Growing Up

Gabby - Cake Smash

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Over the summer I had the pleasure of capturing Gabby's 1st birthday and cake smash!

Gabby's mom and I connected on Pinterest to create the perfect look and coordinating colors with her hand-made tutu, and I couldn't be more thrilled with the results!  I created a backdrop out of lace and ribbon, and the cake made by Gabby's mom was stunning!

We took advantage of the wonderful weather we had this summer and split the session up between the yard and indoors, capturing different looks and utilizing bubbles for fun!  They had the perfect living room with wonderful hard wood floors and lots of natural light, making the perfect setting for her cake smash.

While Gabby didn't care much for the cake (as 1yo's often don't!), she was curious and showed off her big personality!  Not only did the pictures come out great, but this family was a delight to work with and we had a lot of fun!!

Check out these adorable pictures below from Gabby's 1st birthday session and cake smash...

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Kenzie - 2016 Senior, Snow Mountain Ranch

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Nothing is more memorable than your Senior year of high-school, and what better way to commemorate those memories than through timeless photographs to look back on with family for years to come.

Kenzie, who is a 2016 West Valley High School grad, reached out to me with a specific location in mind, wanting that lovely sun-kissed light to glow in her photographs.  With the Washington fires this year, I was a little concerned for the haze, and excited to find a short open window in Yakima with the smoke off to each horizon.

We had so much fun walking around the beautiful trails at Snow Mountain Ranch, and it was easy to capture Kenzie's fun, energetic, and carefree personality - her smile shines through in every photograph, which the light can only compliment!

Here are some of my favorite highlights from Kenzie's session - thanks again for allowing me to capture your stunning photos!!

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The De-Cluttering of Busy

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Lately, I've read a plethora of articles on the art of being busy, and they all ring true.  Busy has become a broad term for "don't bother me" or our self proclaimed idea that if we're busy, we must be successful.  On the contrary.  Being busy means there is room for organization; rooting what doesn't work, and seeding the will to spend quality family and down time.  I can say this first hand because I just spent the past year in "busy."  At first I thought it was amazing, I must be doing something right if I'm booking so many sessions!  A year later, enter the de-cluttering of busy.  Getting a lot of work is great, creating beautiful art is surely great.  Doing all of that while doing what you love - bonus great!  Overworking yourself to the point of injury, stress, and migraines?  Not so great - so what can we do with our busy schedules and hectic calendars?

I admit, this was challenging - I've never been organizational in the sense that things are tidy and in order.  I just learned to work hard, adapt, and it worked for me.  Until I had a kid.  My son just started Kindergarten.  I thought I was prepared, hey he'd been in Preschool for the past few years.  I thought I wouldn't be one of those emotional mom's, tearing up at the bus-stop, getting goosebumps as I drop him off at school, triple-checking his face to make sure there's no toothpaste or milk before he's sent off to play with other kids and, you know - learn stuff.  Boy was I wrong!  Those moments as the bus pulls away, you turn yourself around and make that seemingly long walk home, alone, as all your heartstrings trail behind you - it's heartbreaking.  Picture this - you're carefree and young, you have your life going for you, opportunities boundless.  We age, we mature, we have kids.  We learn to love someone else more than we love ourselves, more than we love life itself.  We nurture and raise them, giving up a plethora of things and spending all our spare time with them.  Then one day, they are gone.  Sure... it's not like he's gone off to college or anything - but that day will come.

What I have learned the past three weeks, is to embrace the routine.  Yes... the routine is golden.  My kid forces me to be a better person every day, and I love it.  Through this routine I've adopted a few new quirky traits, like sticking to working only a specific amount of time each night.  Setting aside designated down time.  Writing, when I feel inspired.  Heck, I foundtime today to blog.  All in all - I think that the business of our time gets caught up in the plan making and the dreaming and the what-if's.  And while some plans are necessary, I've really turned my gears to focus on the work itself, and give a little extra room for reading, movies, long drives, and camping.  Because as much as we need to follow the schedule we lay out in our pretty calendars, we need to focus on ourselves as well.

I'm gradually cleansing my schedule, sending it on a diet so that my life can feel more enriched.  A year ago I took the leap to full-time photographer - and it's been an amazing journey.  The weddings I have been a part of, the success I've created for myself.  I couldn't be more grateful.  The year to come I'm going to work smarter, and play harder.  I feel more creative, and my family, my home, and my body are thanking me.

From a recent trip to the coast:

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Rock the Shot - Seaside

My little guy L O V E S the beach! This is my submission to April's Rock the Shot photo challenge.

I just love his posture as he plays in the surf coming in over Seaside, OR.

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Ancient Impressions

After tucking my son into bed, exhausted and winding down for sleep myself, I begin to sit down at the computer.  Breaking from the silence I suddenly hear, "Roar!  Roar!  Goodnight!" in his gruffest dino voice, as he snuggles down.  I'm rolling in laughter at the spontaneity that has overcome him, while he continues giggling in this dino voice.

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Ironically, as I attempted to work into the night, I stumbled accross a dinosaur, which I wrestled in my sleep-deprived state, to plug my printer in.  Laughter, ensuing the pause . . . as parents, we all know that one day all this will be gone and our days of going about our business, will just be that.  The little interruptions soaking delight into every corner of my day, will be gone in the blink of an eye.  Life happens just way to fast.  This dinosaur stalling my work with his grip on my reality, became the signaling of days that are no longer.

If I could photograph every moment and forever look back on a keepsake timeline of our lives here.. the little details that I never want to forget - I would.  Rather, I console myself in being ever more present today, and it allows me to smile even though I know that one day that's exactly what this will all be, but memories.  Precious memories.

For now, just being present in the details that remind me that little feet once roamed these spaces, while lest losing sight on the bigger picture and finding balance in preserving those moments with my little, is a true gift - one which I do not take for granted.  We are in the midst of creating memories that will last an eternity, rather than consuming our time trying to press mark the day in chronological order.  Today I found a dino.  And for that, I am thankful.