Winter time blues

Do you know that song "Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Rey? Yeah, make it wintertime for me.

It happens every year.  It's not exactly sadness, more like melancholy, but in a good way. It's a lazy, cozy, slow way of being, preparing for a hibernation that never comes.

It makes my photos moodier than usual.

How do you react to winter?

Post holiday shares

Post holiday shares

I love small town Independence Day celebrations - fairs, parades, saying hello to your neighbors and school friends (because you inevitably run into them). Then meeting friends for bbqs and fireworks. It's the best!

What did you do to celebrate 4th of July?

4th of July 2016 - popsicle.jpg

Setting intentions

Setting intentions

Have you ever tried to set an intention? The first time I heard of it referred to choosing a word for the new year, like "this year my word will be 'growth'" and that sets the intention for what you'd like to happen in the next year. It's a part of mindset work and incredibly helpful, especially when followed through and combined with visualization, focus, and working towards specific goals.

I'm a big fan.

So yeah, I've brought that in to how I take portraits. You set and intention and use the portraits as an aide, or a visual reminder and also proof that what you are working towards has already been set into motion and is coming true.

I know someone who's lovely on the inside and out, and in her work she deals with some heave stuff. So for her portraits she wanted to embody power, confidence, but also a very feminine beauty. She set the intention to have those attributes embodied in her images and we went to work.
I love the confidence she displayed and how her mindset work really set the tone for everything we did, from her choice of location to the outfits she picked.

Thank you, Megan, it was an honor to be a part of your process.

Inspiration strikes unexpectedly

Inspiration strikes unexpectedly

I took some time off for a couple of weeks to go visit family back East with the girls. It was the best EVER and we loved being back there. But you know, work never ends, and it's hard to leave for a while and get back into the rhythm of work, I lose my thoughts and ideas. Well, actually not quite. 

Time off feeds your brain and you get better ideas

I know most of us can see the benefits of taking time off as far as relaxing, having better balance in our lives, spending time with our families. But actually it's good for work too! I tried to stay away from the camera for most of the time while away, and just talk people's ears off, play with the girls, and visit with friends. On one of my last days I took the camera on a walk with the girls, some family members and their dog, Rufus. 

We caught the sunset. It was magic.

And you know what? I felt completely inspired when it comes to work. I got so many ideas for new projects, poses, locations, so many things to try. 

Giving my brain a break gave it room to let ideas grow

And it turns out my experience is not unusual. Check out Adam Grant's Ted talk.

So here's to more time off, more time for inspiration, and growing our work through doing nothing!

On being visible

On being visible

With Mother's Day coming up, I wanted to post this reflection on something that has come up a few times as a mom - as you pay more and more attention to your kids, you forget yourself. It's easy to become invisible. 

If I had a superpower, I think it would be the power of invisibility. At least that’s what you’d think by looking at pictures I have on my computer or around the house. I’m in very few of them, and instead I’m the one behind the camera. That’s fine, I obviously love to take pictures. But it’s more than that.

I'm terrified of what I'll see in the picture. I'm afraid I won't be happy with what I'll see and it will break my confidence. That's really hard to confess, but there it is. And I'm working to fix it, because I think it's important that my kids see me in pictures around our house. I don't want to be the invisible mom anymore, disappearing into the background. 

So why do we hide? 

There is a difference between perception and reality. We all know/have heard about the influence of media images. They build up an image that can’t be sustained (why, hello Instagram!). If you build up this perfect image of anyone or anything, eventually something will crack that facade, then what? How do you reconcile it with the identity you had created? You end up thinking that everything was fake, nothing about it was real. You set yourself up for failure when you buy into the perfection story. But here's the thing - “life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful” (Joey Harrington, TEDx Portland 2016). We don't have to be perfect to be wonderful, and the people who love us want to see us just as we are.

I've been so afraid to be confronted with my own imperfections, and I try to blend with the background. So it's time to show up, imperfections and all. 

Are you hiding too?

lulu_portrait2.jpg

Changes

Changes

Everyone knows our life changes when we become pregnant. Everything changes. Everything.

Our body changes first. It's funny, with both my pregnancies I had a high fever within the first 5-7 weeks. I rarely ever have fevers, and it was almost as if my body was confused by the changes. My tastes changed, my hair, my skin, and between pregnancies my moods as well. For my first, I was meditative, positive, happy. For my second, I was a grumpy troll yelling and crying at any moment.

But I'm rambling (reminiscing).

Pregnancy brings change and celebration. It's one time when we are so aware of the upheaval we'll endure, we have to face it head on. And we have some time to prepare. More or less. Other changes we go through are much more subtle, catch us by surprise, and they could be much more disrupting because of their sneakiness. I imagine that's what it will be like when my kids leave our home in many, many, many moons from now. Shocking in how abruptly it will sneak up on me, this becoming an empty-nester.

So here's to pregnancy, an honest change in womanhood.

 

A new beginning

My friend Silvia and I were talking one night and drinking wine. She was going through some changes in life and wanted to talk about websites, business, and photography. She's an amazing family and maternity photographer, and she still hadn't started her website!

As we were talking, I realized how much I loved portraits of women. When we are in front of a camera, we are vulnerable, trusting, and allowing the photographer to peak into our world. It takes courage, especially when you are alone, when it's not a family portrait. It wasn't the glass of wine, I don't really know what it was. But something became clear that night - I would pick up my camera again and return to photography, to portraits. I understood that I would only be happy as a photographer if I could help women find and present something of themselves through the camera.

I asked Silvia to be my first model this time around, since it was talking to her that started it all.