Dianne Leigh Photography is proud to be partnering with Brennan Social Innovations for Social Networking management, consultation and education.

 

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An effective Social Media Strategy is imperative to any business these days and I am super excited to be working with them!!  Brennan Social is available to handle your social media needs in whatever capacity you choose whether it be to completely manage it, partially manage or whether you just need some consulting or education.  Don’t forget to tell them Di sent ya!!!

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Have a fantastic Monday all!

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If you don’t have a tissue handy you might want to stop and go get one.  I am fortunate to be have the ability and talent to create beautiful portraits.  I am fortunate to have the gift of time.  I am fortunate to be able to give back…so I do.

I heard the story of this precious family third party and immediately asked for their number and it if would be ok for me to contact them and offer them a complimentary portrait session.  Sherry was so excited and through tears…quickly agreed.   I asked Sherry if she would be so kind as to tell me her story and I don’t know a better way to share than in her own words.

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“Yes I would love to tell you my story.  I  think you find it very interesting.  Maybe it can help somebody.,

When I met Pat, it was the worst time in my life.  I had to quit my job of 22 years because I was hospitalized twice because of stress.  The doctor’s told me I would not live another 5 years  .  At that time I had raised my son by myself and my job had become my identity.  So when I quit my job I had lost my identity and I fell into a deep depression.

I was 30 pounds overweight, was miserable and the last thing I wanted was a man in my life.  I had to pull the carpet out of my room and I needed to put tile down due to my allergies.  My son’s girlfriend worked at a gym and I asked him if he knew of anybody that could put tile down cheap cause I didn’t have a lot of money.  He asked around the gym and Pat said he would do it.

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Pat at that time spent a lot of the time in the gym.  He loved to body build and lift heavy weights.  He always liked to look good.  He was really muscular.  When he showed up at my house to give me an estimate, of course he caught my attention.  When he shook my hand and told me his name was Pat all I could see is his beautiful green eyes.  But I thought no more men.  He gave me a cheap deal so he got the job.

The next day he showed up to start the job and I was so sick with depression I couldn’t get out of the bed.  Everytime he walked by my bed he would check on me.  He put a fan on me and checked on me all day long.  I thought maybe there is something special about this guy.  He later said as soon as he stepped out of the truck and looked at me he got butterflies in his stomach and felt like he was 17 again.  He said he fell in love with me that day.  It wasn’t that way for me .  I had been married a couple of times and I felt men always quit at marriage and they couldn’t be trusted.

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Needless to say, he kept trying and won me over to date him, but I was still not fully convinced.  We were together almost a year and my depression had gotten worse.  I was at the point where I was literally housebound.  I wouldn’t leave my house.  Even the grocery store would freak me out.  Imagine that.  He came to me and said he could help me but I would need to be willing to go into a mental hospital for seven days.  Depression runs deep in my family and I knew I needed help.  So he convinced me to go and said he would be there for me every step of the way, but in my heart I really didn’t believe him.

Everyday he came to see me and stayed with me as long as he could.  After seven days I was released.  I walked out of the door and there stood Pat looking at me with his beautiful smile and picked me up and swung me around and told me how much he loved me.  I have never had anybody love me that  way.  His love is so unconditional.  After I came home he took care of me.  He bathed me, fed me and stayed up with me until I would fall asleep.  He was always by my side.  It was then I was able to give my whole heart to him.  He taught me how to love again and how love should be and love doesn’t give up no matter what!!!  This is definitely a once and a life time long.  Most people don’t get to experience it and I thought I never would.

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After I got better we got married on December 8, 2012.  We were so happy.  I went to dog training school for 3 months and lived in Austin.  I wanted to do something I loved and have fun.  He came to see me on the weekends.  He had owned a construction company for 26 years and things were getting slow.  He was going to help me open up a dog training business and it would be ours.  We were soo excited completely starting over with the one we love and doing what we love.  Life couldn’t get any better than this.  We were so active with our dogs and we loved to have fun.  Pat loved to dance.  He looked so goofy but I loved it.  We both have a goofy side and we would laugh for hours at each other.

Three days after I got home from Dog School, I woke up in the middle of the night and Pat was sitting on the bed.  He said he couldn’t breathe.  I stayed up with him until he finally fell asleep.  The next morning, I called the doctor and said he needed in right away.  I thought maybe he had pneumonia.  He had pneumonia when we got married.  So I thought it was back.  The doctor listened to his chest and heard something weird.  So they ran another test.  Next thing I knew he was rushed to the hospital and they did a heart cathe.

There he was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and Kidney Failure.  I was in shock to say the least.  They told me that he would live a year if he was lucky.  Oh my God how could this be?  Someone finally loves me unconditionally and now God is going to take him away from me.  I was in shear panic.  We just got married starting a new happy life and I could not wrap my head around it.  When they told Pat, he just shook is head  and said, no, no and starting crying.

We cried for weeks and then we got angry with God and screamed and yelled around the house.   Finally, I thought to myself I need help.  I am going back into a depression.  I wanted to make good decisions and live my life right so I could help him.  I called my church at that time and told them the devastating news (it was a large church).  The pastor had no time to talk to us.  He was too busy.  WOW!!!! REALLY!!!  I kept looking and asking anybody that would listen for help.  My friend told me about The Covenant Church in Willis, Tx.  She said it was a small church and she really liked it.  So we decided what could it hurt.

We went up to the doors,  they opened them  and grabbed us and hugged us.  They had no idea what we were going through.  The love that I felt in that church and those people there is indescribable.  I felt at home.  So we kept going and I kept reading my bible looking for answers.  Looking for a way out.  Looking for healing.  Looking for peace.  Everybody took time to talk to us, including the pastor and his wife. And everyone really cared and loved us and prayed for us.  They keep in touch with us all the time.  They are always there for me, my little support team.

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At first I was mad at God….but I have learned a lot about Jesus Christ by reading my bible.  Jesus doesn’t cause things like this to happen, but he may allow it to bring us closer to him.  While reading my bible everyday, soon I began to get peace.  Then I got grace to be able to deal with Pat’s sickness.  Then God gives us the strength to make it through each day.  Now we are asking for endurance.  For the long haul.

This is a slow death, the worst way I think a person can die.  The heart pumps everything, eyes, ears, kidneys, liver everything.  So Pat’s sight is bad, his hearing is bad, he hurts all the time, his memory is bad, its hard for him to breathe.  But he still seems to wake up with that beautiful smile in the morning and tells me how much he loves me.  The closer I have gotten to God the more committed I have gotten to Pat.

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I love Pat with all my heart and I love taking care of him.  Sometimes it gets hard  and our life is a roller coaster, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.  We have a love that some people never find.  I truly believe God put us together, to not only take care of each other , but also show us what unconditional love is.

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The biggest thing I have learned from this is God created us to be an image of him.   He showed his love for us by dying and suffering for us.  Whatever Pat and I go through in life is nothing compared to what Jesus went through on the cross. His number one thing that he wants is us to love other people the way he loves us.  When you ask, you will receive.  When you search you will find.  God will never abandoned us.  Once I realize how much God loves Pat and me I quit worrying. God loves Pat more than I do and he will take care of him.  One thing is for certain Pat will not die one day sooner than God has originally planned when he was born.

Thank you for asking for this.  I would have never taken the time out to do this for myself.  It’s a rough draft but I think it will work for now.  Thank you for letting my mind go to all the beautiful memories Pat and I have shared.”

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For those of you who believe in the power or prayer please lift this family up.  In the hour plus I was fortunate to spend with them you’d have never known this beautiful man was sick.  Although he was clearly tired by the end of the session….he smiled, he laughed, he joked, he was super friendly, up for anything  and I could feel the love of this family.  Many blessings Garris family!  Thank you so much for sharing your story and allowing me the honor of documenting this precious time in your lives.

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BOOK TODAY!!!  Limited sessions available!!  Special sessions must be completed by March 15, 2015!  Don’t wait – click the contact button NOW!

 

 

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What do earthworms, daddy long-legs, crickets, and pill bugs have in common with this glowing bride?  Yours truly has spent more than a few weekends at camp chasing her around with them!  That’s what!

As a photographer I am truly grateful to be invited into the lives of my clients even for a few brief moments and cherish being able to document the special chapters of their lives for them.  I am a hopeless romantic and always tear up at the weddings I am fortunate to capture.  In this instance however, my cup overflowed…with tears.  Fortunately the worst had passed by the time the ceremony started.

Giving back and sharing our time and talent(s) is something that is very important to me and I spent 16 years as a Girl Scout Leader here in Montgomery.  Three troops (who are all between 20 and 29 now) and over 80 girls later I’ve had the joy of seeing all of my “girls” grow, graduate, go to college, marry and become parents.

While I was photographing the bridal preparation and watching my daughter help Rachel with her make-up, my heart swelled with pride.  The memories of them playing make-up and all of the other general silliness these two would wind up in were running through my mind when unexpectedly another of my “girls” walked in the room.  There they were the three of them.  Just like when they were 6 or 7 but all grown up now and playing make-up for real.

Tears welled some but I fought them back and kept snapping away.  Then I turned around and yet another of my “girls” walked through the door.  That was it.  “Ms. Di” lost it.  I put them in a group and snapped some photos through my blurry eyes and gathered my wits.  You’d think I was the parent.  Later during the ceremony we were blessed with the presence with yet another of my Girl Scouts.  Wow!  Just wow!  Eight years later and here they were.  Together again.

When Rachel asked me to be her Wedding Photographer I was delighted!  She and Chad chose to hold their Conroe wedding and reception in the backyard at her father’s house and it couldn’t have been more perfect!  Everything from the decor, to the flowers and cake captured their personalities perfectly and their love was palpable by everyone in attendance.

Rachel was the most relaxed bride I’ve ever seen.  She was completely calm, cool and collected.  She was so much fun!  They both were.  A calm bride = a calm groom.

Rachel and Chad met at a friends house during the power outage in 2008 thanks to Hurricane Ike. Chad’s best friend actually left the party with Rachel’s number but the next day…it was Chad who called.  A month later they were officially a couple and six years later….their wedding day arrived.

Without further adieu…please enjoy a few of their fun wedding photos.

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The colors Rachel + Chad chose for their wedding were a perfect reflection of them and so much fun!!  The dress Rachel chose from David’s Bridal could not have been more Absolutely Rach!

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I am so in love with this beautiful jewelry!!

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How adorable are these two?!  They could hardly stop grinning and giggling long enough to smooch.

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Fun, funky colorful touches were everywhere you looked!

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Thank you so much Rachel + Chad for allowing me the honor of documenting your special day!!

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  • Rachel - Thank you so much Dianne for everything you did for me through out the years and thank you for everything you have done for my wedding!! This blog is beautiful it made me tear up! Lol I love you so much and I am very grateful to have such a wonderful woman like you in my life forever!!!ReplyCancel

    • Di - Ok now I’m the one tearing up!!! Love you too sweetie and wish you many, many years of happiness and future little Girl Scouts! *giggles*ReplyCancel

  • Mrs. Yvette - It is clear how much you both love each other. I too was proud to be invited to share that day with you. As for you Ms. Dianne you shared so much of yourself with us all we are all blessed to have you help us raise our girls! Great pictures!ReplyCancel

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PHOTOGRAPHERS BEWARE!  Have you ever come close to being scammed out of a couple thousand dollars? Fortunately for me my spidey senses went up and I was able to avoid being ripped off by a would be bride.

Recently I received a wedding inquiry from a someone named Veronica Hurtado (vhurtado233909@gmail.com) who had a backyard wedding planned a couple of months from the date of her inquiry.  As it happened I had the date available and I replied inquiring about her needs and what services I could provide for her.

Her response was very detailed.  She line item ed out the exact amount of hours, album type, she wanted unlimited images captured, etc.  I sent her my quote with a contract and she agreed stating that the fee and contract would be mailed immediately.

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A few days later I received another email from her claiming that she was hearing impaired and that she and her fiance were currently out of the country, in Canada, on vacation.  She wanted me to talk to someone here via phone to confirm things closer to the wedding.  I replied and told her that was fine, actually preferred on my end and I’d be more than happy to do so.  This email however, aroused some suspicion on my end.

Several days later  and I received THE email.  Veronica claimed that the person handling the funds had mistakenly sent too much money and requested that once I received the check that I cut a check for the difference and send it to an address she had listed in her email.

I had a similar experience about 5 years ago and that email was the nail in the coffin for me.  At this point I replied and told her that I was no longer comfortable with this transaction and would not be able to photograph her wedding.

Veronica responded and said that it was not a problem and just to shred the check when it arrived.  The check finally came in and was very obviously a fake check, even to an untrained eye like mine.

 

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I wasn’t surprised by her lack of emotion that her photographer just cancelled on her practically right before the wedding and finally decided to do a web search on her email address.  I don’t know why I didn’t google her email address before but at this point just out of curiosity, I cut and pasted her email into google and whatd’ya know….this wasn’t her first rodeo!  Why was I not shocked?

Some of the other photographers that received the same or similar attempted scam by this woman blogged about their experience as well.

Brian Vogel Photography:  http://weddingsbybvp.com/new-photography-scam/  - and -

Daphne Lafosse:  http://daphnelafosse.com/blog/2014/5/someone-tried-to-scam-me-out-of-my-hard-earned-money

There was actually quite a lot of them on Google Search.  Sad really.  I hope the word gets out and that no one falls prey to these losers trying to steal others hard earned money.

Around 5 years ago I had a similar experience except the person sending the inquiry was currently in London and supposedly had a wedding coordinator here in the US getting things ready.  They over paid as well however, that one sent Postal Service Money Orders that looked so real I drove them to the Post Office.  The postmaster took a few minutes to review them before admitting that they were indeed counterfeit.  They were very good fakes.

Going forward I think I’ll head over to Google to begin with if I feel at all uncomfortable and hopefully avoid even spending the time to reply to a scam wedding photography inquiry.  I think the lesson here is to always listen to your sixth sense.  If something doesn’t feel right.  It probably isn’t!

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