Fall is such a nostalgic time for me…especially since a few of my favorite TV shows and movies are coming back in full force like Gilmore Girls, Anne of Green Gables and the new Beauty and the Beast trailer just aired too! That is putting me into full-blown nostalgia overdrive.
While these feelings are mostly joyous, nostalgia can bring it’s melancholy too. Do you ever wonder how you got to where you are…both the good and the bad? Do you ever miss moments in your life that have come and gone…or have had to let go of dreams that you simply can’t focus on right now? I have. I do.
For some reason, fall always brings up this mixed up bunch of feelings and bombards me with them. Those very feelings have a way of informing my work and I’m always most pleased with the photos I take in this cozy time of year. This family session was no exception with it’s cozy scenery and warm layers…these moments were the perfect way to wrap my 2016 family portrait season.
Canon 5D Mark II | 50mm F/1.8 Lens | Kodak Portra 400 preset w/ my custom tweeks
Special thanks to the Moore Family for being awesome even when the rains came. And to little Landon for having the best suspender sweater set ever.
Enjoy the rest of your nostalgic fall everyone – it’s a magic time of year!
All images taken in Vancouver, Washington near Klineline Pond.
I recently attended the gorgeous Forage + Fern workshop hosted by Magnolia Rouge. This lifestyle session is dripping in Pacific Northwest beauty – it was really fun to be able to celebrate the natural part of the world I love so much.
When attending a workshop, with such amazing photoshoots prepared for us – it’s tempting to click away and become obsessed with trying to get the shots you want for your portfolio. This time around, I wanted to focus on learning and perfecting my use of the Kodak Portra 800 film stock. The pacific northwest has deep shadows, yellowy greens and it can sometimes be tricky to find the right film stock to achieve the pastel tones I love…paired with a contrasty pop that I crave. Portra 800 has really solved my issue, along with metering a very specific way, every time. I know everybody loves the other two stocks (Kodak 400 and Fuji 400H) — and I do use them still — but I don’t enjoy pushing film (makes me nervous) and Portra 800 just gives me the wow factor I want every time. So if it ain’t broke…(boy does it hurt the bank though). I’m excited to say that most of these images needed zero editing or adjustments, thanks to the system I’m developing with my amazing lab, PhotoVision.
I didn’t come away with a gazillion images, but the ones that I took I made count. I did not give myself any permission to hit the shutter unless I was fully satisfied (which makes going through images later so much more satisfying). This also allowed me to ask more questions, observe our teachers and fellow attendees in action, as well as exercise a sense of restraint that I believe is helping me become the kind of photographer I want to be. I have a long journey ahead of me, but I feel I’m finally finding the direction I want to go.
I met many amazing people and received the encouragement I so needed. It has been a difficult year personally for me…and that tends to trickle into your professional life if you are a creative. It was a wonderful feeling to explore Galiano, have some travel time alone and enjoy the lavish but cozy Bodega Ridge resort. It was a trip I won’t soon forget.
All images taken at the Forage + Fern Workshop in Galiano Island, British Columbia.
I am excited to share this real engagement session that is infused with lots of romance and golden light! Even more exciting is it is featured on Magnolia Rouge, I could not be more pleased that they chose to publish this session that brought me so much joy to shoot.
PRESS PLAY FOR MUSIC — it’s Nat King Cole, doesn’t get more romantic than that!
It was such a beautiful summer night when we ventured up above the city to do this engagement session. Kari and Aaron were so excited and a total delight to work with…don’t these shots almost look like they could be in Italy or straight out of a Grace Kelly movie? I love it.
A few months ago I was contacted by Deeply Rooted Magazine to shoot a feature for them. The request came in last minute due to the unique need related to the photos and so I only had a matter of days to find some models and a place to shoot. Lucky for me, I was put in contact with Laura Hartmann, a talented stylist and blogger, who was nice enough to add polish to the photos with her creative eye. She even modeled for me with her son Clive! I’m happy to share some photos from the article and also some additional images that didn’t make it into print.
Here is a snippet from the article:
Have you ever heard your child say, “I don’t like this?” I am sure there is not one parent on the planet who hasn’t heard this one. Unlike my husband, who will eat anything, I can fully relate to my kiddo here. I was not raised eating fruits and vegetables, and I often purchase and prepare foods that I eat only because I know they are beneficial to my long-term health. I find little enjoyment in consuming an apple, but reasoning with myself is much easier than reasoning with my son.
-Excerpt from “Mealtime Reflections” in Deeply Rooted Magazine by Miriam Bowers
The 10th issue of Deeply Rooted, called “Sojourner” is available now! I hope you get a chance to check it out!
Shot on Mamiya645af | Kodak Portra 800 Film | Scanned by Photovision
PRESS PLAY FOR MUSIC
Being a small business owner is a challenge and I struggle sometimes with doubt. It puts you in the direct line of critique and you will most certainly fall on your face. If you are anything like me, you may still get nervous before weddings even after many years behind the camera. I read that Adele cries before and after big performances because she is nervous, sometimes overwhelmed or just worn out. Her job is way more intense than mine but the principle of it made me feel less crazy. I wish I wasn’t sensitive but I AM – it’s how I’m made. So when I fall, I fall hard and it hurts.
Us creative people, we doubt ourselves a lot. It’s probably because our brains are too full of emails, invoices and attempting to please the SEO gods when we’d really rather be twirling in a field somewhere. We can even make it look like that’s what we ARE doing everyday thanks to Instagram…when really we are editing photos in our sweatpants eating top raman trying to save for a lens upgrade. Oh you don’t have that problem? Good! Me…..either….ahem…
The second we turn on our phones, we are hit with amazing imagery from all over the world and it’s hard not to feel like you are behind the game. When I’m in a battle such as this, the cure is usually creating photographs that come from my own vision. Finding people who are “my tribe” and getting my film camera out will usually leave me re-invigorated, not to mention with better skills for working with clients.
That is why I love this family session so much. It did not fail to inspire me.
Nikita and Nabyl are super cool, super patient and super in love with their daughter Katara. What more can you ask for in a client? I was so grateful they allowed me to take my time, experiment and totally guide them. I really tried to ease into the moments and spark the natural interactions and joy I love on camera, but I also gave myself permission not to press the shutter if I wasn’t totally satisfied with the shot. This lead to around a 90% keep on 5 rolls of Kodak Portra 800. If you are a film photographer you know that is pure GOLD. I also only shot pretty consistently at F/4 or even f/5.6 — which I would never do with a digital camera. This helped me solve the soft focus issues I’d been running into. With more practice (and maybe a camera upgrade) I believe I’ll be back down at F/2 again.
Here are a couple things I’ve learned about dealing with creative self doubt this month:
Feelings always come and go. It’s okay to let the yucky ones sit with you for a bit – they don’t linger forever.
If you can’t freakin’ focus your film camera, shoot at F/4 or F/5.6 for awhile.
Find your “tribe” for practice work…learn to turn everyone into “your tribe” on camera.
If you need encouragement, seek it out.
If you can’t handle seeing beautiful hipster people doing beautiful hipster things on Instagram, just log out for awhile. They will SURELY be there when you return.
If you feel un-inspired, put a little shoot together that will bring your life energy back. There is always a way to do it without spending money.
There is my two cents – hope you enjoyed the photos!