Lasagna and The Ripple Effect

How many times have we, in life, wanted so badly to help someone but been at a loss for how? ¬†Inevitably, when a person faces a serious illness or debilitating injury, the first offerings, and longest lasting efforts, centre around food; which is, in my experience, wholly appreciated by the affected person AND their families (although we had one care worker who insisted on making trifle for us, daily…I can’t imagine every eating trifle for dessert again! ūüėČ ). ¬†Given that this is the first thing that tends to come to mind when you are in the position of wanting to help a loved one, people’s fridges and freezers become full, quickly. ¬†I remember feeling so awkward when my mom was sick and we had so many people wanting to help, but we really didn’t need any more lasagna! ¬†It’s so difficult, as the grateful recipient, to say ‘no’ to these generous acts of kindness, especially when you don’t have any other suggestions of how they can help – people WANT to do something.

Well, what if there was a way to help that didn’t involve Tupperware?!

I’ve been through tough times, with both my mom’s illness and other life challenges…I know that prepared food, walking the dog, helping get kids to and fro school and activities, quiet games of Scrabble, and many more acts of kindness, are all incredibly important and provide unparalleled solace & relief. ¬†I also believe that fun, uplifting experiences are needed too. ¬†I recall spending the time painting Mom’s nails and doing her makeup, with chatting and laughter throughout, before friends would come to visit. ¬†It wasn’t about pretending she wasn’t sick, it WAS about her not feeling that her role and as we saw her was as ‘patient’ only; it WAS about her having on her trademark red lipstick and feeling ‘ready’ for a visit.

I believe, deep in my soul, that a few hours away from ‘real life’, being pampered by a wonderful hair&makeup artist, having your portrait created, and then being gifted with a framed print from our session is healing. ¬†I believe we all want to feel beautiful, we want to have fun, we need to feel alive…and I propose that this is one of the nicest things you could gift to a loved one. ¬†I fully recognize that women facing health challenges may not instinctively seek out having their portrait taken; let’s face it, if you are fighting for your life a photo shoot may not seem an immediate necessity! ¬†However, for any of you who are looking for a warm, loving, lasting experience to provide…I can’t think of anything nicer; and ¬†please know that I’m speaking first as a daughter, sister, and friend and only secondly as a photographer.

There is also a bonus in this…the fact is that, as with all acts of generosity and kindness, there is a ripple effect for everyone associated.

The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect

The niece of my very first Bella Forza client had this to say about her aunt’s session, which she attended:

“…the experience was wonderful‚Ķthis process has a real ripple effect ‚Äď i can feel the positive response and gratitude amongst my extended family as they see what you did for my aunt and as they hear the story from an objective viewpoint ‚Äď very powerful!! …actually, from my perspective I see what you are doing as amazingly therapeutic and healing for the woman and also for her nieces and siblings, extended family and friends‚Ķ”

Another client, who is a young woman with a young family, told me that she had noticed the positive and heartwarming reactions of those closest to her with regard to her portrait session and that she felt it might take quite a while for her to really ‘see’ all the ways that this session was meaningful to her family…she told me that she felt it was as though they had a ‘tangible’ thing to hold now, evidence she had gone through something very real and life changing and that she had made it through the fire!

A fellow I follow on Twitter, Terry Alex (#TA), today posted, “A single act of kindness is like a snowball going down a hill. It starts small but grows larger & more powerful the farther it travels.”

The Strength Package includes hair and makeup (to whatever extent my client wants!), a portrait session, and a beautiful framed print (with its digital file for their personal use) for only $350. ¬†I am also, absolutely, more than happy to customize the package…it is my wholehearted desire to provide an amazing experience to my clients and I am open to customizing the session and package to suit each person individually. ¬†If she wants a portrait with her best friend(s), her kids, her mom, her beloved pet….the world is open to us and I am open to being your ally in making this an incredible experience.

…maybe your best friend is going through a difficult time and you’d like a portrait together….maybe your mom is ill and this could boost her spirits, and she’d especially love one of your family together…maybe you simply wish to provide a buoy to a coworker or friend to remind her that not every day has to only be about treading water.

Let me help you do something extraordinary for the extraordinary woman in your life.  I promise that your loved one will be met with compassion, support, a willingness to go above and beyond, and that I will do everything in my power to have her leaving my studio feeling bathed in strength.beauty.grace.!

Please visit Bella Forza on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bellaforzaportraits and share with your friends and family. ¬†Let’s make some snowballs!

Strength.Beauty.Grace.

xo Lori

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The Strength Package: Your Framed Wall Portrait

What I LOVE about The Strength Package is that each woman will have a framed print from our session together, of an image that she has chosen!  I believe including the framed image in the package is important for myriad reasons; not least of which is my personal knowledge of how many people have portrait sessions, which they are thrilled with, but then, for whatever reason, never end up having any of the images printed (short on time, money, feeling overwhelmed by life, etc.).  I really believe in you having photographic record of your strength and beauty, which is why EVERY woman who passes through the Bella Forza studio door WILL have a framed wall portrait!  Love, love, love this!

I’ve already introduced you to Sharon, who was our very first client and who generously participated in our launch, allowing me to share her images and story (thank you, beautiful Sharon!)! ¬†I’ve had her framed image for a few weeks; however, between life events for both of us, it was only yesterday that I was able to gift her with her framed wall portrait.

The Bella Forza Wall Portrait

The Bella Forza Wall Portrait

The portrait is printed on either lustre or metallic paper (a decision I will help with as lustre vs. metallic depends on the image itself and where it is expected to be hung) and includes a laminate coating (no reflective glass but your image is protected!). ¬†There are a few frames to choose from, all of them beautiful and well crafted. ¬†In addition, the framed image comes ready to hang with wire hangar…no fiddling; simply take it home, hang it, and be reminded daily of the beautiful, strong, graceful woman you are!

I also believe that if you have purchased a print from me, you should also have that image’s digital file, which I am thrilled to gift to you. ¬†Each framed print will have a dvd envelope on the back (so you don’t need to keep track of it!) with the digital file(s) of your chosen printed image(s)!

Each framed print will also come with the digital file for that image!

Each framed print will also come with the digital file for that image!

And, finally, in providing what I wish to be a truly wonderful experience for you; each framed wall portrait will be lovingly packaged for you, by me.

Your wrapped, framed print...packaged with love and gratitude!

Your wrapped, framed print…packaged with love and gratitude!

Of course we can customize your package to suit your wishes…a larger portrait (maybe you know just the place to hang this and it screams for a 16×24!), or perhaps you wish to have more than the one image from our time together…I am always happy to discuss the options! ¬†Be rest assured though that there are no sales pitches here…I will only address these topics if YOU ask!

With each post on Facebook, every entry here on the blog, my interactions with clients, and with every bow I will tie…it is all done from my heart, with my heart. ¬†It is my absolute desire to provide you (or your mom, sister, friend, aunt, cousin!) with an unparalleled portrait experience that will leave you feeling beautiful, strong, and with a skip in your step!

Strength.Beauty.Grace.

xo

Lori