April 26, 2011

inspire: elizabeth

I hope that by catching a glimpse into the lives of real, passionate, active women, you will begin to see your own value and uniqueness in this life.  Please share this with as many people as you can because I believe they will get something out of it as well.

And now, I would like to introduce you to my friend, Elizabeth Primo!  What a super-talented artist and mother with a passion for life!  

Tell us a little bit about yourself...
 Honestly, I have never sat down and actually write down what I think about myself,…however, what I have done many times is write down what I think God thinks/says about me. So, this might be a little random but here goes,.. I think, I am very passionate when it comes to my family, my children, marriage and relationship, and also about photography. I get over the top excited when I do get the chance to talk about my amazing husband and how we met and how we fell in love and well... See? :P 
I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, yup, that’s a two day-journey from the US. I took journalism as my major in college so hopefully writing is like breathing to me. I took photography class while I was in college to add to my credit (my first expose to the photography world) and totally hated the class because the guy who taught it was weird :P and for the final assignment, I actually paid a friend to do a photograph for me and I passed the class with a B- haha.. that is supposed to be embarrassing, I guess!! If you haven’t noticed, I do photography for a living
An interesting fact about me, I have kept a journal since I was about 5 and I could never find any of those diaries except one from when I was 11, and I KNOW my mother has read all of them. :P When I was 16 I went to the United States as an exchange student where I learned my English from not being able to speak fluently until I dreamed in English haha..for English speaking people that might not be a big deal, but for someone whose mother tongue is Indonesian, Huge! :D 

 I dated a guy from a different faith in high school and while dating him (I was 18) I met the Love of my life, Jesus Christ, gave up my 3.5 year-relationship with that guy and told God that I will only marry if the man God chooses will bring me Red roses and tell me that those are rose of Sharon (cheesy, I know!) and that God will be the foundation of our relationship. 2 years later, I met my husband and He gave me Red roses and tell me that those are rose of Sharon, and a verse from the Bible from I Corinthians 3:11, which basically says that there’s no other foundation can a man laid than the foundation which is already laid, which is Jesus Christ. So, I married Rich in a heartbeat :D We met while he was doing mission and I translated for him when he would preach.. We had just celebrated our 6 year anniversary last December and welcomed our latest development, our third little bundle of sweetness, David Benjamin..

What makes you happy? 

What makes me happy is watching my kids love each other and play like best friends for life. My memorable moment with them is when my little 2 year-old boy Joshua got hurt, big sissy Jessica cried with him and she felt so sad because he got hurt. I was so touched, needless to say. Also when I watch my husband interact with our kids with such enjoyment in his face and how my kids just adore him, that makes me feel secure for some reason, because obviously, it’s natural for me to love my kids since I give birth to them, but for a father it takes bonding time and the fact that he makes the time and effort to bond with the kids is precious to my heart.. 
My favorite quote, while we’re on the ‘happy’ subject is by my pastor, Bill Johnson: “I am ready to just be happy all day long, I am so infected by this Jesus thing it ruined my outlook on bad news.”  “Happiness is an inside job.” Ya,… so reading quotes also makes me happy :D

What do you do? 

My absolute passion is (although somewhat cliché) to raise my kids and invest all I've got (mind, body, strength, time, tears, etc.) to make them know Christ, and live like Him. I feel like that is an absolute privilege because God obviously put them in my care, and to think of ALL the things I could show and teach them is mindboggling. That also means that I have to live my life everyday in a way that is God-honoring because they are constantly watching. That reality alone brings me to my knees to ask for mercy and grace. Everyday. 

My hobby, obviously, is photography, but essentially it’s Art. I have been sort of the artistic one in my family. I went through childhood loving painting and drawing, dancing, writing (remember the diaries? :D), poems and poetries, singing (I could do vibrato and do harmony since I was 6, and my 4 year-old beat me by 2 years), and play piano, guitar, and keyboard. I was always into creating something beautiful and loving colors (although for a long time it was Pink). Now, that I do photography, my creative part is thriving and feels at home. Photography to me, is much more than snapping away and getting beautiful pictures although that is important. Photography to me is capturing the emotion of the moment, the grace that is on someone’s face, the Love that a couple feel toward each other and a heart abandoned to her/his loved one, the frailty and the beauty of an infant, the bond of sisters and/or brothers, the proud gaze of a parent…. It’s beyond just pictures. It’s a language. It’s painting with light. It’s capturing the heart.

What draws you to do what you do?

When my clients see their photographs and gasp, and tear up. PRICELESS.

Tell us a little bit about how you got started doing what you do… 

Well taking photography class didn’t do it, so it was the kids :D When my daughter was born, my firstborn, I took like 1000 pictures, and I am being moderate. I don’t remember them being that impressive at all and I regretted not being able to get those moments that I couldn’t get back because I was just snapping away. I vowed to learn photography because I want to take better pictures of my children and wanted to be able to show them beautiful pictures of them growing up, which shows that I truly treasure them.

In what ways have you excelled over the years and how did that happen?

You know, I can’t really tell you how I have excelled because I have had so many failures and dreams not reached and had no one else to be blamed but ME…so I CAN tell you how I didn’t succeed: inconsistency, procrastination, laziness and lack of planning.
It was not until last year that I actually took the time to sit down and wrote down my goals and my dreams, what makes me happy and come alive, and HOW I want or choose to get there… There is a tricky part to this, is that I take the time to put it before me, read and ponder on it and let it become a reality in my mind that I would start to live like it were true “now”. See, most people just go through life without aiming on anything at all, and will most likely end up with exactly that. Nothing. Only under 10% of people actually write down their goals and start rearranging their lives accordingly. So, for the longest time I was in the majority and it pains me to think of all the years I went without really any direction, all the time and energy invested in getting accepted by “EVERYBODY” and to think of the possibilities had I lived my life knowing who I am in God’s eyes and with a more defined purpose. Oh, the time I could have spent with my children! It goes without saying with my own spiritual life, and all the hours I could have been spending at the feet of my Beloved rather than going about my life doing things less important trying to find some worth of myself. BUT, I tell myself it’s not too late for change. That pain is a fuel that burns inside me to run as far as I can away from that old pattern. 

In your particular skill, what kind of tips can you offer amateurs or people wanting help in that area? 

Well, my biggest revelation on learning to take the right exposure is the day I stopped becoming ignorant about METERING. IT alone has changed how I do my exposure. My photographer friend taught a 2 day-photography workshop at church and taught me how to use what’s called “Spot Metering”. It basically is letting the camera meter the light and exposing correctly so that every photo is JUST right. Not over or under exposed. You can google it up but I’ll tell you anyway,.. So, say I’m photographing Estelle and I’m using a fixed lens. What I’d do is put the focus on Estelle’s forehead in between the eyes, and set my meter to the center by moving the shutter speed up or down, the ISO is almost always at 200 if light is good and go accordingly from there, although with my camera I wouldn’t go over 3000ish because it can be a bit grainy. With the f stop I would do 2.2 and with more than one person I’d bump it up to 2.8 so that the other people’s faces would not be blurred. With proper metering, it cuts down my editing time tremendously and also allows me to not have anymore of over/under exposed photos that are unfixable. LOOOOVE!


How have you chosen to use your skill?

I was so ecstatic the day I finally open for business and got my own website. It’s an incredible feeling to get paid doing what I love and am passionate about.

What are your future goals with your particular skill? 

My future goal is to partner with another photographer, own a studio, and hire a handful of staff to run the administrative part. That way I can focus on photographing and going on mission trips to other nations with my husband and children. 
Because of the issues I have overcome from growing up, I always knew I would reach young people for God and to make them realize that they are beautiful and take them into this love relationship with the Creator and that God pursues them. So, I also want to incorporate photography into mission this way: As I said, when I was growing up I never thought myself as ‘beautiful’, and chances are there are also millions of other little girls out there that think the same way I did. So I want to make over young teenage girls with a little bit of makeup (I am a total makeup and beauty junkie by the way :D oh how so very missionary-like, huh?) and I would then take their pictures being all pretty and show them how beautiful they are, and NOT because of the makeup, because it’s just a tool that helps brings out what is already there to begin with. Imagine, if one of them feels discouraged or not feel pretty one day and would look at that photograph and say, “wait a minute, I am beautiful… just look at myself!” Imagine, if every girl could grow up knowing that she is beautiful and loved. I’d go just for that reason.

Elizabeth is a true inspiration!  I hope reading about her has encouraged you to step out and follow your dreams, even if you're busy raising children!   "...it's not too late for change."

Please visit her website and share this link with whoever you think may be encouraged by it! 




Christina Durksen said...

I love this post! Elizabeth is so genuine - after reading this, I felt like I just had an actual conversation with her (although I've never met her)! What she said that really hit home with me was: "all the time and energy invested in getting accepted by 'EVERYBODY' and to think of the possibilities had I lived my life knowing who I am in God’s eyes..." Wow - well-said. So true. What a fantastic reminder.

Julie said...

SUCH BEAUTIFUL WORK! Oh my goodness! I really would love to be introduced to her. She is my kind of a girl.
Loved where she is with Jesus. Right in His lap. So beautiful.ear
What a wonderfully beautiful family too. I will be sharing this with my family back home in Kitchener.