Posted on September 1, 2012
In a sense, my profession allows me to freeze time. But, oftentimes, I catch myself wishing I could REALLY freeze time. Like right now, when I want to work on these photos into the wee hours of the morning because it’s so hard to stop. I want to freeze time so I can START to pack because I am leaving early in the morning to catch an important flight. A flight that will bring me, arms outstretched, to finally hold the baby that was just seconds away from being born in this photo:
I know it’s not fair and not typical of me to only post one photo. And what a tease that photo is. But, since I was there and I’ve been working on these photos, I know what’s to come… and it’s an amazing story. A story that must be “told” in chronological order from this point forward. To me, that is giving the story the respect it deserves.
So, even though I am painfully close to being finished… I must hold off until I am back in town again on the 5th… because this clock is being a booger with its non-stop ticking habit.
All emails, messages and phone calls will be answered upon my return and until then… I’m going to stock up on a huge supply of newborn nephew snuggles.
But first, I must pack. (Which, I’m sure will result in the inevitable, yet somehow always a surprise “Oh-crap-last-minute-laundry-load” now that it’s the middle of the night.
Enjoy your Labor Day weekends. (There’s a bit of pun in there?)
Posted on July 23, 2012
If you frequent my blog,
A.) I love you, and
B.) it’s no secret that everyone I photograph is very dear to me.
(I’m going to get all corn-ball and sappy and “Hallmark card” on you. So, if you don’t like mushy talk, turn around and don’t let the door hit your keester on the way out).
My lens is a gateway… seeing straight through the eyes of “my” babies, allowing me to catch a glimpse of their souls. Beautiful little souls. Important little souls. Even before the babies can speak, their eyes say so much. This gateway forms a connection between me and them… and they move right into my heart, pulling up a chair and making themselves comfortable amongst the other sweet souls I have photographed. This will forever be one of my most favorite rewards of being a photographer.
Normally, it’s easy for me to spill my heart’s contents all over this blog about each session I photograph… each soul I see into. But this maternity session…
I’m having trouble coming up with the words. Perhaps some people take up such giant sections of my heart… so that the chair they pulled up is enormous, and its legs are glued to my heart’s floor because they are going to remain there until it no longer beats.
See, some people are so damn dear to me… I can’t come up with the words. I’m going to blame it on this giant lump in my throat… it is blocking the passage between my heart and my typing fingertips.
Words can’t do justice for how much I love my sister. Words can’t do justice for how sad I am that there are 658 miles between us. Words can’t do justice for how elated I am that she is going to experience motherhood.
Words. Can’t. Do. Justice.
So, I’ll let the photography do the talking. And I hope the photos tell you that as beautiful and glowing as she is on the outside, what’s on the inside is brighter and more beautiful than this sunset.
I hope the photos tell you that the photographer had teary-wet cheeks and the world’s biggest smile. And that the baby was kicking during this one…
I hope the photos tell you how much these two love each other. And how much they deserve to feel the truest form of unconditional love as they soon become parents.
I hope these photos tell you how much she can’t wait to be a mother:
I hope these photos tell you how very wanted this baby is… how very much they pray for him.
I hope these photos tell you how much I already LOVE the baby that waits inside this perfectly-proportioned belly. I hope these photos use a word bigger than the word “love”.
I hope these photos tell you how much excitement is bursting within our family as we all await the arrival of our newest member.
I hope these photos tell you what a big heart she has… and how much she deserves this happy feeling.
I hope these photos tell you that these two people are some of the biggest believers in ME and my business and my dreams. If their hearts can be so good to ME, it’s going to be incredible to see what they will be for their own child.
To my brother-in-law: Thank you for taking care of my sister and thank you for proving me right by being everything I knew you would be for her when I set you two up years ago. (You had to know I was going to toss that in there.) Without a doubt, you are going to be a remarkable father, and I am so, so excited for you to experience it.
To my beautiful sister: Cherish these last few days of pregnancy… and let each baby kick remind you of what a miracle pregnancy is and how absolutely stunning you look. As soon as your body tells you “It’s time”, those 658 miles are going to shrink down by the hour until I am there. You are brave, you are strong, and you can do it. And the minute your baby’s weight gets transferred from your belly to your arms, you are going to experience something so …… SO magical.
Forget putting my heart on my sleeve. Posting these photos and letting them talk… is like slapping my heart on your computer screen and smearing it all around. (There. I had to put something kinda gross in here to keep this lump in my throat at bay. I’m too tired to let myself do the “ugly cry” tonight.)
Faithful blog readers, (those that let it be known and those secret ones)… after smearing my heart all over your screen, I feel a little closer to you now. And I hope these photos told you enough to pull you a little closer to me, too.
Family is, and will always be, most important for me. These next three words ring truer than true: Family comes first. I am so grateful to have such wonderful clients who understand this and respect that I am going to high-tail it out of this town and be Kansas bound… baby bound… As soon as we get the call. I will return home to my own babies (and your babies) ready to work my keester off as usual when things need to settle down for my sister. Your understanding means the world to me.
I can’t wait to see my baby sister become a mother.
Posted on July 14, 2011
As a photographer, I often hear the comment, “Oh, you must have TONS of great photos of your kids all over your HOUSE!” Sadly, I do not. Not like you’d think. In fact, I constantly beat myself up about never getting great photos of my own kids. My calendar is packed with appointments and I never seem to be able to “work in” my OWN kids. I know that sounds insane… but it just isn’t easy getting them dressed up and dragging them to my studio. In the past, I have actually booked my own kids’ appointments on my calendar… I thought that would work. But, then I never had time to sort and retouch those photos. Knowing I have a string of clients waiting for THEIR photos… How could I ever take some time to do my own? I find myself constantly JEALOUS of my clients and the photos they receive. I want some of those! I’m fully capable, so why don’t I have any!?
Then there’s the guilt. Oh, gosh, the guilt. And the panic. Time is flying by so rapidly… my kids are constantly changing and although I appreciate all the little moments, I’m just too busy to photograph them. Too busy?! For something so important?! Shame on me. SHAME. ON. ME. But recently, something happened and I realized I only need two seconds to get what I’ve been feeling deprived of…
I was in the backyard with my kids. They were playing in the sandbox and I was yelling at my daughter to NOT pour sand on my son’s back… I was also stressed because I had so many open jobs on my desktop to retouch. (This is something that is CONstantly looming over my head. No matter what.) If I’m working on photos, I feel guilty for not spending time with my family… If I’m outside with my kids, I feel guilty for not working on photos. Constant cycle of guilt. (I’m working on a solution to this.)
So at that moment, the sun settled into the perfect spot and got comfy. It was like the light… this perfect light… just tapped me and the shoulder and said, “YO! Check me out! I’m perfection right now, but I’m on my way down… why don’t you do something with this?!”
I looked at my daughter sitting in the ugly, green fold-out camping chair… wearing the dress and headband she would wear every day if I let her (and usually I do)… with the perfect light across her sweet face. “Don’t move, Honey!”, I said, and I ran inside and grabbed my camera. My kids are beautiful, the light was beautiful…w ho cares if they aren’t prepped for a shoot? I seized it.
I ran over to my son… already, the light had changed significantly… but, in his unbrushed hair, with sand on his face and wearing nothing but a Pull-Up… THAT’S my son. The real him… and judging by the look on his face, you can tell he’s not used to seeing me behind the camera:
Boom. Two seconds.
These photos aren’t perfect by any means… but they are SO… so precious to me. Not just because this is how they naturally were on this day… but mainly because these photos were the result of the biggest wake-up call I’ve ever received.
So, Mr. Setting Sun… Today, I hoist my juicebox up to you and say, “Thanks, big guy. Thanks for tapping me on the shoulder and reminding me to take my two seconds and start living with no regrets. ” Because I can guarantee you this- I can grow old and look back on my portfolio and be proud of my work, and be elated at knowing I made so many clients happy… but the pain that will come with realizing I failed to capture the beauty and youth of my own children?… well, I can’t even IMAGINE how bad that would hurt.
I’m a photographer. There is NO REASON why I shouldn’t be grabbing great photos of my own kids here and there. Two seconds is all it takes. I can certainly spare that. And whether you’re a photographer or not, I urge you to take your two seconds, too. Snapshots with camera phones… it doesn’t even matter. Just do it before it’s too late, ay?
I’ve had this saved as a draft for over a month now. I finally decided to take my two seconds to upload the photos and post it.
Posted on July 5, 2011
On the front of my airport receipt, it says, “Denver International Airport, 07/04/11, Snapple $1.97. On the back, with misty eyes, I scribbled the following:
When I think back on my Independence Day celebrations of the past, one thing has always been consistent. I have looked UP at the fireworks. Now, from my tiny airplane window, I look DOWN on them. I hoped I would see this. I imagined it would be pretty cool. But, I had no idea it would be one of the most spectacular sights of my 31 years of life… one that I may never have the privilege of witnessing again.
All it took was one quick sideways glance… and suddenly my book that has had me SO captivated for several hours in the airport and during the beginning of the flight, now sits ignored on my lap… mindlessly closed before I could even get my bookmark into place. How quickly that book was trumped by this wondrous site. I am also choosing to ignore this massive crick in my neck from craning to the left for goodness-knows-how-long… for I can barely look away.
How lucky I am to have a pilot who, I’m sure, is purposely flying low tonight. Armed with only a camera phone (I know, I know) I will try my best to do this scene outside my window justice with only my words. I want you to “see” it too.
One dot of light catches my eye, then another, then another. Like tiny fireflies in a dark field, multicolored and twinkling… then bursting open from the Earth like flowers in bloom… as far as my eye can see… and EVERYWHERE.
This is magical. Wow, just Magical.
Reds, blues, greens and golds pepper the dark landscape like candy sprinkles on a chocolate cake. Over and over and over again. I cannot even concentrate on one spot because my eyes are being drawn all over the place.
What’s even more captivating than the scenery? The meaning behind it all. To think that I am looking down on this part of our country and witnessing COUNTLESS celebrations all happening at the SAME moment for the SAME reason… to observe the independence of this magnificent nation that we are all so incredibly lucky to share. On this day, we put aside our differences and come together as one strong, patriotic unit.
I can imagine all of the people nestled on their blankets with their families and loved ones… small children smelling of sunscreen, holding sparklers and waving tiny American flags, pointing and looking up here as I look down down there…
And just when I think it can’t get any better than this… we are flying higher now, allowing me to witness Nature’s own light show…
As the fireworks shrink down to sparkling glitter below, the lightning suddenly illuminates the hidden clouds in the vast darkness that is outside my window. Incredible.
How can this man behind me be tap-tapping on his laptop and not looking out his window? I fight the urge to unbuckle my seatbelt and stand up in the isle and say, “Are y’all SEEING this?!?! Where are the ooo’s and ahh’s people?!” Perhaps the man is typing out his own rendition of this incredible sight. Much like I would be doing if I had a laptop. Right now, I’m grateful for this pen and receipt.
I’m happy to put my attention back to what’s happening outside my window.
Because, now the plane has lowered some more, allowing me to witness both shows at once. The magically appearing clouds, illuminated by sporadic lightning (much like a strobe light) combined with the fireworks- small, colorful popcorn dancing across the landscape.
Now that’s what I call a finale… and one HECK of a celebration.
At this point, I am speechless.
Only three more words come to mind… GOD. BLESS. AMERICA.
I hope you had a magical Forth of July weekend and I hope you remembered the real reason beind the celebrating. I had a terrific time visiting with my sister and brother-in-law in beyond-beautiful Denver, Co. Now, I am refreshed, recharged, and back to the grind. (But, I really do love this grind). I am answering emails and phone calls in the order received. Thanks so much for your patience as I get caught up! You’re the best. Mean it.