By the Hour {April}

Last month, though, I did my first "By the Hour" project. The challenge, of course, is to create an interesting photo when the timer goes off - no matter how uninteresting things seem to be at the moment.

And that's really what it's all about, isn't it?

Finding that beautiful bit in the mundane.

Reframing your view of your personal situation and focusing more on all the little things you're thankful for.

And being 100% present, so you can truly experience it. 

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Easter Traditions 2017

You guys all know what a big fan I am of the every day moments, but traditions hold a big place in my heart, too.

And so, it was important to me to film it. To create this living memory of my little boys and my mother doing something I had done as a child, and something they'll do one day with theirs.

To be perfectly honest, though, I wasn't sure how it would go this year, or whether it would be worth filming at all.

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Nicole + Chase's Family

What would you do if I came over with my camera for the afternoon?

Maybe you’d cozy up and read on the couch with your youngest. Maybe you’d bake something special with your oldest. Maybe you’d build a fort from start to finish with your kids – or try, until they took over to get everything just so.

Or maybe, like Nicole’s family, you’d just be.

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It's Not For Everyone

It’s not for everyone, this documentary family photography thing.

I thought it was, initially.

I thought, This style is so meaningful, so beautiful, so magical – anyone would be thrilled to have these sorts of photographs in their home.

But I’ve slowly come to see, it takes a very special kind of person to see the value in documentary photos and family films – and choose that gift for their own family.

I’ve noticed, over the years, that those that do, all share these three defining characteristics.

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A Morning Together: With the Grandkids

Growing up, my grandparents were the sort who would drop everything for my sister and me.

My grandfather would chat away with us during "coffee time", which included slices of apple pie and a Sun Drop for us girls. 

My grandmother was always available for curling up on the couch together with a book or teaching us to knit for the 100th time. 

We'd feed the cat, play Clue, and beg for another guided tour of the basement "treasures" - the highlight being a set of animal traps my grandfather used for hunting as a boy.  

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Why 2017 Will Be Different

If I had chosen a word to define 2016, it would have been consistency. While a lot of good came from that consistency (a growing business, acceptance into Click Pro, a workshop that has helped women really learn to use their cameras), I also spent a lot of it stressed and busy with tasks that, frankly, made wonder if I was wasting time that could have been better spent.

So for 2017, I'm choosing something different.

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Eliza's Family

I believe there is something truly magical about photos of your family, taken in your own home, doing the things you normally do.

I believe the details in the setting of your house will take you back to this time and revive sweet memories you've forgotten, every time you look at them.

I believe the little interactions within your family scream love. 

During Eliza's Film Session, I also photographed her family. After a year of hospitalization, Eliza is finally home, and the beautiful connections they share definitely scream love.

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Eliza is home!

After a year of hospitalization, including major heart surgery and a throat surgery to correct breathing issues, Eliza is home!

This film is a celebration of Eliza's life, her homecoming, and the love her family shares, both with her and for her. My hope, is that in the years to come, they'll look back and see how far they've come.

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Christmas Survival Guide

You may be someone who absolutely lives for the Christmas season, and if so, 1 – That is awesome, and 2 – I’m jealous. Feel free to delete this email and continue singing carols.

But for me, December is the most stressful month of the year. Between the extra high expectations from everyone, our overly full calendar, and the general admonishment to be joyful at all times, I find it all a bit overwhelming. 

So I made myself a Survival Guide to follow this month. 

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