Hello, Hello To Be Simply Happy friends – this is Bridge! Welcome to a post I like to reference as a “Local Highlight”. Local Highlights is somewhat new on To Be Simply Happy‘s blog. A few months ago Angela and I both discussed the fact that we feel there are many people in the community that really are inspiring … and in keeping true to why we created the To Be Simply Happy blog, we feel that we have a great platform to be able to share where inspirational dimension of happiness are coming from.
Therefore I want to introduce to you Angie Dornier! Angie is a beautiful mom, wife, and friend … BUT, she is also a really great photographer who has been offering photography services for the community for years. But there’s a lot more to Angie that lends inspiration to me, in particular, that I also feel will inspire you, and hence what has compelled me to want to share more about her.
First and foremost, Angie’s photos are really beautiful … and I don’t say that in the simple way it sounds. If you go to her website you’ll find that she has an eclectic mix of photography art that spans from some of the more simple natural images of nature, as well as intimate shots of families at their best moments together.
… this is where I feel the beauty begins to show …
The way she can capture that moment of a family’s personality, or a small moment in time when they are just genuinely enjoying each other’s company … It’s priceless in every sense of the term. In fact, I recently posted another blog where I was able to speak candidly with her on preparing for Fall family portraits and how to get ready for them. She lends excellent advice and tips to getting the best photos: Take a look!
During my time with Angie, I had the opportunity to discuss photography and all the elements that are included to be able to produce a great photo. I will admit a bit of my naivety in believing taking a good photo was really a matter of just pushing a button and letting the camera work it’s magic. (And with some of the cameras and even phones these days it’s easy to believe that!) But my time with Angie helped me realize just how intricate taking the perfect capture of a moment requires. So, I will say thank you to all of you professional photographers who still prove these fancy phone cameras and apps still have good competition!
Another thing I had the opportunity to recognize when speaking with Angie is photography is not a hobby … you can tell when she speaks about it, it really comes from a very deep-rooted seed of happiness for her. I asked her where this happiness was coming from, and in particular what was it about photography that seemed to resonate with her, and she simply said, “Photography makes me a better person. I get to see the world differently because photography requires you to see elements around you … And in the moment … That often isn’t as conscious to us otherwise.” The way she beamed when she spoke about the adoration she has for photograph was awesome to watch … I literally could have foregone the rest of my plans for the day to listen to her continue to speak about photography!
I had a chance to interrogate Angie a bit more and was able to find out that her interest in photography really started when she was young, like in sixth grade. At that time, there were no inhibitions by all the buttons and gadgets on the camera. She instead let her curiosity be her platform to explore photography up until her mid-twenties, which is when she recollects enrolling in her first photography classes as an approach to progress her photography work.
… in fact, she vividly remembers receiving her first DSLR camera from her husband, which I find quite endearing and sweet 🙂 …
And as if I needed more reason to admire and be inspired by Angie, I think the most inspirational part of it all is how she welcomed wholeheartedly her passion for photography to be her primary profession now. Starting in 2011 Angie said goodbye to a long role in the energy industry as a trader to embrace something that the fulfills her. This is what bravery, courage, and confidence looks like. She inspires by her ability to jump in, and the proof (no pun intended) is in the results of her work. She is now a full-time professional photographer that not only lends her services to both individuals and commercial projects (for locals, some of her most recent commercial work is with BIG Yoga!) , but she also teachers photography to budding photographers, AND works with organizations that help integrate photography art for various purposes of rehabilitation and learning methods. Simply said: She is making a difference. A perfect example of how she is extending her photography to others is through her work at Angela House this month. She decided to spend September focusing on the simple kindnesses that can change our day. Angie feels it’s these simple gestures that make us feel connected and part of a larger community. I respect her perspective from my own newfound knowledge from my coursework in neuroscience, and how community factors play into our ability to learn and thrive. (If you’re interested about this topic, subscribe to my post on the Neuroscience of Learning!). Therefore, she’s enlisting people to take a photo of a heart, and just simply post it on Instagram or Facebook with: #connectingAH … and just share what was one simple piece of kindness that was a part of your day. Seriously … You should do it!
“To coincide with what I’ll be teaching with my students at Angela House this month, I decided to spend September focusing on the simple kindnesses that can change our day. It’s these small gestures that make us feel connected and part of a larger community. Today, I’ll share one of mine: “I accidentally left my phone in the airport bathroom and a total stranger got out of her place in line to grab it and bring it out to me before I’d gotten too far away. I was so grateful for her selflessness, especially because we were at the very beginning of a trip and I needed my phone to connect with our hosts.” If you’re so inclined, I’d love for you to play along this month. Snap a photo of a heart, tell me about a simple kindness someone has done for you and tag it #connectingAH so I can show it to my students.”
Just like you can find simple happiness in each day, so can you find simple inspirations that remind you just how great your neighbors, friends, and supporting community can be. Angie Dornier has been an inspiration to me that I also hope is one to you! And … Of course, not all of my time was spent forcing her to answer questions about photography … You know me, I had to find out some of the quirky, fun things about her, too!
When asked which she prefers over the other:
- Cupcake, or macaron? Cupcake (I guess there is more volume of sweetness in a cupcake!!!)
- Beer, or wine? Wine … But she had clear hesitation and pause!
- Moped ride in Italy, or swimming in a waterfall in Maui? Waterfall, which shouldn’t surprise me given her affinity for outdoor adventure
- Audrey Hepburn or Sophia Loren? Audrey (I could have jumped out of my seat and hugged her on this one – LOL!)
- Home Depot, or call the repairman? Home Depot
- The YMCA, or the robot? Robot (In fact, she divulged she absolutely refused her DJ from playing the YMCA at her wedding … So if you really want to see her bad side – you know what to have blaring in her front yard!)
- Orange, or blue? Blue
- The 80’s, or the 90’s? She’s an 80’s gal!
- Receive a handwritten letter of sentiment, or receive a bouquet of your favorite flowers? Hands down, hand-written letter (I couldn’t agree more with her on this one.)
- A self-help book, or a novel? Novel (she likes to have some moments of escape – who doesn’t?)
- Dog lover, or cat lover? Cat (I should have known when she immediately pet Shadow, my neighbor’s cat who has declared my house his own!)
- Jog, or yoga? YOGA!!!
Want more? … Alright, here are a few more fun facts about Angie:
- What is her all-time favorite movie? Pretty Woman
- What song will she dance to, no matter the time of day or the place? Ice-Ice Baby (Who knew!)
- What trait does she admire most about women? Their strength while maintaining composure
- What is one single advice she’d give herself 20 years ago? It’s okay to NOT fit in.
- What is one item on her bucket list she’d like to cross off? Go to South America’s region and hike
As I honestly feel, inspiration can come from many different sources and Angie is one for me – for sure! Please post your comments below on what you think about this post, and if you also have someone around you that you draw inspiration from – I’d love to hear about them :). Also, don’t forget to #connectingAH !!! Bye for now — XOXO, Bridge