Thanks for stopping by. Check in every so often to see recent photography sessions, weddings, and family fun. I also post little tidbits about my life and work so you can get to know me a little better. Take a peek, enjoy, and let me know what you think!
As children get older, develop their own lives, friends, and activities, it gets harder and harder to get everyone in a family together as one unit. When this rare occurrence happens, it’s something to be celebrated. Which is why, when mom, Cindy, found herself with all three daughters at home at one time, she decided to move into action and schedule a photo session. Cindy then found me through Derik and Heidi of Riptide Entertainment, who also happen to be past wedding clients of mine.
We met down at beautiful Sly Park Lake in the bright sunshine to capture them all together, along with Marlie’s fiance, Nathan, who provided some light entertainment for everyone. I don’t know exactly what he was doing behind me to get everyone to smile so big but I’m just happy that he was doing it. (Sometimes it’s better not to know!)
Such a beautiful family; I’m glad I was available to capture them on one of their rare days together.
After capturing baby Nyron at birth and again shortly after he arrived home, it was wonderful to catch-up with him and his wonderful mom and dad, Kailey and Matt, in Coloma recently.
Nyron is such a happy, smiley baby and his parents adore him but kids don’t always perform on-cue, do they? It was a warm afternoon down by the river in Coloma and baby Nyron was not impressed by the heat or the sun. Smiles quickly turned to grimaces, joy to irritation. Mom, dad and I worked our bag of magic tricks, trying to make the vision of baby thighs splashing in the river a reality. But it wasn’t to be. Retreating to the shade, however, we found the giggles returned and we were able to capture his burgeoning little personality.
As a mom with two grown girls myself and the opportunity to spend time with many babies and new families, I have been given the unique perspective to know that, in these situations, when you are on a timeline, when you need your child to show-up a certain way, it’s just plain stressful when it’s not happening. You question yourself (why can’t I get them to smile?) and you find yourself apologizing needlessly (I’m so sorry, he’s usually so happy!) In reality, it’s often something as simple as a baby being uncomfortable in the sun and absolutely nothing to do with you. I’m thankful that my experience as a photographer and a mother kicks-in during these times and that I’ve learned patience, persistence, and just a little letting go of the outcome can go a long way. In short, as I said to Kailey by email the next day, be gentle on yourself parents. We’re all just doing the best we can.
Love this family and this baby boy’s smile.
“Know that you are loved. Encode this in your head and heart. You are worthy.”
Suzanne Walker Buck, Rector, Chatham Hall
This was my 31st year photographing graduation ceremonies for my alma mater, Chatham Hall in Virgina. Every year it’s an emotional event for me and each year I take away something different from my experiences; listening to the student and faculty speakers and photographing the inspiring girls who depart for adventures unknown.
At May’s event I was particularly touched by the words of the school’s new Rector, Suzanne Walker Buck, who delivered a heartfelt speech not about the traditional themes of achievement and hard work but instead about emotional engagement and resilience, important traits that I have personally found have stood me in good stead through the ups and downs of my own life. Qualities that, in part, I can still attribute to my time at Chatham Hall.
Suzanne called on the graduating class to practice gratitude – the simple art of saying thank you – and to engage in their life, to be the architect of its growth and direction rather than a victim of circumstance. But most impactful of all was her reminder that each of us is loved and worthy of that love. Stepping into life with an open heart gives us the courage to take chances and to make mistakes without fear of failure. I think that this was such an important and rare message for these girls and I applaud her for making it the cornerstone of her speech.
It’s always an honor and a privilege to be present during these days at Chatham. I would like to thank the staff there who are always welcoming and helpful, making my arrival feel like a homecoming each and every year. Special thanks to Abbi Plemmons who was my student assistant this year and did another fantastic job, to La(congrats on your new position!), Tammy, Owen, George and JC for being great team players, and to Schay and Hunter for their huge warmth and hospitality!
As always, I love to celebrate the graduating class’ achievements with a slideshow. Special thanks to my nephew, Cameron Held for joining me again this year in Virginia and for assisting and 2nd shooting. It’s not only wonderful to have his help, his photographic contributions are beautiful.
Enjoy the slideshow. And remember, it is a show that requires Adobe Flash, so put down your iPhone or iPad and watch it on your main computer or one that supports Adobe Flash. Slideshow link:
Resting or just grabbing another angle? Only I know….., thanks Michelle McDaid
Getting to photograph the continuing stories of my past wedding clients is one of my most favorite things to do. I love the connections maintained with my wedding couples and the candidness that a little history can bring to my work for a client. A wedding, though just one day, is often a multi year process from an engagement session to wedding booking and planning to the actual wedding to their wedding album completion. Stephanie and Bill’s particular story began with an engagement session at Sly Park Lake in 2011 and then a 2012 wedding at Stephanie’s family home in Placerville. Several years later and perhaps a little “freestyle” (as Bill liked to call it), Baby Stella made her way into the world in mid May. I visited Steph and Bill and Stella in their new country home in the hills just outside Placerville. We chatted, caught up and played in their big window light while I got to capture their new beautiful daughter, Stella, alongside their growing landscape of rolling hills, goats and chickens.