Sometime people change, but memories do not. When I first met Olivia and Nick and little Viv, was at the trail head to Arctic Valley, where we laughed and danced and literally changed everything I knew about my business and photography and created something so special, that I knew that this was the art I wanted to be creating. They showed my that we are capturing memories, not just taking photo.
A couple months ago, I put out for a model call for a so in love couple who still had their wedding attire, as if to do and I do Redo or give someone who didn’t get the pictures they expected in exchange for what they really wanted.
Olivia’s only request when she trusted me with this task, was get her husband in his uniform. She knew that these would be pictures that would last a lifetime. We did just that. We went out and we captured these memories of their family in that moment in the dress where she vowed to always stand by her husbands side, and now raise beautiful children together, and continue on every adventure together military or not.
“How long will I love you
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I can
How long will I need you
As long as the seasons need to
Follow their plan”
Elopements will forever have a place in my heart. I eloped at the age of 21 and have only one regret which is why did I not do something epic. I remember walking into the courthouse and saying “I do”. It was not but ordinary, but it was my ordinary at the time. Working with my amazing clients I get to truly experience an elopement as it should be. It should be free, true love, that pulls at your emotions and makes your heart flutter with anticipation that you are there with the one you love in the most amazing place sharing the most sacred and original vows with the one person you are going to always have an adventure with in life.
Elopements are the way to start your adventure in the most wild and free way. Brett and Robin did just that. Emily, the amazing officiant from Wild Love Alaska, and I drove 2.5 hours just to pick up these beautiful people up from the train in Seward. They truly new how to start their wedding day. It was sprinkling as they walked off the train. Robins dress flowed so elegantly and Brett was right by her side helping her through the crowd of onlookers. We all huddled into my tiny car and began to drive towards Exit Glacier.
The amazing thing that Emily does with her clients is helps them to have the most intimate of ceremonies, so about 10 minutes out from the glacier we pulled off onto the side of the road and onto rocky river bed where we were the only ones for miles. It was so amazing just being Brett and Robin together with no onlookers. They truly could be themselves. They each had written their owns vows which brought me to tears.
I believe I am truly a romantic at heart, and seeing Robin have a dream come true wedding where she literally was able to marry her knight in shining armor was the most romantic thing I have ever seen. It was like something from a fairytale. They were both all smiles the entire time and in complete awe struck of their own love and how they decided to allow the beauty of Alaska to be their backdrop for their amazing wedding!
Over coffee at Starbucks, I met Jade and Nathan. They were ready to book a session to celebrate their marriage. It was a wonderful experience getting to know my clients just a little bit prior to meeting and shooting their anniversary session. Nathan was so supportive of every idea Jade and I came up with and had the sweetest smile when he would say, ” I just am here to make her happy.”
Their request consisted of I want to dress up and capture Alaska and I believe we achieve both capturing the beauty of Alaska, but also the beauty in Jade and Nathans marriage.
The day did not quite go as planned. Some events in the morning delayed our session back and I was quickly watching the tide charts for our location, as when the tide gets too high then we would be unable to reach certain rocks, but the tides were on our side and were staying relatively low most the day. We met in the parking lot and the weather decided a bit of sprinkles was going to join our session. At this point, nothing was stopping us from hiking out to our location.
I love finally reaching the official location and seeing the looks on my clients faces. It is one of the best experiences to see their faces light up from what Alaska has to offer and makes every delay, or cloudy weather, or hike worth it. Clients let their emotions go and really embrace the rest of the session knowing that they have trusted me this far to bring them to a beautiful location, with some possible rainy weather, and helped them to style their look to achieve the perfect session. Jade and Nathan were great at trusting me with every pose and each awkward joke. It was such a joy to see them really embrace each other and have the energy to bring to session.
Here is to many more years to come. Thank you Jade and Nathan.
A couple weeks back, I showed up to a chilly, windy and sunny collaboration with many other photographers. I immediately looked around and said I want to explore. I grabbed a fellow photographer and we found Nicole and we ran off in the opposite direction. We walked for about 20 minutes until we found this beautiful light streaming perfectly through the trees.
Nicole modeled a dress and flower crown, I had been hoarding for sometime. She absolutely rocked the session just by being naturally herself. Nicole owns is an amazing artist herself owning seaglass and stardust. I you get a chance you must check out her amazing jewelry. Some of which is featured on her hands in these amazing photos.
See more from this collaboration: https://lilliebullockphotography.shootproof.com/gallery/6871059/
“I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” -Diane Ackerman. You are doing just that Amanda and Patrick. You are truly living the width of life taking on this adventure we call life, and you are doing it together. Don’t ever second guess this great change.
I first met Amanda about 2 months after moving to Alaska. She had responded to a Model call for a milk bath. For roughly two hours while she got her hair and makeup done and sat in a luke warm bath of flowers, we bonded over marriage, coffee, young mothers, the love of photography, and life. She was one of those clients I could already tell was going to be a life long friend.
I was able to photography her family five or so times over the last year and each one was fantastic, but this session was by far the best. There was something special about it. Patrick finally laughed at my dorky jokes and seemed to get that this was something so special for Amanda as it would be some of her last photos in Alaska… at least for now.
Okay, okay. I will admit I am definitely tearing up writing this. This girl has been so great to have in my life not just for photography but as a friendship that has grown strong commiserating over Alaska’s long winters and getting hyped on some double shot frappes from Starbucks. I am not sure who I will be bringing to the photo collaborations willing to be wild and crazy and embrace herself to the fullest, but I know one thing is this adventure is going to be great for your family. Squires Family, you are a gift.
You will be walking on real beaches and not Eklutna mud and you will be able to dance with fireflies and not mosquitos. You will have a real day and night experience. Enjoy every bit of cold breeze and waves on lakes as your time in Alaska nears the end.
Thank you for letting me capture over a year of memories, Thank you for the coffee dates, and thank you for being you. You all will always have a little piece of Alaska be apart of you and your life and now onto the next adventure.
I debated when I sat down to blog tonight about blogging about weddings and bridal sessions and all the fun I have with elopements, but then I realized, more like it hit me, Sunday is Mother’s Day.
What does it even mean to be a mother? and I ask this because we all have different mothers and were all raised differently. My mother was amazing. She always tried her hardest to be her kindest even when raising four children, but I always know that she is kind and smart and always did everything she could to make sure her children were smiling and fulfilled. For me, she taught me patience as a mother myself and to always remember that no matter what enjoy the moment you are in.
I see moms everyday struggling because we often put everyone else above ourselves. You may be hungry, but your children are fed first and you second. You may be tired, but you still read that bedtime story or sing that last song and make sure your little is sound asleep before you are able to shut your eyes. You kiss their boo-boos, you clothe them, bathe them, change their diaper and watch them grow. You will play in the dirt and water and sand and paint just to make sure they are clean and everything else is clean again. As a mother you do the job of a village! They say is takes a village to raise a child, but sometimes it just takes a mother.
Just know that as a mother you are appreciated. You are looked up to by your littles, and your fellow mothers will always understand the struggle. Happy Mother’s Day!
I feel so behind on blogging. In fact I feel I am always playing catch up, but my priorities are my family, my job, and my clients, so blogging sometimes gets put on the back burner. I do my blogging for fun and to expand more for each session. I like t also blog the sessions that stand out in some way shape or form.
This particular session really stood out because this was one of the first woman when I moved to Alaska that I felt truly understood the photographer life. She is a wonderful photographer, and beautiful mother. Mckayla truly is blessed with a beautiful family and they are always pleasure to photograph.
From bump to birth, forever is this family growing beautifully. They braves the wind, the cold, and a home birth to bring home beautiful Zara, who I cannot wait to see grow into another beautiful human.
The reason I truly enjoy lifestyle sessions is because momma of a new baby gets to relax and be themselves. They don’t need a magazine ready home or to dress fancy, but they need a smile and to show a little love and the magic happens. Even big sisters enjoy themselves and get a little attention in front of the camera.
In 2017 a fellow photographer, Donna Marie, started something amazing. It started with maybe 20 photographers out at Peter’s creek folf course all agreeing that it was community over competition and my this group has grown wonderfully! I praise Donna constantly on how amazing her Ideas of creating a group of creatives that will continually support each other and allow them to grow!
Since the first collaboration there have been 5 and this was my fourth in attendance and the first one I really took an idea and ran with it. I was so thankful for the support of fellow photographers to help keep candles lit and help me light a fire to shoot this session of camping under the stars.
When the idea popped into my head I immediately set out to find a couple that would rock this theme. Ashley reached out to me and said she planned to bring her boyfriend to this collaboration. Thank goodness because I wanted a couple with chemistry and sweetness and they were perfect. Sometimes it’s hard for a significant other to want to be there, but Trevor was awesome. He took direction so welll and you could tell how much he cared for Ashley to support her in this session.
As I waiting for Ashley to arrive, I of course found Gabby! Gabby and I have worked together at multiple collaborations and so it was easy for things to fall into place when I told her I had a plan. She quickly agreed and her boyfriend Dalton was glad to let his truck be apart of the session. The fire between Dalton and Gabby definitely captured a crowd!
What I love about each collaboration is that you get to try new things that are not the norm, like shooting at night or trying a new pose that could maybe look awesome or fail horribly. You get to test your creative limits without feeling like your going to disappoint yourself or a client! I get to practice solo portraits or the ring of fire. I always feel like I walked away with something amazing whether it’s a photograph, an amazing model, or a new photographer friend. Thank goodness for collaborations.
Thank you models! To see full gallery from the collaboration see the link below!
I haven’t had many family sessions in 2018. I have been focusing on really pushing my couples,wedding, and elopement work, but I always go back to families. Families are my comfort zone and I feel like for a few moments I belong to the family. One particular family that I have loved taking their beautiful photos was the Horne Family.
This family met me out on a rather freezing winter Sunday morning a North Fork, Eagle River. The sun did not want to appear for us, but the clouds made for a beautiful grey blanket in the sky. As I began to pose this family they naturally cuddles up for warmth. I remember being nervous at first to step onto the beautiful frozen river- keep in mind I am not native to Alaska, I am an east coast girl- but after seeing a ice skater speed by I decided it was our turn to dance on the ice.
At this point the children were getting cold and ready to bundle back up and head to the car, but I felt like we reached success with our monster dances on the ice and all the giggles.
In every family session I like to take time for Mom and Dad. All to often when you become a family with kids we just get grouped as a family and it is important to realize you are still a couple that started as just the two of you. Through your love, your family was made. This is why i love family sessions. Each one so unique and so much life and love.
Last year I decided I wanted to give to mommas a package that made them feel beautiful during pregnancy. Pregnancy in general is taxing and with this beautiful family expecting baby number 4 it was a beautiful break from reality. The weather cooperated just right to show the amazing Alaskan mountains for this amazing Alaskan mother. The family was such a blast to work with and Dad was amazing even helping me pose his amazing wife. I love hearing his words of endearment and praise as she put on a couple of my gowns. Can we say Viking queen? The perfect contrast of red on white snow.
With baby number 4 on the way and the only boy to be, these girls embraced the family moments and even braved the cold air for these photos. I love working with families who’s kids seem to get involved and ask question and make my job fun.
Walking away from a winter session with chilled fingers and nose is always successful when we all walk away with a smile and I am stoked to run home to edit the photos. I wish I could share them all, but ruin the surprise. No way! Maternity sessions should embrace the family that made you a momma and embrace the amazing body we as woman have to create another beautiful human being.