A Dream Come True

I told very few people that I had even registered for the I Heart Faces Dream Big weekend.  I was so worried about what people might think of me leaving Jeff at home.  Lots of “what if’s” nearly robbed me of the joy of planning to go. And I admit that I thought if I said out loud that I was going, I would jinx myself and something bad would happen.  (I’m a Christian, and I don’t even believe in jinxes, but we had a pattern going for a while there where we had to cancel some major vacations because Jeff’s leukemia would rear its ugly head.  It is difficult for me to plan ahead.)
Fortunately, I did tell a couple of close friends and Jeff’s hospice nurse, and their responses were such a relief.  They all said that I needed a break. Jeff would be well-taken care of since his mom and step-dad were here.  They each reminded me that respite is essential for the caregiver so they can come back refreshed and ready to continue.
A few weeks before, I realized my friend Amy was also going to the workshop.  Amy’s husband has been battling brain cancer since last summer, too.  We had been praying for each other for over a year and now I was finally going to meet her!  I was so excited.
 cancer caregivers dream of cure
As I soaked up instruction during the workshop, I started to feel that although I still have a lot to learn, I really can see myself as a professional portrait photographer someday. To be able to earn an income doing something I love would be a dream come true.   And maybe one day, I’ll even write a children’s book about butterflies or dragonflies and illustrate it with my own photos.  Hey, after all, the theme of this workshop was Dream Big! 
i heart faces dream big workshop
We received lots of good information.  There were times I felt a bit like I was trying to drink water from a fire hose.  But I think I managed to retain some of the helpful instruction. We had time during our lunch break for a massage and shopping with Arlington Camera (yeah for discount shopping!).
At the end of the day we were able to practice our skills during two photo sessions.styled tablescape
Amy Locurto created a stylized birthday party with adorable little models and a beautiful table setting that was fit for any entertaining magazine. She designed the custom party printables, including the treat bags which were my favorite detail.
styled party detail shots - photo by Adrienne Zwart
party favors photo by Adrienne Zwart
The models’ dresses were a delightfully mod twist on classic damask patterns.
  IMG_9696-Edit IMG_9678
   Later that evening we were treated to a vintage-inspired session with a gorgeous couple.  When my memory card filled up  (kicking myself for forgetting to stick my extra card in my pocket!), I continued to learn by watching the other photographers move about for different angles, listening to them talk about their camera settings and favorite lenses. 
I made some great new friends and had a fabulous time.  Come back soon--I hope to share some photos from Day 2 of the workshop in a couple of days. 


Unknown said…
I am so glad you could take a little break and have a wonderful time. I will pray that God grants your wish and you do become a portrait photographer one day Adrienne. From what I can see, you are well on your way!

Dreaming big dreams for you Adrienne! Big and wonderful dreams!
Oh Adrienne, I am SO glad that you went. You need some 'Adrienne-Time' also... You are a better person and better wife and mother --if and when you can take a break on occasion --just to recharge your batteries...

AND--what a neat workshop for you... The pictures are fabulous --and I love all of them... Can't wait to see more.
I just believe God put you exactly where you needed to be!! It was SUCH an honor to meet you! :D You are such a sweet spirit!

Still praying for you guys!
So very proud of you Adrienne, for your strength, you are a shinning example of love and grit all at the same time! So glad you got to go get inspired!
Renee's sister Christine~
Unknown said…
I had so much fun with you at the workshop! I'm glad that you took the break. I second you on the fire hose thing!
Anonymous said…
a) Hello... you ARE a professional portrait photographer already, girlfriend. I am your FACEBOOK friend, remember? As well as a bloggy buddy. I see the pics you've been putting out there lately, and you are THERE. Just sayin'.
b) If anyone, and I mean ANYONE out there tries to judge you for going to that workshop, I will pack my bags, head your way, and give them a piece of my mind! If they've walked in your shoes, then they get a pass. But if not? Then they better look out, because here I come.
c) I wish there was a teeny, tiny little font for this one, cause I am ashamed. Because I am jealous. NOT that you got to go. But that I did NOT. I didn't get to hug you and Dana, and that makes me sad. BUT.. God has us where He wants us to be, as long as we ask to walk in His light... I'm just praying that His light will shine on a path that takes me there next year. With you. AND Jeff... :<)
Love you, my dear one!
Anonymous said…
I'm glad you came for a purely selfish reason! I got to spend time with you!
Kerri Farley said…
Oh I am so happy that you were able to get some time away and to refresh you body and spirit!
You amaze me with your images .... I think you are "already there"!
Snap said…
Adrienne, I'm so glad you went to the Dream Big weekend. Your images are gorgeous. Well done. Looking forward to the next *report*!!
Unknown said…
Adrienne, Like you I had those same feelings and thoughts! Especially before I left and Tim's platelets were low. When you and I met it seemed like we had met years ago and I am so thankful for your friendship. It was so wonderful to (finally) really talk to someone who "get's" the whole cancer life. We are really blessed you know that? As difficult as our lives are right now, our dreams are what keeps us going. Your photography dreams are already coming true my dear!
Joanne Olivieri said…
I am so glad you were able to get some time for yourself to become refreshed and energized. The workshop looks like it was much fun and I really hope someday your dream is realized.
Janice K said…
I am so glad you were able to have some time away, especially with the knowledge that everyone at home was being taken care of. I have thought your pictures have looked professional for some time, and what a joy to be able to have something you love doing to be a part of your hope for the future. Keep on dreaming!!!

God be with you and Jeff and your family.
Dot O said…
Beautiful photos, Adrienne - I believe your "big" dreams will happen. I am also sure Jeff was thrilled that you were able to go.

Love the table setting photo - it just pops! I love the portraits of the little girls even more.

I am so happy for you...
Alisa said…
Adrienne, I am blessed to have met you, I am glad you went! Maybe you were meant to be there to inspire others as well...
Unknown said…
Good for you! You followed through on the energy of faith. As others have already pointed out, you are already a portrait photographer...but you not only "get the picture" you capture the spirit behind it~which is where your gift is.
Keep going, keep going, keep going. Do what you love.
Adrienne, so glad you got to have some time to soak in some newness and refresh your creative spirit! I loved meeting you and all the other ladies. I cannot understand what you are going through, but I can pray for you....love you, Carol
Erin said…

It was great to meet you at this workshop. Your images are beautiful!
I like the way Carol said it above: that you were blessed with time to soak in some newness and refresh your creative spirit. That's so vital. I totally encourage you to pursue your dream because you will succeed. You have talent and passion and a caring spirit.
Even though I get to see you all the time (insert big happy smile here!) I am so glad that I got to hang out with you in Dallas as well! :) I think it was just what you needed at this point in your life and our miracle that we prayed for came true!

Unknown said…
I really enjoyed this post. Glad that you could get away.

Hi Adrienne,
I'm catching up on your posts. I wanted to stop here to comment first, because I am so glad you got to go to this workshop. The break was a blessing for you. Your photos are awesome and professional looking.

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