Best of 2016 ~ Stillness

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. 

Life in Loud: Community and Collaboration

The Loud.

It goes by many names.

Psychologists call it ego. Brene Brown calls it the hustler. Some call it noise.
It reminds you of past mistakes, obligations and roadblocks. It keeps you small, in line and following the rules. It's everywhere and no where all at the same time.

For centuries the loud, that collective crowd of voices telling us to stay home, be a good girl, don't disappoint, be polite, follow the rules has permeated our DNA. It's not easy to strike out, be different, listen to your own voice, follow your heart. It can be scary, dark and lonely, like walking down an isolated alley at night.

But what're not alone.


What if there are other women walking that same path with candles to light the way. Artists. Ready to join hands and walk together. Not exactly alike. Not the same...but together.


More than a year ago, I started a weekly photography project known as Life in Loud, an online photography gallery, with 11 other women living throughout North America

The only rule: contribute what you love. 

Quiet all the reasons why it doesn't work and, if you love it, post it. 

Believe me, it was not easy at first. Often, I would post a photo and say, "Is this okay?" or "Which one is better?" Only to be greeted with comments like, "if you love it, I love it." and "Which one do you love more?"

It's strange how permission, and an external acknowledgment of your own heart's longing, can grow confidence.

Over the year, we learned to hear our heart's call. We grew and blossomed from kindness, friendship and inclusion. At some point, I realized that Life in Loud was no longer about 12 individual photographers, but rather about collaboration and community.

When was the last time you felt 
the love and support of a photography community?

We created the Life in Loud Retreat in beautiful Watercolor, Florida, to offer other photographers the opportunity to join our community. To quiet the loud for a single weekend surrounded by other women who will support your fragile voice and make a space for you to create art that your heart desires.

It's not a "how to." 

You will NOT learn how to be like any of us, 
but rather how to be your best artist self.

We have organized five photo sessions, styled by a professional stylist with models of all ages. During those sessions, each Retreat attendee will have the personal insight and support of our 9 Life in Loud founders, all professional and accomplished photographers. We will encourage you to shoot the session with your heart rather than your head and, if you stumble or feel overwhelmed, we are ready to guide you with suggestions or techniques. In the end, we want retreat guests to go home with portfolio quality images that express your personal vision.

In between photography sessions, we will facilitate four group discussions to uncover your unique artistic vision and path. Do you know what you want to create? Do you know how to get there? Do you know how much to charge or where to start? By the end of the weekend you will! You will be ready and inspired to take the steps necessary to grow your business or find your artistic path.

But, it's not all work and no play. 

Our beautiful resort home offers stunning natural light, cozy common areas and a luxurious pool. Not to mention, easy access to white sandy beaches with a picture perfect town center. We will have a catered and styled welcome dinner on Friday night, home-style breakfast and lunch on Saturday and a girls-night-out on Saturday night. Before heading home on Sunday, we will enjoy brunch together and discuss our goals and dreams for this next chapter as artists. All meals and snacks (with the exception of Saturday night's dinner) is included with registration.

And!! Every Retreat guest will go home with a bag full of gifts from our 12 amazing sponsors. It means so much to us that these people and businesses believe in the Life in Loud community.

Are you ready to refresh, rejuvenate and awaken 
to the artist and photographer you are? 

I have been counting the days to this Retreat. We have a few spots lefts. Come join me and the community of Life in Loud.

To learn more about the Retreat click HERE. And to register click HERE.

If I Could Just Stop Time

It's hard to believe we are in the middle of August and the summer is nearing it's end; much like the sunset at the end of the day. But like the tide, life continues moving. Seasons come and go. Sometimes, I just wish I could stop time. I guess that's one thing I love about photography. It stops time, even if just for a fraction of a second, and reminds me of all the good times.

"I suppose I thought if I sat very still, the world wouldn't move." ~ John Patrick

To see more inspired photography from our Life in Loud founders, follow the blog circle and visit the amazing Suzie Ziemke by clicking HERE.

Footprints on My Heart

Do you have people in your life who you see every couple of years and talk to occasionally, but no matter when or where you get together it's like time has never passed? They "get" you. There is a bond that is so much deeper than day-to-day conversations. Regardless of how long it's been, you pick up right where you left off. Those kinds of friends are priceless.

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same." ~ Unknown

To see more inspired photography from our Life in Loud founders, follow the blog circle and visit the amazing Tara Jurevicius of Little Whitefeather Photography by clicking HERE.

Big Memories of Small Moments

There are places in this life where I feel in awe of the beauty and richness of the world around me. Trail One near San O one of those places. It's a state park less than 10 minutes from my home, but as I walk down the steep rocky path to the beach, I get transported to a forgotten time; a time before subdivisions and freeways, when the native people walked to the shore to fish and swim. On this day, the sky seemed so vast, the water so blue and the sand so refined and soft.

Our good friends came for a visit, so I brought them here to escape the summer crowds and fast food shacks. We ate a fresh, healthy picnic and swam. Then the kids explored the wonders of the park that includes little driftwood huts and rocks that line the shore. No metal or plastic playground equipment here. Just good old fashioned sticks, rocks, sand and imagination.

When life gets loud, this is where I come, to get back in touch with what is truly real and meaningful.

I will find my place in this big world. ~ Unknown

To see more inspired photography from our Life in Loud founders, follow the blog circle and visit the amazing Suzie Ziemke by clicking HERE.

Savoring Ordinary Summer Moments

"In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary." ~ Aaron Rose.

Isn't that really what photography is all about. Recognizing the light in ordinary moments and capturing magic? It stops this fast moving life in a fraction of a second to savor later.

For me, ordinary summer magic unfolds with the freedom to play late into the evening, after the sun has set. The air stays warm and the daily-life structure loosens.

To see more inspired photography from our Life in Loud founders, follow the blog circle and visit the amazing Sonja Hardy of Bobo and Peep Photography by clicking HERE.

Trestles Beach Photo Shoot with Two Fun Teens

I hosted a session give-away recently on my Facebook page and Jessie was one of two winners. I love this girl! She dances with my daughters and is just a sweet, fun, kind and beautiful teen. For this session she wanted some photos with her boyfriend, Tyler (an equally nice guy), who will be leaving for Army basic training soon. We all agreed on creating fun and romantic photos, with just a touch of silliness.  Trestles in San Clemente offered the perfect location with its pristine, secluded beach and long walk through some open space.

Thanks Jessie and Tyler for a fun session!

Happiness is Playing until after Sunset

I love the long, lazy days of summer. During the day our beach is packed with people, but nearing the sunset-hour mostly all the tourists have gone to dinner, and we are left with near empty beaches. On this beautiful evening, with the sun setting after 8 p.m., we played until the sun dropped below the horizon. 

"Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness." ~ Frank Tyger

To see more inspired photography from our Life in Loud founders, follow the blog circle and visit the amazing Summer Kellogg of Summer K Photography by clicking HERE.

A Carefree Moment for Soaring ~ San Clemente beach and family photographer

One of our favorite places to visit when we hit our local San Clemente beach is the swing. This summer evening we stopped for ice cream and then walked to the swings to fully savor a carefree moment playing together. There is just something about the freedom of swinging so high you feel like your flying! I totally remember that feeling. It's a near perfect childhood moment. And this week, as we celebrate the 4th of July, freedom is on my mind. I feel so grateful to live in a country that offers freedom of movement, thought, speech, worship and so much more. It's a freedom many take for granted. Enjoy your freedom this week!

Also, Little Miss was looking mighty sweet in her curly pony-tails. I tell her she looks like Cindy Brady. None of my children have a clue who I'm talking about. It makes me laugh to think the Brady Bunch is so old school...hahahaha! 

To see more inspired photography from our Life in Loud founders, follow the blog circle and visit the amazing Tara Marie Jurevicius of Little White Feather Photography by clicking HERE.

153 Sun Hat

I go to the beach a lot but I always take my hat! Today, Little Miss forgot her's and then took mine! She was so darn cute! We played for a while, just the two of us. The older girls were off on an adventure.