What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family. - Mother Theresa
What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family. - Mother Theresa
In August of 2014 I reached out to Hannah and Kelty (otherwise know as the forces behind The Weaver House) because I knew I wanted to photograph them. We had some mutual friends, I had followed their work, and their Instagram feed, and I couldn't sit by imagining anymore, I needed to make something happen with these ladies. And because sometimes the universe winks a magical nod in my favor, they responded by telling me they'd just been talking about hiring me. They might have even used the term "kindred spirits" in their initial reply. So we scheduled a family session, and then we rescheduled approximately 100 times, because LIFE got in the way it likes to. But in yet another instance of magical timing, when I did finally get my camera on them (and their girls, and their menfolk), it was on what ended up being our last warm and gorgeous October evening, one that would have made Anne Shirley swoon. I drove home from that session thinking that if I hadn't just created some of my best work, I was going to have to question my future as a family photographer.
You can decide for yourself what you think, but I'm pretty damn pleased with these results.
It's delightful when your imaginations come true, isn't it?
-Anne of Green Gables
a cozy home :: a walk to the lake :: wildflower crowns :: chilled rosè :: evening light :: loud laughs :: a yellow paddle :: love
I recently had the honor of teaching alongside the one-and-only Yan Palmer at her Yan Fam Way, Portland workshop; and because she is a magical magnet who attracts other incredible beings, the workshop was hosted by one of my nearest-and-dearest Kati Dimoff, who also modeled for the workshop (in front of 12 photographers) and made it look effortless, because in addition to being smart, talented, and hilarious, Kati is also breathtakingly beautiful (as is the rest of her family, of course). I think that might have been the longest run-on sentence ever, but I haven't blogged in a hundred million years so we're just gonna keep going before I decide to scrap it and never blog again. Ahem, where was I? So not only was I beyond honored and thrilled to be invited as a special guest at Yan's workshop, I was excited to play with shooting film while there. I'm pretty dang pleased with the results...
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!
Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.
Poor sweet Lottie was quite a "grumpy knickers" when I arrived, which I'm pretty sure is British for teething. But it was nothing a little nip, some snuggles, and a chance to play with her mum's makeup bag, couldn't fix (also, a dose of paracetamol helped, which is British for Tylenol, btw). Documenting your life sometimes means capturing the less-than-ideal moments, but in the end, I believe they are just as beautiful and worthy of remembering. I'm so pleased I was able to capture Lottie's range of emotions at this sweet age.
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.
A cute girl loaded with personality (and a love of books), her doting (and patient) dog, fall colors, an adorable baby bump, loving parents, and many, many kisses; I really couldn't ask for more.
So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. ~ Christopher Reeve
We've got everything we need right here, and everything we need is enough. ~ Jack Johnson
The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants. ~ Johnny Depp
It isn't fair to make this post just about Lily and her pup, Betty, because their doting parents are also incredibly lovely people whom I enjoyed my time with tremendously. But, I mean, come on, those two girls are clearly the stars of the show in their world.
Here's a session from summer that I never did blog. Seeing as how it has a bit of a driving theme, and I'm getting ready to teach my second round of Driving Your Business for The Define School, well it seemed like a good a time as any to share this fun session.
Now please do me a favor and indulge me by letting me talk about teaching just for a moment (or don't, go ahead and click away, I'll try not to get my feelings hurt). When I signed on to teach this class, I really had no idea what I was getting into. I knew I had some things to say, maybe a few gems to contribute to fellow family photographers, but I didn't really give a lot of thought to whether or not I would enjoy the process. But OH did I enjoy it! And not just the writing of the class - though that was a fun challenge to embark on (side note: when I started writing I thought surely I wouldn't be able to fill more than a few pages with my "method." But when I finished, I had typed up something like 30 pages. I guess we know I've never been short on words, but I was pretty damn surprised and a little proud of myself!). Ahem, digression is something else I'm quite good at... What I really loved about teaching the class for Define was the community of photographers who I got to engage with on a weekly basis. I loved sending out the lessons and getting responses; working through questions, tackling specific problems, and sharing thoughts and ideas as a group. And I LOVED reading the student's assignments as they came back - seeing how they took my words/ideas/process and applied it to their own work. It was incredibly rewarding and I loved every minute of it. The online group forum created by Define allows everyone to interact, hash out ideas and problems together, and be "in class" in a way I hadn't experienced before. I really felt like I got to know a lot of the people in my class over the four weeks we were "together" and I feel like I grew from it as much as [I hope] they did.
But sheesh, enough of me talking about ME. Here's a few quotes from my students, just so you know I wasn't the only one who enjoyed my class. Ha!
This class has pushed me to create a very clear vision of the direction I want my business to go in as well as how to handle my clients so that we can all get the most out of our time together. It has given me the steps I need to take to create a better flow for my business and my approach with clients. I loved the personable way in which you presented information. It made it fun and easy to process but also got me thinking. You didn't just hand out answers but provided tools and opportunities to help us find what works best for ourselves and our business. You're a peach. - Lauren L.
I am so happy that I chose to take Posy Quarterman's class at DEFINE! Being knee deep in a full time photography career, her class was EXACTLY what I needed to help me get on track, stay focused and get organized. What I loved most about it was that week to week the tasks were doable not overwhelming and her warm and supportive nature was just what I needed to reassure myself and stay on task. I have used her tricks and tips since her class and have never been more successful! I highly recommend this class for anyone who is trying to start a photography business, already testing the waters, or even if you are already there and just need someone to show you how THEY handle the business side of things. With truly helpful tried and true suggestions to help you streamline your business, this is the class for you if you are aiming for the stars! – Audrey B.
Honestly, the preparation that you’ve presented (and the actual doing it, of course) has been a life changer. I would say this class has been huge for me; It’s opened my eyes and has seriously helped me feel more confident and prepared. In turn, I'm much more able to be ME and fully present with my clients from the moment I arrive. THAT was AMAZING. - Amy P.
For me this class was hugely informative; I feel like as I continue to shoot and work towards my own honed style I have the tools needed to run and manage my business successfully. - Toni E.
Classes begin January 5th and registration for those classes opens Monday, December 15th! Apparently January is the quickest block to sell out at Define, so mark your calendars. And here's one more incentive: investing in a January class during December registration will reduce your tax liability for 2014. I'm all about that. Wahoo! I hope to "see" you in my class in January!
Oh man do Kelly and Adrien have their hands full with Quinlyn and Reese, but luckily it is in the most fun (and adorable) way. These girls are as full of as much energy as one would expect from nearly-three-year-olds, doubled up in twin form, and with an extra shot of spirit. Their personalities are as unique from each other as their method of eating ice cream was (see below). Ha! I loved these girls and had so much fun photographing this sweet family in their home, and strolling through their neighborhood, on a beautiful summer day. xo, PQ
Tomorrow morning I get to meet and photograph the newest member of this family, Miette, who was born just a few weeks ago. I figured I ought to share her first photo session - the one in which she was still in her mama's belly - first. I cannot wait to see Julien and Annouk in big brother/sister mode, and, of course, to get some brand new baby snuggle time in.
I'm always prepared to really have to work when I photograph a newborn with an older sibling. There are so many dynamics at play and changes afoot that even the most well-planned photo session can get derailed. And it's no wonder, it's a lot to expect of a little person whose world has just been flipped upside and inside out. So I went into this session expecting to have to charm, coerce, and even beg if I had to. I had a pocket full of Smarties that I was ready to disburse as frequently as needed. But nope, none of it was required with Miss Annabelle. She might just be the most proud and loving big sister I have ever encountered. She spent nearly our entire session whispering to Edward: Ooooo, it's okay, Eddie. I love you, Eddie. You are such a good baby, Eddie. I love you, Baby. Don't cry, Baby. And on, and on, and on with the sweetness, while I just hung back and snapped on. I love a good challenge, but I won't lie, it's nice when the kiddos take it easy on me from time to time.