This was my first sunrise session! I asked a friend of mine to bring her kids out for a sunrise session and they came out excited and ready to go! My alarm went off at 5:30 am, I made my coffee as I always do every morning, loaded up my camera gear and took the half hour drive out east. I drove down to where the County road ends which leads you to this hiking trail with a small parking lot. I stepped out of my car and looked at the temperature gauge, 52 degrees. Super chilly by our spoiled California standards. Gina pulled up in her car, we got everyone changed into their clothes and off we went! The light was moving and changing so much. I really need to do more of these sessions.
Making it a point to blog and share more of my work this year. This was a session gifted to this gorgeous mama by a couple of her girlfriends. I mean how rad is that?! And if you’re wondering if you can gift a session to someone, The answer is YES! We all need to celebrate ourselves and our special moments- SO.. hire me to document them for you! HAH! So, I chose this location because I loved the rocky coastline and it was close to the setting that I work with back home in Imperial Beach. It was a location in Orange County, that had crappy cell service and of course parking by any beach in California is the pits so by the time Alison found parking and located me on the beach at the bottom of this cliffside cove, we realized we had maybe about 15 minutes of sunlight and blue hour left. Looking back at these, It’s crazy to think that even in that little time we had together I scored some killer photographs. She later told me this was her first family session and well that just made my heart even more happy. Check out the gallery.
This is such a BIG HONOR for to me to be selected for this feature AND AND with SO MANY incredible women!!! HOLY SHIT BATWOMAN! Hey, I try not to take photography too seriously as it started as a creative outlet for me but as I have evolved on my journey through the years I have become much more comfortable in my “creative skin" I get super stoked on achievements like this. I carry so much gratitude for the kind ladies over at Dear Photographer. It truly is an inspiring group to be apart of. THANK YOU Adri & Janel!! XO
I honestly can’t believe I am just barely blogging this session. This was a session of one of my girlfriend’s who totally trusted me to document her gorgeous family. (Back when I was trying to “find my voice” or skills or whatever you wanna call it)
Haley is a local teacher, a loving mama, and seriously such a beautiful human. I met her years back waay before having kids and we were just grown ass kids being kids ourselves. Time’s a changed for us and now we are both happily married with kids and dogs connected to our hips … and you know what, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
On the day of their session it was very cold outside, & the wind was blowing super crazy. They were troopers marching up and down the beach with big, huge big smiles on their faces- UM.. how about this friggin “easy going” family session!!!
So let me just SPAM YO feed right now with some of their session. So many favorites were taken that day. I especially love the one of her husband, Aaron with his daughters. Just go & see what I mean :)
I am honored to be apart of Dear Photographer’s August blog feature. The theme was “mindful minimalism” and this was my photograph submission for the theme. Please take a moment to look at the link and check out all of the other incredible images featured also.
I had the amazing opportunity this year to attend the very 1st Unraveled Academy Retreat in Fairview, Utah! I went in with no expectations and left with new friendships. I am so glad I made the decision to invest in myself and make this photography trip to this gorgeous cabin in the remote Utah mountains.
Well the first night was introductions and why where were "here" dialogues. Some tears, lots of hugs and words of support. We were given these really cute tote bags on our arrival filled with awesome gear. Some crystals (selenite, citrine), palo santo stick, a coffee mug (that I still drink out of every day since the retreat) and these really, really cool baja blankets which kept us nice and warm on the mountain. Night one felt pretty good so far.
So later that night, I got super sick and you'll never guess what it was?!?! Altitude sickness! I mean who knew that a sea level girl who get so sick being so high up. What a mess I was. I had my head in a bucket off and on for most of the trip and everyone was SO freaking kind and caring. I was walking around like a zombie. It was kinda sad. LOL . Long story of it all the hosts, Founders of UA- Sarah & Co were SO fantastic at making sure I was ok and feeling better. They tried to always make sure I had what I needed to get some rest.. even offered the master room to me! Words cannot express the gratitude for the kindness. I mean it totally sucks being away from home when you are sick. But get this- with that being said, I flew all the way to Utah and wanted to make sure I didn't miss out on all of the awesome stuff going on- as horrible as I felt. So I would power nap in a nook somewhere and reserve my energy. Then summon up the "might" to attend each class. the chef made the most amazing soup on Saturday that I just gobbled up, it was probably the first thing I could hold down...AND as crazy as this sounds, I still had THE best time and would totally do it again!! I could never put a value on the relationships I made at this trip worth every bit.
Wanted to share some of my photographs with you. XO
I am going to break this segment of the blog up into several parts since there is A TON of content I want to share.
Sooo funny thing too, I also forgot to mention this thing with our bus.. the switchbacks were so crazy going to the cabin that the bus couldn't make the rest of the drive up to the cabin and the driver dropped us off at the bottom of the hill. Everyone at the cabin that had cars, made several trips up and down the mountain to get all of us up.
I instantly made friends with Sarah Case! She is such a rad, kindred spirit! We talked the ENTIRE way up to the cabin. We instantly cliqued! I will never forget the precious time we had getting to know each other on the bus. She has a very special place in my heart. Sarah is a cancer survivor, a veteran, amazing mama, talented photographer and also now my new friend for life.
Heather Hackney is another awesome girl I got to hang out with in Utah. I have been following her work for awhile and it was such a pleasure to finally hug her in person. She is everything I thought she would be and I hope we really get to hang out again someday.
These are photos we took of each other in one of the rooms at the cabin.
Kevin Lowery Mentoring Class
First thing after breakfast on the morning of the 5th- Cinco De Mayo Day btw. Kevin Lowery kicked off the classes and Kevin Lowery is for lack of a better work- UHMAZZING! He really is such a positive person! He truly knows how to make people feel special and loved. SICK AF and all, Kevin took the time out and sat down to talk with me; he totally had a "pow wow" soup lunch with some of us and it made us/me feel MIGGHHTTY special. He is such an open book and a rad human being. His course included two segments of a couple session as well as an "in-classroom" course on blogging. Lots of good stuff happened. Here is the series of photos taken by me from his portion of the retreat.
Co Hodges's Class Session
Co Hodges is such a kickass chick!!! She is one of the founder's of Unraveled Academy & her passion for teaching inspires and encourages so many other women to follow their hearts. She fosters a community built on this beautiful, amazing, positive environment which creates a safe space to learn and grow with others. Not only is she an incredibly talented photographer, she's an awesome educator, and I am beyond stoked to also call her my friend! The next series of photos are taken by me during Coleen's portion of the retreat. A couple of the photographs in the series were recognized by LooksLikeFilm & Twyla Jones Photography.
Sarah Driscoll & Elise Meader
These two chicks are two peas in a pod! It was soo awesome to get to meet the dynamic duo of Root & Bud. Sarah & Elise are two best friends to have teamed up to kill the east coast with their skills and awesome vibes. Sarah is co-founder of Unraveled Academy and Elise is her childhood best friend who both make up the "root and bud" of each other's lives. Sarah loves to write and Elise loves her oils!! These two are just a pair of down to earth chicks who keep *ish real but are just as sweet and kind as they come. At this portion of the class the altitude was really starting to get to me so I unfortunately was not able to get a lot of shots from their class session. They styled this beautiful darling family! I loved the colors and collaborative styling for their session.
I have been wanting to meet Jayme Ford for some time now and was not surprised by her laid back, "go with the flow" approach to her family sessions.
Jayme recruited a gorgeous family from Orange County, Ca. The mother, Sonja, is a photographer as well! Sonja's family was so full of life and emphatic joy, they were such a joy to document. Her youngest son was the life of the party. Tromping around in his flip flops, roaring rambuctiously at us. Check out how gorgeous Sonja's family is! These were photos taken by myself. Shortly after this session took place I started to feel ill again and retired to my room for the rest of the evening.
Self portraits have become a way for me to become creative and express myself. This time last year you would be hard pressed to find a photo of me. I have emerged from my insecurities and am learning to love parts of myself I didn't love as much before. Now I look forward to challenging myself each week to come up with a new concept. To dig in and find more of myself. Learning to love myself more week by week.
Here are the rest of the shots from this harsh light series.
This is a HUGE honor for me! So many amazing feelings to have a National Geographic Editor take the time out to comment on my image. This was also featured earlier in the year on another National Geographic Assignment. So to have this same photo recognized twice by them just makes my heart sing. Here is the link if you would like to take the time to read the lovely note from the Editor.