the haunted

the other night i was watching a halloween special on tv with gunnar. he kept telling me it was scaring him, but when i told him we should turn it off if it was frightening he begged me to keep it on. he was thrilled by being afraid. such an interesting thought. we all are actually. studies prove that when we are scared there is an endorphin released in our bodies that makes us feel “good” and “safe”, when we realize that what we are seeing or experiencing isn’t real. it’s actually pretty interesting to think about. does anybody else wonder why the lady in the movie always walks into the dark room because she heard a “strange” sound? we are intrigued too and we go with her, even though we don’t want her to go. there is something magnetizing about fear; a juxtaposition of ideas for sure.

when katrina and i started conceptualizing our october side kick i knew i wanted to play on this idea. i wanted the images to be unsettlingly magnetizing. we both wanted to do something distinctive and noteworthy; something that had never been done. i knew i wanted to push myself in terms of  shooting and post processing.  we knew we had a good idea on our hands when we couldn’t even talk about it without our own spins tingling. we hadn’t created it yet, but the thought was so developed in our heads that merely discussing it, conjured the fear and intrigue. while post processing these images, even though i knew they were real people, it still freaked me out on a certain level.

the objective of all photography should be to create a human emotion: remembrance, love, respect, joy, happiness, gratitude, and even, if it’s what you are going for, fear.

may the endorphin that replaces fear with safety set in. may you be hauntingly pulled in to these images!! may you look behind you when you feel a cool breeze pass and there are no windows open.

may you consider what’s there that you don’t see.

may you be haunted.

IMG_0370ghostsblog

IMG_0487ghostsblog

IMG_0448ghostsblog

IMG_0586ghostsblog

IMG_0517ghostsblog

IMG_0600ghostsblog

IMG_0623ghostsblog

IMG_0681ghostsblog

IMG_0773ghostsblog

IMG_0710ghostsblog

IMG_1298ghostsblog

we shot all these images in a historic 1893 carriage house. i am so grateful to the owners for allowing us to be on their property. i knew when i first saw it that it would be perfect for what we have envisioned. i had my heart set on it actually, there was something pulling me to it for sure…

IMG_1026ghostsblog

IMG_0847ghostsblog

IMG_0883ghostsblog

IMG_1059ghostsblog

IMG_1091ghostsblog

IMG_1138ghostsblog

IMG_1190ghostsblog

love the next two.

IMG_1417ghostsblog

IMG_1429ghostsblog

IMG_1455ghostsblog

IMG_1467ghostsblog

we were able to shoot a bit on the grounds too. the house sets on what used to be sunkist acres. it felt like haunted mansion property to me; it was perfectly spooky.

IMG_1489ghostsblog

IMG_1504ghostsblog

IMG_1593ghostsblog

IMG_1705ghostsblog

IMG_1732ghostsblog

with any successful venture there are alway supports to thank:

katrina: thank you for sharing the vision and supporting it from start to finish. your hair, make up and styling was genius, friend! thank you!!

the carriage house owners: thank you for allowing us to make a vision happen; we are so grateful to have been on your property.

casey, jr, kalynne, and hannah: i know you are living but you were so believable as the dead that i have to remind myself. ;) thank you for being a part of our idea; you were perfect!!

to everyone who came: thank you for sharing in the energy and excitement of the shoot. it was so good meeting. i have loved seeing what you created that day too!!

here’s to more creativity that motivates curiosity!! here’s to fear that intrigues us on an indescribable level!!

here’s to a very safe and memorable hallow’s eve!!! happy halloween everyone!! may it be filled with the haunted!!

IMG_1841ghostsblog

ps if you want to know how i post processed these images come to my side kick on photoshop. i’ll disclose it all! (date: tba)

pps registration for the november side kicks launches soon. november 12th: how to shoot kids, and november 19th: how to shoot couples. would love to have you!!

every woman

deserves to look and feel as confident and as beautiful as this one.

IMG_0560tanya1blog

and rockin’ hot too!!!!

IMG_0559tanya2blog

tanya, the sexiest thing you will ever wear is not in your closet; it’s in your spirit. it’s your confidence!!!

you look incredible! i had such a great morning; thanks for letting me share in the fun!!

follow tanya’s week with katrina; they had a great time! if you are looking for the perfect gift for yourself for christmas, buy katrina!! she travels too!

ring finger friend

2 stories, fused into one.

when i was in high school i was caught up in some quintessential teenage drama. i don’t remember exactly what it was but i am sure it revolved around immature girls who were supposed to be friends but weren’t comfortable in their own skin so they made trouble for everyone else. i was supposed to be friends with these girls but for some reason found myself swimming in drama; i fled to the refuge of home:

intermingled with sobs and the kind of breathing where you have been crying for a long time and you have to keep catching your breath, “i just don’t know what happened or why they aren’t being nice to me.”

my mom has always kept a mellow tone, always, “things will sort out, love; they always do.”

“it’s just not fair, IT’S NOT FAIR!!! i thought they were my friends!!”

“kam, do you know how many friends i have? really true, good, friends?”

not sure where she was going to or how this was all relevent to the current trauma of my depleting popularity status, i quivered, “no. how many?”

“i can count them on one hand. i have 5 true friends.”

my teenage heart thought a whole slew of friends equalled popularity and happiness; i immediately felt sorry for her. “oh, i’m sorry mom!”

she laughed, because she knew i had a lot of understanding to conjure still, “no, kam. it’s a good thing that i only have that many. what i am trying to say is that sometime in your life you will get to a point where you are able to see who your true friends are, and they will be consistent and always loving and kind. they will know who you are and will respect that. they will always be there when you need them, will never judge you, will lift you up and will even sometimes carry you when are at your lowest point. they will make you laugh, will be quick to forgive, they will support your dreams and believe in your spirit, they will make you feel accepted and loved no matter what, and will never make you feel the way you do now! i have 5 of those kinds of friends. they are called true friends. one day you will find your true friends too. in the mean time don’t waste your time and energy on something that brings you down and makes you so sad; it’s not worth it!!”

the next story…

same setting: high school, physiology class. i don’t know if this is true now that i think about it, but it got all of the girls’ attention in the room and maybe that’s what our teacher needed! he was explaining that the reason we wear rings on our left ring finger is because there is a vein that goes directly to the heart. all the young girls swooned considering their futures and who would place the ring on the finger with the vein to the heart. my teacher was a joker, and reflecting back am not sure if that was true at all, but it got us to listen and that’s what he needed.

fusion of the two stories…

what my mom told me years ago has proven true. it’s not about having a lot of friends and acquaintances. it’s about having a core group of people who know you, care about you and accept you for who you are, no matter what.

and fact or fiction what my physiology teacher said is cool to think about.

this is my ring finger friend, joy.

IMG_1708graingerblog

so grateful for her friendship, support, and love.

i love her and her little family very  much!!

IMG_1596graingerblog

IMG_1462graingerblog

IMG_0603graingerblog

IMG_0611graingerblog

she’s an example of a mom who loves with all her heart!

IMG_0749graingerblog

IMG_0799graingerblog

IMG_0822graingerblog

IMG_0857graingerblog

IMG_0872graingerblog

(rebecca was just in an alice in wonderland shoot; she was alice. joy wanted to shoot a few with her in her alice dress before she is too big to wear it. pretty fantastic color, right? i loved it!!! that’s something else i love about joy: she provides her daughters with so many opportunities for them to stretch their wings and find themselves. it inspires me!!)

IMG_7891graingerblog

IMG_7930graingerblog

IMG_7980graingerblog

IMG_7984graingerblog

IMG_1011graingerblog

joy and her man, another someone she loves so deeply and truly. their love story is such a good one!!

IMG_1135graingerblog

i wish we were closer in proximity, and at the same time i know that we aren’t that far at all. i am so grateful for you joy! thank you for touching my life for being one of my dear friends. my heart is full for you and yours!! thank you for being so true! love you, kj

IMG_1603graingerblog

table for 3

i wouldn’t change anything about my little family. i love our dynamic, energy, and our relationships with one another, but i did love the days when we were a threesome. there was just something so, well, romantic about it. mom, dad, and baby. just something special about the odd 3. please don’t misunderstand, i love evens too, but there was something i think so fondly on about my little family of three. anyone else catch what i am trying to say? mom, dad, and baby is a great chapter in the story of a family. it’s exciting to add on, but it’s also a joy to enjoy the first.

IMG_9849brysonblog

IMG_9664brysonblog

IMG_0205brysonblog

IMG_9313brysonblog

i met jessica at my workshop in arizona. it felt like i was catching up with an old friend. there is something very calming about her; it’s so refreshing! i had been looking forward to our shoot for a long time! her family is just as endearing as she is. mellow, calm, happy, and so so smiley. and funny, you know that kind of humor that is so subtle it’s almost present but almost isn’t at the same time? that good kind of humor? they’ve got it; i loved it!!

IMG_0332brysonblog

IMG_9548brysonblog

IMG_9636brysonblog

happy anniversary too!! ;) how was the zoo? the zoo, right?

IMG_9825brysonblog

and their baby? their 3rd member of the family? to die for! so smiley and so happy!! such a sweet little spirit!!

IMG_0009brysonblog

IMG_0033brysonblog

and so loved!

IMG_0117brysonblog

and perhaps one of my favorite “family” pictures, ever:

IMG_9733brysonblog

jessica, matt,and sophia, thanks for sharing a morning with me! i loved it!! it was good to see you jess and meet your darling family!! so happy we reconnected in sedona!! ps the yellow shoes were a perfect choice!!! ;) may you enjoy your threesome; those are such good days!!!

pps sorry none of the red rock pictures made the cut…:)

monochrome

life has been a little bit black and white lately, with all the rain and clouds and ebb and flow.

sometimes monochrome can be just as dramatic as color:

IMG_0550teamblog

incredible story telling can happen even when there isn’t any color:

IMG_0646teamblog

IMG_0818teamblog

IMG_0775teamblog

IMG_0959teamblog

IMG_1042teamblog

it’s also so incredible how the little things add so much color to the story telling of life:

IMG_1080teamblog

may you find the beauty in both the monochrome and the color today!!!

no one loves you like your mother

a long time ago, what feels like a dream now, i was a first year teacher. those of you who teach know how tough that first year can be. mine was no exception. everything made me anxious: i was just a day ahead of all of my classes; i wanted to do well and teach them well and be good at what i was professing to know; i wanted my students to get good grades, learn important life skills, and appreciate integrity and its value in life. i put a lot of expectations on myself and was, consequently, always stressed-out. on top of all the first year woes, jaren had taken a job in california and we had decided that i would finish out the school year in utah, alone, which meant we would be apart from each other for about 6 months. that was rough. AND my parents were away, far away, in taiwan serving a mission. my sister was close and i was always grateful for her and her  unfailing support and belief in me. one particular day after school i was feeling low. the day was wrong, my lessons were sub-par, i was missing jaren and for some reason i was incredibly homesick for my mom.

i meandered down the hall to the room of my master teacher, liz gessel. i went under the guise that i needed ideas on how to teach independent and dependent clauses, but what i really needed was to talk. i think she clued in immediatly. she helped with my lesson plan and then asked, “what’s wrong.” cue the water works.

“i just feel homesick.”

“you know why, right?”

“why?”

“because no one loves you like your mother.”

she was right. i just needed a mom; glad she filled in in that moment!! i have considered her words often. when my children were born they resonated profoundly. when i observe other mothers with their babies they sing like a perfectly pitched harmonious choir.

i couldn’t stop thinking about them after my shoot with lynn and hannah.

there is such a special bond between this mother and her daughter.

no on loves hannah like lynn:

IMG_8404landhblog

IMG_8509landhblog

IMG_8280landhblog

IMG_8749landhblog

IMG_8581landhblog

IMG_8524landhblog

IMG_8838landhblog

IMG_8586landhblog

IMG_7878landblog

IMG_8788landhblog

IMG_9189landhblog

lynn, may these words forever echo in your ears: you are a good mom. your heart is filled with love for hannah. she knows it and will always feel it. i admire all you do as a parent and a person.

hannah, may you always be close to the person who knows and loves you best!!

to both of you, thank you, from my heart, for sharing some time with me! i loved it!! i walked away feeling a significant amount of peace and  a reminder of the love mothers have for their babies! thank you!!!

IMG_8954landhblog

home

feels good to be back. so much to share from the wedding and our trip, but for now just a smile to start the week!!

IMG_1323larkenhanceblog

her voice was filled with money and he smiled understandingly

i love books and history. fascinated by both. especially when they mix together. the great gatsby is in my top ten of genius novels. the roaring 20′s: one of my favorites to study. i think i would have made a great flapper…it actually didn’t surprise me when katrina came over to discuss final workshop plans that she left with a bag-full of my clothes to use on the models; i am so magnetized to 20′s styles and fashion!! when we shot my niece at this location for her alter ego shoot we were inspired to come back and shoot a gatsby-esque couple and group of friends! it was the perfect set of shoots for the last kamee june workshop.

IMG_7249gatsbyblog

IMG_6981gatsby1blog

i love the energy that comes with a workshop or side kick day. it’s more than excitement. it’s giddiness to learn and to create something you never knew was possible. i could bathe myself in it, i love it so much!! it’s such a good feeling to be surrounded by creatives who are passionate about the preservation of time! i am so appreciative of everyone who worked to make it happen and also everyone who was a participant. i enjoyed our day, wholeheartedly!!

i feel filled when it’s over. grateful for everything that happened; excited to see what we created; inspired by the new community we developed!

gatsbygirlsblog

IMG_7810gatsbyblog

as always there is a list of thank you’s that must be sent:

first, to everyone who came. i know many of you traveled and invested a great deal, thank you. thank you for leaving your homes and families and lives for a day! i am smiling thinking about our laughs and the fun we had. i am glad to know you all. thank you for coming; inspired by you!!

IMG_6588gatsbyblog

IMG_6567gatsbyblog

IMG_6606gatsbyblog

IMG_7317gatsbyblog

IMG_7482gatsbyblog

IMG_7570gatsbyblog

to amanda: you work so tirelessly to make things flow seamlessly. i always knew we were going to get along great! ;) thank you for all the little details you put in to each workshop and each day i see you! i am thankful for you!! thanks for spending a day away from the littles and your man to be with us. you are such a support; glad you are on  my a-team!! ;) thank you from my heart!!!

to julie: i am glad we met. so glad. there are people who need to be in our lives; you need to be in mine. thank you for always being in my corner and for supporting all of my dreams and goals! i am encouraged by you and am so thankful for your energy and spirit in my life!! and…i get such a good ab workout when we are together!! shooting pictures: cardio. hangin with julie: ab workout from laughing so hard!! thank you for the delicious macaroons too!!

IMG_6992gatsbyblog

IMG_7002gatsbyblog

gatsbysidebysideblog

IMG_7338gatsbyblog

to katrina: everything you do is magic. i love to see the wheels turning in your head when we are conceptualizing and i love to see it all come to fruition on shoot day. i love the way you think and the color and spunk you add to my life! thank you for being my friend and a tremendous supporter of my vision!! thankful!!!

IMG_7030gatsbyblog

IMG_7748gatsbyblog

IMG_7166gatsbyblog

IMG_7171gatsbyblog

IMG_7211gatsbyblog

IMG_7207gatsbyblog

to vince and ashley and hannah, kaelynn, bianca, and rebecca: i could take pictures of you all day long! thank you for your willingness to spend a saturday afternoon with us. you all make really good pictures! ;)

IMG_7730gatsbyblog

IMG_7673gatsby2blog

to shannon and bethany: thank you for the customized touches, the incredible packet, and all the support and encouragement. i love the way you two see things!!

IMG_7238gatsbyblog

IMG_7390gatsbyblog

IMG_7687gatsbyblog

IMG_7414gatsbyblog

IMG_7432gatsbyblog

IMG_7621gatsbyblog

edenglen clubhouse: thanks for being “so gatsby” and for letting us shoot on your property.

IMG_7607gatsbyblog

IMG_7636gatsbyblog

IMG_7655gatsbyblog

once again, to everyone who came and made it possible, thank you!! i loved the day. it took me a long time to come down from its high! looking forward to it happening again, sometime. for now, kick it with me at the monthly side kicks.;)

IMG_7789gatsbyblog

thank you again so much, to everyone!!! it was a really great day!!

check out the following links to see more incredible coverage from the day:

cristy overholtzer photography

kristy dunning photography

love light images

IMG_7721gatsbyblog

snagged this at the very, very end; i loved it:

IMG_7839gatsbyblog

gatsby, out!

website design by wiley valentine