Photoshoot: Me

My older sister put the idea in my head, “Monica, you should do a photoshoot of yourself before you get old.”

In the house of every old woman is a photo of her when she was young. Her beauty displays the time she lived in and the person she once was. I wanted a photo of myself for this very reason. I want my children and grandchildren to know who I am. I want them to look at my picture and wonder about the young woman I once was.

The hard part was figuring out what style I wanted to do. I enjoy things that are vintage but felt it wouldn’t display who I am now.

I then saw the perfect dress with a pattern that reminded me of my culture. I then remembered Joshua Tree. How beauty and peace it was. It was all coming together. The theme would be, “nature, spirit, and earth.”

The interesting thing was that this photoshoot comforted me with the questions, “How much do you value yourself Monica?” From the choice of lens, to getting my make up done by Dez, to the awesome location of Joshua Tree. I even felt embarrassed to ask my photographer friends for help. I finally asked Michael who I have known for years. I told him how I felt vain, he then answered, “Its not vain, its art.”

Though I kept directing Michael and even called him my human tripod, he ended up taking some of my favorite photos when I let him do his thing.

Thank you to the two Ayala brothers that helped me. The conversation during the long drive was delightful.

Some extras we took cause we’re having so much fun:

Everyone should have a photo shoot of them selves.

Not sure which photo of these I will display in my house when I’m 60 years old until then I will enjoy my youth.

Monica Briano, video editor. photographer. dreamer

Short Film: The Prodigal Father

Reality is, the past few generations have grown up with out a father. My mother’s father was a drunk and his father disowned him. My dad on the other hand, has been there from the moment I came into earth.  Most of my childhood photos he is holding me in this arms. My dad has been there for me through every season of my life. His wisdom has put me on the path I am on today. He leads me. Yes, I am talking about my earthy father.

This is how I can comprehend God’s love for me. I know the Father’s love because my earthy father loves me. I know my value cause my dad values me greatly. My dad would die for me, and that is how I know my Heavenly Father did. Having a dad love and honor God, is the reason I have lived doing the same. My dad forever changed generations by dedicating his life to God back in 1982.

Even though most people don’t have their dad around, they can still learn the characteristic of what a father should be by embracing the one and only Abba Father. All of this to bring me to the short film I created for Father’s Day.

I was inspired by my cousins father who was in prison most of their life. When their dad finally got out, he gave his life to God and began to spend time with his now adult children. Since then they’ve grown this beautiful bond with each other.  I’ve witnessed how God has restored their relationship. We can forgive the unthinkable cause He has forgiven us.

“Happy Father’s Day”, rather you have an earthly father or not.

One thing I did realize when creating this, I want to make films that bring healing and hope to people. I know, I’m crazy. 🙂

Happy Birthday Mom

My mom has always been mom. Even though I am 27 she still  looks for new ways to still take care of me. This morning, we met in the kitchen and I told her happy birthday. She said how she didn’t tell anyone at work that it was her birthday. I responded, “I do that too, I don’t like to broadcast it.” She laughed and said, “You’re turning in to me.” I smiled…it wouldn’t be so horrible to turn in to my mother.

My mom is great, she is the most loving and caring person but yet very bold and will tell you the truth if you ask for it. She goes out of her way to help people. I usually ask, “Why are you doing that for them, it’s not your problem.” She usually answers, “What if it was you or me, we would want help.”

In the recent years my mom and I have gotten along well. When I was a teenagers we had some rough time. I was a horrible listener and would disrespect her. I guess then I saw her as someone who didn’t know what I was going through. Thank goodness God has grace on us when we are teenagers. Now that I am older I see she knows what I am facing.  Most of all she cares deeply for my heart. She still looks out for it.

My mother and I (1983)

Today I can call my mom friend and I can spend the day with her without fighting. She reminds me that being successful isn’t having lots of money but having a family that loves God.

I asked her how old she is and she refused to tell me. I did the math and was happy to find out that when I’m her age, I’ll still look great.

Happy Birthday Mom, you are the funniest person I know.