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Yes, I am Teresa’s mom and we do look a lot alike…sometimes even ‘twinning’ by accident when we show up to work together!  I like to think I am the original (1.0 version) that she just copied.  But in so many ways we are different…(coconut, math, and keeping our desk clean, to name a few).  And a few of these differences are the reasons why she is a successful small business owner (10 years and counting!), and why I am so proud of her.

  1. It takes a village or “Remember that girl from pre-school….?”
    I am an only child of two only children.  So my family is super small…no aunts, uncles or cousins.  But I’ve always said that it ‘takes a village’ to raise Teresa.  So, it really is fitting that her business is named “My Friend Teresa Studios”.  Everyone she meets (even her old friend from preschool) becomes a part of her ‘village’ and she treats them like revered friends.   She is happiest when you are thrilled with your experience and portraits.  And you are likely to get a random text or holiday card at some point in the future!
  2. Creativity or “Can I use your garage?”
    I am a scientist and have spent my professional career immersed in data. The most creative thing I do with data is make a pretty graph for a stunning power point!  (oooh….ahhh!) But Teresa has a creativity to ‘see’ portraits before she even takes them.  Whether it is posing with a can of spray paint in a tunnel, or playing the ukulele in front of wildflowers, every session is different AND matches the person being photographed.  Oh, and I know I’m in trouble when she calls and says….”So, Mom…are you using your garage this weekend and do you have black tarp, a water pump, and some hose we can use?  And can Dad build a frame for a waterfall?”  True story.  And beautiful results.
  3. Courage or “Mom, I’m quitting graduate school”
    I was raised in the era (OK, no comments about my age) when women were encouraged to be teachers or nurses AND moms. While I did step out of the mold a bit into the world of science, it was in the healthcare field, so considered acceptable for a woman and not too controversial.  Teresa has demonstrated incredible courage to start and operate a business that supports her family AND is her life’s passion.  Even when it required the guts to take a left turn down an uncertain path.  Of course she announced this in a public place at a family dinner with friends so I couldn’t over-react.  Her Dad was thrilled she was following her passion.  I kicked him under the table.    But she was right.
  4. Spontaneity or “Mom, it will be fine, really!”
    OK, I admit, I am a planner through and through. (The kind that makes a ‘to do’ list for the sheer joy of crossing off things when they are done!)  With that comes my anxiety that if something is not planned it is certain to fail.  And by planned I mean DETAILS weeks in advance.  Teresa is successful largely because, while she does plan, she is totally comfortable with a last minute change if an opportunity presents itself.   Rain starts during a session?  No problem, break out the umbrella and get some cool rain/puddle jumping/getting soaked portraits that are some of her best.  Last minute vision for a session?  No problem, just dash out to the store for some fake peaches and a basket…and slide back into the studio minutes before the client arrives to set the perfect scene.  And it works!
  5. Sense of humor or “Mom, I’m going to do a stand-up comedy show next Wednesday
    If I am lucky I come up with a clever quip or joke every once in a while. Occasionally I get an audible laugh from my husband.  Teresa is a non-stop fountain of humor.  How do you think she gets people to relax in front of a camera?  Ok, I admit she does sometimes use words that I would have been punished for saying….and has been known to make fun of bodily functions….but even the most reluctant high school senior boy has to laugh at that!  And that boy’s mama gets the best senior portrait ever!  And yes, she really did a stand up comedy show recently.  I can’t make that stuff up.

I may be version 1.0, but she is the new and improved 2.0!  And I am proud of her.  Now, wonder if CeCe will be 3.0?  Can’t wait to see!  I’m not sure the world is ready…..