Portfolio

Below are some of my favorite images. I have many more sport, wedding and event images that are great as well, but that’s not the direction I intend to go in. I have come to an age where I want to produce authentic images that incite feelings and meaningful thoughts! I hope you enjoy

Corinne Noel †

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If you focus too hard on the prize, you might miss the beauty of the journey!

This…this is the face of joy, contentment and gratitude.

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My journey started back in February when I found out that I had to have a tumor removed from my head. They failed to get a good sample in the biopsy, so until April when it was removed, we had no idea if I had cancer or not. To not know, but think you might have cancer, can really change the way you look at your life. It can completely change you and hopefully your circumstances if done right. Praise be to Jesus, there was no cancer!  While we were waiting for the surgery, I decided to go with Heroes on the Water for an event at Robinson Preserve. They take Veterans out on kayaks to fish with their families for no charge…it was amazing!! Though I only caught one fish, it was enough to remind me of the great love I had for fishing as a child.I was in a tandem with a great guide, he paddled the entire time, which is great, because I’ve never been in a kayak before! 01a2db50382180168f27873ccd5aacaf8958808158

Bronson, my 15 yr old and I rented kayaks from Economy Tackle a couple of times and I heard about a fishing tournament sponsored by the Coastal Conservation Association of Florida – CCAFL, it was called the CCA Florida Star tournament. The tournament was for 108 days, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, all Summer long which was perfect for me, since I still wasn’t working. I had walked away from a position with US Senior Vets that I loved! I’ve never had that much passion for a job, but there were major stresses that took a toll on my health, so I had to step down. Bronson was out of school for the Summer and I feared he would spend the entire Summer on his iPad, so I thought this would be the perfect way to get him out of the house. After having a tumor, not sure if I had cancer or not, getting ill after the surgery, having suppressed autoimmune disease symptoms attack me and keep me in bed for a few weeks. I wanted out of the house and my renewed love for fishing was the way we would start to change our lives! I’ve wanted to move out of Florida since I was about 15, I’ve hated the beach, the gulf…everything about Florida, but all of that was about to change. I would learn that God could change a heart and that I would grow to love this beautiful state and how fortunate I have been all of these years to live where I do!0145c4b514ebb23a5a6b04d645e10939900dbedfaa

We started fishing in the kayaks we rented, we continually would ask the guys at Economy Tackle for fishing advice on lures, where to fish, best hooks…okay, really everything, because we had no clue! See, this tournament was an inshore fishing tournament, to catch a tagged redfish would bring the biggest prizes, but there were other fish in the Open category that had great prizes too. So, we were hunting, red fish, cobia, sheepshead, spotted sea trout and snook. Not a problem, except that neither of us had ever caught any of the fish needed for the tournament and we didn’t know how or where to find them! I fished a lot growing up until I was maybe 15, then maybe 5 times in the last 30 years and my sweet grandfather always took care of knotted lines or putting hooks and weights on the line, so I really didn’t know anything! I did watch him, so I think it may have helped a little…but I knew how to fish, he taught me that and I think you never lose that! We also were fishing out of kayaks which I will tell you, isn’t very easy and to make matters worse, the first time we rented one, was the first time I’ve ever paddled a kayak on my own and only the 2nd time I had been in one! So we were learning everything as we went, maybe not the smartest way to do it, but heck, we had 108 days…anyone could learn anything in 108 days!

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I found a friend on Facebook that was selling like brand new Kayaks at a steal, so we bought kayaks of our own. We had only invested $60 for me to enter the tournament, my son since he was under 17, it was only $15 for him to enter. The Youth division was for scholarships, there were 2- $25,000 scholarships and 10-$5,000 available. It was enough of a motivator for him to get out and fish and I wanted to win a boat so we would continue to fish and because I personally  was having a problem fishing in the kayak that I wasn’t sharing with anyone. I had developed a fear of sharks & what I can’t see in the water under me, when I was probably 4 or 5 years old. I never outgrew it, I fought it and tried scuba diving with them, no problem, but now if they can get under me or if I don’t know they are there…I get very anxious and I have panic attacks. However, I haven’t really told anyone, because I’ve never really had a fear of anything, no fear at all, until I came back from the Army. I wasn’t in battle, it wasn’t that, but something in me changed while I was in and now I get panic attacks. Anyway, the only person who was seeing me freak out was my son, but he just thought I was scared of sharks or that I was just being a girl! 019d1a96fff76569a195006156392ef99f55361173

 

 

 

 

 

Bronson had his 15th birthday celebration on the boat of my friends Tony & Shelley Ballam. He offered to take us out, they knew we were wanting to really do some deep sea fishing, since the closest we had been was the Flying Fish twice in the last 2 weeks, catching grey snapper and grunt.My older son was home on leave from Ft Bragg, so he went on the Flying fish with me too. It was more like a video game, not much to it.We would bring up 2 to 3 fish at a time and we would have a contest to see who would catch the most, so the Flying Fish is not really the type of fishing we wanted to do. So, going out that morning with Tony & Shelley the weather was rough, most boats never even made it out of the 10th street boat ramp, but we were with a real pro! Bronson caught a 4 ft barracuda, I caught a 15lb Jack Crevalle and we caught our limit of Red Grouper. It was a blast, we had the best time and they were amazing hosts! So grateful for that trip! Tony is a great captain!!01a4c850bf33842c234a0fbc956701eafd3c6392a4 01a5cb31a849e21e63cac26318a52610fd3bef0c91 01ab8b9a1fefae4b34d47ca45acc229fe20fe90179 01c5ea49a005796f04027b6c356e6602c9da3c7ebb 0120c5bbfe9925a00a175e015fe6f9fccb2480741d 0154fe009e5f1268bb9e875a7ecb9ea573a55b409d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, we fish our little hearts out for a month between the kayaks and the local pier…we bother Lt. Dan from Economy Tackle so much about these redfish, that I have still never seen after fishing for a month in the tournament, that he offers to take us wading in Lemon Bay. He jokes about it being a shark breeding area, but says the water is clear you can see sharks coming and says he and his wife, Toni will meet us down south on Sunday. I research every possible thing about what attracts sharks,how many attacks and deaths from people wade fishing and if wading gear is a deterrent . We show up on Sunday and it’s overcast, and the water is murky…he says if something bumps you, hit it with your pole! Panic starts to take over my body as we are wading to almost hip high, he’s concerned that we can’t see anything if it was coming for us…then I catch my firsts red fish and she is beautiful and all my fear is gone!! I let her go and then catch my first sheepshead. It turned out to be a great day, but the sheepshead was bleeding a bit and I could hear the panic in his voice to send it on it’s way before we called in the sharks. Still, an amazing day and a great friendship was formed. If it wasn’t for Dan, I think we would never have found any fish!0128b77aeab2aeafec68df68ea5b9c9f60d2162808

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two months into the tournament, we have become decent fisherman, mostly out of the kayaks and if no luck, we stop at the pier on the way home to cast under the pier and catch mangroves so we feel we caught something. The guys at Hart’s Landing Bait shop, said I bought more bait then anyone other than fishing guides…we were there A LOT!!! Bronson caught a redfish from under the pier one day, I was helping bring it up, the line broke…he will never let me forget that…I am putting it in writing just in case he forgets that he will never let me forget  it 😉 We are fishing about 4-5 times a week, still no new redfish, but we are mastering seatrout, so we have entrees for the open division, so not all is lost. People are catching tagged redfish right & left, but they were never registered for the tournament, so they don’t win anything, all 5 boats were still up for anyone to win!01139a1a41d5d0a0351bbe9189ad9d3acdb96b8429

 

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A friend from High school Tami Doutrich had posted a photo of a redfish that she had caught and after asking a few questions…we had a new spot to fish, said to be loaded with redfish! When you don’t know where to find a certain type of fish, everyone will tell you where and how they catch them and 99% of the time, it doesn’t work. I say this, because we chased unicorns for 2 months before we went to the spot Tami told us to go to. She was an angel sent to rescue me from going insane! The first day we went, Bronson caught almost 20 redfish, though all under 14 inches, we were excited, because they were really there! I caught a sheepshead that first day and we realized this was where we needed to fish for the last month of the tournament and we did almost every day for the last month! Tami sent me a message on Facebook one morning and told me her brother had caught one of the tagged redfish in the place we were now fishing that morning and released it. We were fishing in the right spot and now we were even more determined to catch a tagged redfish that would win us a $60,000 boat, motor and trailer!!! We fished in the rain, we fished in the heat, standing up the entire time, battling oysters, a huge population of mangrove snappers and we caught a lot of fish! We mastered sheepshead! I caught over 7 keepers in one day and I made it my goal each day to catch one to log and then try for the redfish. I caught a huge redfish, over 30 inches one day, had to have the park attendant help me bring it up, but my line broke 4 feet out of the water. It didn’t have a tag, so no big deal, but wow, what a fish!

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The last day of the tournament, sister Beth’s boyfriend Jeff Weber, offered to take us on his boat with a friend who catches a lot of redfish.My sister wanted us to win the tournament too, so her and her boyfriend came back from their stay in Miami a day earlier, just to take us out on his boat! We are still blown away by their selflessness! Still wanting to win a boat…we drove down to Cape Coral went out into the storm on Labor Day, fished for hours, dodged thunderstorms, chased tarpon in the marina at dusk, but no tagged redfish. Bronson did catch a beautiful redfish and lost a 40+ inch redfish, and I caught a huge catfish! We did everything we could have, we went from no knowledge of fishing to being pretty good fishermen! I spent hours alone fishing, praying, singing, yelling and crying to God! I wanted a boat so bad, in the end, there were days where I fished 6 hours, came home and then went back out another 4-5 hours, it had become my job to fish! I was exhausted! I was so upset that I didn’t win a boat by catching a tagged redfish!I know that God isn’t  Santa Claus or a magic genie that grants wishes, but I know that if you put in the work, that you will be rewarded. On the ride back in the boat on Labor Day, after the storms had cleared and all was calm, I noticed so was I. I had time to reflect on these past 3 months and I’ve come so far. I have battled my fears, I have fought for time with my boys making memories that will last forever and I have found a new life so far from the one before my surgery. In 3 months, we learned how to fish, and fish from kayaks, while in a tournament! I have found my love for fishing and want to do this professionally one day! I see many more tournaments in the future! I am so grateful for the people who have so selflessly offered there knowledge, their secret spots, their time, their money and their hearts! My husband is the most understanding and amazing man and he became a fisherman’s widow for the last 3 months. He let us fish, encouraged us to fish and cheered us on! None of this could have happened without him. He worked hard while I went off to fish every day. I am so appreciative for his sacrifices to allow us to live this dream! My faith in God carried me when I was ready to give up, His love carried me and He renewed my spirit every day that ended without a tagged redfish.He is faithful…it’s always His way and His timing, but in the end…He still gave me a boat 🙂  Bronson won a $5,000 college scholarship and  I won a boat!!! I promised if I did win a boat that I would use it to help other women, kids and families to learn to fall in love with fishing, with the outdoors and make memories! I want to help others to learn to fish, so they can enter amazing tournaments like this one and win things that will change their live! Even if they don’t win…they will make memories that cannot be made in front of the tv or on the couch with your phone in your hand!

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I don’t know everything about fishing, I’m a long way from that, but I know enough to be dangerous…to the fish! I’d love to help anyone who wants to learn to fish, maybe catch some, but mostly have some fun and not be judged by if you are afraid to touch a shrimp or a slimy fish! This is where the story ends, but our new journey is just beginning 🙂 By the way, I don’t know how to operate a boat or have a place to keep one, so give me a few days to figure it  all out and then let’s go make some memories!

Tight lines and God bless!!

Corinne Noel †

 

 

 

 

 

How did I get here and why did it take so long to find myself?!

me at 6This is the first photo that I have of myself fishing. The fish was actually frozen stiff, but I didn’t really care, I wanted a picture with my fish. My grandmother had dinner ready so we put it in the freezer for just a minute and well…hours later we remembered him! It’s one of my favorite photos! The year was…ummm… a few years ago and I was about six.  I was spending the summer with my grandparents down in Venice. My family moved to Sarasota, Florida and my grandparents lived close, so I would go stay with them during the summer while not in school. I spent most every summer down there until I was about 11 years old. Sometimes my three older sisters would be there or maybe it was just my cousin Christopher and I.  Those summers we spent down there were some of the best summers of my life… but I forgot how great they were and how happy I really was.

Back in the 70’s…giving my age away… both of my parents were working a lot. I had older sisters who would watch me most of the time, but to go to my Grandparent’s house, that was the best!! They lived in a mobile home park, which to this day is still one of the nicest I’ve ever seen. They had two clubhouses with huge pools and many lakes. I would be lying if I said it was the most boring place for a six year old. Oh and I got to drive golf carts around everywhere, it was awesome! They had pairs of swans that patrolled the lakes they were super scary and they chased me home a lot, but it was still fun.

My grandfather, I believe, was one of the most patient men that had ever walked the face of this Earth. He had 4 granddaughters and 3 grandsons and we all wanted to fish. He taught his daughters and all of his grandchildren,  because he knew we would love it as much as he did. He spent most of his time putting bobbers and hooks back on our poles after breaking our lines that were always horribly stuck in the rocks at the Venice Jetties. I don’t believe that I actually ever remember him fishing at all. He was always helping us and there were so many of us! He would go from one to the other and never stop the entire time we fished. We were very high maintenance, it’s a miracle he lived to 99…we must have really kept him in shape!

Most of the time I would fish in the lakes at the park. They had a beautiful clubhouse with a porch overlooking the lake with big wooden rocking chairs. I would gather a bag of old bread and a couple of hot dogs, and head over to the clubhouse porch to fish every day! They had thousands of blue gill  that could easily be caught by balling up a piece of bread or ripping off a piece of hot dog. You would carefully put it on the hook and lower it into the water. Hopefully it stayed on long enough for a fish to get it and if you mastered the art of bread balls…you could pull up fish every minute, all day! They would feed like piranhas! Not much sport in it, but could be very competitive when seeing who could catch the most or the biggest.

Now the biggest fish in the lake were the bass, but the biggest was this one large mouth bass, “Big Daddy Bass.” He was a mythical creature that others spoke of, but few actually ever saw. In my years of fishing there, I saw him maybe five times and I caught him once! He was too heavy and broke the line, but it was an awesome day!! I loved fishing and it was hard to keep me away from the water back then. I don’t know really know what happened to me, but I guess I just discovered horses and boys, which left no time to fish.

As I look back, there was never a time where I loved living in Florida, I’ve always wanted to move to the mountains and be near lakes. I’ve truly hated living in Florida and as I grew older, I never went to the beach and definitely would not go in the water or fish. If it was a holiday that my big, crazy, awesome family would spent out at the beach I would go. I might fish, but it was just to pass the time, no real enjoyment. Then in March of this year I was contacted about a Heroes on the Water event at Robinson Preserve in Bradenton. They offered to take my family and I out in kayaks to fish for no cost, since I was an Army Veteran. Not many fish were caught, but I caught the fishing bug that day…my love of fishing returned and what happened next would change everything!

Shortly after that, I had decided to have a tumor in my neck/head surgically removed. I had ignored it for a few years, for the fear of having partial facial paralysis. I was having problems that left me no choice but to remove it.  We tried to biopsy the tumor, but it was in such a tight area, they couldn’t get a good sample. So going in to this surgery, we had no idea if it was cancerous or not. I was under a great amount of stress from my job and my doctor said there would have to be changes made in my career and a lifestyle change with more fun and less stress! I spent every moment like it was my last, I fished a lot with my younger son and then I went in for the surgery. Praise Jesus that it was not cancerous! I realized there were many changes I would have to make in my life. When I was recovering, I realized how much I had truly missed fishing all of these years. I realized how much I LOVE where I have lived for almost 40 years. I realized that I have not been living, just going through the motions and I was ready to start the life I owed myself, my husband and my children. I was ready for joy, laughter, contentment and peace with who I am. For anyone praying for God to change a family member or friend’s heart…I’m proof! He completely changed my heart…it took 40 years, but it can be done, please don’t lose hope!

I know this was a long story, but I felt the need to bring you up to speed, to how I got here and why I’ve turned a photography blog into a fishing & lifestyle blog. I’ve been fishing non-stop since I recovered from my surgery back in May. I’ve searched for 2 months for the elusive redfish and finally caught one! I will have to tell that story another time, but know that it’s my favorite fish, so strong and gentle all at the same time! Don’t get me started on how beautiful they are! I try to fish 3-5 times a week and it still seems like I want to do more. When my son is tired and wants to quit…I’m just getting started. I would love to fish professionally one day, hopefully before I’m 60 or I won’t be able to get the fish in the kayak! I fish by kayak when weather permits, but it’s summer and highly unpredictable like a toddler. So lately, it’s been pier fishing, which is not my favorite, but please know how grateful I am to just be fishing, to be alive and to spend time with my husband and kids! Someday I’d like to have a small boat, maybe I’ll win one…maybe I won’t…but it won’t matter either way…because I’ll still be fishing! If you ever want to fish, I’d love to go!  If you don’t know how to fish,  I’ll teach you everything I know, which honestly isn’t a lot, but I’ll make sure we have some fun. If you know a lot about fishing, I’d love to learn anything you are willing to share.

I wish for you all…lines that are tight, bait that is lively, hooks that set & big fat beautiful fish that make you smile 🙂

Corinne Noel †

Where do I start?

It’s a Wednesday afternoon, I’ve been working my insurance job most of the day and for a moment I reflect back on my photography career. I’m sure many will let out a laugh or maybe roll their eyes, thinking that it wasn’t much of a career. I was never famous, I was never paid $20,000 for a wedding, I never won an award at WPPI for one of my photos and I never went on tour teaching others my style of photography from my tour bus. However, I did start taking photos when my oldest son Anderson was 5 and he’s 18 now.

In the last 13 years, I’ve photographed weddings, graduating seniors, babies, families, pets, talented athletes, homes for sale, new businesses, wild animals, amazing sunsets and much more! If you asked anyone about their photos…they would say I captured the right moment, the one look that defined the moment or that I helped them to realize something special and beautiful. I made a difference in someone’s life or something’s life, like a dog that needed a forever home, but I made a difference!! That means more to me than being a Rock Star Photographer!

I’ve made money, but I did a lot for free and you can’t have a successful business or support your family when you do too many things for free. I did a lot of photographing for myself in the beginning and I find that I really got away from that quickly and then it all seemed like work and forced creativity, which is painful for any artist! Again, I’m sure there will be more eye rolling, but I am an artist. A great chef isn’t great because of the stove or cooking ingredients, it’s what he creates with them. It’s not the camera, it’s where I focus my attention, the lighting I choose, the mood I want you to feel…that is art! I forgot about the art, I focused on what others were doing, or what I needed to do so I was like all the other photographers! I lost the part of my photography that was me 😦

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When I think about where to start, I know I need a camera and that is still awhile off, but I need to find out where I want to be, what I want to photograph, what were my mistakes, what really worked for me, where was I comfortable and did I push myself in a direction that I couldn’t connect with? What do I photograph that takes my breath from me, but still makes me feel alive?

I don’t have $3,000 for a Canon 5D Mark iii with a 24-105mm lens today, so I’m going to work with what I do have. There is a cheesy saying ” I think I was taking photos long before I ever had a camera!” It may be cheesy, but it’s so true! I will photograph with my mind until I get a camera, I’ll remember how to see what others miss, to appreciate each moment, to wait for that thing… that one thing that happens at the right second and its tells the whole story in that one moment! It’s humbling to start over, to pull yourself out of the ashes after crashing and burning, but it’s also really beautiful. I get a do over and who doesn’t love a do over!!

Corinne Noel

It’s more than just a rock!

I’m sitting at my desk and I have to admit, I’m feeling…numb! It’s not that I’m feeling nothing, it’s more like when you feel too much and then you can’t feel anymore, so you’re numb, but totally aware!! I find that I’m most humble in this place, I get sick of the sound of my own voice. I notice my faults, weaknesses and mistakes…but it’s where I feel most like me. Here, in this place, I can see EVERYTHING!! It’s such a place of clarity for me, I’m not bogged down with emotion, because I’m past the RAW stage, where it hurts, now I can use it to make me stronger, I can lick my wounds, make changes and start again. This is what it must feel like to the forest after a fire…with the potential to grow again, brighter, stronger, higher…better 🙂 There is so much beauty in being humble and fragile!

I see the steps of where I’ve been and the path before me looks a little familiar, but my footsteps veer off into a high traffic area and that’s not where I want to go! I’ve been there, I’ve failed, I got up, tried something new, succeeded but felt empty, tried something new…you know how it goes. I know I’m getting all serious and usually I’m all laughs or I make you cry, but today I know that I need to do something different! Today, I live intentionally and as real as I humanly can! I LOVE photography! I LOVED being a photographer and while I’ll admit there were many things about it that I loathed…I feel like I can’t breathe without it!!

I believe that is where you have to get…get as far away from something that you love, walk away, free yourself from every camera, every lens, backdrop, photo book, etc. and then you can miss it, you can appreciate it and vow if it will let you come back, that you’ll be different this time. I want to come back!!! I have nothing, but an iPhone and a dream in my heart…but it’s somewhere to start!!  I want to be a professional photographer again…for real this time, no giving up, for better or worse!! But how…how do I get there???

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This rock…this boring smooth stone…I took this, well actually I asked permission (can you believe that!!) from the desk clerk at the MGM Towers, I asked if I could have it from the waterfall in the lobby, waiting to come back home after my 1st time at WPPI 2011. I wanted to remember how AMAZING WPPI was and how WONDERFUL this photography community really is when you reach outside of my city, to where there are truly big name photographers that are nicer than some of the  local ones with half the talent!  I was on fire and I let it blow out. I still have this stone to remind me of what I felt I could do, of what I dreamed that I could create, of what I really felt…was real!! I’m ready to be real too 🙂 It’s a long way back…but I know all the roads, I’ll be taking a few different ones, the ones I was afraid to take…this time…it’s going to be BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Welcome back…Corinne Noel Photography 🙂

Mission #1 …going to need a camera…oh and probably one with a lens might be good 😉

The Passing of a Photography Business…

 

This is a bitter-sweet day for me…I have decided to close my photography business. My first paid job was family portraits at the park for a friend, I really had NO idea what I was doing, since I had only photographed birds and my kids 🙂 7 years later, being professional full-time for the last two years brings me full circle and to the understanding that I still have NO idea what I am doing, but it would have to be more with running my own business. I love photography, but I’ve come to the point where I no longer enjoy it & that is the saddest part. If you ever get to that point with what with something that you love…walk away before you hate it! Many will think that I am another victim to the new photography community where everyone with a camera thinks they are photographers, with $250 weddings & a $50 family portrait session…CD with full res images included 😉 If anything that drove me harder to be better, to be different and to give more customer service 🙂 I have many people in this community to thank… Becker, Dane Sanders, Jasmine Star, David Jay, Doug Gordon, Sal Cincotta, Me Ra Koh, Kevin Jairaj…and I could go on. There was so much support, that I don’t think I would have made it this far without them. However, they were too far away to save this little company & I couldn’t get the support locally that I needed. It’s very difficult to run your own business, I know that now, I’m grateful for the lessons, the friends and the memories 🙂

I thank all of my clients…well, we were really friends, weren’t we 🙂 Thank you for trusting me with your beautiful moments…it was truly my honor 🙂

I’m moving on to other pastures…I’m teaching skin care and makeup artistry with Mary Kay Cosmetics full-time now, so if you’re ever in the need of a free facial, a lipstick or just a friend to chat with…I’m your girl!

My blog is going to change a bit…still heartfelt stories, but not about photography, so you can still visit me!

With love & blessings…Corinne Noel †

Darling Sweet Stella…

I had the pleasure to meet a beautiful little girl named “Stella” and I think her name fit her beautifully 🙂 Her Mommy was so proud of her, she was well-behaved & her personality came out in every photo. This was my 1st real baby session! I was really excited when I started to see the photos in the back of the camera…I couldn’t wait to put them on my monitor & then show them to Stella’s Mommy! I also took some photos of Stella & her Mommy, some intimate photos of them looking at other, cuddled on the bed. What a special moment I was able to capture. Her Mommy loved them as much as I did, because she wants ALL the proofs that I showed her & then quite a few bigger prints & maybe even a canvas for the wall. I’m so excited to see where this is all leading to. Baby photographer…Yes, I do think so 🙂

I can’t wait until my next baby session! Who knew it would be this much fun 🙂

Corinne Noel †

When you’re feeling down…

There seems to be a lot of devastation in the world today, there is a lot that can make you feel sad or depressed. There are the people suffering in Japan from the Earthquake & Tsunamis, locally it’s the passing of too many teens in a very short time. It almost feels like there is a cloud of doom over us all with no way out of this gloom 😦 If you are feeling really sad, maybe you’re depressed? Depression isn’t a bad word & more people in this world are depressed and need help, but never seek it out. Depression is just one more way your body can be off my one tiny drop of this or too much of another chemical. They have lots of ways to help, if you are thinking you might need help, go for it 🙂 You’ll feel better that you made the first step.

If you’re just sad, then maybe talking to someone about it, might just make you feel better. It seems like you don’t want to burden anyone with your problems, but God has a funny way of putting someone in your path that has had the same experience and they made it through, so they know how to cope with what you’re dealing with.

Praying works for me 🙂 It never fails when I am humbled to the point of breaking, I cry out and I pray & then the peace of God makes everything bearable and very clear. Try it…but if you’re not into praying, then asking someone to pray for you is not too much to ask anyone who does pray…try us, we would love to pray for you 🙂

When you’re feeling down, don’t let the feeling consume you. When you’re sad run from it! Rent a funny      movie or call a friend that keeps you in stitches. Do you have a song that whenever you hear it, it always makes you smile? Can you think of a time in your life, maybe the happiest time ever, the most funnest 😉 place ever? If there is a place like that or a memory, go with it, remember it, close your eyes and try to remember the smells from that day, was the sun hot on your skin, were your fingers sticky from cotton candy? Try to remember as much as you can about the moment, were you wearing those green shorts your Aunt Gail bought you for your birthday, was it raining, did your parents make you wear a big sombrero so you wouldn’t get lost…did you get lost anyway;)  When you’re feeling down, go to your “happy place” go back to that memory & let them change your mood, let them change your outlook on your day, your month, your life or maybe even like Peter Pan, maybe your thinking of happy thoughts will make you fly 😉

Corinne Noel †

When it’s not about the money…

Every year, for the past 7 years, I have had the pleasure to photograph the Island Style Classic Windsurfing Regatta on Longboat Key in Sarasota Florida. When I first started, it was a favor, it was fun, never made any money, but it didn’t matter because I loved what I was doing and who I was doing it for. The people who run the regatta are wonderful people and the people who race…they are really special too.

After 7 years of the same race, many of the same faces and going back to shoot for 2 long days on the water. I still love it 🙂 I hand hold a 100-400mm lens for about 5 hours on Saturday, maybe 4 on Sunday and my arms are like Jello for a week after…but I still love it. I stress trying to lug all my gear, an Epson r2400 13×19, laptop & 28 inch monitor, my projector and usually at least one of my children for a full weekend. I stress more trying to get the slide show done in 30 minutes of the photos just taken on the water and their photos printed & properly labeled for awards that go out every year. I try to make time to pull together individual galleries for some of my special racers, so they can better see themselves among all the other photos.

There are older racers, some over 60 and some younger ones under 18.  Those are my favorite racers…the smiles they show when they see themselves in one of my photos, well it really warms my heart 🙂 They all know me and they rush over to the table where I set up, just to see what I have. They seem to love the photos where my composition is a bit off or the face is too dark or one that I wouldn’t care to post online. I know nothing about windsurfing, so the ones I think are great,  are ones they would be embarrassed for their fellow racers or their instructor to see 😉

I had a great weekend, the weather was wonderful! I prayed for more wind, but we had just enough for all the racers to sail. The food was awesome and the people even better!  Some people when they read this will ask why I really go through all of this for what seems like nothing. It’s true that I could make more in 5 minutes of a wedding than I do in two 12-hour days there. See, the point I’m making here, is that there are a few things that I do a year, that I don’t do for the money, I do it to give back. I give to others and in return, it feeds my soul, by the joy I see in their smiles…its priceless.

Thank you my Island Style friends 🙂 I can’t wait for next year, as always it was a true pleasure. You know where to find me…I’ll be set up at the table in the corner, waiting to see your smiles and praying ahead of time for more wind!

Corinne Noel †

WPPI…What will you think of me?

As I sit in my studio for hour upon hour, looking through all and I mean all of my photos… I wonder how they have been received. I’m getting my portfolio together for WPPI University in 3 weeks and I’m trying to bring my best stuff. I will hand over my work, my passion…my heart and they will be brutally honest. Yes, I’m paying them to do this & really to  be critiqued by some of the best in the world, is such a great honor. People pays thousands or dream for something like this to happen & it’s coming true for me. Not only do they look through my portfolio, they look at my business structure, my business card, my website,etc. They want to help me be better, for myself and my clients. I’m very excited. This is my first year as a Full-Time photographer and I want it to be awesome!

On the other side, I’m scared to death…afraid for them to tell me to go back home &  find another line of work, sling burgers or sweep streets, both which pay more than a photographer starting out I might add 😉 I have never claimed to be the best and thanks to Flickr, Facebook & Craigslist…I know that I’m not the worst, Praise God for that!!  However the sea of mediocrity is a place I no longer care to swim… the water is luke warm, it’s overcast &  the view sucks!  So, to be better, to be on the beach with the best, you have to put yourself out there and let them tear you apart and know that what is left, is worthy of building on. I know it sounds brutal, but if you are in the photography business, you know what I’m talking about. It’s very difficult to figure out what is right sometimes. There are rules you must follow, rule of thirds, rules of composition, BUT!!! if you are a master, you break the rules and sometimes create a photo that looks like what  a 4-year-old would take & it’s received as brilliant!

I do have a few AWESOME assets, I’m contagiously funny, quick-witted, brilliant minded & people are compelled to tell me their life story upon first meeting & then allow me to give them advice with no proper schooling:)  I also ♥ people! I ♥ photography and how I can capture a moment like it’s held in a snow globe forever 🙂 I can freeze a moment of vulnerability, compassion or love and keep it , to remind me of something rarely seen.

I don’t know what WPPI will think of me, I guess I don’t really care, everyone wants to be accepted, but at what cost? I’m a unique masterpiece which God fashioned with His own hands and I’m who and where I’m supposed to be 🙂 I’m going to learn, I’m going to meet new friends, I’m going to laugh, probably cry a bit and most of all, I’m going to have fun doing it. Watch out Vegas, watch out WPPI , here I come…we’re going to be GREAT friends 🙂