Photographing Meb Keflezighi

I’ve had the good fortune of photographing Boston Marathon Winner Meb Keflezighi twice now – and both times I was struck by how kind, unassuming and down-to-earth he is. Also very fast for very many miles. If you’re not familiar with Meb Keflezighi, he has not only won this prestigious race but also the New York Marathon in 2009 and took the silver medial in the Olympics Marathon (among a zillion other races).

This October 2014 Endurance Magazine cover is from our most recent shoot, which we did a mere two weeks after he won the Boston Marathon. During the shoot, he’d said he hadn’t taken the medal off one time yet. I kinda completely love that. Even more powerful? He won a purse of $150,000 at the Boston Marathon and had declared that he’d be donating $10,000 to the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation if he won (which he did), in memory of the young boy who passed away from his injuries after the bombings.

The foundation’s message mirrors that of 8 year-old Martin’s, who literally held up a sign with these simple and powerful words: No More Hurting People. Peace.

 

Meb Keflezighi, Boston Marathon, Endurance Magazine, Tamara Lackey

If you hadn’t watched this year’s Boston Marathon, it was an extraordinarily emotional finish. as Meb Keflezighi was the first American man to win the Boston Marathon in over three decades – and, of course, it was even that much more powerful to win it after what happened last year.

Here’s a glimpse of his finish, in an unbelieveable 2 hours, 8 minutes and 37 seconds:


 

And big thanks to Ivy Pointer for getting me this fun behind-the-scenes photo of part of our shoot with Meb, too – quite fun.

Meb Keflezighi, Boston Marathon, Endurance Magazine, Tamara Lackey

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Photography Workshops

We had a truly fantastic final 3-day workshop of the year recently here in our Durham, North Carolina studio. A big thanks to all who attended, from all over the United States. One of the coolest aspects of everyone coming together for these photography workshops is how quickly everyone connects with each other in such a short amount of time – not to mention that we’re talking about photography non-stop while shooting, working through business clinics, marketing planning, and creating concrete, effective solutions to work/life balance challenges.

We also waited until we finished this last workshop – and recovered – before determining our dates for our Portrait Photographer’s Workshops in 2015.  I get asked often why I don’t do more workshops, and the reason is rather simple: they take a lot of time, energy and focus, for both me and my studio manager, Sarah (who goes all out trying to make the process as seamless for each participant as possible), and we don’t really have the bandwidth for more than that with the rest of our schedule – at least not at the level of quality we wish to deliver.

So, without further ado, our dates and locations for 2015:

Durham, NC (our Studio):  March 24th-26th

New York City: May 19th-21st

San Francisco: September 22nd-24th

We hope you can join us at one of these photography workshops in 2015 – you can sign up directly here!

But back to our last one of the year -> We have always been extraordinarily lucky with our models – and we had some adorable kids (And kid-like adults! And dogs!) join us for this one, where we shot on location at parks, on trails, tucking around corners here and there, and of course in the studio, photographing with available light, backlighting, studio lights, and reflectors, all while showing how to shoot as simply as possible, so that the focus can be on our beautiful subjects. (All images shot with my Nikon D800, D4, and a variety of these lovely lenses and many of these lighting modifiers):

 

Tamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NCTamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NC

 

Tamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NC

 

Tamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NC

 

Tamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NC

 

Tamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NC

 

Tamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NC

 

Tamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NC

 

Collage 21

 

Tamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NC

 

Tamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NC

 

Tamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NC

 

Tamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NC

 

Tamara Lackey, photography workshops, children's portraits, Durham, NC

 

Thank you to everyone who joined us – you were such SERIOUSLY GREAT FUN to photograph!

As proud of our 100%-would-recommend-to-a-friend rating as we are after dozens of these workshops now, it’s great to hear the more specific things that photographers say after leaving our workshop – you can see many, many reviews here.  You can also check out these very fun posts from just a few of my new friends who attended this most recent portrait photography workshop, along with the photographs they took at the workshop (love their different takes on the same subjects, showing how differently we really do see things):

James Pharaon – and his post on the James Pharaon Creative Blog

Pam Bonney – and her post on the Bonney Girl Photography blog

Chris McConnell – and his post on his Tumbler page

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarah, and she’ll do her best to get you all the information you need.

Thanks, and I hope to see you at one of these photography workshops soon!

 

 

 

 

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Photography Contest Winners!

Tamara Lackey —  September 12, 2014

Photography Contest Winners!

photography contest, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey, contest winners A huge congratulations to all who entered the End of 2014 Summer Blues Photography Contest, hosted by Nations Photo Lab and myself.  We have named our photography contest winners!!  We had some snags with uploading of entries after only a few days into the contest but, luckily, several hundred more images were uploaded with the designated contest hashtag – and we definitely found them all (and we found some absolutely gorgeous work!)

It wasn’t easy to narrow the photography contest finalists, but we managed to get to our top three winners.

A big CONGRATS to the following winners:

1st Place:  Nicole Brown

photography contest, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey, contest winners, Nicole Brown

 

2nd Place:  Rachel Piersig

 

photography contest, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey, contest winners, Rachel Piersig

 

3rd Place: Jenny Gibson

 

photography contest, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey, contest winners, Jenny Gibson

 

Winners, please email Allie at Nations Photo Lab to redeem your lovely prizes, which include generous gift cards from Nations Photo Lab, my Posing Playbook…for Kids Who Don’t Do Posing, a feature on the NPL Newsletter, and all kinds of winning image love.

We so enjoyed seeing all the incredible imagery come in for this – there will be another photography contest coming up very soon, this time with a new seamless platform for unlimited entries!  Check out both Nations Photo Lab and Tamara Lackey on Facebook for announcements for the next one.

And don’t forget – if you are printing your work (and hopefully you are printing your work), you can use the following promo codes for some amazing savings:  For those who have never used Nations Photo Lab to print their work before, you can use the code FALL50TL to get $50 off your first order with them (just remember to use the ROES software you can download on their site to be able to use the promo code!). For those who already are customers of Nations Photo Lab, don’t worry – you are not being left out.  You can use CANVASLUVTL to get 15% off any canvas work- and that is even on top of some of their frequent sales, so that can really add up to a lot of savings on beautifully-printed work.  Both of these codes expire on October 31st, 2014, and the CANVASLUVTL code can be used repeatedly until then!

Congratulations, again, to all the photography contest winners – and to so many who entered their images – you should be very proud of your beautiful work.

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Free Online Education

Tamara_3dayevent2

As summer winds down (yes, I’m slightly obsessed by this), and we gear up for Back to School season, I am teaming up with Adorama for 3 days of FREE online photography education. From Wednesday, August 27th to Friday, August 29th, I’ll be sharing tips & techniques on everything from travel photography to portraits to gear, lighting, and more.

How does this work?
Here are the WHATs, WHENs, and… well, more detailed WHATs:

What: Tamara Takes Over Adorama’s Facebook Page
(If you’re not already a fan of Adorama, you can like them here now.)
When: Wednesday, August 27th, all day
I will be sharing some of my favorite images throughout the day and explaining how I got the shot, what gear was used, techniques that worked, the metadata behind the images & why certain settings were selected – plus a whole lot more. I’ll also be linking out from my facebook page, too.  Follow along for travel photography, portraits, back to school photo ideas and more! If you have any questions, I’ll also be answering them throughout the day.

In addition, three lucky commenters throughout the day will win this Wescott 30″ 5-in-1 reflector!

What: Travel Photography Google Hangout with me & Matt Kloskowski
When: Thursday, August 28th at 2PM ET
Tune in for a LIVE Google Hangout event with me and my friend, Lightoom Guru and Landscape Photographer, Matt Kloskowski as we discuss all things travel and landscape photography (shooting, gear, lighting, settings, packing for big shoots and light travel, the works!) – we’d love your participation.

One lucky commenter during the hangout will win this Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L AW Backpack!

You can RSVP here!!

What: Live Twitter Q&A with me
When: August 29th at 12PM ET

I will be answering your questions LIVE on Adorama’s twitter handle. Bring them all – exposure, composition, portraits, business tips…and don’t worry about waiting until Friday.  You can submit your questions NOW by using the hashtag #TamaraTakeover, and we’ll have them ready to answer on Friday at 12pm.

One lucky participant will win this 3Pod FlatFold Carbon Fiber Tripod!

I’ll be RT’ing from my twitter account, too, but to get everything directly – and to keep in the loop for frequent specials, discounts, giveaways, and other online education events – feel free to follow Adorama on Twitter.

In addition, to celebrate this free Online Education event, Adorama is running a $300 Giveaway Contest right now.

You can enter to win right here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

 

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Photography Contests 2014, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey

 

Photography Contests 2014:  Summer Blues

I’m teaming up with the friendly, talented and artistic peeps at Nations Photo Lab to host a fun, new photography contest, celebrating our collective Summer Blues – as in, summer is fading, school is starting back up, and vacations are winding down. So let’s share what you shot this summer – we want to show your work some love!

Together with Nations Photo Lab, we are launching this brand new photography contest today. Simply post your favorite image to this Yahoo/Flickr group before September 5th (midnight EST) to be entered to win. And, yes, we know it’s very tough to narrow down your favorites – so you may post up to five of your favorites images to still be within the bounds of this contest.  International entries are welcome, as well, as long as Nations Photo Lab can ship prints to a US address.

***NOTE:  If you are having problems uploading your image (some people are getting error messages, but it seems to be a random Yahoo thing  – NPL has submitted a request for them to fix it), feel free to post your image on the Nations Photo Lab Facebook page, on instagram or on twitter with the hashtag #NPLTamaraSummerBlues. We will definitely pull all entries together, which is why adding the hashtag is absolutely necessary – but, if you are having an upload issue, that shouldn’t prevent a contest entry!

If you have any questions, post them in the comments below, and we will be sure to answer them as speedily as possible : )

So, what are the prize details?  We will select three lucky winners to receive the following lovely prizes:

1st Prize

$250 Nations Photo Lab gift certificate

Tamara Lackey’s Posing Playbook (valued at $89)

Winning image and name featured in upcoming NPL email 

Shout out on the Nations Facebook page (and this blog and my social media outlets, of course!)

2nd Prize

$100 Nations Photo Lab gift certificate

Winning image and name featured in upcoming NPL email 

3rd Prize

$50 Nations Photo Lab gift certificate

Winning image and name featured in upcoming NPL email 

Just post your work to this Yahoo/Flickr group to enter!

IN ADDITION, Nations Photo Lab is offering two fabulous options to spend less and get more – > for those who have never used Nations Photo Lab to print their work before, you can use the code SUMMER50FREE to get $50 off your first order with them (just remember to use the ROES software you can download on their site to be able to use the promo code!).
For those who already are customers of Nations Photo Lab, don’t worry – you are not being left out.  You can use SUMMER40OFF to get 40% off any ongoing print orders – and that is even on top of some of their frequent big sales, so that can really add up to a lot of savings on beautifully-printed work.  Both of these codes expire on August 31, 2014, and the SUMMER40OFF code can be used repeatedly until then, so ENJOY IT!

 

Photography Contests 2014: Group Rules, Legalese, and The Fine Print

This group has been created for U.S. participants to submit photos to Nations Photo Lab to be entered in a contest to win a special prize. Contest will run through Friday, September 5th, 2014. 

You hereby represent and warrant that the material shall be your original work product and will not be based on or derived from, the proprietary information or items of a third party and that none of the material will infringe, misappropriate or violate any patents, trade secrets, or other proprietary rights of any person or entity. If the material you submit requires a license, you warrant that you have obtained it and that the license is in full force and effect. You represent and warrant that the material does not violate any copyright, trademark, privacy or publicity right, or other right of any person or entity, or any agreement to which you are a party or to which this material is subject. You represent and warrant that you have the right to grant this license to the material to Nations Photo Lab free and clear of any claims or encumbrances.

You acknowledge that Nations Photo Lab shall have no obligation to post, display or otherwise make publicly available any material submitted by you. 

 

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Photography Workshops 2014

We finished up an excellent, sold-out 3-day Portrait Photographer’s workshop in London last month, and it was truly a remarkable experience.  I’ve come to realize that it’s not just the teaching and photography I enjoy, but the opportunity to connect on a more meaningful level with those who attend my workshop.  It really makes a difference to have that time together – and the one-on-one time with each individual – and for that, I’m grateful.

Huge thanks to our fantastic models – we had a lovely time photographing you.  All photographs were taken with the Nikon D4 and D800, and most of the lenses listed here:

photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop

photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop

Our next (and final 3-day workshop of the year) is this September 16th-18th in our Durham, North Carolina studio.  We max out at 15 participants, and we only have a few spots left. You can check out all the details of the workshop and register here!

You can also see lots and lots and lots of what previous workshop participants have said about the workshop here, including feedback from all workshops we’ve done, which I’m happy to say has held steady a 100% ‘Would Recommend A Friend’ rating since our first workshop.

And a big thanks to Fundy Software, who offered a partial scholarship to the London workshop.  Michelle Szpak won that, and I loved hearing her feedback to them about this workshop in this post.

Also some across-the-pond gratitude to Adorama, who shipped all the participants these fabulous Glow reflectors:

photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop

Thanks to Nations Photo Lab, my favorite lab, who sent some gorgeous framed pieces with each photographer’s artwork to them (and offers this discount).  We also got some substantial discount love from Animoto and a number of other wonderful retailers.  The swag bag has been building and building.  Grateful that my fabulous Studio Manager, Sarah, has been managing so many of the discount and swag bag gifts and much, much of the coordination of efforts on these workshops.  It’s a whole lot to keep straight, and she’s been instrumental in keeping things humming!

During the workshop, we like to photograph indoors, in tricky darker lighting, using additional light sources (we’ll be using studio lighting in our Durham workshop this September), as well as in a natural setting and a bit more of an urban setting.  We break the shooting up to work on photographing fast-moving subjects, more extreme natural lighting, interaction with subjects, grouping, expressions – and lots more.  There’s a lot of shooting during the three days – and quite a bit of variety in all that shooting.
photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop

photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop

photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop

photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop

Once we get through a lot of the basics (and we go through the technicals again and again and again!) we can also play with more creative shooting – like this purposeful use of varied shutter speed to effect the feel of mood and energy:

photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop

 

Thanks to very talented photographer Ana Pratas, who wrote this lovely post about not just the shooting but all the business and marketing components of this workshop, for supplying this fun, bottom-left, behind-the-scenes shot from the workshop, as well as a couple other fun ones in this post.  Here we are mimicking a client’s home environment with Caroline, participant/impromptu model, complete with adorable family:

 

photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop
photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop
photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop

 

Working with very dark interiors, to show what can be done with balancing your settings, using fill flash, and working with tripods and sharp reflectors.  There’s a great deal you can do with very little light:

photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop

And a huge kudos to our gorgeous model family, who were game for some rather unorthodox posing – love the coolness we were able to achieve from this angle, with some technical/angle shifting while shooting.

 

photography workshops 2014, Tamara Lackey, Portrait Photographer's Workshop

 

As much as I’ve tried to do some justice to what this overall experience is, I still find that it’s just something to, well, experience.  I feel truly lucky to know all who have – I’ve truly made a lot of new friends – and I look forward to those I’ll meet through this in the future.

If you are interested in joining our last workshop of the year, you can register here : )

 

— 8 Comments

Photographing London

Tamara Lackey —  July 18, 2014

Photographing London

Three weeks ago, my family and I set out on a bit of a trip – a bit of work, a bit of play, a lot of exploring and a whole lot of photography; London was our first stop.  There’s also Ethiopia, Italy, Switzerland and more – but we started out with the U.K.

We wandered London for a few days right after we got there.  We were staying in Southwark but took the tube everywhere.  To Camden Town, Kensington, Covent Garden, The London Eye, Buckingham Palace, so very many of London’s beautiful, sprawling gardens and on and on and on.

After a few days, I got to kick off my 3-day Portrait Photographer’s Workshop.  It went so beautifully well, I’ll have to dedicate another post to that – but, for the meantime, here are just a few of the very, very many photographs I took while in London, all shot with the Nikon D800 and either the 24-70 f2.8 or 14-24 f2.8 lenses.

First off, funky, vibrant Camden Town:

 

Tamara Lackey, Photographing London, Nikon, Camden Town

 

We were blessed with some rather beautiful weather most of the time we were there, which was about a week and a half altogether.

 

Tamara Lackey, Photographing London, Nikon, Southwark, Buckingham Palace

 

Clockwise from upper left: Caleb happened to match the pop of Neal’s Yard effortlessly, a shot from inside Covent Garden’s Apple Store, sweet Sophie against a background that matched her eyes, and the eerily beautiful Brompton Cemetery in London.

 

Tamara Lackey, Photographing London, Nikon, Camden Town

 

The famous Covent Gardens, shot from above.

 

Tamara Lackey, Photographing London, Nikon. Covent Garden

 

The London Eye, from St. James Park

Tamara Lackey, Photographing London, Nikon, The London Eye

So much riding of the tube!  Check out the creepy guy in the window behind Caleb, upper right shot – and Steve and the kids, while waiting at Kensington Station.

Tamara Lackey, photographing London, The Tube Underground

 

Love all the incredible, free museums.  Even the ones with attacking dinosaurs.

 

Tamara Lackey, photographing London, The Natural History Museum

Near St. Katherine’s Docks, in Southwark:

Tamara Lackey, Photographing London, Nikon

My three little explorers, shot in Kensington Gardens.

Tamara Lackey, Photographing London, Nikon, Kensington Gardens

 

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Nikon Takeover

Since becoming a Nikon USA Ambassador, I’ve had the good fortune to do some very cool new things – but getting to do a Nikon Takeover is definitely one of the coolest of the cooler new things yet.

What does a Nikon takeover involve?  Well, if you have ANY questions about cameras, lenses, gear, portraits, lighting, shooting, or anything photography-related, I’ll be taking over the Nikon twitter account to answer A LOT, LOT.

Feel free to tweet any questions using the hashtag #NikonChat between now and tomorrow, and I’ll be abandoning my twitter account to post from the NikonUSA twitter account Tuesday, June 24th, from 2pm – 3pm EST.

Anything you tweet in advance of our start time, with hashtag #NikonChat, will be collected by Nikon, and sorted, so that we can knock out as many answers as possible (as smoothly as possible).  My goal during the Nikon takeover is to get through ALL of them, so definitely join in!

 

Nikon Takeover, Tamara Lackey, Twitter, Nikon Ambassador

— 3 Comments

Open Call for Models London

**6/24/14: Note, we are all set with some rather wonderful models, and the workshop is completely sold out – thank you!

(Our last workshop of the year is in Durham this September, and there are only a few spots left).

 

Our 3-day portrait photographers workshop is coming up very, very soon, and we will need about six more models to round out all the shooting clinics we will have over the course of our workshop!

We have been quite lucky to have a wonderful variety of lovely, fun models in previous workshops.  Here’ a peek from just some of our models during our recent 3-day workshop in Durham, North Carolina: – we photographed indoors, on location, utilizing natural light, additive light, doing tiny-group shoots with separate models, shooting fast-action, photographing with rough backgrounds and considering additional elements when photographing families.  All shot with either the Nikon D4 or D800 and a variety of lenses.

Call for models london, Tamara Lackey, Workshop

 

Call for models london, Tamara Lackey, Workshop

 

 

Call for models london, Tamara Lackey, Workshop

Call for models london, Tamara Lackey, Workshop

Call for models london, Tamara Lackey, Workshop

Call for models london, Tamara Lackey, Workshop

Call for models london, Tamara Lackey, Workshop

Call for models london, Tamara Lackey, WorkshopCall for models london, Tamara Lackey, Workshop

 

And there are quite a lot of other lovely photographs from workshop participants!

Check out:

Karen Kelly’s blog – she wrote a beautiful post about courage and photography (and the workshop) that I just love – and shares her own high-energy images.  I sincerely believe that we are our own biggest barriers, so I just love her realizations and motivation on where she goes from here. It’s definitely worth a read.

There’s also Cindy Short’s impactful blog post.  After spending half a year in treatment for cancer, she is quite clear on what means the most to her.  You can see her review of the workshop and her beautiful images of the models here.

You can also see more very fun model images from Iman Woods, who was as much in need of staying open creatively – and managing burnout – as she was of the particulars offered in the workshop.  Check out her soulful post and playful behind-the-scenes shots here.

And Katy Johnson, who knew she wanted to get her business to the next level and realized she had been overwhelmed by all the pieces involved in making a business out of the passion of photography, shares how she saw to put it all together – and shows off so much of the personality of the kids we photographed in this post here.

So!  If you’re interested in responding to our open call for models for this London workshop, please contact Sarah, our Studio Manager, here.

And if you’re interested in joining the workshop as a participant, we still have a couple spots left!  You can register here.

Lastly, a bit of a warning – as much fun as the models have during our shoots, I must confess they also can get a bit tuckered out.
So, y’know, just don’t say we didn’t mention that part ; )

 

Call for models london, Tamara Lackey, Workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When Chris Rosati was first diagnosed with ALS (historically known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), it came as a pretty incredible shock to he and his wife. What had started out as muscle twitches, and eventually some muscle weakness, now had a diagnosis – ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a disease that attacks motor neurons (the cells that control our muscles), a disease that changes what you knew as your life, a disease that is fatal.

A diagnosis of ALS can change everything.

And for Chris Rosati, it did.  In fact, he has quite a lot to share about just how many blessings this diagnosis has brought into his life.

 

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

Happily married to his rather lovely wife of ten years, Anna, the two of them have two high-energy, beautiful daughters, Logan, age 8, and Delaney, age 3. Anna had actually been pregnant with Delaney when Chris was first diagnosed.

But when you speak to Chris about ALS, he refers to all the blessings of the disease, how he used to worry all the time and how he simply doesn’t anymore. He cares, deeply, for those he loves; but he doesn’t worry anymore.  His intention is to truly live his life – and to live it well.

I had the good fortune of spending a few hours with Chris, Anna, and their daughters on a photo shoot recently, and I felt the power of that intention, to live fully, to worry less, to be grateful. It’s really quite striking, a truly palpable energy.

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

Referring to hearing his daughter’s footsteps patter down the hallway, Chris Rosati is so very clear on what matters – he used to hear common sounds like that, and it’d be background; now her footsteps are the focus, the full focus. There is quite a difference in that, in what we put first. He shares some of his perspective in this CBS news story.

To that end, he founded the Inspire Media Network, encouraging other people to live their lives fully, to not wait to be amazing – to love deeply, to pursue their dreams and to help others in the process.  Chris believes that, by sharing our adversities, we help each other, that seeing how someone else has “overcome the same seemingly impossible circumstances that we may face can give hope to the hopeless”.  And he doesn’t just mean an illness – he refers to anything that can “knock people to their knees”, like the loss of a job, or a divorce, or the death of a loved one.

One of Chris Rosati’s goals is to help bring more awareness to ALS.  And, coincidentally, May is ALS Awareness Month.  To help support that effort, he is also creating a film, The Blessings of My Disease, which you can help fund – and he states:

“ALS is devastating. But there are some blessings. I get to be amazed by the good in people every day. I get to experience an overwhelming and never ending wave of love. I hardly ever worry, and never about something trivial. I now see beauty in so many simple things. I no longer fear failure… or much of anything else. I know something you don’t know – something wonderful. And I know how blessed I am.”

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

I had first heard of Chris Rosati when my 12 year-old daughter wanted to do a project with her friends, BIGG (Big Ideas for the Greater Good), a contest that Chris was hosting to encourage students to get creative about doing good things for others. I heard of him again when our mutual friend, Laura Zimmerman Whayne, shared more details of his story, leading me to read up on his super cool Krispy Kreme Heist, his plan to hijack a Krispy Kreme doughnut delivery truck and deliver the goods – see more about how Krispy Kreme gave him one instead (his first delivery stop was a Duke cancer treatment center). Laura had also mentioned that he would be speaking at our daughters’ school as part of an effort he was making to go school to school, to spread his message of love, hope, and fearlessness.

And his name came up a third time when my 12-year old came home from school after just listening to him speak to the entire middle school in assembly.  She walked in the door, eyes shining, and said “Mom, I heard Chris Rosati speak, you remember him?, he’s not afraid at all. I mean, he knows he is going to die, have you heard of ALS?, and he says none of us have to be afraid, how much worry doesn’t matter, he doesn’t anymore, it was all so amazing, listening to him …” and she proceeded to tell me nearly everything he said. I truly hadn’t ever seen her that impacted by someone she’d heard speak before.

I was so moved that I coordinated with Laura to reach out to Anna and Chris, and we arranged to do this family portrait session. It was truly a privilege for me to do – and it was really just a fun outing, in general.

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

As we meandered around, we had a chance to talk.  We watched Delaney assert her desire for something, as 3 year-olds naturally do so well, and Chris commented, with a smile, “That’s good.  She’s strong-willed, that’s going to really help her in life.”

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

 

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

 

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

Watching Chris and Anna together is quite something, too.  There’s so much undeniable love there, such sweetness when they look at each other. There is loss on the way, there currently seems no way around that, but there is right now right now – there is living fully today – and you see exactly what it means to live up to those words.

When Chris says to not wait to be amazing, this is what he means, the way they are right here.

Chris Rosati, ALS, Portraits by Tamara Lackey

 

Love deeply,
pursue your dreams,
help others in the process.

Got it.

 

 

 

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