Life Design


41. Here, in Kaua’i. Working while looking out over the ocean, the crashing waves are waking my senses and reminding me that life is both ever changing and rhythmically the same. This contradiction lives within me, qualities I would prefer to change, the appreciation for who I am, the memory for who I was and the dream of who I want to be. All of this, and yet, it’s just life. It’s just today that I have tucked away for sure. It’s a pretty good day.

Coming of Age

000340. This was one of my favorite projects. Linda came to me and said something along the lines of: “My daughter is transitioning out of being an adolescent, and she’s becoming a women. She’s got this look that just strikes me sometime. It’s all hers, it’s sassy, it’s something that I never want to forget. I want to capture her as she is now so that she has an heirloom of herself that she’ll cherish in fifty years”. She sent me some images of classic, old Hollywood starlets to help define the posing and lighting styles. Then she and her daughter went vintage shopping, and found both a dress and a frame to hold the final image for all time. Seriously, collaborating with a client on a creative, important project such as this – man, what a treat.

A wedding for Two


38. Patrick and Elita got married. But they didn’t just do that. They were married – intentionally, wholly, and alone with the other. The officiant and I made four. Patrick, an artist and documentarian, is one of the most tranquil people you’ll ever meet. He found peace in Elita, and they had a beautiful wedding cake for two, gorgeous flowers, and a tranquil setting at a historic Virginia home. It was one of the most soulful experiences I’ve ever been part of. Patrick is an artist, a quiet and perceptive person, and filled with gratitude. For his wife, most of all, I’d imagine.

Beyond Happy

HeAteIt38. What’s that sound, what’s the word, for when you love something so much you just want to bite it? You know what I’m talking about. It’s snowing outside – 6 inches have fallen so uniquely here in Seattle – and I hear kids gleefully sliding/sledding/falling down the street outside of my window. They are SO PSYCHED. They’re out of school, they are with their friends, they are individuating themselves. This morning reminds me of one of my favorite interviews ever:

Terry Gross: Can you share some of your favorite comments from readers that you’ve gotten over the years?

Maurice Sendak: Oh, there’s so many. Can I give you just one that I really like? It was from a little boy. He sent me a charming card with a little drawing. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters – sometimes very hastily – but this one I lingered over. I sent him a postcard and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim, I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.

Blue, George and Mabel

dsc_144437. My incredibly talented friend Baylie, owner of Red Umbrella Designs, lives in the idyllic Methow Valley in Washington State. She and her team created my new Bird&Fish, Co. logo, and in exchange I photographed her sweet family. I will be posting some images of her newborn soon. But let’s give a quick minute to her first baby, Blue. In all of these years photographing families, I’ve realized that the dogs, who often came before the children, are foundational to the family relationship. They bring their personalities, their challenges, and for sure their joys. When the kids come along, they have to adapt and find a new role within the pack. Luckily for Blue, he’s got an incredible backyard along the river, a best doggie friend named George next door, and a 10 year old named Mabel across the street. All of whom can’t wait to play with him. And soon enough baby Arlo will be eating solid food, dropping whatever doesn’t interest him into the mouth of Blue, and the new pack dynamic will be forever in harmony.


013236. Sometimes things line up. When you’re paying attention, you can see the rhythm, the moment, in a way that you may have missed if you weren’t really looking. I love this bridesmaid in a hotel room, adorned and ready to usher her girl into the next phase of her life. Watched over by anonymous history. A circle of women that is as eternal as life itself.

Wide Angle

000835. I shoot close in – usually with an 85mm or 105mm lens, or with a 70 – 200mm zoom to give privacy to the subject, but still get an intimate capture. So when that is the status quo, there’s just nothing like mixing in a switch to the 35mm. Wide angle capture. Suddenly I can see the whole scene. I can get a sense of perspective and scale. I can see what I’ve been missing, focusing in so closely on the itty bitty parts that I miss the full story. I was walking up a mountain on skis yesterday, looking out over the jagged and enveloping Cascade range, feeling my heart beat and sweat pool, and as often happens when I’m in nature, I felt rightly placed in the world. The right size. My problems, my goals, my stuff, they came back into scale as just one tiny part of this massive, gorgeous universe.