Their bond is my greatest joy in life. I haven't been great about capturing them together lately so when they decided it was time for a makeup/pajama party in my room, I couldn't pass up the chance to grab some pictures. I hope they'll always stay best friends...
I've been waiting to do a shoot like this for probably over two years-- an intimate, unposed, unfiltered look at an average day in the life of a family. I've studied a lot of this kind of work, and have have felt for a long time that it was where my heart was leading me. So I beyond was thrilled when Amber, a friend from my college days agreed to let me come and spend a mellow morning with her beautiful family.
Baby Matilda Marigold was just two weeks new and kept her mama very busy :) Big sister Elora never wandered far from her side. It was so touching to be let in on these little moments.
I love seeing dads that are so involved and tender with their little ones. :) Matilda was such a sleepy girl that morning, and so content to sleep in her mom or dad's arms--- just don't try to set her down, she's much too smart for that! ;)
Elora was ALL. About. The books! And played with her toes as her mama read---I am a helpless sucker for toddler fingers and toes, they just melt me!
Elora started blowing raspberries at her mama as she ate her breakfast, and just absolutely cracking herself up (and us in the process!) SO CUTE.
Two words: Proud. Papa.
We decided to step out for some fresh air and sunshine. I loved watching Elora, she walked with such big, confident steps-- pretty obvious she's going to be one of the fearless ones!
Amber and Avi got a rare moment to relax; this was one of the only shots I got of just the two of them, but I figure--- that's real life with a two-year-old and a two-week-old! These two have a great connection and clearly make each other laugh. :)
Elora loved playing with their big kitty, Mowgli, and he seemed to really enjoy that too!
Oh, that sweet sister love. Having three girls myself, I know how amazing it is, and I love watching it bloom!
Having not seen Amber in almost 10 years, it was wonderful to get to know her in a totally new way-- mother to mother. And let me tell you, she is a natural! She was so calm and I could tell she was just soaking up every moment with her little ones.
At the very end of our time, Miss Matilda decided to grace us with her beautiful eyes <3 So nice to get my baby fix! :D
Squishy cheeks and the most perfect little lips and nose--- could anything be sweeter?
I want to thank this family for letting me into their lives and sharing these everyday moments with me-- and letting me share them with you! It was such a learning experience and I know even more deeply now that this is the kind of work I want to do much, much more of :)
We have the good fortune to have family with a killer view of Olympia and got to spend our 4th of July festivities with them on their rooftop balcony :D It was TOO. FUN. Our dog even got to come and made two new buddies, thankfully none of them were spooked in the least by all the fireworks.
I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting a fellow photographer and member of my long-time 'togs group on Tuesday. She and her family were just a joy to be around; Elijah told me jokes and helped out with his little sister, Macie twirled and ran and climbed like a little woodland fairy, and precious little Coralee stole my heart when she asked me to pick her up. They were all such troopers despite muggy heat and no shortage of mosquitos. :P I had a great time and I hope it won't be the last time we get together to play outside! Jamie, you are one wonderful mama and so beautiful and FUN. I hope these images scratch the surface of the beautiful story that is your family <3
I recently had the distinct privilege of meeting two amazing human beings named Kennedy and Katie.
We spent less than 24 hours together, but in that time I learned that neither of these girls backs down from a real conversation. They're not afraid to talk about the big stuff.
They are wise WAY beyond their years, yet innocent in the sense of pure and GOOD hearts. Not jaded. Not cynical. Hopeful. Caring. Genuine.
Their obvious love and respect for each other was a joy to be around. They have such an easy way of being together, and both of them made me feel like an old friend in the first hour.
Listening to them talk about each other was the highlight of their visit for me. They both speak so highly of each other.
It's been refreshing to see such a positive example of a relationship done right. I hope I was able to capture a little bit of that here, because it sure is a beautiful thing. Thanks K&K for sharing the day with me! You rule.
PS---Kennedy is an amazing photographer in her own right! Check out her work here: https://www.facebook.com/KennedyCrissingerPhotography/
Went camping this weekend with some family; I was really looking forward to the photo opportunities but unfortunately the 25 mph gusts of icy cold wind were pretty much constant, which meant cold hands and limited patience on my part. We went whale watching the second day, and while we didn't see any whales, Friday Harbor was beautiful and we had a nice sunny boat ride anyway. All in all, a very *memorable* weekend, with some very beautiful moments, as evidenced below :)
I haven't known Cherae very well for very long, but let me tell you-- not only is this girl gorgeous beyond reason.....she's also brilliant. Not just smart but WISE, way beyond her years. Working with her yesterday was as fun as it looks, and then some :) It felt amazing to stretch my legs, and use my long-dormant photography muscles, on such a beautiful day, capturing this beautiful woman. Hope she loves these as much as I do!
Yesterday morning I was up before the sun, getting ready for a bright and early shoot at 8 am with my lovely model, Briahnna. She came with her best friend Nellie, a local photographer that I had met through a shared Facebook group. Not only was Briahnna a unique beauty, we also had some pretty spectacular light all morning, which made the groggy eyes worthwhile! We had a lot of fun exploring and breathing the fresh (albeit cold) air. And it felt so wonderful to exercise my photography muscles with a new muse! Hope you guys enjoy this, let me know what you think in the comments! :)
Yesterday I had the unique privilege of being granted access to a studio recording session at SoundHouse Studios in Seattle. The band was Morning Glory Revival, and they were wrapping up 5 days worth of work on their new self-titled album (coming soon! :))
My brother Bryan had asked our cousin, Woody Frank (one of the band's two songwriter/vocalist/guitarists) if we could come shoot some stills, as well as some video footage, so we could attempt to put together a short documentary-style film for an upcoming film festival. I had *never* shot video on my DSLR before, but I dove in and played and had WAY too much fun!
I actually ended up shooting so much video that I didn't get nearly as many stills as I otherwise might have, especially of the band members. (Oops!!!) But I hope to be able to share the finished short film when my brother finishes editing it together, so keep an eye out! Consider this a teaser. :)
Spending time watching these talented musicians put their album together was unforgettable! Their sound is an eclectic mix that draws from many different influences. Rock is definitely one of the key players, but honestly it doesn't really fit neatly into any particular genre I could think of. The tone varies throughout and can be playful, gritty, thoughtful, energetic, or psychedelic, just to name a few. All I knew was that I wanted to get my hands on the finished album, put it on (loud) and lay down on my living room rug for an hour listening to those electric guitar riffs!
If I learned anything from this experience (and I did-- a lot!!!) it's that putting together an album of music takes enormous passion and dedication. We met these guys at 2 PM and I started passing out on the studio couch at around 11 pm --- they didn't wrap for the night til 1 AM. And that was DAY 5 for them!!! Boys, you have my admiration!
I can't wait to get my copy of their brand-new album soon and I hope if you ever come to Seattle, you'll check these guys out (follow their Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all their shows!)
Big thanks to all the members of Morning Glory (and Jack!) for putting up with me all day and letting me get a glimpse of their world!
Of our three girls, Arya is the only one who hasn't been in a ballet class yet. She was too young for their ballet school in Montana and we haven't yet enrolled any of them here in Washington (that will happen very soon though, for all three of them!) And yet, of the three, she is the one who loves to dance the most intensely, more than anything in the world, really. Perhaps it's a product of watching her sisters in class and at their recitals... but more and more it just seems like she was born to dance!
Her dad bought her a leotard, tights, and ballet slippers for Christmas and that is *literally* all she wants to wear now. Today I let her run wild with it and tried to capture a little bit of that beautiful energy.
I just can't wait to see what she'll do when she starts classes.... she's only 2 1/2 and she's already so passionately excited about dancing! She loves to perform for us, and yet....she also seems to be in her own little world when she's performing, like she's totally absorbed in the movement and seeing what her body can do.
Go figure, my favorite image of the day is almost completely out of focus, but the line of her body and the sheer grace of it brings me to tears. So glad I caught this one.
Right around this point, the older girls wanted to get in on things, so they ran and got dance gear on set the stage for their little ballerina sister to make a grand entrance :)
6 little feet on tippy toes... and a teddy bear.
Some more fun dancing ensued, but I'm sad to say the chaos factor of all three of them in such a small space kind of defeated my attempts to make pictures that made sense, so I decided just to sit back and watch, and laugh, and love them instead.
I feel like most of the time when I am taking pictures of our girls, I don't want to mess with them TOO much, so I don't have them pose for the most part. But today in the interests of getting some pictures of their FACES (instead of just the backs of their heads) I went with them and my brother to a local wildlife refuge and did some (slightly) more formal portraits of them.
At this point they all decided they had had quite enough of the cold on their noses and hands and were ready to go back to the car. Luckily the sun was out and I managed to steal a few more that I loved on the way :)
My brother Bryan was an invaluable help, especially when little Miss Arya was tired and DONE walking for the afternoon :)
Such a fun day out and I'm happy to have a record of my girls' growth! :) Hope you guys enjoyed these too!
I've wondered for a long time whether a macro lens was something I could really justify buying, as a portrait photographer. But being here in Washington has inspired me--so much moss, so much variety of plant life....I couldn't resist. So I got myself an early Christmas present-- the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro. And I gotta say, the very VERY little time I've gotten to play with it in between rains, it has made me giddy with delight.
I guess it's no surprise, probably, but the majority of my macro stuff doesn't really look like the stuff I usually see done with it. Way less scientific.....I'm really interested in the abstraction possibilities, and above all, I am utterly obsessed.....WITH COLOR.
I found this little clear marble in the yard, and loved shooting it so much, I plan to keep playing with it for a little series!
We went and visited with some family here in Olympia at their new home, and were treated to a truly spectacular view of the city, Mt. Rainier, and the moon.
Tonight my little night owl was once again trying to sneak into my makeup at bedtime when she was supposed to be brushing her teeth. Ahem. Any other night I would have said something grumpy and dragged her away from it. But tonight I looked at her and I couldn't, didn't want to say no. I scooped her up and sat her down on the bed and proceeded to put her hair up and put makeup on her. She sat very still for me (pretty amazing for a 2-year-old) smiled and chattered away at me in her little sing-song voice, and just generally enjoyed the hell out of the experience. (So did I.)
Then she wanted to look in the mirror. I watched her engage with her reflection, smiling coyly and giggling. I realized just how great the light was, and (after setting her down on the floor) I ran to get my camera.
"Look Mom, it's meeeee!"
It was so magical for me, watching her. She was pure joy, pure enjoyment. She doesn't look in the mirror and see flaws, as I so often do. The idea of "me" is so new to her, she's still in awe of it. Self-awareness without self-consciousness. When she says, "I'm Arya!" it's with an excitement that carries with it the suggestion of, "Isn't that GREAT!?" It's not pride or arrogance, just..... joy. As if she truly cannot imagine what could be better than just being Arya.
There was also an element of the surreal inherent in watching her interact, face to face, with herself. The experience was so obviously an intense and very REAL one for her. And one that she delighted in.
This was an accident, actually, but I am trying to allow myself into my work a little more, so.... baby steps, right? I like all the layers in it... she's looking at me, but through the lens. I'm looking at the reflection of her in the mirror, through the lens. Her reflection is looking at mine. And round and round ;)
I can't really say much about this one except that when I opened it up on my computer, I instantly burst into tears.
I feel like I'm waking up more every day. Sometimes that heightened sensitivity is so raw that it really hurts, but somehow when I start shooting, it's like the whole world falls quiet and time stands still for me. I think maybe.....it's because I can't doubt where I am in my life, or what I'm doing, or worry about the future, when I'm standing there and the light is just so and the beauty of it fills me up....I'm so happy to be there, right then. It's perfect, it's everything I want. I can't doubt anything, because... look at this perfect moment happening in front of me! And what a gift, this thing we call a photograph--- to be able to hold onto that feeling, or even let someone else feel it..... all by freezing it at the right moment, and showing how the light was just so.
Took a quick walk to the nearby state park with my family this afternoon, our first day without rain in weeks so we didn't want to miss the opportunity. Arya didn't want to get out of her stroller and the girls complained about the cold pretty early on so we didn't stay long, but we all enjoyed getting some fresh air and seeing all the awesome leaves---they grow BIG here in Washington!
The beach was absolutely blanketed in seaweed this time, probably two inches thick and it went all the way from the water to the edge of the trees on shore. Kinda smelly but pretty nonetheless! (The girls were not impressed, they wanted to play in the sand!)
Zoe was cold on the way home so I let her wear my coat and hat for the rest of the walk home. She was swimming in them of course, but that was kinda adorable.
I've known Stephanie for about 5 years now and we (and our kids) are great friends. She's also a photographer, and we've done a few shoots together, but I've never gotten to put her in front of my camera for a creative project before. I was inspired to shoot something that would be both melancholy and sensual, so I put together a mood board to refine the concept and yesterday we got our chance. Thunderstorms had just cleared, so the sky was perfectly brooding and dramatic. Stephanie did a fantastic job as my model and I love the way they turned out!
Had a fabulous Halloween with our longtime friends and my brother in our new town of Olympia, WA. These pictures span over about 3 days and include pumpkin patch + corn maze, pumpkin carving, and dressing up, of course. If you just want to see the girls in costume, those pictures are at the bottom :P
Hope you guys enjoyed these, and had a happy Halloween!
Darling.....remember when you fell asleep in that overstuffed chair, sitting straight up? You were so very tired. It had been a rainy day, most of which you spent terrorizing your sisters and pulling things out of boxes, drawers, and purses. You and I had had many contests over who was going to run the house today, and I hate to admit it, but I think you won the lion's share of them. You are living up to your name every day, such a fierce little warrior you are!
I saw you there and smiled, taking in your rumpled exhaustion; your hair was damp and curly, the mane of your little stuffed lion lay nestled in your palm. I walked quietly to get my camera, and then sat down on the floor next to that big overstuffed chair.
I marveled at the serenity in your face, every muscle relaxed, your eyelashes fanned out on your cheek. I listened to your soft, steady breathing. I trailed my fingers through your hair, tracing the curls, spelling out a love letter that had no words.
Being careful not to wake you, I took your hands gently in mine. I felt your skin, soft like silk, fresh as a flower that just bloomed yesterday.
I brushed my fingers lightly over the soles of your feet, remembering with a smile that first day that I met you, our midwife showing us how pressure in one spot would make your toes spread wide apart, and in another would bring them curling in to grasp her fingers. I had found it somehow miraculous and laughed out loud with delight.
I counted each of your perfect toes as I had that first day, and I thanked every power I could think of, every person in my life that led me to this moment, to you, asleep in the lamplight. I know you won't remember. But I will never forget.