A wise mentor once told me, "Always have a personal project. It will help prevent burn out and keep you growing." My family life is my personal project. My loves are the reason I started taking photographs in the first place. My intention was to document every day moments that slip by all to quickly; experiences that come and go in a single year. I did two years of a 365 project before I got too concerned with technical perfection, branding and business. I realize now that, yes, sometimes I create a snapshot, but other times my well-trained eye makes art disguised in an every day moment. Also, I see my journalism background speaking through these images. This year, my word is wholeness. My intention is to embrace all of me rather than only the parts of me I "think" are worthy of public view. I'm realizing that even the parts I tend to deny show up in my work. These photos bring me so much joy. I remember the stories, the love, and the laughter behind them.
In reviewing my 2016 images, it became obvious that nature, places and space catch my heart and my eye. These photographs reminded me of the places I've been, the things I found and the stillness and peace that feeds my soul. A couple of years ago my word for the year was spaciousness. I see it as the breathing space echoed in my landscapes and my body reacts by taking in a deep satisfying breath. In these photographs, I see my insides expressing on the outside.
In California we don't get much rain, or, at least, up until now. This January has been the wettest January in a long time. I think that's a good omen for 2017. Rainy days give me an excuse to sit at my computer and reflect on what I created last year. When it's sunny out, I think I better get out and do something. I've realized that reflecting IS doing something. It's rewarding my creative soul with a pat on the back. It's an opportunity to process and assess all I created for myself and my clients. In my reflection, I found three areas of interest my photography took in 2016: portraits, personal lifestyle and a sprinkling of landscapes and still life photos.
Below are my favorite portraits of 2016.
Honestly, one of my favorite beaches around is Trails at San Onofre. It's so peaceful and, I believe, the spirits of ancient peoples roam the beaches. When I look up at the cliffs I can image the native people looking out over the same ocean we see today. And the cliffs show the story of tides and storms etched into their faces. If you have not been to Trails, I highly recommend a visit.
These are some of my favorite people on the planet. For the last two years, I've made the trip to Austin for a visit. I always bring my camera and this time I promised we would get the family portraits done.
This is a busy household: three boys with three different football practices and homework schedules. We didn't have much time but it didn't really take much. My friend Angela loves black and white portraits so I found the perfect spot in her home where we had just enough light and shadow to make these stunning photos of the boys and their sweet dog Mei Mei. Then we headed outside for a family shot. Love you Crockett Family! See you next year or hopefully sooner!
I can't even begin to explain what a joy it was to work with this family. We were laughing and hugging by the end of the session. Sometimes, teens can be a little camera shy and self conscious, but not these two beauties. They were practically models...just like their mom. We found a perfect little patch of light and before we knew it, our time together was up! Until next time Dohman Family!
"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It's to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." ~ Elizabeth Stone
True statement and becomes even more evident when she leaves for college. While I am excited for all the adventures she has ahead of her in this new experience of independence and self reliance, I want to go too.
This weekend she came home for a visit. Her first words to me coming off the train were, "Mom, I love college." I'm so happy. I just wanted to sit with her and hear about all her new friends, classes and teachers. I listened to stories from getting meals to relating to her fellow floor mates.
All weekend I wanted to make a photo that spoke to her precious presence. This one seemed fitting.
In nature there are no judgements. The weed doesn't judge itself inferior. It pops up right next to the more acceptable, planted, wanted flowers. The dandelion offers us an opportunity to let go of the judgement of good and bad and instead just see its beauty.Read More
My sister-in-law is one of the most organized, always-thinking-ahead people I know and I admire her so much for it. While the rest of us were just trying to remember basic things, like bathing suits and water shoes, to take on our family Kauai vacation; Keira was planning outfits for a memorable family portrait session. Because of her great planning, I got to be a vacation family photographer in one of my most favorite places. Of course, I love this family and they were a blast to photograph. We made photos of real laughs, honest connections and a little silliness. These are just some of my favorites.
I live in San Clemente which also one of my favorite beach vacation locales. If you are visiting my area, I would love to document your family's vacation memories. Email me and let's chat!
Marissa, a class of 2016 senior, is on her way this fall to UC Irvine to learn and play water polo. Before she graduated last Spring we got together in the San Clemente State park above the beautiful Pacific Ocean for her senior portraits. I had so much fun with her. Not only is she beautiful, she is kind and smart. And that smile!!! She lit up the evening. Good luck to you this fall Marissa! Go Anteaters!!!