Living in the Now


I just returned from a wedding planning meeting with a new client, and she said something that made me stop and think….how obvious. How absolutely perfect. How much sense that makes. The ceremony is the most important part of my wedding day, she said. It’s the center, the meat, the reason for doing this thing. And she said, I’ve seen those pictures that photographers take of the ceremony. They’re at the back of the aisle, and capturing the whole scene, and it’s a shot of their backs with their iPad’s and iPhones in the air, recording the ceremony. I’ve been at a wedding where I had to move because the person in front of me was recording the entire ceremony on their iPad, she added.

And so, she said, we’re having a technology-free ceremony.

Simple as that. She said, we have you. You’re in charge of documenting the event, and we trust you to do just that. The responsibility of those around us is to be witness. To lend us their hearts for those thirty minutes as we bond ours to each other.

Her clear-eyed wisdom struck me.

The question for you is: how many tabs to you have open on your browser right now?

How many things are on your to-do list?

How much are you getting done right now, in this moment? If you want to be here, right now, reading this and reflecting on your own life, then be here. Turn off the phone, close the door, take five minutes to reflect.

Can we live in the moment without fear? The fear that if we are completely present, that we’ll miss something.

Remember: We cannot live the world in a moment.



Working with Friends

From some recent shoots with friends and family…ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Cherry Blossoms!

Just some of your standard DC springtime fun! What a hard-fought winter…we had some glorious warm days on the Tidal Basin to help bring on the spring. And for the first time in 6 Cherry Blossom seasons, I actually took one morning and walked the Tidal Basin to enjoy the blossoms myself. It was a great series of days, so great to see my annual CB clients!

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Cherry Blossoms at Dawn

Every year I muster up the courage to do the blossoms…the unpredictable weather, the traffic, the parking….and every year, once I get rolling on them, it’s totally worth it. What a gorgeous way to greet the morning.

First off, this is my 2014 take on the tidal basin at dawn:

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Spring is here!

Finally….what a long, hard fought winter we’ve had. Had a great session in Rock Creek with this lovely little (4 kids!) family. They were so spirited and full of laughs – it was a great morning!

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A Welcome Home Shoot

A Welcome Home Shoot

Welcome home to Sydney, just two weeks old. And welcome home to me. This is my first Stacey Vaeth Photography shoot this month, as I took a bit of a break to focus on a personal project.

A confession: Newborn sessions are not typically my favorite shoots. I feel a combination of trepidation and inadequacy when doing a newborn session, because of the plethora of gorgeous and serene baby in a basket/bucket/pumpkin images out there (i.e. on Pinterest and in Anne Geddes calendars).

I feel that my clients expect this shot; this perfect, soft dumpling of a baby in an adorable, albeit totally unnatural pose. So I’ll strive for it. But when I follow my true inner vision, the expression of what I think that I’d feel like were I a mother, what I want to shoot is more like this. Exactly like this.

Feelings of inadequacy and imperfection are probably the hallmarks of an artist. It is the bane of our existence, and simultaneously what makes us who we are. Those instincts, untested and not-yet-vetted, are what makes any creation so scary. It can be really, really bad. An idea can stink. But the risk is: if it’s not out there, you’ll never know if it’s great or awful. Like making a souffle, it can fail to rise, or be a perfect, soft, dumpling of a thing.

So, as a New Year’s Resolution, I’m going to work more on trusting in my vision, on doing something different, on capturing the spirit of my client (and myself). Therefore, if you see me hedging on a thought, on a pose, on an idea, and you like what I do, please urge me that it’s okay to suggest it. Something very personal and really great might emerge. Then again, the idea might stink (or sink). And we will probably survive.

After all, there’s always a pumpkin that we can stick that baby in.