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!
When clients arrive at my Pioneer Square studio they text or call me to let me know so I can run down and let them in. With brand new families I am always wondering what I will find when I get to the door. Imagine my delight to be greeted by such a dapper young man (who doesn’t love a bow tie?!?) and his fabulous parents. But wait…did I mention that they all got out of an awesome electric blue Mini? Yup, a match made in heaven!
I love that these guys were willing to go with my crazy ideas (Portraits with your car? That’s right up my alley. Ha!), brought along a neat prop (I adore that umbrella) and were all around good sports.
Of all of the songs on our last playlist this is the song I keep playing over and over on my radio and in my head. It’s been a long hard six weeks for my Dad and for all of us who love him and the lyrics resonate with me.
Mama always said to me the very best medicine is gratitude It’s not what you don’t have, but what you do I must admit that I forget that life’s a gift Hey mama, gonna change my attitude
With that in mind I am trying to remind myself of all of the good that surrounds me daily. Here is what I am thankful for today:
1. I am grateful my Dad is a fighter and my Mom is a warrior.
2. I am grateful for extra time spent with my Mom and Dad.
3. I am grateful for all of the caring and knowledgable hospice people who have graced our path. Those people are serious angels.
4. I am grateful for a husband and kids who understand and support me so I can be where I need to be.
5. I am grateful for family coming together as a team and for group texts that are sad, funny and uplifting (often all at the same time).
6. I am grateful for neighbors and friends who help us pick up the slack.
7. I am grateful for my new car that gives me a little thrill every time I drive it. (And I’ve been driving it a lot lately!)
8. I am grateful that mother nature is giving us some vitamin D and how sun on my face lifts my spirits.
9. I am grateful for chocolate.
Of course there is so much more but this is just a good start to the list. Check out the Hawk Nelson video below. Maybe it will inspire you to start your own list too!
Please note that blog posts are going to be light until I figure out which way is up. Thanks for understanding!
Ellie is a voracious reader. That is a minor miracle because she was very slow to learn to read and it took all the way until she could read Harry Potter (4th or 5th grade) before she really read for pleasure. Ever since then, though, we have not been able to stop her. She constantly has her nose in her device? That sounds weird and for awhile I was concerned with her always holding her devices. I have snuck up on her many times though (I can be stealth when I really try) and she is always reading. Ellie has this amazing ability to find free copies of all her favorite books (pdf’s) online. She also likes to read a lot of fan fiction.
It was no surprise when she asked to order this shirt. We are big Sir Mix A Lot fans and this hilarious take on that is perfect for her. That is until the first time she wore it. Oddly, I KNEW what the shirt said but I kept reading it wrong in my head. I told her that I kept reading ‘Big Boobs’ and we had a good laugh at it. I’m so glad I mentioned it though. The first time she wore the shirt a boy walked by her, did a double take, and then said ‘Ha, I thought that said something else.’
The next time she wore the shirt she had a girl come up to her and say ‘Oh BOOKS! I thought it said Boobs and I thought it was great that you liked them but I didn’t know why you needed to put it on a shirt.’ That gave us a good giggle. Who knew that she would cause such a stir by proclaiming her love for reading.
Let this be a lesson to all you parents out there worried that your kid is behind in a subject. Have some faith, they will pick it up in their own time and then run with it…and then buy a shirt about it too.
A couple of weeks ago I got a call from the school. ’Michelle – we think Kate broke her arm. How far away are you?’ Not really the kind of call you want to get. My brain immediately overanalyzed the conversation and thought…last time I checked they didn’t have an xray machine at school so it must be pretty bad if they are diagnosing it themselves. When I got there they told me they thought they saw a bone poke up when then pulled her sleeve up. Eek!
It turns out that Kate DID break her arm, but thankfully it was much more subtle. They told me it was a subtle radial buckle fracture. Essentially a small bone in her wrist had a small crack in it. Whew! I am so glad it was not nearly as bad as the school staff was fearing, but I am so grateful for their help and care. When I arrived Kate’s wrist was sore but she wasn’t crying. She said ‘How could I cry when they were all trying so hard to cheer me up?’ (Can we also get a halleluja for it being her left arm? Not only because of the whole writing thing, but more importantly so they didn’t have to cut off Kate’s prized bracelet collection!)
So how did it happen? Kate was throwing away her lunch in the lunchroom when she slipped on a small puddle of milk. (Chocolate to be specific.) Kate’s feet went up, her hand went down and her wrist went crack. (How’s that for drama?) There were a few tears though so Kate clearly proved that there IS crying over spilled milk!
The doctor’s assistant tried valiantly to change Kate’s mind about the color of her cast, but she had a plan. She didn’t want all those crazy cast colors because she wanted to have all her friends sign her cast will all sorts of colored sharpies. I was lucky enough to be the first to sign her cast but Jill and Ellie were next up and couldn’t think of what to write. Ellie was very close to writing ‘From your favorite sister! (Suck it Jill)’ which gave us a good giggle but was clearly too long. We all ended up with just our name and a little picture because this girl has lots of friends and we knew she’d need as much room as possible!
The only concession Kate made to the cool cast colors was to go with a glow in the dark white cast. This will prove to be really cool as she is at 5th grade camp this week. I can only imagine the party tricks she is doing at bedtime!
So the moral of the story is chocolate milk is hazardous for your health, the staff at our elementary school rocks, watch out for Ellie (she is quiet but mighty), and good on Kate for embracing the fun in all situations.
Jill passed her driving tests eons ago back in December. She had to wait until early March until she could legally get her license (it’s part of the rules). Even once that date passed Jill was reticent about her reasons for not getting her license. None of her friends had gotten THEIR licenses either so we assumed there just was no interest. OR maybe she really enjoyed MY driving and was reluctant to give up my company. Yeah, it must be that one!
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I finally pressed her on it. It was the night Kate broke her arm so I was running to the ER then back to get everybody to take them to dinner then dropping off at church youth group and picking up at youth group. (Allen was out of town so all the schlepping was on me.) On the way back I suggested that it sure would have been a much easier night if she had been able to to the last two stops for me. That didn’t seem to persuade her much. I then commented that she hadn’t driven in awhile and I was worried that her newfound skill set was going to get stale. That piqued her interest.
It turns out that she was most worried about driving on her own. She was worried about making a mistake and not having anybody there to correct her. This is so fitting with her personality and a scenario that she has repeated and is going to repeat time and time again in her life. Oh kid! Mistakes are going to happen, it’s how you recover from them that’s important. (Also preparing and practicing helps!)
For now she is taking Ellie along with her as a security blanket. That’s what sisters are for, right? (If you ask me, it’s okay to repeat THAT scenario time and time again in life too!)