They say high noon on a sunny day is really not the time for photography but I like to break the rules. It's Summer. Sunshine is a key element to Summer, and therefore a great element in Summertime sessions. I'm honestly not sure if I could love these images more. The dappled sunlight filtering through trees and old bridges created some pretty fantastic bokeh as a backdrop to this great family. We tried a new location and it's quite honestly my new favorite. Old train trestle, rushing river, a dam, trees and hills and incredible sunshine-y scenery... and an adorable pair of brothers to boot. Perfect recipe for a Summertime photo session.
“Best Brothers of All Time!”
I mean, yeah, there was some pen tattoo art applied unbeknownst to me just before we left, and we had our wardrobe malfunctions, and sometimes the horizon ended up cutting through their necks (maybe that only bothers the photographers amongst us). You'll have those technical blunders when you're technically going candid, but there was not a single complaint or despair and that's a win for Mom, and Grandma's gallery wall.
Yes, she will continue to question and second guess and despair over every decision, every activity, every harsh word that manages to escape her lips, and she will wonder every single day if she is screwing it all up. But at the end of the day when she kisses those cherub cheeks goodnight, she will wonder how she became the most blessed woman on the planet. And she will wake up to do it all again tomorrow... Or in a couple hours because who are we kidding? Moms never clock out.
And Other Interesting Facts
What do you like to do with your friends?
That thing that Wyatt has that when you sit on it, it sounds like a fart.
How much does your mom weigh?
I'm guessing 96.4 pounds.
Why do you love your mom?
Because she's pretty.
With Mother's Day almost here, I am being intensely vulnerable. I have gone through this twice and there was nothing easy about it. Some pieces of this journey were downright terrifying because I didn't realize it could be so intense. Miscarriage is one of the loneliest places you can find yourself, because nobody really talks about it so you think you're falling apart and you are sure something is terribly wrong with you. If this is in any way helpful to any woman, my work here is done. Please feel free to share with another miscarriage mama if you find any piece of this to be relevant.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Having been on both sides of the dilemma, here's my thought process that went into the whole decision which took me about 19 weeks and 5 days to completely arrive at. Who doesn’t love a pro’s and cons list?
And now I'm curious, where are my other surprise mamas at? I want to hear your experience! Did you find out? Did you choose not to? Are my assumptions correct that you really can't regret your decision either way? Comment below what you might add or take away from the pro's and con's list.
They beg me to come out and play with them, but fact is, I'm so bad at anything sports related I will literally ingrain all the bad habits. However, I always feel bad about declining their requests, so I bought myself a little time by telling them if Dad plays baseball with them when he comes home from his shop, I will play with them. They were all over that, Snapchatting their dad the news about Mom agreeing to play ball. Next thing I know, Dad's home and, well, that's where we're going to end my story because I'm pretty sure the dog could play baseball better than I do.
A single thread of hope is still a very powerful thing.
Introducing Our Rainbow Baby!
"Hope begins in the dark. The stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work. You don't give up."
A couple months ago, Sleeklens contacted me to try some of their presets for the purpose of reviewing their workflow. To be entirely candid, I have never been much of a presets gal. In my opinion and limited experience with presets, I find that in general, presets feel more like "filters" and have a tendency to cheapen professional work. So, other than a few select basic presets I had created from my own work, I like to rely mostly on hand edits. But I decided to go ahead and jump at this opportunity and give it the ol' college try, and while I still hold the same personal opinion about the over use of presets, I do find myself regularly using many of the brushes in a lot of my work.
Being asked to be their photographer meant a lot to me. I know what loss feels like, I have an idea of how hard it is to have to wait and wonder. To have your heart wide open and eager to embrace a new life, only to have your hopes dashed month after month after hopeless month. It's a hard journey, and most people are oblivious to the agony.
Understandably there was a bit of impatience due to the chilly temperatures; not to mention the warm, freshly baked, chocolate smothered peanut butter cookies that were screaming from the kitchen counter where they were cooling. So we went fast, and it was fun. There was more laughter than crocodile tears, and a few chocolate smeared faces along the way to make it epic in the beautiful mess sort of way, which is the sort of work that I love to do.
This precious girl. Born to my friends on a chilly day in December, after the doctors had sent her mommy home telling her to rest. Mackenzie Grace had a different idea and she wasn't really in the mood to wait around for it. So yet again, another trip to labor and delivery and this time they took her seriously. She arrived in no time to the welcoming arms of her mommy, daddy and big adoring brother. This little girl is their favorite Christmas gift ever. She is such a sweetheart.
He is a breathtaking boy. I have never met a child quite like this little warrior. His bright eyes and beaming smile light up the whole world around him. Literally! He was barely out of his car seat when he was calling and waving excitedly to me, "Hi Brittney!!" He couldn't wait to take pictures. You would think having a photo session with me in the freezing cold was his lifelong dream come true. But then in that short time I spent with him and his family, I realized that every little exciting wonder he experienced--the snow, the icicles, a rushing river, making Bridger laugh, a rail fence, echoes, hand warmers and treats, a beautiful building that "smelt cool" (it had tigers in it, it smelt like cat pee, ha!)--was basically his lifelong dream come true.
It seems like a lot of "my" babies (as I so lovingly adore to call my tiniest clients) arrive ahead of schedule lately. Little Miss Alyse did not want to miss Thanksgiving, so she called off her daddy's big hunting plans and arrived a prompt 2 weeks early. Which I was okay with, because I was in desperate need of a baby fix. It was freezing cold outside, with snow blowing and drifting wildly, but this little doll faced angel was perfect. She did nothing more than squeak contentedly in her newborn slumbers as her sweet mama and I fussed with her. This was one of the most relaxing sessions ever. Look how darling!
My childhood friend moved back from Colorado this year. Her and her adorable family traded the bustling city life and mountains for the sweetest little farmstead a few miles off the beaten path you ever saw, nestled snuggly in the rolling hills and picturesque sunsets of Wisconsin. This is a family that knows a thing or two about the value of a simple life that allows them to treasure the love they share, the simple fact that every day is a gift, and that life should be more about memories and cute hats, and less about things.
I remember it as October days are always remembered, cloudless, maple-flavored, the air gold and so clean it quivers.
It may have been slightly less than chilly on this beautiful Fall day when we took on the hiking trails of Wakanda Park for a photo shoot. The partly cloudy skies provided slivers of warm sunshine, making the brightly colored fall leaves flicker and dance as they fell. The paths were vibrant with color, and the elk were feeling particularly friendly and curious. The conditions were perfect for some gorgeous shots and this was such a fun family. The toddler enthusiasm of little Brendan was my favorite. He kept us moving quickly and he had interesting ideas for poses but that face and personality added so much spark.
Seven years ago I had a baby. Today I have a kind and funny little man, and this journey of motherhood that he has taken me on has been the sweetest. Happy Birthday, Jimmy.