My mission is to save lives. Not literally, of course. I can't actually save lives, but I do save memories of life. I save memories in a way that won't fade and I save them for a time when you will love them more than you can even imagine it today.
See how a day in my life looked in 2016 <3
DITL = Day In The Life :)
I smile all the time
An odd side effect of this is that I constantly type in smiley faces :) But only when I'm really smiling. :) Which is always :) Truly. :)
I laugh a lot too
I'm not even always aware I'm doing it. Almost everything makes me laugh, but especially naughty children. So if your kids are not listening, I'll probably be laughing. Even if it's me they're not listening to. Sorry about that. :)
I am very close with my family
I have a large extended family and feel lucky to have all those wonderful people in my life. I am the oldest of 3 girls and I have 3 boys that keep me on my toes and constantly falling in love. My hubby is pretty great too. ;)
I LOVE the great outdoors!
I grew up in Michigan hiking, camping, fishing, boating, and on and on. It's good for the soul and always good for a recharge. :)
I really have all kinds of random quirks
I love wearing hats. I regularly grow my hair out for 18 months and then chop it off super short. And then repeat. I love cooking. I will eat anything once and genuinely enjoy almost all food. Except coleslaw. What is that? I love to sing. Loudly. :) I have a somewhat infamously large bubble of personal space. I am naturally an introvert, but I'll still animatedly and excitedly talk your ear off. I have actually been in trouble for talking too much during every stage of my life from first grade when I regularly had to finish my work during recess and on up until my first professional job as an engineer. I guess I just have a lot to say. :) I love writing and still consider writing children's books some day too.
I have a confession...
As relaxed as I am as a photographer, I am just that stressed and high strung while being photographed. After years of feeling intense stress and frustration with my naughty kids on picture day, I have finally found the answer. One glass of wine. :) I discovered that my kids are really adorable while they're being naughty, but I am not at all adorable while I am being stressed and frustrated with them. This is actually a universal truth for all parents and their children. Though your solution may be different ;)
Read through the WELCOME INFO for some great tips.
WHY FAMILY PICTURES, REAL FAMILY PICTURES, ARE SO IMPORANT TO ME
Let me tell you about my Grandmas. I loved both of my grandmas more than I can express here. When we were proud, we called my Grandma A. She had a sharp tongue with strong opinions on everything. She was always SO proud of us. I remember her asking me to make a book of all my poems for her and when I didn't get it done quickly she teased me that she would die before I ever got it done. She said it long before she got cancer and I will be forever grateful that I did get it done long before then too. I remember that her couch was permanently imprinted with her round, warm shape where she always sat.
When I think of Grandma K I think of homemade blueberry pie. I remember long days at the lake and big family parties with the fireplace burning even though the house must have been 80 degrees. I remember her last birthday and when I asked her if she was hurting, she told me that a bad birthday was better than no birthday at all. Just like Grandma A, she was round and warm and soft before she got cancer just the way a grandma should be.
Both of them were taken from me long before I was ready to give them up. Neither of my grandmas ever got to be a great grandmother, they never saw me become a mother or met my children, they never met my husband or came to my wedding, they never saw me earn my college degree, they never even got to see me walk across the stage to get my high school diploma.
I look through my memories and see their empty place settings in my life. I see in my head where I wish they were in my photographs. Where they belong. It has been 17 years and 20 years and I still feel the deep loss. I think about my own parents and how close they are getting to the same ages when their mothers were taken. I want to save every second that I have with them. I want to have 30 or 40 more years with them, but life offers no promises.
It would break my heart if my Mom refused to let me photograph her because she's getting older. Aging is a funny thing. When you're really young, you don't think about it at all. And then you slowly start to notice little things. And you can imagine those little things growing. And that's when you really need to make a decision about how to see yourself. It changes your whole life to not only accept those changes, but to love them. For me, when I see myself aging, I see my Mom. The really beautiful thing is that when I was a kid, I can remember actually thinking how much I loved what my Mom called her crow's feet. To me, they were her happy lines. And I loved them. Remembering that as an adult puts it all into perspective. The people that matter the most don't see you getting old, they see all their happy memories written and saved all over you. They love your extra weight and your extra lines. They don't even really see it, they just see the loving mom they've always had. So when I look in the mirror now, I see my Mom. It's strange and beautiful.
And I want to save it forever. I want to save a small part of today that will be forever gone tomorrow. <3