August 15, 2014

My Blog Has Moved

If you have arrived here to visit my blog it is now at www.virginiagronley.wordpress.com


Please feel free to follow me there!


Thank you
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January 5, 2014

Selfie - To Do or Not To Do?

Most of us in Michigan are being hit with the winter storm today and are expected to get between 6-10" of snow.  I'm home alone, being bored and really didn't feel like going outside.  So what was I to do?  What else, take a selfie!!  I don't know about you, but I hate taking my own photograph.  I feel like I can never pose correctly, smile the right way and many other negative self-critiques that I continue to tell myself.

But then, I remembered an article (I can't remember who posted it) about no matter how you feel about yourself you still need to take photos of YOU!  As a photographer I'm always capturing that moment with everyone else and very seldom do I take the time to take my own photo.  What better day than today.

So here is my best attempt at the one I liked the best (yes this was after about 20 tries) and decided to share.


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January 3, 2014

New Year's Resolution


Here we are again, another year and another resolution.  If many of you are like me you commit to a new resolution and are energized by making it happen and then by mid-year if not sooner, we lose focus.  Well, that is my new year’s resolution for 2014: Staying Focused!

I found that 2013 seemed to be the year that I never felt I had enough time in the day to complete all the things I wanted to do.  When I look back on the year the one thing that I noticed over and over again is that I try to do too much.  How many of you are like that?  Let me tell you how out of sync I have become.  First, let’s start with my priorities; God and family always come first for me.  My passion is photography and leadership.  I also have a full-time career.

So here is what 2013 looked like for me:

·       God

·       Family

·       Career

·       Photography business

·       Became a Certified John C. Maxwell Coach, Speaker and Trainer

·       Thirty-One Consultant (selling of purses, totes, etc)

·       Premier Designs Consultant (selling of jewelry)

·       Local Chapter President of National Association of Professional Women (NAPW)

·       Member of Women4Women networking group

·       Moved into a new home

·       Various health issues between me and husband

·       Oh and by the way do I need to mention I spent countless hours on FB and Pinterest?


I ended the year feeling exhausted with not much being accomplished.  That is why I have decided on staying focused as my goal for 2014.  I am starting to remove the facets of my life that I don’t enjoy, have passion for and just fill up needless hours of my day.  This hasn’t been an easy decision for me because I feel like I’ll be letting some people down, but I know in my heart it is something I need to do.

So my new year will look like this:

·       God

·       Family

·       Career

·       Photography business

·       Leadership training & speaking

·       Member of Women4Women networking group

·       Limit my hours on FB and Pinterest

 What is your new year’s resolution for 2014?

 


 

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November 2, 2013

Are You Willing To Pay The Price For Your Dream?

What is your dream?  Do you dream of being a great musician, a great leader or a great photographer to name a few?  Ever since I was little I always had dreams.  We then go through life being told you can't do that, or you don't have the money to do that and so on and we lose sight of our dreams.  Many times to achieve our dreams we have to be willing to pay the price for it.

As John Maxwell states in his book, "Put Your Dreams to the Test" the dream is free, but the journey isn't.  We get to some point in our dream where we need to be the buyer of our dream.  What is the price we are willing to pay to make our dreams come true?  My dream has always been to be a great photographer.  Night after night I would research how to use my camera, understand composition and lighting and watch what other photographers were doing.  I would imagine me producing such beautiful images that they could be a piece of art and maybe even one day be hanging in a gallery.  What was the price I had to pay to get there?  Time and money.

I had to be willing to give up my free time to continue to learn and grow in my photography journey.  I had to invest more money to buy good lighting equipment if I wanted to produce beautiful portraits without using natural light.  I already had an awesome camera and lenses and just needed to add a few more things to my toolbox.  My issue was more about time.  I am always the person doing many different things and thrive on this, but at times I get overwhelmed and know that I need to take a break.  So I had to be willing to let other things go to continue investing in my time relating to photography.

I can see a huge difference in the quality of work that I produce and I know it is because of the time invested in growing and developing my craft.  So what is your dream?  What are you willing to pay to achieve this dream?

So here is an example of how investing in my dream has paid off.  This is a before picture from 2009 in TN of the Smoky Mountains.  Nice photo, but a little flat, boring and just really doesn't do anything for me.


This next photo is from TN, again in the Smoky Mountains in 2012, but you can really see the difference from photo 1 to photo 2.  Photo 2 the colors are amazing, you can see the depth of the mountains much better and overall it is a much more appealing photo to me.  I actually had this blown up on canvas and have it hanging in my office.  One of my favorite locations to visit!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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October 6, 2013

You Know You Are a Photographer When....

My fellow photographers can relate to this post.  I often find myself daydreaming and as a photographer it always goes back to my art.  I thought it would be cute to develop a top ten list of, "You Know You Are A Photographer When..." so here it is:

You Know You Are A Photographer When:
1.  You find yourself in thrift stores and garage sales looking for props.
2.  You are driving and always noticing the beautiful spots you pass for a future shoot.
3.  You're constantly thinking of different ideas to build your business.
4.  You're at a party and see how the light is hitting someone and think, "great photo opportunity."
5.  Your grandkids and children start to run away when you come with the camera.
6.  Your Christmas list always contains something photography related.
7.  A photo is a piece of art.
8.  Everyone in the family comes to you for photos.
9.  You go no where without your camera!
10.  Your heart sings every time you capture that perfect shot.


 
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September 3, 2013

Hola!

I wish I had a garden this year, I miss my homegrown veggies.  Over the weekend a dear friend brought me a bag of tomatoes from their garden.  I was so excited because I've been wanting to make homemade salsa, especially with all the Pinterest photos of salsa. 

Well, today I pulled out the old blender and made my salsa.  We like the consistency like El Charro's so I wanted it more on the puree side.  I'll be trying tomorrow so that the spices can mix and do their magic overnight.

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August 17, 2013

Sweet as Honey

This morning as I was sitting on my patio and enjoying the sunshine I kept watching this little guy fly from flower to flower.  I just love the detail in bumble bee's and had to grab my camera to capture this shot.  Love it!

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May 17, 2013

I'm Back!

Hi folks,
Yes it's been a few months since I posted to my blog.  Had to take a much needed break and am finally back in the swing of things, hope you didn't miss me too much!  Life sometimes has a way of getting so busy that we just need that little siesta to get refreshed.  Art is my passion as you all know and I'm anxious to start creating some beautiful work.  One of my plans has always been to create a piece of canvas art from one of my photographs for above my fireplace.  So that will be my mission this summer to capture that WOW image that suits my style.

How about you, what is your style when selecting a piece of art over your fireplace or anywhere in your home?  Do you like flowers, animals, people or just about anything?  I'd love to hear your comments.

If I had a cottage this would definitely be one of my choices!

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March 6, 2013

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No....It's a Falcon

This little friend has been hanging out in our backyard for a few months now.  Today he was joyfully enjoying his dinner atop our birdhouse.  So I grabbed that 500mm lens and started snapping away before he flew away. So this isn't the sharpest photo, but at least I captured the shot while he was eating.

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February 23, 2013

My Mentor John Maxwell

As of February 21, 2013 I am officially a Certified John Maxwell Coach, Speaker and Trainer!  For those of you that don't know who John C. Maxwell is, he is a great Leader, teacher and author.  I have read many of his books and studied his teaching for many years.  Last year I enrolled in his certification program and attended the certification just this week in Orlando, Florida.  I spent three days with him and his team and I can honestly say it was a life changing event for me.  He is a humble, servant leader who puts God first in all that he does and I am blessed to be certified by him.  The opportunities are endless and as John says, "Don't shortcut your strengths."  So my plan is to continue to invest in developing my strengths to 150%!

Me and John Maxwell celebrating his birthday!
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