A Shift in Focus
The past two years during the Covid19 pandemic, my photography studio was closed for most of that time and when I did re-open my schedule, it was only with very limited availability for existing clients. The blessing of more time allowed me to refocus on creating more art. I was intentional about setting aside time to create and connect virtually with other artists. I challenged myself to try new mediums and techniques pushing myself to grow as an artist. When I look back at how many pieces of completed art I made over the past two years, it just makes me happy, really happy! This is what has brought about my shift in focus. I have decided to only take very limited bookings for photography so that I can continue to focus on creating more art.
Although a challenging time for many, our family focused on finding the silver lining. We had a unique opportunity to spend so much more time with our teenage daughters which really allowed all of us to enjoy a much slower version of life together before our oldest headed off to college and our youngest entered high school. Navigating zoom meetings and online school with wifi that reminded me of dial-up (if you know, you know) was challenging; however, slow dinners gathered around the table talking, laughing and enjoying each other's company will forever be my favorite memories.
Trial & Error
This was supposed to be easy. I first started throwing seeds out in the Spring dreaming of sunflowers growing wildly on my property and along my driveway. I think I just fed the birds. It was too early in the season and not warm enough on my mini mountain at 1000' elevation.
Plan B involved the idea of marking a small plot in one of our little fields to plant sunflower seeds. I marked the plot but our garden tiller would not start. Ugh. Plan C involved digging up lines in the field to plant seeds. Easy enough, right? The ground in the field was so hard and rocky. My Plan B plot, which turned into Plan C, shrunk considerably. I had pathetic little patches that I dug up by hand and planted a few seeds. My backup plan, Plan D, was planting some sunflower seeds in multiple pots.
These various plans led me to this still life portrait of my beloved sunflowers. They are a mixed variety - most likely stunted in growth due to several planting errors. However, the process made the results that much more rewarding. Not surprisingly, that which you work for is also much more fulfilling.
Did you have any successes or failures In your garden this year?
The Story Behind the Photograph
The chrysanthemums were dying. The last few days as I walked by the vase on the table, it made me feel kind of sad. Two weeks earlier, I had bought the flowers because the rusty gold color caught my eye while grocery shopping at a Vancouver Safeway. I loved how tall the stems were, the texture and layers of all the petals on each head, and the way the rusty gold and the ivory colors complimented each other. From the moment I put the flowers in my cart, I started imagining a photo in my head of my youngest mini with the mums. I could visualize the styling, the colors and the way I wanted to edit the image. The portrait photographer in me had already photographed the image in my mind.
Two weeks after buying the flowers and I had still yet to take the portrait I had envisioned. It was getting late last night and my youngest mini was getting ready for bed. As she walked by, I decided we would do a quick session with the flowers. I didn’t care that she would get to bed a little late, she was wearing her pajama top in the photo, she had chipped blue nail polish, or that the flowers were dying. It took less than 15 minutes to take the portraits I had envisioned. No bedtime citations were issued and the chrysanthemums are freshly trimmed back in the vase and may live to see another week. Now when I walk by them, I will smile as I think of this portrait of my youngest mini – wearing her pajama top, staying up late and holding these flowers.
Being a portrait photographer for newborns, high school seniors and families in the Vancouver, Washington area provides countless beautiful outdoor settings for portraits. However, there is something so timeless and classic about an indoor studio session on a black background. These are portraits that stand the test of time, strike emotion within the viewer, and feel no need to follow trends.
Documenting Everyday Moments
Do you ever have a moment when you’re watching your child do something and you feel like this moment is something you’re going to remember when you’re older? This photograph is one of these moments for me. Sometimes my minis are just doing everyday ordinary things – riding a bike, cuddling with our dog or making pancakes. I’m not sure if this happens to me because my minis feel like they are growing up so quickly (now 12 & 16) or if it’s just because there’s something sweet about the moment.
This is the very reason I love photography; if for nothing else, I am preserving moments for me to look back on when my kids are grown, leading their own lives, busy with everyday tasks or have their own children. This is for me. Documenting their life is for me. Little things, big things, funny things and even sad things – all collectively storing in my memory bank.
Of course, the added benefit of documenting their life through photographs is also to preserve memories for them and for their children. I want my children to have tangible photographic memories to touch, to frame and to pass on to their children. Some of my most treasured photographs are the old family photos of my grandparents, my parents (at prom!), and me and my siblings growing up. Photographs give us a glimpse into the past by giving us a sense of time and a space.
Since we live in a fast-paced digital age, it is critical that we print photographs on paper to preserve these moments, these memories, and these lives. You don’t have to be a professional photographer. You just need to take the photographs. Capture the memories – the candid, unposed or posed, silly and sometimes even sad. Print the photographs. Document your life. Preserve your memories.
I am a portrait photographer located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. If you'd like help documenting your family's life, whether it's day to day or for a more formal session, feel free to contact me. I'd love to capture your family's story and bring it from camera to paper. I specialize in newborn photography, children photography and high school senior portraits. I also offer a one on one "Sip & Chat" to discuss basic tips and tricks to help you improve your photography. Some of the cities I serve in Washington include: Vancouver, Camas, Brush Prairie, Battle Ground, Ridgefield, and Washougal (along with the Portland, Oregon metro area).
"These are the type of sessions that inspire me
Over the summer I offered a few sessions to local mothers in the Vancouver, Washington area who have children with special needs. Little did I know how much these beautiful children would impact me. I enjoyed every second of these sessions as I was reminded to find joy in every little thing...and to smile more. These are the type of sessions that inspire me to live with an attitude of gratitude! Little Miss Emma was all smiles for her entire session. I couldn't help but smile also. There is something so rewarding to capture the personality of a child through my lens, to create a tangible piece of art, and to preserve a moment for a family. My goal is to deliver printed portraits to every client. I want them to have something lasting, which in turn they can pass on to their children and grandchildren. Contact me to discuss preserving your family legacy. Whether it's a newborn, a milestone, or a high school senior session, I'm here to help you preserve your family's memories by turning photographs into prints.
A Passion for Prints
I have a passion for printing photographs and displaying images of my children and family in my home. As a portrait photographer in the Vancouver, Washington metro area, I share this passion with my clients and educate them on the importance of having their photographs printed. Newborn portraits, milestones, prom, senior high school portraits - I encourage you to print your images to preserve your family's legacy.
When you think of your grandparents or maybe your favorite auntie, is there a certain photograph that comes to mind or perhaps a certain memory that a photograph brings you back to? Some of my favorite pictures are snapshots of my grandparents candidly smiling while they look at someone out of the frame. I treasure those pictures and the memories that they bring back to me. I am thankful for all of the photographs I have that document the lives of my loved ones because one day a photograph is all you have left of those that have passed on. So the question I leave you with is this: when was the last time you printed images off of that disk/USB drive, your camera or your cell phone?
I'm a creative person with a passion for making things: art, food, photographs and memories.