hopeful words for a new year..

I have to admit, I’ve been proceeding cautiously into this New Year, until I read the following passage a dear friend in Los Angeles shared with me from her local Japanese newspaper:
 

"Unlike the 2013 Year of the Snake, which gradually shed its old ways,
the Year of the Horse will charge forward with unbridled energy.  
Seeds planted during the Snake year
will enable dreams and goals to finally come to fruition.  
Everything is possible and anything can happen."

 
2013 was a tough year for my family, but the gratitude and strength that I now feel is astounding.  To think that 2014 will “charge forward with unbridled energy” is exactly what I need to believe and I instantly wanted to spread these hopeful words to all of you. 
 
Cheers to a new year, to new beginnings, and for our deepest desires to come true.  

Here's a couple of moments from my recent California sessions that I found quite fitting for the "unbridled energy" ahead.

NewYear1.png
NewYear2.png

wishing you a peaceful and memorable 2014!

letting go of perfection // a “day in the life” photography session

Isn’t it fascinating how difficult it can be to let go… Letting go of perfection, expectations, and the pressures we place on ourselves is HARD.  Yet, it isn’t until we truly let go that we are able to see what is waiting to be revealed.  And often times, it is actually perfect... the kind of perfect we can’t expect or control.  It just happens.

It is not uncommon for me to prepare my clients in this way.  It has become a mantra for my work.  I truly believe that the best moments happen when we have fully let go of pressures and expectations.  Not only are children most at ease when adults are at ease, but my best photographs also happen when I am able to get lost in my surroundings without worry. 

As I prepared for this session, however, something was different.  My client didn’t need a lick of advice or preparation.  She gets it.  She wrote me candidly about her life’s potential changes to come and how meaningful it will be to capture some special everyday moments with her 3 year old son.  She told me how she loves the way they snuggle up in her bed first thing in the morning, the way they lie on their bellies… she expressed how they love to cook together and explore their favorite hiking trail. 

As we brainstormed ideas and planned our session, I quickly realized that I was battling my inner perfectionist.  I was worrying about not having enough light in the bedroom at 8:30am and ending up outdoors when the sun is so harsh.  But, perfection is not the goal, here.  Instead, my goal is to be fully present in order to capture true “day in the life” moments as they naturally unfold on this ordinary day, regardless of when and where the light will be “best.”  It didn’t take long for me to step back and take my own advice.  I needed to let go.

And the result – a perfection that I could not have predicted, planned, or pre-visualized.  So, maybe this 3 year old was in “bad guy” mode on this particular day... and maybe he put his shirt on backwards... and maybe he fought the getting ready routine, which resulted in sporting his bed-head hair for the rest of the day.  And maybe there was barely enough light in the bedroom and we ended up shooting outdoors at nearly high noon.  And maybe it didn’t matter.  We chose to not let it matter. 

In all of its imperfection; it was pretty perfect.  And that is typically how it goes.

Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life, Fine Art Documentary Photography

hilton head island // family beach vacation photography

hilton head island, south carolina

mid-august

10 adults, 11 kids (ages 1.5 - 17)

one big beach house

and the atlantic ocean

beach. pool. beach. pool. bbq.

repeat.

need i say more?

Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography

when one of my dearest long-time California clients invited me to document their extended family beach vacation in south carolina ("a day in the life" style), it was an instant 'yes.' to be a fly on the wall photographer in such a relaxed setting is when i am most at home with my camera. lift the pressure and expectation from both parties (the subjects and the photographer) and that's when the best moments are captured and the quirky coolness comes out.. that's when the magic happens. this working vacation to hilton head island proved to be such a treasured highlight of my year - thanks again y'all!

if you would like me to photograph "a day in the life" of your family's next vacation, whether along the shores of Lake Michigan, in Southern California, or anyplace you can possibly dream up, call me. seriously. i love this. :)

beautiful ordinary moments, indeed.

"Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy. Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments – often ordinary moments. Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down the extraordinary moments. Other times we’re so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light. A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy. That would eventually become unbearable. I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, and inspiration."

- Brene Brown

NYC documentary child photography
NYC documentary children's photography
NYC candid family photography
Central Park NYC documentary child photographer
Central Park NYC children's photographer
Central Park NYC family photography
Central Park, NYC family photography
NYC fine art children's photography
NYC Natural Light Children's Photography
NYC natural light child photographer
NYC child portrait photography
NYC family photographer
NYC children's photographer
NYC documentary children's photography
NYC documentary children's portraits
NYC children's photography

When I first reviewed the photographs from my NYC portrait sessions, the irony leapt off the screen… my favorite images were not captured amidst extraordinary Central Park landmarks or sweeping cityscapes. The photographs that instantly grabbed my attention and tugged at my heart were the quiet moments when an honest glance seamlessly intersected with the click of my shutter. Upon this wise mom’s request, I was honored to document a simple glimpse of their “everyday.” Afterall, it is inside their fleeting childhood bedrooms and on the bustling city streets where life actually happens. Beautifully ordinary moments, indeed.

What is happening in your daily life right now that you never want to forget?

a perfect day for dinosaurs..

there's really nothing better than documenting kids being exactly who they are today.

i absolutely adored these two boys on this beautiful September day. major props to this 3 1/2 year old big brother who kept this photo session a secret for almost 3 weeks! these photographs were planned as a special anniversary gift for his dad.. and i was honored to be a part of the surprise!

grand rapids children's photographer, west michigan child photography
grand rapids children's photographer, west michigan child photography
grand rapids children's photographer, west michigan child photography
grand rapids children's photographer, west michigan child photography
grand rapids children's photographer, west michigan child photography
grand rapids children's photographer, west michigan child photography
grand rapids children's photographer, west michigan child photography
grand rapids children's photographer, west michigan child photography
grand rapids children's photographer, west michigan child photography

summer days in michigan..

love... this family. loved seeing how much these 3 little ladies have grown up, how much they love their michigan summers, the big swing, the land, their horse. grateful that they asked me to come down for the evening to capture the girls as they truly are. love that this mom appreciates my approach to photography and shares my love for genuinely beautiful moments as they unfold on a regular day.

fine art documentary children's photography
documentary children's portrait photography
documentary children's photography, west michigan
documentary children's photography, west michigan
genuine documentary children's photography
documentary children's portrait photography

this last photograph is one of my favorites. it was the very last image taken, as we awaited the massive storm that rolled through and cut our session a bit short. so, we ate dinner, made brownies, and caught up in the kitchen til the day turned to night.