Kids Portraits

  • In Between Moments // A Fine Art Exhibition // Anchorage First Friday

    So back in February, I had this idea for a series I wanted to create. In a nutshell, images of children who weren’t cheesing it up for the camera. I photograph children every day, and 99% of the time, moms wants them smiling. And they want genuine laughter, happiness – goofiness – to celebrate how happy their child is! But it’s getting more and more difficult to get honest and authentic smiles these days. Even my own kids are guilty. They see the camera and their pictures faces come on. You know what I mean – you’ve all seen it, and probably done it! The fake smile.

    And I just wanted to take a break from that. I wanted to create images of kids provide a glimpse of who they are without that “smile for the camera” mask.

    And let me tell you – it was NOT easy! Kids are conditioned to smile. They do it almost reflexively when a camera pops in front of them. So it was a labor of love, for sure! I photographed 15 kids over the course of a couple of months. I’ve never been a quick project person – especially when I’m doing it on my own, and with a self-imposed deadline…

    But I finally got my act together, and the opening was amazing! I’m afraid that if you didn’t see them in person, printed on hahnemuhle rag paper, you are definitely missing some of the beauty. A HUGE shout out to my amazing lab, Pixel 2 Canvas who worked with me to make sure they printed perfectly. No easy task I might add…  If you’re into tech stuff, as me about banding, 16 bit color mode and tif files sometime and I’ll tell the story…

    So – just a few pics of the opening, I was so busy chatting with everyone that I definitely slacked on snapping pics… But I loved all the Instagram shout outs – thanks for all the love friends!


    As you can see – it was a great turn out – huge thanks to my amazing colleagues at the studio, Shalem & Kylie – and obviously my husband for all his assistance! And thank you to all the lovely friends that took time out of their evening to stop by and support my project. It was absolutely wonderful seeing it all come together.


    In 2017, it’s predicted that mobile phones alone will create over 1 trillion images.

    Today, children in America don’t know a world where their picture isn’t taken almost daily.

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

    This series explores the opposite – the in between moments. A glimpse of children not posing or smiling for the camera.

    This perspective of childhood is authentic, honest, and in our world today, frequently undocumented.


  • 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!


  • Baby Willow // Anchorage Portrait Studio

    Cake smash sessions for 1 year olds are always so much fun. I absolutely love being in the downtown Anchorage studio for these, as we have so much more room! It’s super fun to get a few shots with mom (or dad – or both!) as well – I love having those over the years – to show the progression of growth. Kids grow SO fast!! The first year especially…

    This adorable family came all the way from Valdez to have her portraits made – and being from a coastal city, Little miss Willow has a mermaid theme going on in her room- so of course we needed to incorporate all those delicious colors. The teal/purple combo might be my new favorite. SO pretty!!

    BUT – my favorite part of this session was incorporating a milk bath after the cake smash. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of doing this before – but it was SO adorable! And the perfect way to clean up after smashing frosting all over your face…

    I’ll be including this little after cake option with all my 1 year smashes point forward. And really for all milestones sessions, as long as babies can sit up of course.


    anchorage studio 1 year old portrait with mom

    1 year studio photo anchorage alaska

    1 year baby toes and flowers

    1 year baby eyelashes

    Anchorage Baby Cake Smash

    Purple and Teal baby cake smash alaska

    Anchorage baby milk bath

    Anchorage baby milk bath flowers

  • 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.

  • Kindergarten at Polaris // Anchorage Portrait Photographer

    For those of you who don’t know my oldest started Kindergarten this year – she did! We were absolutely over the moon excited to get into the lottery for Polaris. I am SUCH a fan of the Optional program – especially the no-homework for Elementary mind set. Let the kids be kids!

    And Torah is thriving and loving it. She even had a boy give her his phone number already… But that’s another story…

    Every year the yearbook staff at Polaris takes adorable pictures of the kinders in a high school graduation cap and gown. It’s so big and they are so small – and it’s so cute! So as a Kinder mom – of course I had to volunteer to assist with these milestone pics!

    While I won’t share all of the other smiling little faces here (because privacy! Obviously!) here is my little lady looking WAY too grown up! Go check out the Yearbook staff’s page –  if you are a Polaris parent, and specifically a Kinder parent, you’ll receive a digital copy of your little one’s image along with your yearbook purchase! Win!

    I’m am already getting a little emotional picturing a side by side image of this in 13 years…

    Anchorage Child Photographer

  • The Magic of Children’s Photography

    This year my parents, after living for almost 40 years in Chugiak, Alaska – finally decided it was time to do the snow-bird thing. My mom retired in 2015 from the Anchorage School District, where she worked as a speech therapist for years, and rather than hang out in Alaska to enjoy our beautiful summers, they decided to find some farmland in the middle of Oregon and spend their summer getting settled in.

    And when I discovered that their place is in the middle of the best Oregon wine country, OBVIOUSLY we needed to visit! And what kind of photographer would I be if I didn’t pack a few dresses for my littles with the express purpose of capturing the incredible golden sunsets that actually occur at bedtime (rather than midnight, like they do in Anchorage…)

    What I loved about this was that we spent no time getting ready – I don’t even think I brushed the kids hair – we tossed their dresses on, ran out into the backyard and photographed for maybe 15 minutes.

    They were relaxed – and I just let them be free to play and explore. Portraits don’t have to be painful. Photography truly can be fun and wild and free. Kids bring the magic, I just capture them doing their thing.











    This is my absolute favorite way to do children’s photography. Let the kids be kids.

    Luckily, we do have a magical time of year in Anchorage when we have this light available. It’s usually September/fall. The sun set is early enough that we have golden light right before bedtime, and often, we get some beautiful sunny (albeit cold/crips!) days to send us into winter.

    But also – I travel 🙂

  • Happy Halloween // Anchorage Kids Portraits

    I adore Halloween. It’s one of my very favorite holidays! Although i totally hate scary movies – so… go figure…

    The costumes, the decorations – the whole deal – it’s just so much fun! And truly – I think that’s what i love about it. It’s just for fun! An opportunity for everyone to dress up as anything they like – and really go all out – and just own it. I think if I had lived in a place where it was going on, I would totally have been into the comic-con thing – but alas, I missed out on all that excitement…

    And even though they seriously change their minds every 5 minutes about what they want to ‘be’ – i love doing Halloween with my kiddos.

    This year Torah decided she wanted to be a pumpkin. I was pretty cool with that, at least she didn’t say she wanted to be Elsa… because for real – the Elsa costumes are like 3 times more than any other princess. Can we say racket?

    Anyway – pumpkin was something i could get behind – and Harper just kept saying she wanted to dress up. Whenever I suggested anything after that phrase (dress up as _____) she would yell “NO! I want to DRESS UP!” so i wasn’t quite sure if she even understood the concept – and i made the executive decision to go with 2 pumpkin costumes, because really – chances were good that when push came to shove Harper was going to want to be whatever Torah was.

    so – a little google search of “easy no sew pumpkin costumes” set me on the path to these super easy creations. They totally refused to wear the hats we made, but we had fun making them anyway. The original design was for plain orange t-shirts and you made the jack-o-lantern faces with black self adhesive foam – but target had the shirts with the glitter faces already on them, so… WIN!! I had already decided I wasn’t going to bother with the elastic on the bottom and stuffing the shirts, cause I know my kids. They would HATE that. Some sparkly tutus and wham. Done.

    Then pictures – oye ve- it was like pulling teeth! I literally had to sit there with Reeses Pieces to get them to cooperate. I was getting a whole lot of this:

    DSYPhotography-9404 DSYPhotography-9383 DSYPhotography-9381

    And then they started to get silly… which is far better than the previous, but still – can you just LOOK at me?!?!DSYPhotography-9375

    And this was the best we did. Good enough – I’ll take it! They made me work for it though…


  • I love DADDY!

    I’m sure all moms can relate to this one, but it’s still a WTF moment. Harps was sitting on the counter while we were prepping dinner and I tried to give her a kiss. She wriggled away and started hollering “NO!” at me.

    I said something to the effect of – “what, no love for mommy?!” To which Chris responds from the dining room – “Do you love daddy Harper?!”

    Harper – quick to perceive an opportunity to weave strife into the room responds back with “YES! I love DADDY!! I have kisses for DADDY!”

    So he waltzes over, grinning like the Cheshire cat, snuggles in for a hug and a kiss and saunters back into the dining room, one hug happier.


    Thankfully Torah is almost always ready to swoop in when Harper slights one of us to make up the difference and provide hugs and kisses above and beyond, so I got a little love from at one of my offspring, to take the edge off the sting of rejection.
    Kids are such assholes.

    Good thing they’re cute.
    I feel Taylor Swift said it best – “I knew you were trouble when you walked in…” she is. Trouble with a capitol “T”. Just like Two, with a capital “T”… coincidence? I think not…


  • Chloe // 1 year cake smash // children’s photography

    When Chloe’s mom’s showed me this adorable Beatrix Potter dress I was instantly in love. I adore it! Even if it wasn’t Beatrix themed, it would be an adorably vintage and whimsical dress for a little lady to wear – but I grew up on Miss Potter. And so did Chloe’s mom – so I knew it was a super special find.

    Although the last time I tried to read Peter Rabbit to my 4 year old I was struck by the severity of the story. I mean – they didn’t sugar coat things back then! Old Mr. McGregor was seriously trying to kill that rabbit. No bones about it!

    But I digress…

    I had the opportunity to capture some 1 year images for Chloe while I was in Seattle recently and i just die for the trees there! They are so big! I love the giant maples and their huge leaves – and obviously kids do too! When I saw this little stair step area I knew we had to shoot there. I always love finding little gems like this in a new place! Even if the rest of the world has photographed there – I never have, and it was just so lovely. I was in heaven!

    And to reward Chloe for being such a perfectly behaved little model – we let her have cake of course! Although I’m pretty sure she was much more interested in the strawberries on top… can’t blame her – they were pretty good!

    Happy 1 year you adorable little creature! I can’t believe how quickly you have grown – and I look forward to many more milestone images with you!


  • 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.




    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