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Tuesday
Jan012013

Year 5.

Today starts the mark of my 5th year on my journey with photography.  I never imagined how fulfilling it would be, and I am grateful.  Grateful for so much that I wanted to take a moment as we start 2013 and say a little Thank You to my family, friends, and clients.  

I would not be and owner of a photography business today if it was not for my husband purchasing my SLR six years ago.  I would not have such wonderful clients if it were not for my friends trusting me with their family portraits when I was first starting out and giving such a glowing testimonials to their friends.  I would not have been introduced to such wonderful charities that I now belong too. 

In 2012 I was published in First for Women magazine three times.  I still cannot believe that!!!! A magazine that has a circulation of over a million and I had the honor to be chosen to photograph for them.  It is a validation and an accomplishment that is surreal to me.  

This year I have plans.  Actual goals that I plan on accomplishing with my business that I never had in place before.  I know it is odd to say that now, in my 5th year.  I never felt good enough.  The fear of being mediocre and that other photographers are sooooo much better than me suffocates me at times.  It is true, there are sooo many photographers that are better than me.  I am self taught. I don't understand all the in's and out's of my camera.  Don't even get me started on the math you are "supposed" to do when figured focal length out because I have issues with my third graders homework.  BUT... what is different now is I know who I am in my work.  I found my voice, my style and I am happy with it.  

My work will most likely never win awards and I am okay with that now. The photography business on Long Island is super saturated.  In my eyes, my awards are each client that chooses me as their photographer.   

Each session I have I still walk in with a belly full of butterflies.  And I love that... I love that I still get nervous. Because each of my clients deserve photos they will proudly display on their walls and my butterflies mean that I am going to work hard to deliver that to them.  

I hope that you all have an amazing 2013.  That you push hard for what makes you happy.  My promise to myself is to keep pushing myself harder because I never know where this journey is going to take me, and so far it has been one amazing ride.  

 

 

 

 

Sunday
Aug052012

Saying goodbye to my 30's... Welcome (ahem) 40!!!

On my 30th birthday I woke up crying.  I went to work crying.  I didn't want to celebrate at all, which is very out of character for me because I LIVED for my birthday.

Only I had NO idea what my 30's would bring.  If I was given Cliff Notes of my life I would have definitely skipped to the summary of where my 30's started.  My 30's is where I created a new me.  I had finally found the RIGHT path. My 30's is where I fell in love, I was given the two biggest blessing I will ever receive which are my kids and I have been able to mend almost every bridge I had ever burned in my 20's.  I even realized my Mom WAS right about so many mistakes I made.. LOL

My 30's was also where I found out that I had I was good at something, really good at something.  It was in my 30's I realized I am a photographer.  It is not a hobby.  It is not me tinkering with a camera.  Seeing the world through my lens has opened up world in ways I never dreamed.  There are days I still pinch myself to know that I get to do what I love as my job.

Looking back on the last decade I can honestly say that my personal growth within myself is what amazes me the most. I am thankful for my husband, my friends, my sister and my Mom for helping me "see" who I was and to stop my self-destruction.  There is something to be said about friends and family that can be completely honest to your face.  Calling me out on my own bullshit, coupled with love is truly what helped me take on my self-esteem ghosts. 

When I am left with my own thoughts at night I often wonder how the hell I ended up with such a blessed life.  How did everything really fall together?  (I can bet my oldest and dearest friends Jennifer and Apple are thinking the same thing.. LOL)  I really don't know how it did, but trust me when I say I thank and praise my blessing every single day.  A friend of mine taught me once to thank God for the good things in your life.  The every day things and not just when you need him.. It works.  It really does work.  I am not an overly religious person.  I have my faith and I believe in God 100%, but I cannot recite scripture or say that I go to church every Sunday.  But.... I can look at my boys, my husband, my Mom, the people who are in my life, and the miracles I have received to know that he is real.

There are no big plans for my 40th birthday.  I asked my husband not to throw me a party (but he documented the birthday with an over-the-top present that I adore.. so thank you DJPxox) and I told friends that I wanted to be really low key and not do anything. Turning 40 is a big deal to me, just not in the sense of me banging pots and pans and saying HOLY CRAP I'm 40.  It is seriously a brand new chapter that I hope to look back on and just smile.  All I want to do is become a better version of me and to tackle my every growing bucket list!!  I will admit that saying I am 40 stings a bit and that I truly wish I could really photoshop my wrinkles, yet I am the happiest with me than I have ever been in my life.  Le Sigh. 

When I wake up on August 6th I will officially be 40. Forty. (go ahead and laugh Jen-nay).  Not gonna lie, it will be weird to say it and I guess I can officially start filling out my AARP forms.  All I know is even though the number kinda hurts I know I will not wake up crying tomorrow.  Tomorrow I will be able to spend the day with my husband, our boys and high fiving my Mom on her 40th anniversary of giving birth to her first born!!
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Side post:

When I blow out my candles tomorrow my wish is simple.. I wish for doctors to be wrong and that my rainbow and unicorns to prevail forever. xoxoxo

Wednesday
Jul112012

Inspiration Through Art- Meet Sweet Naomi

I work with a GREAT non-profit organization called Inspiration Through Art.  Here is their mission statement:

"Our mission at Inspiration Through Art is to help provide and capture memories for families who are dealing with hectic schedules due to having a child who is suffering from a serious illness or life altering disability. We are here to offer emotional support through the beauty and expression art has to offer, as a way of healing and coping."

Please take some time to get to know Naomi.  Emily, Naomi's mom, wrote a brief story of how brave little Naomi has been and continues to make every one around her smile!!

"Naomi was diagnosed with complex Congenital Heart disease before she was born. Looking at her, one would never know how much she has had to endure in her short 18 months on this earth. On the outside, she is a picture of health and vibrancy. However, her life events depict a different story.
At 7 days old she was sent from the NICU to the Operating Room, where she would survive a " complicated", 7 hour open heart surgery. Miraculously, Naomi not only survived, but recovered incredibly quickly, astonishing NICU doctors and nurses. Naomi was sent home about a week after surgery and discontinued all medications by three months. The first surgery was supposed to fix her broken little heart for good. Her father and I learned when she was 2 months old that her heart was still not functioning as it should. Naomi returned to the Operating Room the following May, when she was 10 months old, for another open heart surgery.

We thought her heart was finally "fixed" and we could celebrate her birthday, knowing life would get easier for her! However unfortunately, one month after her 1st birthday, it was determined that the second surgery was also unsuccessful, and that she would need a stent placed in her left pulmonary artery, via a cardiac catheterization.
Naomi has been closely monitored her whole life, and obviously has a fear of anyone in a white lab coat! Besides that one fear, she is our brave little girl who makes everyone around her smile. She has a alluring personality and displays her sweet spirit with kisses and hugs for everyone every day. We love her."

Here is my favorite photograph I captured of Naomi in the park that day during our session:




Thank you so much for choosing me Emily to photograph Naomi!! I had an amazing time meeting you all!

Wednesday
Jun202012

Blue Eyed Baby Sis - Newborn Photographer

There are sessions where the baby never gets into that deep sleep.  The baby is too busy seeing what is going on in the world and doesn't wanna miss anything! 

Well this little girl didn't want to miss a beat and I can't thank her enough for keeping her big beautiful eyes open for me!!!

Look at her and her beautiful Mom!

And here she is hanging out with Dad:

And tutu's always look adorable on little girls!

How handsome  is her big brother?


Thank you Effie for a great session!! Your family is adorable!!

Friday
Jun012012

Sleepy little boy with the cutest little lips... Long Island Newborn Photography

Meet Little M. 

LOOK AT THOSE LITTLE LIPS!!

And look at how beautiful his Mama is:

And how loved this little boy is:

He was the sleepest little newborn and looks super adorable with those super cute little lips..

Thank you to Ingrid and Marcus for trusting Beatrice's recommendation to choose me to photograph your little man's first professional portraits.  I had such a great time and you made me so very welcomed in your home!

Saturday
May122012

A letter to my boys on Mother's Day..  

Dear Donnie and Aaron,

If you only knew how much I love you two.  I could say I love you 1 million times a day and it would never be enough. 

I thank God daily for allowing me to be your mom.  I secretly talk to him letting him know that I will never ever stop pushing myself to become a better person because he has given me the two biggest blessings in my life.

I am not promising you that you will never be disappointed with me, because that is the nature of the beast with being a Mom.  I will be the meanest Mom in the world at times.  But I will always promise to protect you the best way I know how.

One day I will share with you how you both saved me.  When your old enough to understand how lost I was as a person before your Dad showed me love is possible when you're broken.  And when we created you we created a light so bright inside of me that I will go to the ends of the earth to show you that love surrounds you two boys all the time.

Donnie and Aaron I want you to know that I hear your laughter when your not with me just by closing my eyes. It makes me giddy to know that right now you would rather hang out with me than any one else.  I hope we always have our inside jokes and our dinner dates.  Always know that I will be present, so very present in everything you do. 

When I wake up tomorrow I will be extra grateful for the two little snuggle bugs that found their way into our bed again. 

Thank you Donnie and Aaron for letting me celebrate Mother's Day..

I love you .. I love you.. I love you.
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HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL THE AMAZING MOMS OUT THERE..

*** To My Mom: I LOVE YOU MOM!!! xoxoxoxo *****

Thursday
May102012

A baby brother makes four... 

Alyssa is one of those girls who have it all together.  Her family is beautiful, she is madly in love with her husband, she runs her own business and is a super sweet person whom happens to be flawlessly beautiful.

See example A:

Her daughter is equally as beautiful, see example B & C:


Then comes little baby brother who has the sweetest little face:

And because Daddy loves the Yankees.. little man does too!!

Thank you Alyssa for allowing me to photograph your beautiful family.  I am so thankful to have been able to photograph Little W first photos..

Monday
Apr302012

Surviving the odds

When you think back on what a year means to you what do you think of?  Is there one year in general that stands out? One year that you know defined so much of who you are and what you are?

May 2011- May 2012 is that year for me. 

I think back to May 2011 when I would go about my normal routines, day in and day out as I have a thousand times before.  Never knowing that this would be the month that would test who I am to the core. 

This May 29th, 2012 will mark the one year anniversary that my husband survived a complex brain aneurysm. 

A year.

One full year has passed since I stood in front of the Chief of Neurology at North Shore University and he told me that my husband has a three pronged aneurysm and the chance of making it out of surgery is only about 50%.

Recalling any part of those 14 days while he was in the hospital makes my heart start to palpitate.  My mind races in vivid memories of flash backs that feel so real if I close my eyes.

The hard memories never go away.
Watching my boys kiss their dad goodbye the day before his surgery not knowing what was going to happen. 
Holding Don's hand and looking in his eyes before his surgery not knowing our future.

The tiny details linger all the time...

I can hear the 24 hour monitor beeps in my head (still).
I can tell you what Don ate and what Don didn't eat.
The horrible pain I watched Don in day in and out after surgery.
How cold a hospital room really is at 2:00 am
I can describe in detail the smell of the spring air as I raced home each morning to see my boys off to school after spending 17 to 18 hours in the hospital every day.


It is easy to sit here and say now how amazing thankful I am on how god saved my husband that day.  Yet, the larger lesson for me would still not be found until months later when life moves on and we went back into that normal routine.

That is where the real blessing was found for me. 

When Don came home from the hospital I swore that no matter what I would value and honor the blessing that God gave me by saving Don that day.  And I did, but not always.  Real life started taking over again. 

I guess what I am trying to say is that you think that after God does this amazing thing by saving my boys from losing their dad, or me from losing my best friend that I would throw rose petals at him every single day celebrating our love and how much I love the life we made.  But it doesn't happen that way. 

The message/lesson for me is that I know Don and I will survive all odds.  That we have what it takes to make it because I truly believe that at the end of the day God sees it too.  Without Don in my life I would not have the peace my heart now holds. 

Do I drive him crazy? Hell yes.
Does he drive me crazy?  Double hell yes.
Do I love him and the life we have created with our sweet, slightly insane kids? a big fat YES.

I cannot believe it is going to be one year.

Whew.

In one year I found out how amazingly strong my husband really is...
...how strong I can be..
And how strong our love continues to grow..

Surviving the odds for sure.

I love you Donald Joseph.

Saturday
Apr282012

Things really do happen for a reason....

It was a chilly day in January 2010 when I received an email inquiry from an expectant Mom inquiring about newborn photos.  I remember I was at a stop light and did something I NEVER do when I first get an email inquiry; I picked up the phone.  That may sound strange, but when I get an email inquiry in I 100% of the time reach out for my first touch with an email back to them within 48 hours. 

Libby answered right away, and click.  Seriously, it can be explained as simple as that when I spoke to her, we just clicked.  It has been a little over two years and I my relationship with Libby has planted roots. 

That ONE little email inquiry back in 2010 has defined a new path, with new relationships and friendships.  I find it hard to express in person how thankful I am to Libby and Tommy.  There is no card, or poem, or expression to really convey how blessed I feel that our paths crossed.  I think of that email inquiry often, because for some reason on that morning I changed the way I did things and it open a door .. a gateway of some sort (I know how silly that sounds but it is the best way to explain).  Her and her husband Tommy have been so amazing by believing in my work.  And then there is Tommy's dad, and Mom, and Sister, and Libby's best friend... I can go on, and on.

Libby and Tommy are expecting their second little one any day now and I cannot wait to capture how the next chapter of their life unfolds.  The photos below were taken of their family at two separate occasions.  I kept delaying posting the images because I wanted to create the "perfect" blog post on how to say THANK YOU to them both for being so amazing to my family, especially my boys.  Alas, I don't think I there will ever be an expression of thanks that will be large enough.

so thank you Libby & Tommy for every person you have put in my path ... especially your family and closest friends..



Tuesday
Apr102012

The beautiful Nicole.. - Long Island Photographer

When I was in my early 20's I had no clue who I was or where I wanted to be in life.  When I met Nicole on a beautiful winter day earlier this year she blew me away with the confidence and determination of the direction of her life. 

A dancer, an actress, a college student with plans.  Big plans.  She wanted and needed head shots that were different and not in a studio.  I know some day I will be either see her dancing in a major play or starring in a movie. 

Here are some of my absolute favorite from the session:



Thank you again Nicole!!!! To see more images from this session, please head over to my Facebook page.. :)