In March was able to photograph this beautiful family in Arizona while I was there on a trip. I have been photographing them since their oldest was born. How gorgeous are they?!?!
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May was so much fun around here! We were finally able to really enjoy being outside! We started exploring even more. We found some really fun places to go! My mom came to visit and we had our first outings to the lake where the girls could actually go swimming!
So I am beyond behind in blogging my 366 images! So here I am playing catch up! I haven't been posting consistently to my Facebook so here you can see all go my images! Shooting this for myself has been the best thing I have ever done. It has really opened my eyes and made me change my perspective so I don't have the same image day by day! Are you working on a 366? I actually have no plans of ever stopping shooting daily.. I am really excited to see how long I document daily!
Here is February in pictures!
I am so excited to have some new images with my new preset collections to highlight! I have poured my heart and soul into these presets and sharing them with the world is a HUGE step for me! I have been using them on my own for months now I can't wait for more artists to submit images so I can feature them on my blog! If you're using my presets make sure you send me some of your own photos so I can feature your beautiful work right here on my blog and on my facebook! I tried to make them extremely versatile for every type of photographer. They are great for both indoor and outdoor photography. I am mostly a documentary and lifestyle photographer but I also shoot some posed and styled work. I love easy these are to use and I might tweak them a tiny bit to suit my image, but that's what makes them amazing.. you can literally use them for EVERYTHING!!
For those that haven't purchased my new preset collections head over HERE and snag them while they are discounted!
Being a military spouse, military homecomings are very near and dear to me. I was really excited when Candi messaged me and asked me to come document her husbands homecoming on the flight line. The weather was gorgeous for us and her husband arrived right on time... which is unheard of!! I also love being able to document families reuniting. I am now available for homecomings in the Denver Metro Area.
I met Haylea in a local photography group when I was still living in Tucson. She and I became fast friends and I consider her one of my best friends! I really LOVE photographing other photographers, photographer families are just naturals in front of the camera. I can such minimal directing, if any at all. I don't really do much directing in my sessions anyway, I kind of just plop people in a field and tell them to interact with each other, but R. Family just made it so easy. I highly recommend checking out some of Hayley's gorgeous work on her website I hope when I am in Tucson later this year I can get them in front of my camera again.
I have known Jessie and Jon for several years. I have documented a lot of major milestones in their adult life together. I was so honored and excited when Jessie asked me to be in the room to photograph the birth of their son Jacob. Their birth was a wonderful reminder how it's so important to have someone at your birth that can be your advocate. Someone that is familiar with your birth plan and your wishes, someone that can be your voice while you are in labor. Although Jessie didn't have her picture perfect labor, she did get the beautiful unmedicated water birth that she so badly wanted.
The past month and a half has been a time of transition for my family as we move from Tucson AZ to Denver CO. I have been documenting my family through this transition to remember this crazy time in our life.
So I have had the honor of photographing this adorable family for 3 years. I hope I get to photograph them for many more! They have grown right along with me and they are expecting their 3rd little one early next year!! We had a beautiful session at Gates Pass in Tucson. The weather was still a bit warm but they were troopers as I made them hike all over. I cannot lie, these guys are seriously the silliest family I have ever photographed. Their sessions are always full of laughs and tickle fights. I can't wait to hang out with you guys again when I am back in Tucson for my spring sessions!!
Like I said, September was a really busy month. We had this crazy idea that we would go to Disneyland THREE days after Luke got home from his month long trip. We all had 1 day left on our 3 day tickets so we decided not to waste them! We sent Lilian to school on Monday morning, packed up the car and picked her up from school. Then we just left. We told her not to ask questions about where we were going or how long it was going to take. About 3 hours into our trip the girls were hungry and our food choices were limited so we stopped at McDonalds and prayed no ones stomach would get upset on the way (no issues thankfully). We somehow convinced Lilian that McDonalds was her special treat.. and oddly enough she was totally ok with that.. shows you how frequently she gets McDonalds... haha. She did ask why we had to drive for 3 hours just to go to McDonalds because we have one less than a mile from our house, we just told her this one tasted better. We hopped back in the car and continued West. We arrived in Anaheim around 10:30pm, we told her we got lost and had to stop at a hotel cause we were tired. In the morning we all got up, got dressed and went for a walk. She did notice that all the buses said 'Disneyland' but it didn't even phase her. We walk in the entrance and were walking to the gate where they check bags/strollers and we had her read a sign.. her response.. "This does NOT look like Disneyland..." It wasn't the the super excited reaction we were hoping for but when she got to the main gate she really got excited.
We spent our day doing whatever she wanted, we utilized fast passes and stroller passes (this is super awesome for those with little ones that can't ride the rides and a parent has to stay behind!! When you go on a ride ask for a stroller pass and they let you return at another time with up to 3 people and use the fast pass lane. Lilian got to ride all of the big rides twice, once with me and once with Luke). We had a mid-morning Character Breakfast with Minnie and Friends (SUPER AMAZING) The food was great, and it was a buffet so we ate enough for breakfast and lunch. Lilian declared the Matterhorn her favorite ride this time! Last time it was a tie between Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. It seems like she has a thing for Mountains. Ultimately we had a blast, there was zero stress and it was a just overall an amazing day! I also didn't strive to document our entire day like last time, I took roughly 200 shots on our entire trip. Most were with characters too.
September was busy! We started the month off without Luke, and were counting down the days until he was home again. You can tell in this blog that we had a reoccurring theme in our summer this year. WATER!! Seriously, water was involved whenever it was possible. Pools, Splash pads, Sprinklers.. you name it we used it and it was such a blast! Sorry for the huge share this month. We also snuck in another trip to Disneyland but that will be a blog on it's own.
At the beginning of the month we has a BBQ at my step-sisters house. The girls loved playing and swimming with their cousins. The next day we went to my aunt and uncles house and swam there. A few day's later, Lilian's sister Charlotte came over for a visit and we played in the splash pad. So much water!! It seemed like it rained all the time.. I played with some long exposures and got some "ghost" Arias. I also found out that I love taking photos of Aria's little tiny feet... All in all it was a good month. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera with me when we picked Luke up from the airport, it was a bit anticlimactic anyway. But they sure were glad to have him home. Aria didn't leave his side for days. So here are my images, enough with my rambling.. :)
I was graciously inviting in the Emery home. Kelli is an amazing photographer here in Tucson and she reached out for an in home documentary session because their pup Lulu was going to undergo surgery the following day. So much of their session was focused on her. This was the very first time a family invited me into their home for a documentary session that didn't involve a newborn- I was really nervous.. not to mention she is an awesome photographer her self and it's always new wracking to photograph another photographer.
Towards the end of our session Kelli asked for a few 'posed' (and I use that term really lightly) photos on their bed with their family surrounding their pup with love. E. Family, I know you are surround your sweet pup with love while she recovers from her surgery! Thank you so much for inviting me into your home!
“The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.” - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Last week my husband went away for work for a week so the day he left we went and cooled off with my aunt and uncle and took advantage of the pool in their neighborhood. Lilian was working on diving, Aria was working on well... being a toddler in a pool. We have been working with her on flipping to her back in the water and this day she finally did it! I was super proud of her! I really love documenting my family and finding beauty in the everyday things in our lives. It wasn’t until relatively recently where I discovered how much I love documentary photography, and by recently I mean in the past year or so. I rarely picked up my camera in our home because it was always cluttered or a little bit of a mess and then one day I just did it. Who care if my house is a mess or I have a pile of laundry on my couch.. this is my life and it is so beautiful! Now there is rarely a day where I don’t pick up my camera. I take it everywhere with me. My kids will definitely have a wonderful story to share with their kids when they grow up.. Speaking of that, do yourself a favor and take some time and print your images from the past year. I am really excited for our move to Denver Colorado later this year and I will be changing my business to a Full Service, Print and Product based business model.
If you're interested in a Documentary Family Session I have some availability before we make our big move!
Military Homecomings have a very special place in my heart. I can honestly say that they are my second favorite type of session (right behind births). This was a huge homecoming where roughly 300 service members were arriving home from one of our base's biggest deployments ever. Whenever I am at the airport, or on the flight line waiting very impatiently for that plane to arrive, this quote always runs though my head.
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around." -Love Actually
The amount of love and anticipation in the room is really an adrenaline rush. No matter who is coming home, my hands get clammy, I get butterflies in my stomach and my mind starts going a million miles a minute.
The W. Family has been counting down the days for months for this one special moment. I am so honored that Amber asked me to be there with them. I got to document this homecoming a bit different than my normal homecomings because Amber also happens to live just 4 houses away from me. I loved being able to be in their home while they finished their final preparations for Andrew to come home. It was raining and cool out it was also 10:00pm. Since this homecoming had so many people arriving home it was held on base which is always amazing. The news was there, and so many of my photographer friends were there as well. The happiness in this hanger was radiating well beyond the hanger it's self. Thank You W. Family for letting me be part of this wonderful moment in your life~
I also wanted to put a little PSA here.. I get booked out for homecomings months in advance. This specific homecoming has been booked since February- it also unfortunately overlapped with another homecoming booked out a few months ago as well and I could only be in one place. It's is very important to communicate with your photographer and your spouse as much as possible when it gets close to the homecoming. Please inform your spouse that you have hired someone to be there with you, this could alleviate a lot of confusion. For this specific homecoming I had people calling and messaging me all the way up until 5pm on the day of arrival.
If you need a homecoming photographer I have two available spots open for the remaining of the year, one in September and one in November.
Every year we try to head out to Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona at least once for the Peach Picking Festival. It's always a lot of fun picking about 20lbs of peaches with the girls. This year Aria was tall enough to reach some of the lower branches and she was able to get her own sweet peaches. They encourage you to try the peaches while picking them, especially the soft ripe ones. Their peaches never disappoint. This year we froze about 15lbs of peaches and I made peach turnovers and a peach and blueberry cobbler.
After we picked our peaches we headed down the road to their farm and hit up their veggie patches to get some fresh zucchini, squashes, peppers, egg plant and corn. We left the farm with a beautiful rainbow of fresh food. We always encourage our kids (and ourselves) to eat as close to nature as possible. I have often been asked how I get my kids to eat fresh vegetables, the answer is simple, it's what we eat at home. It's the food they know. We also help them along by encouraging them to pick their own food so they can see where their food comes from. Don't get me wrong they eat their fair share of junk and processed foods too but somehow along the way, I believe we found a nice balance.
When we move to Denver this is one family I am truly going to miss. Tucson has been so good to me and I am really excited that I will be able to shoot here several times a year even after our move.
Happy Birthday Sweet Layla! I can't wait to get you in front of my camera again!!
The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.
After we went to Disneyland we decided to head down to San Diego for a day of sandy wet fun before we headed back to Tucson. All 3 girls really love being at the beach and playing in the sand and water.. I however have learned that the adult version of Jessica doesn't enjoy sand AT ALL. But I did only spend about 15 minutes with my camera and spent the rest of our few hours with my kids and husband. I am trying to find that special balance of documenting/storytelling and actually being in the moment with my family. It's definitely not as easy as I thought it would be.
Last week we went on a small vacation with Luke's parents and Sister to Disneyland. We had a pretty magical time and we can't wait to go back again. Here is a very small glimpse into our time over in The Most Magical Place on Earth.