I am absolutely in love with these girls! With their fiery red hair, gentle spirits and hot pink pants, who wouldn’t love em! Jayden is the eldest and I’ve had the pleasure of working with her for a few years now. Kendall is the newest addition to the family and this was her first shoot. She was a pro though and of course she was able to rely on big sis for any tips of the trade.
Our location for this one- the family’s new Manhattan Beach home. It. Was. Gorgeous. And empty. So it served as a great modern/monochromatic backdrop. The kids loved it because due to it’s lack of furniture and appliances, it allowed their imaginations to run wild. Three floors of empty halls and open walls. You couldn’t contain their enthusiasm. They definitely kept me on my toes for this one.
My favorite part?… when mom had the genius idea to bring up this basket and use it as a photo prop. OMG, we played peek-a-boo for a good 15 minutes. We couldn’t get enough. I’ve always said that I get the best workouts on my family portrait days but not just because I run around and play with them, it’s also because I laugh the entire time. Best ab workout ever.
”Sisters don’t need words. They have perfected a language of snarls and smiles and frowns and winks – expressions of shocked surprise and incredulity and disbelief. Sniffs and snorts and gasps and sighs – that can undermine any tale you’re telling.” – Pam Brown
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” -John Muir
Three weeks ago, we headed out for a back-packing adventure to Ostrander Lake, Yosemite. Three days later we returned having hiked a total of 12.5 miles, demolished 6 freeze-dried meals, recorded one time-lapse of the lake, made two checks to a very expansive bucket list and returned home as a very happy husband and wife at the end of it all. We are now purely addicted to this sport.
Within this video I tried to capture not only the beauty of this hike but its terrain as well, in hopes to help inspire and prep others out there who are thinking about going. I used my gopro, mounted to a monopod strapped to my backpack, as well as my canon 5D Mark iii with a variety of lenses. (if you have trouble viewing this video you can open the link here through youtube- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grefiAarpIY)
Yosemite, I’ve been many times- back-packed through its “Ten Lakes” in my younger years and photographed its majesty more times than I can remember. This trip trumped them all. Maybe because I’m older? wiser? maybe I’m just more stressed these days. Who knows but it set my husband and I on a new coarse of enthusiasm. The journey to Ostrander Lake wasn’t strenuous on miles, it was only 12.5 in total, it was the direction of those miles. Going to the lake was entirely up hill. It was the perfect starter hike but, it was all up hill! LOL, Don’t feel sorry for us. It was hard, our knees were definitely quaking, our muscles shaking but our spirits were large and when we reached the top, the payoff was pure awesome sauce. The moment we saw the tip of the Lake, between the trees, we both felt like crying. It was so beautiful and we had worked so hard to get there. We had sooooo earned it and bonded over that mutual understanding. In fact, we could hear the loud sighs and cheers coming from that side of the lake all night, as we set up our camp. We only shared the lake with four other sets of back-packers that night but each time they hit the top, it brought four giant smiles to our faces.
So yes, we’re addicted to this new sport. Addicted to watching all of the nuances mother nature has to offer- feeling the weather change, watching the sky change, the smell of the leaves, observing the bats swoop as sun kisses night, the occasional deer that trots by and then the random moments of utter and complete stillness… It’s poetry. Don’t get me wrong, I love my technology but it often leads us into a never-ending “fast lane;” a lane of multi-tasking and “to-do” lists. Sometimes a break must be forced. For both. I mean,who needs couples therapy when you have the great outdoors?! And Ostrander Lake was one of the most beautiful locations we could ever hope for.
At one point Joe mentioned to me, as I prepped my camera and tripod for a five hour time-lapse, ”I’ve never watched a sunset from stat to finish before.” “Well that’s a damn shame,” I said with a smile. And so we watched. Ate dinner. Watched. Talked. Watched. And toasted the day away. “This is amazing,” he said with a hint of sun still resting across his lip and I realized, there is no way in hell that a couple could ever run out of firsts. You just have to figure them out, write em down and do them together. So that’s what we’ll do. We’ll continue to hike, visit new landscapes, work our tail ends off getting there and then we’ll talk about them. When that grows old (though I can’t see that it ever will) we’ll try something new on for size. That’s life, or should be (in my humble opinion). It’s a big world out there and I’m happy to share it with Joe. I anxiously await the next adventure.
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” -John Muir
If you look closely at the photo above, you can find Joe, near our tent, reflecting.
Just a small sample of the equipment we use and continue to love:
Last week, I had the most adorable set of twins come into my studio, complete with big blue eyes, chubby cheeks and a whole lot of personality. They were all of three months old and I instantly fell in love. I’ve known their dads for a little while now but this was our first shoot together. We had a blast. Everyone was amazing. The twins were natural born models and their dads were extremely patient… Sure we took some breaks here and there for a bottle and a diaper change (who doesn’t need that) but as soon as we went back, they were in it to win it.