All day yesterday I found that I was being pulled to hop on my computer and type this out. My heart was heavy with it in fact. Alas, being a Mama and doing the majority of the prep and cooking for Thanksgiving didn’t leave much time. As some of you may know, we are half way cross country from most family and friends so Holidays can feel like a sucker punch in the gut. I know our littles feel it too sometimes so I try to go the extra mile to make each Holiday that much more special for them. Even with that being said, the truth is–my “work” life and “real” life are one in the same. My “clients” aren’t clients–they are friends. Those that take time to comment on social media and leave little love notes and kindly bits of encouragement may not know how much it does mean, but it means so much more than can be summed up here in a blog post.
But still, I wanted to just come and say “Thank You.” Thanks to all of you that come and sprinkle kindness around, that leave warm comments, that take a moment even to just say hello. Or maybe you are a bit shy, but subscribe and “like” or maybe don’t. Your presence in this community matters. You are all in part what make it as special as it is. I feel blessed to be there along side you as your peer… as a fellow creative.
And if I had the honor of photographing your family… know my heart is swelling. It is an honor. I am not just making photographs you see, I am making memories with you. You have such an impact on me. Observing the way you love on your spouse–your children, it makes me a better human in turn. Thank you. Thank you for simply coming and being just who you are.
I typically do a year in review, which I will for sure do this New Years. I really wanted to share a few of the images I love because the people and places in them are so special to me. There are so many gorgeous moments and special families I got to put in front of my camera. This year held new adventures, new beautiful locations and fresh perspective. It also came with challenges as I embraced the fact that I will never find complete balance– and that’s okay. I don’t even know that true balance exists. There is something so beautiful in learning that we just don’t need to be perfect. Perfect is vanilla. Artists shouldn’t be vanilla. And still I know many artists are perfectionists. The irony in that is too great to ignore… but showing our bruises and scars in our work is what I believe make it so refreshing.
Sometimes I embrace those rose colored glasses and they remind me that I get to mother my children AND do what I love. I never want to lose grasp on reality because the truth is–I love my career. It’s okay to admit that. It is always hard to spend time away from my family. I obviously will always love them first and love them most, but I also need not be ashamed of the fact that the means of making a living has also become a pretty rad lifestyle.
And next year there will a whole lot of getting back to my own roots. I hope to make more images of my family and make more honest images at that. They are the reason I started. I am excited to really just be a bit more raw. We went and bought ourselves a 1972 vintage airstream so we can travel and continue to take photos… and love hard on these babies.
Heck, some days I think maybe just one more wouldn’t be so bad haha. I know those that really know our family are chuckling right now. They may have called it… no matter how adamantly i shook my head and stomped and hhmmpphed while I was pregnant with our sixth… our “last.”
Even though I could list so much more, here are just a few things that I am Thankful for.
Motherhood is a gift. Marriage is a gift. It isn’t always easy but it is always worth it. There are too many things to list. Too many things to say– so I will just share my heart in images. Having six children, our life and hearts and well… hands are pretty full. Some days are longer than others– the years are still all together too short.
This year we grew by one family member. Daisy was our “game changer.” She has enriched our lives in ways I could not have imagined. We thought we had it all figured out and then she came and I learned just how little I really knew haha. She is our spitfire. I am so appreciative of the challenges having a baby with colic presented however because I learned to schedule time to recuperate and love on her and our other kids a bit more. I am the type that is programmed for busy. I have a limited attention span and thrive on being productive. Slowing down typically isn’t an option. I love to be home ironically but I embrace the editing and all that working from home as a Photographer entails. As she came out of the colic we had a very attached baby and while rearranging my workflow and even how I ran my sessions (I literally brought her to every session and wore her the majority of the time I shot up until she got old enough to go to my husband), I can say that when we are out of the “baby” stage– I didn’t waste a moment. It isn’t for everyone and that’s okay. It really gave me a higher appreciation of trying to juggle it all though. Being a Mama (or father) and trying to manage it all is impossible. We just all do what we can.
I am thankful for perspective. I think ultimately that was what kept me sane.
Each and every single person I have had the honor of photographing. Each Mom and Dad and Baby and Child and Couple. Whether we danced in the rain, splashed in the river, sang songs, held hands, joked around or waited out a toddler tantrum… it was all good. I am an unposed photographer, meaning I don’t pose. It might seem like that takes all the “work” out of it, and really I guess it does haha, but it also pushes a healthy dose of intimacy. You are there in the thick of it suddenly with a family you are getting to know and your biggest goal is to really show how much they care about each other. I guess that’s the “easy” part, but you have to learn their code. Each family has one of their own. Learning how they tick is just one tiny bit of it. The fact that they are willing to open up and just find a way to be exactly who they are is such an honor. It is in turn what makes me tick as an artist. It is almost like they are adopting me for that evening. I love it. I love them.
I am thankful for their candidness and trust.
Colorado Skies + Mountains + Foothills + Sunshine + All the Good things outdoors.
I am from Connecticut. We moved here five years ago this year actually. I am obsessed. We also travel a bit and I am equally thankful for all of those that embrace me in their homes and in their home states. Being able to capture families in the golden grasses and the mountainous back drops is surreal. Now, Connecticut was pretty amazing too. There were beaches and houses with old charm and character wherever you seemed to turn.
But Colorado. Colorado with all of it’s color and it’s beautiful fluffy cotton candy clouds and it’s dynamic light and it’s crisp clean air. The clear streams and the wildlife and the dimension and the people.. oh, the friendliest people. This is home now and working here is like instilling just a bit more pride in each image. Being Coloradans is so special to our family. Being able to bring families here and watch their eyes grow and their mouths fall open, it’s pretty amazing.
SO yep, Colorado. I am so Thankful for Colorado.
all of the tokens of love and friendship that came my way from the amazing families I have photographed.
the new friendships I have been blessed with from the photography community and on.
the opportunities to teach and share my love of photography with others.
my husband being home full time.
the return of Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
our extended family we do miss so much back east.
each failure that has only brought me closer to the success that *really* matter.
the promise of so many adventures in 2017.
Coffee. (It needed another line.)
I could just go on and on.
The countless hours spent on the new brand and website and how selfless the designer has been in all of it. I can’t wait to share that. (SOON!)
I mean, this isn’t to say that life isn’t really hard sometimes. Guys! Being self employed is tricky business and not for the faint of hear. But learning to go with the flow and just be present and open minded.
I am thankful for that too.
Thank you so much sweet friends. Thank you for being part of this journey.
I have so much gratitude for each of you reading this at this very moment. My heart is just full.