Janet Cruz Photography: Blog https://www.janetcruzphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Janet Cruz Photography (Janet Cruz Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:18:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:18:00 GMT https://www.janetcruzphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u731275413-o655259245-50.jpg Janet Cruz Photography: Blog https://www.janetcruzphotography.com/blog 120 80 Danielle's Bridal Shower https://www.janetcruzphotography.com/blog/2017/6/danielles-bridal-shower I love being able to preserve precious memories.   This past weekend was Danielle's Bridal Shower.  She is a girl with a vision.   Her Maid of Honor, Bridesmaids and Mom made turned that vision into reality on this day.    Congratulations Dani & Eric!   I'm so excited for your Wedding Day!


The Venue ~ The Rabbit Room 

Flowers ~  Wegmans

Cakes ~ Wegmans

Cookies ~ Paradise Sugar Shoppe

(Janet Cruz Photography) Aunt Janet's Photos Bridal Shower Event Photography https://www.janetcruzphotography.com/blog/2017/6/danielles-bridal-shower Wed, 14 Jun 2017 13:44:11 GMT
The Lindsay Family's Day at the Beach! https://www.janetcruzphotography.com/blog/2017/3/TheLindsayFamilysDayattheBeach I love photos. I love taking photos, all kinds of photos and making beautiful images.  I love images of people and families, images of places and  sunsets! I love color, I love black and white.  I love the art of photography, knowing the rules and then breaking them.  

I love to shoot families (doesn't sound right)...with my Canon... (oh just making it worse)... Camera!     I love families.  I love meeting them.  I love playing with the kiddos.   I love the love.   I love young families, older families and oh so not traditional families.   I love the diversity of families.  Families can be one person and their dog or 20 best friends and everything in between.  We have families we are born to, we have families we choose and families we create.  I love families, I do!   Some families stay together for a long time.   Families change, things happen.  Suddenly cherished members are gone.   Enjoy your today, here and now with your family.   Take pictures, preserve the memories! (don't forget to print them)


This month, I got to play on the beach and make some memories with Diana and Dan's beautiful family!  I had so much fun with these little guys.  They had  a little fun too!  Check out the Lindsay Family's Day at the Beach!     (I made them adopt me as their Aunt Janet!)  




























(Janet Cruz Photography) Aunt Janet's Photos Beach Family Portraits Family Portraits https://www.janetcruzphotography.com/blog/2017/3/TheLindsayFamilysDayattheBeach Fri, 31 Mar 2017 04:04:37 GMT
This is me! https://www.janetcruzphotography.com/blog/2017/3/this-is-me I’m a wife, stepmom, NaNa, Pitbull lover, cousin, niece, sister and daughter in law,  best friend and neighbor… I’m also everyone’s favorite Aunt Janet!  I’m a Photographer!  I love to shoot families, pets, births and beautiful vistas(“shooting families”  just doesn’t sound right, but you know what I mean).  I will jump at any opportunity to travel, meet new people and make beautiful art. All of this and a little sunshine makes me happy.... this is me... in a nutshell!

I'm all about my relationships.  I know so well that through no fault of our own, relationships come and go.   I know the value of the relationships I have each and every day.   I've had and have many wonderful relationships that have changed  over the years due to this thing called life.  Today I focus on the relationships I have here and now.

I am a wife.  My first and most incredible relationship is with my husband, Jay (or as I like to call him, "Jay Cruz"... has a ring to it, don't cha think??).  Jay Cruz started hanging out at our house with my brother, Andrew.  As time went on, he was there more and more.  I thought he was there because of Andrew.  Tracy and Andrew were quick to point out it may have started that he came around because of Andrew, but it was clear to them he was there for me!  

Jay Cruz was one of my brother's greatest gifts to me.   He is my rock, my everything.  We met, let's just say when we were mature adults!  We got all of our experimenting, craziness, ups and downs out of the way, then Andrew introduced us.  We've been together now for 15 years. What a 15 years it has been.  Good, bad and ugly.   The ugly has come from the garbage life throws at you.  We've stood together through it all.  I love this man with every cell in my body.  He makes me smile, he makes me laugh, he always makes me feel alright! Jay Cruz makes me a better person.

I am a step mom.  My stepson, Josh is one of Jay's gifts to me!  While I have many young people whose lives I am a part of,  I have only one person in this world I get to call my "son".    I love him to pieces.  He is a kind, sweet, thoughtful young man with a heart of gold.   I love the relationship we have.  It is one of a kind and it is uniquely ours.  

I am "NaNa".  My niece and nephews have given me the joy of being "NaNa" to their  seven little ones (as time goes on, I'm sure that number will grow).    These little people are my sunshine.  There is nothing that makes my heart melt as it does when I hear them call me "NaNa"!  They bring pure joy into my life.  


Pitbull lover...yes, I'm a pit bull lover.   I don't even know how that happened.  Well I do and it's all my brother Andrew's fault.   I love blaming things on him.  It's not often I can do this given he passed away 8 years ago, but when I can, I do!  

The day I bought my house, I was so excited because I could finally get a dog.  I wanted a little Doxie so bad.  Andrew knew this.  One day he came home and announced that he found the "perfect dog" for me.   He even put a deposit on her.  He was sure she was the dog for me.    Andrew was a "dog man" so I trusted him.   A few  days later we went to get her.  She was a little black pit bull.  What didn't he understand about I wanted a "little Doxie"?  Well,let me tell you... I quickly fell in love with my Sadie girl.  He was right, she was perfect for me.  She was my soul dog.   Sadie was with me through some of the worst days of my adult life.  Then, at 13 years old, after getting me through those days,  she joined Andrew and his pack.  My Sadie girl was one of a kind.   When she was gone, I knew I could never replace her... a few days later I saw "My Little Red Rose",  Rosie.... she is no Sadie Girl, but she is a sweet, pretty, little lovable, licking pit bull.  She's one of a kind. So much for Doxie's!  Thanks to Andrew,  I love, I mean LOVE my pit bulls!  


I am a cousin and a niece.   My parents left this world as we know it at a very early age,  my brother and sister did the same, leaving me a sibling-less  orphan.  I am lucky to have grown up with a close extended family.   Birthdays, holidays, Sundays and fishing days, to name a few were all spent with aunts, uncles and cousins.  We have all moved to different corners of the country over the years, but thanks to Facebook, email, snap chat and so on, (as well as occasional cheap airfare) we have found ways to stay connected.  These are the people who have known me all of my life and still love me!  They are my roots.  I need roots.


I am a sister and daughter in law.  I have to say I have the best in laws anyone could ever want.   They were another gift from my Jay Cruz.   He brought me into the family and they welcomed me with open arms.  My sister and mother in law are two of the strongest, kindest, most loving women I know.  Knowing them, it's no wonder that Jay Cruz is Jay Cruz....so kind and loving.  I married into an amazing family!  Is that not the greatest thing?  


I am a best friend and neighbor.  I grew up in a place where you knew your neighbors.  Kids played out front,  we came home at night when the street lights went on.   We didn't have TV's with 5000 channels, video games or texting.   Life happened on the front stoop.    We knew our neighbors.  

When it came time to buy a house, I wanted a the neighborhood to be like where I grew up.   I found my little place in the world and I think I hit the neighborhood lottery!  My neighbors are the best.  We all know each other, can count on each other and actually talk face to face now and again!  It's a great place to live and I call it home.  

I have many friends, and some are better and closer than others.  I treasure all my friendships particularly my friendships with Chris, Cindy, Joyce, Maurya & Cristine. They have been by my side through the good and bad.  They know the best and the worst of me.  They are always there for me.    They are incredible women and I am proud they call me friend.  

Let's talk about Tracy.  What can I say?  He is the best.  I can't explain it, he just is.  He's a gift from my brother.  Some 20 years ago Andrew brought him home.  I met him early one morning in my basement and he's been a part of my life ever since.   As time has gone on Tracy has become family.  He has stepped in where Andrew could not be. I know he will always be there for me.  To top it all off, he and Jay Cruz are also the best of friends!  

Not to be outdone by Andrew and his gifts to me, Tracy gave me Kosti.  Konstantin to most, (to formal) Kosti to me!  He is my best girlfriend, partner in crime and confidant.  Life is good.


Okay, then there is life as "Aunt Janet".  I'm not sure if I am really everyone's "favorite Aunt Janet" but it sounds good if I do say so myself!  

My Mom and Dad were my everything.  While I only had them but a very short time it was the best time.  They gave me the gift of love, of family, of friendship and of respect for life.  They gave me my sister Carol and in a round about way, Andrew.  After my parents died, Carol and her husband David gave us a home and a family.  They didn't have to do that, but they did and never complained or looked back and wish they hadn't.    

While we were still living with them they began to have children of their own.  First Jason, then Kristen, Mark and Michael.  I was their Aunt Janet!!!  Wow!!!     While I was, am their Aunt Janet, they have never called me that.   They all always  do introduced me however as their "Aunt Janet".   While they don't call me aunt Janet, all their friends do.  It is hilarious!   I love when I'm in a store and I hear, "Hi Aunt Janet"!   To this day, I'm known as Aunt Janet to many.  So why not be everyone's favorite aunt Janet?   It's a good thing to be.  Aunts can be best friends, confidants, like a mom without the day to day responsibility.  Aunts are loving and nurturing.  Aunts are the best! I try to be the best Aunt Janet there is!                                                                      

This is me and the roles I play...

... for now, stay happy, remember that life is good, people are good.  Love each other.   Bad things don't need us to do a thing to happen,  just does.  So we need to compensate for the bad that happens naturally by loving one another and being kind.   

                                                                                                             Hugs from,

                                                                                                          Your Favorite Aunt Janet

(Janet Cruz Photography) Aunt Janet https://www.janetcruzphotography.com/blog/2017/3/this-is-me Mon, 13 Mar 2017 04:57:32 GMT
Wedding Photography https://www.janetcruzphotography.com/blog/2016/5/wedding-photography  


                 April 19, 1952  The Wedding of Rosalie Marie Gagliardo  & James Robert Austin  

April 19, 1952 Rosalie Marie Gagliardo & James Robert Austin Treasures from my parents wedding


In 1952, (60+ years ago) my Mother and Father were married ~ April 19.  I love my Mother and Father and everything they have given me.  Most significant being their love and a family.  I wasn't born, or even a twinkle in my parent's eyes, as my mother would have said when they were married.   I feel like I was there for every minute of the day.  Let me take you back there and explain how that happened.  My Mom, Rosalie Marie Gagliardo, was the only daughter of strong proud Italian Immigrants ~ Dominica and Andrew Gagliardo.  She was the second born of 4.  No sisters, but she had three doting hunky, strong loving, italian brothers.  Let's say she was well loved, taken care of and adored!  (not only by her parents and brothers, but by my father also).

She and my dad were married at a time when two of her three brothers were active duty Marines.  Unfortunately, they were not able to be at the wedding.   They were such a close family, that they did everything they could to make sure that my uncles (Mom's brothers) were able to share all the joy of that day.  They did this by hiring the best most talented photographers they could find.  Remember this was 1952, and photos were mostly black and white.    Keeping my Uncles in mind, (much to my benefit later on) they took all the typical wedding photos of the era and went one step further.  Look closely at the little "view master" gadget at the bottom right hand corner in the picture.   They had 3D photos taken in color!  Wow…. They are amazing!   The photographer captured every detail and activity of the Wedding.  What a treasure!

I am the lucky one and inherited these treasures of my parents when they passed away.  These are not only memories of my parent's wedding day, but they are memories from my childhood as well.  When I was a young child, I used to pull out the view master and spend hours looking at her beautiful Wedding day, dreaming of my own.  I marveled at how beautiful she was and how handsome my dad was.  I look at these treasures today and my heart smiles with love.  Theirs was a love that gave me life.

There is so much more I want to tell you about these items and what they mean to me, I'll keep it to one, or you would get bored and stop reading. Since I also inherited my Mom's wedding  dress with the train to die for, when it came time for my own wedding to Jay, the love of my life ~ I made my dress from the Chantilly Lace of Mom's dress.   I will confess here, don't tell anyone~ from the day I found where Mom kept her dress, I used to put it on every now  and then and dream of how she felt wearing it and marrying my dad that day.   Okay, I actually continued this periodically as an adult up until the day I deconstructed it to make my own treasured wedding dress.

As you are planning a Wedding or a great event in your life, think about the lasting memories you will be able to create through photos!  Think also about the technology of the day.  While I love the view master with my Mom and Dad's Wedding pictures.  It stopped working years ago and I have yet to find a replacement or someone who will repair it.  My heart breaks that I haven't been able to show those works of art our family history to my kids!  Think about the fact that while digital images are great, in 50 years will you still be able to enjoy them?   Probably not if you haven't printed them out.  Take the photo's you love that capture the great moments in your life, invest the money to make high quality prints for future generations of your family to love and know they are apart of something great ~     Go out there now and make some beautiful memories.


                                                                                             Hugs!    ~J   ~   (Jimmy & Rosalie's Daughter)


(Janet Cruz Photography) https://www.janetcruzphotography.com/blog/2016/5/wedding-photography Sat, 07 May 2016 17:19:00 GMT