Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.
We've got everything we need right here, and everything we need is enough. ~ Jack Johnson
I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending. - Fred Rogers I'm taking a winter break with the family, I'll see you back here in the '15. Wishing you all a merry little whatever-you-celebrate.
That thing where despite all the raw emotions running rampant during those first weeks of parenting, the sheer love between brand new parents and their sweet baby shines through. I love that thing.
Hopefully Taj's mama Audrey won't mind me sharing what she said to me, because I thought it so perfectly summed up the heart of parenting. She said: I have never known love (or fear) like this before.
Doesn't that just say it all?
Keatra and Levi, Frankie and Jovi, coffee and Baileys, blankets and scarves, bare trees and winter sun flare, throwing sticks and splashing in frigid waters, smooches and laughter. Family is what you make it.
It's true I absolutely adore chasing kids around, and the victory of capturing their true spirit and relationships between each other, and their parents. But there is also something special about spending time focusing on the two people who created their family. I've known Tiffany and Shanon for over 5 years now, and I'm pretty sure if you've been following this blog for more than 5 minutes, you know them too, along with their brood. We decided this time around, for their fourth and final babe, but first-ever maternity session, that we would try something new: no kids (except, you know, the one still baking). So just before Valentine's day we met on a beautiful sunny morning in a gorgeous public garden and captured these sweeter-than-sugar belly love photos.
The icing on that extra sweet cake? This feature on Let the Kids today. Click on over there and show me (and them!) some love. And after you do that come back here, I've got more to say! (Please and thank you.)
I can't sign off on this post without sharing that after years of talking about it, my girl T finally launched a blog all about her adventures in parenting, and beyond. You can find her and her "hoodlums" here. I've gotta be honest, although I love the way she writes, my absolute favorite column over there is "sisterly small talk" in which she reports complete conversations between her two daughters. Those girls are too much; I laugh till I cry every time.
Alright that's about enough out of me today. But come back here tomorrow, okay? I've got something extra special to share with you, or rather, someONE (hint: 2+4=6!).
Mishka, pronounced meeshka: punk rocker, turned raver, turned Burner, turned mama, who also happens to be a circus-trained trapeze artist. Mishka is badass, and I mean that in the best way.
Chlöe Magnolia, named for the flower/tree/symbol of Mississippi, where her mama volunteered after Katrina, and where Chlöe first came into existence. Chlöe loves all things sweet, especially brightly colored macarons and hot chocolate. She is described by her mama as a: sweet, spunky, fun, smart, goofy, loving, bright, cheerful, entertaining, stylish, curly-headed cutie. True dat. Girl has cuteness and spunk galore. I mean, just look at all those expressions she gave me in our two hours together!
The Lolas: three punk rock Bla Bla dolls who are regularly diapered, nursed in true Portland-style (that would be on NE Alberta Street with no shame), and occasionally forced to wear a pair toddler-sized combat boots.
DJ: patient and well-loved cat.
Sometimes clients fall into my world and feel like they've always been there. Sometimes I need something from a client that I didn't even realize I needed until they give it to me. Sometimes I'm vague because I can't quite describe what it is that I feel. Sometimes I adore a family so much I can't possibly come up with the adequate words for a blog post so I sit and sit on it, until I finally force myself to just sit down and write the blog post knowing full well that the perfectly formed love letter is in my gut, not my head, and my fingers won't ever type it out just right. Sometimes I need to remember that all I really want is to capture is the realness and truth of people, of family, of love. Sometimes I hope the images speak loudly and clearly enough so as to not need the proper words. Sometimes I just have to hit publish and hope you all get it.
Wednesdays are my stay-at-home-mom days, the one and only day of the week that I am supposed to be Mom and not Posy Quarterman, Photographer. Except that I work for myself and I'm a bit of a task master, so I'm basically always working. Last week Franny said "Don't you wish you didn't have to work Mama? Don't you wish you could just play with me all the time and not work?!" I felt like it was a trick question - I love my work - but I'll admit that it hurt a little to hear her version of it. It was the same week we registered for Kindergarten (don't even get me started, I've got mascara on so we're just not going there right now), so I resolved that Wednesdays would be all about us days, fun days filled with Franny chosen activities. But, then, you know, she asked to watch an hour of T.V. this afternoon, and here I sit. I'm not even sure why I'm telling you all of this. Maybe you can relate? The balance of work and personal, parenting and everything else, it's tough, some days more so than others. And no I'm not complaining, I know I've got it good with four mornings of preschool and what my friend with two kids calls a "luxurious one-child lifestyle," but man that mama-guilt, it can really dig in there deep sometimes. Alright, moving on to something much more awesome: this family seen above. Let me give a loud shout out to these fab new clients of mine because they're awesome. From Everett's bouncing curls, deep brown eyes, and giant smile, to Mo the "diva dog" who is the most patient elderly pet I've ever met. Seriously, girl puts up with a whole lot of toddler "love." Oh and Kevin and Alysia are alright too. Ha! Totally kidding, this whole family was just one big light-filled house of awesomeness and I feel so lucky they found me.
Alysia knows a thing or two about juggling work and parenting, as she has a day job and runs her own business, so here's an extra shout for her - if you're in need of a party planner, or cool party decor, check her out here.
Happy hump day!
Any day now Lucynda, Mike, Ava, and Anden will welcome a little girl into their love-filled world. I am excited to meet her, but I'm even more excited to see Anden and Ava with her; the next session with these guys will take place in the hospital and I'm downright giddy about it (and really hoping the sun shines like it does for EVERY one of their sessions!). Ava is such a little lover of a girl, and has spent months preparing to nurture her little sister - she plans to take care of her, with emphasis on the care (she ensures her mama daily that she'll be very careful with her little sister). I can't wait to witness that love fest.
That fierce mama love thing that happens the moment your baby is born, that thing that overwhelms and nearly hurts in its severity, that thing that suddenly fills holes you didn't know you had, that thing doesn't fade in the slightest as your kids hit teenage years, then their twenties, leave home, suffer heartbreak; their triumphs, their victories, and their suffering, constricts your heart as much as it did in the very first moment you set eyes on them. I learned this from Kristin, though she didn't have to tell me all of this, I just saw it in her eyes , in her laugh, in her LOVE for her children. I thought this post was going to be about a family: Zack's senior photos, his cute girlfriend, Kristin and Tim's love, their chickens and little dogs, and Zoe. Gorgeous, gorgeous, Zoe. But as I looked at these photos again I realized that in addition to how much fun I had with them, what I really loved about this session was Kristin. Mom. Mom carries it all in her heart and holds them all together.
My first session of 2013 was scheduled to be a new family I've never photographed, so you know, new year, new family, seemed right, and I was, of course, excited. But due to illness that session got bumped out to later in the month. And so it was, these lovelies were my first session of 2013, just as they had been my first session of 2012. This time around, as you can see, there was an additional member of their crew: Fergusson. You may also remember their session last fall,when Baby F was still warm and cozy on the inside. So you know by now that I really love these guys, and was naturally thrilled to start my year with them, again, and delighted, as always, to witness and document their family through these changes.
On this cold and gray morning we sipped black coffee by their big front window, read stories in Seamus's bedroom, turned lamps on and off (much to Mr. S's chagrin, who is a fan of ALL LIGHTS ON!); we swaddled, diapered, and nursed Fergus (okay, Megan did that), we marveled at his little elfin left ear, I scratched loyal Phoebe's tummy, Jack and Seamus prepared pizza dough, and Jack bribed Seamus into photo cooperation with offers of smoked pork belly and dates, while Tom Waits's Cookie Monster voice came through on the speakers.
The ground outside was frozen, the mood inside was warm, and 2013 was kicked off in the best of ways: with love and open arms.
While I'm catching up on some fall blogging - wait, first I need to say this: I don't blog every session, I probably blog a quarter of my sessions so please don't be offended if your family doesn't land here. It has nothing to do with you, your kids, or your session, and everything to do with my time, or lack thereof, and what aspect of my work I am dedicating myself to with said time. After photo editing and order processing, returning calls and emails, I am really pushing forward with making blogging a priority, and I'm hoping the result is something like three quarters of my sessions ending up on here. Dig? Good. Okay, moving on... I took these photos last fall on a cold day, the kind of day when outside photos only last as long as the kids' fingers and noses do (cold pink noses only make for one or two cute photos). I like to start sessions at home, but I'm also totally down with getting outdoors, and when that just isn't an option, we have to get creative. I have photographed families at a bowling alley, art museum, ice cream shops, and cafes. If you've got a special place that your family loves to go, then I want to capture you there. Bustling coffee shops with big windows and yummy treats make for great photo settings, as you can see here. I wrote more about shooting on location in this little piecefor NW Kids a few months back.