Owner & Photographer
HELLO & WELCOME!!!!!
This blog is filled with my own journey, opinions, thoughts and ramblings about the business side of being a creative entrepreneur, my own photography journal, and Mitochondrial Disease. Odd combo, right? I know it may seem a little off beat, but I am learning to embrace it. <3 Skye
I am so incredibly excited to announce that our family is expanding and we are expecting a little girl due in July 2016! Our little girl is doing well, and already estimated to weigh over 7 pounds and we are only 36 weeks along! There are so many preparations to make and decorating to do…we are so excited and can not wait for you to meet our little peanut!
I will be taking maternity leave after she arrives in late July through the beginning of October. I will be MIA for a while and soaking up all the baby smiles I can! I am already booked through the end of the year, and my goal is to start accepting newborn and maternity clients starting in January 2017.
Thank you all for your constant love and support! I can not wait to meet and snuggle her! Wishing you a wonderful rest of your summer!
Goodness…I have been working myself up to write this blog post for a long time now. I just haven’t had the grace within myself to put it out there and let go of it. I think for me if I claim it, then I have to accept it first. That has been the hardest part for me.
I have learned the hard way that memories don’t always last forever.
I believe that motherhood matters more than almost anything in my life that I have accomplished so far. I have always wanted to be a Mom, we struggled for years to conceive and lost our first child to miscarriage. When we got pregnant with the twins I can remember just having an unbearable and overwhelming need to hold them. I never got to hold our first child, I think that was one of the hardest parts for me about loosing our first pregnancy.
When K and C were born, they came via c-section because K was breached. I was so overwhelmed and excited, nervous and overcome with emotions, it was finally here…I was going to get to finally hold my babies. They were born at 36 weeks 0 days…my first day off bed rest…and they needed a little help after they were born. I remember the nurses bringing the babies to me to see and lay near my face briefly before they carted them off the the NICU for care.
After that moment, I remember very very little….I lost my memory of the first 48 hours after they were born. I still don’t know why it happened, was it a reaction to a medication or just plain exhaustion? I am not sure I will ever know. But 5 years later only very brief snippets and fleeting moments have returned. I remember being told they were ok when I was in recovery, and being wheeled down the hallway…but thats it…the moment I had wanted for so long…to finally hold my babies….I have no memory of.
I have come to accept that I likely never will, and I have found a way that I could make peace with that through my photography. You see, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by family and friends that stayed all night with us at the hospital. They took pictures and loved my new babies for me, when I couldn’t be there…and my Mom….bless her was able to come into the NICU with us and she got this photo of me holding K for the very first time…
This is one of the most valuable things that I own. This photo gives me the chance to experience this moment, even though I can not remember it. I always assumed that making memories with the ones I loved was something that no one could ever take from me. My memories are sacred and treasured…to loose even a moment, especially this moment was initially devastating. I found myself struggling to understand and make peace with myself afterwards. I felt guilty and responsible…which both I know now are not true…but overtime I found peace and a grace with myself…for myself…when I photographed my babies.
I knew that if I had photos, that even if I lost my memory again…I would always have a way to experience the moments and memories that have made my life so beautiful.
When the twins were born I had been a professional photographer for about a year. This experience left me changed. It changed my understanding of myself, and my purpose as a photographer. You see, I am not a photographer because I believe that everyone should have amazing professional photographs with an expensive camera, or that those are the photos that matter more somehow…the most valuable photograph I own was taken by my Mom with a point and shoot. However, the reason I am a photographer, is because preserving the journey of motherhood, our lives and moments we share with the ones we love…. is more important to me than anything else.
As a photographer, I get the chance to do for others what my Mom was able to do for me….she gave me the gift of being IN the photographs!
As Moms, Dads, Sister, Brothers, Aunts, and Uncles.. we are so often behind our phones and cameras that we often don’t exist in many photographs with our babies, children, families, spouses and ones that we love so dearly. As a family and newborn photographer I get the chance to help others preserve these moments, the beginnings, the memories and love you share…forever….even if someday you find that your memories of those moments fade or disappear completely.
To me, preserving those moments….that is the greatest gift I could ever give anyone! I feel eternally grateful and lucky that I get to give that gift to others through my profession as a photographer.
<3 Love and hugs to all of you who share and build a lifetime of memories with the ones you love! May your memories never fade, may you have photos to cherish and always have each other to love! <3
Last year I entered 19 photos…I got a total of 7 favorites through the whole contest, I remember thinking for sure I was out for the count, because so many people had way more than I did. I put so much stock into how many favorites I had, and if I would get new ones…I got so discouraged… However, when everything was said and done I was shocked to find out that had 1 photo make it into the finalist round – top 10%, 2 in the top 20%, and 6 that made the top 50%. (Calculated off of their finishing place vs. total category entries – which you can see after the competition) There were 12 total rounds last year and afterwards when the competion was over we got to see where our photos ranked.
I did better than I thought…not as good as others…but in the end I learned lessons that were far more important than I expected…
Here are the top 6 things I learned from the 2015 Shoot and Share Contest:
1) The photos I assumed would do well didn’t at all, and I was really surprised by some of the ones that made it into the final rounds.
2) I realized the photos that did well were mostly personal photos I took of my own kids, which were ones that I had given myself much more creative freedom than I ever did with clients.
3) Every single photo that I had favorited of another photographer’s in the contest made the top 100 in the competition for their category. It was awesome to check out their profiles after the contest was over and find other photographers that I admired and really enjoy following still.
4) All of the photos I favorited either told a story, had a unique perspective or had dynamic lighting/color combos. Some of which I have challenged myself to try to learn since.
5) It was an awesome way to learn more about my own personal photography taste and preferences, in a very real and very fun way. I learned that I have a lot more I want to learn, and progress I want to make as a photographer in finding my own voice.
6) It took comparing my work to the global talent of this type of contest to I realize that I did not actually need validation from others, favorites or a contest to know that I am right where I should be. Only I could give myself that…and that all I ever needed to do was to compare myself to myself to see how much I have grown and continue to grow.
This year I have entered the full 50 photographs that are allowed per photographer. I have absolutely no clue how I will do, I honestly have no grand expectations and am genuinely looking forward to seeing how much more I can learn about myself and voice as a photographer.
Best of luck to all of you who entered in the contest! <3
If you are a Shoot and Share member and happen to be interested… you can see my Shoot and Share profile here to view the photos I submitted last year: CLICK HERE
If you would like to vote in the contest there is still time: http://contest.shootandshare.com
Milestone Baby Session – In-home Lifestyle photography. Family of three enjoying tummy time, and little giggles with their baby boy!
Milestone sessions are always so much fun. They are usually pretty short and sweet, but they are a perfect way to celebrate the many developmental and growth milestones that happens in your baby’s first year of life. I always thought as a new Mom…oh…I will remember EVERYTHING…how could I possibly forget? Yet somehow, even in the two weeks it takes for you to view your photographs from your session for the first time…your baby changes…and suddenly seems like so much has changed already!
About the Session: This was a Heads-Up Milestone Session. It was photographed on the day he turned 4 months old. Due to the cold weather we did an in-home session, that made it super comfortable and relaxed. I adore this creamy beige color they have on their walls, it made for the perfect backdrop…and this Momma rocked the session in the wardrobe department…I mean look at that bib!!! How cut is he!!!! We also had a visitor from one of their kitty cats…he likes to pose for me every time I visit! I can’t believe he is already 4 months old…it goes by way too fast!
Family Session – Puget Sound at sunset at the Des Moines Marina & in-home Lifestyle photography. Family of three enjoying their favorite things, spending time with each other and enjoying the beauty of the puget sound and pacific northwest!
About the Session: I am so excited to share some of my favorites from this family session!!!! It was a session, full of giggles, sweet moments and I learned a lot about zombies and monster trucks!!!!! One of my favorite things about preparing for a session is the pre-session consultation. It is such a great time to connect with my clients and learn more about what is meaningful to their individual families. It is always my preference to include meaningful locations that are relevant to each family and will hold a special place for years to come. Over time, as a population we have become rather transient and mobile, often moving cities and locations multiple times before our children are grown. When we take the time to go beyond the traditional location options for sessions and we collaborate together to bring a new level of meaning to their family session, the entire experience is more enjoyable and ultimately the photographs more treasured because of it. How fun will it be for this little guy to be able to look back in 25 years and see his childhood home, and favorite family spot! What a great time capsule for their family!
For this session we focused on splitting it in to two chunks, due to the unpredictable winter weather. I am so glad we did…there was rain, as always here in Washington, but we lucked out and caught a beautiful sunset after we finished up the Lifestyle in home session! We were able to take a quick car ride to the Des Moines Marina and make a quick loop in the cold weather, pausing for some snuggles and sweet little moments along the way.
Sometimes I feel like a I swimming in a sea of dirty diapers and stale cheerios. Knee deep in peanut butter smears and sticky fingers. My feet have become tough from walking over the never ending lego minefield that is our floor. But it is these times that remind me that it is all just a wall of Bologna and its ok!
Bologna wall you ask?
See, before kids, my husband and I went out to dinner…all by ourselves…to my favorite little fancy restaurant in Bozeman called Louies. It was amazing…an endless supply of never ending all you can eat snow crab, warm butter and one happy belly. Towards the end of our meal our waiter stopped by to see if we could fit another plate full of legs down our gauntlets…I was groaning in agreement…even though I am sure I had already unbuttoned my “dinner pants” – you know the ones you wear when you know you are going to get down and eat…really eat…eat yourself silly…those pants…I had already unbuttoned those..Our waiter took pity on us I think, in that moment, and asked me if I had hit the Bologna Wall?
My naivety proved itself again…Bologna wall? I asked…he explained…The Bologna wall is something you encounter when you have had so much crab, butter and lemon that it stops tasting like crab, and everything starts to taste like bologna.
My mind was blown…because that is exactly what happens isn’t it…when you get too much of a good thing…we stop appreciating it. We stop taking the time to cherish, relax and be kind to ourselves..to be grateful….and be at peace with what it is….I feel like my journey with motherhood is very similar…to this elusive wall.
As I sit here writing this blog post…My body aches and creaks with the sore muscles of carrying a 30 pound two year old around the house after he smashed his finger in a drawer. My hair feels like a birds nest and my clothes have an aroma…I am never quite sure how it happens or where it comes from…but somehow…at least during one point of the day…I look down and see some type of mysterious spot that I know is a bodily secretion of some sort. Snot is my kryptonite…I thought it would be the brown smelly stuff…but nope…that slimy sticky icky glue….I am just not strong enough…it gets me every time…lol And…My feet…oh, my poor feet…they are screaming, and my head is reeling from utter exhaustion because I am pretty sure all I ate today was coffee.
I get lost in the sea of the messy bits… the hard, exhausting and smelly parts of parenthood.
When I was a new Mom to twins… life was overwhelming and the weight of it wore me ragged. I kept searching for balance, for the Mom I always dreamed I would be…I thought that one day soon…I would wake up and see her staring me back in the mirror…hair perfectly done, make up on and actually wearing something other than yoga pants….I kept waiting for her to magically appear, to prove to myself that I could find a way to get my proverbial poop in a group so to speak…you see I was refusing to yield to the messy and most stretching parts of motherhood. The parts that teach you self acceptance, that teach you that perfection is a myth, that teach you your body no matter what its appearance is a pretty spectacular thing…and that balance doesn’t exist.
I was trying so hard to be so much of the VERY BEST of myself ALL the damn time….that I stopped actually being myself. The best parts of me, the parts my children love and adored are the little in-between moments…when my hair is a mess, my clothes are dirty and I am pretty sure I have an aroma…that they come and wrap you in their tiny little hands, and melt your heart in an instant as they learn to share their love and affection, through little hugs, kisses, high fives and dance parties in the kitchen.
Now….5 years and 4 kids later…I feel like I have found my groove. I have stopped looking for balance…and learned to do my best to dance my way through it….however I have come to realize that sometimes I forget how truly incredible this journey is. I still hit the Bologna Wall….
I realize we have so much of a good thing, that sometimes I can’t see it…even though it right there everyday in the eyes of my children…I forget…and I have learned that its ok….you see…Our path to parenthood was filled with patience, a lot of waiting, wishing and our share of tears…and I am eternally grateful for this life I have…yet there was guilt…soooo much guilt…for not being this version of myself I thought my kids deserved…when the truth, I have come to realize is that my kids deserve SOOO much more than MY version of perfection…they deserve ME their Mom…exactly as I am….with a heart full of love, bags under my eyes and mismatched socks…I am SOOOO grateful…even when I forget to be thankful….
And funny enough, it is the times when I realize it is all Bologna again…that I am the most grateful…humbled and transformed. Because, it is in those moments that I remember I am blessed with this beautifully messy life….so bring it on…more bologna please! <3