Saturday, December 31, 2011


So I like hanging out around smart people. The kind of smart people who take an everyday moment and turn it into something life-changing. Smart people who have an idea - that at first glance seems unexpected - but aren't afraid to make it into something real. 

Enter Karl and Jennifer.  They just got married.  Two weeks ago, to be exact.  And I had the amazing good fortune to join them on their day.  But wait - - I'm getting ahead of myself.....

You see, this whole story starts with a fateful elevator ride.  On an ordinary day.  At work, no-less.  That unassuming, everyday moment evolved into a marvelous relationship, that further evolved into a marriage proposal just a year ago.  On the beautiful shores of Jamaica.

And, to make things complete, this story returned to Jamaica (two weeks ago to be exact) for a wedding.  Just two people.  Making promises to one another.  Perfectly intimate.  Full of joy and meaning.

Well, two people, plus two tag-a-longs.  You see, Jennifer did this really smart thing.  She invited a photographer (that's me) and the photographer's husband (that's Ray) to join them for their wedding.  Jennifer knew she wanted this day to stand apart.....To be different from the previous week that she and Karl would spend relaxing in glorious Jamaica. 

So, after a wedding ceremony and a toast and more Jamaican tradition, Jennifer and Karl continued to celebrate their day with portraits, all over the resort and the local area.

It was such a beautiful day.  A day that indeed stood apart. Jennifer and Karl documented and honored their day.  To later share with friends and family.  To hold their new memories. Together.

See what I mean?




























Without hesitation, I can say that photographing this wedding was one of my highlights of 2011. Obviously, it was the opportunity for an amazing trip to Jamica with my husband.  But equally so, it was the opportunity to share the day with Jennifer and Karl. It was an electric experience. What a joy to be a part of something so beautiful.....So beautiful in fact that I am rethinking where I may want to focus my photographic future.....

Thank you Jennifer and Karl. My very best to you in all your years to come.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


There's something universal about the photos we take this time of year.  Just check out the albums posted all over Facebook.....Stacks of wrapped packages.  Frenetically flying wrapping paper.  All that electric  excitement.  Posed photos with extended family.  Piles of cousins stuffed into a chair, donning their best "cheeeeeese" grins.   Holiday platters (used just once a year) for those family-favorite recipes.  Prayers said and meals shared. 

It doesn't really matter whether houses are adorned with Christmas trees, nativity scenes, or menorahs. The holidays shine a bright light on the fact that what really matters to us is basically the same, from house to house to house....

I also find comfort that the photos pretty much stay the same from year to year.  For each photo I took this year, I found nearly the same pose or shot from last year (and the year before....)

To me, the pictures reaffirm my belief that there really is something magic about this time of year.  And we want to hold on to it just a little longer.  So, we pack the camera with us, because eventually, at some point in the often-frantic rush, we finally S-L-O-W down.....We savor the excitement in our kids eyes. We find the joy in good food and good friends.   We relax in the company of family, from far and near.  And we pull out that camera.....

You can see it in our snapshots.

Capturing just a bit of this magic - well, this is what holiday snapshots are for.  They catch and hold the fleeting moments for us.  And, they weave a thread through the years, tying up our memories. 

Of course, in spite of their similarities from album to album, these pictures tell our story.  A story of our dearest ones.  A story of tradition and comfort and giving and love. 


Here is our 2011 holiday snapshot.    

(For some reason, I thought black and white worked best this year.  Sorry mom. :)

First, the scene Christmas morning, obviously before the kids woke up.  Shorted-out lights on the tree and all.....

And now they're up, and paper is frenetically flying, just as predicted.....

At our house, it isn't Christmas without Lego's.

During the course of gift-opening, Anna changed clothes three times, donning an updated outfit each time she unwrapped something new.  Everyone paused for a few moments during her wardrobe change, and then the festivities resumed.

My four-year-old fashionista.  (Really, who's kid is this??)


Ray is such a good sport when it comes to the holidays.  I'm so grateful for that!  (If not, we'd all be miserable....)

I wonder how many millions of households had Steve Jobs sitting under the tree this Christmas. 

Surveying the aftermath.....

Anna's big gift was a hit.....

And so was Henry's .....

Okay - so the picture below.....

Yes, YES - that is the whole set of Disney princess dolls. (I know!!) 

Of course, Anna LOVES these dolls.....  

She really, really, really wanted a Barbie, and I wasn't giving in on that one.  Not yet.  So the princesses were my compromise.  They are much less curvy than Barbie.  And, during story time, I tell a much more princess-empowered version of each fairy tale.  (Man, you should hear how Cinderella really puts that glass slipper to use....) 

I was also more than a little relieved when Anna cut the crowns off of each princess head almost right away.  "Mama, you just can't wear a crown all the time."  

You sure got that right sister.....


Even more afternoon fun.  Uncle Rick provided the remote control helicopter and obviously, we were all quite mesmerized.  (well, half mesmerized, half tracking its every movement to avoid bodily injury).

For some reason, this is one of my favorite shots.  Just sitting around.  It reminds me that we don't do this often enough.  Playing.  Enjoying one anothers company.

This picture feels like home to me.

My sweet kiddos.  Also good sports, indulging their mother's Christmas night, photo-taking whims....

It really was a wonderful holiday.  I loved every minute of it.

And I'll be more than happy to capture all of these moments again next year.