Lieu Christine

A writer in the past. A photographer randomly. A person on a journey forever.

Salamba Sirsasana. 

The first time I saw Salamba Sirsasana I became obsessed with it! I had just delivered a baby, I had just joined instagram, and it was Rachel Brathen who popped up in my “explore” section in Salamba Sirsasana. 

I had been practicing yoga for roughly 8 years. I went to studios, I took a class with the same instructor for several months, and I woke up at least 4 times a week to do my daily practice. I had never seen an inversion.

Salamba Sirsasana translates as a supported headstand. At first glance, it looks like a handstand just like little girls do all the time when they play outside. Easy! Wrong. And this is where my yoga practice became my yoga practice.

I found a new studio, where even if you had done yoga before, it will kick your ass. If you had not actually done yoga before, and after discovering Salamba Sirsasana I felt like I didn’t know yoga at all, the instructors really kicked your butt!

Yogahas changed my life in the past few months. I can meditate now at any time (almost) anywhere when before I struggled with this deeply, even the concept of meditation. I can now breathe into my poses. I use my breath, my meditation and my intentions to practice yoga and because of that I finally did Salamba Sirsasana. 

I have met many goals since I started really practicing yoga, but this goal, well….it started it all. Thank you Salamba Sirsasana (and Yoga Girl!).

Clearly I’m Crazy … in Love

I propped my feet up and lit my cigarette as I casually glanced at him when he wasn’t looking. His black hair was slicked up and he closed his deep brown eyes briefly as he inhaled his smoke before releasing the cig from his lips. He laughed through his smile as he slightly shock his head. This was the first time I saw Nino. 

Those brown eyes backed up his words, “Your so beautiful mama.” A slight smile as he leaned up against the podium, giving me a quick look up and down. I chuckled as I shock my head and walked off to my table. A common run in…that I secretly enjoyed. Every girl occasionally loves being hit on, especially when they’re handsome. To me this was completely harmless and it got me through my surprise pregnancy

"Move with me to Las Vegas mama, I’ll take care of you and Amara."
"No, Nino." Giving him a look of disbelief, "I can’t move to Las Vegas with you." I smiled as he gave me puppy eyes.
A few days later would be the last time I would see Nino for over a year.

Next thing I know Im stuttering over my words as Nino calls me his little chicken. Thoughts running through my head, unclear as to when I suddenly felt this intensity in my chest, the flutters in my stomach, the shivers on my skin whenever I would hear his voice, his whisper, the warmth in my cheeks and loss of control when he would say, “I love you mami.”

I longed to hear him say it again; smiling, biting my lip, eyes closed, and cheeks blushing. 

That night, I was getting ready for bed as I looked in the mirror, tucking a lose strand behind my ear, “Im going to Marry Nino.” My hand froze behind my ear as I stared at this person who just said the craziest thing. Then I smiled. I am crazy, this I know for sure, but I’m going to go with it.

"Yes baby?"
"Say it little chicken." I could hear his smile on the other end, his eyes lighting up.
I smiled as my chin fell to my chest, I cannot believe Im saying this.
"Come on Lieu, tell me you love me." He knew it, he knew it all along. He knew it that night I secretly glanced at him. He knew it every time he told me I was beautiful. And I knew it that night I took him home and begged him to get out of the car as he longed to kiss my lips trying to convince me through tender touch. 

"I love you Nino."

They say you know. You do.

When love goes beyond stability and security.
Beyond being content and safe.
When love is passion & compassion.
When love is laughter & genuine joy.
When love is fantasy & reality in one.
When love is loving even your flaws.
When love is without judgement & full of profound respect.
When love is beyond accepting of the past, present, and future.
When love is full of tenderness, affection, & desire.
When you long to be their everything & they are your everything.
When you fear being without them & hope for a future.
When you are a hopeless romantic when you never were before.
When you are creative and connected while 2,342 miles apart


And for love, I am moving to Vegas!

New Year

All this new years resolution talk got me thinking. Why does it have to be January 1 that we “start fresh.” My new years “resolutions” where made back in August when my daughter was born I suppose you could say. If they hadn’t started then, Id still be working at Olive Garden with no way out. Or worse in my opinion.

I was determined not to go back to waiting tables and use my photography education! I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it as I had never had a sense of direction with it, even when I first fell in love with it at 14. I had been done school since 2011. I was living in Colorado looking for “my calling.” I was even offered a photography job with Vail as I fortunately waited the right table at one point. He gave me his office number and where to send in my information for Vail. I held onto it, I still have it somewhere. However, never applied. 

If you know my love for Colorado and Vail skiing, this makes no sense at all! For some reason, it didn’t feel like the right move, so I guess I never made it. I follow my intuitions, sometimes to the point where I feel like they may have not been intuitions after all, only to find out they must have been because I ended up in the right place!

When I was 36 weeks pregnant I went to my midwives’ childbirth education class in Boulder where I met my first birth photographer. I can’t remember her name, though I really wish I did so I could tell her she changed my life. Maybe one day Ill find her! There aren’t that many out there after all. Anyway, to the point, that is obviously when I knew what I was going to do with my photography education! 

In a way, it is very suiting. When I was in college I almost switched to Biology as life and genetics really fascinated me, I even toyed with ultrasound technician for pregnancy as I thought the development of babies in the womb was incredibly amazing. Never could get myself to do it though because I couldn’t get passed cutting open dead animals and I wasn’t going to graduate without taking that class successfully. So I went back to photography, not disappointed, just realizing that biology wasn’t for me. Well, my head was in the right direction, just not quite there yet! I watched my first birth outside of my own and thought it was absolutely beautiful! I thankfully even was allowed the crowning shot in a hospital! If the doctor didn’t clearly dislike me, I would have given her a hug for letting me stand behind her! It all came together eventually.

I made the goal to be at a birth by January 2013 in August. Cut it extremely close as this birth was very early this morning! (Happy Birthday MJ!)  It almost looked like life was trying to tell me this wasn’t for me as I was let go as a birth photographer for several moms since August. First one in September, November, and then December. However, it was great! I love documentary style photography much more than planned for some reason. It might be my own spontaneous nature, and my LOVE for candid photography. Tried to bring that to toddlers, and I’ve decided I need a new approach so that is a work in progress until I can become a full time birth photographer ONLY! 

Speaking of yesterday’s birth, it brought me back to an old time resolution that I never really MADE a resolution. Yoga. I have wanted to teach yoga almost as long as I have wanted to be a photographer. It seemed unrealistic to do both so I just became personally engrossed in it and it practically ran the show at my own birth. I was doing yoga everywhere that day. Yesterday’s birth, being the first one I had seen outside of my own, made me realize instead of offering my clients maternity sessions to get them interested in my work (though birth photography typically speaks for itself) I want to offer them several private yoga sessions with their package instead (maternity will still be available of course). This will be made possible by a prenatal/postnatal yoga training I have been eyeballing for a month.

Birth is very important to me to not only make beautiful and remember-able for mom’s, but enjoyable as well. I firmly believe birth can be enjoyed when not presented as a scary situation and prepared as one of the most beautiful moments in your life.

On a very side note, I am also offering postpartum doula services, not as seriously, but to the occasional client who really enjoys me as a person I will do this for them as I LOVE babies and need occasional fixes so I don’t end up making 10 of my own because 10 kids of every other age is a little much to handle for me haha. Not to mention my yoga training also covers postnatal yoga which every mom needs a little guidance back into their exercise routine after such a dramatic bodily change.

It is hard for me to imagine that in only several months I have managed to form a reality for all the things that I love in a way that they all connect and work well together. I didn’t need New Years Day to push me for it either and if I had waited until New Years Day…well I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am now.

I have a website I am about to launch as well as a new name for my photography. I have work to present, business cards to pass out, networking that couldn’t be traded for the world, and past clients that I enjoy knowing and hope to work with again in the future. I have successfully become one step closer to being a birth photographer exclusively and I am crossing books of my training lists for both postpartum and yoga. All the while raising a beautiful baby girl at home (not easy by the way!) Babywearing and breastfeeding in between editing, sessions, reading, networking, and occasionally she will even let me finish my morning yoga routine.

I can’t wait to see what I get out of my 12 months as I am only 5 months in!

What I made for Christmas.  #foodporn #oreos #cookiesandcreampopcorn #Christmaseve #Christmas

What I made for Christmas. #foodporn #oreos #cookiesandcreampopcorn #Christmaseve #Christmas

I need to Rant

I want to become a Birth Photographer. Ive set out to make this my mission since June. I LOVE birth. I think it is so beautiful it is insane! Ive talked to a variety of people and have even gone on call for a few. Those that had me on call would tell me something like, “I think Im in early labor!” Then they were never to be heard from again. Kind of like some sick joke, “Here lose sleep for the next three days so you dont miss my call telling you to come in only for me to never call you again MWHAHAHA!!!” Not to mention I called my dad once at 2am to come get my daughter so I could go. All three of us really appreciated that.

I know people who have no experience with a camera who get lucky to be asked to photograph a friends birth and then BAM they’re all of a sudden booked photographers complaining about being on call for Christmas. 

I have cried over this as crazy as that sounds. Im crying right now haha because I know all to well I have been blown off again. 

I know this is what I am meant to do. Not by accident. Not because I happened to be a doula with a camera. Not because I am a mom who loves babies. I found out this existed and KNEW I WANTED to do this. I have been trying for seven months now and up until seven months ago I have 8 years of schooling in photography EIGHT YEARS and had no idea what to do with it. Birth photography was my answer and obviously getting knocked for seven months and still chasing it shows how badly I want it. I have had to start charging because all of my free time has been wasted on moms who didn’t respect our agreement and apparently $50 to be on call for up to 6 weeks so you can call me anytime you want to be there for as long as you need to photograph the entrance of your child after eight years of education in photography and no money to feed my own child…is asking too much. 

Alright, I am done. Im going to go curl up with my baby girl and tell her momma is sorry, she’s going to have to go back to waiting tables because no one values her time enough to pay her and if its free no one values her enough to let them know they changed their minds.

FINALLY! They are here! Missed every event I needed them for but they’re adorable! #photography #business

FINALLY! They are here! Missed every event I needed them for but they’re adorable! #photography #business

I am sorry that I forgot about you Tumblr! It has been pretty hectic around here. Enjoy this new photo!

I am sorry that I forgot about you Tumblr! It has been pretty hectic around here. Enjoy this new photo!

What happens when a pit bull finds your glasses. #glasses #rayban #pitbull

What happens when a pit bull finds your glasses. #glasses #rayban #pitbull

Small Business Saturday! I grabbed this teether for Amara. #thankyoumama

Small Business Saturday! I grabbed this teether for Amara. #thankyoumama

I didn’t work today and had lots of home made food! Thankful for that and my family. Every single person.

I didn’t work today and had lots of home made food! Thankful for that and my family. Every single person.