Holy cow - this family was such a dream to work with!! I love, love, love me some energetic, rambunctious little girls (I wonder why??), and Piper definitely made this session so much fun for me. She did plenty of snuggling with mom, dad, and little brother, Garrett, but we also had fun looking for bugs and shells, running and jumping, and throwing rocks in the water.
These three little girls may take over the world one day.They have so much spirit and determination (and energy!), and it is truly a joy to be around them. Which makes sense, since Joy is their mama after all. My sweet friend always has a smile on her face and a kind word to raise up those around her. She's an amazing mama, a hilarious and hard-working woman, and a light in everyone's life who knows her.
Sometimes, the PNW weather really helps a sister out. Like the day of the Ellerbe fam's session, when it pretty much rained all day, but cleared up enough to let us pop over on the ferry to Port Townsend and back to Whidbey Island before the drizzle settled back in.
Oh man, this family right here is one of my absolute faves. I photographed Kara and Mike just after they got engaged, (it was one of my first sessions), and the experience seriously lit a fire under me to keep going. We've been lucky enough to be stationed together several times - first in Hawaii, then Texas, and now Washington.
Raising three amazing, rambunctious young boys is no easy task. Three bright boys who love as hard as they play. Three sensitive boys who miss hugging their daddy goodnight. And yet, my sweet friend Arielle rose to the occasion each and every day while her husband Dustin did his job for his country halfway around the world.
When my family and I moved to Whidbey Island three years ago, we were new to Washington, new to the island, and new to the community. We bought (and built) our first house, I started my business, and Ryan switched over from operational to full-time reserve work with the Navy. So yeah, it was a lot. But God smiled on us by dropping us next door to the best neighbors (and friends) a girl could ask for.
When I first met and worked with Morgan and Nick, they had just found out that they were expecting. And with all the anticipation and delight that comes with that wonderful, life-changing news, they wanted to embrace and document the chapter of their lives when it was still just two. We shot a beautiful couples session at Bowman Bay, and I watched these two amazing souls melt into each other. It was so lovely, and honest, and beautiful.
For military families, there is the before, the during, and the after. Your life revolves around cycles - and I'm not talking about school cycles or even calendar years. I'm talking about tours, duty stations, detachments, deployments, surges, IAs, and the countless other ways those who serve "do" their jobs. I know families who have been given two weeks notice that they are moving halfway across the world. I know new mothers who have had to come to terms with their husband being sent on an IA for the next fifteen months. So how, do you ask, do military families handle this?
Homecomings will always be one of my favorite events to document. Seeing loved ones reunited after months of being apart - there's seriously nothing like that joy and relief. And seeing Katie and Brad's first homecoming reunion brought back all the butterflies that I remember from seeing Ryan walk off that plane and back into my arms during our first deployment. It's like your first date and wedding day all rolled into one beautiful moment.
Y'all - this family is one-of-a-kind awesome-sauce. When Nikki contacted me about taking family pictures, she told me that they'd only ever had them taken in their backyard. Which I understand because they have five (amazing) kids and it's kind of just a big deal to get them all in the frame together.
When Elise contacted me to see if I could work with her family's pictures during a recent trip from Utah to Whidbey Island, I was so happy that it worked out - and not just because they brought me chocolate (chocolate!). It was a hazing, golden night at Deception Pass State Park, with smoke from the B.C. wildfires hanging in the air, giving us a radiant sunset.
This big beautiful family needed to document being together on this lovely evening at Washington Park in Anacortes. Grandparents in town visiting from another country, three rambunctious, beautiful girls spending time with dad and family for the summer, and two sweet and spunky twin toddlers - WOW. This family has energy and love for days and days. And so many reasons to capture what life looks like at this particular moment.
I have been looking forward to this session with the Horn family for months. Literally! We had to reschedule a few times due to work schedules (Navy life!), but we lucked out with the warm weather and beautiful sunset at Deception Pass State Park the night we met to take family pictures.
One of the craziest things about being a Washington photographer is that the light is constantly changing. I mean every night at the same location can look different. You have to be able to adapt, and you get really good at making the most out of grey and overcast skies.
It's always hard to leave my sister. Living half-way across the country, we're only able to see each other once, maybe twice, per year. And now that we both have children who desperately want to play with their cousins - we try to make the time we have together count that much more.
My hubby Ryan and I celebrated 11 years of marriage this spring. Eleven years! In a way, the time has passed by so fast. Maybe it's the fact that we've moved four times with the Navy, or added three pets, two kids, and one business, but life seems to be flying by most days. Yet when I stop and look around at the life we've built, I wonder how we could be this lucky. I love our life and there is no one I'd rather call my partner for the next fifty years.
The girls and I try to head home for a few weeks every summer while daddy is working. We get to play in the hot Nebraska sun, run through sprinklers with cousins, and catch up with old friends. I'm lucky that one of my oldest and dearest friends Carrie is also in Omaha, and make sure to carve out time to grab lunch and catch up.
Four sisters and their darling cousin. Five lovely girls, as smart, sweet, and silly as they are beautiful - just frolicking around Deception Pass State Park. What a night we had playing together and romping around the beach. How lucky are they?! To have each other as lifelong friends and companions.
There was a time in my life when I couldn't imagine staying put in Nebraska. I needed to spread my wings a bit, see other parts of the country, and honestly just get out of my own way. But with maturity and the gift of starting my own family, I find that every time I come home now - I long to stay.
I had such an amazing time with this amazing family of three at Deception Pass State Park. Sweet baby Hailey is seriously the cutest baby. EVER. And she is the absolute apple of her mama and dada's eye. It was such a treat to capture Tawnya and David loving on their little girl. They were so sweet to go out of their way to meet with me on Whidbey Island on their way back to Canada after visiting family in Washington. Thank goodness we had a gorgeous night to work with!