In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony. ~ Nietzche
There are four things I want to share with you from this session. One: After Meg booked her photo session, she told me that her family's favorite thing to do on the weekend was FIB (Family In Bed), so naturally that is where we started. Not dressed up fancy sitting on top of a made bed, but as they normally are on the weekend, all cozy in jammies, reading and snuggling under the blankets. And jumping on the bed, of course.
Two: She also shared that their eldest son was obsessed with all things Super, and as a result the family had acquired matching super hero capes, thanks to a very crafty grandmother. So yep, those were going to have to be included too!
Three: Meg told me that she picked up my card at a Portland toy store, while visiting from San Francisco THREE YEARS AGO, and hadn't forgotten about me after they finally moved here. I mean, I don't even know what to say about that except, WOW. Thank you, Meg.
The last thing I want to share about this session is Meg herself, because I've re-read it at least ten times and I smile each time I do: Thank you for so miraculously and perfectly capturing the spirit of our family. These photos are a perfect reminder that we are just fine, and absolutely perfect thank you very much, exactly the way we are. I love that you captured that, not anything about who we are trying to be. For me, and for our kids, these will serve as a wonderful reminder to be just exactly who we each are. My friend has a hysterical amazing boyfriend who is always telling her "you do you, girl, you do you." Thanks for capturing the spirit of us doing us. - Meg, also know as "Super Mom!"
Oh one more thing! Nordstrom asked me recently what I thought the best Mother's Day gift for any super mom, and I'll bet you can guess what I said...
There was this one time I hosted a workshop right here in Portland, and thought maybe, just maybe, nobody would sign up. And then eight wonderful women did; I crossed all my fingers and toes that I wouldn't stumble and fumble and mumble, and all around eff it up. And then the workshop day came and it wasn't just not horrible, it was wonderful, and easygoing, natural, and best of all, FUN. Well, for me anyway (hopefully those lovely ladies who attended would agree). This sweet family was nice enough to let all of us enter their home and pretend that's normal for a family session. Honestly my only complaint about them was that they were too easy on me! They barely made me work, which was precisely what I was supposed to be showing to the workshop attendees. But I can't really complain about a loving, fun, and relaxed family session, now can I? See for yourself just how darling they are...
I did feel the need to take a tiny breather mid-session, just to regroup and make sure I was doing everything I should; I snuck off to the bathroom only to be greeted by this pennant. YOU GOT THIS. I chose to believe that little green triangle.
PS- I don't have any upcoming workshops scheduled at this point, but I am about to teach another round of Driving Your Business for The Define School. Registration is open now, and classes begin May 6th. If you'd like to hear what previous students of that class have to say, you can read reviews on this cool new site. Oh, even though I know I've already said too much, I also have to share my new page with info on all my teaching gigs here. Okay okay, that's it. Smooches!
This family in their environment; these parents, with all their love for each other and their sweet babe; this girl, big smiles and sparkling eyes, just coming off the celebration of her first birthday; hanging back and witnessing their magic together, in their safe space - with each other, in their home - THIS is what it is all about for me.
Maybe you'll remember that Kati and I spent last Mother's Day together, driving for seven hours to shoot film of each other's families in gorgeous (and slightly splintery) hills in Washington? It was fun and beautiful and entirely exhausting, but in the best way. This year... well we just didn't have it in us. We concocted some plans that may or may not play out next year, but Mother's Day 2014 found us at Portland Nursery, where we bought a wagon's worth of lovely succulents, luscious ferns, a few smelly herbs, and some fancy flowers. We casually snapped a few photos, took the kids out for ice cream, and then ditched them with the dads and went to a movie. It was really a wonderful low-key day.
Thanks to Kati for these last two images (and all the other super lovely shots you captured)! So excited to have some updated profile page photos!
I am thrilled that the images from this recent session, along with the words I wrote to accompany them, are featured over on my favorite family photography blog today. Thanks LTK!
Happy Tuesday, Y'all!
Some of my oldest and favoritest (totally a word) clients on Sauvie Island in May on what looked and felt like a summer day. Speaking of summer: I have just four open spots on my calendar before the first day of fall. Hit me with an email if you want to capture some summertime magic of your own.
(psssst, do you see what happened right there? I got five pairs of human eyes and a cat looking at me at the same time, dudes!)
I love the way I was able to capture the beauty, love, and controlled chaos that is life with three kids under five. And that's all I'm gonna say because it's Friday and the sun is peaking through the clouds and I need to get myself outside to celebrate this first day of SUMMER!
Happy weekend, ya'lls!
My favorite Tuesday morning coffee date, Kati Dimoff, and I hatched a super plan for a photorific Mother's Day adventure: we'd meet early for coffees and sugary treats, load the kids in our cars and drive for nearly 4 hours to a super windy location in the Yakima Nation, rolling hills covered in tiny prickly grasses that cause invisible tear-inducing splinters, and shoot film of each other's families looking happy and beautiful. Fool proof plan, right? And yet, it worked! We vowed to each other via texts the night before that we would have low expectations, and that we wouldn't loose our patience with our kids -because what ruins Mother's Day faster than feeling like a crappy mom?! So sure, we spent most of the day driving, but we were powered by sodas and cured meats and the ultimate driving playlist (compiled by none other than the Queen of the Mix Tape herself); we ate taco salads at a cheesy roadside Mexican diner, stopped to consult maps, examined a headless horse skeleton and baby coyote carcass, and even found an abandoned shack covered in caterpillars which required some serious investigation. Our kids and husbands [mostly] cooperated with the photo taking, there was minimal crying, only minor injuries, and Kati and I truly enjoyed ourselves. I'm fairly certain we'll make it an annual event, though maybe next year's location will be just a tad closer.
I wasn't brave enough to just shoot film, so this a mix of digital and film (and one iPhone shot there at the end, because come on, they're just so cute!). Make sure you click on over to Kati's blog to see her pics too!
I don’t know the story of how Burko came to be George and Nina’s son, or how Burko’s birthmother Mindi, his “Muumba,” came to be their family. What I do know is that no matter how cliché the saying, love indeed does make a family, and this family let love win. Bearing witness to their love and respect for each other, and the way in which they have made themselves a family, was powerful and moving. Actually it was bigger than that, it was something I felt in my chest and gut and have carried with me since that day. I am truly honored they trusted me to capture their family for them.
Oh and this, this song they wrote for Burko, and sang to him out in their backyard, it made me cry behind the camera…
Burko bear Burko bear
You're our Burko bear
And we love you so,
no matter how big you grow
And your Muumba's your North Star
She's with you wherever you are
Burko bear Burko bear
You're our Burko bear.
The amazingly beautiful crazy talented super stylish world travelling photographerextraordinaire Shelby Brakken and her equally rad family on a sunny-turned-rainy day in March; at home, on the street, sharing ice cream, and buying white gloves and LPs on the Lodekka dress bus. We didn't even have to travel to another continent to have an adventure.
Click on over to Shelby's superblog to see ridiculously gorgeous travel/wedding/family photos, and read the embarrassingly flattering things she has to say about me here.
I've been sitting on this session for months because, once again, I'm without the perfect words; I don't expect perfection from my clients, in fact, we know I don't even want it, but I really strive to conjure the right words for a blog post, and sometimes I let that hold me back. So here I go...
Our first session was rescheduled when Ian fell off a roof. I know. Second session rescheduled because Aidan needed emergency surgery. Third session rescheduled when freezing rain came pelting out of the sky as I approached their home. (Hudson answered the door buck naked and ran around the living room like a wild child and it was really hard not to stay, despite the crap weather.) But for this family, fourth time was the charm. I'm not an "everything happens for a reason" person, it's just not who I am, but Anya and I are a great fit for each other, this session came together just at the right time, and in the two hours I spent with these four, the stars aligned and everything fell into place perfectly (there I go using that damn word again!). Ian's only complaint after seeing the result of our work together? He claimed the photos were inauthentic because no one was crying or tantruming! Ha! I'm all about authenticity, but I'll take that critique. We had too much fun for tears, and miraculously we avoided any major injuries or fights (though Hudson totally swore in front of me, which just made me like this whole family a little more).
When I asked Anya before our session what she wanted her boys to see in our photos when they look at them years down the road, she said this: I want them to know that their lives were filled with beautiful reality. That people fight and still love, that things get broken and put back together. I want them to see themselves as whole. I want them to see the richness of it all.
I think I need to start letting my clients write my blog posts for me.
I don't have adequate words for how much I loved this session, this house, this baby, these dogs, this FAMILY. Everett Wayne and his strong armed Houdini-style swaddle escape tactics; Layla and Sonny, their big ears, curious eyes, and snorty snuggles; Adam and his baby-whispering and dog wrangling skills, love of coffee and beer; Misty and her ease with this whole new motherhood thang, her green eyes and calm smile, and her familiarity that had me walking away wondering Is she someone famous that I should be recognizing? That front window, those camellia bushes and cherry blossom trees, their movie theater seats on the porch,the floral curtains, vintage camera, and record player, their comfort with me, as if we were old friends... see I told you, I don't have the right words so I'm just listing all the things that were tumbling around in my head as I drove home from this session all up on Cloud 10 and beyond.
Oooo but it's Wednesday, Franny Day around here, and before her episode of Blue's Clues ends I've got to hi go on this post, so I'll just leave you with my blissed-out ramblings and hope you get me, and don't just click away thinking I've finally jumped the shark, or more accurately, the unicorn.
Blossoms for days, days I tell you! And while I could also tell you that I've just been following this girl around town as she happily twirls under all the beautiful spring blossoms, the truth is I have been depositing her in pretty places and promptly bribing her with ice cream, cookies, our friend's dog, just to let me capture her and all her Franny-ness among the beautiful flowers before they all turn to brown mush. It's true that she loves to twirl, so when I can tell she's about to start complaining I just shout "spin!" and then it's fun again.
Happy spring, ya'll.
Tricia, Tasi, Finnley, and little sister. Grandma's farmhouse, rescue horses, tall trees, and a swing. Baby bump, sunshine, a big red barn, and a thousand kisses. Silly faces, daddy-jokes, a squirrel hiding in the wood pile, and big, big, big loves all around.
Happy Friday, ya'll.
Those words I use on to describe my photo style: fun, natural, beautiful, spirited, authentic, well I think this session pretty much covers each and every one of them. Thank you Erin, Jason, Adrien, and Alexander, for inviting me along for this adventure!