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this is me. in a very serious moment. teaching a very serious workshop. elucidating a very serious topic of shooting manual.



i taught my very first workshop a week ago. i loved it. every single minute of it. i have wished myself back to those moments so many times since they happened. we have all been making this analogy, but it perfectly fits how i feel: i feel like christmas is over, like it came so fast like it always does, it happened magically, and then it ended and all i am left with are fond memories and christmas lights that still need to be taken down.

my workshop debut went so well. with the exception of a few minor technical difficulties that we wired out quickly all thanks to my friend brian; thank you brian for knowing everything there is to know about a mac computer and for always being so willing to help your old teacher. i appreciate you more than you know.

i have tried to tell jaren about it for the entire week, since i have been home. this will sound a bit strange but i get emotional each time. i am so touched by all those woman who came out. by the sacrifices they made, the airfare they paid, and all the support and encouragement they showed me. joy says it’s like birthing a baby. it kind of is. i birthed a workshop baby and poured a whole lot of emotions into this workshop baby. like joy says, “you delivered it and gave it up for adoption because you shared your wisdom with the attendees…let’s hope it’s an open adoption with frequent visitation. ” 😉

it was such an incredible day, and i can’t wait for the next one to happen. (june 19th; registration will start soon, but black out the date now.)

i do want to thank again a few people who worked tirelessly to get it off the ground and make it flow seemlessly.

joy, thank you so much for all you did to secure a location, gather supplies, find participants, set up and take down, order lunch, and for all the little details of the day that were covered by you. i didn’t worry about a thing because i knew i had you there. i also can’t thank you enough for all the encouragement and support you always show me and my little business. i do feel that i owe much of the workshop’s success to you. from my heart, thank you! i appreciate you more than you know and am so grateful to have you as a friend and my wingman. excited to have you on board for the june workshop (and any others that will follow). those of you considering coming should, just for the fact alone that you get to meet joy; who quickly has become one of my favorite people.


bethany, i really feel we created a valuable packet of information for all the participants to go home with. it wouldn’t have been possible without you; i could not have done that alone, no way. thank you for working so effortless and for being so open to suggestions and feedback. your energy was contagious and i knew the outcome would be perfect do to your meticulous eye!! 😉 i loved seeing a new message from you when a new handout had been completed, and appreciated your spirit with the entire project. i will think of you gratefully each time i compile new folders for future workshops. thank you for all of your efforts and for helping create such a tremendous volume of knowledge. thankful for you and our friendship! wish baby wasn’t coming so close to june 19th. there will be more…believe me (workshops that is; i believe you are done birthing babies after this? maybe?), i will sing your praises at each one.


shannon, every time i come to you with an idea, you take it, develop it, and return it to me far more amazing than i could ever envision.  thank you for dedicating all those hours to hand making so many little touches for the workshop. i felt so supported by you and encouraged by your enthusiasm and vision. i was so excited to see it all come together. thank you for making and re-making the darling candy boxes; they were perfect. everything you did was absolutely incredible and just what i needed. thank you too for standing behind me and supporting me with all of these goals i set for myself; i am so thankful for you!!!


amanda, i always knew a personal assistant would be good for me! 😉 thank you for doing it all when i just can’t. the thought alone of knowing you will be coming on monday to pick up the slack that i can’t keep up with anymore brings me more comfort than you know. grateful for your extra hands and how they help me accomplish my goals. thank you for compiling all the workshop folders and for getting me so organized for my trip. you are an angel on my shoulders and i am so grateful for you!!


j, thanks for supportin’ the dream. you know i love you.


and i would like to thank the academy…seriously, did that just read like i had won an academy award or something? geesh. thanks for humoring me… i did always want to win one of those…:)

i had a lot of goals for the workshop, but i mostly wanted it to be a safe environment to ask questions and not feel intimidated by others’ knowledge or levels. i also really wanted the atmosphere to be one of a bunch of friends, just kickin’ it talking about a common passion, and i wanted everyone to leave having learned something new or having been inspired by something; i believe the goal was met. 🙂

we worked.



and played. (the 6 person pyramid was not in my workshop curriculum, but there were some people who needed help and we obliged. they were on a scavenger hunt or something and needed a 6 person human pyramid…)


i loved meeting these woman; they inspired me on so many levels. since the workshop i have enjoyed our correspondences, and the new community we have started to build.

we had a small break before lunch for a full shoot with an incredibly kind and generous family. the normal family picture experience doesn’t involve 21 cameras in your face; it is way more mellow than that, but this family was so willing to stop and start, wait and listen, and roll with whatever was asked of them. i had an immediate affinity for them because they were so willing to help in the name of learning; that right there, to me, is ultra, ultra cool.

i have so many feelings and philosophies on photography. i share the main one at the workshop and then try to illustrate it while i shoot and with any follow up information i get. this family was perfect and helped elucidate so many of my thoughts and points.

pre-shoot ideas…



their hearts were so geniune, such real and good people. that’s all you can ever ask of a family at family pictures: to give you their current truth, who they are in this moment.

and in this moment they were spring, and watermelon; a love note, and a glass of chilled strawberry lemonade. they were perfectly refreshing and just what we needed to learn and grow.



let’s start backwards…kaelie is their baby. before the shoot i had been in contact with angie via facebook and email. i asked her to share a bit about her family so i could learn a few things about them before hand. she shared she was most worried about her daughter, that all the cameras might be a little too much for her shy spirit. (they would be a little too much for anybody; let alone someone who is most comfortable drawing or playing quietly, alone.) i knew that i needed to be sensative to this, but i also wanted to show everyone there that although the  “perfect” picture of her smiling and looking at the camera wasn’t necessarily her truth right now which was just to be quiet, and peaceful, timid yet warm, lovely, and  kaelie perfect.

these images will mean more to her parents and even to her someday than had i pushed and prodded and maybe even forced her to “look up and me and smile”, because they are real; who she is right now, and that’s beautiful.


i think she touched us all.




and if you just give people enough time and reason to trust you, and if you just accept what they are giving you as their perfect present then they will, eventually open more of their heart, and show you more of who they are:



maybe my favorite picture of a mom and daugther:


when i was little i wanted a big brother. i had a big sister who i adored and still do, but for some reason i just envied those with big brothers. kaelie has one, and even though he is entering into that, “i love you so much, but have to pretend that i don’t so i can maintain my cool persona” stage he still loves his little sis and parents very much.



he is a boy’s boy: football, video games, friends…but i got this when i asked about girls; i loved it!!


someday trey you will be crazy about them, and they won’t be able to take their eyes off of you either:


he’s a sweet boy, and a tribute to his parents who care so deeply for him, for both of their children.



and the incredible people that started this amazing family? brace yourself. i am getting ready to drop some serious gorgeousness…



beautiful right? i was so thrilled for so many reasons when they accepted the request to be our models. they love each other and their family so much. those feelings translate so well to portraiture. angie told me in an email, “we really just enjoy being together.” it showed.

they were so amazing to work with. just so willing and amiable; so kind and understanding.

and so in love. you could feel it.


they were so open and easy to talk to. so interested in all of us and the success of the workshop. it was encouraging to have them cheering us all on as we learned together.

these two have so much love to give. their family bonds are tight and deep. they decided recently to add to their family through adoption; i love that so much!! soon they will be adding another baby from columbia. that’s the kind of people they are: selfless, compassionate, and full of love. their new baby won’t come for a while but when she does i know she will be welcomed with much love and acceptance. i also know she is one lucky girl to be coming to such an incredible family. her “parents” will love her unconditionally, just as they love each other and their other children.


if i lived in arizona; i would want this family to come to dinner all the time. i would find ways to spend time with them. i think they are wonderful people who are giving back so much because they know they have been given much.


tarver family, from my heart, a thousand thank yous! thank you for coming out and for being so willing to work with so many people. i feel, you all help to also add to the success of the day. i am so grateful you were up for it; i am so happy we met; i am so blessed to have new friends who are such great examples of family and love. thank you for being a part of this workshop debut. thanks again so much. until we meet again…



i still shake my head in disbelief that the workshop happened. not in a bad way at all, but in an incredibly happy and excited and “that was such a rad experience that i loved so, so, so much” kind of way! i was especially touch by all of the woman who came out. i appreciated their eagerness to learn and their passion for pictures. to everyone who was there: thank you for coming, for making it happen, for helping to realize a goal, and for fulfilling a goal of your own to improve on some level; i love that!!! here’s to all of you and to the incredible clay pots you will create! keep making them!!! i will always be your number one fan!!! thanks again for coming and sharing your hearts with me, kam

my only regret? we never got a group shot from the day.


just a few links of attendees who shared a bit about the workshop.

elizabeth langford photography

heather of all a flutter

terri kate photography (click  on blog)

abby evans photography

if anyone else has added a shout out to her blog since the workshop; leave some love in the comments section with your link. thanks!

ps if you are interested in kickin’ it with kamee june, the next workshop is set for june 19th. registration will launch in a few weeks. keep your eye on the blog…it’s coming soon…:) can’t wait for the next “kick back”!!!