Family Photos

  • Celebrating Rory // Anchorage Family Photography

    Family photography doesn’t have to be painful you guys. Sometimes it’s really just an hour of your day – popped into a celebration! Raising a little one to that one year mark is a massive accomplishment – for the whole family! You have sacrificed sleep, attention, and for siblings, probably a lot of your toys to the new baby. And now that new baby is… well… not really a baby anymore! But they are fantastic and fun and we know you’re all looking forward to the next phase of development which usually includes more sleeping through the night!! Hopefully…

    Babies are beginning to stand, some are walking, some are just really good at crawling – but either way – they are mobile and gaining independence!!

    So when the whole family can participate in the party we can make it not only about the littlest one, but also about celebrating siblings and parents and all the work that you have accomplished together surviving the first year.  It’s a big deal!

    anchorage Alaska studio family photography

    anchorage Alaska studio family portrait

    one year old portrait anchorage Alaska studio

    one year old girl portrait anchorage Alaska photography

    I love to capture an individual portrait of each child at every family session. Did you have these on your walls as a kid? I mean, my parents just had our school portraits on the walls – but I always remember feeling so proud of MY solo picture. When you grow up with 5 siblings though – anything you get on your own is pretty special!

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    baby girl portrait hedge wall anchorage Alaska

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    Guys – you all know I love a good cake smash session but I always warn parents – 50% of kids actually hate cake at their 1 year and won’t eat it.

    I mean – think about it – have your kids ever eaten frosting before they’re 1? Probably not! We are always trying to hard to give them healthy foods, not processed, etc – and then we shove this sugar filled thing in front of them, and no kidding, half of them taste it and are like ‘Nope!!’

    Sweet little Rory was definitely in that camp. She is a little spit fire – and I adore her – and she was DEFINITELY not having that cake!  But we did convince little miss Rory to take a few pieces of smoked salmon that we stuck in the frosting to at least get her to sit next to her cake! It’s all about tricks friends. I’ve got a few up my sleeve… Also – ninja mom skills. I’ve got those too.

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    anchorage Alaska studio photography cake smash little girl pink

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    Ok – she was NOT happy with us for trying to feed her cake. And she was even more mad about having to be cleaned up! But girl – I can’t send you home covered in frosting!! And honestly – this mad face is my favorite! I think because it captures her personality so well. Did I mention she’s a spit fire? So independent! She reminds me so much of my youngest – everything has to be her way!

    one year old anchorage Alaska studio photography milk bath real life

    anchorage Alaska studio photography milk bath baby milestone

    Meanwhile – big sister was happy to polish off that cake for her. She was oh-so dainty using a spoon rather than her hands! She even shared with dad – which was the most adorable thing ever.

    anchorage Alaska 3 year old with cake

    anchorage Alaska big kid cake smash

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    Hugs for mom – always the best way to end a session!

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  • Fall Family Photos // Anchorage Lifestyle Photography

    With the busy season finally behind us, I am catching up on some blog posts that are LONG overdue! Kicking off with one of my favorite fall family photos from this season! This adorable family has been coming to me for family and baby photos since their twins were only 4 months old – and I LOVE watching them grow! The boys are such sweethearts – and complete gentlemen! For me at least. Mom might say differently…

    And their gorgeous little girl – well – those baby blues pierce right into your soul! Good thing she has 2 big brothers to keep her in check!

    We had the most lovely evening for our shoot – which really was amazing given the summer of rain that we had in Anchorage.

    We photographed at Kincaid Park – which is a fantastic spot. While it does get photographed quite a bit – there is such a great variety in the space, and kids LOVE the bridge! I mean, who doesn’t love a beautiful wooden bridge? And since I had not had an opportunity to shoot there all summer, I was still very much in love with it!

    So many hugs and cuddles in these images – I am so glad they come back to capture their little ones growth each year! These years fly by, and there is nothing quite as sweet as the love tiny humans have for their families!

    I hope you smile as much as I do when you look at these.

    Cheers Friends!

    -Dori

    Boys Portrait Alaska

    Little boys portrait Alaska

    Twin brothers portrait Alaska

    Brothers Portrait Alaska

    Daughter and Dad Photo

    Dad and kids photo

    Fall Family Photo Anchorage

    Mom and Daughter portrait

     

    Fall Family Photo

    Fall family photos

    Mom and kids photo

  • Alaska Life // Anchorage to Whittier // Photograph Summer Family Memories

    This one is all about that Alaska life. I was born in Anchorage. Raised my whole life here, and before this summer I could count on one hand the number of times I had been to Whittier. On prior occasions, my draw to the town had been to explore and photograph the iconic Buckner building (which – spoiler alert – it totally gated off and inaccessible now)

    The phrase “it’s always shittier in Whittier” is a common saying around these parts, but my husband has a deep love for Whittier in winter. It’s the closest place to Anchorage to go snow machining – and the snow fall there is usually epic. There have been so many years when they are still riding the mountains there at Memorial Day.

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    So when our good friends invited us to come camp (and help work on their boat – which sustained some major water damage over the winter) we thought – sure! And thus began a truly epic summer. We have been back almost every weekend since, and have just kept our camper there all summer.

    For those of you who don’t know me well, “outdoorsy” is not a word people use to describe me. Alaska life? Just doesn’t seem like my style. Don’t get me wrong – i LOVE the scenery, and I enjoy hiking, fishing, etc – i just am not rugged. I do yoga and drink fancy cocktails, and make art people!

    And yet – here I am falling in love with this tiny little town that has zero amenities (Although there is a bomb coffee shop – so that’s definitely helped!)

    But the best part has truly been hanging out with the kids. And let’s be real here friends. It still rains in Whittier. Often. But kids just don’t care! Cover ’em up in rain gear and they’ll play for hours – riding their bikes, beach combing, making mud-pies…  As long as they can pop in and warm up every now and again – they are happy as clams.

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    Whittier Alaska coast beach water docks

    And yes-  we do pop them in front of some screens every so often for a rest. Our camper has a rockin’ combo tv/vcr and we have exactly 3 VHS movies they will watch. I can seriously quote Winne the Pooh for you we’ve seen it so many times at this point… So if you guys have any good VHS tapes laying around your kids have outgrown – seriously – send them my way!!

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    But it’s been a magical summer – and when we have had sun? Oh man… it’s definitely one of the most beautiful places on earth.

    So who’s in Whittier? Hit me up – let’s capture some of your family memories in the most beautiful place on earth.

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  • Preserving our memories // Anchorage lifestyle photography

    I’m going to get a little personal in this post. I don’t know if it’s just me – somethings I think it must be – but my memory is terrible. I have snippets of memory from my childhood – vignettes and moments – but to be honest, I often feel like my memories are pretty sparse.

    And I don’t think it’s just having children that sent my memory and mind into the crapper – I am pretty sure it’s always been that way. I remember after college chatting often with my roommate, who had gone to high school with me.  She would talk about friends and things that had happened just a few years prior (in high school) and I almost always had the same response – I don’t remember that at all! She would shake her head at me and we would joke that high school was just a traumatic/terrible time for most of us, and I must have blocked the memories.

    Fast forward to 2017 -as I’m approaching 40 and even those college years and post-college years are so dim! I love looking back at pictures – because yes, even when I was in college we still hadn’t gone digital. No smart phones – so all of my memories are captured in 4×6 print – in little albums and scrap books, that are absolutely treasured by me now.

    Having a baby is definitely a memorable event. No way to forget that experience (at least, not yet…)  I KNOW that there were moments that were hard and beautiful – and I remember having this thought: there is no way I will ever forget this moment. But I have. I am already seeing the memories become hazy and dim. I don’t really remember how tiny their little hands were compared to mine – or what their first words were (but don’t worry – I did write most of that down!)

    hospital lifestyle Anchorage Newborn Photography

    What I do remember – are the moments that I photographed. Because there is something about cementing that visual image into my brain that allows me to keep the rest. I can almost remember that new baby smell, or how soft their skin was. When I look at these images what I see is the preservation of my mind.

    It’s kind of like the images are my Rosetta Stone – to unlock the rest of the memory in my brain. When I look at the images of my husband holding our little girl I am immediately transported back to that hospital room. I remember the sunlight – I remember the time of day – the people who were there. But without this little key, unlocking all of that becomes a herculean task for my poor brain.

    I think this must be why I have been so drawn to lifestyle photography for most of my life. My favorite quote by Dorothea Lange is “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”

    Photography is so much more to me than a passion and an art form. It is my lifeline. I see in myself the ability to loose memories. To loose the ‘where I came from’ – and I desperately want to hold onto the beauty of this life. Even in it’s messiest of days – to look back, laugh and love. At the memories of my daughters covered in finger paint, the way my girls love and hate each each other, at the way they let me snuggle them when they are little (because God knows that doesn’t last forever!)

    So this is my little ‘why I do what I do’ back story. I am in love with the photographic story of life because without it I would be lost. It’s so important to live in the present moment – but we also need to be able to look back at the journey. To appreciate all of the struggles, the highs and lows, and everything in between, along the way.

    Life.

     

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    lifestyle photography Alaska family

     

  • Happy birthday Gabe // Cake Smash // Anchorage studio photography

    Having your birthday during the winter months in Alaska is tough. It’s dark, it’s cold – the weather is unpredictable… Good thing we’ve got a warm and cheerful studio – amiright?!

    One of the things I love about doing a grow up plan with babies is to incorporate things from the newborn session into the milestone and 1 year sessions. In this case, dad had some beautiful furs that I asked them to bring back. You can check out the deliciousness from Gabe’s newborn session here

    1 Year sessions also capture so much personality in kids. Gabe is already walking with assistance, so he was checking out everything in our studio – and this was by far his favorite thing – just a yellow chair! Kids are easy to please… He found this rolling chair and pushed it right over to where we were shooting – basically, giving us this look – ‘hey guys – I’m ready for my close up!’ – and it matched his plaid shirt perfectly!

    For those who don’t follow me on FB, a close second to my obsession with baby toes is my love of cake. I mean – who DOESN’T love cake?

    Even though I don’t usually get to EAT any of the cake in a cake smash, I thoroughly enjoy watching babes get their mess on with some frosting. I guess I could snatch a bite off the floor after the babes are done, but thus far I haven’t been QUITE that desperate for a bit. I wouldn’t put it past me to do at some point in the future though.
    Don’t judge me.

    Also – little known fact – most kids actually don’t like cake. Or at least – they don’t like eating it. 4 out of 5 – 1 year olds really just want to play with it. Which is cool – they make a fabulous and fun mess and in general, have a fab time. But really – not much cake gets consumed.

    And Gabe was no exception. I think he took one taste of his frosting – and that was about it. But boy did he LOVE making a mess! Like, LOVED it.

     

  • 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!

  • Holiday Mini Sessions!

    Yesterday (it seems like) we were neck deep in carving pumpkins and making ghost costumes and the next thing I know I hear – “Only 6 more Sundays to Christmas!” on the radio and I immediately went into full panic mode.

    Wait! I didn’t get to do fall mini’s yet! Whoops! Those leaves are long gone… and now we have snow! Or did…

    So if you’re feeling like I am – like the holidays are really sneaking up on you this year – and you just want to move past all this election news – I’m here to help!

    I have never in the past done any sort of Black Friday sales – but I do love the idea of promoting small business Saturday – so – I’m offering holiday mini’s!

    Since Alaska is really pulling out all the stops to make the scenery as unpredictable as possible – I’m doing them in studio this year! YES! That’s right friends – I’ll be doing these at our downtown studio location on 5th. So there is plenty of room for the whole family to hop in and be part of the session! Our setup will be simple but festive – so that you can choose your Christmas Jammies, your holiday sweaters or your Holiday best and still look amazing!

    But here’s the catch. I’m only offering 5 spots. So if you want to treat your family to some holiday cheer, and get a jump on your planning – get your spot reserved right away!!!

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    Also – to really sweeten the deal – I’ve put together some special packages to help with your gifts this year. These are your Black Friday sales!!

    Gifts for the family package $1,395
    1 – 6×9 Signature Album (includes 15 images + med res digital files)
    (add additional copies of your album for the black Friday price of $400 – great for the grandparents!)
    5×7 prints of all album images (15 – great for gifting to family!)
    50 Holiday Cards

    Holiday Survival package $300
    25 Holiday Cards
    4 – 8×10 gift prints for the family (same image)
    1 Additional med res digital image file

    And of course – here is the fine print:

    • max of 6 people. Sorry – no pets in the studio! Deposit is non-refundable but may be applied to future booking.
    • 20 minute time slot is fixed -please be on time, as your session time cannot be extended!
    • Gallery images are minimally edited. Images selected for high res download or print will be fully retouched.
    • Full session fee is required to reserve spot.
    • Minimum order of $250 applies to a la carte product orders
  • Baby Tirzah // Anchorage Newborn Photographer

    What a sweet, sweet little baby girl! Baby Tirzah was one of the best sleepers I’ve had in my studio to photograph – and considering she was already over a month old when she came to me – it was an absolute dream!

    I had the pleasure of being the second shooter photographing her parents wedding here in Anchorage, several years ago – and it was SUCH a pleasure to reconnect with them and have the opportunity to photograph their family again – now with all 3 of their little ones!

    They are absolutely the sweetest family – and the boys are just adorable with their little sis!

    I hope you enjoy how delicious this little baby girl is!

    Anchorage Newborn Photography

    Anchorage Alaska Newborn baby photograph

    Anchorage Newborn Photography

    Anchorage Newborn Photography

    Anchorage Alaska Newborn baby photograph

    Anchorage Alaska Newborn baby photograph

    Anchorage Alaska Newborn baby photograph

    Anchorage Alaska Newborn baby photograph

    Anchorage Alaska Newborn baby photograph

    Anchorage Alaska Newborn baby photograph

    Anchorage Alaska Newborn baby photograph

    Anchorage Newborn Photography

  • The Boys // Anchorage Family Photography

    Lifestyle family photography is my jam. I was so excited after meeting with these boys, to create some family photographs with them! I especially loved how honest they were with me. Our conversation went something like this:

    dad: “We love your work. It’s beautiful. But… we’re just not the sort of people who are traipsing around in a field somewhere with scenic vistas of Alaska in the background…”

    me: (laughing) “yeah. I get that. So let’s talk about what kind of family you ARE.”

    We planned out a super fun session that was perfect for them. They wanted to try a few things they had never done before together  (go karting and mini golf at Roadrunner!) and end with something they do every week together (hang out time at our local Anchorage Barnes and Noble.) After all that I did make them stand in an alley so that I could capture a couple of scenic urban Anchorage vistas… or whatever. But they still brought their own personality to those – ‘let’s do action shots!’ and I LOVED it!

    What made their session so special to me was that they WERE so honest! Every family wants to be seen in their best light – i get it! I do the same! But there is something so refreshing about just being yourself – and allowing your family photography to reflect that.

    I got to do my job in the way I love to do it most. Allow a family to follow their joy – while I just hang out and capture it.

    And also – the photographs are great!

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    Anchorage Family Photography

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