There is nothing in this world more peaceful and profound than to be in the presence of a newborn baby. When time seems to stand still, if only for a moment, as the human eye and heart take in the blessing before it. Because as a mama to three, I know full well that new life is nothing short of a blessing. Where old and new, seasoned and fresh, big and itty bitty, ordinary and extraordinary intersect. When a newborn visits my studio, everything that was once on my mind before his/her arrival is washed away. And the one-week old, nine pound bundle featured below was no exception.
Happy New Year! I am beyond grateful for the individuals and couples and parents and families that entrusted me to capture them during 2015. Truly. I realize there are many "life documenters" out there and to be chosen, well, it's humbling. I hope to put together a year-in-review blog post, capturing some of my recent sessions that just haven't made it to the blog. In the meantime, I do plan on doing some Valentine mini sessions, in studio. I should have more details rolling out soon.
It doesn't get much better than a lifestyle session in the Pacific Northwest. Where winter is on the horizon, but fall has not yet performed it's final show. Where Christmas trees are one way, vibrantly colored leaves are another, and flocks of birds can be heard overhead. Where the ground is still damp from overnight rain, and the chill in the air is perfect for layers and snuggles. If the best part of my photography business is capturing the connection between families, the second best is capturing this connection in front of the most brilliant backdrop: nature.
October has arrived. The sun is still shining, but there is a chill in the air, especially in the mornings and evenings. The leaves are starting to turn. The pumpkin patches are open. The trees in the apple orchards are loaded. The aisles of Target are filled with all things Halloween related (actually, Thanksgiving and Christmas already, too). An abundance of products available in "pumpkin spice" and "apple spice", from candles to yogurt, line the store shelves. And families are thinking ahead to holiday cards or updated pictures for their homes. It's definitely not too late for either. Whether you choose me or someone else to document a day in your life in this season, you won't regret it. Because, as hard as it may be to believe in the the current hustle & bustle, the moments of today will be the "remember whens" of tomorrow. Happy Fall!
This is my favorite time of year for sessions, with all the brilliant colors that Oregon has to offer. So, if you are considering a session for holiday cards, NOW is the time! I have a few openings remaining for the season.
I have one more opening for a mini session on the evening of Saturday, August 8th!
While I have been listening to the voice of my clients and offering more mini sessions, I'm always thrilled when I have a full session. I feel like I get to better know my subjects and in turn, capture more authentic, genuine, and relaxed expressions and interactions. This darling blond haired, blue-eyed, four-year-old girl's mommy got in touch with me quite a while back. After speaking and communicating several times, I felt we already knew each other when we first met at the start of the session. She wanted to include something in the session that reflected this current stage in life. I have to admit, when I think about having pictures taken of my own children, rarely do I stop to think about what they would prefer to wear or what they would prefer to be photographed with. Well, she selected the dress for her daughter to wear, and in turn, let her daughter choose an outfit. Skinny jeans, a Peanuts top, and bare feet were the winners. She also brought their dog, who turned out to be a great sport. And she ensured her daughter had a two-hour nap before the session, and mentioned treating her to Salt & Straw right after. The weather, lighting, flow, cooperation, and fun had at this session could not have been better, in my opinion. Once again, I am speechlessly honored I was chosen to document these moments.
What a trio of troopers these two little men and little lady were! They led the way and I followed, documenting both what I saw through the lens and what they were seeing through their eyes. We covered everything from bugs to a bear hunt. I have a few openings left in July for mini sessions, for the following locations/dates: Portland, July 12th
Salem, July 18th
Audrey Hepburn once said that "happy girls are the prettiest." Well, they are. Whether it's a joy-filled toddler, an upbeat tween, or a positive parent, they are the ones I find myself drawn to. And they are the ones I most enjoy photographing. Because genuine joy cannot be masked, nor can it be contained. It flows out and through. Joy in the good times is easy. It's finding joy in the trials of life that takes practice. I've always marveled at the way some of my friends shop. They can walk into a consignment store and somehow manage to walk out with statement items. I can walk into the same store with the same inventory and the same opportunity to walk out with those items, yet I fail to find them or see their potential in the midst of the less favorable ones. Hardships are like the used and dingy items while I like to think of joy as the unworn, like-new items. As I am learning how to be a better second hand shopper, I am also learning to be a better joy seeker. Because Audrey was exactly right: there is beauty in joy.
I am now booking for a limited number of summer and fall sessions! And can I just say how dear the families represented in the images below are to me? Well, they are. Two beautiful Mama's who just so happen to be sisters, raising their little ones together. After watching their interactions, their joy, their laughter, and their closeness, I felt I got an authentic taste of what it would be like to have a sister. But since in reality I don't, the next best thing is to document those who do. If there's one thing I know for certain, it's that these kiddos are going to grow up knowing the true meaning of love...of family...and of belonging.
My first mini sessions of the year will be this coming Sunday. All images will be edited and delivered (on CD) in time for Father's Day. Space is limited.
Valentine's Day. One week ago, already. I had several inquiries about Valentine mini-sessions and while I didn't offer any this year, I will be offering other mini-sessions later in the year. Stay tuned!
"A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words." -Ansel Adams It wasn't until my freshman year of college that I realized how blessed I was to have a family. Not just any family, but one that I was close with (though hundreds of miles separated us). One that I loved to visit and talk and laugh and cry with. One that poured into me the love and support and encouragement and hope that has carried me through the peaks and valleys I've experienced on this life journey. And one that gave me both my roots and my wings. As I photographed this family of four, the same realization I made all those years ago came flooding back. I saw in them the very things I just described. Closeness. Togetherness. Love. Laughter. Roots. Wings. And while there may be a day when their baby birds fly off to colleges in faraway places, one thing I know is for sure. They will realize what they have (if at that point they haven't already) and will always fly home to their nest.
I hold a special place in my heart for brothers. Perhaps it's because I have two boys of my own who I am raising to be just that...brothers. Or perhaps it's because it's such a refreshing change from all things girly and pink and dainty and delicate. And the thing with boys is that if you put them in an environment they are comfortable in...you will get to see their many sides. Playful. Adventurous. Brave. Athletic. Daring. Charming. Loud. Messy. These two were no exception. And what I've found with boys is that in most cases, underneath all these layers is a tender, love-filled heart that just wants to be noticed, appreciated, and loved. I'm grateful I was chosen to document the connection these charmingly adventurous brothers share.
All across social media, from Facebook to Instagram to Pinterest, I see images and quotes and reminders to live in the moment. To be all there. To allow the past and the future to fade, and the present to become the focus. To slow down. To notice that split second between the inhale and the exhale. To let the moments guide us instead of us guiding them. To realize that life is not about the things one accumulates, but rather, the moments one can tally. Moments today, memories tomorrow. This is something I am challenged by, daily. And of all the images and quotes and reminders I've seen, nothing quite compares to the power of seeing a family live this out. Not just live it out, but live it out well. Right in front of my eyes and camera. Photographer's can edit so many different aspects of an image, from the scenery to flyaway hairs. Objects can be added to an image that weren't really there, just in the same manner objects can be removed. But not even the greatest photographer can add a connection that didn't exist. The connection that comes with living in the present and being all there. As I edited the images from this beautiful family's session, I realized they have the very thing that so many of us are searching for: the authentic connection and immeasurable joy that are byproducts of living in the moment.
When I began preparing for this family session, I knew the wide open outdoors were going to be perfect for capturing them in their element. Warming up for the camera doesn't always happen naturally or quickly; however, I have yet to photograph two brothers who weren't able to warm up in the great outdoors. Surrounded by rocks and sticks and trees and D I R T...they explored, I documented. They played, I documented. They hugged, I documented. They smiled, I documented. And just when I was warming up (because photographers, too, need a moment to warm up and get in sync with the subjects they are photographing), I did the unthinkable. I asked the boys if they wanted to play ring-a-round-the-rosie. Their dad looked at me, jaw on the ground, and replied, "Uh, you didn't just say that." So, I walked away from this session learning something new. Because we're all learning, right? That incident aside, this family was wonderful to watch and interact with and document. And it wasn't until I was editing the final images that I saw a little story unfold before my eyes. A story that began long before I entered the picture with my camera. A story that started with a couple who fell in love and created two little lads who just so happened to be in front of my camera on this very evening. And as with every session, it is my goal for this family to one day be able to look back at these images and see and feel and hear a little piece of their story.
Late in 2014 I headed North to Seattle for some traveling sessions. It rained the majority of our stay, but thankfully the clouds parted and the rain stopped at just the right times. My cousin, her husband, and their two precious children ventured out to a neighborhood park and I snapped away. My favorite images out of any session are typically the ones that portray the connections that are so unique to each family, whether they are between a husband and wife, brother and sister, or a parent and child. The moments that are natural, unscripted, and comfortable. This session had plenty of these moments...and on a side note, doesn't baby girl look like a little woodland fairy?
If there is an age where a little person steals my heart (with hardly any effort), it's between 6-12 months. It's what I have deemed the "sweet spot." It's when they are just learning to sit up (or walk) and trying to figure out their little view of this great big thing called the world. It's when their facial expressions, unique chirping or babble sounds, eating habits, and belly laughs provide for endless hours of entertainment. It's when their messy kisses and sticky fingers and curled toes serve as reminders of the sweet stage they are in. So when my cousin expressed an interest in having me capture her darling seven month old during a visit to Oregon, I was probably more excited than she was. And if there is ever a scientific study on the correlation between personality and hair, I'd say there most certainly is a very strong one after spending time with this little fella.
I've had the privilege of capturing snippets of time for this family for over half a decade, since their firstborn was a bitty baby. And this Mama just happens to be a dear friend who I first met over two decades ago. From our senior road trip in high school to prom group to bridesmaid in my wedding, she has been instrumental in my life. With each photo session I have with them, I feel like I walk away with my heart a bit more full. This family is as comical as they are beautiful, as these images will attest to.
There is something so magical about the raw connection between a mother and her babies. The kind of connection that can calm fears and dry tears. The kind of connection that can promote giggles and cure the wiggles. The kind of connection that can create art and mend a heart. The kind of connection that can read thoughts and entertain tots. For those on the outside looking in, this mother is something. For the three little girls she has created, this mother is everything. And they are everything to her.