Here's the thing: pregnancy and I didn't like each other. I was depressed and tired and sore, and so, so over it by the time baby came. I had migraines and couldn't sleep and was overwhelmed. And I most certainly didn't take time to celebrate the changes my body was going through.
I mean, sure; I was mesmerized by the fact that a person the size of a pea was growing into an avocado and then a mango and then a cantaloupe (you know what I mean, ladies) and then was going to come out of my vagina. I was in awe knowing that the reason I was so sick was because my body was redirecting my favorite nutrients to the more important human being at the time (not me, in case you didn't catch that). I loved that friends and family would touch that growing belly with reverence. And I adored that my baby daddy would stare at me with wonder at the magic happening to his wife and growing family.
But I would look in the mirror and think "that's me?!?"
Now I get to do something I didn't know I needed until recently - to document beautiful, glowing, sacrificial Mommas. I get to celebrate with them and for them. I get to remind them that yes, this is about you too and you are worth it.
Girlfriends, a hard working body is a sexy body, and we're bringing sexy back.
If I could plan my dream photoshoot, I would take all the children for the afternoon. I would have them write a play, give them costumes, and photograph them acting it out on a fall afternoon, deep in the woods. And I would hire these two creatives as my assistants.
This family. They really are just the best.
My favorite time of year is when soon-to-be grads come looking for Senior portraits. I love figuring out who they are and then capturing those expressions that are natural & true to them. Sass, flair, intention, calm, bold, fun, whimsy, genius... It's all something we can together show the world. This one is Sassy, Playful, Confident, and a Beauty on all levels.
This family has me take their photos every 6 months or so. It's been such an incredibly rewarding "project" to watch this family grow through pictures. This latest shoot was about an hour (what I call a mini-shoot). It was catch-up convo, baby cuteness, and "a wrap" the second this babe was done. Easy, affordable, and a precious gift to the whole fam.
What a precious, sweet time with this family. I have two boys of my own, so I felt privileged to be a part of every intimate moment between mom & her sons.
I get downright GIDDY when I have a chance to photograph adventurous and chill families. These two were willing to put their kids down and then completely ignore them for a few minutes while making out on a blanket. I won't show you all the photos because, dang, these two are too hot, but you get the idea. Magic with this pretty couple.
At just a few days old, this precious lady is perfect in every way. I had the privilege of photographing her older brother when he was just an infant, and little sister proved to be cut of the same beautiful cloth. I have a hard time not wearing these little babes out... There's always more photos I want to take, and more snuggles I want to sneak in. Ugh. If you're pregnant, call me. Now.
Another graduate is heading your way, World. And you better be ready for this one. She's got beauty. She embodies powerful. And she's gonna serve you up some real kick-ass revolution. They may be the "selfie generation", but the next graduates see the people of our world in a whole new way; the future is going to be goooood!
Every time I'm with the spirited young, I am re-introduced to another piece of myself that might have gotten lost over the years of "growing up".
In a way, we've all been domesticated over the course of our youth (I prefer to picture myself as a tiger, sitting at a dinner table with her legs crossed, using utensils and sipping Port out of a proper glass, all the while thinking about her next hunt.). So, when I have a chance to photograph an untamed child for a few hours, I kind of feel like I've just sailed to an island Where the Wild Things Are, and I want to holler "Let the Wild Rumpus Start!" Kid-time = Unabashed-Rumpus-time. So, let's check out my most recent Rumpus with a sweet boy who likes to live fierce & free in a house that oozes creativity.
I love photographing events. When other attendees are in & out, distracted by the normal details of life, I am forced to stay engaged through each and every special moment. I get to experience the fullness of the day. This fund raiser for a very special little boy was by far one of my favorites. Good people came together to plan & execute a BIG party celebrating West, and they set the stage for an insane amount of fun & excitement. But, above that, I was moved by the positive energy that each kid contributed to the day. They offered support, encouragement, engagement, and good ol' fashioned innocent fun.
This boy is a strong, well-loved little man... Go, West, Go!
The last couple years have provided many different types of models on the other side of my camera. I love them all, but my favorites are youth. They aren't as easy as some because they are so unsure of who they are (well, they may be "sure" they know themselves, but us 30&up know they are at the trailhead of that hike!). I adore the challenge of drawing out their true-ness. I can only graze the surface in two hours, but usually by the end of the session there is magic and confidence beginning to show.
Well, and then there's Marta. The first time I looked through my lens, I was giddy. Girl can work. And it's not just her gorgeous cheekbones or that piercing stare. There's something about her eagerness, her boldness, her excitement for life. She's still at the trailhead, but I have a feeling she'll reach the highest peak before most of her peers.
Two adults + 2 kids + twin babes = a 20 minute photo shoot. We were in, we were out, and it was awesome.
Okay, okay, I'm not parenting them full-time, but from a photographer's standpoint, there's a lot of cuteness in these 4 kids to make up for the craziness that ensues 24/7. I mean, those faces! And FOUR of them! As their father would say, "heart explosion". xoxoxoxo
For those of you who are considering a family photo shoot, and are looking for tips to prepare (I get asked a lot), my #1 tip is simple: Relax.
I love photographing kids because they aren't trying to please anyone. They aren't worried about other's feelings, or stains on their shirts, or whether they're making a good impression. They just are who they are. And that's the magic I want to capture; while they are still the truest self they can be (for the moment).
Parents, on the other hand, bring their anxiety, their pre-conceptions, their insecurities. I know you just had a stressful day, you're worried about that pimple on your chin, and you are nervous that these photos might add 10 more pounds (on top of the 20 you gained last year). And I know you are worried that your kids touched my camera, that they are pushing each other, and your youngest is crying over a dead bug she just found. I can see the stress through my lens, and I'll probably delete the first 1/3 of my clicks before I start editing tomorrow.
I assure you that it's all life, it's all normal, and it's actually quite beautiful. I love every bit of it. And I'll wait patiently & joyfully while you let the day fade away behind you... and relax. Because when you look back at these photos, you'll definitely remember that fight you had with your partner right before the shoot, but you'll also be reminded that you ended the day in love, that you are committed to each other even with all those ugly faults, and you have promised to look at these photos with joy for years to come.
I love the honesty of babes. They aren't embarrassed by their naked butts, they aren't going to be polite when they're hungry, and they certainly don't understand why their gas makes us giggle.
These sister cousins are only a few months apart, and destined to be besties. Just a short session in my backyard with a few of my favorite people. xoxo
I secretly (not so secretly) want this family to schedule family photos at least 4 times a year. They are the exact people I want as clients (or just bff's pleeease)… laid-back, caring, generous, and true Northwest earthy types. (Dad even makes his own sustainable wet-wipes. Yep.)
It's a privilege to be included in any family's routine; to see how they calm their little, how they relate to each other in the first few weeks of caring for a new life, even to see how they change a diaper or make a meal. I get a glimpse into it all. Of course Sara is a natural; at-ease, kind, flexible. As you'll see, Tom is also a doting father, with hands always near Griffin, ready for a diaper change or a swaddle, a soothing "shhhhhh", or just daddy-satisfying cuddles. And ohhh, this baby...
November was full of picture-taking. Engagement, maternity, christmas cards, and for no reason at all. We battled weather, tired kids, and failing cameras. And we made new friends, captured memories, and I. Loved. Every. Moment. Can't wait for the next round-up in 2015.
What can give this San Diegan life during these grey Seattle months? It's as simple Littles. Oh, how I loved being with this family, photographing in low-light, and loving on this little babe!
The best part about this job is getting to spend a couple hours with incredible friends, new and old. Laughing away the evening with these two other San-Diegans-at-heart was a privilege. Looking forward to another session with them next month.