Oh my, I am excited to share these images! These two precious babes are my twin nieces. I was finally able to meet them for the first time when I was home in Minnesota a month ago, and my heart was filled to overflowing. We decided to do a quick photo session while I was there, and even though it was really simple and short, I am so glad we took the time.
My heart melted a little bit on this day.
Although I have nieces and nephews, I've always lived far away and been unable to see them as newborns, let alone be in the hospital to meet them and see my siblings holding their newborn children. So it was an amazingly special moment to be around these new parents soon after their daughter arrived. Joy absolutely radiated from each of them, and it was very clear that this girl is going to be so well loved.
Welcome to the world, Everly, and congratulations once again, Ben and Katie!
A few weeks ago I had a perfect Sunday morning portrait session with Kevin and Kari, and their new pup Cooper. Kevin's family surprised him with the session for his birthday, as a way to celebrate Cooper joining the family. I love the idea of gifting a portrait session, as I think it is too rare that we get photos with those we love, and any chance to do so should be taken advantage of.
Before diving in to images, a little bit about the session; we spent the morning hiking around Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, which is a quintessential Colorado location. Kevin and Kari were complete naturals in front of the camera, making my job incredibly easy. Plus, how can you go wrong with a puppy that looks like this?!
I've been anxious to share these images since the day I returned from this trip, but unfortunately I just recently was able to get around to finishing the edits. Back in March some friends and I took an adult spring break of sorts to Ouray, Colorado. Ouray has become a very special place to me; I have never left that area without images that I'm proud of, and this trip was no different. We had planned on spending the entire trip ice climbing, but due to warm temperatures the ice was a bit limited. Despite the weather we managed to do a good amount of climbing, and had an incredible time soaking up that pure mountain air.
The first day started out with warm weather, and a forecast of rain in the afternoon, which had us all a bit disappointed. We first hopped on the Kids' Wall (which is a shorter, easier section of ice, out of the actual canyon where the rest of the climbs are), since most of our group had never ice climbed before. After climbing a while, allowing people to get the hang of the process, we decided to switch it up and head down to the canyon to get on some of the more difficult ice.
As we were walking down, dark clouds started rolling in; we were expecting that the rain was on its way, and therefore the climbing would likely soon be over for the day. To our surprise, however, the temperature dropped just enough and we were quickly surrounded by big, fluffy snowflakes. It was one of the most amazing scenes I have experienced.
Day two was warmer yet, with much more sun. We headed a bit higher into the mountains, with the hopes of finding cooler temperatures and better ice conditions. Unfortunately that wasn't the case, so we were limited on what we could climb and how long we could climb it. The guys decided to try their hand at some dry tooling (climbing with ice tools on rock) once the ice was no longer safe to climb because of the heat and sun, and I happily snapped away as they climbed. We ended that day back out our rental with some guitar playing on the deck while we enjoyed the views.
And with that, I am finally finished with all winter images! I can now get on to slightly more recent images that are more applicable for the current season! As always, thank you for taking the time to stop by, and don't forget to subscribe on the left, and share via the links below!
So much for posting in a more timely manner; this summer has most definitely kept me busy.
I've decided to break from the order that I typically post in (chronological), to share the most recent adventure that I had the opportunity to be a part of. And brace yourselves, because this will be a long one. It was an extremely memorable experience, and although I'm not entirely happy with most of the images that I took (a severe lack of sleep may have played a role), I am extremely proud to share them because of how much of an accomplishment it was for my brother (or anyone for that matter).
A few weeks ago my brother, Kyle, ran in the Black Hills 100, which is a 100 mile trail race through the Black Hills. Although the Black Hills are at a lower elevation, the race actually has more elevation change than the 100 mile race in Leadville, Colorado. The race is an out and back course, starting in Sturgis, SD and ending there as well. They started off on a Friday morning, and ran through the day with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees for most of the day. I worked until noon in Denver that Friday, and then drove six hours to meet Kyle and the two other members of the crew at the halfway point in Silver City, SD.
Kyle had planned on being at Silver City by 7:30 pm, but because of the heat he, along with the entire field of racers, was well behind that pace. I spent the time waiting chatting up the women working the aid station, and then the other crew members as they began to show up. Kyle ended up getting in around 11:30 pm, and my crew duties kicked in. I mainly got him any food he wanted (which was ramen, lots of ramen), filled his water, and made sure he was doing alright. His friend Will also met us at Silver City, and served as his pacer for the last 50 miles, which made a huge difference for Kyle.
Unfortunately I forgot my speedlight, and so was stuck with using an extremely high ISO in the images below, but I had to get at least some images of him during the night.
After Silver City I drove to the Pilot Knob aid station, where I met Will's brother, Michael, who crewed with me for the rest of the race. While we sat and waited for Kyle to arrive, I set up my camera for a brief time lapse. I didn't put a soundtrack on it, and as I said, it is brief, but I think it still does a nice enough job of showing the feeling of the aid stations at night.
There was one more aid station in the dark, and then we drove to the Dalton Lake Campground to wait once again as the sun started to rise. It was such a welcome site to see the sun coming up for us crew members, and I can only imagine how it must have felt for the runners.
I had been awake since 5 am the morning before (totaling nearly 30 hours awake at this point), and although I felt pretty great through the night, I started to crash after the Dalton Lake aid station once the sun was up. I was in desperate need of some sleep, and after slinging up my hammock I managed to get a light nap in this amazing spot while we waited for Kyle.
We next saw Kyle and Will at the Elk Creek aid station, which was at mile 83. Another runner came into the aid station with some wildflowers that he picked along the trail for his crew members, which I couldn't resist documenting. One of the things that I loved about this experience was getting to know the other crew members. For the most part we saw the same people at every single spot, and by the end of the race it felt like we had known each other a lot longer than 12 hours or so.
There was an aid station prior to Elk Creek that we didn't have access to, so the distance was about twice as long as when we normally saw the runners. This was the first aid station that Kyle started to show real signs of fatigue, and the first time I was even slightly concerned. His pacer was still full of energy however, and was excellent at keeping Kyle moving.
The next aid station was the last before the finish, and like at Elk Creek, there was a station in between where we weren't able to see him. His wife and twin boys were at the last aid station as well, and as soon as Kyle saw them he visibly perked up. The boys saw him a ways off, and were so excited that they ran out to meet him!
We then drove to the finish in Sturgis and waited for Kyle and Will to arrive. My nephews were loving my camera while we waited; their new (at least new to me) thing to do is to make silly faces constantly while I take millions of pictures, and they loved getting to press the shutter as well.
Kyle and Will came running in to the finish just before 3:00 pm on Saturday. We found out later that he managed to finish in 28:48:33, and was 9th place overall! It was so exciting to see him finish the race, and to finish it running no less.
Crewing for this race was one of the coolest experiences I have had. Seeing my brother accomplish something so major, and getting to help him through that process in even a small way was an incredibly impactful and unforgettable experience.
And with that, I will finally wrap things up. Hopefully some of you stuck through it all. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, and don't forget to share via the links below!
This post (along with many others) is extremely overdue. As 2016 started (and quickly rolled on), I had set up some goals for myself; blogging on a regular basis was originally one of those goals. And yet, as January passed and February has been speeding by, I have been going back and forth on whether or not that is actually something that I should, and want to be doing. I have more or less had this particular post written for over a month at this point, but have been indecisive in terms of the wording and layout, and if keeping a blog is worthwhile for me right now. I've decided to attempt to plug away at posting on a regular basis (mostly since I have such a huge backlog of images I want to share right now), though I'll likely keep things extremely simple and stick to the images for the most part.
With all that said, to start things off I am going to share images from one of my favorite shoots of last year. Back in November, while home in Minnesota for Thanksgiving, I had the pleasure of being asked to photograph one of my longest and best friends, Alec, and his beautiful fiancé, Emily.
Alec and I have been friends since junior high, and we have been part of the same group of friends since that time. It is a tight knit group of people, and I have often joked (with a strong hint of seriousness) that the approval of this group in regards to my significant others is just as important as that of my immediate family members.
Although I don't know if Alec thinks the same thing, I can definitely say that we approve of Emily. Emily is a ball of joy, and you cannot help but smile when you are around her. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know her on the few occasions that I get home to Minnesota, and I am proud to now be able to consider her a friend.
Alec went above and beyond on the engagement ring, and worked with a local jewelry designer to design a ring just for Emily. The main stone is a sapphire, with a precious diamond on either side. It looked absolutely stunning with the hint of snow around, the golden evening light, and Emily's vibrant green jacket.
We spent most of the engagement session walking down the Browns Creek Trail, in my hometown of Stillwater. The trail used to be railroad tracks, for a very slow dinner train that followed Browns Creek around the Stillwater area. When we were kids we used to roam around on the tracks, even though we weren't necessarily supposed to. I have lots of great memories from along this trail, so it was fun to shoot an engagement session in those locations.
We also ventured onto the golf course for some images at the end of the shoot, which was another important place for a lot of us Stillwater friends while growing up. In fact, the other friends whose engagement session I photographed had their wedding reception in the clubhouse of this golf course.
We ended the evening (appropriately) at a coffee shop in downtown Stillwater. Emily wanted to incorporate some string lights into that portion of the shoot, and I'm so glad she suggested it. The ring just looks stunning with that warm, golden light on it!
Thank you to Emily and Alec for inviting me in on this portion of your adventure together! I am so excited for the two of you, and cannot wait to see how your lives grow together from here.
And with that, here we go on this next blogging journey of mine. I would love to hear from anyone that decides to stop by, so leave a comment below! Have a wonderful weekend!
How far into the past does something have to be to be considered a flashback? It has been just shy of two months since I had my last day as a nanny in Manhattan, KS, and I still think of that family often. It seemed appropriate then, that this post be dubbed the next "Flashback Friday" post.
I absolutely adored the creativity and imagination these kids have. I would generally have a rough idea for a craft or game, but they always managed to turn it into their own thing. I loved sitting back, and watching them come up with their elaborate games and scenarios.
Unfortunately, these are the last images I have from my summer with these amazing kiddos. It was an incredible summer before moving on to this new adventure I am on, and I will forever be glad I was able to spend that time with them.
Next up, more mountains! My first weekend in Colorado was spent on a grand adventure with my best friend and her puppy, and I cannot wait to share those images. Check back soon!
A few weeks ago I stocked up on paint, googly eyes, and gathered the toilet paper tubes I had been saving for a craft project with the kids I care for. I had planned to have them make monsters, but as usually happens, the kids all came up with their own unique ideas for what those tubes should be turned into.
I didn't get any photographs of the kids making their creations (I was too busy gluing things and my hands were covered in paint most of the time), but afterwords we went outside to play and brought the characters with.
Somehow, this little one ended up wearing the exact same shirt as the last time I brought my camera. I promise she does have other clothes (lots of them), and I don't only put this one shirt on her.
And with that, here is to a happy Monday, and a smooth start to the week after a holiday weekend!
This week's Flashback Friday is once again focused on self-portraits. As I hinted at in last week's post, I used to photograph self-portraits on a very regular basis. Self-portraits were hugely important even after finishing the 52 week project and outside of the Forward series. So, that said, I have loads of them that either haven't been shared at all before, or at least have not be shared here. I'll be sure to not just post self-portraits in these Flashback Friday posts from now on, but I do want to share these two images, titled Smoke Screens, as they are relevant to my life currently (and will probably remain so).
I would love to be able to shoot a similar concept at some point, though finding an empty, light filled room, where I can light smoke bombs, is rather tricky. If anyone happens to have such a space and would let me use it, that would be wonderful. :)
And on that note, happy Friday everyone! Have a safe, and festive Fourth of July!
I skipped Monday's post. Scott's birthday was on Monday, and it also happened to be his last night in the country for three weeks. Call me crazy, but I thought maybe that was an alright reason to ignore my potentially silly, self-imposed blogging rules.
This last Sunday Scott and I finally had at least a partial lazy day together. He defended his PhD dissertation a few days before that, so the past few weeks (or really months) have been crazy busy and stressful for him, not leaving much down time for us together. So Sunday we hopped in the car and drove out to one of the lakes nearby to do some fishing. We got a rather late start to the day, so the fish weren't exactly biting, but it was still so nice just to be outside together.
It is a bit strange to think that was likely our last time fishing in Kansas. This fall we will both be moving to Denver; with his current trip, and the move happening shortly after he is back in the States, it is unlikely we will get out again while we live here. However, I'm sure we have many fishing trips with mountain views in our future.
Welcome to the next installment of the Flashback Friday posts! This is a fairly long one, since there is some background information necessary, and lots of images to share. I considered only selecting a few images, but I think sharing nearly the entire series here is important. As mentioned yesterday, self-portraits have long been very significant to me. They have been important in terms of my photography, and have also been hugely valuable for personal reasons.
I began taking self-portraits in November, 2009 as part of a personal 52 week project. Every week of the year (or that was the goal at least) I photographed a new self-portrait. It was intended to challenge me creatively, but was also used as an outlet for what was going on in my life and in my head. My tendency is generally to keep everything bottled up and held in, and so those self-portraits (as well as current ones) were a way for me to get some of those emotions and thoughts out, in a mostly subtle way. It was a strange thing for me to start taking pictures of myself, as before that I hated being in front of the camera. But as the weeks went on, it felt more and more natural, and self-portraits started to become more significant and impactful on my life.
During that 52 week project I essentially fell in love with self-portraits. I have to admit that I feel a bit vain saying that, though the reason I fell in love with them wasn't because I loved seeing myself in photographs. In fact, I always feel quite vulnerable when posting self-portraits, something I don't particularly enjoy. However, self-portraits became nearly essential to my sanity and emotional stability at various points in my life. When I was struggling with something, my instinct was to plan and shoot a self-portrait, and generally speaking it would feel like a small weight was lifted off my shoulders. Seeing a visual for those things I was working through, even if it didn't come across in the photographs to other people, helped me process them and start to make sense of it.
One summer during undergrad I opted to take an independent study with a favorite photography professor of mine. For that class I decided that I wanted to create a series that was much more personal than anything I had done before, and in order to do so I felt it necessary to create a series of self-portraits. That project is perhaps one of the most significant series, at least for personal reasons, that I have completed. The process of working through and developing the concept alone was a process of great self-discovery. When I started the project, visually I knew what I had in mind, and I had a rough idea for the concept behind the series. And yet, as I took the early photographs in the series I began to realize some fears and worries I hadn't even fully admitted to myself yet.
At the end of that summer I ended up with a series of photographs that were compiled into a book. Titled Forward, the series depicts the process of growing up, transitions, and gaining independence. This series seems especially relevant to me now as well, as I try to figure out my next steps after finishing graduate school.
Below you will find a selection of images from the book. Not all images in the book are contained here (there has to be some element of surprise if you order the book!), though these are the main images.
It has been interesting re-evaluating this series lately. With the current state of flux that I am dealing with after graduating I don't feel as though I have yet reached the point of that last image, despite making this series years ago. In fact, it feels like a long ways down the road (no pun intended). Viewing these images again also gives me ideas to continue, or perhaps revise, the series. I am at a very different point in life as when these were shot, and though much of the original ideas hold true today, my growth and experiences have given me a new perspective on what this journey is (and yet there is still much to figure out).
The book will soon be available for purchase, in various forms, here on my website. If you have any interest in the mean time, just let me know!
Happy Friday, and have a great weekend!
Oops! I'm a day late on this one. My focus was on many other things the past few days.
Self-portraits have been very significant to me since my undergraduate years. I will be going into more detail about that in Friday's (tomorrow!) post however, so I will be keeping this short. I worked on writing something up for a while, changing it many times, but in the end have decided to leave it simple. These images are in a way just for me, serving as a reminder of a particular place and time.
It had been a long time since I last took a self-portrait, and it felt good to get back in front of the camera, even only for a few frames before the battery died. Also, you may recognize the location from my last blog post.
As mentioned above, this week's Flashback Friday will go into detail about the importance of self-portraits to my photography as well as my personal life, and I will be showing one series in particular that has been significant. So, be sure to check back tomorrow! Don't forget to hit the "Subscribe" button to the left to be notified of any new posts and stay up to date on what is happening.
The first summer of my graduate school career I nannied full-time for a precious little family in Manhattan. I came to absolutely adore the kiddos (it didn't take long), so I was extremely excited when they asked me to spend the summer with them again!
They added one more little one to the bunch since the last time I was with them (the one below), and she has quickly stolen a piece of my heart as well.
I'm always trying to think up new things to do that will keep them all occupied, and also burn off some of their energy for their mom and dad. This particular day we used up every last bit of the chalk to draw a massive road all over the driveway. We brought out cars (and a random Barbie), and had a blast "driving" around.
When I first got my camera out they just wanted to pose for me, but after a bit they went back to playing, forgetting about me and my camera for the most part. I love sitting back and watching what their vivid imaginations come up with while they play. They are so creative, and the scenarios they come up with range from hysterical to super sweet, and everything in between.
It was a bit hot, and very humid that afternoon, so even though they weren't running around a ton, everyone was sweaty, dirty, and even a little tired. :)
I will likely be sharing lots more images of these guys throughout the summer, so be sure to check back in the coming weeks to see what we have been up to. In the mean time, have a great Wednesday! And, don't forget to check back on Friday for the Flashback Friday post (hint: more images of the beautiful Red Rive Gorge will be up)!
Time for the second installment of our latest Colorado trip!
Normally our trips to Colorado revolve around the mountains and adventure. This time, however, we were in Denver for the entire week, and only saw the mountains from a distance a few times (they were covered in clouds nearly the entire time as well). That Friday, the day before we had to head back to Kansas, Scott was finally done with all of his obligations (and relieved after having a successful interview), and we had no plans until that evening. Since we hadn't really seen the mountains yet, we spontaneously decided to at least drive to Estes Park to get some mountain air for one afternoon.
It had been rainy all week, and was forecasted to be cloudy and rainy on that day as well. The mountains on the drive to Estes were so incredibly green and magical with the clouds low and dense, swirling around with the breeze; it was like a dream. Despite the incredible beauty with the rain and fog, we were pretty excited when the clouds broke to show off some of the mountains surrounding Estes after we arrived. The sun warmed things up pleasantly as well, making for a perfect afternoon.
We grabbed lunch at one of our favorite Estes spots, and then wandered around some of the shops, trying to decide what to do with the rest of our day. Scott has a minor obsession with Longs Peak, so we decided to drive up to a lookout area to check it out before heading to Boulder for dinner.
Unfortunately there was a patch of clouds that was hovering around the peak, never breaking up enough to allow us to catch a glimpse. We stood and watched for a while as they moved past, but the clouds were dense over the mountain and the Diamond and summit area never were visible. I took a few pictures, but then mostly photographed Scott as he looked on. (I think he looks like he belongs in a Barbour add in these images.)
We then headed back to Boulder, via a bit of a random, backroads way. It brought us down some narrow, windy roads past some tiny little towns, all through dense fog and rain. It was beautiful and dreamy, though admittedly I wasn't the one driving, which was probably fairly stressful.
This fall I will be moving to the Denver area, and am so very excited to be only a short drive from sites like these. Now to find a job and place to live (does anyone out there need a photographer or live-in nanny??).
Happy Monday all!
Just over a month ago, (yikes I am behind on sharing images) Scott and I went fishing at Rocky Ford State Fishing Area, just outside of Manhattan. It was an absolutely perfect evening. Perfect temperatures, stunning light, and a nice flow of water over some mini rapids. It could not have been any better.
It was so perfect, I didn't even cast out a line once. I was in heaven just wandering around taking photographs. The light hitting the water was like a dream, and I couldn't get enough of it.
Scott, of course, was very focused on fishing. Luckily he doesn't seem to mind when I follow him around snapping photographs; which I do a lot.
With the heat and humidity setting in here in Kansas, I find myself longing for this day. Between the light breeze, warm, golden sun, and cool water I couldn't ask for anything more. This is my type of perfect.
This week has been a bit busy, so I'm unfortunately a day off on my normal posting schedule. Friday I am handling a garage sale, though I will try to get the next Flashback Friday up despite that. I hope everyone enjoyed the golden light and beautiful water as much as I did! Have a wonderful end to your week!
*I have been a bit MIA here the past week or so. Last week I celebrated my birthday, the commencement ceremony for my MFA, and left for a trip to Denver; all within three days! Between finishing up things for the semester, preparing for my parents' visit for graduation, and packing for my trip, blogging and editing photographs took a back seat. I'm still out in Denver, but had some downtime this afternoon and thought I would start to get caught up, at least slightly. Hopefully things will get back to normal next week!
A few weeks ago (I guess it's been nearly a month at this point), Scott and I celebrated two years together! We had decided to go fishing and have a picnic, but unfortunately the weather wasn't exactly ideal. It was a chilly, windy, and drizzly day. The picnic ended up taking place in Scott's car, while we shivered from being out in the wind, and we didn't get so much as a bite while fishing. A less than ideal afternoon, but I love spending time with this man no matter what it involves.
I realized while we were out there that I hadn't created an in-camera multiple exposures since shooting for my thesis work back in January, and so I decided to try one just for fun. It ended up turning out better than expected, and I kind of adore this image now.
Happy Wednesday everyone!
Scott has been teaching himself how to fly fish lately. Basically any free time that he has, when the weather is decent, is spent at some body of water trying to improve his cast, and catch fish of course. I usually tag along as an excuse to be outside and spend time with him.
This particular night we were a bit limited on time, so we went to a park in Manhattan that has a little fishing pond. The light that evening was beautiful, so I sat down next to Scott as he re-tied a fly onto his line, and photographed the lovely golden light illuminating him.
Watching a fly cast is really a beautiful thing. It is very rhythmic, and sort of mesmerizing as the line whips back and forth. Fly fishing is also a really aesthetic type of fishing in my opinion, and lately I have pretty much stopped fishing when I join him, and instead follow him around taking pictures.
As mentioned above, we have been fishing a lot lately. So, expect to see many, many more images from our fishing adventures soon!
Also, don't forget, prints are now for sale! All money from prints will currently go to helping pay for a short trip to the United Kingdom this summer. You can also donate (and receive a small print) by clicking the link below. Thank you for the support everyone!
Just a simple and quick post today. I know I just recently posted photographs of flowers and light, but I have some more to share. When the light is this good, and I have daffodils on hand, how do you expect me to resist?
And finally, a single portrait from the evening as well; because my man is handsome and again the light was too perfect to resist. He was working on his fly fishing setup while I was running around chasing the light, and right when I thought I was done I turned around to notice the near perfect spotlight on his hat and face.
There will likely be more flowers in the coming posts, so hopefully you all don't get sick of them. I've also been trying to decide on some themes to my posts for certain days, so if anyone has any suggestions or requests for particular content types please leave a comment below to let me know!
Our final day in Colorado was spent on rock. We climbed most of the day, soaking up the sunshine and our last of the mountain air for a bit.
The morning started out a bit brisk, as the cliffs around us blocked the sun for quite a while. Despite the lack of sun in the morning, the area we were in all day (The Pool Wall, Alcove Area) offered some really nice, mostly easy climbing. It was a great place to just hunker down and set up camp for the day as we worked our way through some routes.
Eventually the sun did creep down into our little area, and quickly warmed us up. For the rest of the day we were climbing in t-shirts, which was a bit unexpected for March. It was a welcome treat though, especially on our last day. However, it did make leaving that much more difficult.
Scott was able to go into teacher mode that afternoon (something he is extremely good at), and taught both the other guys some new tricks/techniques. As usual with climbing, I think everyone came away with something new learned, either a skill or just something about themselves (as in my case). That is one of the things about climbing that I absolutely love; every time I climb I learn something. It may not be something monumental or significantly life changing, but I almost always walk away at the end of the day with a fresh perspective on something.
This post officially wraps up the spring break series for now, unfortunately (at least unfortunately for me). I still have film I need to send off and develop/scan, so more images may be coming down the road. But, for the time being, there will be no more beautiful mountains featured here on my blog. I do have some projects in the works (or at least planned), so be sure to check back soon to see what I'm up to!
Now that my thesis show is over, I finally have had some time to finish up images from Christmas!
We had planned on leaving December 30th, but that morning the car refused to start. After Scott and my brother suffered through the below zero temperatures while trying to get it started for nearly half a day, which involved a new battery, multiple sets of jumper cables, and a space heater, we ended up having it towed to the dealership in town. They found that the starter needed to be replaced, and so we opted to just leave the next morning and instead spent the rest of the day lounging with my family. I took advantage of it and pulled out my camera to grab some images of my nephews as they wrestled and ran around.
That is (finally) it for the images from our Christmas trip. Stay tuned for photographs of my thesis installation up next!