But love — true love, is all of this. It is all of the scars and battle wounds of living together for years. Love isn’t a romantic dinner alone. Love isn’t a dozen red roses. Love is enduring these valleys of life. Love is getting to know someone for who they really are and loving them just the same.  I’ve sat in the store reading the cards for Valentine’s day and thought to myself, that’s not how our love looks. That’s not how our life looks together. That’s not how I feel. It’s okay to let go of that idea of love and romance. Its okay to embrace the messy, the less than ideal, the loud, the behind closed doors.  Its okay, because all of the hard is what has made our love become something more than an attraction to one another. That is what has defined our love.

We were studying relationships in our life group class at church and listened to part of a sermon series by Andy Stanley, an Atlanta based pastor. He said,  “Do everything in your power to become the person who the person you’re looking for is looking for. That’s your best chance for success relationally.”  These words can be applied to couples already dating or married.  Are you being the type of person you want to spend forever with? Are you treating your spouse the way you want to be treated? I have not always been this person.  Not by a long shot.

On our wedding day one of the readers read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  These words mean so much more to me now, almost 15 years later.   I want to live out these words.

I share this with you today because I want others to know that a love built on growing, living, and being challenged together, can be so much better than “the white picket fence”.  I will often share how much I love my husband and how grateful I am for his love and the sacrifices he makes for our family, but I want everyone to also know, this doesn’t come without work.  I once read that falling in love comes easy, but staying in love is the challenge. I thank God for His plan, for bringing my husband and I together to create the family we share and I pray we will share a lifetime more of memories together.

I will leave you with these last words from as sermon my husband recently shared with me.

The goal of a Christian marriage should be a model to the world of God’s love for us.

This really is a beautiful way to think of marriage. It isn’t easy to live this way daily, but the wonderful things in life are definitely worth working for.

  • Annie Morris - Thank you! I may have to bookmark this!ReplyCancel

  • Sharlet - Really great post and reminders! I’m only 2 years in but already see that Christ must be the centre for any of this love to work. XoReplyCancel

  • Amy Z - I feel like I should print this and include it in my card for weddings I attend. Thank you Ginger, it’s all so true.ReplyCancel

This week we were so excited that our cousins’ new ducklings were old enough for us to visit. We spent one afternoon playing, chasing, and watching these sweet girls. The kids keep asking when we are going to get our own. Right now, we are going to live vicariously through our cousins but I am very tempted to make the purchase. They were so sweet and cute..and seeing the kids with them was precious.

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  • the ducklings | Ginger Unzueta Photography - […] (you can see more of these sweet girls over here) […]ReplyCancel

  • Janet Crouch - Oh my goodness, how adorable!! The duckling on your niece’s head is too funny! Such softness in these images! I love this post, as I do all of your work! <3ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - A thousand hugs to you for capturing and sharing my precious grand daughters and grandchildren in law so beautifully!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie Wibowo - What a perfect way to spend an afternoon…Love all the pics, especially Miss E laying down on the grass with those ducklings.ReplyCancel

We spent the morning at a local blueberry farm enjoying the blue skies, cool breezes, and sweet berries.  Crown Jewel Farms is a beautiful place to take your whole family to experience picking organic locally grown blueberries.  The kids all had such a fun time and we can’t wait to make lots of smoothies, blueberry muffins and other yummy treats.  Head on over to their site to get information about pricing, location, and hours of operation.

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This week I was listening to the radio when one of the artists began talking about God’s purpose for our days here on Earth.  He said how many of us are running through life at this incredible pace.  He continued to share how many people are  living for the day to be over, so they can get to the next day, or the next weekend, or the next vacation.   Parents are waiting for their children to get older, so they can do life differently. Many parents, and even students, are wishing away the school year; dreaming of summer, when things will become slower. People are working jobs, with hopes of finding the next better one.   Others are waiting for their next big accomplishment; a new house, a new car, a new whatever the “it” thing is for them.   

God did not intend for our lives to be this hurried rush.  He gives us our days to use for His glory and His purpose.   I believe He wants us to soak Him in and to take time for relationships with others.   He commands us to love others.  We can’t fully love others if we aren’t slowing down enough to appreciate “the now”. We aren’t ever completely enjoying our days, if we are rushing on to the next one.

As I listened to this artist speak, I knew I had been guilty of this mindset myself.  Many times my husband has been gone on deployments or overseas for work, and I counted the days down until he returned.  The past few weeks have been filled with obstacles in our home.  We encountered a broken dryer, a broken fridge, a broken air unit, a flooded bathroom, and a tree falling in our driveway, which had to be removed after smashing our neighbor’s car. During these weeks, I let the stress add up, and my days became a blur.  I went from one day to the next, just surviving.

I have made a conscious effort the past few years to really live a slower pace of life. We home school our children and spend a lot of quality time as a family. We love the outdoors and you can often find us relaxing and enjoying God’s beauty around us.   We limit our outside activities and commitments and try to appreciate each day.  I realized as I thought back on the past month, that I am great at embracing today, until today, goes off course.  It is then that I often, let the distractions affect my mood and my focus.  God tells us in Psalm 46: 10 to “be still, and know I am God.”

He doesn’t want us to do life on our own. We have to sit still and delight in today for Him. We need to do this so we can hear Him and to be assured that He has our life in His hands.  He wants us to come to Him and leave our worries, our problems, our dreams and desires all at His feet.  As we do this, we can better enjoy the life we have today, just as it is.

This week I have slowly felt our normal routine take hold again. I have spent time being still and it feels exceedingly better than over tired, stressed and empty. These moments of stillness are always good for my soul.

One night I watched my youngest while she played with one of her cousins.  The big siblings were off at church and these two were enjoying the beautiful summer like evening. I now look at these images and can’t help but think how children really embrace today for all it is.  They live in the moment and soak up the glory of now.  It is a beautiful thing.

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  • Courtney - This is just breathtaking Ginger! I am also so guilty of passing the days away, despite the fact that I feel as though our life is on fast forward. It is a challenge for me to slow down and soak it all in and your post just gave me a confidence boost to do so. Beautiful words and beautiful images!!! ❤️ReplyCancel

  • renee @ savoring life through the lens - oh, how i just LOVE this!! it’s perfectly said, ginger. it’s amazing how much our kids teach us about life. we all started the way kids do in the world and i’m just so glad we have kids to help brings us back to who we really are…the way we were born…the way we’re meant to be…which is SO hard in this fast pace world we live in. the pictures are stunning!! my favorite is the 4th one…their faces!!! what a capture!!ReplyCancel

  • Brenda - Your such an inspration, keep it up and one day you’ll have that book!!ReplyCancel

  • janet - Oh how I love this post! Beautifully worded and touching. I couldn’t agree more!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - A beautiful post and a wonderful reminder. I am so guilty of counting days and always looking forward, rather than around!ReplyCancel

  • sherry - Ginger…these are all just beautiful…so much to see in each one…thx for sharing!!…you are an inspiration!ReplyCancel

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.Let me walk upon the waters. Wherever You would call me.Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. And my faith will be made stronger. In the presence of my Savior. I will call upon Your name. Keep my eyes above the waves. My soul will rest in Your embrace. I am Yours, and You are mine. -from Hillsong United, Oceans

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I get emails and comments frequently asking questions about our homeschooling experience. These include everything from our curriculum choices to when I get my “own time” and everything in between.  As we are finishing our third year of homeschooling, I am here to share a bit about our experience. I am not here to say that our way is the right way or that everyone should be homeschooling, but will share with you why we have grown to love this way of life for our family.

“The beauty of home education is that it gives a family more time together–time to solidify relationships, to communicate values, and to focus on each child’s individual needs in a consistent and unhurried atmosphere.” -Kimberly Hahn & Mary Hasson

When my husband and I made the decision in 2011 to home school our children, we were without doubt that God was calling our family to this lifestyle. I say lifestyle because it is so much more than just school.  It is a way of life. It is a way of looking at the world and learning and living together.  Every experience during our day is a learning experience for our children. We have loved the slower pace of life homeschooling has given us. As the quote above says, we  now have more time to focus on family relationships and values.

When we started schooling at home our children were 7, 5 and 2.  We have continued to see the relationships between our children grow in unforeseen ways during these three years.  I am keenly aware that our children are getting to know one another in ways some siblings may never have time for. We are so grateful to continue to see their bonds and love for each other grow. They have learned to play together, regardless of their ages. One question I am often asked is if my children always get along.  Of course not.  They are children after-all, but they do get along most of the time. They have a beautiful relationship that I thank God for.

I love that I have been able to be such an integral part of their education.  This includes helping decide what our children will study and how they will study it. This also includes being a physical part of that learning daily.  This week my son realized he could now read chapter books and he sat down and read an entire book after lunch. As I watched him, I was filled with so much joy, witnessing his confidence and new found love of reading grow.  He started to learn to read in 2011 when we began this journey. During his pre-kindergarten year we used a book called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I have not pushed him, but let him excel at his own pace. It is such a gift to experience this with him. We had many frustrating days we had to get through to get here, but it is such an example of perseverance and determination for both of us.

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“We can best help children learn, not by deciding what we think they should learn and thinking of ingenious ways to teach it to them, but by making the world, as far as we can, accessible to them, paying serious attention to what they do, answering their questions — if they have any — and helping them explore the things they are most interested in.”  -John Holt

One of the valuable lessons I have learned during this time is that there isn’t a “right” way to homeschool. I have met many families thriving with this lifestyle, yet not one of them are doing it the same way. I love that! As each child is unique, so is each family. We have switched and tweaked different curriculum over the three years. While curriculum is important,I feel like there is so much to be learned outside of it, especially while children are young.

I believe wholeheartedly that children should be given ample freedom in their day to explore without continuous time schedules or planned activities. They seem to thrive when they can spend time doing things that interest them. My oldest daughter loves baking and I have started to give her opportunities to explore this love. My son is fascinated with drawing, maps, and reading facts. My youngest daughter has a love of painting that continues to blossom with each week that passes.  All three of our children play soccer and the older two children attend choir and Awana (a youth program) at our church.  We have limited our outside activities as we want to continue to enjoy this slow pace and not fill our free time with commitments. This has been instrumental for our family. All of us are happier having time to do the things we enjoy outside of a schedule. Some days this means we take school outside and picnic and explore. Others we have play dates and visit with friends or family.   While others we have to attend to errands or other responsibilities that do arise.

This brings up something very important. When you decide to home school, you do give up having those hours of the day free from children. This means that if you are like me, with a husband who travels often, or at work during the day, you will be grocery shopping or doing other errands with kids in tow.  Just two weeks ago, we had to stop school to go to Sears and Home Depot to compare clothes dryers after ours died. Obstacles, doctor appointments, and the such arise. This is a reality. We have been blessed to have a college student to help, one morning a week the past few years. This has been very helpful, but most often, our children are with me when we need to get household errands done. When we began homeschooling, these things seemed to be more challenging, but as the kids have gotten older and I have learned ways to manage these outings best, it is very doable. Time with children passes by quickly and I realize in a few years my oldest will be able to babysit. It seems like just yesterday she was in her pre-school years.  It is so important to remember that each phase of life is just that, a phase. Children change and grow at this crazy rapid rate. In the short three years we have home schooled I have already seen how their ages change our family dynamics in many ways.  My older children, now 10 and 7, are both very helpful. I really try to soak in each of these phases of life.  I feel like our days are filled with ample “alone time” for me, for them, and for me with each of them.  Ultimately, I love the togetherness we share through this way of life. 

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I am asked all the time what  a “normal” day looks like.  I am also asked what our youngest child does while the older two are doing their studies. These are great questions and ones I had myself before we began this journey.  First of all, our days vary.  I would like to say a typical day starts at 9:00 am with everyone awake, fed, and in the school room, starting handwriting, but that would be untrue.

Many days our son is up before the girls. On some of these days, I begin to work one on one with him while they sleep. This is very beneficial, because once he is finished for the day, or at a point he needs a break, he can play with our youngest daughter, while I work with our oldest. Our children are 2 1/2 and 3 years apart, which has worked out really well with our schooling. There are subjects we can actually combine for the older children, which is a wonderful advantage; and they can also help their younger sister with learning activities or just play.

Like I said before, our youngest was only 2 when we began schooling at home.  We decided that she would not attend preschool and would be at home learning and playing with us.  I can not imagine our days without her at home. There were times when we first started that we had to wait and do some of our work in the afternoon while she was napping. There were also mornings we had to completely stop school and go outside and play because it was too challenging.  She has always had an interest in art, coloring, cutting, exploring. I have encouraged her from day one to join us at the work table.  This wasn’t always “convenient” or quiet, but with persistence she has learned to be a wonderful part of the classroom.  Honestly, our days aren’t always perfectly smooth, but I don’t expect them to be. I love this time with my children and cherish it in ways I never imagined.

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Our learning environment may look like a typical classroom in many ways, but it is also very different. Some days we are in our designated school room while other days our classroom is the back porch.  We have schooled in the kitchen, the park, Mimi’s house, etc. There are days when the weather is so beautiful that we leave our studies and head out to explore or play.  I love that we can start our day whenever it works for us and that our weeks are very flexible.  As I mentioned before this is a lifestyle not just a school choice.  The book studies and table work are only a small part of our learning together.

“What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children’s growth into the world is not that it is a better school than the schools, but that it isn’t a school at all.” - John Holt

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I am often asked how long we will home school.  We don’t know what the future holds and continue to pray for God to lead us in parenting our children. I do know that, we cannot imagine another way of life right now.  I have found such peace in this way of life and my heart has been so full. We will seek God first always and see what He asks of our family in all things.

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” -Corrie Ten Boom

Many people, who are unfamiliar with homeschooling, always ask about the socialization of our children. I love how Mary Kay Clark addresses this:

“Don’t worry about socialization. Wherever people congregate, there is going to be interaction, socialization.” Where is it written that it needs to be in schools? -Mary Kay Clark

As I close today, please know you are more than welcome to email me any time with your own questions on homeschooling. I know that the friends and mentors I had as we began this journey continue to be invaluable.

I can share with you over and over again, how this experience has been such a blessing for our family, while others may have had complete opposite experiences. I do not believe this is a way of life for everyone. I share these experiences, so that others who feel they are called to home school their children, can also be encouraged.  I  know that the schools where we live are wonderful and filled with amazing teachers. My husband and I both attended these schools and most of my children’s friends attend these schools. I know they have amazing opportunities that we miss, but we feel that the benefits for our family are greater than anything we are giving up. There have been times on this journey that have been challenging, even lonely, but each time we have gone to God in prayer and He has always provided what we needed.  Not only have I grown as a mother through teaching our children, but my faith in Jesus has grown in abundant ways.  This journey has taught me about obedience and living a life that God has asked of me.  That doesn’t mean it will always be easy or convenient.

Today in church the guest speaker, Bobby McGraw, spoke after leading our youth for Invasion weekend (a weekend for the youth of our church). He spoke about living in obedience and  living a  life that works.  The first point he made was that our life should be “controlled by the Father’s desires.”  We often try to compare ourselves on earth to look or be like everyone else, but trying to fit a mold doesn’t work. If we are committed as a family to what God wants, we can fully experience the blessings from Him in an amazing way.  I do not mean material blessings, but that He will provide what we need, according to His will.  ”And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:19

We are trying as a family to be obedient to God and pursuing to honor Him in all we do (not just in homeschooling), which translates to being different in today’s world. We strive to live and teach our children to be the opposite of what the world teaches. Life is not about self satisfaction or self gratification, life is about sharing God’s love with others and learning how He desires to use us for His purpose. This does not mean we will not fail along the way. We most certainly will. We are striving for these things, but we are also learning to live and give grace to ourselves and others.

For our family, this calling is so much more than a choice of how we will educate our children. We are doing more than educating our children by having them home on a daily basis. We are nurturing and investing in them for the sake of Jesus.

As parents, we all have to find what works best for our family. I will forever be grateful that we listened to God’s call to change our path three years ago. It was scary and unknown, but it has been filled with many blessings. 

 

My heart, my soul, Lord I give you control.Consume me from the inside out Lord.Let justice and praise become my embrace. To love You from the inside out. Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades. Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame. And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise. From the inside out, O my soul cries out.  -from Hillsong United,  the Inside Out.

  • Janet Crouch - So well put, Ginger! An inspiring post.ReplyCancel

  • Susie Moore - Ginger, this is just wonderful!! I’m so glad that you shared what homeschooling is really like, and why we do it. It was fun to see so much of the same curricula that I used with my boys. They actually loved Wordly Wise! It’s heartwarming to see your obedience to the Lord in your life! <3ReplyCancel

  • Christa McCann - Ginger,
    I loved reading your perspective on homeschooling! While we do not homeschool, I agree that each family has to ask for God direction before making such an important decision. We are to be obedient to what God wants for our families. I think you are doing an amazing job with yours!! Thanks for sharing!!
    ChristaReplyCancel

  • Felicia - Ginger, this is an amazing and enlightening post! You’ve given so much thought into the process and yet have the foresight to roll with the unexpected. It’s truly inspiring. I will pass this post on to a friend that is seriously considering home schooling for her girls. Thank you for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • Lacey Meyers - Oh, how I enjoyed this. And needed this! I have had your post up on my computer for several days now, trying to find a quiet moment to read it. But with children always home, that quiet moment to read and absorb doesn’t always happen. ;) Reading about your homeschooling experience is such a blessing and encouragement, and I thank you so much for sharing, Ginger!ReplyCancel

  • AlisonW - Ginger, these are simply beautiful and I love to hear how your homeschool goes. It is something we have considered and I love to read about it.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - I can’t thank you enough for this post. it is the first I have read of your blog and it came at exactly the time I needed. {Even your quote from “Oceans”.} My family is just beginning the homeschooling journey and your encouraging words are appreciated. :) ReplyCancel

  • Why We Do, What We Do. » Clackamas Oregon Lifestyle Photographer, Newborn Photographer, Clackamas Oregon Maternity Photographer | Lacey Meyers Photography - […] this week, a blog post by my across-the-country-friend did that for me.  I am so thankful that Ginger Unzueta reminded me (and all her readers) that choosing to home-educate is a lifestyle choice, not just a […]ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - I wish I had the patience, time and know-how to homeschool. I *know* my oldest would benefit from being homeschooled… but I am just so afraid of failing him (and myself). This is such a wonderful post, Ginger. Thank you for sharing a little of what your homeschooling with us. :) (and, beautiful images as always! <3 )ReplyCancel

    • Tara Eveland - hey there, i left my own comment then was reading above and saw yours. i dont normally reply to comments but God put it on my heart to say to you and remind you “I can do all through him who gives me strength”.
      I dont think you can fail with the almighty behind you. If God leads you to homeschool your child he will NOT let you fail! God bless! Another great blog to check out on homeschooling is womenlivingwell.orgReplyCancel

  • Jessica - Oh Ginger you are such an inspiration! I love how you capture your girl’s spirit so perfectly and authentically – she is so blessed to have you for a mother.ReplyCancel

  • Kira - Thank you for sharing your journey and experience. I am “officially” starting homeschooling this fall as that is when my 5 year old would be starting kindergarten, but feel like we’ve started homeschooling two years ago. I love how you say it’s a lifestyle choice, not just a school choice. And that it’s okay for it to look so different from a school room experience. That you really do give up “kid-free” time, which can be really hard sometimes, but remembering why you made that choice and are living that life can give you strength and perspective. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing this post!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa (Tout Petit Pixel) - This is fabulous, Ginger! Loved getting a peek in your homeschooling life. So inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • Chavi - These photos are so inspiring! Looking at these photos makes me wish I could do the same for my kids!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha Covert - What a great post, Ginger! I’m sure it is so helpful for people curious about homeschooling to learn in detail what your experience is like. Your images are, as always, so beautiful. You are truly a gifted storyteller <3ReplyCancel

  • Tara eveland - Hi there,
    What a great article and just what God led me to read this morning! I have so many questions for you that I cannot write it simply in one blog commment. You mentioned emailing you but I do not see an email address. If you are willing to talk to me about this and help me from your experiences I would love you to email me at taraeveland@gmail.com I am a sister in Christ and I love your images of your classroom as well as I am also a professional photographer! A few questions for here Im sure others are wondering:
    Where did you get the table/chairs/and bookshelf?
    Also were your kids EVER in public school?
    I ask because my daughter is very gifted, she asked to be taught to read when she was 2, almost 3 years old. So I started homeschooling her. We also used the 100 lessons to reading book! My husband and I prayed about it and decided to try public school for her for kindergarten and she has loved it this year, i think however she has loved making friends and the social aspect of it, because I feel she has not been challenged enough. Although they put her in the AR program which isnt supposed to start till 1st grade, she breezed through each book and would get 100% on each test praise God. Now we have a stack of ‘free pizza’ coupons to use this month lol. But my point is that they made her start at basic books, books she was reading when she was 2 and now she is 6. I dont feel the public school is teaching her on HER level of where she is. And my other concern is about my son, who is now 2.5 years old and completely different than his sister. He does not enjoy learning by books or ‘regular methods’ but prefers hnads on learning, so I feel homeschooling her may hinder her with him at home as well and how would I teach both of them since they learn so differently.
    I do hope you email me and offer me some advice. we are in the last few days of the kindergarten year and I must decide if I will enroll her for next year or not. I am in such conflict over this and looking for any christian sister that has dealt with these same issues to help me along this journey, even if its just praying for my guidance, or if its to email me. thank you so much!
    Tara EvelandReplyCancel

  • Beth Ann - I didn’t know much about homeschooling before and it was nice to get a peak into what it is like for you and your family.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Carr - Wow! What an amazingly detailed and helpful post. I love the care and thought you put into the homeschooling experience for your children.ReplyCancel

Last year I became friends with a very special group of ladies and participated together in a 10 on 10 project.  This year we wanted to continue to do a project together, but wanted to do something a little different.  Our new project is called Kaleidoscope.

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Kaleidoscope  is derived from the Ancient Greek (kalos), “beautiful, beauty” (eidos), “that which is seen: form, shape” and (skopeo), “to look to, to examine.”  Hence “observation of beautiful forms.

We are a group of friends, moms, visual artists and photographers from around the world who are passionate about capturing images of the real, the messy and the magical-the wonder of the everyday.  Like a kaleidoscope, our photographs are playful and experimental, ever-changing and infused with light and colour.  Once a month, we assemble a single mosaic comprised of our collective pictorial tiles, one submitted by each of us, that reflect the shared meaning and beauty in our lives.

This month I captured a Sunday Family Night dinner at our home.  The days are getting longer and we are enjoying longer days down by the lake and in the back yard. I am always grateful to get all of our family together on a weekly basis.

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  • Janine - Oh to be a kid again…sigh :) I love the tree swing! Beautifully captured. JxReplyCancel

  • rowe - what a gorgeous, simply delightful life your kiddos lead! swimming and tree swings… its what all childhoods should be made of! perfect ginger xReplyCancel

Matthew 5:4

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

The online photography community has been a blessing to me in many ways. I have been able to meet people from all over the world that I would otherwise never know.  I believe each friendship is not by chance, but through God’s provision and plan. One of those special friends is Ashley Meiners Wilson. We have gotten to know each other in a beautiful way over the past year.  I am grateful for our conversations and friendship.

Last week, Ashley suddenly and unexpectedly lost her husband Jon. He left behind Ashley and two young children.  In December, Ashley did a beautiful tribute to her husband as part of our 10 on 10 project.  You can see her amazing work and love for Jon  here.

A group of 28 photographers have come together to show Ashley our love and support.  In times like this there are so few words that seem enough, but we wanted her to know how much we love her and that we are standing behind her.  You can find out how you can help and see our collaboration here. 

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  • Debbie Wibowo - Such a beautiful tribute. All the pictures convey so much love and peacefulness.ReplyCancel

Last year I became friends with a very special group of ladies and participated together in a 10 on 10 project.  This year we wanted to continue to do a project together, but wanted to do something a little different.  Our new project is called Kaleidoscope.

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Kaleidoscope  is derived from the Ancient Greek (kalos), “beautiful, beauty” (eidos), “that which is seen: form, shape” and (skopeo), “to look to, to examine.”  Hence “observation of beautiful forms.

We are a group of friends, moms, visual artists and photographers from around the world who are passionate about capturing images of the real, the messy and the magical-the wonder of the everyday.  Like a kaleidoscope, our photographs are playful and experimental, ever-changing and infused with light and colour.  Once a month, we assemble a single mosaic comprised of our collective pictorial tiles, one submitted by each of us, that reflect the shared meaning and beauty in our lives.

This month I captured an afternoon strawberry picking. This is one of our favorite Spring Break traditions.  This local farm is such a sweet place to visit. I am always in such surprise over how cheap the berries are when you pick them. The girls favorite part is getting to eat as we pick. I love these special family memories.

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  • melissa - yearning for summer to arrive even more now…but at least i felt warmth while viewing these. :) what a fun afternoon! those strawberries look perfectly sweet and juicy, i’m pretty sure my face and shirt would look like that, too! ;) ReplyCancel

  • ali deck - What a perfect spot to hang out and take pictures!! I love the feel of these, makes me long for warm weather. It has been so amazing to watch your babies grow before my eyes, they and your work is gorgeous. xoReplyCancel

  • Jenna Reich - Ginger, I love these so much! We had a strawberry patch in our backyard when I was a kid and I remember every Easter making strawberry shortcake with the ones we picked. Such a great tradition! And of course, lovely photos. That one of your oldest daughter is striking!ReplyCancel

  • Jackie Tyghem - I love it! I can remember picking strawberries with my mother & grandmother when I was a little girl..and I would eat them too :) lol These are precious..the one image of your oldest in the boots, perfect. xoReplyCancel

It was Monday of Spring Break and it was raining, so we decided to head to the bowling alley with some of the cousins and Aunt Katie. What a fun and chaotic time we had together. The bowling alley doesn’t have the best lighting and some of these images missed focus, yet, somehow they come together to tell the story so well. One of the things I am trying to embrace more often is imperfection. I want to save the snapshots in addition to the more polished pictures, because this is life right now.

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Please head on over to the Cherish this Day blog to see the everyday beauty captured in the lives of some very talented  and special ladies.

It’s almost been three months since I started the Joy Project; my own version of a project 365.  As someone who has always captured the beauty of every day, I don’t feel like I am picking up my camera more; yet there have still been some valuable observations.

I am really trying to embrace imperfections and messy. I am not necessarily meaning this about life, but about the way I capture our life. Life can definitely be disheveled; often out of order and filled with highs and lows on any given day. I really want to look back on my pictures and be able to relive these moments. I want to be able to feel the days as I do now and to see them years from now with the same fresh eyes I see them with today. This is increasingly more important than a perfectly composed or exposed image.

We are surrounded by family with cousins always in and out of our home and yard. Our home is often loud and chaotic with children interacting and playing.  At other times it is quiet and calm filled with snuggles and intimate conversations.  Most days are slow and savored as we spend them learning about life, playing, and just being together. It is so important to me to teach our children the value of relationships within and outside of our home. To make time for each other and others and not let the busy paced world that surrounds us seep in and take over.

I want to be able to accurately capture the childhood I see my children living. This unique and ever so special season of life is one I thank God for daily. I want to look back on my images and feel the connection to them that I do now.  I feel like each frame I capture is its own note of thanksgiving that I can never find accurate words to express. I don’t want to forget anything about these days and this project reminds me of that constantly. I want to hold these memories and remember each of the details without fail.

I look forward to the growth I will stumble upon as I continue this project in the months ahead.

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the joy project march 18 feature
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You can see more from the Joy Project here.

 

  • before dinner | Ginger Unzueta Photography - […] (see more images from this night and some thoughts on the Joy Project here) […]ReplyCancel

  • Cate Wnek - I love your sentiments here Ginger, and the memories you captured. So true, I feel like I am there. Imperfection is such a beautiful thing!ReplyCancel

  • melissa - this is life…and it’s beautiful! ❤️ReplyCancel

  • kathleen - oh, wow! i love your style. you capture life, so real in all of its imperfect beauty. thanks for the inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne - Wow. My sister sent me your link. I have gone from picture to picture and blog post to blog post. I am in LOVE with your JOY project (365). I am not a photographer. I am a homeschool mom and lover of Jesus. I write often. Since the beginning of the year I have been praying about how to honor the Lord with my writing. I have been praying for longer than that on how to leave a legacy for my children. As I looked at your photos, with tears in my eyes, I knew the Lord was speaking to my heart. Often I write for others, trying to get them to understand topics. Often heavy topics. As I read your notes/captions for your children – it just hit me like a ton of bricks. ALL I want to do is bring God glory, love my husband and children well and impact eternity and each of them for HIM. Thank you for stirring inside of me a longing that I had forgotten and could NOT explain to myself. I am so excited that you inspired me. I am so excited to see how God is going to change my writing! Thank you!ReplyCancel

The third class of my Everyday Beauty workshop with The Bloom Forum just wrapped up. I am so grateful for each student that has seen something in my work and signed up to be a part of this class.  It is a gift to get to know them each on a personal level and have a glimpse into their world . I always feel inspired as our time together comes to an end.  I love to see their growth, their excitement, and their love for photographing the every day blossom. Today, I would like to share the work from some of the  students in my July and January classes. Thank you all for the friends you have each become. It was such an honor to get to have this time together.

Amy Nowak

Facebook | Blog

The minute I first saw one of Ginger’s images online, I knew I had to find a way to learn from her.  I quickly emailed her and found out that she was teaching the EverydayBeauty class through the Bloom Forum.   I was so lucky to be able to have an active seat in her July workshop, and she taught me so much more than just how to take pictures and find the beauty in everyday.   I love her heart and soul more than anything.  She pours her heart into teaching and her photographs- sharing with us her children, her faith, and her passion for motherhood, family, and capturing the beauty that surrounds us every day.  I could look at her images all day long because I just see so much love in all of them.  That is what I wanted to be able to do.  Ginger taught me how to shoot with more than just my camera.  She taught me to shoot with my heart.   She taught me how to “see” the light.  And as she would say…”even in the darkness.”  She taught me that we are all on our own journey, that we all can tell our story, and that even those small, mundane moments are important and gone before we know it.  It is in these small moments that I have begun to find the real beauty within my family.  I realize that to capture these times is making me a better mother and a more fulfilled person.  I  now feel like I am now part of a very special group of women in photography that has been blessed by Ginger’s gift of teaching.    I can not thank Ginger enough for opening my eyes to Everyday Beauty.  It has been such a blessing for me and my whole family, and I know that years down the road, they will look at these images and be able to drift back into their childhood.  They will be reminded that there are simple moments in life that shaped who they are, and it is these moments that will be cherished and treasured the most.

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Carey Pace

Facebook | Blog

From day one in my photographic journey, I’ve taken “everyday” type images.  Documenting the reality of my children’s lives was always my goal, and has always been all I’ve ever done.  It’s just “all I know.”  However, as artists, there is always room to learn, grow, and evolve our art.  I took Ginger’s workshop hoping to learn a thing or two for my ongoing project of photographing my kids in a beautiful, memorable way.  On the other side of the workshop now, I sit, utterly blown away.  I feel like it is THE best class or workshop I’ve ever taken.

A huge portion of photography is seeing the light and learning to utilize it to create the art you see in your mind.  Ginger touches on that certainly, but the large goal of this workshop is the other portion of photography — seeing what to actually include in the image.  Whether you are someone who has never attempted to take documentary, real life images of your family or someone who has never done anything but, you will walk away from this workshop changed.

She walks you through seeing your children, your home, your life environment through the eyes of a documentarian, and teaches you how to compose and create images that reflect your reality in beautiful ways.  Every lesson and assignment are accompanied with myriad examples, to solidify the written concepts for the visual learners out there (which I suspect a lot of photographers are).  My biggest takeaway from this workshop is becoming much more intentional, purposeful about my compositions.  I’m always photographing, but participating in these assignments and lessons has given me new eyes for how to create my work.  If you are someone who doesn’t know where to begin in trying to create lifestyle photography for your own family, this workshop is a gold mine.

On top of all that, Ginger is one of the most kind and genuine souls I’ve ever known.  She takes her role as teacher incredibly seriously.  She truly wants all of us to learn to photograph our own family beautifully as she does her own.  I appreciate someone who does what they say they are going to do.  Forum posts are made on time, everyone is given thorough, thoughtful, constructive yet encouraging feedback, everything is organized clearly, formatted nicely, etc.  Ginger goes the extra mile for everything.  In today’s world, this stands out.  I could not recommend this workshop more highly.

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Camille Vaughan

Facebook 

Ginger Unzueta and the “Everyday Beauty” workshop was beyond inspiring.  It was obvious from the beginning that Ginger put her heart and soul into this workshop and she wanted to make sure we all walked away seeing life and our surroundings differently.  I have a new understanding of finding the light in my home, not forgetting the details and most importantly capturing and telling the story of my children’s life.  I truly feel like my photography grew by leaps and bounds in those two short weeks.  I also loved how Ginger created such an uplifting learning environment.  She kept the workshop very interactive and the other huge bonus were the new friends that I walked away with that share the same passion I have for photography.

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Cindy Cavanagh

Facebook | Blog

I was privileged  to participate in the “everyday beauty” workshop in July. The information Ginger provided was easy to understand and was complimented by her beautiful images. The attention to detail that she pays to her images shined through during the workshop. No question was left unanswered and her critiques were honest and helpful.
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Hope Davis

Facebook | Blog

Ginger’s workshop goes right along with so many personal projects I am currently working on. I wanted to share one of Chris and Carson I captured yesterday. Carson was having a hard time saying goodbye to his daddy who was getting ready to leave for a mission trip to Haiti. I’m sure I would have missed this tender moment if it wan’t for Ginger’s assignment. I can’t thank you enough Ginger for opening my eyes to everyday moments right in front of me.

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Maria Manco

Facebook | Blog

I am SO glad that I signed for this class.  I am no stranger to taking photos of my child – I have tons.  But this class has helped me to start approaching photography with my heart and think about what is important to me and what details I want to remember forever.   She leads with lots of examples and more than just showing the photo she explains the why – why did she want to remember a certain moment, why did she choose her camera settings, etc.  It was really insightful and inspiring.  We had lessons on finding the light in your own home, composition, perspective, details, story telling, and more.  Ginger is encouraging in her critiques while still making suggestions on things to try or think about for next time.   Thank you so much Ginger for a wonderful class and a great experience.  I feel recharged about WHY I love photography so much – to remember how life feels at this moment.

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Janet Crouch

Facebook | Blog

I first heard Ginger Unzueta’s name while I was taking my first Finding the Light workshop.  Praises rang out from numerous participants about her amazing talent as a photographer as well as her faith and character.

Always searching for inspiration, I looked her up and immediately fell in love with her work!  Her images of her family are stunning and real and I was excited to learn that she was teaching the Everyday Beauty workshop on The Bloom Forum.  I could hardly wait to sign up because I, too, wanted to be able to capture the same mystique that drew me to her website over and over.
The Everyday Beauty workshop became more to me than just a collection of beautiful photographs.  Aside from the many talented photographers I connected with, Ginger taught me how to be true to myself by being able to focus more on enjoying my family and cherishing the times we’re together as I capture the memories that we experience.
There were lessons on lighting and composition, and the importance of being camera-ready; connecting with your subject and capturing details.  Although all of this had been considered at some time or another, Ginger had a way of teaching these concepts, and so much more, by blending them together with personal photographs and inspiration.  I never dreamed I could gain so much from a two week workshop!  It was life changing!
As a grandmother, I would encourage not only young mothers, but mothers of all ages to pick up your camera, take this workshop, and be prepared to view your life and your family in a refreshing new way!
Thank you, Ginger, for spending so much of your time working with this class and for sharing your wealth of knowledge, faith, and friendship.
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Rachel McCalley

Facebook | Blog

What draws me back to Ginger’s work time after time is the way that she is able to capture small moments with her children.  You can actually FEEL how much she loves them in her photographs. When I saw that Ginger was hosting a second “Everyday Beauty” workshop this summer with the Bloom Forum, I could not wait to sign up and begin to learn how to do this in my own photography.

The workshop was AMAZING!  Her critiques were so helpful, always giving me positive yet constructive feedback.  She pushed me both technically and creatively and helped me to try things that I’d always admired in other people’s work but never thought I could do with light.  But most importantly, she helped us to find the beauty in the everyday, the ordinary moments and she taught us to tell stories through our photographs.

And for that, I will be forever grateful.

A friend of mine commented on a photo I posted a few weeks ago.  She said, “You always capture such emotion in your photographs.”  It was probably the nicest compliment I have ever received.  And truth be told I don’t always capture it.  But since taking Ginger’s workshop, I can tell you it’s what I strive for every time I click the shutter.

XO ~Rachel McCalley

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Jin Van Stee
I am so grateful for your wonderful class! The class really inspired me to open my eyes and see the beauty around me. The perspectives, the details, the light, and most of all the connections. Your lessons and photographs are genuine and insightful. I not only picked up on a couple of technical tips but more importantly the gospel behind lifestyle photography – its beauty, its truth, and its soul. 
I have a few favorite images from the class… but I think this one is up there. I wouldn’t have caught it, in the way I did, if not for the class!
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Bethani Giannini

Facebook | Blog

I so loved this class.  The Everyday Beauty class is just that- It taught me how to capture the beauty of my everyday life so that I can remember and cherish those special in between moments in the years to come.   This class taught me how to see and slow down – the little moments of everyday life are some of the most important to capture.  How do you want to remember your life?  What may seem mundane today will be beautiful to you tomorrow, if you’re not aware of it already.  Take this class.  It will change how you look at your everyday.  Not only will you capture those moments, but you will appreciate them more.  Ginger will help you learn to tell a story through your images, to document, and to reinforce the saying “Enjoy the little things in life.  For someday you will realize they were the big things.”

 

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Michelle Shumaker
I just finished “Everyday Beauty” with Ginger Unzueta…and wow!  Where should I begin?  I had made my New Year’s Resolution to explore lifestyle photography.  This class started the 3rd week of January…perfect timing. I have always admired Ginger via Facebook and couldn’t wait for this class to start.  I love photography, but I was stuck in a rut of posed pictures….too much planning and directing.  I was making photography a chore for my kids and even myself sometimes…longing for more emotion in my images (especially indoor).  After taking this class, I feel inspired.  I love the everyday moments…capturing my kiddos as they are at this age, this moment in time.  I have a list right next to my computer of some of the lil’ things I want to remember about my kids at this time…hoping to capture these moments/lil’ quirks.  Like the image below of my son…he always has one sock off, and one sock on at home.  As soon as he gets home from school, he takes off a sock.  I want to remember this.  Thank you Ginger…this class was eye-opening and inspiring…there is beauty and emotion in the “everyday.”  We just have to stop looking so hard and see what is right in front of us.  No perfect outfits, or perfect houses, or perfect smiles….just kids being kids.
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Kerry Chea
We just wrapped up the Everyday Beauty workshop and as part of my final assignment, I brought my toddler and baby to the library.  I got home and reviewed the photos and while there were a fair share of technical imperfections – I found that I had never cared less!  The photos brought such a huge smile to my face, and suddenly I realized what the true gift of Ginger’s teachings are.  I had signed up hoping to learn technical skills, but I’ve taken away so much more in terms of how to think about making memories from our daily lives.  Ginger packs the workshop with practical tips and inspiration from her own work, and creates a very supportive and responsive environment for learning; she is generous with her advice and enthusiasm, but also does not shy away from offering specific suggestions for improving your images.  Thank you Ginger for helping me focus on why I want to become a better photographer!
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Karen Montgomery
Ginger presents an amazing series of lessons and feedback that challenged not only the way I used my camera, but the way I looked at my day to day moments.  In such a short time, I began to capture real emotion in the pictures of my kids.  The growth of my photography and my style from this experience is unbelievable.  Ginger fosters a caring and safe forum for questions, critiques and feedback.  I would recommend this class to anyone who feels like they are constantly getting the same shot when they take pictures, want to capture true emotions of the moment and want to create photos that will preserve the moments we often overlook or forget, but are so important in the everyday!
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Jessie Oneal
I have been looking forward to taking Ginger’s Everyday Beauty Workshop for some time now. It appealed to me for so many reasons. The biggest was to see a little into Gingers mind and learn from her how to capture everyday moments in a beautiful lasting way.
The class outline covered more than I could have hoped for and was so inspiring. I especially appreciate her well thought out assignments as they kept me continuously pushing to look deeper and see things from a new perspective.
Thank you Ginger for sharing your amazing talent with us!
This class has been unforgettable.
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Chelsea Williams
This class was such an amazing experience! Ginger is so inspiring and it is such a treat to be able to get a glimpse into her world. Her critiques are so uplifting and very insightful! I see my life and my kids with such different eyes after this class. What a wonderful experience!
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Kim Kelly

If you are considering taking Ginger’s Everyday Beauty class do not hesitate, in  my opinion it is simply the best!  I feel that it has helped me out of my creative slump and finally find my style of photography!  I have taken many photography related online classes prior to this class and while I learned something in every class I never felt I could pinpoint my style of photography.  This class has given me direction and focus and also the courage to look at things from a different perspective. Ginger shares everything, I mean EVERYTHING,  with her students and you can tell she genuinely wants everyone to succeed.   After the first two modules I felt like I had my moneys worth because the lessons really made me stop in my tracks and reflect on what I wanted to do with my photography journey.  I realized that I needed to stop trying to do what I thought others wanted and start doing what I wanted.  I feel that this new direction will make me so much happier and I now have the confidence to make the steps necessary to get there.  The step by step building of lessons helped me develop a focus that I lacked before and also provided me with a plan for how I will arrange my future sessions.  Ginger is extremely honest in her critiques but sensitive at the same time, which allowed me to post questions freely and also share my work without feeling nervous.  In addition to Ginger the other workshop attendees offered great inspiration and support through the forum style of the class and I cant wait to follow all of them and see how we all grow.

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Ginger Lobb

Facebook | Blog

I was so excited to take this class. Ginger’s photography has been a huge inspiration to me for sometime now.  I love the emotion captured in her lifestyle images. I was at a place where I needed to be taken back to the reason I fell in love with photography. Being able to shoot for myself and feel good about my images is what I was looking for and I felt a great sense of confidence and pride in my pictures after taking this class.

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Holly Donovan 

Facebook | Blog

I received Everyday Beauty as my December birthday gift from my mom. I had no idea how much of a gift, in the end, it would be. This was my first workshop at the Bloom Forum, is was on the top of my ‘to do’ list for photography. I had admired Ginger’s work for months, I could go through her albums for ages. When I heard of the class I knew I had to take it and learn how she produced such inspiring and beautiful work. I could relate to her vision and was in awe at the small everyday moments she captured so perfectly. I started my first 365 a few weeks before, with the hope I would grow from this class and that it would help keep my motivation steady. What I wasn’t expecting was the level of personal attention from Ginger. All of her feedback was genuine and honest, and so much more than just a few words. She left me feeling good about work I turned in, even though there were days I knew it wasn’t my best. Her kind encouragement kept me shooting for my 365 during some very hard weeks at home, not to mention in our very cold climate where shooting everyday can feel like a chore. The techniques from the lessons in this class were exactly what I needed to gain to produce lifestyle images of my children at home. I thought I knew the basics, but I was missing so much. The workshop gave me all of the tools I needed going forward with capturing creativiely composed and meaningful memories and I use them every single day in my work. This class was exactly what I needed at the right time, shooting indoors can be a struggle and motivation can be my biggest challenge during the winter months. At the start of it, I had thought maybe I was taking it at the wrong time, but in retrospect, it was the perfect timing! I practice the lessons every time I pick up my camera. Ginger’s encouragement, kindness, wonderful CC was such a great bonus alongside all of the detailed material which included beautiful examples which were such a big help. Everyday Beaty was one of the best workshops I have taken to date, and that is saying ALOT! So grateful!

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Mickisha Glenn

website |  facebook

The drive behind my photography has always been to capture my life in a beautiful way!  I remember early on in my photographic journey looking at images from different photographers and trying to pin down what transformed them from a snapshot of someone’s life into art.  I stumbled upon Ginger’s work one day and was drawn to the beauty, light and joy in her images.  Her work spoke to my heart–this is what I wanted to achieve, to be able to capture my family and the events of our life in a transformative and beautiful way!

I wish I had the words to sum up how amazing Ginger and the Everyday Beauty Workshop are!  Ginger truly helped me to look at the ordinary moments of my day and turn them into magical memories that can be enjoyed forever!  No matter what point you are in your journey as a photographer she helps you to look at your life and your photography with a fresh perspective.  To break down and analyze the different aspects of photography, light, and the spaces in which you photograph.  Her thoughtful instruction and examples of her beautiful imagery were the perfect combination to help me understand and apply the lessons during the workshop.

More than anything Ginger has taught me to be more intentional and thoughtful with what I photograph–to look for the beauty in my life, my home, and my family.  To stop and think about what I want to remember and what memories I want to make and to record all the aspects of my life.  These skills have not only impacted me as a photographer but also as a mother and woman.  Photography has always helped me to stop and see the beauty in my life.  After taking Everyday Beauty I have more knowledge, vision, and intention to continue to seek out and record the beauty of my everyday!

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Last year I became friends with a very special group of ladies and participated together in a 10 on 10 project.  This year we wanted to continue to do a project together, but wanted to do something a little different.  Our new project is called Kaleidoscope.

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Kaleidoscope  is derived from the Ancient Greek (kalos), “beautiful, beauty” (eidos), “that which is seen: form, shape” and (skopeo), “to look to, to examine.”  Hence “observation of beautiful forms.

We are a group of friends, moms, visual artists and photographers from around the world who are passionate about capturing images of the real, the messy and the magical-the wonder of the everyday.  Like a kaleidoscope, our photographs are playful and experimental, ever-changing and infused with light and colour.  Once a month, we assemble a single mosaic comprised of our collective pictorial tiles, one submitted by each of us, that reflect the shared meaning and beauty in our lives.

I love seeing how each photographer sees her part of the world.  It is beautiful to see these images all together. Please be sure to head on over to our blog to see our Kaleidoscope for February.

This month my image came from a group of images from one afternoon on the lake with some of the cousins. The sun was shining, the skies were blue, and the water was inviting.

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  • Jackie Tyghem - Ginger…can I please come live with you? I can feel the fun & the sun through your images. Your blessed to have your children grow up on the lake – its the best! They will forever have wonderful memories of this time!!!! Beautiful pictures.ReplyCancel

  • melissa - relaxed and happy…i always feel that way when i visit you here. xoReplyCancel

  • ali deck - OH the light Ginger!! These are spectacular my friend! They give me such a warm and inspiring feeling….and depressing with our continual snow fall up here in the north!! I’m coming down with Jack. ;) ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - Oh Ginger…these are beautiful…and so carefree. They speak to my summer and water loving heart. Next reunion is in Florida on your coast! XOReplyCancel

  • Bethany Giannini - Hi Ginger!! I second what Jackie said! ;) I always love seeing your photos. Thanks for sharing some sunshine! I’ll take any kind I can get here in Michigan ;) ReplyCancel

  • rowe - what gorgeous memories to capture! i still remember time spent with cousins so clearly… those long days and endless giggles are memories i will cherish forever! how i would love to have more photos of those days… beautiful! florida winters look a lot like the weather here in bali! how blessed are we…ReplyCancel

  • Lissa - I love these Ginger! Your work never disappoints!ReplyCancel