Saying Goodbye to the Skull Cap

Every now and then, I get this crazy idea in my head about getting together with friends who live in different parts of the country. As a blogger, I have met people, at least in that virtual sense, from every corner of the US. During the meetups I’ve had with blogging buddies, both formal and informal, I have a hard time with goodbyes. I’ve grown close to many of you.

My business website has been on my to-do list for a few months now and since the fall, I’ve had a note to get a professional headshot taken. Yet every time I thought about that headshot, I would think about how badly I wanted Tamara to take it. But what were the odds of that, given she’s in Western Massachusetts and I’m on the North Carolina Coast?

I mentioned in passing to Tamara one day that I wanted her to get the shot. In that joking/non joking “wouldn’t that be cool,” fantasy kind of way?

I love it when the stars align and wishes come true.

Earlier today, Tamara finished sending me 43 photos that she captured outside her family’s home, where we met on Christmas Eve, running around horse pastures and woods, chasing that perfect shot.

I made new friends that day, too.

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Tamara uses her vision behind the lens of the camera to capture an essence beyond the physical. Her photos reveal a more inspired version of ourselves. They reveal our energy. They reveal the love that lives inside of us.

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What makes Tamara’s photos so special – and I mean all of her photos, not just mine, are how they tell stories.

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With her photos, Tamara gave me a gift well beyond a business head shot.

She gave me the story of me, newest chapter, latest revision.

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“The best stories start with a world out of balance, and once we accept that, rise to the challenges and be true to ourselves, the outcome is often better than we could have imagined.”

~ from The In Between, April  2, 2013



Saying Goodbye to the Skull Cap — 121 Comments

    • Tamara finds the light in people. She’s amazing. I am so lucky that I was able to meet up with her for this. And thank you for that lovely compliment!

    • Nicole, I hope it happens for you one day. I’m sure it will! Something will put you all in the same room at some point. And those are some photos that I can’t wait to see!

  1. Okay, this brought tears to my eyes. You describe Tamara’s photographs SO WELL. She does capture the person and the moment so well.

    I love your photos!! She totally captured the light and goodness that radiates from you, Ilene. There was never a better combination of photographer and subject. BEAUTIFUL!!!

    I will always think fondly of the skull cap photo because that is the Ilene I first met, but I am so excited as this new chapter unfolds for you and I get to see you blossom with it!! It’s just lovely. It makes me smile!! XOXOXOXOX –Lisa
    PS. And I’m totes jealous that you guys got to see each other. I want a mini-blog meet up too with both of you!!!

    • Lisa, I really really really can’t wait for our next meetup. And I think we have to make it happen really soon! And I hope Tamara is there as well and can capture it all on film! And thank you for all of your lovely thoughts. That skull cap girl is still part of me. I’d like to make a blog badge out of that photo when I get a second to figure it out! xo

  2. I’m nearly sobbing here! It was one of those cold and crappy and endless mornings, where you realize it’s only January, and the heating oil and pellets are going to run out soon…!
    Anyway, enough about this. I love the way you described me. I’m going to stalk this page all day to read our lovely friends’ comments and to make myself feel well.
    xoxo in a big way.
    I hope I am that photographer you think I am. I doubt it a lot, but this makes me feel so fantastic.
    Tamara recently posted…When Co-Authors Team Up!My Profile

    • You can stay around all day. I have a lot more gushing about you that I could do, you know. You’re amazing in every way. The photographer side is just the side that most people get to see.

      And you are welcome to stick around today. I’m declaring this Tamara day. Nice ring to it, don’t you think?

      • Maybe Wednesday will be Ilene Day because I have a post coming out with a lot of mentions of this. I was going to post it tomorrow but my heart was feeling crummy so I had to post something that honors that. I want your day to be happy!!
        Tamara recently posted…When Co-Authors Team Up!My Profile

        • I am so sorry to hear that your heart is feeling crummy. And while you need to honor that, I’m still sorry to hear. Here’s to a mending heart. And if you start to feel down, just read this comment thread, girl. You are loved by many. xo

  3. You look so beautiful Ilene!! And yes, she is amazing!! I couldn’t agree with you more on the way that she captures the essence of every moment and just makes it look so, well, perfect! I am happy-jealous of you (secretly I want Tamara to do the pictures of me and the kids…but shhh…don’t tell her that) XOXO
    Krystal recently posted…A Brand New DayMy Profile

    • Thank you Krystal. I feel so SO very lucky that Tamara was able to get the photo. There are plenty of GREAT photographers down here, but they’re not Tamara. I’m so happy it was HER.

  4. Gorgeous photos Ilene! You look amazing! Amazing how a photo can encapsulate so much change. Lovely headshot and kudos on the fresh start. 2014 will be an incredible year. 🙂

    • Maribel! Thank you so much for that! A picture really CAN tell a story. And so far this year is off to an incredible start. Happy new year to you my friend. xo

    • Karen, Thank you for welcoming me into your home and sharing your beautiful family with me. What’s great about these photos is that they come with the memory of a perfect day spent with lovely people.

    • Kerstin, you are so kind, my friend. And I can’t wait to meet you. I know that one day, sooner rather than later, this will happen. xo

  5. Magic happens when two beautiful people (inside and out) collaborate – the proof is in the photos! Tamara does bring out the light in her subjects, but I suspect your light is brimming over anyway. As others have said, I’m jealous that you met (again!) in person, but it’s a happy-for-you kind of jealousy. Looking forward to following the newest chapter in your story, Ilene!
    Dana recently posted…As if I’d actually ever win the lotteryMy Profile

    • Thanks Deb. And yes – stalk her! I don’t know where you’re moving to..yet – but she does occasionally make an appearance in NJ for family – so you can always catch here there. That’s what I did!

    • Thanks Lisa! I love the story here – the story of my meetup with Tamara and the story that the photos tell. Best Christmas gift ever.

    • Kim, you are so sweet to say that. Thank you. And I am lucky – in a twofold way – that I spent time with a great friend and that she took such wonderful photos.

  6. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!! Oh your pictures are BREATHTAKING!!!! I could look at them all damn day…

    And that quote? Oh gosh- it doesn’t get any more perfect than that for you.

    Just look at you, would you? LOOK. AT. YOU.



    Chris Carter recently posted…This is How God Works…My Profile

    • Thank you Justine. And she did. She got the inside. She’s so talented – to capture it all so to speak. Tiffany did that too with the “skull cap shot” but I love that I have that present day photo that tells the story of now.

    • Jessie – there are at least a dozen of me with horses. They are my favorites. And thank you. I am so glad this reunion – and the photo session worked out!

    • Oh, Andrea. You are so sweet. HUGS. And from some of the chatter that’s been going on, I look forward to giving you that hug in person very soon!

    • Alexa – I’m guessing it was in the mid 20’s as I was wandering around the horse pasture and woods with Tamara! We had to take a few breaks to I could throw on a jacket and gloves. And thank you my friend. My experience since living in NC has been INCREDIBLE in every day. I’m guessing that’s what you all are seeing. xo

    • Thank you Kim, I am thrilled with them. I love them now and I know I’ll love them years from now when I look back and think about this time in my life.

    • Oh, Tricia. You are too sweet. I feel like Tamara and I were the dynamic duo that day. I needed her superpowers behind the lens to capture what she captured.

    • Thank you Allison. It’s a great moment, my life right now. I feel very blessed. I’m thinking that’s what all of you see. Thanks for sharing in it with me! xo

    • Maureen, it is such a joy when my online relationships transform to IRL! I feel so blessed for this! Thank you for your lovely words about the photos.

    • Tenns – honestly – it was in the 20’s! We were in the northwest corner of New Jersey – up in the hills – and it gets cooooold up there. I kept having to take breaks to put on a jacket and gloves over the dress. But I’m glad you can’t tell that my lips were chattering in between shots!

  7. I’d totally travel to Mass for pictures like those. You look beautiful. I love the pic with your huge laugh with the horse. love the candidness of it. It’s great that you’ve made such wonderful real life connections.
    Hope recently posted…Without my cell phone…My Profile

    • Thank you my friend. She IS magical and I love these photos. She nabbed some great shots (and I am my own worst critic when it comes to pictures!) and it’s also the memory of a great day!

  8. It seems unfair, somehow, that I want to meet you both so much and you already got to meet one another. However, I am big and realize that you two loving one another is best for the whole world so…AND OMG the photos she took of you are amazingly gorgeous and wonderful and I love them. You’re stunning and so right that she has the ability to capture magic with that camera of hers. To tell stories. To show love, life, and light. All in one.
    Also I’m going to cry if she does not give me Sunday after BlogU to take photos of my son…big ugly cry…

    • Kristi – I love that – that the two of us loving each other is the best for the whole world. And thank you for your lovely thoughts on these photos. I adore them and Tamara and you and I can’t wait for Tam to get photos of your son after Blog U. Can. Not. Wait.

  9. Oh my gosh LOVE! They are stunning, you look vibrant and full of positive energy. I love your dress too. How gorgeous and awesome that you could meet up with her and get your head shots done. I love the horse in the pictures, she has a great eye. Is that your daughter too? She is gorgeous my girls would be very jealous of her outfit and shoes hehe!
    Jess recently posted…Busy BusyMy Profile

    • Thanks Jess! The girl in my post is Tamara’s daughter who happens to share a name with my daughter though! I am so lucky that this meet up happened! Truly blessed!

  10. Pingback: You Gotta Be: Ask Away Friday with Tamara Camera Blog | The Fierce Diva Guide to Life

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