Category Archives: The Boot

The Boot: Hidden Treasures in Louisiana

When you were a kid, were you in awe of the thought of buried treasure? You didn’t have to be pirates, or anything. Heck, you didn’t have to be playing pretend at all. Maybe you truly believed that one day you would stumble upon or find a buried treasure. As adults, some of us still actually do voyage out and look for buried treasures of sorts. My friend, Breigh, for example. She makes jewelry that’s super original and super awesome. She has a metal detector and they go metal detecting sometimes. And, actually, I think that is pretty cool.
I also think that, sometimes life can be like that, too. There’s little treasures buried everywhere. You just have to have the desire, motivation, and be willing to open your eyes & go out and find them. And, I happen to think that where I live in Louisiana, there’s quite a few of them.(: I do believe I am pretty lucky to have stumbled upon them; and even luckier, to have become friends with a few.

What do you even think of when you hear ‘Louisiana’? I’ve had some pretty interesting questions..and some pretty humorous & bold statements from non-Louisianans, when they discovered where I am from. Do you think of people with webbed feet and pet alligators? Or, here’s a greats one-we ride perros to work, etc. It’s kind of amazing, actually. We tend to forget that there is a big ol’ world around us; aside from the things involved in our everyday life. And thus, we tend to not think about the differences between place to place, or over exaggerate them even. As if they were truly so foreign.

Well, I am here to introduce you to some of the beauty and treasures that Louisiana has hidden in it. While, I could do this via photos or brief post about different places..I think I would rather let the people who truly inspire me, inspire you also; semi-personally, hehe. Here is where I will share with you the thoughts, stories, & experiences of the inspiring people that I have around me. I will do this via real ‘life stories’ and interviews (which, will also include photos etc. No worries). Some of these people are artist or have extra ordinary talents of sorts. Some of them are just truly interesting people.. And some of them have stories to tell that will inspire you, possibly help you, and if nothing else, remind you/let you know, that you are not really alone.
These people are all amazing and unique in some way. And they were born and raised, right here, in good ol’ Louisiana. I can’t thank God for that enough. What an astounding thing..when you stop and realize the empowering people you have around you. Even though, you’re just from a little ol’ town, down South. These people’s stories should be told. They should be honored and acknowledged. I truly believe they all have enough personality to share with, at least, a few more people around the world.

Enjoy(:

Love, Peace, & Rainbow Ninjas

Two Plus Two, Equals Four


The Genetic Code: One Woman’s Story on How Genetics Pave the Way For and Impact Your Life Forever

 

Two Plus Two, Equals Four

 My mother worked for her father, until she was put on bed rest while pregnant with my brother.  Martin was constantly in and out of doctor’s office and hospitals-so, my mother really didn’t have the time to go back to work, after he was born.  Then, about seven months after Martin was born, my mother had a doctor’s appointment.  While at this appointment, as the doctor began to urge her to not get pregnant again just yet-she had to interrupt.  The facts were, she was already almost positive that she was already pregnant again.  So, they confirmed this.

And so the story of the LeBlanc family, plus Tiffani, has begun.  My mother and father both longed for two children -one boy and one girl.  When they found out that they were having a little girl, they were ecstatic-and relived.  The chances of them having a little girl with the same medical issues as Martin, was quite slim.

 

My mother’s pregnancy with me went a little smoother-aside of becoming very much larger, extremely fast (you see, I am currently 5’10” and my mother is merely 4’9”).  In March of 1987, here I came.  They tell me that I came out screaming and I was gorgeous from the beginning (their words, not mine).

 

As time went on, my parents got more and more comfortable with Martin’s medical conditions and I quickly but, healthily continued to grow.  My mother was able to go back to work in 1991.  And, while this worked out for a while, it only took about two years for them to realize that it may just be a little easier for my mom to be able to stay home and tend to the house and kids.  Susan loved being a stay at home mom and she very much enjoyed the time that it gave her with us (her children).  I can remember that on some days, she would build forts with us while she watched her ‘stories’ (A.K.A. soap operas).

When I was about 12, my parents got divorced.  It was then that my mother decided, she has a new commitment that she wanted to live up to.  As we grew up, she always tried her best to keep us in constructive extracurricular activities, thus she had to go back to work.  My mother wanted us to have our own place.   However, with a child like Martin and wanting to provide us with extras, that would have been awfully hard to do.  And so, we move in with my grandmother.

When I was in junior high and high school, we all three lived with my grandparents.  They managed to put us through the school clubs that we wanted to participate in.  My brother was even in the Explorer Scouts, working with the volunteer fire department in our small town.  I had dance team in junior high and soccer in high school.  And we were both very active in school club, such as, Diversity.  My brother and I were fairly good kids, in my humble opinion.

However, through all this time, unbeknownst to us all, my mother was suffering from bipolar disorder.  As more and more time went on, she got progressively less happy, and less stable.  Once she began going through menopause, it is almost as if (well, exactly as if) she completely lost control.  And, I honestly think, that, that is super understandable.  I can not even imagine living my life, with no control over my moods, on a regular basis.  I can only imagine the hurt, and hate you can develop for yourself.  After all, it’s so easy to be against something that we do not understand.  And, no one wants to feel like ‘something is wrong with them.‘  When, in all honesty, isn’t that exactly what makes a person, so real?  It’s their flaws.  ‘Realness’ is attractive.   And flaws are real.  The beautiful imperfections

 

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Inspired Imagery Magazine


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Inspired Imagery Magazine

A little over a year ago, Jacob Breaux reached out to me, to do some hair and make-up work for a photo shoot, that he had planned. Little did I know, that accepting that one job would lead to so very much in the future.

Jacob Breaux Photography was a business on its way up and I was an aspiring cosmetologist. After our first job together, Jacob and I, both instantly recognized the artistic connection that we had made. This job worked out extremely well for us. And so, we began discussing the possibilities of working together, more often, in the future.
Partnering myself up with Jacob Breaux Photography has opened up many doors for us both, individually, and as a team. In the short time that we have worked together, we have pushed boundaries, started controversy, found the perfect balance of edginess and elegance, and most importantly, have brought to you some very outstanding art, if I do say so myself.

Jacob and I have explored many things together and journey through many realms of art. Our work has been published in a photography magazine (more than once), we have told stories via photo shoots, turned a woman’s chest into a beautiful, neon galaxy, painted bodies, and so much more! And, ultimately, we have yet again managed to broadened our horizons.
It all started a few months ago, when the magazine we had been featured in, went up for sale. Jacob, being the ambitious young man he is, even considered buying it. However, after much thought, his desires turned from just photography, to art in general.  Jacob searched high and low to find the type of magazine that he was looking for. He simply wanted to find an art magazine.  A magazine that featured all different realms of art, instead of just one. A magazine for people who are interested in the beauty & craft of creating any art at all. Art is such a very broad spectrum.

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Our Firsrt Issue!!

Much to Jacob’s dismay, he could not find the magazine of his dreams. But, did this slow Jacob down or stop him? Of course it did not. From that time on, Jacob was dedicated to creating this magazine of his dreams. And wouldn’t you know, he asked me to come along for the ride? I am proud to announce that I am the creative writer for Inspired Imagery Magazine. We are still building and making our selves better, but we are here to stay.

Our first issue was published at the beginning of this week. I have two articles featured in this issue. Our first issue, did turn out, to be mostly photographers. However, that is all the more reason that I will be needing a little help from you all! Later in this post, I will be including contact information, for any artist that may be interested in being featured in our months to come. Featured in our first issue are five professional photographers and our Artist Spotlight: Breigh Neuville, designer and creator of the B.E.Unique Jewlery Collection. If you would like to check out our first issue of the magazine, you may do so by clicking the link below:

http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/751436?__r=509438&s=w
Digital copies are the magazine are only $5! However, printed copies are available, if interested.

You can also check out our facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/InspiredImageryMagazine
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BEING FEATURED IN OUR MAGAZINE PLEASE READ BELOW:

Inspired Imagery Magazine would like to feature artist from all different realms of art. If you are interested in being featured in our magazine, please send us an e-mail at:
InspiredImageryMagazine@yahoo.com

Submissions are free and you could be our next spotlight artist of the month! Professional photos are required. If you do not have professional photos, they can be provided for you by Jacob Breaux Photography, for an additional charge. Serious inquires only, please.

We can not wait to hear from you!
and of course, if you decide to check out our magazine, feel free to come and leave feedback. We are new to the magazine world, and would love to provide exactly what our customers would like to read. What better way to find out, then have them tell us personally?

Have a great day!

Her Name is Heather, Part 2: Life as The Wife of a Creative Photographer.


“Her Name is Heather”

Part 2: Life as The Wife of a Creative Photographer.

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One of Heather’s Maternity photos by Jacob Breaux Photography

Since Jacob Breaux has first spoken of broadening his horizons with photography, Heather has encouraged him. She supports him and even helps him with almost every single shoot that he does. Jacob has some very different creative ideas, than a lot of artist. And, though, some of his shoots seem like they should be unbearably hard for his wife to watch, she not only is usually along side him but, she is also always helping with her input; which he truly relies on and trust. It’s an amazing process to see, and I feel blessed that I have the pleasure of doing so on a regular basis. And, I know she does way more behind the scenes, than most people even fathom. However, I know there are some questions for Heather that, a lot of women would be dying to know the answer to. And questions we can ask, to help you better understand to what great magnitude, she is a necessary aspect to Jacob’s creative process. So, I’m going to ask her those questions, here today(:

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Heather captured by Jacob Breaux Photography

First, let’s start with Jacob and Heather’s busy life, around photography.

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What are you and Jacob’s full-time jobs?
“I am a pharmacy tech, full-time. And Jacob is the branch operating manager at Whitney bank. We also have an 11 month old beautiful boy, named sawyer.”

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Heather’s sister-in-law, Jade, with Sawyer.

 

How do you two find time to do his photography?
“It is really hard to find time for photo shoots but, it is Jacobs passion so, we do what we can to make it happen. Jacobs sister, Jade, is a huge help, and anytime that we need her, she’s there to help with sawyer.”

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Do you wish to have more or less time dedicated to his photography, compared to how it is now?
“I wish we had more time to do all the things he wants to do with photography. But, there are only so many hours in a day. Hopefully one day he will be able to do it as his full-time job!”

Now, let’s talk about what it is that you actually do for/with Jacob.

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What ‘jobs’ to you have at shoots, and in what ways do you impact Jacob’s creative process, as a whole?
“When I go with Jacob on shoots, I help position people and make sure the right angle or pose is used. We know how he loves to put people’s hands on their faces, haha.”

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‘Breakfast’ Make-up by Heather Breaux

Do you ever give him ideas for shoots, or is it solely ideas based on his imagination?
“Sometimes I help him with the creative factor. But, everyone knows you (referring to myself) and him are the most creative out of this trio,” she says with a wink.

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How important is it to Jacob that you are a participant in his shoot?
“Jacob used to be very dependent on my presence at a shoot, just because he felt more comfortable and I always help with poses.”

How important is it to you, that you are a participant in Jacob’s shoots?
I like to be up to date and as involved as I can with each shoot.”

What are your favorite shoots to work on, with Jacob?
My favorite shoots are the ones with meaning that tell a story. Like the one with you and Summer.”
(The shoot that she is referring to, is one we did, telling the story of someone over coming drug and alcohol addiction.)

Heather Breaux
Jacob Breaux Photography

What are your least favorite?
My least favorite or the naked and or half-naked ones!” She replies, as she laughs.

Ok, now, down to the nitty naked girls..

Does/did it ever bother you that he wanted to work with nudity? If so, How do you get past him working with nudity?
Of course it bothers me for him to work with nudity! I’m only human, ya know, haha. But Jacob sees the creative art behind it and I would never hold him back from doing something that he’s passionate about. The women are always very professional and I’m usually there, just in case one decides to get feisty,” she replies, wittily.

Would you rather participate in shoots with nudity or, not so much?
“Most of the nude shoots, I would rAther not participate in. I’m just not a fan of naked people. I don’t know.”

Enough of the dirty stuff.

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“Change I Must, or Die I Will” Captured by Jacob Breaux Photography
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“Change I Must, or Die I Will” Captured by Jacob Breaux Photography

What shoots have Jacob done, that have had real meaning or meant the most to you?
“The addiction, breast cancer and Shelby’s wedding were the shoots that meant the most to me.”

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Do you have any favorite people, that the two of you collaborate with?
“I always love working with you, of course!! Some of the other people (models) we have worked with are very natural at the process like, Krystal Broussard and Raeven Bourque; just to name a couple.”

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Do you ever model for any of Jacob’s shoots?
“I have modeled for a few of his shoots, I wish there were more that I did but, ya know,” she quizzically replies.

What shoot ideas would you like to see brought to life?
“I would like to do some more meaningful shoots..-like, when we talked about helping a homeless person find a job. Clean them up, get their view on things… Stuff like that. Also, someone who struggled with rape, abortion, adoption.”

I can definitely see how these issues could be meaningful and make an impact on some people and their lives.

What do you hope to see for Jacob’s future in photography?
“I hope that people understand his creative views, in his pictures, without negative judgement. I wish to see him succeed and go far with this!”

And I guess that about wraps up my questions for today! I’d like to, once again, thank Heather for how open about her life, and friendly she has been. She is always a pleasure to work and speak with.

I really hope you all enjoyed the input for today! Just another day through the eyes of one of Louisiana’s hidden treasures, that are great people.

What are some interesting types of people who you’d like to hear about? Artist? Photographers? Every day mothers? You never really know the captivating stories that lie beneath the surface, sometimes!

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Her Name is Heather, Part 1: Overcoming a Harsh Reality That is Life



“Her Name is Heather”

Part 1: Overcoming a Harsh Reality That is Life

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Heather Darby Breaux was born in Loreauville, Louisiana, in 1984. Heather was born into a family that consisted of two drug addicts, and herself (as a helpless baby). When Heather was six months old, her parents were seized of their rights as parents, and she was put in the custody of her maternal grandparents, who later adopted her.

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Heather grew up, watching as her birth mother would go about fulfilling this vicious life cycle, that sadly takes a hold of people, far too often. She regularly witnessed her mother using drugs, drinking, and doing flat-out, crazy things, in general.
At one point, Heather’s mother was incarcerated for a while. Heather would often have to visit her mother in prison, and she hated every second of it. Heather relays that she was grateful when her grandmother (who she always, respectfully refers to as ‘Mom’) told her that she no longer had to make her visits, if she did not want to.

Eventually, Heather’s mother got out of jail. Of course, this was inevitable.

After she was released from jail, Heather’s mother would sometimes live with them, on and off. During these times, Heather would again witness her mother using and drinking. She recalls always seeing different, random people dropping her mother back off at home. It would be the middle of the day, and she would already be drunk, using, or both. She states, at one point, “The story never ends, on how much that I’ve seen. But, my grandparents provided a safe and loving home for me. And that, I wouldn’t change for anything.

“I was her caretaker… ” “Which was hard, being so young. But, it taught me true love, responsibility, and caring for people that you love, no matter what.”

When Heather was 17 years old, her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought a strong fight, for a year and a half, and Heather was by her side the entire way.
I was her caretaker. I cleaned and bandaged her wounds, and helped her in any way that I could. Which was hard, being so young. But, it taught me true love, responsibility, and caring for people that you love, no matter what,” Heather explains.

Heather mentions that there were people in her family that used this experience to play the role of a ‘victim’. She then proclaims, very matter-of-factly, “I am not a victim. I am a survivor.”

Have there ever been more motivated and inspiring words?

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Heather met Jacob in May of 2004, at a local club. She giggles, as she says, “he only tugged on my hair for two months of seeing me there, before he finally asked me to dance.” And so, the story grows into love from there. They have always had a very wonderful relationship, and they are partners 100%.
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Heather and Jacob were wed in June of 2010, and had their first and only (for now, hehe) child in May of 2013. Heather smiles, as she tells me, “we work out any problem we come across, as a team. I wouldn’t have it any other way, with any other person.”

I think Heather’s story is a beautiful and inspiring one. There is so much positive to seek out of the negative that she has been through. I would like to thank Heather for being so open about her life and so friendly. And I truly hope this portion of her story has inspired and possibly can help some of you, in any way.

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What are some things you have gone through, that helped form the person that you are today?
How did you overcome the hard times in your past? And how do you use those lessons, in your life now?

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Heather and her family

 

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Heather Breaux; captured by Jacob Breaux Photography
Heather Breaux by Jacob Breaux Photography
Heather Breaux; captured by Jacob Breaux Photography

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Nobody is Alone


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One of Summer’s maternity photos by Jacob Breaux Photography.

Today, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to one of my best friends, Summer. Summer is a new blogger and mother, who has a desire to help inform and support the public through their life experience/struggles via her own. She intends on doing this through her blog, Nobody Is Alone. I will first, help you to get to know Summer. I will then provide you with a link to her blog. I strongly urge you to check out, Nobody Is Alone, if you’re interested!

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Summer and her son.

Summer is not your average 24-year-old woman. Why, do you ask? Because, Summer has bipolar disorder. She also, possibly, has an array of conditions (I.e. Nervousness, or abandonment issues) due to her life situations in the past. We won’t diagnose anything for her, lol.

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Summer and her family.20140415-212418.jpg

 

Summer has recently begun a very healthy journey in bettering herself as a person. She’s doing this by engaging in things, like beginning to go to therapy. In my honest opinion, she is a beautiful woman on the inside and out. However, I am aware that she has gone through, and still does go through, trials and tribulations that make her the strong woman that she is today. With that being said, anything to fulfill the bettering of yourself is nothing to be ashamed of. Nor is having a chemical imbalance, such as, bipolar disorder. That’s all it is- a chemical imbalance. And it’s far more common than you may think.

My mother and grandmother both suffer from bipolar, as well as, Summer. I have seen, first hand, how greatly it can impact your life, self-esteem, and sanity. Yes, it can effect your sanity. That means, having bipolar does not make you crazy. It does not have to, either. Don’t let it. You are not bipolar. Bipolar is not who you are. It is an imbalance. You have bipolar disorder. Don’t let it define who you are.

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Summer as an infant.

Summer’s childhood was a constant roller coaster ride. Her father was rarely around, she had open heart surgery at the age of five, & lost her grandmother and role model when she was about 12. Losing her grandmother changed her forever.

Right before summer was to start high school, her mother moved to Houston, Texas. Summer decided to stay in Louisiana, and live with her father, whom she barely knew. She was deeply in love with a boy and she just could not bare to leave him. A boy, who, later ended up cheating on her. This may have been partially due to the fact that, her father hated him, forcing them to have to sneak around to see each other. However, in retrospect, her prolonged relationship with him, was probably only due to her inner urges to rebel against her father. This is when Summer started to lose her ability to trust. And she began to hold all of this, muzzled down inside of her for many, many years.

Life with Summer’s father and step-mother was no picnic. She often refers to them treating her like ‘the red headed stepchild’. Basically, when it came to her in relation to her half sisters, things were very ‘yours’, ‘mine’, and ‘ours’. She was just a little pushed to the side because, she wasn’t one of ‘their’ children.

Later on in high school, when summer started dating a boy of a different race, her father decided that enough was enough. And upon these ridiculous standards, he deemed her trash, kicked her out of his house, and has not spoken with her since. Looking back, she has told me, the relationship wasn’t one of true love. This took her down some horrific paths. All which, of course, will be covered in her blog at some point.

From there she moved to Houston with her mother. With that came a whole other chapter of good and bad on goings. Eventually, she ended up back here, in Louisiana. The trip started as a visit & she never left.
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Finally, in 2009 she was diagnosed with bipolar. I don’t want to give away too much detail before you have the opportunity to check her out her blog. So, I will move on to her blog link and other information(: But, I have not even covered a small portion of the astonishing things this strong young woman has endured in her short 24 years.

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20140415-212449.jpg Summer and my late brother, Martin, for my birthday one year.

If you’re interested in learning more about bipolar disorder, or can relate to anything in this blog and want support, Summer is open and available to anyone who would like to reach out to her. Have a great day and don’t forget to check out her blog, Nobody is Alone

You can also check her out in Facebook!

 

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Summer and her late best friend, Rusty.

 

Life Lessons from a Hidden Hero


Today I’d like to share with you the stories and lessons of a ‘less fortunate’ man, who taught me so much in the few years that I knew him. He was a simple man but, he had a heart of gold. I am truly saddened that I couldn’t see my buddy one more time before his last day here on Earth:(
This is my recognition Of Tony “Cookie” “Billy” Parker.

In early 2008, I started working at a bar, downtown in New Iberia, La. One of my best friends, Kristen, worked there and I was always visiting with her. So, when they needed a replacement girl, fast, I gave it a go.

Kristen and I would go hang out with each other for our slow, afternoon shifts. People really didn’t start coming downtown until about 8, so it could be a little boring sometimes when you have to start working at 3:00PM. I hadn’t been working in the bar for very long, when one afternoon, Tony walked in. On this particular day, I was sitting at work, with Kristen as my sole ‘business’. It was early and we had nothing to do.

By first sight, the man was unkempt. His beard was patchy and unshaven, he’s clothes were old and beat up, and the smell…oh, the smell. I instantly felt sorry for him. Then, something I am ashamed of happened..-I got scared. He scared me. He was dirty and couldn’t talk correctly. I did not know what to say or do with him but, I didn’t have the heart to just snarl at him to leave because, he simply looked unpleasant. So, instead, I just watched him.

He walked around aimlessly for a few minutes and talked to Kristen. He has a very crucial stutter and, though he did aim some comments in my direction, I did not understand a word that he said. But, Kristen did. She sat there and talked to him and laughed with him for about 10 minutes before he happily hopped back on his bike and pedaled away.

When he left, I was still dumbfounded. Who is this guy? How does Kristen know him? What on Earth did he say to her? What was so funny? HOW DID SHE UNDERSTAND HIM?! So, I did what any curious young lady would do- I asked.

Kristen began explaining to me how she knew, Billy (which is what everyone thought his name was at the time). She explained to me that, with patience, she has learned to understand him (kind of like we have to do with toddlers and small children who don’t speak clearly yet). She also explained to me that he would come and hang out with her everyday, so she wouldn’t have to be alone and bored when I was not there. But, what she told me next is really what stopped me in my tracks.

Kristen began to tell me how the public treated this friend she had, that was so kind to go and visit with her every day. She told me about the rude comments and how people would throw quarters at him because, sometimes he would ‘beg’ for change. Every word that slipped from her tongue was like another dagger to my heart. Why did this man have to be treated so badly? Simply because, we didn’t understand him? And that day, I decided that I was going to do just that. I decided that maybe my friend was on to something. Why judge this man? He certainly looks like he already has a rough enough life. Why couldn’t I just slow down and try to understand him? Why couldn’t I be his friend too? So, I did.
And that man changed a part of who I am, forever.

See, what I learned when getting to know Tony, was this- don’t judge a book by its cover. We can’t always just fear the unknown. That means we are scared to grow.

I did take the time out to get to know Tony. And honestly, what would I have done with those boring hours anyway? Why spend them ignoring one of the few people around, who is just trying to feel accepted? Maybe we really aren’t that different. After all, isn’t acceptance one of those things that everyone strives for? So, I let myself be open to getting to know Tony.

In the years I worked in the bar, I saw somethings happen to Tony that made my heart cry out. He’s been called a bum, useless, and a crackhead. People usually thought he was homeless. I’ve seen this man be belittled, shunned, kicked out of places for his appearance, and simply ignored or made to feel wrong because, he had the nerve to even walk by someone who thought that they were better than he. And the facts are, those people will NEVER be half of the man that Tony was because, they don’t have the heart. Tony was misunderstood, not a bad person.

The amazing part about Tony was, no matter how bad anyone else treated him…he knew we loved him and he was our buddy. It never failed that he would come right back later, or the next day, with that same huge smile on his face.

Upon getting to know Tony, I learn that, if he slowed down..he won’t stutter. I learned that he is NOT a crackhead. He was simply born with a slightly slower learning ability and was kept uneducated by whomever he lived with, so they could get his check every month. A check that Tony never personally saw. He would sit and talk to me for hours. It was all starting to make sense.

People may think it was weird but, Tony and I formed a real bond. A real friendship. He was really a person and I really accepted and respected that. He’d show up when I was closing and stay with me sometimes just to make sure I was ok and not alone that late at night. I used to give him rides home, after he’d help me clean the bar. He would even tell me what road to drop him on because, ‘where he lived wasn’t safe for a pretty girl like me.’ I’ve watched this man work for hours to earn $20, then turn around and buy a daiquiri from me JUST so he could tip me. ( he normally didn’t have money. I’d buy him a couple drinks every now and then but, he normally couldn’t afford to buy anything for himself.). I’ve watched him proudly accept a suit and put it on. We had a dress code at the bar that I worked at, at that time. That night, he walked in looking spiffier than ever, in his suit. He had the biggest smile that I had ever seen, on his face.

I even once watched him refuse $50 that someone offered him. And when they asked him why, he simply replied, “I didn’t earn it.” Now, don’t get me wrong. Tony would ask us for quarters and he’d take a couple of dollars if you gave it to him. But, I guess, when it was small amounts from a bunch of different people, he didn’t feel like he’s putting them out. Because, he would not take that much money from this guy who was just offering it to him. I felt so proud of this man. He had nothing yet, he wasn’t going to take that large of a hand out, without working for it. And, just so you all know, the guy offering the money spoke with one of the bar owners and worked out a deal of Tony mopping the floor that night, for his $50 payment. Everybody wins.

When I would have to work doubles, all weekend for festivals, he’d show up on his bike with plate lunches for me. I normally didn’t eat them but, only because I really was not sure where they came from. However, I never let him know that. I would kindly thank him and visit for a while. I would then slide my plate lunch under the bar because, I couldn’t eat it with customers, anyway. It warmed my heart that my friendship was so important to him.

As time went on, more and more people did warmup to Tony. There are lots of people out there who love him. It never stopped the bad completely but, as time went on..he made more and more friends. Our friends would question us and we’d explain. Luckily, good, compassionate people do still roam this world.

Tony always just wanted to laugh, hang out, and be accepted by everyone he would meet. He actually had a good sense of humor and tried his best to keep us laughing. He is one of those treasures that most people don’t have because, they don’t bother to notice or worry with him. Some people just didn’t have the compassion, patience, or desire to try to know who he was. Tony just wanted to have friends and be someone’s friend. I truly believe that he tried to do the best that he could, with the hand that he was dealt.

I’m very sad to say that I hadn’t had the pleasure of talking to Tony in a year or two. I am a few years past my ‘going out’ phase and my life has been pretty overwhelming for the last two years. I actually tried waving to him, when I saw him on his bike a couple of weeks ago. He didn’t see me. Today, I am feeling very sad that I did not turn around that day and go say hi like I wanted to. I will miss my ol’ buddy. But, I will never forget the memories that we shared, the beautiful heart that he had, or him.

Anyway, I don’t want to make today’s post too long and drawn out.
I would simply like to leave you with this thought:

Look around you today. The sun is shining and the birds are chirping. No matter what is going wrong in your life right now, it’s still life and it’s still beautiful. If Tony can smile everyday, so can you. And next time you see a random stranger or someone who seems less fortunate, don’t fear and judge them. Embrace and show love to everyone, regardless of age, race, social status, etc. You truly never know who has a beautiful heart hidden in them and what unexpected lessons you will learn from opening yourself up to something you aren’t familiar with.

I dedicate this post to Tony Parker, a hidden hero. A man who probably never knew how much he taught me and how big he opened my heart. I don’t think he ever knew how much he mattered to a lot of people. May you rest in Peace, Tony. A Teacher of great lessons and a hero that was hidden amongst us.

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B.E. Unique: One-Of-A-Kind Designs for the Individualist in You.


Today I would like to introduce you to one of my closest & dearest friends, and my Matron of Honor-Breigh Neuville.

jewelry maker
Breigh Neuville, Owner/Designer/Creator at B.E. Unique
heart gears
Original B.E. Unique Design

Breigh and I have been friends for about five years now. We are so very different and so very much the same, in so many ways, it amazes me! Needless to say, I totally love her and feel as though she is an interesting and talented enough person to dedicate this blog post to.(:

Breigh Neuville was born in November of 1985, in New Iberia, Louisiana. She began her young career as a paralegal somewhere around the year of 2004 or 2005. At this time, Breigh had only begun to explore adult life and find herself. And though being a paralegal did have a nice pay off, it simple wasn’t fulfilling her creative side-which she so strongly desired to nourish.

heart ring
An Amazing 100% Handmade Ring that I personally purchased and STILL LOVE, from Breigh at B.E. Unique

Breigh always was a very fashionable and well dressed young lady. Heck, even when she isn’t dressed up, she looks stinking gorgeous. Anywho, I am getting off of the subject.
Breigh dabbled in a few different hobbies/crafts, such as painting, before she really found her niche. I do believe that she has matured greatly in the last few years, thus slowing down her social life (we used to be quite the party goers). Long story short, she was looking for something to do with her idle hands. Around the time of January of 2011, Breigh began to get curious about making jewelry. So, of course, she did like any young, motivated, woman does..she acted on it. And boy, I certainly think we should be thankful that she did!

I promise you won’t see the girl standing next to you wearing the same jewelry!
-Breigh Neuville

necklaces
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

Breigh is a freelance jewelry maker, who specializes in fashion jewelry. She is the sole owner, designer, and creator at B.E. Unique. She brings her self-taught experience and keen eye for fashion together to create beautiful works of art that we would quaintly call, jewelry. Her pieces are unique, bold, and glamorous. She has an outstanding talent and is as friendly as can be. I have already purchased items from her myself because, I simply could not go without them! I 100% intend on having her make some things for me and my girls to wear in my wedding! It’s so nice having talented friends, hehe!

jewelry
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

There are a few of things that I absolutely love about B.E. Unique’s pieces, such as:

  • Every last piece is 100% original and one-of-a-kind. Literally, no 2 pieces are EVER the same.
  • She works with many different mediums (such as Swarovski crystals, gem stones, & much more!), so the possibilities are endless! She seriously even went get porcupine quills to use! (No worries.  All quills fell off naturally and no porcupines were harmed in the making of this jewelry)
  • Extreme tediousness and care are put into inspecting every item before it hits the public eye.
  • All the time necessary is spent to perfect the piece she is working on to ensure that you are completely satisfied.
  • Your items are shipped as quickly as possible (for only $5!!!!) & she accepts credit cards!

    quill necklace
    B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

B.E. Unique’s extra ordinary designs are often displayed and sold, along side of my art, in local art shows, vendor markets, and such events. She does currently have a Facebook Page set up but, she does not have an Etsy shop set up at the moment. However, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, I will provide you with an e-mail, where she accepts orders, at the very end of this article. (After all the photos of course!)

necklace
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

Since Breigh has started making jewelry, she has broadened her horizons a little, so to speak. She is also skilled in metal works, engravings, & cake toppers. Regardless of what you are interested in, this talented young lady probably has something to offer you.

necklace
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
jewerly
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
engraving
Glass Engraving:
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
glitter
Personalized Cake Topper:
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
metal
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
owl
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
jewelry
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

 

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Cake Topper:
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

 

jewelry
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
Dream Catcher: B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
Dream Catcher:
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

 

Cake Topper: B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
Cake Topper:
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

 

jewelry
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

 

B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
Shoulder strap
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
Rings!: B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
Rings!:
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
Breigh at one of our Art Shows, set up with her jewelry and my art(:
Breigh at one of our Art Shows, set up with her jewelry and my art(:
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
Another one of our Art Show set ups!
Another one of our Art Show set ups!
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

 

B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

 

B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

 

B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

 

B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

 

B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh
B.E. Unique Designs by Breigh

If you are interested in learning more about B.E. Unique or making an order you can visit the site below:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/BEunique/543357139021302

Or you can e-mail Breigh directly at:
bdoumit2003@yahoo.com

Journey Through the Lens with Jacob and Tiffani: Part 2- The Guy Behind That Camera


Journey Through the Lens with Jacob and Tiffani:

Part 2- The Guy Behind That Camera

As a follow up to my post yesterday, I’d like to formally introduce you to my partner and good friend, Jacob Breaux.  In order to do this, I have constructed an interview of about 20 questions, that I believe the public would be interested to know. 
I will start off first by, telling you a little bit of background information.

Man behind that camera

Jacob Breaux was born in January of 1986.  He picked up photography in high school, as a hobby.  Normally, he took shots at family get-togethers, and things of that sort.
“I’ve always searched for an outlet for my creativity.”
“I’ve always searched for an outlet for my creativity,” Jacob explains.  “In high school, I took photography and used a 35mm film camera.  I fell in love with photography more, after learning all that is in just one image.”
Jacob continues on to tell me that his desire to control all aspects of an image finally got the best of him- about four years ago when he purchased a refurbished DSLR camera for $500.  He also states, “Most people don’t know what makes an image captivating. There is a Method to the madness.”
Now, let’s get this party started(:
1. What initially interested you in/how did you get started in photography?
“I’ve always thought I saw the world through a camera lens. I’ve always looked at the world saying, ‘that would make a cool picture.’ Once I picked up the camera, a whole new me was born.”
2. How long have you been in the business of photography?
“I’ve been into photography for about 12 years; professionally, 3 years.”

New Heights Gym Girl

3. Who are some photographers who influenced you and your style?
“Well, I was introduced to the world of creative photography by a local photographer by the name of Tyler Hebert. I’ve always had a fixation with the “weird” side of art. He took fringe art and made it beautiful. I’ve never been one to want to be the “norm”. He opened my eyes to my style of art and how it can appeal to the mass.”
4. Since you’ve started in the industry, who are some new-found “photography role models” that you have?
“To be honest I don’t really follow many photographers. I do a have a few creative people I keep track of. One being Alexys Fleming, her style matches exactly how I picture my ideas. She’s amazing.”
5.  How did you go about selling your first photograph/setting up your first shoot?
“It kind of fell into my lap. I did some creative shoots and people praised my vision. I started this just as an outlet for my creativity not to make money doing. It. I honestly didn’t think people would pay me to turn a fantasy world I have pictured in my head into realty. Along the way people have offered to pay me for my creative work. I still find it weird that people think that much of my work. It’s an amazing feeling. “
6. I know that photography isn’t your only job.  Is your goal for it to be your primary career?  If so, how do you plan/what are you currently doing, to achieve that goal?
“I would love to have this provide for my family. With a family I am scared to dive head first. My life is no longer about me.  I have a wife and child to support. They come first and until income is guaranteed from photography, I sadly can’t make the leap. Till then it will be a slow process to transition it into a career. This only means more time to master different aspects of photography.”
Wife and child
Wife, Heather and son, Sawyer
son handsome sawyer
Jacob Breaux Photography
son sawyer yellow bucket
Jacob Breaux Photography
7. In your opinion, is photography a hard line of work to get into?  What did you do to switch from hobby to business?
“Sadly, it is too easy to get into. All you need is a few hundred dollars and you can be a “photographer”. The market is saturated with point and shoot photographers. Most of these people put the camera in auto mode and never spend the time learning what goes into an image. This frustrates me. I’ve always wanted to understand photography as a whole. These people just want the money. They come in and charge half the price and don’t understand what it takes to run a business.”
8. What goals are you working towards within your photography and when/how will you know when you have reached them?
“Well I have this goal to work with a famous person. This will be my first “aha” “you made it” moment. To know that my work has reach the right person and caught their eye. When I reach that goal I don’t know what is next, besides greatness”
He says this with an angelic smile.
9.  If you could work along side any one photographer who would it be?  Why?
“Tyler (Hebert), he’s amazing with the edit side of an image. He can take an ordinary photo and make it phenomenal. I would love to work with the person that showed me that creative photography doesn’t have to be ‘weird’. “
10. Do you prefer digital photography or photography using negatives? Why?
“Digital is hard to deny. It saves a ton of money. You can manipulate the image in any way that you want. This is a magical concept. The possibilities are endless who can argue against that. Your point is null and void”
He says this, again, with an angelic smile.
11. Do you prefer to photograph in color or black-and-white? Why?
“Black and white is harder to tell a story with. But, when it is done right, in my opinion, it is more powerful than any color image. “
12.    What would you say is more important Good Knowledge/Good Equipment?
“Knowledge. I can use my $500 dollar camera and you have a $6,000 camera. We take the same photo and I know all the aspects of the camera, you don’t. I can’t make that photo look however I want it to.  Not limit my self to what the camera suggests.”
13. What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you on an assignment?
“Well, I won’t go into detail but I’ll say this- don’t sell yourself as something you are not. Nothing bothers me more than showing up to a shoot..and you look totally different than you have portrayed yourself. “

Weddings Flower Girl

14. What is your favorite subject matter to photograph (I.E. People, landscapes, still life, etc)?
“I love to mash the normal with what the heck I want.  I want you to be caught off guard but still say, “wow that’s beautiful.”
15. What genre of photography are you interested in most?  Why?
“Creative. In this field I am only limited to what I want to do, not what I can do. It’s amazing to make something that captivates an audience with an image they would have never thought of.”

Breakfast Gym Lights

16.  What genre of photography are you least interested in and why?
“Pets 🙂 I know people love pets it’s just not for me. “
17. What inspires you?
“Being able to put something out and instead of bashing someone opens up their mind and praises it even if it’s “weird”. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to make this happen.”
18. Who is your biggest support?  Who encouraged you the most to go after your dreams and who has helped you maintain a level head through it all?
“My wife.  She’s the one that tells me to keep doing what I do and to hell with the people that are narrow minded and bash my work. She is willing to help in any way. Without her, this is not possible for me to do this. She’s understanding completely.  She never says no. She pushes me to do more!”

Son and Wife

19. What have you learned/gained from expanding your passion for photography?
“I’ve learned that people are willing to expand their minds if you deliver it in a way that makes it beautiful.”
20. Do you have a message or any tips or encouraging words to any aspiring photographers/artist?
“Never take no for an answer. If someone doesn’t like your work, there are 10 people who love it. Do what makes you happy. Don’t be afraid to be or do anything.”
This will conclude my interview today with Jacob.  I hope this has given you a little more insight on photography and the inner workings of a very interesting photographer’s mind.  To sum up my article; I will again share with you some of Jacob Breaux Photography’s works:

 

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If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn/see more of Jacob Breaux and his photography, you can visit his website at the link below:
www.JacobBreauxPhotography.com

You can also check him out on Facebook (Jacob Breaux Photography)
& Instagram
Username: @JacobBreauxPhotography337

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Journey Through the Lens with Jacob and Tiffani: Part 1- The Evolution of Art and Collaboration


Journey Through the Lens with Jacob and Tiffani:

Part 1- The Evolution of Art and Collaboration

I would like to share with you today, a beautiful journey that I have been on for about a year now. I have watched it slowly but, surely progress into the amazing Chapter of Art it is today. And I immensely anticipate and appreciate what it will continue to evolve into, in the years to come.

Without further ado, I present to you, Part 1 of Journey through the lens with Jacob & Tiffani.

Though Jacob & I are very close in age and both from the same (very) small town (like, ‘not even on the map’ small), we did not actually know each other our whole lives. In fact, we have only known each other for a few years. And we have only begun getting to know each other within the last year or so. However, within that time, we have formed a very strong bond as work partners and friends. We both can be a little out there so, when our two creative minds came together, it was almost an instant ‘connect’ so to speak. Our artistic vibes flow together very well, and I believe we are naturally comfortable around each other to a certain level, due to us both being a little strange, haha.

We met each other when I was working in a little bar, down Main Street of New Iberia. Jacob’s wife, Heather, worked with me and we became pretty good friends. We worked together for a few years but, I had really only gotten to know Heather. I only knew Jacob as far as who he was when he came to the bar…and on the rare occasion he would actually sit there and have a prolonged conversation with any bartender besides Heather. That is not to say that he wasn’t friendly. However, it was obvious that he was there more for her than anything else. Which is quite awesome and cute-in itself.

As time went on, Heather and I both stopped working at the bar. She was working around school to work in a pharmacy, and I had just been waiting to go back to school period. I started and finished my cosmetology schooling (with a very good GPA may I add) and was completely ready to take on the world. Head first, shears in hand! …and then-my brother passed away.

I felt as if the world stopped. I can not even tell you what happened for the next like, -maybe five months? My brother is my very best friend. We had a bond that I truly wish every brother and sister could experience but, sadly most probably do not. I trusted him with everything. I knew that no matter what, he was my brother. We were all we had. Nothing could ever change that. Martin was my side-kick. And the day he left this Earth, I crumbled.

Finally, around March of 2013; I had pulled myself together a little and found a job. (Oh, did I mention that within these 5 or so months we also had to move AGAIN for the third time in 2 years) Shortly after, Jacob approached me about doing a photo shoot. He explained to me that this was just s hobby he had and he just liked my ‘look’ because, I was different. I figured it was understandable enough, and I hadn’t seen Heather in a long time. I told him it was a go-and we set up everything to make it happen.

 

Jacob Breaux Photography
Hair, Make-up, & More by Tiffani LeBlanc
and
Jacob Breaux Photography

 

Jacob Breaux Photography
Hair, Make-Up, & More by Tiffani LeBlanc!
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Jacob Breaux Photography
Jacob Breaux Photography
Hair, Make-up, and More by Tiffani LeBlanc
and
Jacob Breaux Photography
Jacob Breaux Photography
Hair, Make-up, & More by Tiffani LeBlanc
and
Jacob Breaux Photography

 

 

 

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Not too long after we did our shoot together, Jacob came into contact with me again. He was really getting into this hobby he had started and he had all these great ideas-but, there was one problem. He was having to pay a pretty penny to get someone to do hair and make-up for him. We discussed this for a little while and, since he was considering a goal of starting up a little business in the near future, we made a deal. I am building a new business and so is he. We decided that we could work together with no money involved. Work on a networking basis. He gave me amazing jobs to do, then worked his magic, & gave credit where credit was due. Everyone wins.

This worked out very well for us, for a while. Then reality hit. I was using tons of supplies and products. The outcome was gorgeous. I would constantly amaze myself. Until, I started to run out of everything..and had no means to replace it. So, one day, Jacob and I talked about it. We discussed charging in the future and how it would all work. Then, I woke up one day, and he surprised me by telling me that we had our first paid shoot. It was so exciting. And after we did it- it was even more amazing. Did I really just get paid to do the funnest part of my job, that I thought I would only rarely have the pleasure of doing?? Is this real life??

Guess what?! I was real life. And there really aren’t many more words that I have to express the rest of our journey. So, it’s a darn good thing that I have pictures!! (I take behind the scene shots too). (;

BEHIND THE SCENES:

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SOME OF THE RESULTS OF OUR HARD WORK AND PASSION:

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AND HE EVEN TOOK OUR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS(here’s just a couple)!:

MY Life
Jacob Breaux Photography