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!
Every time I shoot a homecoming, I know three things are going to happen. First, I know that this session will be one-of-a-kind - as unique and special as the family I'm documenting. Second, I know that everything about the session (day, time, weather, location) are completely out of my control. And finally, I know that I am going to walk away from the session a different person.
Drinking cold coffee while bare feet pitter-patter around you. Reading books with two little bottoms curled up in your lap. Squishing play dough through your fingers as you try to keep it out of mouths. Pushing the tire swing in the front yard while you watch the wind blow their hair. Taking shoes off and on and on and off as they move from inside to outside to back inside.
This session reminded me why I absolutely LOVE to photograph families. The energy the kids bring, the love mom and dad gush out on their kiddos, the joy everyone has being outside and being together - it gives me all the feels people. Carrie and Eric are givers. They serve in so many areas of their lives, and are such amazing examples of love and compassion for their kids.
This family loves hard and laughs often. They play together, support each other, and have FUN with one another. Mom Crystal is the center of everyone's worlds, keeping it all together between work schedules, school, and activities. And she always has a smile on her face. Because this crazy life may take its twists and turns, but it is their life. And they are in it together.
What a fun night I had documenting this sweet family! I just loved watching Kristen and Jon love on their girlies - especially since my girls are roughly the same age apart (although they're a bit older now). Kristen mentioned their love of mountains, and as we worked to pick the perfect spot, they choose Bowman Bay since it reminded them of Colorado (with the exception of the water!). We had such a great night exploring, throwing rocks, singing "Wheels on the Bus," and watching these adorable sisters hug via head-butt. It was a night to remember!
Ali and Carl are the most smitten parents ever. They are absolutely head-over-heels in love with every inch of their new son Owen. From his itty bitty toes to his full head of gorgeous blond hair, Owen is pretty easy to love. I love the pace of lifestyle newborn sessions. When baby needs a break, we take a break. As Ali fed Owen, we talked about how she and Carl met, how they bought their first home, and the plans and projects they have as they make it their own.
Holy cow you guys - this session was exactly what I needed. The crazy weather we've had lately, with glimpses of sunshine followed by dreary days of rain, has really put a damper on my busy schedule as spring and summer shooting season kicks off. This particular evening however, we got a lucky with a GORGEOUS sun-soaked Anacortes evening as I had the pleasure of documenting the most amazing, fun, Australian(!) family.
Holy cow - this session was such a treat for me to shoot. As an Auntie to boy-girl twins, I have a special place in my heart for what an incredible miracle this family has been blessed with. I met Heather earlier this year when she joined our MOPS group and was assigned to my table. She fit in immediately and I quickly realized that Heather is one of those special people that you feel like you've known your whole life.
The older kids saw him first. Peering across the flight line, trying to pick him out amongst a mass of similar flight suits. As he moved out from the crowd gathered under the plane, Luke and Drew bolted for him. Their adrenaline taking over, the boys raced to catch him first, nearly tackling him to the ground. Keira squealed in delight and quickly ran behind her brothers straight towards him. Daddy.
If I've learned anything since I picked up a camera and started down the path that has now become my passion - it's that photography is a journey. There is no finish line. No feeling of "well now I know everything so that's that." You practice, find the subjects and lighting and ambiance that makes the hair on your arms stand up - and you chase it. You fall down, get back up and keep moving forward. You judge yourself, test your abilities, stay up WAY too late WAY too many nights. And you can't get enough of it.
I am not a morning person. So when my alarm went off the morning of April 1st two hours before the scheduled homecoming I was supposed to shoot, and I quickly realized after scrolling through numerous texts and and messages that the plane was arriving in just 30 minutes... well let's say I've never moved faster before sunrise.