While in Utah we got to hang out with these two awesome people, Brandon and Leigh. And also their adorable dogs Piper and Lily. Brandon and Leigh travel in a Vanagon Westfalia named Humboldt. They've done a lot of work to it complete with awesome maps inside. You can tell a lot of hard work and love has gone into this place to make it feel like a home away from home when they are traveling. Brandon and Leigh are some of my favorite people in the world. Good as gold, always there to lend a hand, compassionate, hard working, and um fantastically sarcastic. They hold a special place in my heart.
Viewing entries in
It's strange to see something you've never seen before. Most of us have been around long enough that we have experienced a lot of this planet. Sure, there are many places I have never been before. Something I'm slowly but surely rectifying. But it is rare for me to think, "Huh, I've NEVER seen this."
About a week ago I experienced my first full blown sandstorm. We're talking zero visibility, lightening, thunder, and high winds. It was awe inspiring and beautiful and terrible all at once.
It safe to say that I love moody scenery. I love the drama and the unusual nature of it. I love fog. How it envelopes you. Consumes you. This had the same mystery to it but was harsher. The sand danced and shifted until you were unsure if it would come in blankets or waves. Or would it be completely gone in half a mile. There was also just a sheer force to it. While fog creeps, sand dares you to come out and face it.
I was itching to have a model with me. Some woman in a long flowing dress. Some brave soul to go out and be daring and play. However, we were just rolling through. It's on my shot list though and I feel privileged to be able to mark something off my list that I hadn't ever seen or experienced before.
While visiting in Los Alamos I had the awesome opportunity to photograph this great family! They are seriously some of the sweetest people we have met. They took us in, they entertained our 1 year old, they fed us amazing food, took us rock climbing...seriously the list of awesomeness just goes on and on. We headed out one night during the week to grab some family photos before a big rain storm hit. These cliffs are right down the street from their house!! How amazing is that? I could go on and on. But for now, here's the Knight Family.
I am not a great lover of heights. I don't mind them but I don't go out of my way to find them. Just like snakes. So when Zach's cousin said she wanted to take us rock climbing I was a little skeptical. And by skeptical I mean nauseous. (For more on our visit to Los Alamos check out here!)
I am a great believer in facing you fears. I don't like for fear to have control over me. Period. I don't like for it to dictate what I do or don't do. Honestly, I was a feeling a little ashamed at how nervous I was about doing this. I've been sky diving! I've jumped off bridges! Why would climbing a rock freak me out? When I got down deep to it is was because after having a baby I feel like I have lost part of my athletic self--my daredevil self. I was worried I physically would embarrass myself. I was worried that I was being a bad mother by taking a risk. Worry is just fear whispering to you.
Lucky for me Zach's cousin Christie is a badass. She's a mother of five, survivor, and rock climbing instructor. If she could do it, I had to at least try it. And I am so glad I did.
The truth is that by the end of the day Zach and I both had fallen a little in love with rock climbing. For him, I believe it was figuring out the puzzle of where to go next, keeping your mind focused, and being outside. For me it was facing that fear each moment, being in such beauty, and trusting yourself to make it happen.
In my experience it always pays off to face your fears. Whether that is fear of change, fear of loss, fear of heights, snakes, spiders, infestations, whales, or the fear of being alone. We all have one that makes a nest inside our heart and minds. Take that fear out, set it on fire, and go live.
It's pretty rare that all the elements come together for a outdoor boudoir session. Weather, timing, a willing subject, and of course finding a secluded enough location to take the photos. But Amanda and I set out on a beautiful warm fall day for a beautiful boudoir adventure.
Boudoir sessions are close to my heart. They require a lot of trust, vulnerability, and openness. When a subject relaxes during a boudoir session, it is a huge compliment. But the main reason they are so close to my heart is that they are an amazing opportunity to show someone's true beauty, the kind that very few of us show to others.
So Amanda and I headed out on a hike, with a few outfits and a flower crown to make some magic happen. Amanda is so beautiful and I think these images did a great job of capturing her.
My favorite images of the day however, are the ones that we took in the lake. That's right you heard me. This girl got in a lake, in Fall (with maybe a little persuasion from yours truly).
There is something about water that is just magical to me. The first half of my life I grew up near the water and it still has a huge calling for me. Lately, I have been very influenced by Michelle Gardella. I love her work and think her River Stories series is absolutely stunning.
A tremendous thank you to Amanda for trusting me during our shoot. For going with my crazy whims and being up for anything...even freezing cold lakes. Especially lakes that are pretty gross at the bottom. It was a great adventure and you are such a beautiful woman. I hope the world can now see what I see.
It's the first day of spring and the flowers in my front beds are blooming. This week they really just came up out of no where and opened up to the world. I couldn't resist sharing them with you. As I mentioned in my post "I Spy Something..." my Mother helped me plant these flowers last fall. It was really special to me to be able to spend that time with her. Although I spent most of the time watching her plant these flowers since I was recovering from surgery, it was just nice to sit and catch up. These days it's pretty rare that we get time together, just the two of us. While we were together she told me a story about one of her fondest memories of me as a little girl. She also told me how she told herself at that moment that she had better remember it. While she said this I was thinking the same thing about watching her plant these flowers. I thought to myself, you have to remember this, don't let this memory slip away. And lucky for me, I have a beautiful reminder. Each spring, when these flowers bloom, I'll think about that weekend with my Mom and how we planted these together.
Another memory that the flowers in our yard bring, is that of Speed Racer's Grandfather. He planted most of these flowers, and since I've moved here I've tried very hard to maintain them. But he must have used the front flower beds for annuals because they were empty before we planted bulbs in them. Last night though, Speed Racer turned to me as we walked by them in twilight, and said "My Grandfather would have loved to see those flowers, they're really nice. You did a wonderful job." That meant the world to me. When you move into a house that was owned by a family member it's hard to balance the "This is now your house" and the "This holds lots of memories." So when I look out at my front yard and see the flowers, it just makes me smile. I just look out and see Speed Racer's Grandfather, and his love for nature; my Mother and I, and the bond that we have; and our future...small little children picking flowers in the front yard. These are the best parts of home ownership: dreaming, making memories, and keeping memories alive.
GREEN!!! Back in October my mother and I spent some time planting bulbs in my front flower beds. And by my mother and I, I mean, my mother. This was during the time that I had my tonsils removed, so I was in recovery. I had a very important job though...I pointed where the flowers should go...yeah...important. But I digress. So all through the winter, I was worried they wouldn't come up, and the beds looked all tucked and cozy but well...brown. See Exhibit A. You really can't tell much is going on there. But if you look really reeeeally close...
If you have never been to the Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN then you are missing out. Not only do they have a fabulous new penguin exhibit, but it's my favorite place in the world to just watch the jelly fish. They are so relaxing and just beautiful...in the tank. Here are a few of my favorite shots.
It's been a surprisingly cold winter here in Tennessee. Usually we don't get snow, or ice, or snow and ice together. But a few weeks ago, just as the Christmas season was kicking off, we woke up to this. Speed Racer gave me the out to not go to work, but I could see the gleam in his eye...he wanted to try out the Range Rover in the snow. So as I put on layer upon layer of electric underwear, it's toasty, Speed Racer braved the snow and ice to take a couple photographs. I can't say we really sacrificed a lot. I road to work in a truck with heated seats, a very warm heater, heated windshield, and heated steering wheel. Needless to say, I got to work early.