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StoryTeller

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Ramp Family | Your Story Session in Denver Colorado

I had the honor of spending a day with the Ramp Family recently to kick off the launch of my "Your Story" sessions!  These sessions can be partial days or full days but they are always so much fun.  Your ordinary is worth documenting and remembering.  My Your Story sessions are currently discounted for anyone that books in the month of February.  You do not have to have your session in February.  These sessions can take place in Colorado Springs, Denver Metro, and Fort Collins CO. They can also take place when I am in Tucson in March.  

All sessions include your edited digital gallery as well a video slideshow set to music!

 


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Transition

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. 

 


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September Part Two| Disneyland | Personal Images

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. 

 


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September Part One | Personal Images

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.. :)  

 


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E. Family | Family Storytelling in Tucson Arizona

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!

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End of Summer | Personal Images

“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!

 


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Apple Annies Peach Picking | Personal Images

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.   

 


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Norah and Owen | In Home Newborn and Family Session | Tucson Arizona

You might remember my last birth back in May, when little Norah graced us with her presence a few weeks early.  She spent about a week in the NICU before she was allowed to come home and ever since then she has been growing like a weed!  She is so sweet and I definitely got my share of baby snuggles in during our in home Newborn and Family Session.  In home Documentary sessions are my favorite type of family session.  I love documenting and telling your story.  

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Taking a dip in the Pacific | Personal Images

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.  

 


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Disney | Personal Images

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.  

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Escaping [Lilian]

Seriously Lilian loves the beach.  If we lived near the water she would be in it everyday even if it's freezing out.  I took a beautiful set of photos in the water while we were on our trip.

 



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Zane [Lifestyle Newborn]

For a long time I struggled with photographing newborns..  In my head I always thought I had to have a studio, special lighting, props and provide these images of your baby perfectly posed.  I quickly learned that I didn't have the drive for that type of work but I wanted to be able to photograph newborns.  I figured why would I have to go about photographing newborns any differently than I would any other subject.  I am always so honored when families invite me into their homes just days after they've added a new baby.  I absolutely adore spending an hour or two watching these families interact and love on their new one.  

The Westbrook family has let me photograph them several times over the past year and they recently welcomed me into their home when they brought baby Zane home.  Big sister Stella was home and loved on me for almost the entire two hours I was there.  Zane is absolutely precious and I hope I get to photograph him as he grows up!

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Calista [Birth]

I have so much to say about this beautiful birth.  I'm not even sure I will be able to articulate it here.  Jovanna invited me to her birth a few months before her due date, the first time we met I noticed how quiet and composed she was even when she was obviously uncomfortable during the last trimester of her pregnancy.  The day she went into labor she was messaging me just like most of my clients do and I had plenty of time to prepare for the long night ahead.  At 9:00pm we arrived at the Birth Center and I instantly thought to myself that this was going to be a long labor and I should have waited until the midwife checked her to see where her cervix was before I headed out.  I have had a history of my births happening very quickly so at this point I would rather show up and go home instead of missing it all together because I chose to wait. 

Jovanna was so quiet during labor I thought to myself there was NO WAY she was in active labor.  She was literally silent and focused with an occasional small moan.  Between her contractions the room was filled with smiles and laughter.  Jovanna entered her birthing tub a little after 10:00pm.

At about 11:20 things started picking up and Jovanna said she was wanting to push a little, after a series of small pushes to relieve pressure her water broke. Two contractions later Calista was welcomed Earthside to a room filled with so much love.  She was silent and focused just like her mama.  She didn't cry once the entire night, not even when she got a vitamin K shot.  

Calista's three older siblings came to meet her when she was about 20 minutes old and they were all smitten the minute they met her.  

This birth holds a very special place in my heart because this is the same room our sweet Aria was born in.  In that same exact tub with the same exact nurse and Jovanna and I had very similar labors (except I was definitely not as quiet as she was.)

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Lillianna [Birth]

I have known Hartini for a little over a year.  She is the amazing person that talked us into hosting an exchange student this year.  She has provided us an amazing experience with Jule and we are forever grateful for this opportunity.  She was on the fence for a long time about having a birth photographer and actually hired me before even talking her husband into it!!  Lillianna is her 4th child and Like my previous birth Hartini warned me that she has had some pretty quick labors.  

Hartini messaged me during the afternoon, letting me know she was having some intense but really irregular contractions.  I went about my day not really thinking too much about it.  My bag was already packed so I was ready if this was "it."  Around 8:00pm Hartini messaged me again to let me know she was going to pack up and head to the hospital, so I made a pot of coffee and filled my thermos so I would be prepared for the night.  

We got to the hospital around 8:30 or so and when the nurse checked her she was only at 3cm.  They said if she made progress at 11 then her doctor would admit her.  The catch was since she had a previous C-section she had to be continuously monitored and they wouldn't let her leave her little triage area.  For those of you who have been in labor, you would know that it's really hard to progress when you're stuck in a bed.  We asked for a yoga ball but they hospital only had ONE and it was in use.  I only live about 10 minutes from the hospital so I offered to run home and grab my ball and some fresh coffee.  I left around 9:30 and I was back before 10:00.  Hartini spent the next hour or so on the ball and sneaking off to the bathroom to get a break from being monitored.  When 11:00 rolled around the nurse checked her and she was at 6cm!  What a huge change!  We had to wait for a little while for a labor and delivery room to become available for her and finally got put in a room around 12:30am.

Hartini had two really good contractions on the way to her room so it took us a few minutes to make the walk.  By the time we got to the room the nurses were there in full force (I counted 12 of them at one time).  She was hooked up to her IV and had the monitors strapped back on.  Her contractions were coming on top of each other and I could tell she was getting close.  I remember her head nurse asking for her Doctor, who had just stepped out to the atrium for her break.  Hartini's body was pushing want her doctor walked in and didn't even have time to put on gloves!  She pulled her hands into the sleeves of her gown and caught sweet Lillianna less than a minute after she walked into the room.  

I have to admit watching a hospital birth was so crazy.  I had never experienced a hospital birth from an outside perspective.  Being able to provide these images for Hartini is so amazing for me since she has been able to provide us with such an awesome experience with our sweet Jule. 

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Weston [Birth]

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Weston [Birth]

I was so honored when Olivia asked me to be part of her birth.  When she hired me she warned me that she has fast labors and man she wasn't kidding.  I wish I had this long beautiful birth story to put with this blog post but the actually story goes something like this.  Olivia called me at 2:00pm and told me she was heading to the Birth Center, her contractions were getting stronger and she wanted to be there with time to spare before she delivered her new baby.  She arrived at the Birth Center less than 5 minutes before I did and I arrived at 2:34pm.  They had already begun filling her birthing tub so it was 3/4 of the way full when we got there.  Fran was her midwife and she had Olivia lay down so she could check her cervix she was at an 8!!  Olivia promptly entered her birth tub, she extremely focused and spent some time talking to Weston, she told him it was time and that she was so excited to meet him. Lynn, Olivia's doula was such an amazing support person for her.  20 minutes after arriving at the Birth Center, Weston made his way earth side.  He was born at 2:54pm.  I spent the next few hours with them, and watching mom and dad bond with their new son.  It was such an amazing experience and I was so honored that I got to be part of it.  

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