the incessant comparison of light

there are so many analogies about light. “walk to it…” “christ is the light…” “i’ll be your candle on the water…” what else? i mean, really, we could go on and on about how things are compared, incessantly, to light. there’s nothing wrong with that! in fact the more i shoot the more i am inspired by it’s qualities and powers. sometimes, this won’t shock many of you, it moves me…to tears. (soft ones. like, “oh, wow that is so beautiful and i am so glad i get to appreciate it now”, tears. not big dripping drops from my eyes like “i just lost a child, or my phone” tears.) i know. cheesy. but true.

another light analogy: good friends are like good light. they are there just when you need them. they make you see things differently. they move you. and when you are with them you stand still appreciating everything they offer you that is good, nice, and gloriously resplendent.

i love good light. it moves me. makes me stop in my tracks, pleading to photograph it.


julie, you are some of my favorite back light; you are rad sun flare light in my life! you too, like the literal light, inspire me. only when i am with you make cry because you make me laugh so hard!!! excited for this year and all we have planned!!!! here’s to you and your incredible talents and abilities! thanks for sharing your rays with me and the rest of this world!!!

more from julie’s family soon!!!

whit and drew, part two

where did i leave us off? right at the moment before he saw his ethereal bride…




my second shooter, ashley, shot this one, and i LOVED it!!


is your heart beating fast? mine always does a little bit. then i start to cry, just because i am so excited for them and because it’s so sweet and special!





it’s so endearing how they both admire each other, get emotional at the beautiful of each’s appearance and heart, and become even more excited for the pending moments of the day!



i love how whit, just as much as drew wanted to look at his bride, wanted to look at her groom. it was very sweet…



whit and drew’s wedding had every emotion a wedding needed to have. we laughed when we needed to laugh, cried when it was appropriate and we were moved by the sentimentality to do so, and we celebrated with great hoorah’s and relished in everything that brought the two of these incredible people together. their wedding had everything it needed to make for a perfect day, a day they will never forget!!

they were surrounded by the love of family and good friends, but most importantly their own.




they stayed close to each other the entire day and clear in to the evening. it was lovely to catch him smiling at her, like he was looking at her for the first time.






whit and drew had an incredible theme that was so perfect for them too. their courtship and much of their relationship has had to do with sailing, both metaphorically and literally. it was perfectly appropriate to have that as their wedding theme as well! they were married on the water, near the boats, with all of their symbolism mingling with the artistry of their wedding. i love all the imagery and metaphor that sailing gives when compared to marriage and a life together. like i said, their wedding had everything it needed to be perfect, even some good symbolism!! ;)


we shot their portraits by the docks. couldn’t have been better:












while i was shooting portraits my second shooter and good friend, ashley west, snagged a few detail shots before we lost our light.







i love the flowers at a wedding, for sure my favorite detail. i love that yellow flower. what’s it called? the circle one? whatever it is, it was, also, perfect!!



and i snagged a few cake pictures before it was time to get into place for the official moments:




both whit and drew have a grounded faith and belief in god. their ceremony was beautifully woven with scripture and once again symbolism. as the maid of honor and best man made their way down the aisle they helped all those in attendance to light a candle. the candle light ushered in a stunning bride:




their officiator asked that they say a prayer for whitney and drew. when their prayer was said they were to blow our their candles.


once again, every emotion needed was present. they were touched by laughter and happy tears, incredible joy and mutual respect for one another. their vows were those from ruth in the bible:

“don’t ask me to leave you or turn back from you.”



“wherever you go, i will go.”



“wherever you live, i will live. your people will be my people.”


“and your god will be my god.”perfect. so touching. you better believe i was crying! and then filled with so, so, so much happiness, for my friends!

this is one of my favorite moments of the day:



everything was tender, everything was sweet. everyone who came only wanted to be close to the bride and groom, if even for a moment, just to wish them a lifetime of happiness and love. they’ve already started writing a beautiful romance:




i have to remind myself i am working at weddings. when the music comes on, i just can’t always help myself. i get my swerve on, it’s true!! EVERYONE was on the dance floor. no one was sitting. it was such a good party!




the rings:


the ceremonial cake eating:


and a kiss to build their dreams on:


whit and drew, it’s been like poetry watching your love story unfold. thank you for taking me along the journey. so happy for you both. may your memories of the day sustain you through this life. may your love grow to depths you didn’t know existed, and may you always look at each other like you are looking for the first time, filled with awe and wonder at what’s before you! i am hugging you both, loving you both so much, right now!! congratulations, kam


ashley, thank you so much for being there and supporting me!! it was so great spending a day together! your talent, spirit, character, and vision inspires me still! so glad you are a part of my life! much love to you too!!!

the gingerbread boy

my gingerbread boy crept over to me as quiet as a mouse; he wanted to make a gingerbread house.



i wasn’t quite ready, so i said gingerly, “get all the pieces ready and please wait for me.”



the gingerbread boy just couldn’t wait. i put down my work and turned to my 5 year old date.





the gingerbread boy did such a good job even though some of the gingerbread people were unfortunately hit by the mob.


to my gingerbread boy: i love you, you bring so much  joy!


whitney and drew’s wedding, part 1: a foreshadowing

i met whitney her sophomore year of high school. she was in my english and publications class. i used to read her eloquent love poems on unrequited love, her essays on war brides and babies, and would eavesdrop on her conversations with her girlfriends about her dreams, her future, and even her wedding day. when we went to yearbook camp i listened in as they considered their futures. smiling with them at the thought of what would be and what was before them, engaged in their pending future as much as they. if whitney’s life were a piece of literature, and i know she likes to live it like it is, beautifully scripted and poetic, then i would tell my students that me ease dropping on her conversation in chapter 5 of her life and our conversations on weddings and love and marriage in the early portions of chapters 7,8, and 9 would be considered a foreshadowing of me attending and shooting her wedding in chapter 10 of the book of her life. it has been surreal for me to go through these images of whitney and drew’s day. i know that all of my students grow-up, they have to, but for some reason they say sophomores in my head. when they graduate from college, get married, write books and become famous stars it doesn’t seem real to me, because they are supposed to be in a classroom studying lord of the flies and writing a weekly essay. i love all my students so much, so much that when they leave my classroom many of them become my friends. whitney and i became close friends due to our interest in literature and photography, and our personalities mesh too; we are both quirky and just seem to get one another’s humor. she and i have shot several weddings together, i am smiling thinking about all of them and our time together, and we have enjoyed many conversations on the importance of living a good life filled with integrity, and loving the people who surround you! i have always had an affinity for her. she is so magnetic. i wish you could have been at her wedding to feel a portion of what i did. i wish you could have been there to experience a foreshadowing of an incredibly beautiful love and begining to a life classic literature bases itself on.


i love thinking about the phone call whit and i had when she was going to first meet andrew:

“what will we talk about? help me brainstorm a list of things to say? give me some good topics.”

they will have forever to talk about things now…

i first met drew when we shot the boat pictures. i knew i was going to like him because he looked like hugh jackman! ;) kidding. kind of. ;) no, seriously. i knew i was going to like him because he was pensive, incredibly thoughtful in thought, word, and deed. i liked him immediately!!! he is a good person with a kind heart, a heart filled with so much love for whitney.

when whit and i were discussing her photographic dreams for the wedding she told me she wanted lots of pictures of andrew and that she wanted me to shoot him first. a foreshadowing for sure of whom she will put first, before the rest of the people in her life. we met at his boat to shoot his portraits, lots of them ;), and some group shots of his most important guys.












the energy that surrounds a bride and her best girls on a wedding day is rich. it’s warm and giddy! i love walking in to the room where the bride is preparing and all of her little best bees are buzzing. it’s one of my favorite parts of the day. i love how excited they get and how the buzz intensifies. it’s always so good.

i got a little emotional when i first saw whit. i knew i would.

she was always a walking foreshadowed beautiful bride.















petra, whit’s mom, used to call me when she was a student in my class, just to make sure she was keeping on track. i always reassured her she was doing well and was an exemplary student and person. petra, you are a good mom, filled with love, concern and honest interest. whitney has learned so much from you!! you are a foreshadowing of the mother she will be someday! ;)


love this image. i want to publish it somewhere. cover of a yearbook, anyone? ha! ;) seriously! it needs to be published or at least printed on canvas and hung above a mantel. i adore it!!




whit’s dad passed away several years ago. we’ve had conversations about him too. ;) she wanted him close to her on her wedding day. i have no doubt he was present on some level, walking his “darling” down the aisle, having their dance, and holding her tightly one last time before turning her to the arms of another loving man. she wore this locket on the inside of her dress, close to her heart.



she was the sun, moon, stars, and every perfect sunset…


some of whitney’s best girls where former students. felt like coming home seeing them! it was good.

i know whit felt incredibly supported and loved on her day too. everyone who was present was there to celebrate whit and drew and a new life together, a foreshadowing that friends, will always be an important and present part of their life experience.





whit, being the genius photographer she is, knew the light would be gone after her ceremony, so she chose to have a first look and a few moments with just she and her man before making it official. i love it when couples do this. it is for sure one of the most intimate moments of an entire wedding day. it always makes me emotional; i love being a part of it.


i’ll leave you with that one for now…let that be a foreshadowing of what’s to come…:)

big shout out here and another big, big one on the next post to my second shooter, an incredible photographer, and dear friend ashley west. smiling thinking about the day together. thank you for being there! i loved it and you so much!!!

also, while you are waiting for the second post with the rest of the coverage from their day you can check out their engagement pictures here. if you didn’t get to see them before, for sure take a look! ;) be back soon with the rest of a day that foreshadowed so many bright and lovely things!! cheers, kj

love this

photograph and this wedding!! working on a blog post for whit and drew but i had to get this one up immediatly!! just so glamorous in an old hollywood-mad men type of way!! :) love it.

just wait….the entire wedding will make you feel such good things!! excited to share more!! until then may this transport you…


the pink watermark

i have three watermarks i use to fingerprint  my pictures: white, green, and pink. the white i use primarly for weddings and engagment; the green miscellaneous and everything in between, and the pink i save for my family. katrina and her family get the pink watermark, for sure!! ;)

she sent me a love note today. thank you katrina; that was so nice of you!!!

“The first time Kamee shot my little family was when Preston (now 2 years old) was a newborn. I called Kam two days after delivering and was in a panic to get some newborn shots full of all his fresh, yummy, baby newness. She came over to my house, floated in, arranged a few things, snapped some shots, and floated out. Just like the breeze. The pictures were beautiful. I still tear up when I see me and my newborn in those first sweet moments together. They are a treasure.

The next time Kam shot our family it was my hubby Jeff and I together. We both had to carve time out of our crazy schedules to make it happen. We have two jobs, two kids, two full schedules, and rarely get time together. We met up with Kam and chatted as she snapped some shots, we laughed, she teased, and we wrapped up. Jeff and I had such a great time being together, without kids, and connecting. When I got the images from the shoot I swooned. They are amazing and that day was another beautiful memory captured.

Our family pictures this year had to be with Kam. Usually for family pictures I need a Xanax, a shot of whiskey, and therapy to get through them. Wardrobe, schedules, hair, health, black eyes, and terrible two’s take me to the edge and make me want to pull my hair out. Most mommies I am sure can relate. After rescheduling twice for health and weather, we met up with Kam to shoot and the moment I saw her I knew I could relax. I knew my images would be beautiful. I knew she could handle my kiddos. I knew it would be a fun and easy experience. Kamee didn’t disappoint. I have a full head of hair and beautiful images, that I love, and that will always be a treasure!

Thanks Kam! The Kirks love you!!”

i love the kirks, too. so much!!

may you feel of the sparkle they add to everyone’s life.

may you know you are part of my pink watermark. much love to you all!!

























love you guys so much! thank you for all the sparkle you add to my life! so glad we have each other! thanks again for the love note!!


what are you doing new year’s eve?

i know it’s early, and we haven’t even had christmas yet, but i had to get these up to share. when katrina and i started conceptualizing for the sidekick on how to shoot couples we kept coming back to the idea of a new year’s party. the day of the sidekick threatened rain and we ended up shooting in some really low-light areas; it kind of ended up being a two-fer: shooting couples and understanding light and the limitations of our equipment. it was a GREAT evening, both visually and academically. and i love the community of friends that always leaves a sidekick. thank you to everyone who came; it was so good meeting you and shooting together!! thank you for an incredible new year’s in november!! ;)

thank you’s to alicia and josh for being our willing and beautiful models; you two were so great!! thank you!

to katrina, for being a genius; i love everything you do!!

and to the mission inn in riverside for allowing us to shoot on their property.




a total fortuitous mistake that i love!!





kat kirk, i love ya!!! you are so good at what you do! thank you for being such a supporter of my dreams and for helping me make visions realities.








a big thank you and hug to everyone who was there; so grateful to have met you!!

stay tuned for more information on next year’s sidekicks; it will launch after the new year!!

until then, i am going to be in and out a bit. i need to rest and spend some time with my littles and my man. it’s time to hybernate; i’ll be here, just not as frequently!! gotta rest up for what’s in store for 2011!!

happy, happy holidays to you all!!! cheers, kj

sunday’s prayer

may you hold them a little closer, a little longer today. may they know your interest in them is real and genuine. may you kiss them softly and whisper how much you love them in their ears. may they know they are safe in your arms. may they know, and never doubt, you love.

just one image from one of my favorite families:


the dazzlers

just two from one of my favorite families…full of dazzle!!


i love you guys!! you add a whole lot of dazzle to my life; that’s for sure!!!


more soon! for now, i’m off the clock. headed to some snow and some r and r with my littles and family!!

be back soon!!

ps katrina’s shoes, i know many of you will want to know, were found at nordstrom. of course. ;)

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