All Grown Up

IMG_4926_Edit

I had the opportunity to do a photo shoot with this amazing young man. He’s smart, funny, attractive, a phenomenal actor, producer, and writer. This guy’s got it all going on. Not only that, but he just got into his dream college, Biola University! Congrats, Paul. This kid is going on to big and great things.

A little backstory…so I originally met Paul when he was…5? 6? I don’t know. I actually met his brother when I was 9 and in 5th grade. It feels like forever ago but at the same time it doesn’t. Anyways, I remember this kid as the little bratty baby brother of my friend Nick. When my grade was practicing a performance for a play that our school was going to put on, Paul was crawling all over the floors; under, over and around the pews. Regardless, this is how I always saw him: Nick’s little brother.

Of course he was annoying, he was the little brother! We heard horror stories of battles between the two as we were growing up. Nick and I went to school together from 5th grade on through graduating high school. We had quite a love/hate relationship but in the end, we were friends and would do whatever the other person needed it. We didn’t exactly admit this, but it was understood.

Time went on and Nick went away to college. I saw him on holidays and breaks and whenever our group of friends got together. We had a lot of good times. Nick was there during my first real drinking experience and was sweet enough to, along with our other friend Karter, clean up the house as our other friend, Bryce, was taking care of me. Ah yes, sweet sweet memories.

Unfortunately, a tragic event occurred at the beginning of 2013, which would prove to be the most difficult thing I’ve ever been through. Nick crashed his motorcycle and abruptly ended his life. His young, sweet, newly started life. He was about to finish his last semester of college. He was about to start his “real” life as an adult with a “big kid” job. He had so much ahead of him, or so we thought.

We can never change what is meant to be. God had a plan for Nick which called him home when he was 21. Nick wasn’t meant to completely graduate and wasn’t meant to get his “big kid” job. However, his short life that he lived touched mine and countless other’s lives during his time here on Earth. He taught me that it’s okay to be stubborn and argue for what you believe in, and that just because you’re mad doesn’t mean that you stop caring. He taught me to get over things when they don’t go my way and to never give up on someone, because people really do truly change. I learned this because we both changed and matured over the years. Him being in my life was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. As far as I’m concerned, he’ll always be in my life and a part of my life. He’s influenced me in so many different ways, and he continues to. I think about him often and smile at all the good (and bad) times we had. Because through it all, we always came back to each other and were friends…or at the very least tolerated being in the same room as each other.

Now that you know that, this is what makes my shoot with Paul so special. Paul is 100% his own person and is an amazing individual. However, during his shoot, there were so many times when I looked through that lens and could have sworn that I saw Nick smiling back at me. This was such a wonderful experience for me and was really fun too. It was great to laugh with Paul and tell him stories that I don’t think he had ever heard before. We had such a good time and the photos turned out great! Take a look…

IMG_4988_Edit

IMG_4907_Edit

IMG_4939_Edit

IMG_4888_Edit

IMG_4848_Edit

IMG_4969_Edit

 

Thank you Paul for doing this photo shoot with me. You are such an awesome person and I’m so excited to see where life takes you! Hope to see you on the big stage someday. You’re going to go far, I just know it!

Advertisements

10 Of My Biggest Life Struggles

1) NOT purchasing $75 worth of sleepwear, undergarments, fragrances, and workout clothing just so I can get a free bag that I’ll never use again in my life. Thanks Victoria’s Secret

11371162-large

2) Waiting for the last 3 seconds to pass before grabbing my food out of the microwave. Because, let’s be honest, those 3 seconds aren’t going to make my food that much hotter anyways.

waiting

3) Seeing people run a red light/stop sign and not following them to let them know that in America, we have laws. And for society to function properly, we need to obey them.

9cb35c9736f404cc9097fc74bf0e956519a091090e6f10a26841c6d91b0a1244

4) Avoiding huge store signs that advertise the amazing sale they are currently having. Because let’s face it, a $500 pair of jeans on sale for $200 is such a great deal, am I right?!

sales_1714429c

5) Waiting for lasagna or pizza to cool down before eating it. Even after 23 years of life, I still burn my mouth on those flowing streams of cheesy lava. Every. Single. Time.

31-pepperoni-pizza-meat-lasagne-636

6)  Trying to learn how to play video games like Call of Duty. When I try, I just end up running around in circles with my gun aimed in the air the whole time.

confused

7) Finding a show on Netflix that actually has a season finale. All the ones I choose always get canceled and never have an appropriate ending.

frabz-im-so-upset-someone-text-me-59584f8) Trying to remember my password to my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, my 4 e-mail accounts, iTunes, and bank websites even though they make me change it every 90 days and never let me use the same password twice. Ever.

meme-300x220

9) Finding and committing to a new workout and, before starting, accepting the fact that I will never look like the person on the cover.

0061994170029_500X500

10) Hearing people talk and not saying all of the things I really truly want to say.

56c5694a7d12666dc59a71d61d2dda040c837d8283519b59988a279fbc29df44

Let Me Tell You A Tail…

IMG_3422_Edit
Many of you may have seen my previous post Faerie Nice to Meet You, and this happens to be the second part of that photo shoot! While the Faerie photo shoot was fun, the tail this lady wore brought it to a whole new level.

One of my favorite movies to watch while growing up was The Little Mermaid. I loved that no matter what, she went for what she wanted, despite all the obvious obstacles. She didn’t let people tell her what to do or dampen her enthusiasm. Ariel actually has a lot in common with my model Meredith.

Meredith is a colorful soul who does what she wants. Her job is adorable and lets her escape to another place and lets her be someone else for that time. Luckily, she can be someone else and follow those dreams…and be gorgeous the whole time. Anyways, here are some of the “tail” photos. Enjoy!

IMG_3467_Edit

IMG_3452_Edit

IMG_3494_Edit

IMG_3451_Edit

 

IMG_3486_Edit

IMG_3382_Edit

This story ends just like the movie, this beauty definitely lives happily ever after with her prince.

 

A Couple of Cuties

IMG_1150_B&W

I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove, California is such a gorgeous setting for any photo shoot. As fortunate as I am, these two people let me do a photo shoot of them and they were naturals. As you take a look at the following pictures, it’s evident to see how in love they are.

IMG_1181_Edit

IMG_1188_Edit

IMG_1175_Edit

IMG_1311_Edit

IMG_1171_Edit

IMG_1177_Edit

IMG_1197_Edit

This was from a shoot I did awhile back but I decided to just to go back over the photos. This was definitely one of the most fun shoots I’ve ever done. These people were naturals and didn’t make me have to work hard at all! It was one of the nicer/easier shoots I’ve ever done…let alone they are a gorgeous couple and made every photo look great regardless. I definitely look forward to the next shoot I get to do with them…maybe it’ll be their wedding?! 😉

Sun Dresses and Floppy Hats

IMG_3572_EditEver just want to do a shoot with a beautiful lady in a elegant sundress and hat? Well I’ve wanted to do that for awhile and finally got the chance. Thankfully, my good friend Suzi was willing to let me shoot her. We met in college earlier this year and became instant friends. The funny thing is, when we started the shoot, she said she felt awkward. She said that she never feels comfortable in front of the camera and doesn’t usually look good in photos. Well, take a look at the follow images and tell me what YOU think…

IMG_3512_Edit

IMG_3524_EditMiss Suzi is from a town in Idaho and is absolutely in love with her Idaho necklace. She loves to show it off and “represent.” That’s one of the things I love most about the photo above.

IMG_3642_Edit

IMG_3526_Edit

IMG_3502_Edit

IMG_3540_Edit

IMG_3557_Edit

IMG_3570_Edit

IMG_3629_Edit

IMG_3609_Edit

IMG_3625_Edit

IMG_3612_Edit

IMG_3657_Edit

IMG_3599_Edit

IMG_3532_Edit

IMG_3549_EditNow how can anyone say that they don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera when they look THIS good in pictures?! Well I feel honored that she is my friend and allowed me to photograph her. Thanks Suzi!

If you wanna check out other pictures, go visit my website at JeLauPhotography.com.

 

 

Dogs Everywhere

19_02_mediumI have to say, I really do love animals. But it drives me crazy that people have to take their dogs everywhere they go. Yes, I understand your pet is part of your family and may even be like your only child, but there are some things that would be nice if you’d think about.

Right now I work at a grocery store and we’ve been hit hard with the issue of pets in our store. I have absolutely no problem with people bringing service animals into our store. They are a huge help to people in need and I think it’s great that these animals can perform such tasks and help people in the way they do. From my experiences, people who really need service animals due to physical disabilities don’t mind putting the vest on their dog or showing you their card. They are respectful and have all the credentials they need to have their animal with them wherever they go.

What really bothers me is when people bring their “emotional support” dogs in. Don’t get me wrong, some people have been through some real tough stuff and they may need an animal to help them feel safe and whatnot, but I don’t think it’s ok that people can just go online and register these dogs for really cheap <http://usdogregistry.org/registration/register-emotional-support-dog/>. For all we know, these people could be the worst trainers in the world and their dogs could have dispositions to varying types of people (i.e. children, men, women, people with dark colored hair, etc.)

One experience I had was when a woman said that her dog was a service animal and was supposed to alert her of when she was going to have a seizure. While I do believe in the power of an animal’s senses, I doubted the credibility of this dog for that purpose. I told my manager about the animal in the store and he gently attempted to approach her to ask to see her paperwork. But when he did, the dog suddenly got down close to the ground and started to growl at my boss. This did not exactly help the dog’s credibility. If a dog is a service animal, it should not be growling at people unless the owner specifically commands the dog that she/he is feeling threatened.

However there was another lady who brought in her dog and just let him sit in the cart. Since she did not have the barrier between the dog and the cart, one of our managers had to wait till the lady finished shopping, had to help her out to her car, and had to throughly clean the cart so that no one else would use it. Personally, I think this is very selfish of that customer. My managers have better things to do than to wash carts because somebody couldn’t leave their animal at home for their 30 minute grocery trip.

Also, I’ve noticed that people are really touchy-touchy about telling people that they have a service animal. So what if it is? You obviously got the animal certified for a reason so why wouldn’t you tell people? You are in no way required to tell us what service the animal is providing for you, so why not just let the animal wear the vest to make it easier on people who work in places where pets aren’t normally around?

Anyways, in my particular grocery store, they said that there’s basically not anything we can do if someone wants to bring their pet in. All they have to do is put a barrier between their dog and the cart. But this makes me wonder, why the heck would you bring your dog to the grocery store?! The cart is supposed to be where you put your food. And guess what? Other people put their food in that basket too. If you bring your dog, it’s going to be taking up space where you could be putting your food.

Not only that, but I, personally, am allergic to dogs. And let me tell you, it’s absolutely horrible. I love dogs. I used to have a dog. He was a beautiful German/Aussie mix and was one of the best pets I’ve ever had. But I couldn’t play with him too much since we found out I was allergic. We ended up giving him away to the family next door and they loved him as if he were their own. But being allergic to dogs does mean that it bothers me that people bring them with them into our grocery store.

I just challenge the “I take my dog with me wherever I go” people to just think, what if someone else, maybe even a child, is allergic to dogs as well? What if they are highly allergic? Even allergic to hypoallergenic dogs? Then putting your pet for your convenience and emotional comfort into that cart for the maybe 30 minutes that you’re in the store could cause someone else to have an allergic reaction. For me, I get it really bad in my bronchial tubes. I’ll lose my voice for a month and have a horrible cough for a month, accompanied by copious amounts of phlegm. Not only that, I’ll have intense sinus pressure building up in my head for three days, will spend tons of money on sinus medicine, and will daily drink my weight in hot tea and honey.

So does your 30 minutes of comfort and preference weigh more than my discomfort, money, and illness for a month? Maybe you don’t care about me, what about a little child who doesn’t have a good immune system? What if his parents are putting him in the cart for the first time and find out that he has a horrible allergic reaction? Would you be ok with yourself if that baby was sick because you couldn’t leave your dog at home while you shopped?

While I wish customers would not bring their dogs into our store, I absolutely DO NOT condone people leaving their pets alone in their cars while they shop. Fortunately, where we are, it’s not very hot. At all. The normal temp is around 65 degrees everyday. But regardless, cars can get really hot and can seriously harm pets. Check out the picture below.

Hot-DogSo my question to people is, when does your comfort, wants, and needs trump my comfort, wants, and needs? While you may want your pet with you in the store because it’s fun and cute and, by golly, it’s just what you want, when does that mean more than the fact that I’m allergic? And what if your pet has fleas and you (unknowingly) bring the infected pet in?

It’s just not a very sanitary practice and I want to graciously ask people to please leave your pets (non-service animals) at home if you are going to go grocery shopping. Don’t leave pets in your car, just leave them at home. Please respect people, their allergies, and the cleanliness standards of varying grocery stores.

 

Faerie Nice to Meet You!

IMG_3211_EditI got the amazing opportunity to do a shoot with this wonderful lady. She works at a place in Santa Cruz, CA called Happily Ever Laughter. (Go check it out. Cutest idea ever, right?!) She has many different characters she plays, such as a faerie, pirate, and even a mermaid. She knows how to play some songs on the Ukulele, sings the songs with the kids, and even does face painting. While many of us lose our sense of imagination and play as we get older, this gem right here held on to hers and is sharing it with others around her by bringing joy to little kids everywhere and making their dreams come true. Check out these photos we took and just see for yourself how much fun we had.

IMG_3254_Edit

IMG_3285_Edit

IMG_3310_Edit

IMG_3360_Edit

IMG_3213_Edit

IMG_3230_Edit

IMG_3356_Edit

IMG_3303_Edit

IMG_3260_Edit

IMG_3218_Edit

If you ever get the chance to do a photo shoot with someone like this, I highly recommend it. It was hands down, the most fun shoot to date (sorry to all my other beautiful models and subjects). I hope you all enjoyed this post and stay tuned for more!