There are times and people that we should never forget…and I for one, never will.

I remember the day like it was yesterday… Meeting at the beach for their photo session. She wanted photographs of her and her husband having fun, photographs of them smiling, playing in the water and chasing their dogs. She said she wanted these to show how much she loved him. She wanted these for her husband, her children and her mother. This was her gift to them…

It was brisk and beautiful at Coronado Dog Beach that day in December. We talked about having fun, getting goofy and dancing in the surf… She said dance with me, and of course he did. As they danced they laughed, and as they laughed, he picked her up in his arms, swung her around and kissed her. She loved him and he loved her. They played and played and played some more.

A few months later, I got a call in July, Vicki had passed away from cancer. Mike cried, her kids were devastated, her mother…I can’t imagine their pain. It just hurt so bad to know she was gone and to know they were all so devastated.

There was no funeral, just a family coming together in pain, gathered around the large Canvas wrap she had wanted. Of course they celebrated her life. Of course they celebrated their memories. But I think they mostly celebrated how much love they all had for that short period of time she walked among us on this earth. And they celebrated how much love they shared because they are a family.

There are times and people that should never be forgotten. Vicky and Mike, together is like that for me. To remember them together is remembering joy and love and fun and… Of course there was a down side; he drove her back and forth from cancer centers and always took care of her. But remembering their dedication and their joy, is what I choose. He was her rock and hero, she was his joy.

Life has a way of going forward whether we want to or not. That’s good! We are meant to live on this earth full-heartedly until our time is done. But this day every year I remember Mike and Vicky. I remember how she talked about her love for him. How much she adored her children and daughter in law! And how much she loved her mother and step father…. All that love, was shared. For the family, they now share that love without her presence, but love does not die. For me, I miss her… I kept all her text messages and emails and voice mails…silly-yes. That was my way of holding on to her.

So for today, I say Thank you dear Father God for Vicky’s life on this earth and that I got to share some of it with her. If you follow me at all you know I always ask: How will you remember?! I remember in photographs… and aren’t they beautiful and filled with joy and love.

You are missed Vicky, but I will never forget…

He was her hero, she was his heart.

Chamber And Community Member Highlights

I love my community, my town and my Chamber.  This week let me introduce you to Marcel Becker. Not only is he the General Manager of Trident Maritime Systems, but he is also an inspirational and motivational speaker. No matter who you are or what your background is, to hear him speak will inspire you. The sentence I have heard him say the most in every type of situation is : “It is a privilege and an honor”. I believe this is his attitude on life. 

What he didn’t tell you here is that he is a Patriot and loves America. He has every employee that is hired and goes through training sign the wall in their building to declare that they will do their utmost best for “Those who sail into harm’s way and pay the ultimate sacrifice to preserve and defend our freedoms”  

If you don’t know him, you should. Meet Marcel –

1. What do you/what’s your business?

I am the General Manager of Trident Maritime Systems, my division of TMS specializes in the conversion and modernization of United States Naval Surface Combatants.

2. What is one interesting fact or fun secret that no one knows about you?

English is my second language, I grew up in Europe speaking German

3. What’s your tag line or motto? 

A quote by Charles Swindoll “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”

4. What’s your mission?

Disrupting the cycles of incarceration and addiction by providing people with “Life Skills” for the workplace.

These Special Moments…

Mother Daughter Sessions

There are times at night I would dream of moments that have passed in my life. Sometimes I would dream of when my children were little and I could carry them again. Sometimes I would dream that they were sitting in my lap and we would just look at each other, all smiles, all love. We would “see” into each other’s heart and know that deep connection, that indescribable love. Just from that look, they knew how much I adored them and I too knew that I was the recipient of that unconditional love that God instills in children towards their parents. That is a trust and a treasure. In my dream, I would want that moment to never end, and every time I started to wake up I would find myself saying: “No, don’t go…”

Today, every chance I get this is what I want every mother that sits in front of my camera to feel…to be comfortable in her own skin, see how beautiful she really is, know her worth,  and how that translates into her children…Children always see their mothers as beautiful, as powerful and as amazing. Mothers always see their children as “becoming”! With every new challenge and success (or failure which is how we find success!), Mama is always the one who is the greatest cheerleader.

Seeing all of this from my perspective, if I could share with you anything, I would say this: You and your child will only be this age once. Someday this phase of your life will be over and what will you have to show for it? Don’t wait for your next dream. Together, let’s make something beautiful and get it on your wall so you can stare at the image of who you are and who your children are, now; and gaze on the intimate bond that you share. No one else knows you like you’re children do…

This is why I photograph-it’s my greatest joy and an immense honor to ensure that your deepest connections and most intimate moments will be captured for all times so you will never forget how enriched your life is, in the midst of the busy, the chaos and the right now.

The Pam Project

with Salon Thrive Santee

Being a mom was the most rewarding, wonderful and difficult “thing” I ever did. I loved it, and now love grandparenting. When I heard about this project I knew I had to be a part of it-it’s really something special. Let me tell you about some really special people that had an idea to bless, and allowed others like me join them (Salon Thrive) in a wonderful gift that myself, TeamKia, Haizel Paige Boutique, Fifty-Two Eatery (Santee), Allison Story Nails could all be a part of to give someone in our community.

The Pam Project is the brainchild of Katie & Curtis Anderson, owners of Salon Thrive (both Santee & El Cajon). I have known Katie Anderson for a while, she is my go-to person for hair & makeup for my clients. When I first heard about The Pam Project, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. It’s filled with so many principles I believe in and really, it is also at the core of my business.

So what is the Pam Project – Curtis grew up with a super star single mom, sometimes going to school at night and working all day with four kids. Now having two kids of his own he realizes how difficult parenting is and he is convinced  that moms are the most selfless people on the planet. So in honor of his mom, they created the Pam Project.

The Pam Project is a nomination process for a deserving mom to win a FREE day at the Salon to have her hair and makeup done by Salon Thrive. Get her nails done by Allison Story Nails. Then off to pick out an outfit of her choice at Hazel Paige Boutique, then from there head on over to FIFTY-TWO EAST Eatery with reservations & dinner for two. The winner will also be provided $400 worth of services or $500 towards a new car from TEAMKia of El Cajon. She will also receive a portrait of her transformation to remember the day from Cindie Wolf Photography.
If you’d like to nominate a mom head on over to Salonthrive.com and nominate a mom. They will be picking a new winner every quarter.

It was special for me to be there photographing the Before & After of the Pam Project’s First Winner – Brianna Thompson! We hung out and of course she told me how she wasn’t photogenic and that she hated to have her photograph taken. Since I have heard this before (lol) we played around and you can see that Brianna is not only very photogenic, she is incredibly beautiful. The video shows a number of photographs along with a before and after. I wanted to not only produce something special for Brianna, but also for the other companies, especially Salon Thrive that they could use for marketing what they do.

My set up for the day

Every company has a Brand. Every Brand has a story. This story shows the heart of the business, what the business celebrates, the products & services it provides and what it values. For Salon Thrive, I identified what was valued, then determined what process would be used to highlight those values. I don’t just take pictures I create images. This imagery highlights the heart of the business using the hi-end, high resolution images that equal the quality of the crafted products and services of the Brand. This is a service I provide for businesses looking to have their Brand story highlighted and told. #storyteller

Congratulations Brianna Thompson 2019 The Pam Project Winner. You’re amazing!

Chamber And Community Member Highlights | Community Involvement

What do your images say about you?

I love my community, my town and my Chamber. I’ve been doing headshots at and for the Chamber and today I’m going to start highlighting the lovely Chamber and community members that I’ve photographed. Below I’ve asked several questions for each person to answer, so you and I can learn more about who they are, not just what they do.

Meet beautiful Rachel Murany, Owner of Mail Management Group Inc.

Since 1988 MMG has been serving the printing & marketing needs of companies large and small throughout San Diego County and all of Southern California. Rachel founded this company to offer quality customer service. Their services include souring and customizing lists, managing your existing list, design, printing, mailing and order fulfillment. 

What the best fun at work? The people supporting my employees and their families for 30+ years. 

Tell me something that no one knows: Since 2010 Rachel has been in films and musical theater. When she was a child she auditioned for a part with her pet 24 year old parrot, Blaze, and Blaze got the part! She was then hired as an accredited Animal Wrangler to work with Blaze on set!

Another secret? Beautiful Rachel was also Iowa State Dairy Princess!

What’s most challenging right now? Keeping up with the newest technologies to offer them to our customers. 

As you can tell she is as sweet as she is beautiful!
You can learn more about Rachel and Mail Management Inc, at: http://www.mailmgmtgroup.com

What do your professional images say about you?

East County Chamber of Commerce Headshot Day | Putting Your Best Face Forward | Cindie Wolf Photography

In an age of doing business with people we know and people we see, a headshot is your digital identity, literally the face of your brand, no matter what brand name you have because people do business with people they know. Anyone that is entrepreneurial understands they need a headshot, even if it’s just going to go on LinkedIn. But think about it, when you’re searching on LinkedIn, how awkward is it when there is a listing of a professional without a photograph? Professional Photographs add to your digital identity and make you look, professional. It says doing business with you is working with a professional that understands what it takes and costs to be professional. These are perfect for networking and making you stand out from your competition.

As a member of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce, the Membership Director and I set up a Headshot Day to photograph the Chamber’s new staff members, new board members, along with a few others needing to upgrade their professional imagery. In the next few weeks I’ll be highlighting different people that attended to introduce you and provide a chance for you to meet them. What I want to reveal to you is the quality of people we have right here in our own community. You’ll be able to learn about them and how they volunteer their time and expertise to make our community a better place for all. I’ve always heard it said that “Actions Speak Louder Than Words” and all of these contribute by what they do. At the SDECChamber, like other Chambers of Commerce, we are a group of Volunteers that come together to work towards bettering our community. We take pride in what we do and in our community. You’ll enjoy learning a little bit about them.

the Thrill of Hope

…….a weary world rejoices

Have you ever noticed how the world comes alive around Christmas? Strangers we run into at the mall or out at night, everyone is polite, caring, smiling. Christmas brings out the good in us and as moms, we have this extra special opportunity to teach our children not only what is happening within Christmas, but what they can do as well.

Here are five simple lessons you can teach your children about the attitude of Giving at Christmas.

  1. Christmas is about being kind! It’s not about buying gifts to wrap as much as it is about giving the gifts of a smile, saying hello or Merry Christmas to strangers. It’s about our attitude and realizing no matter how old we are, we all have the power to bring joy to another’s day, just by what we say. To connect with others all we have to do is “use our words”.  So say Merry Christmas to the grocery clerk when checking out. Look at and Say Merry Christmas to the person ringing the Salvation Army bell. Say Merry Christmas to all those you come across and let the love of this season shine through you, just by saying a simple phrase.
  2. Christmas is about being together! During the holidays I always tried to bake more because it was something I could do with my children. We made cookies, cakes, breads, candies. It was so fun to do together. It was fun to see the final products all decorated and beautiful. It was fun to have works of art that could be eaten just everywhere in the house.
  3. Christmas is about making your own gifts-you know, using your own two hands! When we baked, cut paper snowflakes or made ornaments, we always made sure to make many to give as gifts. This made great gifts for neighbors, the mailman, teachers and people at work. Many times my girls would give a simple gift of something they made to an elderly neighbor or someone at a facility and feel proud that they made this with their own hands and imaginations. Then when they saw the look of the person they gave the gift to, they would feel proud again. It was easy to reinforce by me telling them, they just gave a gift of love.
  4. Christmas is about singing. I can’t count how many times we would walk the halls of a hospital, rehab facility or retirement center all dressed up singing Christmas Carols. All the elderly or injured would sit up in bed and smile. Those that could, would come out to the common room to hear us singing. The joy it brought to the faces of those who listened to the children singing was amazing. This made my children sit up straighter, sing louder and lovingly be able to walk up and offer those listening a hello or Merry Christmas without being afraid. They got to see the joy that came to the faces of strangers they were singing to and feel that joy themselves.
  5. Christmas is on purpose and for a reason! Through every Christmas play, carol, and story, there was always the purpose of the season to be told. In reading the story of Christmas, my girls knew their life had meaning, they were brought forth and called by God to be on the earth at this time in history. By telling the story, again and again, this grounded them on how “on purpose” God was by bringing Jesus through Mary. This translated into the importance of our lives and the lives of those around us. It also translated into the importance of how we treated one another. After all, it was God who said: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another”.

Even though my children are grown and gone (one just returned), I read the Christmas story every year. For by telling the story again and again we are reminded that God created us to be His family, this is why Jesus came. Then we can realize that every life on earth has importance and purpose, and we can live our own lives boldly, on purpose too.

By teaching our children these simple joys we really are living out the simple point of purpose too. We instill in our babies the importance of their actions, attitudes and mindset. We teach them that we all have the power to give a kind word or a word of encouragement. We teach them that everything isn’t always about “us”! We teach them that the Thrill of Hope is living in an attitude of kindness, giving unselfishly, giving and using the gifts you have and that life can be lived on purpose and for a reason. And when we live on purpose we bring rejoicing to a weary world.

This Christmas season I wish you all joy as you live in the midst of The Thrill of Hope!