• Whittier Kingfisher Regatta // Alaska boat life // Lifestyle Photography

    My friends over at Alaska Mining and Diving supply sell some pretty amazing boats. Top of their list are the Kingfishers. Every Summer, AMDS and Kingfisher sponsor a fishing tournament in Whittier, Alaska – for all the kingfisher owners. The tournament lets the fishermen compete in several categories – largest fish, largest shrimp, etc. It’s a great excuse to just get your family out and not only catch some fish – but add a little extra incentive to the competition with prizes. Who doesn’t love swag?

    This year, I was invited to come and photograph the event! I came to capture some shots of what the Alaska boating life is all about. We could not have asked for a more amazing day. The morning started early (you gotta get up to catch those fish!!) with some boats pulling out of the harbor as early as 5 am. At a more reasonable hour (7 am) I met up with the AMDS crews to capture the rest of the boats leaving the dock, heading out in the morning fog.

    It was magical.

    The sun came out shortly after 8 am and it was a beautiful day to be in Prince William Sound. As the boats began to return, there were smiles everywhere. Families took their kids, their friends, their dogs – and you can see that there is this fantastic community and camaraderie with the captains.

    This is the Alaska life – with boats. Seriously – do you have a boat yet? Maybe think about it 🙂

    prince William sound kingfisher boat

    kingfisher in the fog Whittier alaska

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    Whittier dock fishing life

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    Alaska shrimp prince William sound fishing

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    fishing community alaska Whittier

    Whittier alaska dock cleaning fish

  • 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.

    Whittier Alaska Mountains

    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.

    Alaska kids fishing Whittier beach

    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!!

    kids camping bedtime story alaska life

    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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    Alaska kids on a boat life jacket

    Alaska shrimping kids boat life shrimp pot fishing

    Alaska beach combing Whittier coast

    alaska boat life kids chores cleanup Whittier dock

    kids on a boat life jacket alaska prince William sound

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    Whittier prince William sound alaska water like glass buoy

  • Pensacola Beach // Family Vacation Photography // Part 1

    So anyone keeping track can see that I have been to the beach an amazing number of times this year. I really should have spaced things out better – I know…

    But our Pensacola Beach trip was extra special. This was a trip we actually took back in April – a massive family reunion to celebrate my grandfather’s 90th birthday – which is a pretty amazing thing. He’s an amazing man – and so healthy – so it was a great time to get all of our extended family together – whom we rarely see since we live in Ak – and everyone else is basically in Alabama. It’s long day of travel for sure…

    Anyway – I made a deal with my mom that I would photograph, basically, the entire week, in exchange for her keeping my kids for a week while Chris and I went to Maui for our anniversary…

    And to be honest, I’m really not sure that I would have been shooting as much if I hadn’t made that deal – but I’m actually REALLY glad that I did. The images that I captured during that week are SO much fun to look back on. We rented this enormous beach house (thanks VRBO…) and it was the perfect home base for everyone. Everyone being a total of 23 adults and 7 children under the age of 5. It was crazy. But we also had the beach basically to ourselves, since it was the off season. The first couple days the weather was overcast – although still warm – but I loved the light. And the breeze. I die for an ocean breeze…DSYPhotography-5658 DSYPhotography-5490 DSYPhotography-5514 DSYPhotography-5544

    This was Harper’s first trip to the beach and she was NOT having the sand. Luckily Torah was the same way when she was little, so I came prepared with some water shoes. After a couple days she got over it, thankfully! Because who wants to be on the beach with shoes?!DSYPhotography-5570 DSYPhotography-5591 DSYPhotography-5682 DSYPhotography-5700 DSYPhotography-5724

    This guy – the reason for all of us being there. Yes – he’s a photographer as well. And yes, he still shoots film. Love his style! DSYPhotography-6742

    I think this is the only picture of him smiling from the week. He’s a tough customer – but I did get one…DSYPhotography-5797

    So obviously, a beautiful beach, great soft light – easy. But what I actually find to be my favorites, and the images I shot in the house while we were all together. Yes, the light was beautiful – but equally were the shadows. I just sort of kept my camera on my shoulder or in a quick and convenient place and kept my eyes opened. And the magic of every day life just unfolded around me. Everyone was so happy to be together, that it was just natural and perfect.

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    But OBVIOUSLY we had to do everyone’s family portraits on the beach, which was loads of fun, and we had some epic sunsets so I got some delicious golden light. Stay tuned for part 2 to see some of those…

    It was such a wonderful and memorable trip – but already faded in my memory – until I look through these images and am transported back – to the smell of the salt water – the sound of the waves crashing on the shore – the delicious humidity on my skin – and of course – the warmth of being with the people I love most in the world. These images are priceless for that alone.

    So… have camera. Will travel 😉

  • Nassau, Bahamas // family stories

    My middle sister turned 30 this year (don’t even ask how old that makes me) and that is kind of a big deal – so one of her best friends planned an amazing surprise trip to celebrate. I was so excited to be able to go, and it was a kid-free trip, which is the first one of those I’ve been on in… 4.5 years… but who’s counting?!

    I adore traveling, especially to foreign countries, and the ocean is my ‘place’ – so anywhere i can just sit on the beach and drink rum punch with the occasional excursion is fine by me!

    We decided on Nassau, which was a fairly quick flight from Houston and I cannot rave about this place enough.

    Side Note: We did not tell my sister where we were going. At all. Literally, we were in the Houston airport and she looks at the sign and says, “Where the F is Nassau?!” It was like 30 minutes into the flight before anyone announced anything about the  Bahamas over the intercom. She then died of excitement.

    So back to Nassau – Clearest. Water. Ever. Like crystal. And bathwater warm! Forget the beach – I just floated around in the amazing water for a week. The sunsets were so beautiful, and the one sunrise that I dragged my ass out of bed for was also amazing.


    We were staying in a lovely VRBO that was right on the water. Open the front door, confront the massive heat wave that hits you like a ton of bricks, immediately begin to sweat as you walk down a little concrete set of stairs (you know, a little high water barrier to keep the homes safe or whatever) and here you are. DSYPhotography-3523

    It was hotter than hades, so really – you did want to be in the water (or the Air Conditioning) during the day – but hey, it was July – what do you expect?


    And the people are SO friendly. It’s definitely an island fueled by tourism, and thus, everyone wants to make sure you have an amazing time. And it truly was. I even put my camera on hold for most of the trip and only took a few pics – because really – I was in the water most of the time!



    My gorgeous sister, ascending the Queen’s staircase. Check the history out on this place. I had no idea about any of the Bahamian involvement in the wars. Pretty crazy stuff!


    Obligatory vacation food post! Obviously they have lots of fish. Red snapper from the local fish market – so delicious! And probably the most affordable meal we made. Groceries are not cheap… You’ve been warned!DSYPhotography-3632

    The textures and colors are amazing. So many amazing trees and flowers! DSYPhotography-3641


    Update: Yes, we did spend a day at Atlantis. It was super cool, but also soooo crazy/busy! I was really glad we didn’t stay there, but it was a really fun place to spend a day exploring. We did all the water slides, played in the pools and drank delicious frozen cocktails – in the pool – so that was awesome.