Misty Winesberry » Photographer. Airbrush Artist. Consultant. Advocate.

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Well that was fun! #2015BestNine Whoo hoo! Everyone else is doing it. That usually isn’t enough to get me on the bandwagon, but this one appealed to my ego. I want to know which 9 of my 515 posts were most hearted by everyone. I do put a good deal of effort into this social media platform, above all others. I’ve earned this.
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Not too shabby for my meager following! A fun way to start my New Year’s Eve morning. I think I expressed the right amount of gratefulness and excitement for the future in my photo caption. I inspired you, right? Maybe? Maybe no? I was feeling pretty good about my #2015BestNine post.

But then my heart grew heavy. There’s way more to this story that I’m painting for everyone here on Instagram. Like, WAY more. And my Best Nine actually sum up the best AND worst of this year pretty succinctly. But you may not get that from looking at those images. Do you see it? The joy. The accomplishment. The adventure. And the pain. Oh, the pain. Do you see that in my eyes? Do you see the fear of not being good enough? Not being brave enough. Not feeling at home in my own skin? Do you see how badly I sometimes just want to head for the hills and forget about everything I said I was going to do this year? Did you catch all that?

Take another look? What do you really see?
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If you don’t mind, can I take you behind the scenes for a moment? Behind the carefully crafted façade that is real, but not too deep for public consumption? Do you care to know the true story behind these photos? You might be a bit surprised to see what you find. I think I’ll start in order of when they were posted.

1. 37 is the New 37

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Those of you who know me well, know that I actually like getting older. I always have. I’m the one who definitely wanted to be an adult as soon as possible. I could not wait. I’m always a “glass half-full” kind of girl, so aging and the future doesn’t really scare me. With each year comes change, and new beginnings. I’m always working to better myself and learn new things. I’ve learned to chase my dreams and tackle them. Something happened when I turned 35 a couple of years ago. I stopped caring what people thought of me. And I’m not just saying that. I LITERALLY stopped caring about how people might view me. Do you know how many years I WASTED worrying about this? And the new dawn of social media did nothing to help those anxieties for a lot of years. But something finally clicked. I stopped projecting what I thought you all were thinking. Do you know why? Because they are all vain imaginations. I’m sure I was projecting the most ridiculous lies of all time on all of you! So and so might think this about me if I post what I really look like. Let me just nip and tuck this photo a bit, because no one will know that I actually don’t look like this in real life, right? Oh my goodness, if I post this right now people will think that I’m super dumb! As in Dumb and Dumber level dumb. Seriously. I finally realized that these were all dialogs that I was having with myself and they had no base in reality, yet. Hello paradigm shift! Now maybe what I projected would come true, but in most cases…probably not. Anyways, this birthday was just another day of me getting closer to this new ideal place of not giving a *#&! about how people may or may not impose their negativity on me. Word. Join me? Down with vain imaginations, I say!

2. and 3. Bucket List – Cosmetology Degree

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This was a major bucket list item that I didn’t even know could happen. I looked into going to beauty school after high school graduation, but I was in a major rush to be an adult and have adult responsibilities. So I moved out and worked 3 jobs to be able to live in an apartment with an awesome roommate. She’s still my best friend/sister to this day, so not a bad life move there. Just a diversion that took me an 18 year detour route to get back to realizing this dream. I am a licensed cosmetologist, and I can do hair for a living! And my living room is now a salon/living room. Why aren’t you my client yet? No wait. If you were ALL my clients, I wouldn’t sleep. Or eat, shower, have a life…you know the little things. Some of you can be my clients, how’s that? What most people don’t know is that this was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I quit my job and went “full-time” with photography while going back to school for 15 months. My husband worked 2 jobs the entire time so that we could scrape by each month. Sometimes miraculously. This was the most emotional, tiring, faith building time in our marriage and in my life. I had worked some form of a traditional job from the time I was 16. I battled all kind of insecurities, anxieties and even depression during school. And just a heads up, stylists are often the people in your life that need the most love. They are judged on everything they do. By everyone. And if they do something wrong, even more people will know about it and word will spread. And on top of all that, they all feel the responsibility to make YOU feel more beautiful than you’ve ever felt in your life. Every time. And if they don’t get any feedback, or very little…rest assured the stylist will obsess for days and weeks on end about whether or not they did a good job on your hair. Insecurities abound and have to be battled non stop. Maybe not for all stylists, but I know that I’m not alone in all of this. Hug a hair stylist today.  Better yet, get them a Starbucks gift card and they will think you are an angel sent from above.

4. Grand Canyon or Bust!

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This trip was all about relaxation, adventure and good quality friend time! I was invited to stay with friends down in Phoenix and it was HEAVEN. Hot, blissful, dry heat heaven. I literally floated in their pool or relaxed poolside for 4 days straight. Amazing! But then my friend Jackie and I went on an overnight photo excursion to the Grand Canyon. Yes, I said overnight. As in, we arrived after dark to the FLIPPING Grand Canyon. Do you know what it’s like to drive in the pitch black darkness, next to the shear drop off of the FLIPPIN Grand Canyon and not being able to really see? Oh you feel the massive weight of knowing you could take a wrong turn and plummet to your death, but you can’t really see it. You can hear and feel the wind howling up from the depths and around you, but you don’t REALLY know. I can’t describe what that trip meant to me. Challenging all of my anxieties and fears, and sleeping in a car at the most awe-inspiring overlook of my life. We had a curb and a two foot wall separating our car from the massive expanse of the Grand Canyon.  (So glad I didn’t read Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon before doing this.)  I did not sleep much that night. But what did happen is that I witnessed the most beautiful sunrise of my entire life, with one of my dearest friends by my side. It is single handedly one of the most impactful trips of my 37 years on this Earth so far. If you have not seen the Grand Canyon, GO N-O-W!

5. Sweet, Sweet Baby Feet

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Oh boy, is this little guy the sweetest! He’s almost 6 months old already! How time flies! This darling boy is the 2nd child of my dear friends who just relocated across the country. But before they left, we made sure to get a newborn shoot in. I actually had really exciting news to share with them at the time, but I decided to wait until their going away party that following weekend. This was Tuesday, July 28th. Three days later I posted my next selfie.

6. #PurpleHairDontCare

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This is probably my favorite selfie of the year. My stylist buddy hooked me up with a fresh cut and color, and I felt absolutely beautiful. At the same time I took this photo, my body was doing what it was made to do. I was miscarrying my non-viable pregnancy. It was July 31st to be exact. The morning after my first and last ultrasound. The hubby and I had moved passed a place of shock and disbelief to a place of acceptance and excitement, to have our worst fears confirmed during the ultrasound. I should have been 11 weeks along to the day in this picture. But a woman’s body knows. My body knew. Something wasn’t right. This child was not developing the way it should. And nature ran it’s course. Would you believe me if I said that the biggest surprise was what my body did naturally that day? Plenty of my friends have sadly lost precious little babes. So I knew of the emotional toll it might take with me. But I was not expecting the physical process for some reason. It made sense once it hit me. I was going to birth the non-viable tissue of this little one. Our little one. I prayed to be surrounded that day by love and the people I cared about, and I was. Self care first thing in the morning was the perfect start to a long day. I did feel beautiful. And my body felt beautifully in tune with what needed to happen. I felt a sense of awe. Jajuan was able to be with me through the worst of it. And I was surrounded by family while I recovered. Thankfully, no hospital visit was needed. I did not intend to be pregnant this year. In fact, it was the last thing we wanted. We had almost 100% decided against kids earlier this year. We were in a crazy transition period, where I just wanted to push my husband away. He was no longer working two jobs, home a lot more, and I was finding myself suddenly accountable for my time once again. I was no longer calling the shots independently. He wanted to have a say in our life together, and that wasn’t sitting well with me. During a time when I wanted to push away, the most miraculous thing happened. I was pregnant for the first time. We hadn’t stopped using protection. But I was that 1-3%. I just had to laugh. Of course during a rough time of massive transition, I would get pregnant. We didn’t know how we were going to pay the next month’s mortgage payment, but there’s a baby on the way! Whoo hoo! We had to make our relationship work, because we were now bringing a little one into this crazy world. So we worked our differences out. We got on the same page. We came up with a plan. We began to dream up what this next year would look like with this new addition. And then right when we started to embrace our growing excitement, we lost our Little One. But somehow, I just knew deep down inside…this little one helped save us. As we were drifting apart, this little, brief life brought us back together. And for that, I will always be thankful.  Fun fact:  The #1 question everyone asked me upon hearing my news was, “So does this make you want to try and get pregnant again?”  I could start to see that question forming in every person’s mind.  I could almost see the thought form before they even spoke it.  And I do not blame anyone for asking that.  It would probably be the first question I would ask.  For some reason, it became tiresome to hear that over and over.  I guess I just felt like I wanted to finish processing what had happened before rushing ahead to think about what will happen in the future.  And honestly, I just don’t have an answer for that question right now.  Miscarriage is a tricky topic, but one that should be more openly talked about.  My 2 cents.

7. All Black Errythang

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Now this is just plain fun. I love having nice nails, but now that I’m a hair stylist…my nails get trashed. Lots of water and hair color make for very thin, peeling nails. Ever noticed that a lot of stylist have acrylic nails?  Yep. I’m back in the game! Acrylic with gel polish is the ish. And black, because they always look good no matter what! I love my nail technician! She owns Posh Nail Spa in the Federal Way, Redondo area. They do amazing work. And Michelle is an amazing artist. Go check them out if you want to get your nails did.

8. My Happy Place Restored

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You might know that earlier this year, the US Open took Chambers Bay away from me.  Sad face. But just when I needed it most, it reopened and I was able to drink in the gorgeous views once again. My sister-in-love and I walked the trail this day, just hashing out all that life had been throwing at us. Love our time together with the kiddos. Those were healing days for me. Family is everything.

9. My Hero

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This is no fantasy love story folks. This is real, gritty, steadfast, and unconditional love right here. The kind that throws your heart on the ground, stomps on it, and then picks it back up to clean it off and bandage it for proper healing. I went into this marriage with eyes wide open, knowing that reality is quite different from the fairytale romances we all dream about, but boy was I in for a surprise. Reality came knocking alright. In fact, reality straight kicked our asses. Pardon my French, but this is one area where cussing really should be used to describe how hard we had to fight for our marriage and in some cases our lives. But I’ll spare you the f-bombs that frequently pop out of my mouth. When I’m alone of course. Hey folks, this is real life. While my husband has his own story to tell, this year has brought a lot of healing to our lives. He has joined me in advocacy with NAMI.org, and I’ve had the pleasure of having him speak to the Family-to-Family classes that I teach. His story is bringing hope to the hopeless, and I am so thankful for his life. Maybe someday soon, we’ll share that story with you as well. It’s a story of the unimaginable hope and beauty that comes from tragedy. He is a fighter my friends, and everyday he chooses to be the best husband, son, brother, and friend to everyone that he knows.  If you have the pleasure of knowing him, then you for sure know this about him.  He is truly my hero, and our gentle giant. (He’s is 6’8″, and more importantly, will always be bigger than me.)

If I had sent a Christmas card this year, this would be considered the yearly update letter. So let’s just consider it that, shall we? This year has brought unimaginable happiness, and plenty of sadness. But overall, it has been the most transformative year. As I see all of your #2015BestNine photos, I wonder to myself…what are their stories? What is hiding behind those smiles and those perfectly crafted collages and staged scenes? What were their greatest triumphs? Did they experience heartache? I can’t be the only one that wonders these things. I love realness. True life may not always be beautiful, but it’s all we’ve got at the end of the day. What makes your Best Nine truly extraordinary? What does it conjure up for you?

If you’ve made it to this point, you must really like me. So for that, I am thankful. I am thankful for each and every one of you. Because you are all here for a reason. Not just here, on my blog. But like, here on this earth for a reason. I’m sending you a virtual hug. Let’s all head into 2016 with hope, okay?
mistybiosig
P.S. If you read my blog post title, and thought about the Real World when reading, “True Story,” we are in fact kindred spirits.

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The 4th of July is our dating anniversary. (Yes, we are married but still celebrate it.) It’s super special to us, because on our 5th dating anniversary, he proposed in the same park where he asked me to be his girlfriend! It’s one of our favorite holidays, and we typically keep it off limits. But once I met Lauren and heard about their upcoming wedding, I just knew we had to spend our day together documenting the beginning of their lives as husband and wife! My hubby agreed to 2nd shoot with me that day, and we had a blast working together. The bride and groom have AMAZING families, and a wonderful bridal party. The day was so fun! I hope you all enjoy the highlights as much as I do!

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I take great care to make sure the bride always gets pictures with her Mom. I had a mother of the bride contact me once near tears because she felt as if the day went by so fast. And she didn’t recall if she was able to interact with her daughter very much. Well, I was able to send her pics right away, proving that she was indeed, and in a very special way. Lauren had her Mom nearby all day, and I grabbed as many shots as I could!

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I just LOVE the first look!

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This next shot is my favorite of the day. And it was taken by my fantastic hubby!

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What a special moment with their parents!

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In addition to traditional vows, they shared very special private vows as well. My favorite part of the ceremony!
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The venue where they got married is one of my new favorites!  It’s called the Historic 1625 Tacoma Place. The staff were amazing, and the building is perfect for weddings! Beautiful!

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Now for the dancing! This group went strong for over 2 hours! Loved it!

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Before the send off, we made sure to leave them some love, and get a picture with them!

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And you can’t have a 4th of July wedding without a sparkler sendoff!

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The perfect end to a perfect day! Thank you again for choosing us to document your special day!

Blessings,

The Winesberrys

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With each new year, I try to pick a theme to focus on as opposed to resolutions.  This helps me to focus and not set myself up for failure right at the start of the year.  I don’t do well with resolutions.  So instead, I ponder where I am at in life and what seems to be resonating with me at the time.  This year a phrase kept tugging at me over and over.  Be intentional.  In everything that I do, say, think, believe, give my time to, etc.  BE INTENTIONAL.

In 2015, I am choosing to be intentional with how I structure my life.  I desire simplicity.  No, I CRAVE simplicity.  So with the New Year, there is a new simplicity to my pricing structure!  No more confusing myself, trying to come up with 3-4 packages like every one else!  Whew.  That was a lot of pressure.  So here it is, without further ado.

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The above graphic is specific to Weddings.   I will be updating this graphic to include Portrait specific info soon.  But you get the gist.  $300.00 per hour, plus tax.  This will apply to Portrait sessions, as well as Weddings.  Each hour guarantees 25 final images.  So simple.  The only difference being that for the Portrait sessions, the client gets to pick the final 25 for each hour.  (I get the honor of doing that for weddings!)

So here is to a FABULOUS 2015!

mistysig

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Okay, I don’t even know where to start with this couple. I seriously fell in love with them. Seriously. They are the best of friends, and had so much fun together on their wedding day. They worked hard to keep things low key, so that they could enjoy every minute with their family and friends. They were married at Chamber’s Bay Golf Course, and the day was definitely hot. But thankfully, the water helped to cool things off from time to time. We definitely took advantage of shade whenever we had the chance! We got things started with the First Look!
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And oh yes, there were tears!:)
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This couple. I mean, can you see the love they radiate for each other?
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But wait! There is something really extraordinary about this couple! They were both feeling the tug to get healthy before their wedding. Would you believe that Kelly was 50 lbs, and Justin 110 lbs heavier?! Here are before pics for proof!
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It makes their after images that much sweeter, doesn’t it? I am so in awe of them, and their committment to living a healthy life!
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They did something very unique to signify their commitment to one another. They used padlocks as a visual representation of the joining of their two lives. First on the bridge, and then you’ll see it again later during the ceremony.
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Now for their ridiculously good looking (and fun) wedding party!
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Kelly and her girls took a few minutes for touchup.
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Ceremony time! It was taking place overlooking the golf course right before sunset, so these were the favors! So cool! And yes, they are now MY favorite sunglasses!
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Here comes the bride!
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Here’s part two of the lock ceremony! And BALLOONS!!
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You may now kiss the bride!
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VERY proud and happy parents!
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Speaking of parents, their families were so sweet!
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Time to celebrate! But first, let’s get one more of the wedding party during the “golden hour.”:)
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Time to dance the night away!
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Kelly and Justin! I cannot thank you enough for TRUSTING me with your wedding! 😉 It’s true that photographers are often sad after a wedding is over, because we feel like we are losing lifetime friends. I hope you both know, that you can’t get rid of me that easily! Love you guys!
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mistybiosig

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