casual

Jordan's Maternity Session - Laguna Beach

The morning after St. Patty's day, with the beach all to ourselves, I met up with Jordan and her husband Nick to photograph their growing baby bump. They chose the same beach they were married and it made it a super special shoot. Jordan's inspiration for the shoot stressed a casual lifestyle, that is the epitome of their personalities. Just the two of them enjoying a most lovely day at the beach, waiting patiently to meet their new one!

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and hug your own curves // an intimate portrait session

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Finally sharing this most beautiful intimate boudoir session. Below are the highlights. We wanted to mix the modern boudoir ideas of the white sheet and bathtub with a warm, relaxed vibe. Drawing inspiration from classical paintings, the session was all about embracing oneself, connecting with the body in order to see the soul. 

Kiss your own fingertips

and hug your own curves.

You are made of waves of honey

and spicy peppers when it is necessary.

You are a goddess,

I hope you haven't forgotten.

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poem by Emery Allen

Mother Daughter Self Portrait Series - Long Beach

Happy Mama's Day! I can vividly recall a moment in time, long before my daughter was in my arms. It was in this moment, that it was so very clear to me what I wanted to be.

You see, I went off to college thinking I had to go. I had to learn something, that could get me a job and basically set up my life forever and ever. I had applied to colleges in an interesting matter. Each college I applied to was with the intent of studying a different material. I didn't really want to be anything. So when the acceptance letters came in, my choice came with not only a school--but set up what I thought I'd be doing for the rest of my life. I throughly enjoyed art; I appreciated it earnestly and so after careful consideration the school that was my art path was selected and off I went.

But it was later in a moment of hysterical tears streaming down my face, brought on by a stressful, competition riddled college and a beautiful case of PMS, that I dramatically blurted out, to my boyfriend at the time, that all I really wanted to do was be a mom. I had broken down and thought I was never gonna make money (I was doing a lot of free work at the time). Therefore I would never have the funds to support a kid. I thought for sure I was just destined to never be able to have them. And the one thing I wanted, ever, was to be a mom. That's all I wanted.

Looking back I clearly was amazing girlfriend material, so many guys love a super-young-crying over wanting a baby-girlfriend! While that was not the prettiest moment in my life. I was vulnerable. I was embarrassed. I even remember thinking it wasn't right--so many woman had worked so hard for equality that  JUST wanting to be a mom seemed like a betrayal.

But every once in a while I like to remember that moment, that night. When my heart was breaking and I knew what I wanted, a single thing-my baby.

Maybe it was about a year later, that I got what my heart desired. My baby came without any plan. And despite the hardships, the trials that came with an unplanned pregnancy, I know She and I were planned, just by someone a lot smarter than me.


So when I asked Billy to take some portraits with my yesterday she said "sine" which is "fine." She can't quite get those Fs down. But as we went to her closet, she was adamant she didn't have the right clothes. After pulling out her entire dress collection I said then you'll just have to be naked. She looked at me, smiled, and threw off her shirt and that settled our wardrobe choices. However, I must say that taking self portraits, while trying to hide some delicate parts AND have your three year old insist she should click the wireless remote shutter and not  really know about hiding it, the "session" was one of the more difficult ones I have done.

 

From my Body

Here's to my little budding photographer. A mommy and me collaboration.

 

 

Ocean Calling

The ocean, the beach- it's like pure medicine to me. I need to live near it. Too much time without gazing at the horizon, too much time without touching my toes to the water, or walking on the sand and I break a little inside. While California water gets cold, dipping into it and floating on its surface, the temperature doesn't matter to me. It's healing and as I grow older, I become more and more self aware of a much needed connection I have to the sea that I just cannot ignored. During my time in college, a great professor, downright scared me. He scared me because he spoke of "burning out." He shared that many students he would talk with after graduating did not want to photograph anymore. Since then, I have burnt out, many times.  My relationship with photography has been a continual rollercoaster of love and hate. I'm always wanting to get better and in response to this, I've gotten angry. I push myself and I burn out. But, then I get anxious and I need to create. I need to pick up that camera.

The ocean helps. It inspires. It heals. It reignites the flame. It's a reset for me, a way of stepping back and acknowledging the grandness of the world. It's hard to do that in the world today. There is a constant demand of instant, new work. Share! Share! Share! But it's in those moments of rest for me that the seed of something great has time to develop, to be created. I need to live a life, in order to create something lasting.

The ocean is an inspiration to so many and means a great different things to people. But here, this story is a reflection of the calm, the quiet, and the stillness it can bring directly to one's soul.

Model Kelly Coker shows up as the ultimate beach goddess in Malibu, California.

Makeup by Maddie Buffardi

Photography & Art Direction: Sidney Kraemer

Photography Assistant: Alexa Smith

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