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  • WELCOME!

    I began photographing children in black and white in 2000, shortly before the birth of my second daughter.

    Since that time, I have upgraded my equipment, refined my technique, and picked up some new tricks for working with children – but my style hasn’t changed. I like to take pictures that are natural, unposed, and informal. I focus on faces and tend to shoot close-ups. My goal is to capture the little things that represent who the child is in this moment, to bring back memories of a silly face, a fit of the giggles, a particular facial expression or hand position, or a spontaneous hug between siblings.

    I have lived in the Seattle area most of my life. I currently live in Issaquah with my husband and our three daughters, who keep me on my toes and give me lots of opportunities to try out new photography ideas!

    Thank you for your interest.

24 Hours in the Woods

photo1-15Remember when your kids were little and you would drop them off at preschool (or child care)?  They would give you the big doe eyes and crocodile tears?  Some would even grab onto your leg and beg you not to go.  I don’t know about you, but if that happened when I dropped of one of my girls I would think about it the WHOLE time I was gone.  For the three or four hours they were at preschool I would worry about their day and if they were okay.  Inevitably I would come back to pick them up only to find the tears only lasted five minutes and they had a great day with their friends and teachers.  I, on the other hand, had a miserable morning worrying about them.

Well don’t think that that goes away just because they get older!  I know nothing about camping and backpacking.  NOTHING.  When Jill had the opportunity to go backpacking with our church we thought this would be a fun adventure for her.  She planned for it (with her Dad and Aunt because I am useless here), trained for it (carrying backpacks of books on our hikes) and stressed over it.  She was set.

The weather had been hot and dry all month.  So much so that three of the four trails the group could have taken were covered in wild fire.  There was a forecast of a bit of rain but, in all the years that the church had been taking senior high kids into the woods it had never rained more than a day.  No big deal.

I helped drive all of the backpackers into the woods and to the trailhead.  Boy was that rustic!  No cell service, no structures, no nothing.  But they were eager.  We dropped Jill’s group off first and after some confusion and a quick prayer they were off.  (I didn’t want to embarrass her by singling her out and giving her a big hug, but I regretted that decision after she left because all I could remember was the stressed/worried look on her face as she anticipated her departure.)  I dropped off the other group at a different trail head an hour later and was off.

When I left the backpackers they all had their rain covers and garbage bags covering their packs.  The groups set up camps (separately as they were to meet up on the trail the second full day) and had a fun evening.

The weather report was not good and Mother Nature delivered a wallop.  Record setting rains hit the area that first night and brought thunder and lightening storms intermittently through the area.  This is where the scared Mama comes in.  When it started pouring at 3am here I was immediately awake thinking about how miserable it must be up at the camp site.  When the rain and thunder swept through at 6:30am (mind you all of these storms took a few hours to get to the backpackers) I could not wrap my mind around where they would go to stay out of danger.  Into the trees?  Is that safe?  How would they dry out?  There was a burn ban in the whole area so no camp fires to get warm and dry their wet sleeping bags.  Remember, this is just the first full day of four out in the woods.

When the group leaders made the tough call to cancel the rest of the trip (due to safety concerns) I was relieved.  But also sad and disappointed for my girl.  I know how much she had been looking forward to this and how much planning she had put into it.  All for just 24 hours in the woods.  Bummer!

When Jill came home with her camping buddies they spent over an hour sharing all of the fun and funny times they had on their short adventure.  Yes they were wet, but not as much as we thought.  (Although one kid was taller than his tent so his head definitely got wet!) There was a lot of thunder and lightening but it wasn’t scary, just annoying.  Jill never had a chance to get cold either because she was perfectly prepared.  My girl is a big optimist so she made the best of the worst and had a good time.  She is ready to go again.  (She was in the minority on this though and there are a lot of kids, especially from the other group, that claimed they would never go again.)

Here’s the lesson I learned in HER adventure.  It doesn’t get easier for us parents just because our kids are older.  We want the best for our kids and we want them to be happy!  We see our kids off for their adventures and are left with that picture in our minds.  Jill was stressed and worried when I dropped her off and that is how I pictured her the whole time dealing with those adverse conditions.  But just like with preschool, five minutes after I drove away she was fine.  She had a good time growing in her adventure.   She proved to herself that she could carry that heavy pack, take care of herself in the woods and enjoy herself in the process.

I’m off to call my Mom.  Just in case I have left her with the impression that I am stressed or worried about something I need to make are she knows that I am good.  (Great, in fact, now that I have all my little ducks under one roof!)  I don’t want HER worrying about ME!

 

 

Camps for All My Friends

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This week is the last of the official camps for the girls.  Jill was supposed to be off backpacking in the Central Cascades this week with church.  There were 26 students (only 5 girls) and 8 leaders leading two groups of kids out in the woods.  Picking the trail turned out to be harder than the leaders thought.  There were four possible choices at the beginning of the month and those quickly got whittled down to one when forest fires burned through the other three trails.  It turns out that fire was not going to be the real issue.  Stay tuned for more on that…

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Kate went to the same camp she went to last year.  This Christian camp has been around since 1919.  What an amazing history!  Kate had a great time riding the banana boats, climbing the iceberg in the lake and spending the night on Carnival Night.

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Ellie went back for a second year at Campbell Farms.  She spent the mornings working hard (at a food bank, planting a garden for an elderly woman, and at a recycling plant) on the Yakima Indian Reservation and having fun with friends in the afternoon.  (This year she even had the courage to jump off the cliff into the Yakima River!)

Finally, the girls and Allen join his parents and sister on Mount Rainier for their annual camping trip.  They had a fun time hiking, and making s’mores and hanging out together.  That is a fun tradition that the girls are so lucky to have.  (No, I do not feel left out.  They ask me to come every year but I so enjoy this weekend of silence in the middle of crazy summers that I can’t give it up!)  Thank you Deana for the picture!

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The girls have one more camp this summer.  Camp DDD where they spend a week with Allen’s family.  My how summer is speeding by!

A Trooper

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Every so often I run into a problem during a photo session.  I think the worst one was when one poor Dad sat in a big pile of doggy doo.  (Sorry Jeff!)  Thank goodness he was such a good sport and that the session was almost over.

Last week I had a session with Troy and Leah and we ran into something worse.  I had Leah up on a log and I asked Troy to jump in there too.  Before he could hop up there he stepped into a patch of stinging nettles.  That is no fun!  It toks us a bit to figure out what had happened but the tell tale white bumps appeared soon enough.  He was a total trooper about it but I felt horrible.  (This was the third session that week that I’d used that same log.  Eek!)

Thank goodness he forgave me and allowed me to woo him back to playing in the creek that afternoon.  Their Mom, Cindy, and I went to college together so it was fun to spend the afternoon chatting while our kids cooled off in the creek.

Here are my favorite pictures…

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Book Reviews

Book Review

It’s been awhile since I’ve written up a book review and I’ve had a few people asking what I’ve been reading.  It feels like I’ve hardly read anything but when I look back at all the titles I guess I have!  I am going to share the Young Adult books I’ve read and what we thought of them.  None of these books have any gratuitous sex scenes or scenes where the main character ends up stinking drunk.  I am not sure why those types of scenes are so prevalent in Young Adult Literature but I don’t want my girls diving into that.  (If you don’t have time to read all these blurbs then skip to Ready Player One.  So good!)

Let’s jump right in:

-Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.  This was a fun book by the author of Eleanor and Park (also a good book!).  It follows the story of Lincoln O’Neill and his new job as internet security officer for a London newspaper.  Part of his job requirements are to read system flagged emails to make sure employees aren’t abusing the email system.  In particular, Lincoln enjoys reading the hilarious emails between Beth and Jennifer.  He even falls in love Beth as he sees her personality develop.  This book is perfect mind candy for a hot summer afternoon but it does feel more adult than the rest of the books.

-Being Henry David by Cal Armistad.  I’d seen this one pop up for me numerous times on Good Reads but I’d ignored the suggestion until recently.  I’m so glad I finally picked it up.  It is about a boy who finds himself in Grand Central Station with absolutely no memory of how he got there or who he, himself, was.  The only clue he had about himself was that he was carrying the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau.  Slowly Henry’s memory returns and with it the grim reminder of a tragic accident.  This is a good read for boys and girls and middle aged moms too!

-Guitar Notes by Mary Amato.  I read this one quickly over spring break and then my girls picked it up too.  It’s an interesting story of two completely different people who share a music practice room on alternate days.  Communication between  Lyla and Tripp starts with snippy notes going back and forth and ends up blossoming into a cute friendship and sweet romance.  Of course there is a tragic turn towards the end but this book has a satisfying ending.  Another mind candy type book perfect for the beach.

-The Rosie Project  by Graem Stimson.  Technically this is not a Young Adult book and there is a bit of content that might be a little bit uncomfortable, but the main character is so socially inept that it is hard not to laugh.  Jill and I adored this book.  If you are a fan of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory then you will love the main character Don.  He does not think he has Aspergers but all signs point to a big yes.  Don has designed a test/quiz to find himself the perfect wife.  During this quest he meets Rosie and while she does not meet his standards for a wife he decides to help  HER with her own project, finding her biological Dad.  These two characters could not me more opposite in nature and that is what makes the story so endearing. I’d love to see this turned into a movie!

-Counting by 7′s by Holly Goldberg Sloan.  Speaking of Aspergers, I think the main character of this book, Willow, also suffers from the same affliction.  When her adoptive parents are tragically killed in a car accident she is taken care of by some unlikely characters.  She also does a lot of the care taking too.  I enjoyed seeing how her mind worked and rooting for this young girl.

I saved the best for last here!

-Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  I just finished reading this book out loud to my kids on Monday.  We could hardly put it down.  (At one point I read out loud for two hours straight!)  This book is set way in the future where the real world society was crumbling but a virtual world/game was an escape for the main character Wade.  Shortly before he dies, the game’s creator sets off a huge scavenger hunt in the game.  The winner becomes the game creator’s sole heir and gains control of the whole virtual world.  There was plenty of action and suspense in this book and the part I loved best were all of the 1980′s references.  The game creator grew up in the 80′s and used all sorts of pop culture references in his clues.  Atari, Max Headroom, War Games, Monty Python, Rush, etc., they all make appearances.  My description really can’t do it justice but the book was awesome.  We just found out that this book is preproduction for a movie.  Can’t wait!  (Please note that there is a lot of bad language in this book.  Do you know how hard it is to read out loud and change those words on the fly?  Let’s just say that my record wasn’t perfect!)

Amazingly most of these books have a boy as the main character, but if you are looking for a home run for your son to read then grab Ready Player One.

Is Young Adult the only type of book I read?  Nope!  I’ve read a lot of regular books too.  Me Before You (Jojo Moyes), The Expats (Chris Payone), Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan) and the Boys In The Boat (Daniel James Brown) are just a few of my favorites.

Leave a comment if you think I have missed some good ones.  I’m always looking for a good book!

Sisters…Sisters….

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Take a guess as to who the sisters are in this picture.  Ha!  Don’t Lucille and Mary look alike?   In all the years I have been photographing Lucille and Emily I have never met Mary.  I am thrilled that I got to this year.  I’m also thrilled that she was willing to jump in a few pictures with all the girls.

I have been photographing Emily for many years and I was worried that it would not work out for us this year but it did and I am honored to continue to document this lovely girl and her relationship with her mom.  So precious!

Here are my favorites…

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