Feb 282014
 

I’ve written about Sophie a few times on this blog, an amazing little girl with incredible courage and a whole lot of spunk. I adore her and always welcome the chance to work with her. My last session with her turned out to be a collaboration of sorts. I was to photograph a few portraits of her, within her room, that would then be used as inspiration to create a painting, 24 x 30 acrylic on canvas to be exact. The artist commissioned was the ever-so-talented Lisa Lambertus of Lisa Lambertus Art & Design. I was over-joyed, couldn’t wait to see the finished project and became drunk with excitement to see what another artist’s eye would bring to our portrait session. The more I got to know Lisa, the more intoxicated my excitement became.

Once Lisa and I got to chatting we decided it would be amazing to be able to see her process so she set to work with a time-lapse recording her every move, well every move in 30 second intervals that is.
 

Lisa is a self-taught artist from Ontario, Canada with her specialty being acrylics on canvas.  In my opinion, she’s the “Jimmy Hendrix” of her craft; she has never had any formal training, taught herself and paints more from the heart than anything. In her own words,

“I started painting around the age of 17 but I have loved it, from a very young age. It heals my soul. I paint what inspires me. I fall in love or become emotionally touched by people’s lives. After that I have the need to capture them, to connect with the person on some level.”

Today, she channels her creativity primarily into her portraits, honoring those who have lost or continue to fight for their loved ones.  She has also done a variety of portrait paintings for families with children currently fighting cancer. Currently she is working on a project to help raise funds for a beautiful baby-girl named Hazel, who (like Sophie) is also fighting a hard battle against cancer. Lisa’s long term goal is to eventually start up her own non-profit. In the meantime, she continues to paint her heart out and raise awareness.  She’s a class act that Lisa Lambertus, as well as an amazing artist. I am proud to have been a part of this collaboration. I look forward to more with her.

 
My “Portrait of Sophie” taken January of 2014              

cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Prayers for Sophie, art, acrylic, painting, collaboration     .cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Prayers for Sophie, art, acrylic, painting, collaboration

“Sophie”  24  x 30 Acrylic on canvas. Painted by Lisa Lambertus Art & Design
             
 
 
 
                                                                      
Jan 172014
 

Sophie is like many little girls her age, her favorite color is pink, she loves stuffed animals, her teething beads, Disneyland, pink tutus and her lovie blankets!

cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, pink, Prayers for Sophie

However, there’s a lot more back-story to this lil girl. I had the pleasure of working with Sophie last year, just before she was diagnosed with a rare Optic Pathway Glioma brain tumor. She was 8 1/2 months old. Immediately she underwent major brain surgery to remove a cyst and biopsy the tumor, to ensure that it wasn’t a terminal tumor. It was not. She has also endured 5 other hospital stays due to chemo related issues and has had two blood transfusions. She is on a 11 month chemo protocol and is scheduled to complete treatment in September of 2014. It’s a lot for this little girl to go through but as I stated in my last post, she’s a warrior. Through it all she still manages to find strength and a silver lining, her smile often beaming and instilling hope in those around her. She’s amazing. Her parents, amazing. Her nanny Janine, amazing. She’s completely surrounded by amazing. So there is no doubt in my mind that she will get through this. I just feel it.

Recently, Tracy (Sophie’s mama) asked me to shoot a few portraits of Sophie for a painting that was going to be created by the very talented Lisa Lamburtus. I cannot wait to see the final piece and will definitely share when it’s complete. Because Sophie can’t go too far from home, I set up a mini studio within her room. One hour, three dresses, a few rounds of peekaboo and lots of stuffed animals later, Sophie was successful in projecting her beaming personality to my lens. There was no doubt in my mind that she would be. Here are a few of my favorites…

cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, pink, Prayers for Sophie

cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, pink, Prayers for Sophie

cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, pink, Prayers for Sophie

A Prayer for Sophie:

Now we lay her down to sleep,
We pray The Lord her soul to keep.
Heal her now while she dreams,
So when she wakes she can be free.

Let’s continue to keep her in our prayers,

Amen

cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, pink, Prayers for Sophie

 

For anyone interested in purchasing a “Prayers for Sophie” or “Team Sophie Tee,” please click on the link below. These shirts were donated to the Ryan’s so 100% of the money you spend will go towards Sophie’s care. http://www.beinspiredboutique.com/collections/prayers-for-sophie-t-shirts/products/prayers-for-sophie-fundraiser-t-shirts

The Prayers For Sophie FaceBook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/PrayersForSophie

or to donate, please go to The Lil Mamas Support Page for Sophie: http://www.gofundme.com/3efal0

Jan 092014
 

Saxon and Lyra are two of my favorite clients. They have been working with me for approximately four years now. Saxon was actually one of my very first clients and I’ve had the pleasure of watching him grow into the fun-loving and adventurous spirit that he is today. Lyra was the newest addition to the family and she fit right in with her big bro. They’re like two peas in an intrepid pod. They aren’t afraid to speak their mind, let their imaginations go wild and throw caution to the wind. They get along like gang busters and I always love running around with them. For the following sessions, we decided to keep them close to home. The family would soon be moving to a new neighborhood so we wanted to bring focus to some of their regular routines and everyday rituals within their current home. Because they all live close to the gorgeous coast of Redondo, we were able to end our shoot there. It was a dance party, on the beach, with mom and it was a beautiful way to go out.  All in all, a good couple of shoots with these two and I guarantee there will be much more to come from this dynamic duo in the future. In the meantime here’s a bite-size morsel…

baby, Family, brother & sister, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, photography

baby, Family, brother & sister, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, photography

baby, Family, brother & sister, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, photography

baby, Family, brother & sister, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, photography

baby, Family, brother & sister, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, photography

baby, Family, brother & sister, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, photography

baby, Family, brother & sister, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, photography

baby, Family, brother & sister, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, photography

baby, Family, brother & sister, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, photography

baby, Family, brother & sister, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, photography

baby, Family, brother & sister, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, photography