Category Archives: Photography

Celebrating Myriam

 

 

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You might remember a ritual I did with a few friends last year. We gathered feathers and let them go. For Myriam, pictured above, it was a long infertility journey on her heart – a lot to let go of – but we all felt so much hope as we gathered again on the sand. We knew that baby was on its way.

I visited Myriam last week in southern california and it was my total delight and joy to photograph her, her husband and that gorgeous belly on the beach in Laguna. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Myriam more beautiful, and that’s saying a lot.

I just wanted to share these photos today, to celebrate Myriam and also to celebrate how life can surprise us again and again.

This is me, looking into my own eyes with kindness.

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Self-portrait, shot with Canon 6D

I caught myself today, telling my sister a tired old story on the telephone. You know the ones I mean –the thing you have been complaining about for years, the thing that never seems to change, the one that always brings you anguish. When I hung up today (after venting at length) I noticed how my body felt- icky, tainted, like I had just eaten an entire bag of fritos.

I think I’m done telling that story, I thought to myself.

I need a new narrative. One that’s still true but makes me feel empowered + hopeful.

I went on a photo walk this afternoon. I wanted to shake my legs and get in the mood for the Treasure Hunt course starting in a couple of days.

I found myself taking self-portraits, click click click and then peering into the tiny screen to see how they came out. Sometimes it’s hard to look at yourself, isn’t it? My skin is mottled, my eyes are too small, I should wear makeup… the critic had a steady stream of commentary. Then I remembered something that Vivienne McMaster had shared with me, a self-portrait exercise where you look into the lens with total kindness + love.

I decided to try it, peering into the camera with the kindest part of my heart. I acted as if I were looking at my own boys, tiny and perfect and beautiful. Not only did it feel good to do this, but the shots turned out so much better.

I’m not sure what this new story is. (I will have to call on one of my life coach friends for this one)

What I do know, is that the key will be starting from this place of kindness and love. From this angle, things are bound to look so much more hopeful + beautiful.

 

Sad bananas. A treasure hunt is in order!

Sad banana, shot with Canon 6D

Sad banana, shot with Canon 6D

Sad bananas over here.

Just one of those weeks! I’m thinking that some photo walks are in order. Would anyone like to join me?

Creativity is always the best way for me to find my joy again. Perhaps you need to find some joy too. Let’s do it together.

The Treasure Hunt begins May 1st.

30 days of photo prompts + photo tips. Here are a few more details.

Only $39 if you use this coupon code: HUNTFORJOY

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Here’s what you’ll get:

  • A creative photo prompt each day in your inbox
  • Photo tips + creative musings to inspire your work
  • A warm, encouraging community space on Flickr to share your work and support your fellow treasure seekers! (I will be popping in there each day to view your work and support your practice)

Benefits of treasure seeking:

  • Jumpstart your creativity or add a new spark to your existing practice
  • Come away with a collection of creative images illustrating your life right now
  • A gratitude practice using your camera as a tool + beauty as your lens
  • A whole month of drinking in everyday beauty
  • Inspiring photos taken with your camera phone.
  • Has your blog been collecting dust? Infuse it with new colorful content!

Only $39 if you use this coupon code: HUNTFORJOY

 

 

Registration is open for Superhero Photo!

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Nico Boon, gleeful on his bike, shot with Canon 6D

Photography is more than a hobby — it’s a way of seeing the world.

And it’s not about technical skill, or having the latest lenses + gadgets — it’s about chasing light, capturing delight, and shifting our perspectives — literally and artistically. You’ll uncover a few of your own creative superpowers — like courage, intuition, play & trust — as you wake up & witness your real life. And capture it!

Anyone with a camera is invited to participate. (Point and shoots + camera phones are totally welcome)

Join me for this 6-week adventure. It’s a whole world of color, artistry & self-discovery — it all begins on Monday, March 4th, 2013!

Here’s what you’ll discover, inside:

  • Fresh themes, every week.
    Impromptu self-portraits, hidden treasures, composition, color, and more.
  • No-sweat technical lessons.
    Superhero Photo is focused on play & self-expression, but you’ll learn the fundamentals of aperture, lighting, post-processing, and more.
  • Treasure hunts!
    Download a collection of creative photo prompts, to inspire a spontaneous photography adventure.
  • Interviews, galore.
    Inspiring chats with super-talented photographers, like Tracey Clark, Vivienne McMaster, Anna Kuperberg, Andrea (Hula) Jenkins, and Tara Whitney.
  • Community cheerleading.
    A warm & encouraging community space on Flickr to share & admire our work.

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“Superhero Photo altered how I saw the world. I got down on the ground, climbed on chairs and tables, went out in all colors and weights of light, looked close and far away, and went on treasure hunts. I took some of the most magical pictures I ever had, and I haven’t stopped taking them.”- Jill Salahub

 Please join me! Class begins March 4th

 

The magic persists

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from my walk this morning, shot with Canon 6D

 “Magic persists, with or without us…” an excerpt from a Charles Bukowski poem.

That moment this morning, in the kitchen.

That moment of respite in the midst of Nico’s whines, Ben shouting from the other room about Legos, the hustle and bustle of trying to get kids to school. There was this moment when I heard Nico giggle.

I looked over and saw him (bare-chested because he had only agreed to wearing pants today) tickling his own armpit.

“Tickle tickle tickle!” he said, then cackled.

“Tickle tickle tickle!” he said to the other armpit and laughed again.

And there it was – the choice.

The sanctuary, the oasis in the desert, the calm in the storm. Right there.

I laughed with him, teasing it out, wanting to stretch the moment a bit more, knowing it was fleeting. He has been SO sick this week – constant high fevers, four seizures over the weekend, endless snot, acetaminophan suppositories, constant tears — and then this moment.

It was so delicious. Perhaps for all of the misery that preceded it.

The magic persists, like a ripe apple, ready for the plucking if we could only look up and see the bounty overhead.

It’s hard to look up sometimes. Hard to step out of our narrow view of the world and see that there is another way.

My walk this morning, or really, any of my photo walks is proof of that. There is all this great stuff – glittery beads of moisture in the grass, the impossible beauty of the pincushion center of a dandelion, the way the light rests in a gentle stripe of orange on the tips of the trees.

The magic persists with or without us. It is indifferent to us, yet always ready, willing and available.

 

Dear Nico.

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Nico just up from his afternoon nap, shot with Canon 6D

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Nico cranking up the cute, shot with Canon 6D

Dear Nico,

You can have anything you want.

Love,
Mama

 

Let’s increase our capacity for delight.

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elevating the ordinary, shot with Canon 6D

“Whether success or failure: the truth of a life really has little to do with its quality. The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.”
~ May Sarton

That’s what photography helps me do – increase my capacity for delight. A simple walk around the block becomes a moving meditation, one of the ways I can wake up to what normally passes me by. The tiny worlds that are hidden from view suddenly come to life.

It’s a way to say thank you.

Are you ready to increase your capacity for delight?

Elevate the Ordinary starts on January 28th.

I’d love to have you!

in love with this camera.

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Ben running to Gioia pizza, shot with Canon 6D

Investing in Ourselves

Ever since I took the plunge and bought my new camera I have been thinking about this idea of investing in ourselves. I’ll never forget the day my friend Kim bought her first laptop computer. We stared at the box underneath her desk for a long time, chatting. She was afraid to open it — wondering if she deserved such a beautiful tool, worried she had spent too much money.

I did the same thing after buying the camera. It took some measure of courage to drive over to the camera store and just buy it already. It felt like an illicit act, something daring, maybe even a little bit dangerous. When I got home, I stared at the box in the middle of my living room floor. I could take it back, I thought. Wow. It is so nice… Do I deserve this?

It felt substantial in my hands when I first tried it out, awkward. I felt like an imposter holding this sophisticated tool. Am I a real photographer? Isn’t this camera supposed to be for professionals?

It takes courage to invest in ourselves.

And yet, every time I have ever invested in myself, it has paid off a thousand fold. Every new tool has launched me into a whole new realm of creativity. This camera is no exception.

Have you ever invested in yourself? How did it feel?

 

The acorn and the oak.

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Ben crooning, shot with Canon 6D

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Ben crooning, shot with Canon 6D

When I look at Ben these days, especially with a guitar in hand, I am reminded of the acorn and the oak. That there is a little seed in all of us with so much possibility. These photos feel like a window into some possible future… one that will hopefully bring Ben lots of joy.

These days, when Ben isn’t filming himself on the Flip camera, he will play for me and say, “This one’s the song that’s also the name of the album.” or “This one’s going to be a hit.”

He still needs to learn to play guitar, but he’s clearly got all the moves.

What seed still lives inside of us?

I saw an old photograph once of the brilliant photographer Alfred Stieglitz (well known for his stunning portraits of Georgia O’Keefe) He was about 3 years old and has a photograph wrapped around his neck attached to a piece of string. The caption read that he saw the photo and became obsessed with it; he wanted to have it close to his heart all the time.

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Ben on the guitar at 2 years old

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The obsession began early, Ben in an ad for Speesees clothing at 2

P.S. If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know I just bought a brand new camera! It’s called the Canon 6D and it is my first pro-grade, fancy-pants full frame camera. In short, I am thrilled. I’ve been snapping pictures all weekend long with a fervor I haven’t experienced in a long time. The first two shots of Ben are with the new gear. SO excited!

 

Niki + Dave’s Santa Cruz wedding

The bride and groom, Aptos, CA

I don’t normally shoot weddings, but I couldn’t resist saying yes when Niki + Dave emailed to ask if I would shoot their small wedding in Aptos- the tiny little beach town where I grew up. It is gorgeous there. Just south of Santa Cruz and full of big beaches where you can walk for miles and miles. I still remember seeing those surfer boys in homeroom with wet mops of hair, salt dried in little beads on their arms from their early morning ocean adventures.

This wedding was unconventional and thoughtful, every detail meaningful and beautifully thought through… All of it infused with love and play. Their spirits were contagious… At one point I found myself thigh deep in the ocean (in my jeans) whooping it up and photographing them.

It was pure pleasure to celebrate with them and I’m excited to share some of their joy with you!

Dave + Niki diving in, Aptos, CA

At the farmer’s market earlier that day getting the bride’s bouquet

The gorgeous bride and groom, Aptos, CA

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Lovely ceremony, officiated by a dear friend, Aptos, CA

Into the sunset they go…