Saturday, January 28, 2012

Moomp Photography - A Featured Interview

Welp, here goes.. the dreaded article that Susan Spracher has been buggin’ encouraging me to write for quite some time.  An article about Moomp Photography.

First let me just say, I love to write!  LOVE!  I have been doing it all my life for my own personal enjoyment.  I write about my life experiences, pipe dreams, letdowns, surprise “positive” pregnancy tests, my kids, and I have even been known to write about throw-up.  I keep it real.  Nothing is off limits.  Well, ALMOST nothing.

When Susan said, “Let’s feature Moomp Photography on the Mom About The Town blog!" I realized - THAT was off limits.  But then, after more grueling loving harassment support from Susan, I realized it was only fair to do for myself what I am asking others to do for them!  Share their story!  So, here goes.

My name is Heather Mompean. I am a photographer. I love taking pictures.  Mr. Moomp and I are the only photographers and the owners.  The End.

Whew!  That wasn’t so bad!

What?

That wasn’t a “story”? 

Crud.

Ok.

Moomp Photography… take two.


Short Story:  Mr. Moomp and I, long before kids, decided we wanted a regular date night.  What better way to have a guaranteed night out than to sign up for a college course together?  We showed up twice a week and learned about aperture, shutter speed, how to unwind film in a dark room, how broken sprockets can lead to extended dark room use, and the stinky smell of fixer.  We also realized how much we loved taking pictures.

A few years later I had my daughter.  Mr. Moomp's fourth child, my first.  My love for photography sky- rocketed the day I brought Sarah Monset home from the hospital.  Within 72 hours of being home I had a makeshift backdrop balanced on the top of doors in our dinky hallway, a terrible lighting set-up, and a perfect baby girl to photograph.  

From then on I took pictures of anyone I could!  Sarah, and my step-daughter Harmony, were stuck living with me and became my in-house models.  Thankfully, Harmony was always willing to entertain my crazy ideas and Sarah was unable to crawl, let alone walk away from me at that point.

I took pictures because it was fun, it was my creative outlet.

Family and friends started asking me to take their picture, too.  Then classmates.  Then co-workers.  Then… strangers!!!  Random people that heard from a friend of a friend that I was pretty good with a camera.

I definitely wanted to do what I love, but I also knew I need to make it a business so that I would be compensated not only for my art and love of photography, but for the time I was away from my baby girl. 

Moomp Photography was born and I continue to do what is fun and what is my passion.


And now, for the official Moomp Photography interview

What gear do you shoot with? 
I am a Canon girl.  I shoot with a Canon 5D, although I have been pining away for the ever so sexy Canon 5D Mark II.  My primary lens is the 50mm 1.4 (I <heart> the crispness and the bokeh it provides).  Most all my images are taken with this lens, although I also own the 85mm 1.8 and a few other zoom lenses.

What would be your dream shoot?
I would love to have a yearly event in which I shoot mom’s, grandparents, sisters, aunts and wives!  It is my goal to get more women in front of the camera!  I think we forget how important it is to remember our own beauty and to celebrate ourselves! Typically woman are making sure EVERYONE else is photographed and if we look around the house or in a photo box the last time we celebrated ourselves was at high school graduation or our wedding!  So, the dream shoot would be a fun ladies event in which women of all ages gather and mingle and mix and celebrate themselves with a fun photo shoot (and pampering).


Who inspires you?
The list is long! I am forever a fan of Jasmine Star and Tara Whitney and so many other great photographers.  They are far more than just people with camera's – they relate to their clients and strive to create an entire experience that adds to the photographs they capture.  I love that and try to do the same for my clients.  The session becomes a fun date that always includes genuine laughter and friendship.  My clients mean a lot to me! I learn about them in the process of taking their pictures and always feel like I gained a friend by the time we say goodbye.  The best part is when I get to see them (and kids) again.

When do you do your editing?
I am a late night editing fool!  I wait till my kiddos have said their prayers and are tucked in bed asleep.  However, I have also edited before work, at lunch, and in my sleep! When Moomp Photography is at the busy times of the year I do my best to first spend quality time with my family and then spend quality time with the images of my clients.  It’s a fine balance.  I want my children to grow up appreciating photography and not resenting it so the best way I know to do that is to not let it interfere with “our” time.


Funniest or most awkward moment on a shoot?
I am always a total professional and never have any awkwardness at a session.  NOT!  Every single shoot I do or say something that embarrasses myself!  EVERY. SHOOT.  But, it’s me.  I have tried to couple up a brother and sister once when doing a big family shoot – got my people mixed up – AWKWARD!  I have had little kids cry at my attempt to make them laugh – AWKWARD!  I have had to snuggle up with a few women to “show” the pose to the husband – AWKWARD! And I make the most atrocious sounds all for the sake of a laugh or giggle from a little one.  To this day I cannot make a correct elephant noise and my attempts are grossly embarrassing.  But, at the end of the day – I can at least say I did what I did to get the best shot possible – even at the risk of losing some dignity.  Thankfully, clients laugh with me… WITH me, not AT me… right?

Most memorable photography moment?
Oh, this is a tough one – I think there is a memorable moment from EVERY session!  Each for their own and different reasons!  Remember, I really love my clients and it is hard not to get pulled into the emotion of the moment!  A new mom loving on new baby that is just days old – SWOON!  A dad getting snuggles from their toddlers – LOVE! The moment just before “the kiss” at Porya and Shawn’s wedding – FOREVER MEMORABLE.  Being told I am not a photographer, but a "friend"tographer - that was pretty darn amazing!  I can’t choose just one moment. Can't.


What’s on the horizon for Moomp Photography?
There are so many things I would like to do, so many projects, special events, new services I would like to offer.  I am mulling over a bunch of things and am excited by all the possibilities.  I would like to offer a yearly package session to a nominated family that has dealt with a significant trauma.  I would like to put together a community event that teaches, shares, and inspires photography in all people of all levels, ages, and interests.  I would like to add the service of creating a family video in addition to a still photography session.  The ideas are endless and keep me up some nights.

BUT, for now, my focus is Moomp Photography’s Mom About The Town.  The idea is to inspire a strong community of woman; to support the local economy; and to get to know each other on a level that is beyond a product or service.  I am hoping that the Mom About The Town component of Moomp Photography will really take-off and be a way for businesses and people to connect and to support one another.  I am excited to have Susan Spracher as part of my team and together I think the future is bright for Mom About The Town!


Fun Facts:

Favorite Current Song:  I love Maroon 5’s “Move Like Jagger” hit.  I cannot keep from gettin' a little groove in my move when that song comes on Pandora. I <heart> Pandora!

Three Words that Friends Would Say Best Describe You:  Well, I hope they would say I was kind, honest, and funny.  But I am more afraid they would say, in unison:  dork, awkward, lame.

Favorite Television Show:  Grey’s Anatomy and Parenthood. I miss Izzy and George.

Mr. Moomp’s Real Name:  Kim Pedro Mompean.  He is a musician as well as photographer and therapist.  When he is on stage… he is Doc Mompean and a total rockaholic!  I really, really love him.  So much so that I married him twice with no divorce in between ;)

Biggest Fear:  Not showing and telling my kids enough how much I love them and celebrate them.  They are amazing!  Although they do drive me nuts most some of the time.  I am always looking back to make sure I do more loving and praising than I do yelling and screaming. 

Happiest Memory:  There are four - Marrying Mr. Moomp--twice, the birth of Sarah, and the birth of Elijah.  These are forever the greatest moments in my life. 

If you are interested in making a happy memory for yourself... give Moomp Photography a call and they will not only provide you with some amazing photographs, but also a fun experience!

 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Knock Knock. Who is it? Me! Me Who?

Am I the only one that gets a little confused sometimes as to WHO I am?  Am I the mom that ensures her kids are growing up right and true? Am I the employee that has the report on the boss’s desk before the instructed deadline? Am I the wife that makes sure to love and appreciate the man I chose to marry?

The thing is I am all of these things at any given moment in my life.  I am the wife, the mom, the employee, the boss, the laundry’s mistress, and the slave to the toddler that insists on playing with the knobs on the stove.

What I forget, is that I am also me.  I am the woman that loves to spend time with herself reading, creating, soaking, primping, relaxing and being… me. 

And sometimes, I am sexy me.  Yeup.  Even though I have more jiggle and wiggle than I would like, even though I don’t have celebrity hair, even if I don’t put so much as a smudge of makeup on my face, I am sexy me.  And when I “do” spend time to replicate the lovely locks of Cindy Crawford, reinvent the sultry look of Beyonce’s makeup, or slip on a similar outfit as JLo (although a few sizes larger)… well, then I am “super” sexy me. 

It isn’t that I don’t like taking on so many different roles, I do.  I actually “enjoy” doing dishes (sometimes).  I thoroughly bask in the joy of being a mom (when the kids are behaving) and I have to say, I am a pretty good wife (except when I’m not).  And as far as employee-ship goes, according to my evaluations I am pretty good at that, too.  I love all these roles, and more… but I also love being the simple and true, first and foremost, me.

Without a solid foundation and investment in “me” I am pretty much worthless in every other role I sign-up (or am delegated) to be.

Those airline instructions for safety don’t just apply to the possibility of a horrific plane crash.  You know, the instructions that say to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting your children, husband, or fellow passengers with theirs. Same is true in life.  Invest in you.  Don’t assist everyone else under the moon to the detriment of self.

Take the time to feed your own heart, mind, body and soul.

I accomplish this by giving myself complete permission to steal a few seconds, minutes and hours when I can.
  • A drive to work becomes an opportunity for me to sing to my heart’s content.  Up goes the radio, down go my inhibitions, and out comes the singing diva I have been since I was 6.
  • A few extra moments in the shower and I pamper myself with a little extra smelly scrub and a special hair treatment using the “good stuff” I stashed behind the feminine products in the bathroom.
  • At night when the kids are (finally) asleep in bed, I make a cup of coffee and pull out a good book – and I read – and I dream – and I travel – and I live with my favorite character.
  • I call up a girlfriend and I make a date…a date to talk, listen, laugh, giggle, and occasionally cry.
  • I shop… and I release.  That’s right… I go to the store and I touch, stare, adore, and swoon over comforters, clothes, artwork, cameras, and even a set of All Clad 5d Cookware.  Some of them make it into the shopping cart.  Some of them “stay” in the shopping cart.


There is no right or wrong way to invest in me.  It doesn't matter "how" I do it, just that I do. Often.

Because I do want to be a good wife, mom, boss, employee, artist, and more… I need to be a good me.  I need to be a healthy me.  I come first.

In fact, as soon as I finish the dishes and put the laundry in the dryer – I think I’ll paint my toes.  With glitter-y polish and everything.

What do you do to make yourself healthy and strong? 

What do you do for you?