Friday, December 12, 2014

Alberto + Jazmin: Love in the trees

Alberto and Jazim were married in May of this year, and I had the pleasure of capturing their day. It was a day full of families and laughter and dear friends. A warm spring day with sweet moments and wholehearted interactions. These are my favorite images from our portrait session in the park. The light was perfect.  

I put together an album for them as a gift, and the coolest part of Shutterfly is that I can share on here too. I loved putting the story of their day together in something they can hold and look back on for years to come. 

2014 has been such a thrilling year for me behind the camera. I can't wait to see what else is to come. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

My Favorite Memory of 2014

You guys, its December 9, 2014. 

Are you serious? Yeah... it's almost 2015, and I sometimes still write 2013 on my checks. This is kinda crazy-pants! 

But here we are...and oh what a year it's been. 

I wanted to share my favorite memory from 2014. To chronicle it. To savor it. To embolden my ability to tell the stories of my life. 

There wasn't anything necessarily particular about the weekend of September 20th. But I was literally  diving head first into the hardest month of my life. Not to be overly dramatic, or anything. Just stating facts here. And so I needed to get out of town. Or "get out of Dodge" as they say... 

So we packed up our pillows and our puppy and drove the almost 2 hours north to my parents house. Dad was away, so it was a bonus that we got to keep mom company. But there I a house I used to call home with the 2 people (and 2 dogs) that love me more than anyone else in the world. My husband and my mom. 

Saturday morning came easy... we slept in. Had some eggs for breakfast. And took our first cups, of what would end up being 4 pots of coffee, out to the front porch. And for the first time in a long time I smiled for real...and breathed in deep what it felt like to just be

I didn't put a bra on that day. I remember telling people about my weekend after the fact and this was a big revelation! No bra = extreme comfort and acceptance. Is it weird that my favorite memory involves me not wearing a bra? Maybe, but this is happening. 

My mom has made her front porch the epitome of home. They've hung up the porch swing my Dad made years ago from old Kingdom Hall chairs and Mom covered it with blankets and pillows. There are candles of all sorts of colors and smells on every surface. And the bouquet of flowers Dad brought home for her that week sitting next to the other bouquet she got from the dentist. But that's another story... There are two rocking chairs and a vine growing along the railing and hanging pots full of flowers. She calls it her "Porch Resort" and we even made a little sign for her to hang that day. 

So we got comfy out there, sometimes just Mom and me...sometimes Chris joined us. We read and talked and slept in the warmth of the late autumn sun. Chris played music on his guitar for us, we talked about the new iPhone update and worked through the new features together. 

But all day we let the dogs run loose. And this part of the weekend makes me smile the most. My parents have a mini-schnauzer named Tucker. They got him when I was 15 and he was my buddy when I lived at home. He got to sleep with me and still does whenever I visit. He is the reason I wanted a mini-schnauzer when Chris and I decided it was time to get a puppy for ourselves. We have had Gibson for 2 years now, and he lights up my days. 

Tucker and Gibson had interacted once before. Tucker is kind of an old man now...set in his ways. He doesn't like strange dogs in his house with his people. So he usually gets jealous and tends to mark his territory. So we hadn't made it a habit of bringing Gibson with us when we visited. Its Tucker's house...I get it. 

But this time it was a last minute trip, and we didn't have a plan. So Gibson came with us. And it turned out to be my favorite part of the weekend. Tucker and Gibson became best friends.

Tucker has a long history of running if he gets loose. He takes off and comes home 2 days later covered in yuck. He is always looking for a way out. Gibson on the other hand, loves to explore, but he always comes when he's called. It was like a revelation to Tucker. "Oh! If I don't run away and come back when I'm called I get to explore and roam around this huge yard we have?! How cool!"

And that's exactly what they did. They chased squirrels and ran out into the field and took turns chasing each other around the pond. But whenever I would call Gibson, they would both come. It was awesome. I was a super proud puppy-mom that day, and it made me happy to see Tucker enjoying his freedom too. 

So, my favorite memory from 2014 was a day spent with my 2 favorite people and my 2 favorite dogs, without a bra on. Yup. Pretty much a perfect day. 

What is your favorite memory from 2014? 

Monday, December 08, 2014

Intimate Leavenworth Wedding: Gerie + Brandon

She is strong and sweet and openhearted. He is kind and giving and a firefighter. I was honored to be their wedding photographer. And I'm grateful to call them friends. 

Their special day was earlier this year in Leavenworth, WA. They booked a huge house for the occasion and their family and closest friends were invited for the weekend. Everyone all got ready together and the house was full of laughter, some country music and at one point, the Macarena. 

I will never forget showing Gerie the picture I took of her shoes...she got tears in her eyes, and in that moment she became a bride. A stunningly beautiful bride. 

We casually walked around the grounds taking some portraits of the bride and groom. They never stopped smiling. And then it was time to make it official. They didn't really have a plan for where they wanted the ceremony, so they just asked me what would be the best for pictures. It had begun to rain a little, so I suggested the back deck. We set up a few chairs and their dear friend officiated the bringing together of their two families. As they said their vows the sun pierced through the clouds and the rain stopped and it was magic. 

And then we ate, and danced and everyone took a turn speaking to Brandon and Gerie's love and friendship and hopes for their future. It was such a special, personal, intimate day, and I was so privileged to be involved. 

Friday, December 05, 2014

The Sweetest Family - JC, Madison and their kids

Mama's little mini-me knew how to work the camera, and the sweetheart of a boy with hearts on his socks had just woken up from a nap and was very confused by this stranger in his house with a camera. But the sun was shining, the day was lovely, and even the dog was cooperative. Here are some of my favorites from this family's session. I can't wait to see these images up on their walls. It was a pleasure to get to know them better. 

Are you in the Central Washington area and looking for some family portraits this fall/winter? I would love to your choice for a photographer. Give me a call or send me a message. Let me capture the story of your family this year. It would be my pleasure. 

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Something to brighten your day

This is my cousin Hannah's sweet baby girl, Harper. She was born with a cleft lip and pallet and has been through so much already in her short little life. I've been visiting them lots lately and Harper is starting to remember me. Her little face lighting up when she sees me makes me so happy. 

A couple weeks ago when I was there to get my hair done the three of us went to the hair supply store together. While Hannah found the color, Harper and I walked around. She picked up a hair brush and carried it around with her until it was time to go. We walked back to the isle where it went and when she put it back in the exact right place I said "TADA" to her. And then she said it back to me with a big grin on her face! "TADA." And my heart just melted

You see, because of being born with a cleft lip and pallet she is a little delay in talking. So it was a big deal for her to learn and say a new word. She is so smart! And I was so proud of her. I just had to try and see if I could get a video of her saying it. So once we got back to the house I held her on my lap and tried to get to say "TADA" again. And this is the result. It just kills me!! You'll want to watch it more than once...its gets better and better.
I watch this video every time I need a little pick-me-up. It was such a special moment for me to teach her a new word. I won't soon forget this afternoon with little Miss Harper.