may your haunting be happy. happy halloween from a few of my favorite spooks.
more to come of my bumblebees: the insect and transformer breeds.
may your haunting be happy. happy halloween from a few of my favorite spooks.
more to come of my bumblebees: the insect and transformer breeds.
i talk a lot. i ask a lot of questions and they come like rapid fire; i am so interested in people and their stories, and the only way to get to those stories is to talk; so i do. i am just chatty, but i also find i really enjoy the quiet. no noise. zero sound. just the run of a dishwasher or the hum of my computer. just the tick of a clock or the spin of a dryer. sometimes i really enjoy listening to the quiet instead of all the noise i make with my mouth or my itunes playlists. i have come to appreciate the quiet more, now that i have children. it is good to just sit sometimes and listen to the sound of nothing; i like it. i am not always comfortable, however, with silence that comes in lulls with conversation, and will always find something to talk about to fill it’s uncomfortable resonations. when i get to a place with people and friends where i am comfortable not saying a word it’s an interesting feeling, even now i am not sure how to explain it, but i know i like it. it’s just safe. i think i talk a lot because i like people, and all our variations. i am obviously magnetized to the loquacious type: the talkers, but find myself calmed significantly by those that speak and share, but don’t find it necessary to flap their yappers, like me, all the time. i love meeting people who just come with a calming presence. tricia and rudy are two of those people. they engaged in conversation with me, but also were completely comfortable enjoying the quiet moments that accompanied our shoot, which was a reflection to me of how they live their life: sharing what needs to be shared both vocally and through a silence that also, speaks.
their relationship was interesting to observe. it was easy to tell they care for each other, but the love they felt was seen in their moments of quiet, and in the way he touched her hand or the way she looked genuinely in his eyes. there wasn’t much spoken, but the sentiment was clearly present and felt.
it’s cool to consider the different sides of ourselves that we personify to different people. in some situations, believe it or not, i feel quite shy, like i have nothing to say and if i did it would come out all wrong, like really disgusting word vomit. in other situations, around different people, i am a stand-up comedian, and everything that spills from my lips is genuinely funny and witty- like really great knock knock jokes. when i found jaren it was refreshing to know i had found the person who would get me on every level and would laugh sometimes, and would shake his head in disbelief sometimes, but all times would always be the safest person for me to be with. tricia and rudy have that with each other too. i am sure they are silly together, have deep talks about life and its existence together, and i am certain they have moments when no words are transmitted but great feeling is felt.
rudy and tricia have two “babies”. they “talked” a lot. especially when we tied them to the nearby tree…
alone, they hold their own, and are completely comfortable in their own skins:
but together they have something really special that is felt through their quiet.
rudy and tricia, may your hearts always speak true to one another. thank you for the time you shared with me and for making the drive, and enjoyed our time together and appreciated the calming presence you brought to my day; thank you!! xo kj
i can go out with this man if he asks me.
everything he does is magic. i am trying to find the video for the most recent dance he choreographed for sytycd: the 30′s bar fight, but i can’t find it. once i do though, you better believe it will show up here. i have watched it on repeat a thousand times.
i loved this one too.
when i was pregnant with gunnar i craved bean and cheese burritos and chocolate milk. together. at the same time. one to satisfy the palette, the other to wash it down. i don’t remember what i craved with lark but i am sure it was equally as gross.
pregnancy cravings are interesting. they range from sweet to savory, mild to intense, and normal to just plain disgusting.
amy’s cravings have been delicious since the beginning: all things sweet; a girl after my own heart.
ben and jerry’s and drumsticks are quick craving fixes:
cookies: just a small bite of sweet to kiss the craving away.
and a small cupcake never hurt a pregnancy craving, now did it?
sometimes the cravings are so intense it leads to getting a second maybe even a third, licking the bowl and anything that just might happen to remain:
for amy, the cravings didn’t start with the pregnancy, they started much before and they weren’t for food, but for a baby.
it’s hard to want something so bad and not be able to do anything about it. it’s like craving something that you can only find in new york, or texas, or england and you live on the opposite side of it. you know it’s out there and you could have it, but it’s so far from your reach.
amy and her husband, shane, not long after the birth of their daughter, reese, felt a craving for another baby. they knew they wanted their children to be close in age so they fed the craving and tried to get pregnant. it worked!! then after weeks of sickness, fatigue, and real insatiable cravings, the signs of pregnancy dissipated and amy knew something was wrong. she miscarried the baby. devastated and heartsick, she, with the help of her man, who was just as heartbroken, picked herself up and followed their craving. they tried again. it worked!! then she started noticing a pattern: at seven weeks she lost all cravings, all feelings in fact that there was something renting her womb. she was experiencing another miscarriage. two turned into multiple. they wanted another baby in their family and their life so they tried everything, and most things worked, but by seven weeks, every time, the tell-tale signs and the lack of cravings hit. it’s hard to hear, “you have one healthy child, be happy with that.” when you know there is one more, and you are trying and doing all you can to bring another baby to your family. before long, however, the disappointment was too much; she didn’t want to experience losing another baby. she threw her hands in the air, and surrendered.
they did have a beautiful, healthy daughter and could be content, just the three of them.
but the craving wouldn’t go away.
both amy and shane (shane more so than amy; so interesting) knew there was one more baby for them, but for some reason amy’s body was terminating the pregnancies at a certain point. it took some convincing to get amy back on board to even consent to trying again, but after piecing it all together, several doctor’s visits, and even surgeries later, they discovered the problem, were able to correct it, and shortly after amy carried a baby to week seven, then eight, week nine… and in a month will deliver a healthy baby.
what she craves more than any bowl of ice cream, freshly baked cookie, or deliciously sweet cupcake is to hold her new baby tightly in her arms:
this baby is coming to a legacy; baby is coming to parents who follow their hearts, put their trust in each other and a power greater than themselves.
and are extremely optimistic and positive.
amy is already a really great mom. the relationship she has cultivated with her reese is undeniably something special; the thought of other babies not being able to have her as a mother is disheartening. the baby they tried so hard for, is lucky, for a lot of reasons.
know what i crave? to look like this. pregnant or not. she is absolutely breathing taking. and knowing her makes her even more magnetizing.
she has a great love for all of those near here, especially reese and this baby.
this baby has been anticipated and loved for a long time.
so what little spirit will grace their home shortly? will it be a pink baby or a blue baby?
it’s going to be…
a pink baby.
a baby destined for this life, and meant to come to amy, shane, and reese.
a baby, named ruby.
amy, may your spirit continue to touch the lives of all you meet; thank you for touching my heart and reminding me of the sacrifices so many mothers make to have their babies; i am inspired by you! i can’t wait to meet your newest gift in december. until then, eat up while you still have a legit cravings license!!
thanks again for sharing some time, and your story with me. xx oo kj
p.s. leave amy some love in the comments sections she was just recently put on bed rest for the duration of the pregnancy; she might also be craving some encouragement and support right now.
maybe help her come up with a middle name? something that sounds perfect with ruby and is fitting of an angel.
dad got home at about 4:50, walked across the threshold, kissed his family, and went upstairs to change into the shirt mom had laid out on the bed for him. everyone else was ready. mom had a few “props” (balloons and lollipops, which by the way is such an awesome idea to incorporate something into your shoot, something little, playful, and colorful. consider it; a suitcase, an old fashioned bike, etc. it can add a lot to a photograph) she pulled out the front door with the kids. i showed up right about this time; was beyond thrilled with what was before me. while dad was freshening up (do men do that?) i started shooting the kids, singles and together, mellow, easy, no stress. totally chill. dad joined us and we did all the family shots together, a few standing, a couple sitting, a few with the kids by dad, a few with the kids by mom, and that was it. family pictures 2009 in 30 minutes. it really can be, that easy.
family pictures can be a stressful, but they don’t have to be. i think we worry about how we will look, if the kids are staying pressed and clean, if they are smiling and looking at the camera, if, for the ladies, our make up and lipstick stays looking freshly applied, the list is endless. i know. i have been there. it has taken some time for me to realize that family pictures, really can be, well, effortless. no kidding. it just takes a touch of planning.
the two questions that are usually asked are, “what should we wear?” and “where shall we go?” allow me to elucidate with some visuals of what to wear and where to go, to make family pictures easy, mellow, and a great experience.
dad came home, changed shirts, and walked back outside to the street, where they live. GREAT CHOICE!! no travel, no shifting of kids, no accidential spills trying to appease the children while driving. and what a neat memory to make, this is our home, our neighborhood, and the place we woke every morning, and came back to every evening. at this time in our life, this was the place we built our family. you walk outside for the shoot and then walk right back in after. don’t get me wrong, i love location shoots, but if you are wanting to simplify photo season do something close to home, really close to home. try your porch, or stoop, sidewalk, or street.
if you do choose to head to a special place consider locations where you can interact with eachother. family pictures are so interesting when the family is engaged in something. the smiles and laughs are so genuine. those are the memories you want to immortalize, those are the times you want to remember forever. something i really enjoy about family portraits is when the family doesn’t pay attention to me, but each other. this family is the perfect example, they never, in fact looked at me, unless i asked them too.
note to the parents: this will take away so much stress!! don’t spend any time at a shoot telling your kids to look at the camera. especially during family shots. the majority of the frames capture your lips in funny contortions of the words, “loooook atttt , theeee, camerrraaaa.” or your fingers pointing at the photographer, trying to get your kids to look at the stranger with a hug black apparatus in front of her face. both of you should either look at each other or your kids or the photographer. don’t worry if every little face isn’t on camera; if the photographer wants everyone to look she will do what she needs to to get everyone to look. just be present and enjoy the moment of making framable memories. plus, the less you stress about your kids smiling and looking where they need to the less you will sweat and the more preserved your make-up will remain.
i love it when my shoots bring multiple changes of clothes. it adds variety and most times the colors or the styles will inspire something different. and it’s cool because if you can’t decide on what to wear then you get to wear two choices.
this is the key with wardrobe: color!! choose to wear color! it photographs so well and translates so much about a family, couple, individual, etc.!!
jeans are always a great base for the bottom, or cords, but on top choose bright, vibrant, colors. if that isn’t your style then go muted, but don’t go all the same! choose colors and patterns that are relatable and interesting. the palate should be visible, but there is no reason that the color should be boring!! no way, even if the colors aren’t eye-popping!!
i loved the pop of color coleen started with, and how she used the balloons to help tie it all together and the rad splash of lollipop contribution color too:
just let your kids be. if this is their “smile” right now then remember it that way. no stress.
i loved how coleen wasn’t really bothered that ani was destroying her darling yellow dress or herself for that matter. she had a spare in the wings, and wippies in hand. the memory here was way more priceless than the stress of keeping everything pristine.
simple wardrobe that flows together, a little blue, some gray, a rad pop of yellow. not all matchy matchy, but cohesive!! it totally works!
a few solos of the kiddos:
blues photograph so well and help complement eyes.
i shot several of the baby since our schedules didn’t work for a newborn shoot; she isn’t such a newborn anymore.
the yellow is perfect and i loved it juxtaposed with the green:
sometimes headbands and accessories, although i love them, can be too much. if you choose to use them for your little girls, be subtle.
i adored this feminine touch and felt because the dress was plain it was the perfect enhancement:
her family has a song they sing to her. it’s adorable. she clapped along; that’s a memory they will want forever. and we captured it on the sidewalk outside their home. piece of cake.
consider the entire composition: color, texture, pattern. pants, dresses, sandals. it flows and totally, completely, without question works, on so many levels!!
take risks with the wardrobe. wear something you are comfortable in and feel flatters you and your personal/familial style! go bold and make a statement.
this image just made me smile. i love how expressive it was of all the personalities.
coleen, jared, jadyn, alex, and ani, may your wardrobes always brim with “what to wear”! may your time together always be mellow and focused on each other. thank you for the opportunity to photograph such a “grounded” family!! love you all, kj
a short review:
what to do.
be present and the moment.
break some rules if you have too. don’t worry about wardrobe, hair or makeup. make a memory.
let your kids do what they want to do.
i captured this as he was squirming out of his dad’s arms,
and this when she decided to rest, on the pavement.
let them play:
kiss each other:
kiss and hug each other:
make memories looking at each other, not necessarily at the camera:
what to wear:
don’t be afraid to mix patterns; dots and plaid really can go together. (i included three of these because when i was looking for them they reminded me of how much i loved the shoot.) may the pictorial hyperbole stress that patterns can mesh.
match, but don’t be too matchy matchy. the color palette here is outstanding. i loved the major theme with the blue and brown, but the different patterns, mixtures, and pops of colors is rad!!
pops of color are so interesting and exciting to see. laura’s sweater coupled with david’s solid and print tie was genius.
and the bright, crazy print of her dress flowed perfectly complementing the whole ensemble making it super interesting:
wear what you are in to. if your kids want to wear graphic tees, then make it work. remember that pictures don’t have to be a battle. once again, a super cohesive wardrobe choice that works.
it really works when someone wears a solid and someone else wears a pattern that incorporates the solid. and it super, ultra works when both are great colors.
texture, stripes, rad pattern with bright color all in the same palette= sheer awesomeness.
be thematic; it’s fun and super distinctive and original.
have a piece that ties it all together. it is tricky to see here, but elle’s dress ties in the blue and the pink scott and meg were wearing. it also inspired me to put them by more color…
bottom line: be you! go to the place you feel is the best reflection of what you are shooting(family, engagement, maternity, etc.), and wear what you feel is the best illustration of who you are at this time.
our choice of wardrobe was made easy by our location. we knew we wanted to shoot by the awesome wall jaren recently built in jessica and jeff’s home, and also in their yellow bedroom. there were a lot of choices in terms of color, but i decided to stick with the yellow and black scheme. patterns, solids, stripes, plaids, we had it all, and i loved how they turned out!!
don’t allow the anxieties of wardrobe or the precarious personalities of children(or adults) deter you from making lasting memories!!
speaking of…we are headed to arizona to make some with our family. i am also doing some shooting that i am so excited about. i’ll be home soon with more updates from my cravings shoot, our romp in the pumpkin patch,my most recent session with tricia, rudy, and their puppies, and my az shoots and adventures.
until then…make your memories, whatever they may be, colorful!!
my blog had been resurected all thanks to the prophoto blog god, matt. everyone give matt a big fat thank you that things are back and functioning as they should.
thank you a thousand times over, matt!!
my blog is experiencing some technical difficulties. so sorry. it should be back to it’s colorful self with an update tomorrow. arggghhhhh. i hate stuff like this. just one little button or code is missing and the whole thing goes caput!!
can you imagine if i changed it to this? seriously. that would be be cause to call in an intervention. you would know something wasn’t quite right with me…
should be back to normal soon… i hope… say a prayer to the html wordpress coding god that it gets sorted out and i am back to normal because i have all sorts of anxious goin’ on right now at the thought of my blog drifting in cyber space somewhere, never to be seen again…
according to wikipedia, “In military or police operations, the rules of engagement (ROE) determine when, where, and how force shall be used. Such rules are both general and specific, and there have been large variations between cultures throughout history. The rules may be made public, as in a martial or curfew situation, but are typically only fully known to the force that intends to use them.”
according to kamee june, “in marriage or commitment operations, the rules of engagement (ROE) determine when, where, and how love shall be used. such rules are both general and specific, and there have been, in fact, large variations between cultures in terms of the ROE throughout history. the rules are made public, even though for some they are interpreted differently, but are typically only fully known and understood to the couple in love who intends to use them.”
rule of engagement one: promise to always make each other laugh, no matter what this life might dish you. find laughter in the lining:
rule of engagement two: take risks, knowing you always have each other as a safety net. don’t be afraid to get wet or take a chance. the adventure of life is so rich. the adventure of life is so rich and so colorful with the one you love by your side. carpe diem! hold hands and jump!
rule of engagement three: be still and listen. this is a busy time and your life together will only get busier as you add more to it. stop. be near each other and listen to the needs of your hearts. you are what the other has got. nothing over shadows the ability to listen, really hear, and genuinely try to understand.
rule of engagement four: compromise. it is both of you getting married. what do you both want? how can you make those wants happen? remember to focus on each other and your specific wants. don’t allow the wedding plans and others’ desires for your day to tower over the two people who found each other in this big, big world!
rule of engagement five: be present. it is easy to wish yourselves married, but then you have missed out on the excitement of planning and the anticipation of the big moment. find joy in the process and happiness is the journey of planning a day you will never forget.
rule of engagement six: be honest. always. withholding anything from the one you love will immediately trap your heart and head. be free of the burden by making a commitment to honesty. the light shines on couples who seek to have integrity and truth in their relationships.
rule of engagement seven: commit. don’t wait until you are standing before him/her at the alter. the day he pretended to stumble, but really was proposing was the day you both promised the be the most important person in each other’s life. the day you said yes and accepted a sparkling gift was the moment you promised to love him forever. commitment is married to love.
rule of engagement eight: rely. she will hold you up. he will help you weather your storms. she will be your strength. he will be your true north. believe in each other and the strength you have found.
rule of engagement nine: remember. remember you are perfectly imperfect, and that’s what makes this whole process and the adventure of marriage so challengingly worthwhile.
haley and matthew, may you always be engaged in each other.
thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this time in your life. xoxo kj
ps any rules of engagement i forgot? leave them in the comments section along with some love for this couple embarking on one of life’s coolest adventures!!!
these two traveled from up north for photographs. i was so honored and flattered. they brought their puppies too; it was so good meeting all of them! more to come soon.
also, we have made arrangements for our holiday thanksgiving travel to utah. i am going to have time to shoot on saturday the 28th of november. let me know if you are interested in scheduling pictures; it will be just in time for all your holiday greeting needs. fire me of a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the contact button above. looking forward to hearing from you, kj
before expectant parents have their baby they try their best to prepare themselves. they visit with friends about the pregnancy, birthing, and first day’s processes. they are showered with diapers, clothes, and baby gadgets that experienced parents swear by. they read books, blogs, and the most recent articles on the pros to laboring at home instead of in a hospital and the benefits of natural over epidural. they attend classes at the hospital, practice breathing and hypnosis techniques, and the mother takes her pre-natal regularly in the morning or evening depending on if it adds to the morning sickness or not. they think they are ready and have, due to all the dialoguing and discussing, created idyllic visions of bringing a happy baby home from the hospital, an infant that sleeps at two week, and effortless days of watching the new addition adjust perfectly to the already established and functioning routine. the truth of the matter is that all the books that profess to share what to expect while expecting really only glaze over the very top of what can happen after the little creature is born.
unfortunately, a user’s guide does not accompany each baby. and some, are born and then shortly after shatter every perfect reverie the expectant parents had so delicately created.
having and adjusting to a baby, no matter the disposition, i don’t care what any book says, is a very difficult thing to do, on several levels. having a baby with colic, acid reflux, allergies, sleep issues, and a whole slew of other problems, is a completely different baby stroller. it is more challenging to adjust to life after the pregnancy when your child cries for no apparent reason. all. the. day. and. night. i know. both of mine were time bombs. they would tick, tick, tick and then explode! and the shrapnel that fired when they exploded left wounds i think we are still recovering from.
they should play the sound of a shrieking baby in the cells on death row; that would teach them. it is torture in it’s most innocent sense.
the parents themselves can at times feel like prisoners; there is very little escape when a baby is born “fussy.” it is agony listening to your child cry, without reprieve. it is deflating to be a parent and not be able to quell the aches of your baby. it is exhausting to try thing after thing only to find yourself in the same place you were at in the beginning: with an inconsolable infant who only wants to return to the rush and sway of the womb.
before meg and scott had baby elle they had no idea of what was going to come after.
their baby has affectionally been given the title, “fuss bag”. because that is what she does every minute of every day. i understand wholeheartedly how hard it is to be in the middle of all these emotions. my heart was aching as I listened to everything they experienced thus far. and the more i listened the more it sounded like i was re-reading the first six months of my daughter’s biography. the more i listened the more i wanted to take that baby for a day or two and let them rest, because i know what it feels like and how hard it is. before baby comes you just don’t always consider what will happen after.
it felt unfair to me at certain times. i wanted to do all i could to make my child comfortable. i wanted to ease the discomfort with hours of shushing and swaddled swaying, but i was just so exhausted of it all, and on top of that i was recovering from the train wreck we call child birth. right now it just feels a bit unfair for meg and scott, feelings i empathize with too clearly. i remember laying down any exponential amount of money if it made claims that it would, “calm even the fussiest of babies”. i know meg and scott are doing the same, and that is ok. before they were blinded to the romantic ideals of raising a child, after they have become realists that will do whatever it takes to make baby, and themselves happy.
there are moments however, glimpses mind you, of when “fuss bags” remove the fussy facade and show what’s beneath the grippy stomach, reflux, allergies, and crankiness. for a few instances they remind their parents who they will be when their little bodies get it all sorted out. before the sun, after all the tumultuous rain comes a moment like this:
that reminds them it is all worth it.
and several afters:
meg and scott, it won’t always feel like you are turning, going around and around with no way of getting off. the infancy ride will slow, and one day you will step off the nauseating spin, you will sleep again, your baby will be peaceful and pleasant, and you will be that much closer to her and each other because of all you endured helping her come and acclimate to this life.
the only sign i ever saw of her “fuss bag-i-ness”.
i wished the first six months of gunnar’s and larkin’s lives away. it is embarrassing to admit, but i just wanted to feel normal again and have babies that weren’t hurting and smiled more than they cried. it is tricky mire to walk through and it feels endless at times. it was difficult to be present and do what i needed to do for them and for me. ironically enough that has become my advice to all parents whose babies parallel ours: just be present; do what you need to do to survive and make it to the next day.
shush as long as you have to (it started to comfort me after a while…:)) kiss her and hold her tight, because she is YOUR fuss bag, and that makes her wonderful and special and smart and talented and witty and glamorous. (now, i hope i am helping you smile meg!!)
kiss each other a lot too… before you forget you are a team, and in it together.
meg and scott, before you know it fuss bag will be turing 1 and after the candles are blown out and the cake is smashed you will reminisce on the incredible journey you have been on. before you wish it away contemplate the storm it takes to create those beautiful rays of light that come after. may you find joy in the brief smiles and giggles; may they come more often. may you endure. may you find laughter in each day even if it has to be louder than the crying. may the little sleep you do get be lasting and restful. may you know you are not alone and totally, completely, and wholeheartedly understood. may you live to appreciate others and life because of what you are experiencing now.
elle, may you always enjoy the sound of your own voice.
before i forget, thank you! after-all you have reminded me of the progress i have made through my own sweet children. love to all three of you. sending you lots of positive love thoughts. thank you for the opportunity to photograph your spirited family!! xoxo kj
p.s. before you steer away from the page leave this family some love and encouragement. a few extra smiles go a long way with a fuss bag in the house.
website design by wiley valentine