Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Business Referral Directory

Hi friends & family -

I hope you're all doing well! I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm starting an online business referral directory on my website. If you'd like me to add you/your business, please email me a graphic, either a picture of yourself or any graphic you feel represents you/your business, and a description including contact information.

Email to: lisa@illuminatephotos.com

P.S. Please keep me in mind if you need photographs for anything. I also do postcards, flyers, business cards and other print material design. I can do everything from taking the photographs to laying out the design to ordering the final product. And since my business is just getting started I'd be happy to work with you on a budget in order to expand my portfolio.

Monday, February 26, 2007

3 Easy Steps to Rolling Over

Here Jonah demonstrates how to roll over in three easy & exciting steps...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Jonah's 1st Cereal

Jonah's blog entry:

Hi! I'm going to be 5 months old on Wednesday. Mommy & Daddy gave me my first taste of rice cereal today and BOY did I LOVE it!!! Why haven't I had this stuff sooner?! I even got to sit in my highchair like a big boy. I tried my best to help mommy get the spoon in my mouth and I especially loved eating the cereal right off my hands. Here I am after I got all cleaned up... boy, that was some good stuff!

Here's a video of me getting my first taste of cereal...

Other future Hackbarth home videos will be posted here.

Friday, February 23, 2007

You Go Granny!

I thought this was a funny story...

There's a little old Christian lady living next door to an atheist. Every morning the lady comes out onto her front porch and shouts "Praise the Lord!".

The atheist yells back, "There is no God".

She does this every morning with the same result. As time goes on, the lady runs into financial difficulties and has trouble buying food. She goes out onto the porch and asks God for help with groceries, then says "Praise the Lord".

The next morning she goes out onto the porch and there's the groceries she asked for, and of course, she shouts "Praise the Lord!!!".

The atheist jumps out from behind a bush and says, "Ha, I bought those groceries - there is no God".

The lady looks at him and smiles, she shouts, "Praise the Lord, not only did you provide for me Lord, you made Satan pay for the groceries!!"

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Prayer request for Angie

Hi friends -

I just got an email from a friend from church. Angie (one of the girls in one of our eleVation community groups) is at Loyola in surgery donating a kidney today. What an amazing girl!

Angie's sister Jenny and our friend Sam are at Loyola now waiting for Angie. Here's the latest:

The surgery began at 8:53am and is expected to take 4 hours. They will be removing her left kidney and immediatly transplanting it into her co-workers sister Kristen. Kristen's current kidneys are working together at only 7% combined. Angie was unbelieveably calm when she went into surgery and the doctors were worried her blood pressure was too low!

I just wanted to take a minute to life Kristen and Angie both up in prayer...

Father God, thank you for Angie's unbelievable generosity and love for your child Kristen. God, you are the great physician. I pray that you keep them both safe and well during and after their surgeries. Pour your blessings out on Angie. Please help both of them have no complications and help them to get back on their feet as soon as possible. I pray these things in the awesome name of Christ Jesus. Amen.


Update/edit: At 11:30 they said that they were still working on getting the kidney out of Angie. Both of them are doing fine.


Update/edit (2/25/07): Angie's home and doing great! She's sore, but moving around. And Kristen is going to be released from the hospital today. Please pray for continued recovery for them both.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Faith's Garden Reborn

For those of you who have known Dave and I for the past two years you probably know the story of our Faith. Our daughter Faith was born into heaven on March 7, 2005. Her 2nd birthday is coming up and I've been thinking more and more about her recently, I think especially as March approaches.

Today I went to a networking breakfast with a good friend of our family. I know a seemingly unrelated topic, but this is where my story begins.

As I've been working on getting my new photography business up and running I've been looking for (inexpensive) ways to promote my business. This networking breakfast seemed to be a great opportunity! So I went to the breakfast, met some wonderful and fascinating women and look forward to seeing them again next month. (Thanks again for the invitation, Lorraine!)

As I drove off from breakfast toward work (only 5 or so days left... I can hardly believe it), I got to thinking about other ways I could get my name out there. I realized that it seemed like the door to real estate photography was closing when the realtor at the breakfast said that these days with digital photography they take all of the pictures themselves and just throw them into this program at work. Easy peasy... well where do I, the professional photographer come in? Maybe I don't.

So my mind started wandering down this path... I started thinking about what do I really want my business to be about? What's important to me? What audiences and clients do I really feel I could connect with? Where would I find my niche?

Then my mind started down another path... my daughter Faith and her upcoming 2nd birthday. Then somewhere along Farnsworth Road these two thought paths merged...

I thought about how I wished when we were in the hospital having Faith I would have had the knowledge and gift of photography that I have now. Or I wish someone would have been there to take the artistic photographs that I’m now capable of taking. I mean we have some snap shots, but now thinking back I wish we would have captured in more detail her tiny little hands, her teensy little ears, used more flattering light than the hospital fluorescents, etc. etc.

But I also know I can’t dwell on it. We did the best we could with the resources we had at the time. God has preserved the memories of her and I think I remember her more for her spirit. That wonderful little kicker in my belly. Our precious little girl. And that’s ok. But had I been given the opportunity to have someone capture those things I don’t think I would have passed it up.

Here’s where I feel God revealed his plan to me and his real intention for Faith’s Garden. Some of you may remember the inspired beginnings of “Faith’s Garden”. After Faith was born we received so many beautiful flowers and I knew they wouldn’t last. So I took pictures of them. Many people told me how beautiful they thought the pictures were and encouraged me to continue.

From there hobby has grown to passion. I know without a doubt that photography is the unique gift that God has both blessed me with and called me to. Somehow I knew God had a plan for Faith’s short life and I knew from the beginning without a doubt that I was going to have the distinct privilege of being God’s ambassador though this situation. I just had no clue how it was all going to play out.

In the beginning I thought Faith’s Garden was going to be the name of my photography business, but I guess it just never really seemed to fit for me. Then my business name became LaMichelle Photography – a combination of my nickname LaLa given to me by some of our friends’ kids and Michelle, my middle name. Plus I thought it sounded fancy. I pictured the Eiffel Tower in my logo. But again, I liked it, but it just didn’t feel quite right. I think I’ve finally landed on a winner – Illuminate Photography. (You can read about how I came up with the name here).

Even though I’ve landed on this name that I really love, I still couldn’t let go of Faith’s Garden. At one point I thought maybe I would have a collection of Fine Art pieces with that title, or notecards maybe. You can see the collection here. Turns out I think God has a different plan.

So as I thought about how I wished that I had had someone to take pictures of our daughter during her short visit with us. And I thought about how now I possess the skills I had been lacking at the time. I believe here's where God revealed to me the fact that other people don’t have to miss out on this opportunity. I could be that person for them!

As I spoke with Dave about it tonight I really don’t think any person who hasn’t been through this situation could even think about pursuing this… opportunity? career? niche? ministry? I guess taking a step back if someone had come to me without having stood where I was standing I would think them a monster for wanting to profit from my loss. But I truly feel that God has called me to this. To minister to people who have lost something, the most dear thing a person can lose… their child. I have stood where they stand. I understand the pain, the loss, the anger… the list goes on and on. But I believe that God has also shown me that in the valley He is there. In the darkness He is the light. And I pray that I can show that to the people that God will call me to minister to.

I don’t know all of the details yet. I’m thinking I can give my information to the nurses at local hospitals and in the event of a loss I would be able to visit with the parents, share with them a little of my story, listen to them, and lastly offer them my services… to photograph their child, any flowers they receive, the memorial service if they choose to have one, favorite toys and stuffed animals and even the nursery if it was ready. They don’t have to view the pictures right away, never if they choose. But the photographs will be available if and when they are ready to see them. I was thinking I could even help them assemble a professionally printed memory book.

I’m so overwhelmed with a feeling of compassion thinking about this whole thing! I even got to thinking that maybe one day I could compile these photographs, stories, poems and Scripture verses that I collect. Anything that might help others through this process, into a book. What an amazing thought.

I really feel like this is the vision for Faith’s Garden. God does have an amazing plan for my life and I’m really looking forward to the journey. It’s going to be an amazing ride… I just know it!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I'm famous!

Hey friends!

I'm excited to share an article from the Kane Country Chronicle about Christ Community's new Blackberry Creek Campus! Ok, and I'm happy to be quoted in it, too. I won't deny it! Although I said lots of other stuff that was a lot more impressive than the quote that she used. Oh well. It's not about me, right? =)

I am truly excited about the opening of our new campus in Aurora! I've had a lot of fun meeting a bunch of great new people at our new campus these past few weeks. I hope you all have a chance to come check it out! It's a great church family to belong to and I'm really excited about our opportunity to reach people for Christ in a new geographical location!

Anyway, here's the link and here's the story...

New campus for Christ Community Church

Lisa Hackbarth and her family switched about six weeks ago from the St. Charles campus of Christ Community Church to the new Blackberry Creek campus in Aurora, but they said they felt a familiarity when they arrived.

"When you walk in, it feels like the St. Charles church," said Hackbarth, 29, of Sugar Grove.

Christ Community Church celebrated its new campus at 40W098 Galena Blvd. in Aurora with celebrations Feb. 11 and Sunday.

The lobby of the Blackberry Creek campus greets visitors with the Cup of Joy Cafe, the Lifeline Bookstore, and an information desk with flat-screen TVs displaying opportunities to serve.

In the large auditorium, messages are delivered via videocast from Senior Pastor Jim Nicodem.

“Technology kind of allows us to do that,” said Eric Liechty, Blackberry Creek campus pastor. “That’s what keeps us on the same page.”

Liechty said about 3,000 parishioners worship at the St. Charles campus, and 800 more worship at a former Farm & Fleet store transformed into the church’s DeKalb campus. With growing populations in Kendall and southern Kane counties, the church saw room for expansion in the Aurora area.

“As a church, we said, ‘What an incredible opportunity,’ ” Liechty said.

On Sunday, almost 450 people attended the 10 a.m. service at the Blackberry Creek campus, Liechty said.

They heard a message from Nicodem about how to look at their jobs as callings. Nicodem used the Apostle Paul as a role model.

“Paul did have a normal job; Paul was a tentmaker by profession,” Nicodem said on the videocast. “He experienced his job as a calling from God.”

Nicodem outlined four steps for residents to get the most out of their work lives: reflect God’s image, receive God’s spirit, recognize God’s gifts, and represent God’s kingdom.“

Constantly let your life and words point to Christ wherever you are,” Nicodem said.

Al Sanchez, 42, of Oswego said he appreciated the church’s message.

“It pretty much relates to the community and what’s going on in our lives,” he said.


I also took pictures at the Grand Opening Part 1 last weekend. They're on my smugmug site.

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Merger

Ok, so I decided I can't do 2 blogs. I'm not a waffles kind of person. I'm a woman. I'm spaghetti. (It's a take on the whole women-are-from-venus-men-are-from-mars thing). I can't keep my "personal life" and my "professional life" in two separate boxes (like waffles have separate compartments). My life is all overlapping... like spaghetti.

I love taking photographs and I want to share them on my blog... but then I get confused about if I took them as a "job" or just for fun... and which blog do I put them on?

So I'm combining them both here - The Hackbarth Family blog and my Illuminate Photography blog UNITE! Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce GO!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sleepy boys

Look what I found when I got home from church on Sunday. Daddy wasn't feeling well so he stayed home with Jonah boy since I was taking pictures for Blackberry Creek's Grand Opening. I couldn't resist this photo op...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Gift idea for Jonah

Text from ad:

Baby Mops: Make your children work for their keep

After the birth of a child there's always the temptation to say "Yes, it's cute, but what can it do?" Until recently the answer was simply "lie there and cry", but now babies can be put on the payroll, so to speak, almost as soon as they're born.

Just dress your young one in Baby Mops and set him or her down on any hard wood or tile floor that needs cleaning. You may at first need to get things started by calling to the infant from across the room, but pretty soon they'll be doing it all by themselves.

There's no child exploitation involved. The kid is doing what he does best anyway, crawling. But with Baby Mops he's also learning responsibility and a healthy work ethic.

See other un-useless inventions here.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Jonah & Kylee

Kylee came over to play with Jonah and me on Friday since our sitter had the day off. Jeff & Sheridan came over after work and we all had dinner and watched Cars.

I got some really cute pictures of Jonah and some really cute pictures of Kylee (see the rest here), but never in the same shot. So I took this picture...

And this picture...

And put them together.

Can you tell it's fake?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Photograph" by Michael Salerno

A very talented friend of ours from church wrote this poem for us when Jonah was born...


You are our little photograph
A memory every day
A promise of the hope ahead
And dreams along the way

Black and white or full of hue
You fill us with your smile
A glossy image of ourselves
We'll stare for just a while

As you develop through the years
Our eyes will get to see
The masterpiece of hope and joy
A tiny mystery

We'd like to place you in a book
And keep you safe inside
But God will one day give you wings
And you'll be free to fly

More precious than a work of art
Our gift from God above
A glimpse of Faith to fill our lives
Our photograph of love

By: Michael Salerno

I don't have words to describe how much this poem means to me and it just becomes more touching and relevant every time I read it.