First beach day of the season!
My oldest son will start second grade next fall in his sixth school. He did three years of preschool in three different cities and the same will be true for elementary school. He's nonchalant about moving again. He likes it here in Okinawa but he also really liked Alaska and he likes the idea of being back stateside again. I'm not worried about either of my boys. But moving so often has taken a toll on me. I've learned I need a good year in a place to feel settled. When I learned we'd be moving, again, sooner than we anticipated, again, I took a big step back from the hustle of being a photographer in brand new location. I did a three month yoga intensive to get grounded again and ended up completing a yoga teacher training. If I've been quiet here, that's probably why.
We've never lived as close to the ocean as we do here in Okinawa. We've swapped moose and bears for sea creatures and creepy crawlies, many of which are poisonous, but that's a story for another day.
On this particular evening, my husband took us to a new-to-us beach spot where he'd recently been diving. The sun was setting and I had my camera on the tripod ready to capture the melting-into-color skies. But then this moment happened. My littlest discovered a starfish. He clutched it, dried and shriveled, to his heart.
I had but a split second to yank my camera from the tripod. The light was fading fast. I was at all my limits -- I was shooting completely wide open, in the ISO weeds and shaky hand held shutter speed territory. I wasn't sure I got the shot but my littlest paused for only mere moments before he ran into the waves to gently place the star fish back in the water. He wished with his whole heart that the ocean would revive his starfish. He hasn't stopped talking about his wish to save that star fish.
From a technical perspective, this shot was a disaster. Of the two shots I was able to take, I'd missed the focus on one. I'd shot below my hand held limit (1/100). I quickly upped my shutter speed to 1/160 and cranked my ISO to 5000 and took one more shot. I try to avoid those ISO upper limits as the image quality does suffer. If I'd had time for one more frame, I would have tried to better compose to give myself a tiny bit more room for his lips but I never had the chance. After the second click of the shutter, my son rushed the starfish back to the water. And though the image may not be my technically greatest it ranks near the top of my all time favorite captured moments.
Once a month I'm joining a Storyteller Blog Circle with wonderfully talented lifestyle and documentary photographers, all are fellow Offset artists. We each share an image and the story behind capturing it, meant to teach and inspire.
If there is a lesson here, it is to always take the shot, always try, even if you know it is going to be technically challenged. Moments like these are fleeting. You won't capture all of them and sometimes you have to let go of technical perfection but you may just capture an imperfect little piece of your heart.
Please do stop by and visit our fearless leader Andrea Moffet of Little Story Studio to continue the Storyteller blog circle.
Fifteen of my favorite images from 2015.
Three handsome boys, fresh snow and lots of energy! That's what this lifestyle portrait session was all about. And fun. It was also about fun. Mom was pleased we got all of them smiling (and gasp!) looking like they liked each other, haha, but I didn't have to do anything to coax that out of them ... this session was simply boys being boys being brothers.
We've been living in our snow pants lately. Whether or not there is snow on the ground, most everything is covered in frost and everybody seems happier when all their parts and bits are nice and toasty.
We drove up to Eklutna Lake just to get outside the other day. The boys resisted at first but guess who didn't want to leave? They quickly busied themselves ice cutting (thank you, Frozen) and stick gathering and log crossing and just generally enjoying themselves outside in a pretty dang pretty setting. The blues are so blue, but there was something about the textures in the muted browns were really catching my eye. Not my typical photo share, but then Alaska is not your typical place.
A full fall color family lifestyle session in Chugiak, Alaska.Read More
I had a rare day of nothing planned so these two indulged me in a photo shoot, and even donned some dapper duds for the occasion. Don't be surprised if you see one or more of these again on our Holiday cards later this year.
ps. Fireweed is in bloom! And if you look closely, you can see a bee buzzing in the fireweed portrait, thus he is leaning as far away as he possibly can.
Family portrait session in Eagle River, AlaskaRead More
Are you on Steller? Steller is my new favorite app and not just because they're featuring this story in their PLACES collection. I like the aesthetic, the ease of use, the ability to tell a story with a set of images, rather than just one.
Let me know if you're on Steller so I can follow you!
My soon-to-be six year old is obsessed with all things Star Wars. His birthday party theme, it is.
Here are a few favorite party details:
Bubble wand lights sabers. I spray painted the handles silver. I'd hoped they'd be able to play with the bubbles outside. The rain kept us indoors, but didn't stop the kids from using the wands as light sabers.
Death Star Piñata. The silver spray paint also came in handy to create a simple Death Star pinata. Formerly a dented soccer ball piñata, in silver it looked just fine to me, without any other detailing.
Glow stick light sabers. Yoda adorned the gift bags, sporting a glow stick bracelet light saber.
... stays in Vegas.Read More
Meghan glows in morning light.Read More
If Corinna is tough to capture, Lindsey is that much more challenging. She has been my roommate for our last two gatherings, and still! (Watch out, Lindsey, next time I'll photograph you sleeping if I have to.) She was my partner in waking up early and getting out to shoot. She is an inspiration, an Impossible Pioneer, and always has more than one camera at the ready. Black and white suits her though her own images are often full of bold color. Follow her bold beauty on instagram @modchik.
Corinna is one of those naturally beautiful people whose words and images always hit at the soul level.
She hosted a few friends at her house in the mountains in Colorado last fall and whipped up the most delicious soup from fresh roasted chiles. She took us hiking and to hot springs and all the places she knew we'd want to see and photograph. Photographing her, however, is no small feat. She likes to observe and is most often seen with the camera up to her pretty eyeballs. She was kind enough to put her camera down and sit here a spell.
Lately she's been traveling the world as a storyteller for a NGO. The job is brilliant for her, and she for it. You can follow her travels on instagram @birdwannawhistle.
I am in the business of capturing moments.
This is a recent favorite from my own life. When I look at this image, I can feel the sunshine and I can hear the waves. I can hear his unbridled delight. I can feel his pure joy in -- after months of being buried under layers and layers -- running barefoot in the sand, wild and free.
This is why I love photography.
After a long, dark winter, my heart felt so very alive.Read More