I remember you! Memorial Day is everyday...

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I remember you! Memorial Day is everyday...

A parent's death makes a severe impact on a child, that then affects their own children and their children's children, and so on. First Lieutenant Russo went to UCLA, he was a track and football star. He met his wife Olga at UCLA. After graduation, they married and they started a family. He was killed in action on April 3rd, 1945 on Luzon. His death changed many lives. He left behind a wife and his one year old son. Lieutenant Russo named his son after himself, even though his Father Salvatore offered him a substantial amount of money to name the baby Salvatore after him. Lieutenant Mario Russo chose to name his son Mario after himself, in fear he may never return from war. The name Mario and photographs in a frame, were the only thing Lieutenant Russo could ever give his son. He died a hero yet he left behind loved ones now broken damaged and confused. 

Little did he know that he was leaving behind a legacy as well. His future grandchildren and great grandchildren would never see him, only the photos that hang on their walls. They will only know him through the photos and stories shared by family but he is still so much a part of them. The more I learn about my grandfather Mari, he reminds me of my own children. They have followed in his footsteps in so many ways. The name Mario was a great gift to leave your son, but your family and your legacy was an even greater gift. We will continue to share our photos of our hero with the legacy he left behind. Lieutenant Russo lives on through us all. I just can't imagine how different my life would be if my grandfather was there when my father grew up. I am grateful for the photos and the stories I can share with my babies. Having these photos has taught me to appreciate and savor the past through images. I am thankful for all he has given us; veterans, intelligence, physical and mental strength, athletics, track stars. He now has great great grandchildren who will know and remember their hero through the photographs that hang on the wall those pictures tell it all.  With all that was given I sit back and watch my own daughter with her baby and her sacrifice she gives for our country. Always remember .....All gave some, some gave all. So much sacrifice for our freedom. We all have a story to tell through photographs on the wall!

Rhonda Childers is a Military Mom and a portrait photographer in the Bay area and Central Valley, California. It is her dream to make a positive difference in this world by sharing herself and stories while creating and capturing new ones with others. 100 years from now her legacy will live on through photographs and the positive difference she makes in the life of many children.

 

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Preserve the memories not the lines...

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Preserve the memories not the lines...

 

   My last visit to my Grandma's house was 14 years ago. My 4 kids and I went to see my Grandma Olga. Niko was 12, Daniella was 9, Makenna was 3, and Jacinda was 10 months old. My grandma lived in a beautiful home she built in the hills of Lafayette, California. It was literally over the river, through the woods, to Grandma’s house we would go. When I pulled up to the front of her house, it looked like something straight out of a magazine. I loved her yard. The fruit trees, the gardens, the flowers, the pond, the pool and the gazebo. My Grandma's house was perfection, I always remember thinking how amazing it would be to have such a beautiful home, full of rooms and bathrooms and a huge kitchen that yearned to be full of family and fun. I can't remember a time that my Grandmother's home was not spotless.  However, what stuck out the most in my mind and sparked a completely different envy than just the size of her house, was the vacuum lines that remained in the carpet in the formal dining room.  I was in awe as I noticed her vacuum lines were still in her carpet probably a week or more after she had vacuumed! I thought to myself “ I wish I could keep my house this clean and have it stay picture perfect for more than 5 minutes!” I couldn't wait for the day that I would be able to do that and not have it messed up by sticky little fingerprints or find Legos hiding all over, or walking in to discover the girl's latest art creation they had so carefully designed on the wall with crayons.

  What I didn't know at that time, that to have all of this perfection and cleanliness, the kids would have to be gone. You see, I wanted those things because the everyday struggles of 4 loads of laundry, toys everywhere, meals to prepare, beds to make, were overwhelming to me, and the beauty of a pristine home was something only dreams were made of. It took me forever sometimes just to find their bedroom floor before I could even think of vacuuming it. I never grasped that no vacuum lines represented my kids would one day grow up and leave. Those thoughts don't exist in a young mother's mind.  "Watch out your kids will grow up in no time" was just something that older ladies say. I never realized the hardest part about parenting would be my kids growing up. I never really listened or understood the reminders... "it all goes by so fast". I tried not to blink.

  Then one day I woke up, went to clean my house, and I noticed carefully placed vacuum lines in my carpet, I looked at my beautiful dining table with no fingerprints knowing it would stay that way for days...that's when I realized that vacuum lines are lonely. That Legos, and dirty clothes, and mouths to feed, hair to brush & style, and backpacks to get ready are sometimes very overwhelming, but they're never, ever lonely. What the older ladies had been telling me was true! When did I blink? The Legos & dolls slowly disappeared without me ever noticing. They were replaced by video games, and movies, books, makeup and clothes...  then by empty bedrooms waiting for a visit home. Loads of laundry gradually got smaller, the dirty dishes were less and the endless treasures of Pokemon cards, stuffed animals, refrigerator art, Polly Pockets, rock collections and everything that resembled the happiness of childhood that had always been so present, all disappeared. Everything is almost picture perfect now and I appreciate and love this time of my life. I only wish I had known the cost of vacuum lines, because then I surely wouldn't have wanted this day to come as fast as it did. Always take pictures hang them on your walls, display them in alums, preserve the memories you will cherish them more far more than the vacuum lines.

   Happy Mother's Day to all mothers everywhere. Trust me don't blink, the vacuum lines are overrated. To the new “moms to be” don't rush things because it will go too fast, and it's not just something that older ladies say. To the young mothers who struggle through the mountains of laundry and responsibility cherish your children, their messes and stresses and the moments pass much quicker than you’d imagine. To the moms with the vacuum lines because their teens have 1 foot out the door you're gonna miss this, even with all the attitude. To the mothers with vacuum lines who miss their children dearly cherish the memories.   To my own mother Elizabeth & grandma Olga in heaven, who I lost just 1 week apart, I miss you everyday. I cant believe this will 13 Mothers days without you.  Vacuum lines aren't permanent and neither are mothers. To all the children that are blessed enough to still a have your  Mother in your life take some time recognize her because tomorrow isn't promised   Your Mom wont always be here and that too is not just something older ladies say. 

 


Then


Now

 

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2018 Senior Reps

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2018 Senior Reps

LOOKING FOR SEVERAL UPCOMING 2018 GRADUATING SENIORS TO BE PART OF OUR SENIOR BRAND AND CONNECTION WITH LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS. 

 

What is a senior representative?

A senior representative is a high school senior who I choose to represent me and help send clients my way.  Since you will be representing my business, I choose high school seniors who:

  • Achieve good grades 

  • Volunteer in the community

  • Are involved in extra curricular activities

  • Are positive role models

  • Are easy to work with

  • Like making new friends

  • Excited to spread the word about Rhonda Childers Photography

Here are the amazing perks you will receive for referring people who order with me and mention your name:

  • Cash

  • Discounts on your order

  • Fun group shoot

  • Two shoots

  • Rep cards to hand out to your friends

  • Featured in my marketing materials

  • Meet new friends

  • Have a ton of fun

That's it!!  If this is something you would be interested in, please complete senior rep application! 

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Seeking magnetic and engaging high school juniors that love the images I create and want to have fun portrait experiences their senior year. Ideally applicants should be confident to share their images and experiences with their peers.

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You don't need any experience to do this. There are several benefits to becoming part of the rep team.

FILL OUT THE MODEL TEAM APPLICATION & SHARE WITH A FRIEND, SOMEONE WHO WOULD MAKE A GREAT 2018 SENIOR REP.

SENIOR REP APPLICATION

Deadline for application for high school students is  due now.  Potential models must be available for a group shoot (date and time to be determined)  You must schedule your senior session no later than August.    A parent or guardian must sign the Senior Rep and Model Release contract in order for you to participate.   Reps must be in Junior year of high school graduating in the class of 2018

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What the cup?

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What the cup?

 Seriously, I have a coffee obsession. People always wonder, what I'm addicted to more the coffee or the cup? I seriously have a thing for coffee it makes me happy, it brings me comfort. One of my earliest memories as small child is sneaking sips of my mothers coffee (she drank it with cream no sugar) I grew up with coffee, it's my comfort food. Our home is somewhat decorated like a coffee house it's comfortable, “Childers Coffee Café”. This love, OK my addiction for coffee is a little out of control, but whatever gets me through the day.   I've acquired quite the collection of coffee cups. Each and everyone of them is very significant to me and has very special meaning, they have become a part of me. As I reflect on the years that have past coffee has been a big part of my life. So honestly I wonder what I am savoring? Is it the coffee, the cup or these coffee moments? What am I holding on to? To me coffee is life or maybe it's just life is like coffee? Let me share with you one of my favorite inspirational coffee stories.

Life is like a cup of coffee

Life is like a Cup of Coffee.

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor.

Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups have been taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones.

While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee.

In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.

What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups, and then you began eyeing each other’s cups to see who had the best one.

Now consider this said the professor “Life is like a cup of coffee”,

and life is the coffee, the jobs, money and position in society are the cups.

They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live.

“Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee”.

So Savour the coffee, not the cups.

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything.

They just make the best of everything.

Live simply, Love generously, Speak kindly, Care deeply.

Life is like a Cup of Coffee : Author unknown

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Senior favorites for the class of 2017

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Senior favorites for the class of 2017

Check out the best of the best high school seniors. I've had the opportunity to capture some great moments this year. I gave my high school seniors an experience and together we made some great memories.  I always enjoy spending time with each one, getting to know them and bonding with them. We are saying goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017. It's time to reflect back at each of the senior sessions. I gave each one title even though multiple titles can apply to some or all of them.  I chose a characteristic that stood out the most.  Please enjoy the class of 2017 senior favorites of Rhonda Childers Photography. Feel free to share! Congratulations to each of them. I am beyond excited to see where life leads them after high school. I adore these Patterson High School seniors and feel blessed to be able to be a Patterson California photographer in the central valley. Shooting in studio and as an on location photographer.

 

MOST SWAG

Angel Rojas

Angel loves cars and shoes but this guy lit up the city with his great fashion sense. We had an amazing shoot from Santana row to San Francisco. He was definitely celebrity status for the day, in fact several people inquired about him. We just said “Sorry, no autographs.” and moved on with our photo shoot. I have no doubt he is ready to take on the world.

KINDEST

Janiah Wallace

Janiah is one amazing young lady, she is beautiful inside and out. She has a good head on her shoulders and will surely have a successful future. I feel so blessed to have met this girl, she restores my faith in humanity. This young lady is truly sent from Heaven. She is sweet, funny and such a kind soul. She literally warmed my heart. This young lady will make a huge difference in every life she touches.

BEST EYES

Isabel Contreras

This girl is amazing, she has beauty and brains. Her eyes smile and make you smile with them. She is sweet and and humble as they come. We had so much fun on her photoshoot! She is a brilliant young lady, she is so wise and independent. I have no doubt her future is bright as her eyes!

 

BEST SERIOUS FACE

Martha Curiel

If looks could kill? This girl has a smile that lights up any room but watch out for her resting B**** face, it is fierce. She is a daddy's girl and she even gets her beauty from him, especially her serious mug face. This girl was so much fun she even hijacked my Snapchat, she is a girl after my own heart. Gotta love beautiful, clever and witty girls.

MOST PHOTOGENIC

Nicole Canals “Lexi”

To know Lexi is to love her, she is picture perfect! She rocked her photo shoot and was up for anything. We had a blast. Lexi she is always laughing, joking around and she has the sweetest, loving heart. She knows when to have fun and when to be serious, the camera loves Lexi and so do I. We had a blast making memories all over the city.  Beautiful Lexi is going take on this world single handedly no doubt.

BEST HAIR

Shayla Guerrero

Shayla wanted a backdrop filled with buildings so that what's I gave her. Her photoshoot was in  San Francisco, it was windy and crazy as we went up as high as we could. This girl straightened her curly hair and it embraced the crazy wind this day. She is a natural born model and knows how to strike a pose. I adore this girl and feel beyond blessed to capture this milestone for her. I am excited to see what the future holds for her.

MOST LIKELY TO ROCK ANY POSE

Emilio Gallegos

He had his heart set on a shoot in San Francisco. We were pushing the yearbook deadline and working with his mother's busy work schedule. We managed to squeeze a session in the city on Halloween. This boy is as determined as I am, he is definitely up for anything and everything.  I warned him when he chose me as his photographer that it was going to be an experience, and I definitely gave him one. This guy was ready for anything, I was beyond blessed to have him as my last Senior for 2016.

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