Breathing in the light of it all

10 years ago today I hosted a party at Studio Serenity in Adams Morgan. The year prior had been a whirl of: building a website, a portfolio, a skill set; creating contracts, policies, pricing; sampling products, taking bookkeeping classes, taking out a small business loan, purchasing and learning software, SEO, advertising and marketing; cooking dinner, being a friend, a daughter and a wife; training to be a yoga teacher, and working full time.

10 years ago today if I had paid closer attention to the dozens of near strangers and the very close friends and family who helped me pull off that launch party, well then maybe I would have known that today was a likely outcome. But I didn’t. At that party I was just nervous, and excited, and exhausted. And I couldn’t see beyond the small goals set for a year out.

At the end of the night I sent everyone home, helpers and all, and desired more than anything to finish the work on my own. Before breaking down the rented high-top tables, folding the linens, removing the photos from the walls, I sat in the quiet of the yoga studio. I had spent the previous year training in that space to be a teacher, and in the process found my spirit, my grounding. With nothing but the sound of light rain on the windows, streaked with the lights of passing cars, I breathed in deeply, and a smile crossed my face.

This might be possible.

I might never have to commute to a job in an office again.

I might never update a resume, or wear a suit, or go to a staff meeting ever again.

I might, just might, be able to create every single day for the rest of my life.

So far, I was right, it has been possible. Countless times each year a smile crosses my face in ultimate gratitude for the clients, friends and strangers who support me every day to keep on doing this work. What I was not aware of when surrounded by those people all of those years ago, was that it’s the magic collaboration of many that can make something go.

Thanks to each of you for each and every bit of support, good thoughts and positive energy that you’ve sent my way. I’m forever changed by it.

-s

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Little ones at the Park

It was so great to work with Kathie and Matt again! It seems like just yesterday that I did Adeline’s newborn session, and now there are two! Congratulations you guys.

Fall Mini Sessions!

Don’t miss out! We’ve only a few remaining slots open for our Fall Mini Sessions. Perfect for holiday card images, wall art and holiday gifts, our Mini Sessions are a favorite among our regular clients.

Join us on October 8, 9 (3 slots remain), October 22, 23, or November 12th (2 slots remain). Fall leaves will be in full effect in the late October and November dates!

Mini Sessions are a super fun, fast-paced and spirited event, I hope that you can join!

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fall-photographic-mini-sessions-registration-26625907807

 

 

Jackie & Trissy

This weekend I had the honor of photographing Jackie and Trissy’s wedding in LA, and on Monday in San Francisco. Jackie is my cousin (and we share a birthday) from our super-tight and very large Irish family on my mom’s side. Trissy is her new wife, and one of our favorite people, who we are so happy to now call family.

The stunning wedding was held at the Charles Haus in LA, which I was able to attend in an actual party dress and my camera was no where to be seen. I did, however, shoot them getting ready at the incredibly hip Ace Hotel. What stunningly  beautiful and soulful women they are. It was such an amazing day.

On Monday we ventured together to San Francisco, where they signed their marriage certificate in the historic San Francisco City Hall.

Jackie and Trissy, I’m so proud to be your cousin and honored to have spent the weekend working with you both! xoox – s

Heritage

I started working with Jen years ago, in fact, maybe 7 years ago. At that time her family was her and her husband, Myke, and a small baby bump. Along came Jimmy several months later, a slight 4 pound boy with a big cry and a sweet little face. Since then we’ve worked together at least twice a year, shooting, printing and hanging photos of their growing family. The most special series that we have been working on are from my Heritage line. These I designed to stand apart from your everyday photograph or canvas mount. The image is printed on hand-deckled watercolor paper, mounted to float off of the backboard and create a small shadow for dimension, and then framed in a box frame.

Fast forward 7 years and we’re working on perhaps the final installation for this particular series. Ella, Jimmy and Annie’s images are on the wall, and the image that we chose for Joey is on the laptop. IMG_5405

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Summer Days

With all of this endless rain this spring, it’s surprising that we got a blink of sunshine long enough to get these newborn announcement photos. What a gorgeous evening and even more beautiful family!

The moments between

(yes. it’s been two years since I posted a blog post).

It occurred to me as I was editing wedding photos for Courtney and Mike that you all don’t have the opportunity to see what I see. The back end of this work. In this digital age where we can click,click,click when waiting for the moment (a blessing and a curse), editing photos is this walk toward finding the moment. It reminds me of being in the darkroom, ages ago, when an image would reveal itself in its perfect imperfection, under the developer, watery and impermanent. My breath would catch when an image was developing. My memory triggered, the moment, the hope, the art, the light, the people. Did it all line up as I thought that it had in that split second when I chose to depress the shutter? That tentative dance that my mind and heart had to do –  between freedom and structure, technicality and intuition…how did it pan out? Every roll of film carried these questions. So much so that I still forget that people don’t see the world in the way that my heart and brain have been trained to see.

I was quickly clicking through this series, deleting all that didn’t resonate with me before sending these files to the client. I went through them in 10 seconds – and in my head I heard the mantra of all of these years in this field: “nope, nope, nope, nope, yup”. Yup. Her eyes are closed. Maybe the fifth is not a perfect image. But I see his eyes. The way that she abandons herself into him. And the way he looks at her. His wife, on this day.

That’s the one.

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