the aquatic zone: swim lessons, flowers, and a really great friendship

it’s important for you to know that i hate to be cold. hate it. i don’t particularly like to be blazing hot either. like most i choose a happy, comfortable, 78 degrees. i don’t like being cold because when i am i get chilled to the bone and then i stay that way all day. i have to take a hot bath and sit by a fire to even come close to being comfortable. i’m hyperbolizing, but you get the point: i don’t like to be cold.

keep all that in mind.

several years ago larkin was enrolled in a mommy and me swim class. we went once a week. i looked forward to the time with her, and the great nap she always gave me on swim days! i did not, however, look forward to swim class with lark for one reason: getting out of the pool. i was immediately chilled and i stayed that way for the rest of the day.

there were several mommies in our class and we would chat casually while our kids played. there was one i was particularly magnetized to. probably because she laughed at every running commentary i had about my daughter and her “swimming” abilities.

one lesson, i had had enough of feeling cold when i got out of the pool (i know it sounds silly, but hopefully you will understand on some level.) during play time i asked the instructor, “how old does larkin have to be to have lessons on her own? i mean how much longer until i don’t HAVE to get in the pool.” you would have thought i had just dropped a bunch of gnarly swears into the aquatic zone pool. all of the mommy except one (my friend, who was laughing her arse off) looked at me as if my suit had just materialized two scarlet letters: bm (BAD MOMMY). i had been marked as the mommy and me swim class pariah. i mean how could i possibly NOT want to be in the pool with my precious little one, during this time that is so fleeting, so special. why wouldn’t i want to be with her? swim with her? hang with her? i did! i was just sick of feeling so cold when getting out of the pool!!!!

i have to laugh now, boisterously, when i tell that story. it was such a classic moment for me of being so misunderstood by what i said and meant to say and how it was taken and internalized. i really didn’t care what those other moms thought. just thought it was funny, the reaction. i knew though, in that moment, that nancy was one of my people. she thought it was funny. she laughed with me, and the rest is aquatic zone history.

shortly after that class we took a break from swim. not because i had been shunned by all but one, but because i was just tired of being so cold.  i decided to wait out on swim lessons until lark could get in by herself with the instructor (we just started up again a few weeks ago. i love staying dry and at a normal temp!! and watching both of my fish from the sidelines!!)

from that time a great friendship developed! nancy and i shared so many common interests; it was nice to find a friend with so much compassion and understanding. it wasn’t long before we discovered that our businesses were complimentary; we started collaborating and working together whenever we could. and have since. i appreciate her friendship and talent profoundly. i am so grateful to the aquatic zone. it brought me nancy.

nancy is a talent non-paralled. she amazes me. i could sit and talk to her about flowers, their origins, fragrances, symbolic meanings, when to have them in your home, when to not, what goes together well, what doesn’t. she knows everything about them; she also knows how to match flowers with people. it’s uncanny. she can create a bouquet that matches a personality perfectly. it’s phenomenal. if you are currently looking for a florist for any of your life’s events, nancy is the one you need to meet.  you will meet her once and then want to meet her every week for the rest of your life. she makes you feel like you are the only person that matters, the only person who exists when she’s with you. she looks at you like she does flowers: she appreciates all their unique designs and charm.

i have so many nancy favorites to spotlight (not that she needs any spotlighting here; she is getting some very much deserved and noted press on many wedding blogs due to her spark, charm, and talent!!), but i thought i would share this one first. i loved the color pops and contrasts.

such a great blend of color, texture, and fragrance.

cake should be served on this plate, for sure. preferably wedding cake! ;) not only is she incredible with flowers, but she’s also quite handy with design and decorating!!

the flowers on a wedding day have swiftly become one of my favorite details. really, so much goes into them. so much thought to make them perfect and customized to the bride and the wedding theme.

nancy is a floral shakespeare. i want her lyrical poetry to be in my home, fresh, each day.

everything she touches is magic. everything.

and because i know she is dying to see…here are a few from our most recent collaboration: portraits of her and her son, bass. i respect her so much as a mother. she is balancing so much right now, sacrificing so much too, to be an entrepreneur and mom. i am infinitesimally inspired by her grace to take on all of the challenges of raising a baby on her own, and nurturing a thriving business.

just a few of my favorites:

love this one:

and this one; who am i kidding? i LOVE them all!!!

my mom calls that spot right behind your babies’ ears the sugar bowl. looks like a good sugar bowl kiss to me, right nanc? ;)

another fav, for sure:

nanc, i am so grateful for the aquatic zone. can’t pass by it, or even go to it without counting my lucky stars for it!! so happy we had that same mommy and me class. so happy you laughed at my jokes. so happy to have you in my life! thank you, from my heart, for being my friend; i am grateful. thank you for speaking to my creative spirit, with your amazing gifts and talents; i am blessed to see beauty through you!! i am so inspired by the sacrifices you make to support your son and still follow your dreams!! cheers to you nancy, and all you do!! much love friend, kj

for those of you looking for a very chic, and fashion forward florist, you  MUST check out nancy work and book her for your next event, or wedding! you will not be disappointed. her work is other-worldy, and from the moment you meet you will have a friend for life!! check her out here: oak and the owl and follow her most recent work here on her blog.



the tiniest queen

“i met the queen. it was the nicest thing. i can’t believe it.” –paul gross

homecoming queen

prom queen

queen of england

drag queen

queen bee

queen of hearts

queen of our hearts. here’s to our little queen of everything!

larkee, you are by far the most valuable treasure of all!! love you, fair one!! xoxo the other queen of the house!! ;)


something pretty

for a late thursday afternoon!

i found these while sifting through old hard drives looking for a few images to use in a sample album.

was struck by them. had to share.

i shot them a really, really, long time ago at a jessica claire workshop i helped with.

just something pretty, for a thursday afternoon:

may they take us into a pretty and romantic weekend!!

{elevate} a fine art photography exploration: project eight

there was a short time of my life when i went without carbs. i don’t know if i will ever do that again. the first week was agonizing. the second, i think i just got used to it. by the end i did feel better to have completely cleansed. shortly after two weeks, when the cleanse was over, i bit into my first true bit of real carbohydrates; it felt like i was walking through the doors of home.

i love food. i wish i was better at making new entrees and trying new things at home. i hate to be disappointed when i eat, and i feel when i try new stuff, on my own, i always am.

food, really incredible food, is for sure fine art. the mixture of all the textures and flavors, mmmm. i getting hungry thinking about it! even the experience of eating can be an art. i have had several conversations with my sister in law, kim, about it. i hate it when a meal is prepared, a table set, and then the food is consumed in a criminal amount of time and the dishes cleared before anyone had the time to even ask, “how was the day.” kim and i would always remark how the conversation at dinner needed to be a part of the experience, how it needed to prolong the eating. every morsel combined with family (or friends, depending on the meal) and visiting could be considered a fine art exploration!

next time you prepare a meal and then sit down to enjoy it consider the entire experience fine art!

may you enjoy this month’s fine art, may all of it, on some level, make you hungry!!!

continue with the fine art circle by indulging in a little tamara burros of from the tree top photography!

happy “feasting”!

graduation day: a senior portrait promotion

spring break and prom mark the final events before the most important of the school year: graduation!

graduation is pending. did that just throw you back in time a bit? remind you of your graduation(s)?  i love to be reminded of that significant feeling of tremendous accomplishment! i know it’s silly, but it gets me emotional every time. you could dump me in the middle of any random high school stadium with students i don’t know from adam, and i would be a weepy mess by the end of the ceremony. imagine my reaction with students i know, have worked with for years, and love so much. i am a pile of mussy goo on graduation day. i love those students so much and feel so proud of them and so excited for their futures that i can’t help but cry!! my experience with students has shifted a bit, now i help them write their college application essays and i take their senior portraits. i love that i am still a part of their most momentous year on some level!

in honor of the graduates of 2012 and all of their efforts and energies to achieve i am offering a senior shoot promotion!!

senior 2012 specials:

package one:

one hour session (session will be at a location of your choice. one wardrobe change.)

five fully edited, full resolution digital images (perfect for all announcement printing!)

additional images or prints can be purchased according to my price list.


package two:

two hour session (session will be at a location of your choice. two- three wardrobe changes.)

five fully edited, full resolution digital images (perfect for all announcement printing!)

all images from shoot included, full resolution, on disk. (additional enhancements to these images and prints can be purchased according to my price list.)


package three:

two hour session (session will be at a location of your choice. two-three wardrobe changes.)

10 fully edited, full resolution digital images (perfect for all announcements and formal prints printing!)

all images from shoot included, full resolution, on disk. (additional enhancements to these images and prints can be purchased according to my price list.)

50 graduation announcements (the cards will be a 5×7 full color, double-sided, card printed on premium photographic card stock with the photo on one side and your personalized message on the other. your envelopes will be included as well. additional customizations or special orders can be purchased as well for an additional cost.) you can purchase additional graduation announcements. all cards must be purchased in increments of 25; card pricing is $1.95/card.


graduation is in about 2.5 months (that’s crazy)!! this special will last through the end of the month of june! pass it on to anyone looking for a great grad gift!! ;) AND the session is good for up to a year.

for more information and to book your senior session fire me off an email at i can’t wait to meet you all and be a part of your accomplished celebrating!!

looking forward to hearing from you!! cheers to the graduating class of 2012!! so happy for you all!!

so awesome

some  experiences and people just are.

kristin and justin are the kind of people you want as neighbors. the kind of people you want to god-parent your children. the kind of people who are, well, just so kind. they are both really soft spoken, yet so grateful for the people and gifts in their lives. they are both humble and sincere, thoughtful and warm. i know they appreciate all of the beauty this life offers them!

i just felt good being with them, and good exudes good!

it was so awesome people in a so awesome place.

the outcome was nothing short of awesome.

and there is something so awesome about being loved so much by one other person!

love this next image as much as i love them:

the architecture and style of a location can be as inspiring as the subject present. much like in relationship it’s the little things, the little details that make it so awesome!! like the viceroy in santa monica, kristin and justin’s love is filled with little pieces of wow-factor! everything about them is cool green frames and plates on the wall!! ;)

these next images were shot right after my big camera bag or big shoulder knocked a glass off the bar counter. the bartender gave me the stink eye, but kristin and justin laughed it off with a “put it on the room!” and that was so awesome!!

kristin told me in an email previous to the shoot that she didn’t think we would need much time. there could never be too much time with these two. never. so happy i get to see them again and again until their wedding early next year!

they are just both. so. awesome.

and a few relaxed portraits to top of their “awesome”!

seriously. so awesome!

kristin and justin,

thank you for the great afternoon in la! thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this time in your life and thank you so much for sharing a bit of your hearts with me!! you both are just, so awesome!!! thank you again!!

and to the parasol of design team that was at the shoot, anna and belinda, nothing but love for you!! was so fun being together! you two are also, so awesome!!! anna coordinated all of the details with the hotel for the shoot and belinda did kristin’s hair and make-up. they are a coordinating team that can’t be beat; so excited to be a part of kristin and justin’s wedding together!! much love to you two, too!!!


good morning new one

just a little peek at a very new one.

he is so perfectly perfect!

my little used to be this little; tomorrow he turns 7. incredible to consider.

hold him tightly rach and jas, he’ll be turning 7 tomorrow soon too!!

much love to you both!! kj


we all get it. it comes in different forms. it ebbs and flows, but we all, inevitably, get some sort of “‘itis”.

i love this time of year, for so many reasons: it’s the start of wedding season, the weather is perfect, we have a break from school and a bit of life, and also because of the senior shoots i have. i love shooting seniors! i love hearing about their current “‘itis”! ;)

i just finished writing an article for sandie gentry’s the sandbucket. the article’s theme was essentially to be a life-long learner. i shared a few experiences from when i was teaching full-time. when i concluded the article i had a full blown case of missing the classroom-itis. i feel it at certain times of the year, and i feel it every time i photograph a senior. i miss my time in the classroom, for sure! i miss those kids, their stories, and all their drama!! i am happy though i still get to be a part of their lives through portraiture!!

i first met miranda last summer when we started drafting her college essays (i can’t get away from it, and i don’t want to; i have to still have my fingers in some type of teaching pool! ;)). we worked  together for several months shaping her thoughts into a perfect representation of her. i was beside myself when her mom asked me about senior pictures!!! i was so excited to be another part of her senior year!!!

miranda is going great places! she is the daughter all parents hope their baby girls grow up to be: responsible, motivated, determined, kind, smart, thoughtful, talented, and understanding. i was so honored to have been a part of her senior year and her “‘itis” (even though she really didn’t have any; she is so happy with her current place in life!)

love this one:

miranda, wherever you decide to go, they will be so lucky to have you!! you are such a beauty on so many levels! thank you so much for sharing so much of this year with me! was so happy to have been there for so much of it!! congratulations to you and this accomplishment and milestone in your life! i’m beyond excited for you!!! let me know when the big acceptance letter comes!!!

much, much love to you and your mom!!! here’s to you and all your accomplishments!! cheers, kj


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