Sam and Fernando Engaged

My dear friends Sam and Fernando are engaged! Of course, Fern was a bit skittish when it came to photos, but part of my job is to change my clients’ perspective on themselves.  One of my favorite aspects of my job is when I get to make my clients feel comfortable in their own skin, and usually they don’t even realize they are changing throughout the shoot! This is where great humor and peace come in handy.  Check out how cute they are.

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Sam and Fernando Engaged

Independence Day- Molly Kennedy

I remember the first time I saw Molly. I was sitting in room with live music when she walked to the front and sat at the piano to sing back up.  I was struck by her beauty, then by her confidence, then by her voice. This girl. I didn’t know where she came from or where she was going, but knew I wanted to be her friend.  We eventually met a few weeks later through mutual friends and it was purely quirky friendship from that moment on.  No I’m serious, we are really weird.

I preface all this in order to tell a story.  A story of how I’m realizing how truly impactful photography can be.

In the beginning of the month, I approached Molly to do a mini July 4 shoot. I had a couple ideas cooking in my brain and I needed a model.  I needed a Molly.  She was the only one I could think of who would be perfect for this.

Well thanks to Molly’s love for quality time and adventure, we woke up before the crack of dawn and drove out to the beach to catch these shots you see below.  Pity Molly- I made her do the weirdest poses and jump over seaweed like a million times. But man. Dang. Ya. This is what happened.  The light. The dress. The smile. It was all perfect.  But it was because Molly was who she is, and it was because she was in the photos.  After she saw the photos, I later received a note from her explaining a bit of her own story to me.

How many of you know that we as human beings can be our own worse critics.  We nitpick, we covets someone else’s features, we complain.  Things can go unplanned in our lives and we blame ourselves.  Girls, how many of us say, “I’m just not pretty enough” or “if only I would be different.”

Molly’s note thanked me, explaining how she had previously been feeling these things creep into her thinking.  But when she received the photos, she found herself returning to them repeatedly.  She expressed that there were a few particular photos where she just stared. “At first I felt so detached from them. Like I wasn’t looking at pictures of me.” As she kept returning to them, her perspective began to shift. “I began to see the core of who I am.”  That perspective being the truth. That the core of who she is- her identity- is good. Beautiful. Worthy.

I almost cried when I read it.  Anyone can see that Molly is gorgeous, but she herself needs to see and experience her own value and goodness.

How about you? What lies do you tell yourself in the mirror as you get ready for your day? What areas of your thinking need to be set right again?

If I can have one purpose or vision in my photographic career, it would be to show people their worth.  I think my slogan says it pretty well: “I show people the beauty they are living.”  My desire is not to have the best equipment or have the most clients.  I’ve become more intentional than that.  My dream is to show worth to people.  If that means that they change their self perspective while flipping through the photos, then that’s what it will look like.  But I think that this shoot has not only helped Molly. It’s helped me.

Live intentionally. Eliminate lies and speak the truth.  And for heaven’s sake, if you just can’t seem to believe them, invite me to do a shoot.  I’ll show you the beauty that everyone else gets to see when they look at you.  You might feel totally not put together but don’t you know? There is such true raw beauty in the mess.

And here is my beautiful friend in all her Independence Day glory. Dress by Anthropologie. Flower crown by Jarrett Atelier.  Beach and perfect day by God.

Edited Molly July Four-1 Edited Molly July Four-2 Edited Molly July Four-3 Molly July Four-14 Molly July Four-13 Molly July Four-16 Molly July Four-22 Molly July Four-25 Molly July Four-26 Molly July Four-27 Molly July Four-28 Molly July Four-30 Molly July Four-31 Molly July Four-35 Molly July Four-36 Molly July Four-40 Molly July Four-43

and some bloopers:

Molly July Four-39 Molly July Four-45

Molly July Four

Independence Day- Molly Kennedy

Godshall Family

So you are currently looking at one of my favorite shoots. The colors, the people… Seriously, there’s just something that starts to stir in me when I get to document people in their homes.  You wouldn’t think it makes a difference, but there is a physical change that happens to people when you bring the camera to them- not vice versa.  They are calm. They smile more.  They even get more creative.  Jason and Jen made my heart happy.  And wouldn’t you know that little baby Nate really likes me? He honestly breaks into a huge grin when I walk into the room.  And this kid has a killer grin that will melt a heart of stone. It did mine anyway. Did I mention anything about these colors?

So here is to Story Shoots at home. Here’s to the Godshall family for letting me in.  Here’s to many more to come!nategodshall-5 nategodshall-9 nategodshall-10 nategodshall-13 nategodshall-20 nategodshall-19 nategodshall-23 nategodshall-25nategodshall-2nategodshall-27 nategodshall-28 nategodshall-34 nategodshall-39 nategodshall-42 nategodshall-44 nategodshall-48 nategodshall-52 nategodshall-53 nategodshall-54

Godshall Family

Miss Nora

So I’ve been hanging around children a little more frequently lately.  And though I haven’t been particularly fond of them before, I’m beginning to sway my opinion.  They are charming little stinkers.  I always heard about the “miracle of birth,” yada yada and “how fast they grow,” yada yada.  It never really had much affect on me. I’ve just never been around children very much.

I think that I can probably pin point the moment that all began to change in my heart.  I think it was the moment, after thirty some hours of waiting, when my best friend held Nora in her arms for the first time.  I was behind the camera for all of it, and all eyes were on those two. But if you would have turned and looked back at me, you would have seen little tears pooling in my eyes.  I could hear myself repeat, “oh my gosh, oh my gosh,” but it was almost like my voice was outside of my body- it wasn’t really coming from myself.  And I stood there camera still in hand, unable to see what it was focused on.  I kept looking at her little eyes and her lips. Oh, her lips! And that’s the point where it changed for me.  I think I got it.

Though this was the turning point in a sense for me, I had been experiencing other strange things culminating within my little- apparently grinch-like heart.  I’d been helping my sister with her nanny job once a week.  This means I got to spend 4.5 hours with a one year old every once or twice a week.  And I began to appreciate the little moments when she would run to me like she liked me.  Or when she actually laughed at something I did to entertain her (I mean, I think I’m funny).  Or the way she curled up in my arms while I rocked her before her nap.  Am I sounding mushy? Oh my gosh, I’m being a mush ball.  To save myself some dignity, I’ll refrain from any more of these moments.  I will say one more thing: I’m feeling a lot more comfortable around babies now.  My feelings aren’t as hurt when they cry in my arms.  I feel like I can hold them without making their heads fall off (they really are a lot more durable than you’d think). That being said, it’s still going to take me a while to get over  my disgust over all the weird fluids that babies produce and get all over you. Vomit. Pee. Poop. Boogers. Snot. Ew. I’m definitely #notafan .

And on a funnier note (and the reason for this post) what I most appreciate about babies is their ability to be them.  Flagrantly so.  I love their odd shaped bodies and incessant babbling- all things that would be considered faux pa for an adult to do.

So here’s Nora. The girl who kind of changed my life in a way.  Or at least my perspective.

I’ll be pointing out some of my favorite poses and faces.

Nora-1 Nora-5 Nora-6 Nora-10  Nora-12 Nora-13 Nora-15

Here’s rapper Nora:Nora-19

Intimidating Nora:Nora-21

Stoked about her age Nora:Nora-23   Nora-29

And my personal fave, incredibly pear shaped Nora (when would it ever be cool to flaunt this bod in public as an adult?)Nora-30

The clingy Nora:Nora-31 Nora-32

And the skeptical Nora:Nora-38 Nora-41

Nora-40

She gone:Nora-39

Miss Nora