I am sitting here drinking a cup of tea and reflecting back on 2020 because I have to see what worked and what didn’t work. Now, I am not one for new year resolutions, but I am on for reflections. I ended 2020 with an amazing 10 days east coast during a pandemic. Honestly, traveling was never in the plans, and gave me so much anxiety but I am thankful for the experiences and memories made.
I grew up spending summers in Duck, North Carolina, so making it back there with my kids was amazing. It was quiet. it was beautiful. There is just something about ocean’s that make you feel like you are part of something big.
Not to get to emotional and all, but ocean’s are amazing. They give the world gifts everyday by leaving beautiful shells, and they shape the earth around them. The ocean is truly incredible and I hope to make it back there more often.
The reset from this trip was much needed. I feel like I have settled back home with a better mindset. After the dumpster fire of a year that 2020 was, I am manifesting all the good vibes for 2021. I have set goals and refined routines. Its going to be a good year.
For photography, I want to focus my intentions on family sessions and elopements. I want to adventure more and enjoy the outside. I want to watch my family clients grow and have so much fun. I want to see more people fall in love with not only each other, but also with Alaska. I don’t want my goals of 2021 to be financially driven or comparing myself to other success, but knowing that I am doing what I love.
For my School, I want learn more than I ever have before, I want to build up my knowledge and see myself progressing. I want experience new things even with remote learning. Who knows maybe, I will find out what kind of medicine I want to work in anyway.
For my Family, this one is probably the biggest, but to show more patience, understanding, and compassion will be huge for me. I am grateful for the constant support and memories we have made and I know this will only continue to get better in 2021. I will not lose myself in my work, but share my thoughts on work with my family.
Well as my tea gets cold and my thoughts make no sense, I will end this with beautiful photos of a place warmer than Alaska. 2020 was a crazy year, but 2021 can only be better.
When this year started I honestly would not have been able to predict anything that would have happened this year, not that any of us could but I am also beyond thankful for this years’ experiences. Now I am not going to tell you it was easy, in fact this year brought so many challenges that were beyond what I thought I was even capable of achieving.
In the past when I have journaled for myself, I start by writing out all the hard things, all the challenges, all the things that made me angry or depressed or defeated. So I will also do that here. I was told once by a therapist that sometimes you just have to dump it in order to process it. So here it is y’all:
I started 2020 without my Mom and that truly sucked
The COVID pandemic threw me for the biggest loop as it did for everyone. I lost childcare, I worked two jobs from home, I couldn’t see friends or family, and I had to reschedule some many weddings. All this had extreme anxiety
I started PA school with children at home and had to cross out with black ink all my my expectations
My husband and I decided he should take an assignment moving him nearly 5,000 miles away. I took on the role of sole caregiver of our two kiddos.
In September my cat, Bandit, was hit and killed by a car. Which is life, but I also bought him right after my mother died and had probably an unhealthy attachment to the little orange fur ball.
My life was overtaken by school and work and my relationships outside the house felt non-existent. It was hard watching (on social media of course) my friends enjoying free time. Seeing other photographers have time to edit and deliver galleries in two days. and honestly I would cry a little bit when I felt I couldn’t answers inquires fast enough and might lose a sale because other aspects of my life had to take momentary priority.
There were days I feel like I failed as an artists. My peers were posting and moving on while I would have days were I wouldn’t even touch my camera. I felt left behind and defeated.
So there it is in a nutshell because there is no use wallowing but instead focusing on the amazing things that totally outweigh the really shitty. So I guess let’s start at the beginning since it has been a while since I posted. ( yes, I know I always say that). Well I was able to spend a ton of time with my family when the pandemic hit, like way more than I though possible. It turned into a blessing since, once school started I spent nearly 9+hours in front of a computer learning. I was able to create some awesome memories with my kiddos. Our family also decided it was time to start looking for a home. We needed a place that was spacious and able to allow us to stay home without losing our minds. It was our goal to maintain our mental and physical health this year.
Now this entire decision was really hard. I was house shopping, while taking care of kiddos, running a business and starting school. I may have gotten a little over my head. It also made me realize I am not the type of photographer to be on TIKTOK or do those IG reels. And major props to those who do, but I also want to be able to step away from social media and enjoy my family, focus on the priorities of family and running a business. I had to realize that being away from photography for days or away from my computer actually meant that I was doing something more meaningful. Anyway, it was a good wake up call and become all worth it when we found the perfect home for our family. A little home– A little A Frame home to be exact and just the right amount of room for freedom and comfort and the tire swing and sledding hill perfectly placed for my kids to grow up. It was a blessing and a hard journey to find this place but goodness I am loving it. It has allowed me to be more productive and balance my life.
Even though we found the perfect home, we also felt that there was a little piece missing. Just before moving in, we added the sweetest 4 month old kitten to our chaos. We welcomed Canon Thunderbolt. Okay first off, Canon was decided as photography is something I love and the only camera I need to be shooting is a Canon 😉 and well the thunderbolt… I blame the kids. Canon has been the perfect little healing kitten. He has the loudest purrs and is constantly around while I am working and doing school from home. We have absolutely loved his presence. He will never replace Bandit, but has helped our family feel a little more complete.
I think I will finish up on the fact that I have to count my blessings this year. I have bought a beautiful home, and adopted a kitten, and have FaceTime and internet and a wonderful business that I love and brings me joy. I have loved the life I have created and although I may not be the instagram famous photographer or even the most talked about photographer, I understand life and I have learned to count my blessings. This year has honestly sucked and there is a lot I want to give up on from time to time, but 2021 will only bring new adventures and new memories. I will meet new people, and new clients will become friends, my kids will grow older and my husband is one year closer to coming home, and I will grow stronger and hopefully smarter. I will one step closer to graduating PA school and having maybe some more free time, but also knowing that life adapts and changes and who know what the future will hold.
Wow! This summer is finally looking beautiful and I am so ready to capture some beauty in todays wild world! With all the chaos in the world today, let’s take a bit of time out of the day to slow down and go on a beautiful adventure. Let’s love one another and embrace one another.
I am thankful that my summer is still filled with some amazing weddings, elopements and family sessions, but that also means I only have a few dates left. In order to see as many of my favorite clients I have taken two of these days just for Mountain Minis.
The first date will be June 27th at Flat Top in Anchorage, Ak. with just a short trip up the mountain, this location will capture some of the most beautiful views. Hike around with your family or your Hunny. Cuddle. Laugh. Make memories.
The second date is August 8th at Summit Lake, Hatcher Pass. This location is always stunning with a little hint of fireweed. Truly in the mountains, capture the moodiness of Alaska and get away from reality for a bit.
I am so excited to get you all in front of my camera for my last few opening of Summer.
adj. to be susceptible. Isn’t that how we are all currently feeling? We are quarantined in our homes vulnerable to these things that are unseen. Susceptible to tiny invisible things. Getting really deep about all of it, haven’t we been hurt by tiny invisible things before, our words, our thoughts, other people’s words? I know it is feels constant. Now they tell us stay home and continue to feel the anxiety and frustration we’ve felt for years.
When this whole thing started, I had to think of all the things I was losing out on. I was losing out on working. I was losing out on community. I was losing out on working out and getting strong. To be honest, I couldn’t help thinking of all the things I did not want to happen.
So over the last two weeks, I have tried to look at the silver linings, but it’s hard. I felt like in order to deal with all of it, I built this enormous wall. This wall that hid that I was angry, sad, frustrated etc. I now had to figure out how to do everything new. By new, I mean a brand new routine. Working two jobs from home while taking care of two young children and somehow manage my own introverted self by myself since I married someone who is considered essential personnel. For the last few years after having kids, I had to re figure out myself and it is almost more frustrating to not feel like it is figured out.
So to get through this, I feel like I must be vulnerable to myself, to the world. I am ready and scared to start school. I am ready and frustrated to see myself change through nutrition and exercise. I am ready to be proud of the person I am becoming. Proud of the mother I am. Proud of the work I put into life. I am ready to support those around me and be apart of something bigger than myself. I am ready to be proud of the past, the present and the highly unpredictable future.
I feel like I always seem to jump on here and say something about how it has been so long since I have posted, so here it is. It has been some time. I finished out 2019 with some amazing sessions and realizing I spent nearly every weekend with amazing people. Many were couple preparing for their 2020 weddings.
When getting ready for an engagement session it is important to look into a couple different items. Most engagement sessions are between 1 and 2 hours which allows for two things. 1. You can get in multiple outfits 2. We could probably get in two locations.
Outfits are an important part of the session. What you choose to wear showcases your personality. Think of looking back at your photos 5 years from now thankful you wore jeans, a button up and boots during your winter engagement over a ball gown. or maybe you love dressing up, lets get you in a flowy gown that catches the wind and is the most romantic photo you have ever seen. Maybe you have a dressy side and a relaxed side… do both! We have time. What ever you choose to wear it should capture you as your normally are. You should be comfortable in the skin your in.
As for me when it comes to outfits, I will point you in the right direction of colors that match, or avoid too many patterns between you and your spouse. Avoid the bright neon colors and go for something more natural that way your eye will naturally draw to your face rather than your shirt when you view your photos. I will always be there to bounce ideas for outfits.
Now let’s talk locations. Once of my favorite questions is “Do you have a favorite place,” or “Where did you all first meet”. The locations that we choose for your engagement session will become special to you or maybe already has.The location should not just be chosen for its beauty, although this is important, but it should be a location that reminds you of your love. You love hiking together, then let’s hike mountain to your favorite spot, or maybe you love the water and kayaking down the river, let’s meet by the river bank and capture your love.
When you are ready to plan you all the specifics of your engagement session, Let’s do this together.
There is something about meeting your person so young in life. From childhood friends to life long lovers Morgan and Caleb have such a unique love. It was one of my first sessions that I almost took a step back and went Woah! Y’all are making my job too easy. Just Amazing.
Morgan and Caleb were able to play, have fun and be themselves at their engagement session. True laughs and giggles and walking away from the session with the biggest smiles.
From the soft sweet moments, to the wild ride. This is an amazing life.
I have started and stopped this blog post numerous times. I have struggled finding the motivation and frankly the words to describe anything. It is funny how that seems to happen in winter. I strongly believe in the Winter blues and definitely get them myself. It is in these moment I try to find something to snap myself out of it.
I have thrown my time into my business full hearted this year. I have revamped so many things so that I can walk my clients from step one to step ten of the photography session process. With that, the feedback I have received as been amazing. I have found relationships with clients have become stronger and I feel invested into their lives more than ever. I have loved watching families grow and love come to life. I have been inspired to capture this growth, this love and this life.
There are so many reasons that when I feel a print and my hand and my heart flutters. I feel nostalgic as I see a print framed and hung on the wall or I hear the flip of the thick pages of an album. I cannot help but smile as I hear the giggles of children pointing at themselves in a photo going “That’s me” and I definitely cry every time I see a couple see their photos for the first time and cry themselves knowing that their love was capture, frozen in time.
This is why life and I mean real everyday life should be captured in time. It is the hide and seek under the blanket moments, and the wrestle in a field of wild flowers type of moments that are so simple and yet so stunningly beautiful. What captures your life and your love is what I want to photograph every day and I could. I so passionately love what I do and I feel like each person needs to experience this amazing thing of capturing life as it truly is.
It is the night of halloween and all through the house not a creature is stirring, maybe a mouse…. but really I am so excited for Christmas! Obviously I am one of those people that jump straight from halloween to Christmas in a blink of an eye. But before we reach that point, I felt the need to share the most amazing session that truly brought back the spark of creativity in my soul.
Occasionally I drown myself out in the art world and realize that I shouldn’t touch my camera for about 2 weeks and tag along to some crazy session that Is there for the soul purpose of making art. Well this was it! My good friend from Allison Banks Photography starting planning the most amazing halloween shoot, and invited myself to tag along. So I did. Alyssa and Jake killed the evening with their sexy, creepy skeleton vibes and the weather brought even more to the game.
I could seriously do creative shoots for the rest of my life and be perfectly content and my goodness I know the make up artist to do them all because Alecia Butchko make up artistry is to die for!!!
This year for me has been a year full of elopements, something near and dear to my life. The spontaneity and the adventure is something that I fully thrive on. The greatest is seeing two people come together in front of the closest of friends, or just in front of nature itself.
Nature is so beyond powerful and flows through us because it is meant to be there. Seeing some of the most amazing couples adventure and say “I do” as nature takes over. It is so dangerous, powerful and the true meaning of marriage, as marriage in itself is dangerous and powerful and beautiful.
There is a reason I do what I do, because I myself wish that I had just hiked a mountain, or a glacier, or strolled barefoot through the sand before saying promising my full love to someone, because if they are willing to hike that mountain with you, or dance in the rain, what would they not being willing to do. This coming November I will be celebrating 5 years of marriage. We also eloped, bored one day after only a couple weeks of dating decided to take on this crazy life together. Whether it is spontaneity of running off to the courthouse, or hiking a mountain, or taking a ride on a horse through the rivers, I will happily attend this wonderful day with you capturing your love as it truly is, wild, romantic, and adventurous.
Its been a bit of delay in blogging this session. I wanted to do something adventurous and get some of my dresses from my closet finally onto a client. The amazing thing was that this one dress created such an amazing image when paired with the Amazing Alex. I could not have asked for a better day and a more beautiful soul to work on this project with. I was pleased to also be joined by the amazing Allison Banks Photography. This whole project could not have been achieved without her input and guidance with how to pose Alex or collaborating on what to do next. I love being able to work with amazing people!