Happy Birthday Sydney

My earliest memory is from before I was two.  I was in my mother’s arms and she was carrying me outside to our car parked in front of our house.  the street was lined with trees so the sun cast dapples of light on everything.  I took everything in, the trees, cars, houses and my mothers hair tickling my cheek.  Across the street I saw a woman come out of her house to get into her car.  She opened the auto door and looked up at us.  My mother waved and smiled at her but without acknowledging we were there, she got into her car and drove away.    I immediately felt a tightness in my belly and a wave of protectiveness overtook me; I thought of my mother.  What was she thinking?  Were her feelings hurt?  Did that woman dislike us?  Why would she ignore us?  I scrutinized her face looking for some sort of indication, but it revealed nothing.  She caught me looking at her, kissed me, and put me in the car.  That was the end of the moment for her, but it was a beginning of something for me.  It was the first time I remember wanting to be a warrior for my mother.

Fast forward a few years and I am outside in the yard on a sunny day, playing with my brothers, sister and father.  As is often the case, we are squealing for him to throw us into the air.  “My turn, my turn, my turn” is all he hears.   We  lie on the grass on our backs and our father grabs us by the ankles and pick us up, swinging us upside down.  He swings us back through his legs, then forward, back and forth building up momentum until finally with the last swing up he lets go, and up into the air we fly, with butterflies in our stomachs as the ground moves away.  When it is my turn, I can never get high enough, and although the moment lasts just a second, it seems much longer.  A moment of fearlessness, of knowing I can do anything, and of complete trust in my father’s ability to catch me.  Never once do I worry I will fall.

I tell this story to go along with my daughter’s birthday pictures, as a reminder of some of the childhood moments that shaped me.  The moments of worry and fearlessness, because at some time when I wasn’t paying close attention, my worries overtook my fearlessness, and it stayed hidden for many years.  Fearlessness has found me again and I am happy to have her back.

So my birthday wish for my little girl is this:  “Sydney, may your fearlessness always keep your worries at bay, and you can fly.”

Happy 10th birthday, I love you




Working on the studio……

So , many of you know that although I’ve been primarily an on location photographer, I’ve been talking about opening a studio.  I still hope to do most of my shoots outside, because I love the creative possibilities and the endless amount of backdrops, the lighting challenges, but I have wanted to have a place where I can meet with clients, so they can see large prints hanging on a wall, touch albums and other products.  This will also give me a space to shoot newborns and babies…..I’m very excited.   So, here is what my kids and I have been doing………

Here are my girls, painting my sign…..

I think the blue fingernail polish helps with the creativity……..

And….the finished sign…..soon to be hanging in front of the studio……….

This is the front room where I will meet with clients and they can place orders….the wall was covered in pine paneling and the doorway had been enclosed years ago….

I enlisted the help of my kids….two of my sons hauling the pine paneling out to the truck……

My girls cleaning up a little……

Back home with a truck full of wood, my crew……….

And, I thought the whole work-day was going to cost me just a bag of twizzlers for my kids……however, now I am out a truck window…….sheesh…..and it was the last piece of wood, little man got a little too excited and threw it into the truck.  Ah well……..we had a good day.


First Communion Mini-Sessions

Okay everyone, I’ve had requests for mini-sessions:  So here they are.  Please call or email me with any questions.  I will be doing a limited number of these sessions so contact me soon if you would like one.  Share this link with your friends if you think they might want one.  These are short sessions in my home studio.


Silver Lining……

They say behind every cloud is a silver lining.  Hmmmmm………this was my last  shoot before Christmas.  Her mother wanted Christmas cards and it was just about a week and a half before Christmas.  Yikes………I had ONE open slot left so I told her it was then or never.  We checked the weather…….it said rain tapering off.  Oh, tapering off, that’s good………   The day came, and the tapering off part?  Not so much.  So the Location I had planned to shoot was a mud bog, I drove around that morning wondering where I was going to do it……..I walked around in the rain in several spots, hoping something magical would come to me.   Ugh it was dark……..and windy……..and cold………..and rainy………  but I kept hoping, and I talked to her mother several times that day…….she worried what to do if the rain didn’t stop,  I told her we were going to shoot anyway.

And we did…… rained……..and the wind blew……..BUT……. a little fake snow and some cardinals clipped into a tree turned a rainy shoot into a perfect one for a Christmas card………….cause sometimes you just do what you have to do………….and then you end up with a silver lining  ;0)

And with the perfect Christmas card shot done…….we did a few more……I guess we liked the rain, but thanks in part to photoshop, doesn’t look too  rainy does it?

And then a little pop of color to end the day.