Yep, we are one of those families that has had to address simple bathroom fundamentals.I am so proud of my kids! My son has been so incredibly brave and strong and has not given up, even on the darkest days. His brother has been supportive every step of the way. This is no more a personal choice than the diabetes we encountered 13 years ago. In the last two years, I have learned more about unconditional love, strength and patience then I have learned in a lifetime. It’s certainly not necessary that everyone understand. I want to have two healthy happy boys that know their value, because they are invaluable to me.We have said goodbye to the past and hello to the future. The grieving is over!We choose to celebrate our life and make sure we all feel whole. This Is Us…….now, Sidney, go be exactly who you want to be……and I will be right beside you.By an incredibly proud mom of a transgender son …………..
as a child i was painfully shy and introverted. i hid behind my outgoing and outspoken older sister. a lot. as a teenager i was shy and self conscious. i was artistic, sensitive and extremely creative. i wrote, stayed in a lot, and led a very sheltered life even through college. i have no regrets about that…though. i remember walking the campus of Penn State with a fishing tackle box in one hand (filled with watercolors and ink for my art classes), my thick Shakespeare book in the other and my camera around my neck…always my camera.
senior year my parents allowed me and my camera to go to Paris. that trip opened up something in me that forever changed my outlook and perspective. even though i was finishing my degree in literature and writing, the beauty of that trip triggered a deep passion for photo jouornalism and portraiture. when i returned i was not the same person in may ways. it was, the very first time i realized that the big world was out there waiting for me to engage with it.
fast forward to me spending a year after college ‘hiding out’ as my father called it… during that time i studied our family albums… and fell in love with the black and white images throughout my grandfather’s many photos. i looked at them over and over not knowing that my life would also be filled with photos. those simple childhood days fueled a fire in me that burns still. there were 4 grandchildren all one year apart and we spent a lot of time at our grandparents’ house playing and eating junk food. i escaped the smoke from all of the many cigarettes upstairs in the kitchen by my family and retreated to the basement where said photo albums (and said junk food) and cleaner air were stored. it dawns on me now just where my passion for being the family historian originated…my grandfather. he was a hard working self-made man. brilliant–he had to pass up a scholarship to MIT for electrical engineering due to being color blind. he was the son of an italian immigrant who married an italian immigrant (making my mom a pure bred italian–something she is very proud of). he was passionate and quite accomplished in his life ending up being the president of the AFL-CIO and the Pittsburgh Building Trades Union. those albums had many images of him at business events in a tailored suit and tie in addition to images of the smoky family spaghetti/chianti dinners. there were even a few prominent inaugural invitations in there.
but what i remember most is that he always wanted to share photos with people and was so proud. newly developed pics were always something to bond with and to smile about during a visit to their house. and i remember his engineer-like handwriting on the back of each image (and next to it in some cases) indicating who everyone was… (something i found myself doing to our family albums after i finished treatment for ovarian cancer so the boys would know who everyone was IF they ever found themselves looking back at my dusty stash of albums. a girl can dream right?) indeed his influence was strong.
i liked the idea of being the ‘family historian’ just like him…the documentarian…the family photographer. i liked the idea of making sure everyone is in the photos and is captured perfectly and respectfully preserved in an album. i liked the idea of enjoying the passage of time…and of reflecting back on it as a chance to relive it. i ‘see’ you and the love that surrounds you.
anyone who’s ever known me knows that i almost always have my camera (or two) with me…for simple every day-days, play dates, travel, summer adventures, events, parties–just about everything. i’ve always resisted getting in front of the camera and preferred being behind it. portraits are my passion and photography is my job yet i’ve never felt like i’ve ‘worked’ a day in my life. capturing the moments of life as they unfold. often times i’ll be walking around town or hiking and see a family trudging along with their little ones and i’ll stop and ask for their camera or phone so i can snap a photo for them and make a memory. (they always light up–and it makes my day!)
with friends, family, clients (and everyone in between) i am the historian, and the artist, the introvert noticing the connections and details in your life than you probably are not noticing…the ones that may seem small in the moment but are larger than life in retrospect. you can be sure what in working with me you are going to be well documented!
i absolutely love what i do. photo journalism is in my blood. it’s something that makes me feel needed, appreciated, respected, loved and cherished. it’s the space where i truly belong. so i’d love the chance to work with you and yours in the very near future–whether it’s a family event, senior photos, a beginning of life or end of life celebration, a birthday party, a regular photo session or a day-in-the-life session. i can assure you…i’m your girl.
thanks to my dear grandfather for starting the spark in me. i miss you and can’t wait until we can compare our albums together again someday over a few glasses of chianti.
now back to editing yesterday’s session. true bliss. (i can’t wait to share those images!) stay tuned!
we all have ’em. we all think about them. we all use them to navigate the chaos that is life. some of us avoid them and some of us live by them. i am kind of in the middle to be honest. i think about them… a lot. and jot them down in notebooks scattered around my desk. they do motivate me and sometimes they even inspire me. ok, more often than not they inspire me. particularly when it comes to photography.
do you have a list of images you’d like to have to highlight your life…or the lives of your kids or pets? what kind of moments do you want to have when you a reflecting on the passage of time and all of the changes life has in store for us all? i think a lot about these lists. and as an artist, a mom, and a cancer survivor i do a lot of reflecting. and i am so grateful to have all of the images that i do to cherish. to me, photography serves as a way to live life twice…once in the moment and then again in reflection. i’ve kept on these lists and am so proud of the wealth of memories i have to comfort me when i feel life is slipping by too quickly…
the best camera you have is the one with you. i am so glad i’ve always had my camera handy to capture these stories of our life. and when i wasn’t able to personally capture them..i’m glad i had invested in a professional photographer to document for me. my motto is, experiences over things, and photos to enhance and forever preserve memories. life is a series of lists…but this one will last well beyond our own lives…
here are just a few of the moments captured that were on my list…
oh how i love love love first birthday smash cake parties….i love the chaos and the mess (of the smashing part) and the squeals of delight by the smasher. and then there are the many fans cheering on said smasher…ahh all of it is just so fun. and i always stay way too long…taking way too many images with too many cameras. and i’ve even been known to stay and clean up too~!
and to be perfectly honest– i really wish i had a photographer capture my sons’ first birthday parties. what an absolute joy that would be to look back on and treasure for years and years.
this lovely family hires me for many events and i adore being around them. in addition to regular family photo sessions, we did baby sister’s first birthday party a few years ago as well. take a look back HERE
this little guy was hysterical to watch. he approached the cake with complete caution. mom is careful with sugar intake for the kids so he just wasn’t sure what to do with this yummy homemade confection placed in front of him.
but, he very soon figured what all of the encouragement from the nearby cheering section was for!
such an adorable and happy family. it’s never work to photograph them when i am invited over.
thanks, once again, for trusting in me to capture your lovely family memories. year after year it’s been a true honor to be a part of your lives. i adore you guys and the love you share!
i loved that when this client contacted me about photos she wanted to meet in person. in this age of digital and impersonal communication it’s hard to truly connect in a phone call or an email. to me connections are what life is all about so it was an easy request to fulfill. we sat at starbucks for several hours chatting about family, life and photography. i loved her instantly. and i knew, because of our personal connection, that our session together set for a few weeks later would be just as lovely.
and it was. the sun was out in full force but it served us well by warming up the kids so photographing the group was as easy as can be. they absolutely swallowed me up with their smiles and excitement for the shoot. there weren’t any awkward moments even though we had a pretty large group to capture before that afternoon sunset.
i applaud families that recognize the gift of time together and invest in capturing it. and it’s truly an honor to be chosen. i know just how many incredible talented photographers we have here in colorado. i appreciate the opportunity to share my passion and talent with the families who trust me to document their moments.
mom admitted to me during our coffee together that she and her husband had’t been photographed together in 20 years. she asked if we could set some time for just them to do a quick mini session. of course we did! and how adorable are they?
and i got to spend some time with each individual family as well.
thank you ALL for working with me to capture your special family time this past holiday season. i truly enjoyed being around each of you!