Portraits

  • Anchorage First Friday // October 6th

    In Between Moments

    Friday October 6th, 5:30-7:30pm

    The Studio
    245 W 5th Ave, Ste 108, Anchorage, Ak

    In 2017, it’s predicted that mobile phones alone will create over 1 trillion images. Our children have never lived in a world where their picture wasn’t taken almost daily.

    We have conditioned them to smile, pose and look a certain way in order to “get the shot”.

    This series explores the opposite – the in between moments. A glimpse of children not posing or smiling for the camera. An attempt at a different perspective of childhood.  Something authentic, honest and often, undocumented.

    Come and join us at The Studio for this First Friday art walk pop-up portrait photography show Friday October 6th. The show will only be on display during this event – so don’t miss it!

    Obviously – kids are welcome – and snacks will be provided!

     

  • A midsummer’s night// family photos in anchorage alaska

    I love the families I photograph. Truly.

    Most people don’t realize I kind of struggle with relationships. I mean, I’m great in a crowd, don’t get me wrong! I can chit-chat with the best of them – but I often struggle with deeper long term friendships. I’m truly an introvert, but have learned to function as an extrovert in my  day-to-day life.

    For those of you who don’t know – my background is actually in software engineering/computer science – I’m a BIG nerd at heart. Are the pieces falling into place here?

    I was originally drawn to photography because of the darkroom. No joke – i would spend hours in there in the quiet darkness, working on film. This is an art form that speaks to my heart. But I’m really not into landscape photographs. I love to photograph people. And really, children and families are my love. So I had to put aside my introvert/hermit ways and embrace people.

    When this family started coming to me for their family pictures – I knew we had some common ground. Then I found out mom’s background is environmental science. So yes. We speak the same non-verbal language. And instantly I felt at home with her.

    And this lovely family has continued to come to me for their annual family portraits for years. In fact – I’ve had the pleasure of not only photographing their immediate family, but also, her brother and sister in law, and grandma over the years, when they would visit Ak during our sessions. I kind of feel like part of the extended family at this point. They are all pretty much amazing.

    But really – it’s all for the kids. I love that they will have these beautiful memories of family for their whole lives – to remember and cherish how amazing their family is.

  • Eagle River Family Photography // Alaska style

    Alaska has some amazing scenery. It’s just a fact. And the Eagle River valley and Nature Center is definitely a favorite spot for all the local photographers. This amazing family actually gets to live basically in the middle of this splendor. It’s super fun when I get the opportunity to meet people on their own turf. Not only are the pets better behaved (because they already know all the scents) – but everyone’s comfort level just goes up a touch.

    You know, how when you get home from a long day of being away – you breath in that breath of familiar air and you can just feel tension melt away? Well, imagine bringing that level of relaxation to your family photos. You really can’t beat it.

    Of course, not everyone lives in Narnia, so we make it work.

    But this time I didn’t have to think too much about finding great angles and backgrounds because everything was basically perfect. Exactly the way it was created.

    And this session was super special, not only for the family to be at home, but also because their oldest was just getting ready to head out of state to play hockey at juniors for the next year. And this family is TIGHT. They truly love being with each other, and it shows.

    So of course, we had to create some super fun images for Connor to look at when he’s missing his fam. And they gave me some great moments. Lots of laughter – lots of just being themselves – and even thought it was a TEENY bit rainy, we had the best time.

    Enjoy this peek at where people live in Alaska. Because yes, some of us do live in the woods!

  • Da Capo Choir // Community Photography

    My wonderful friend and Pastor at Christ Community Church (c3AK), Tracy Simmons hit me up a few months ago about this amazing community choir that his high school aged son is part of. These are some super talented kids – doing their music thing with an amazing dedicated volunteer director, Sam Struempler. Sam teaches at Goldenview Middle School btw.

    This group needed some “Alaskan” group images to submit for an invitational competition. In the choral world, that’s a big deal. Being from Alaska is kind of a novelty. It’s very romanticized, in a survivalist kind of way. I’ve gotten ALL the crazy questions – from what living in igloos is like to tonton survival tips – yes, I said tonton. Go watch Empire Strikes Back.

    So when someone says they need ‘Alaska’ I get it.

    With a group of 20+ teens, in not very warm weather and only about 30 minutes of time – I definitely had a challenge. But we found a convenient mountain vista location and got some lovely group shots of these talented kids! They were so cooperative and kind. Truly, they were a pleasure to hang out with and to photograph!

    For the record – I did ask them to serenade me – and I was cracking up over their selection of the Little Einstein theme song. Brilliant!

     

    You can check out more about the Da Capo Choir, including their upcoming events here!

    Choral Photography, Anchorage Alaska Choir Photographer

    Anchorage Alaska Group Photography

    Anchorage Alaska Choir Group Photographer

  • Cake Smash for Grown Ups // Anchorage Portrait Photographer

    When this fabulous lady contacted me about celebrating her 35th birthday with a good old fashioned grownup cake smash I was SUPER excited! I have known Ashley for several years, and even had the pleasure of photographing her wedding many years ago (back when I used to photograph weddings…) Also – I love this recent trend of adult cake smash sessions. I know it’s cute to see a little one having their first taste of cake and making a giant mess. But I think we often forget to continue to celebrate ourselves over the years.

    Birthdays are a great opportunity to take stock of our lives – and remember to celebrate all of our accomplishments! Even if we aren’t doing exactly what we thought we would be doing at a certain point in our lives (life can definitely be a roller coaster!) Taking a peek back to see how far we really have come is so good for us.

    Ashley and I popped into a local Anchorage park and definitely got a few strange looks from people walking their dogs. One poor fellow actually tripped and fell – he was so busy staring at us he forgot to watch where he was going! Which, to be honest, made us laugh even harder.

    You add a little champagne and it’s a party! My little tip to you though – champagne through a straw – not so easy…

    But happy birthday and cheers to 35 miss Ashley – you make it look good, that’s for sure!

     

    anchorage alaska cake smash photography

    cake smash for grownups

    anchorage grownup cake smash photography

    Anchorage Grownup Cake Smash Photography

    Adult birthday portrait photography anchorage alaska

  • Conceptual Magazine Cover // Baths of Milk // Creative Photography

    So in the loads of spare time that I have (oh man, I can barely even write that sentence… hah!) I try and devote a bit of space to my personal creative work. Which does often involve my kids, but not always.

    My background in photography actually started in Fine Art. I didn’t get into portraiture until my friends began having children and I saw the amazing connection that family has and I had to begin capturing it. But even before that – I’ve always needed a human element to my images. I’m not much of a landscape photographer – my eye just doesn’t work that way – but creative portraiture – well, that calls to me.

    I was scrolling through facebook one afternoon and came upon an image by one of my favorites, Jessica Drossin. It was a gorgeous image of a lovely dark haired model in a milky pool of water. I was mesmerized.

    I immediately messaged my mentor and friend, Vanessa Powell (who is an amazing creative artist and photographer) and said – I want to do this. How do I do this?

    She laughed and said she would love to help me.

    A couple days later, Vanessa sent me a link to Conceptual Magazine, and as it happened, they were looking for submissions for their 4th issue, and guess what the theme was? Baths of Milk. Oh yeah! So now, not only did I have a vision, I had a timeline! So we scheduled our shoot!

    Vanessa’s lovely daughter Natalie agreed to be one of my models and Samantha, a model friend of hers also agreed to come over and let me dunk her in milk.

    Side Note: milk baths are actually super good for your skin. So – really, it was like a spa day for them! Really!

    It ended up being a super sunny day, which was totally not was I was looking for, but Vanessa has a perfect car port with lovely shade, so we setup under that and ran a hose from her utility sink to give our ladies WARM water for their bath. Because God knows I wasn’t going to ask them to lay down in a pool full of freezing water for half an hour… Actually, I totally would have – but thankfully i didn’t have to!

    And I spent the next half hour perched precariously on top of a ladder, holding my camera as far away from my body as possible and praying to get these shots.

    Samantha’s lovely mother came along to check out the action and took some awesome BTW images. So here you can see exactly what shenanigans we had going on:

    BTS

    Everyone asks – How much milk did you use?!?!

    Answer: Really, not that much! 2 gallons was all – the rest was water – and that was plenty to give the water the perfect amount of cloudiness

    The series is titled Amor Matris – translated to Mother’s Love

    The inspiration and concept is the bond of love between mother and daughter – unbreakable and unlike any force on earth. A mother longs for her daughter, births and nurtures her. And she grows – into a child and then, a woman.

    And here are my final images, that I submitted to the publication

    AmorMatris-1
    AmorMatris-2
    AmorMatris-3
    AmorMatris-4

    After submission, of course, I had to wait like a month to find out if they would even make it in! When I was contacted by Rocio Mireles, the director of the magazine that I had made it in, I was so excited! Obviously. And I waited very impatiently for the release date on Nov 1.

    Nov 1 was a Sunday, and a daylight saving Sunday no less, so the kids got up extra early, and I had pulled them into our bed for a movie to delay the inevitable demands for breakfast. I turned on my phone and saw the notification that the magazine was out! And then I saw the cover. My cover. My heart stopped for a hot minute. I got the cover?! I got the freaking cover!?!?! I literally hopped out of bed and started jumping around. And then promptly blew up my social media all about it.

    So, check out what Conceptual Magazine is all about here and if you feel like purchasing a copy, that would be super cool too. Obviously I did!

  • Classic Children Portraits // Behind the Scenes studio photography

    I have been obsessed lately with capturing simple, classic, beautiful images of children. While I love the lifestyle images with all my heart – those images tell a beautiful, and often lengthy story! And really – those images often need to be viewed together – as a story.

    But what if you just want a simple milestone portrait? Ie – this is Harper at 2. This is Torah at 4. This is Paxson at 3. And this is so easily repeatable year after year.

    Beautiful. Classic. Simple.

    So check out my BTS at the end and you can truly see how easy this look is to achieve. All you really need is a window – with indirect sunlight. This is important. Direct sunlight will be way to harsh and create terrible shadows. Of course, if you don’t have a great window that isn’t facing the sun – just wait for a cloudy day. The clouds will diffuse the light enough for you to give the same effect as indirect light. Soft, wrapped shadows.

    DSYPhotography-1315-2

    DSYPhotography-1135

    DSYPhotography-1367

    AND – here’s my behind the scenes pull back! this was one of the easiest things to achieve – some black muslin, a couple dining room chairs and clamps and a window. Done! Of course, having a cooperative model helps. If you find any of those around – let me know!!!

    classic children photography portrait