Michelle’s Thoughts

23 Dec

The meaning of goodbye

January 13, 2012 will mark 3 years, 3 months and 6 days since my first day at Kim Ponsky Photography, but it will also be my last.

I was 22 years old when I started working here and I never imagined that after 3 years I would be where I am today. I had a degree with no job from a prestigious university and yet I thought that I would be handed a job on a silver platter. That wasn’t going to happen, especially not in June of 2008. It was probably one of the worst times to graduate but I knew everything would fall into place as it should. No matter the company, the city or the job, I was determined to find something that made me happy. And I did.

It has been an incredible journey, intellectually and personally. Aside from learning the great uses of Photoshop, more than I ever learned in college, I have experienced the innocence of children, the unique and special interactions amongst families, the joy that photos bring, that sometimes it’s okay to throw a ball at your boss’s head if it brings a smile to a child’s face and that even adults find poop jokes funny. But all kidding aside, I have also grown as an individual, recognizing my insecurities and finding a way to move past them. I am truly happy with who am and proud of how far I’ve come. But the truth matter is that sometimes we owe it to those around us for helping us along the way.


I gotta be honest, you have exponentially grown as a photographer the last few years and I know that you will continue to be the best that you can be. There is not one person I’ve spoken your name to that has not known who you are and that is worthy of recognition alone. You have taught me tricks of the trade and allowed me to expand my love of photography. You have brought me into your family and have introduced me to some amazing and wonderful people. You have been there for me through happy days and even some sad. For being a cool boss and a great friend, Thank you!

To the clients of Kim Ponsky Photography,

You have become my friends and my extended family. I have come to see your families grow and celebrate joyous occasions. I have seen your children laugh and sometimes even cry. But the best thing about my job is getting to hand you your finished photos. There is not one photo that goes through Photoshop treatments without my love and care. Whether you’ve ordered some stand alone prints, composites, albums, or holiday cards, I enjoy making them each picture perfect. Sometimes I like them so much I would love to keep them for myself :) So, thank you for allowing me to be a part of capturing the special moments in your families’ lives.

If there is anything I have learned with saying goodbye it’s that it goes hand in hand with saying “thank you”. Goodbyes wouldn’t be so hard if we didn’t care. Whomever we say goodbye to has probably impacted our life in some way and we owe it to them to express our gratitude. So THANK YOU!

Don’t worry I won’t be leaving our beloved city of Cleveland, I’m just going up the road only a few miles to Associated Estates to pursue my passion in design. So keep smiling because I’ll be checking in!

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”- Dr. Seuss




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21 Jul

Seeing is believing

1 day, 25 opticians, over 900 patients, helping others…priceless.

I always find myself trying to help family and friends and it never really occurred to me that I’ve never made a conscious effort to help out in my own community. Kim’s brother Zac started Medworks in July of 2009 and although I assisted answering phones when they shared our space with us, I never really got much more involved. I guess the only thing I have to say for myself is, shame on me. With Kim’s recruitment of our studio for yesterday’s vision clinic held at the Quicken Loans Arena, I figured it was time for me to help out. What was my excuse not to? The whole studio was going. Along with Kim’s request of our attendance, she mentioned that we would have to meet at the studio at 6:15 am. 6:15 am is NOT a time I see very often. Regardless, I was planning on going, no matter what. I set my alarm for 5:15 am and when it went off, I was wide awake and ready to go but definitely completely unprepared for what the day had in store. As I share my story, you’ll hopefully come to see that I in no way regret my early morning start.

I guess you could say that many of my blog posts can be quantitative (see above). Calculating the amount of days left until a holiday, the growing months and years of our clients, the number of photos in a composite or even the square footage of the largest candy store. But yesterday really couldn’t be measured. Yes, of course the number of uninsured and under insured patients that lined the streets of Superior and Ontario were unbelievable, but for me, the amount of joy I felt from helping others is indescribable. The amount of happiness and appreciation could not be adequately justified by any number. And from what I witnessed, I’d say that the 900+ people that came (just adding in that number to show just how many people were provided with vision care) they too couldn’t even fully express the gratitude they had for us volunteering our time and services. Numbers give us statistics. They are a collection of data that give us a representation of something. For Medworks, knowing how many people they were able to help yesterday is a very profound statistic that they should be very proud of. But even knowing the number, being there made all the difference. Working at registration allowed me to meet the people face to face and really see (no pun intended) their need. They weren’t just numbers, they were fellow neighbors in our hometown of Cleveland that needed our help. It made me realize that I have it pretty good. If I should be quantitating anything, it should be the number of blessings in my life.

Just to give you some insight on our day…

I would say each of us had what we would call our favorite moment or even part of the day. One of mine (since I enjoyed my entire day) would be when I received a text from Kim at 7:31 am (which was only about 30 min after we had arrived). It said “Line’s down Ontario-can you shoot?”. Three of us brought our cameras with us to capture the patients, the doctors, the volunteers and all the buzzing around that was to occur until 6 pm. Kim obviously had her camera and I think intended on possibly photographing, but instead she got right to business with a mic in her hand calling out peoples’ wristband numbers from the stands of the arena. Everyone had their eyes on her, or at least had their ears open listening out for Kim to yell out their lucky number. With each number called out, it was as if a winning lottery number was announced. Once each hundredth number was reached, the crowd cheered and clapped. It was a huge milestone for those that had been waiting for hours. So needless to say, Kim had her hands full. I was placed at registration, so as soon as I finished with the person seated in front of me, I grabbed my camera and headed out. It was already hot and humid and there were hundreds of people lined outside the front doors. Some were reading the paper, while others sitting on the ground playing cards. But as I rounded the corner onto Ontario, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I kept walking and walking as rush hour traffic passed by. The line was incredibly long and dense. I guess I never thought that there would be such a huge turnout. Trying to avoid getting hit by a car, I crossed Ontario to try and capture everyone standing around the Q. Mission impossible. Without a wide angle lens it wasn’t going to happen, but hopefully the photos below will give you a sense of what I saw that morning because in this case…seeing is believing.

Thumbs up to all who volunteered yesterday

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22 Jun

Green, Green & some more Green

Now as much as I love the color green, it’s seems that our office does too. Numerous times we have already all worn green to the office and although we would love to show off our lovely green attire on the blog we decided we were definitely not as cute as some of our kids in green so therefore we opted out of embarrassing ourselves. So instead we’ll share with  you a list of ways we try and make greener choices and run Kim Ponsky Photography with more eco-conscious efforts.
1) Instead of using plastic bags we give out reusable KPP totes. They are perfect for groceries or diapers… Not to mention they are durable and totally cute with our logo on them. 

2) We offer online proof viewing versus paper prints. This cuts down on paper consumption and saves some trees.

3) We reuse our lab’s packaging materials to pack the orders that we ship out.

and if that wasn’t enough…

4) We offer 100% Recycled Paper stock as an option for our cards.

Lots of other things are green these days, especially the grass! With all this rain in Cleveland, yards have never been greener in the month of June. The rain might not be so great for taking photos but the after effects make for totally luscious foliage and beautiful backdrops for outdoor family photos. Below are a couple photos from a recent shoot held at Horseshoe Lake. How cute is he?!
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3 Jun

National Doughnut Day & Little Italy’s Art Walk

I sometimes like to get a coffee from Dunkin Donuts on my way into work, today was one of those days. Except what I didn’t know was that today is national doughnut day, which means no coffee for me. I couldn’t even squeeze my small car into the drive thru line and forget parking, the small lot was completely full. Regardless, I was happy to hear that there has been a day devoted to one of my favorite treats. Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme have been giving away free doughnuts today but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in this tasty sweet from somewhere in else in town. Presti’s has some of the best doughnuts and is local to Cleveland. Right in the heart of Little Italy, Presti’s would be a great place to visit this weekend while strolling through the streets during Little Italy’s tri-annual Art Walk. The Art Walk will begin today and continue through the weekend until Sunday at 6pm. What could be better than some doughnuts, a chance to see and/or purchase some beautiful art and enjoy the sunny (keeping my fingers crossed) weather here in Cleveland?! We hope you have a sweet and possibly sticky weekend!

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4 May

You can pick your nose…

or your friends…but you can’t pick your family! Too bad…because I would love to be a part of this family just so that I could have their wall arrangement for myself without being creepy :) I have said this about many families that have come to our studio for portraits, but this particular set of  1″ gallery wrap canvases just says it all. It’s beautiful, it’s unique, it’s a piece of art, but most importantly it is THEIRS. It is theirs to hang in their home to enjoy and remember the moments that were shared that day. We enjoy what we do here at Kim Ponsky Photography because we (eventually) get to hand over priceless photographs to our clients that our so beautiful that we would hang them in our own homes. So PICK your favorite photos and have us make you an awesome arrangement so we can continue to envy the artwork that adorn your walls!

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