Monthly Archives: December 2013

Combustion Magazine: Chasing the Green Fairy

Did you like the first image in my last blog Social Media is Ghost from Christmas Past? It was from a fun photo shoot for Combustion Magazine’s article, “Chasing the Green Fairy.” I love working with the producers of Combustion Magazine. After the magazine was published in August 2013, they helped sponsor the Cars & Coffee event at Harborwalk – where I got the opportunity to rep the magazine.

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There is just something exciting about dressing up, and getting to act like a seductive hallucinogen leading a drunken man to his demise. You can read the full article written for Combustion Magazine’s article Chasing the Green Fairy by getting your subscription here. Combustion Magazine also has their very own Facebook account – go Like their page here!

Combustion Magazine August 2013

Combustion Magazine August 2013

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas ya filthy animal!

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As always, loved working with Armando L Rosales! You can see more of his work featured here! Hire him for next year’s family holiday portraits – you will not be disappointed.

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Social Media is the Ghost of Christmas Past

Combustion Magazine August 2013

Combustion Magazine August 2013

The clock struck midnight, Halloween turned back into just a pumpkin. Society’s Prince set out merrily on his way trying to put the glass slipper ornament on every damn tree it came into contact with (because there is no distinguishable traits between a Palm Tree and an Evergreen Conifer).

Christmas is actually only 4 days away now… and I can’t help but reminisce with Social Media’s very own Ghost of Christmas Past.

I wear the chain I forged in life…. I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

The really cool thing about social media is that everything – and I mean everything – is documented. The moment I picked up a computer I began updating my friends (who most don’t actually know anything of merit about me, and I of them, but we stalk each other on Social Media anyways) on all of the latest life-happenings.

Since I’ve managed to forget my Myspace credentials, the earliest I can go back to in the past is where I began using Facebook…. and wow, it sure is interesting to see where I’ve been and what I’ve done. What I find most interesting about life is comparing daily life to the “big picture”. Every day that passes, in that moment, seems like nothing substantial has changed. Yet, looking back over weeks, months, even years – nothing is the same.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. – Soren Kierkegaard

Let’s just look at the differences compared in the time span of a week over the past years.

Nevada

Nevada

One year ago today, I was on the road trip of a lifetime. Married still. In the process of traveling with my partner from Colorado to Nevada, where we celebrated Christmas in Las Vegas. From there we went to Death Valley, CA… and it was quite a religious experience. Facebook would lead you to believe I was happy, and a part of me was. I was in the process of completing one of my lifetime dreams; checking off an item on my bucket list. Something was wrong, however – which later lead me to write my Marriage is Hard. post in hopes of encouraging myself to stand strong. Here is one small example of how Social Media is easily deceiving: Look at the picture I was tagged in on Dec 25th, 2012. The tag line is “Viva Las Vegas! Merry Christmas.” I am smiling in this picture. I hated Las Vegas; Despised it with every fiber of my being actually.

Though, let’s continue with this Of Christmas’ Past tour.

December 22, 2011… Facebook’s Ghost of the past tell’s me I was working at Carrabba’s. Running around Walmart with my partner – gift shopping for each other. Playing Poker upstairs with friends (and might I add winning!). As well as throwing end of the year Murder Mystery Parties. Life appears to be very successful. Also, at this time in my life, I was very passionate about writing on some social matters, such as affairs.

Peter Bennet

Peter Bennet

It appears that the furthest back I can go on Social Media, however, is only 3 years back. December 22, 2010. It was my first Christmas as a married person. We celebrated the 12 days of Christmas (event style), and that was quite fun. We were heavily involved in Church and our Youth Group. We were unhappy with our current living situation, but photos on Facebook would never give that away. I was trying to get involved with an agent for modeling. Only 20 years old, still so young. I couldn’t drink legally, and my surroundings made me never want to drink at all (Facebook doesn’t show that either).

That’s where Social Media stops for me (or begins, if you read this blog from bottom to top). If it isn’t on Facebook – did it happen? The week of December 22nd, 2009 – where was I? What was I doing? Well, I got engaged. I was happy, but ignorant to certain facts that would have made me very unhappy. Was it better that way?

Big Gig Photography MM#656416

Big Gig Photography MM#656416

December 2008… It’s getting harder to piece these past moments together without Facebook’s Ghost of the past. I had just turned 18. I had started modeling. My hair was black. I was probably working on Christmas. Was I happy?

Memory is a mirror that scandalously lies. – Julio Cortazar

December 2007? 2005? 1999? 1989? … I just don’t remember anything. Maybe if I try really hard to bring it to focus. Did I forget it for a reason?

Before I go all Scrooge here with “Bah Humbug!” I’ve really gotten to thinking… Is time’s remarkable ability to heal possible because of one’s ability to forget? Although Social Media is decieving, and not always a true representation of the Ghost of the Past… is it better this way because when we look back, we will not remember the pain?

That brings me here… with Social Media’s Ghost of Christmas Present – December 22, 2013; I genuinely say I wish you a Merry Christmas…

If it is not one do not worry, for you will forget those fine details anyways.

Keep Christ in CHRISTmas

Image taken on our 110 Day Road Trip - The Trail West Part 2 Blog

Image taken on our 110 Day Road Trip – The Trail West Part 2 Blog

Jingle Bells is playing on the speakers overhead as you stroll around the store shopping for some last minute Christmas gifts, when you hear it… those two words that are sure to raise the dead back to life, “Happy Holidays!” You look around to see the offender who uttered these two words, and the old lady who is most definitely about to ring his neck for saying them. “It’s Merry Christmas. People these days. We really need to put Christ back in Christmas.”

Hanukkah is supposed to overlap with Christmas so I can say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays and everyone will know exactly which holiday I’m not wishing they have a happy one of. – The Colbert Report

It doesn’t end at the department store, no no – It doesn’t end. The saying stuck. From the church services to the bumper stickers – “Put Christ back in Christmas” has become quite the fad to say. Now you cannot go one Christmas without hearing someone demand that we put Christ back in Christmas.  So what does it mean?

What if I told you there is nothing odd or difficult about having a Christmas without celebrating Christ or God? Well it’s not. Most of the holiday was adopted from Pagan rituals, the human desire to come together and celebrate, and amazing marketing on a business standpoint to get people to buy-buy-buy!

Being easily offended is not a fruit of the Spirit nor a spiritual gift. It is not a sign of spiritual maturity that leads us to separate ourselves from the unclean world around us. Offense is our first clue that we’ve turned our love off and we need God’s help turning it back on so we can represent Him in this world. – Danny Lee Silk

The question we should be asking ourselves should be “Why are we trying to celebrate everything Christ represents in one day anyways?” But more importantly – “what about Christmas screams Christ?” Is it the Black Friday sales that we trampled our neighbors over to get.. or the Christmas gifts our spoiled kids rip open just to throw down in boredom a couple hours later.. or stuffing our faces full of food in front of a nice warm fire on a cold winter day with 5-10 inches of snow while many others starve or struggle to make it through the holiday season with a roof over their head – which of these scream “Christ”-mas?

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I know, I know – right now you are asking, “What are you getting at here?” I am definitely not saying that you cannot or should not have your beautiful church services, your birthday cakes for Jesus, your gifts, your advent candles, and your “Merry Christmas” greeting cards. I know I personally enjoy these traditions! What I am asking is what does Christ have to do with saying a certain greeting, or insisting others say it as well?  Shouldn’t ‘putting Christ back in Christmas’ be more than decorating your door with a cross-shaped wreath or baking Jesus a cake?

Maybe, just maybe, to actually put Christ back to Christmas we must in fact bring Christ with our actions.

My challenge for you is if you are one of the one’s following the fad of saying “Put Christ back in Christmas” – is to find yourself, instead of demanding others and your country celebrate Christ with you, instead ask yourself genuinely “What am I doing to celebrate Christ? How can I put Christ first this Holiday?”  Matthew 23:35-40

Consider His Children that are starving – some freezing to death in this particular time of the year. Consider His children who are unable to be with family this holiday. Consider His children who have nothing or who are struggling to provide. Consider the unwed mother who was shamed from her family and church. Consider the couple signing their divorce paperwork this holiday.

Consider Others.

When we celebrate a birthday, we are careful to give what the person really wants or needs. Is there any doubt what Jesus wants from us? – A Holy Experience

It isn’t about saying Merry Christmas or writing down the full word instead of x-mas on your holiday greeting cards. The only words that really matter are the ones you live out. How are you going to put Christ back in Christmas this year? 

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Blog Feature: Thread Worn

It’s not everyday you get featured on an awesome fashion blog. Unless, of course, you are good friends with a fashion-blog-ista. I have had the pleasure to work with Mark Little only a handful of times now, but every time it has been professional and the image quality breathtaking. You can check out his Fashion Blog here, and if you are interested in hiring Mark – you can get more info (and see more of his work!) here.

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