it's been a while

just wanted to wish all the moms out there a very happy mother's day!  i hope you're being celebrated today -- and continue to every day. some mom photographs i've been blessed to capture over the years...

and here's an interesting little tidbit on the founding of mother's day.


past few weeks have been crazy. filled with...   two weeks of traveling.   seven client shoots. two editorial shoots. teaching a workshop.   taking a workshop. not much time on the computer. teaching another workshop next week. and lots of prepping for africa, which is just a short bit away now.  

hoping to catch up and share more very soon.

breaking the mold with deb & leah | coming soon

i'm super excited to share that i'll be teaching a breaking the mold online mini-workshop with my best friend and incredibly talented photographer, leah zawadzki -- march 12th - 26th.  registration opens this monday! see below for all the details...

some topics that will be discussed:

inspiration creativity thinking outside the box finding your style creating great images shooting with a lensbaby editing simplified building a strong portfolio

participants will receive the following: an honest and intimate look at both deb and leah's photography styles three assignments followed by feedback an inspirational e-book lensbaby and lilyblue actions discount codes and a a few special giveaways

registration details:

1. this workshop is for bloom forum members only. if interested in registering for this mini-workshop, but not a yet a member -- you can join the forum (for 3, 6 or 12 months), by clicking the bloom logo below... The Bloom Forum 2. once a bloom member, you can then register for the workshop in the 'mini-workshops information' section, found here.  registration will open this monday morning. 3. the workshop will run from monday, march 12th – monday, march 26th, with posts and interaction daily. 4. active seats are $200.00 per seat. 5. silent/read-a-long seats are $150.00 per seat. 6. the private mini-workshop information will be available for one month after the workshop ends. 7. there is also a private forum section for all past breaking the mold participants, to continue  interacting and sharing with one another. 8. registration opens this monday -- february 27th.  seats are limited!

we hope to see you there!

photos copyright deb schwedhelm & leah zawadzki

do you remember?

the above is not my photo.  i wish it was. i actually wish it was a photo of me with one of my babies. but it's not; it is a photo taken by my dear friend, steph [lifeography].  she facebooked the photo today, with the title -- do you remember holding your babies this way?

the sad thing is...i don't remember. well i do remember if i try really, really hard, but i want more. i want the photos, to remind me. i want the photos, to take me back to that magical place that i'll never physically go to again. sadly, i don't have that many photos from when sky and ryder were babies. especially photos that included me with them.

and sadly, i have NO video of my children or family. and THAT pains me so deeply. one of my goals for 2012 is to learn video AND to have my own family captured on video. i'm determined to capture my children more on video, even if it's iphone video.  the absolute best camera is the one you have with you, right?!!

honoring those who served

as a former active duty air force nurse and now being married to a naval explosive ordnance disposal officer, i couldn't be more proud to celebrate veterans day and honor those who have served our nation in war...and peace.

do you know how and when veterans day was first declared?

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as "the Great War." Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars. []


the other day, i drove around the corner, to look at the monster house they're building right behind my house.  a couple doors down, i noticed a large sign with an american flag and a marine corp flag on each corner of the sign.  i said to my mother-in-law,

that's interesting. i've never seen flags of support like that on a home depot work sign before.

and then we got closer and i read the sign...

Tampa Bay Community Supporting

Cpl Michael Nicholson USMC

Giving our best for the best our Nation has to give!

Send Donations to: Michael Nicholson Road to Recovery c/o Alley, Clark and Greivwe, PA PO Box 3127 Tampa, FL 33601

as soon as i got back home, i began to investigate and learned that on july 6th, cpl nicholson [22-years-old] was on foot patrol in afghanistan and was attacked by a hidden improvised explosive device [IED], tragically losing both his legs and one of his arms.  i continued to his michael nicholson fund facebook page and found this article about the endless search for IEDs in afghanistan.  i also learned that the young man in the 11th photo down, cpl justin crabbe, who is from the same unit, also lost both of his legs due to an IED explosion in afghanistan.

on october 13th, corporal nicholson walked for the first time since july...

corporal nicholson is an american hero. a wounded warrior. a brave, young man, who has sacrificed beyond words. i can't imagine his pain. his suffering. i honor him -- his determination, strength, dedication...his courage.  corporal nicholson is a true inspiration for us all.

if you would like to donate to corporal nicholson's road to recovery fund, here is the info:

The “Michael Nicholson Road to Recovery Fund” is set up and administered by Alley, Clark and Greiwe, PA in Tampa. 100% of the donations will go toward Nicholson's care, specifically on items not covered by the Veterans Administration. The fund is set up at the Bank of Tampa. Donations can be sent c/o Alley, Clark and Greiwe, PA P.O. Box 3127 Tampa FL 33601. Please only donate directly to them or Bank of Tampa and please make sure checks are made out to "Michael Nicholson Road to Recovery Fund"


being a military spouse, i loved reading this article -- 10 things you may not know about military wives, recently shared on facebook by one of my best friends, gwenn, who i was a nurse with at davis-monthan AFB.


lastly, i share photos of some of the veterans [and their families] that i have photographed over the past few years...

i thank you. i celebrate you. i honor you. today... and every day. so grateful to be part of the military family. HAPPY VETERANS DAY!

finding peace

meet my dear friend steph beaty, who i respect and admire beyond words. steph was actually one of my very first clients in may 2006 (referred to me by carrie sandoval) -- which is still hard to believe.  the photo below was from that first session together.  little did we know at that time, that we'd one day be the best of friends.

steph's husband is currently deployed and will (hopefully) return when the baby is two months old -- making steph's shirt peace on my mind very literal.  they also have a four-year-old and two-year-old.  steph's strength, along with her kindness, passion, faith and goodness, inspires me each and every day.

lucky for me, steph grew up in the tampa area and her family still lives here.  so while we live plenty apart, i'm excited that steph and i will see each other (at least once a year) over the next few years, while we're stationed here in tampa.

on steph's trip last week, i was able to do maternity photos for her.  to say the evening was magical would be an understatement.  we had already rescheduled once because of weather and this was it -- no more days to work with if this one evening didn't work out. i think the only thing that could have possibly made the evening the tiniest bit better would have been a can of bug spray.  at one point, i looked down at my leg and had at least 10 mosquitoes chomping on my calf.

i am blessed to have steph in my life and so grateful to call her my friend.  i could go on and on but i'll stop there.  i think y'all get my genuine admiration for this woman.  :-) © deb schwedhelm | tampa maternity photographer

thank you 2009

2010? that's crazy. i remember 2000 like yesterday, although not really because i have a terrible, terrible memory. but seriously, i can't believe it's 2010 tomorrow. as every year comes to a close, i think about how seriously blessed i am.  and this year is no exception.  it's been absolutely amazing!  my life is so full. and fricken awesome.  i'm so thankful--both personally and professionally.

on the brink of 2010, i was thinking of my goals for next year (just a start and in no particular order)-- be more present for my family (i.e. get off the computer). challenge myself professionally. shoot my kids' everyday lives more. get back to regularly working out (and feeling good again or as mary would say, not feeling fluffy). live each and every day to the fullest. give more. begin to journal.

i can't wait to see where 2010 takes my family and i. the one thing we know for will be elsewhere. and that, in itself, is pretty darn exciting.

thank you to everyone, who has supported deb schwedhelm photography and | or my family. i appreciate it more than i could ever express in words.  i don't think my family would be together right now, if it wasn't for some of the blog comments i received during that time of indecision.

here's to 2010--a fabulous year full of love, peace, health and happiness!

and in celebration of an incredible 2009, i share a some of my favorite personal and client photographs from the year.

so many thoughts

very little is needed to make a happy life;it is all within yourself... in your way of thinking. - elisabeth kubler-ross

i'm not kidding when i say that i've rewritten this blog post three times today...and i had started and saved at least five different blog posts last week that never got published. so many thoughts running through my head, but none of those thoughts have made it farther than a blog draft thus far. but today is the publish no matter what!

first, let me share that i'm back on the wagon--not the 'i'm going to abstain from drinking' wagon but the 'i'm going to get back in shape and not be so squishy' wagon. i was pretty much feeling crappy the past few weeks...really crappy. i had stopped working out a couple months before steve got home because i got too busy with work (photography). then i embraced steve's return and continued to not workout. a month later, we relocated and here we are--no more excuses--just feeling very "fluffy", as one of my dear friends says. it didn't matter how much i weighed; i knew i was fluffy and i felt like shit. a week ago, i committed that i'd get back on the wagon and begin working out. so i've been following a daily routine, alternating cardio and weight training. while i'm certain i haven't lost a pound and i'm not any less fluffy at this point, i'm standing taller and walking prouder already. i am determined!!


i've also done a bunch of business thinking this week--ordered new business postcards, new business cards, and worked on a portfolio book. this morning, i began a blog post about my endeavors to market, in an effort to get clients while here in KS. by afternoon, i had decided that i'm not going to do any hard core marketing while here.  instead, i'm going to use the next 11 months to hard core spend time with my family and shoot a bit (or maybe a lot) for me--personal work. i already have a few project ideas in mind, projects that actually having been keeping me up at night lately.

one of these days (soon) i'm going to feel settled enough to get back shooting.  it's been a nice break but i really do miss my camera time.

if interested, you can preview (and even order a copy of) my portfolio book here. designing and sharing a book of your work, even if self-published, is always exciting. while the book started as a deb schwedhelm photography portfolio book accompanied by inspirational the end, i decided to just let the photographs speak for themselves.  i hope you enjoy! :-)