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!
Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Shot on location in Long Beach.
Makeup by Brittany Mercer
Photography by Sidney Kraemer
Inspired by the word lovely, light pink florals were mixed with a wardrobe of long laced nightgowns, grey robes and sweet negligee. We didn't want Banke to appear to made up. The makeup was kept natural with strong highlights. That extra bit of glimmer, adding a bit of fantasy. The smallest of flower petals were placed below an eye for one look, with tiny white pearls. A loose bundle of spray roses is held as a bouquet and a short white veil made an appearance with roses attached to the bottom.
In a world that demands loudness and seems made for extroverts, stillness can often be overlooked. In the quiet though, there is much beauty. In our natural state, we are lovely.
In a world, that can often be painful and ugly; be the beauty, be the light.
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.
poem by Emery Allen
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.
With Mother's Day right around the corner, I started reminiscing about when I first became a mother. I remember being worried that I wouldn't know what to do. I still can recall the first night with my baby and thinking I shouldn't go to sleep--I thought I should be doing something (How silly is that?) I ended up watching my kid sleep and missing out on those precious hours that could have helped a few nights later! Oh well, first time mom mistakes! What I do know is that taking pictures, even though that is probably the last thing you want to do in the first few days, is so incredibly special. Babies change so quickly in the first weeks/days/hours. Having those images, you can recall just how you felt in that moment.
Below is a newborn session I never shared more than a few images despite how beautiful these pictures show mom and dad with their week old babe. I always have a heart for moms, but it gets worse at this time of the year. Share in it with me here through this session!
"And so the adventure begins"
I had shot Korryne's pictures when she graduated from college. Then, after shooting her cousin's wedding, where she happened to be the maid of honor, Korryne and her mama reached out to me about doing her own wedding! Nothing makes me happier than when clients come to me repeatedly. It means they love my work and trust me!
Turning out to be the most laid back bride-to-be ever along with her super chill fiànce, Korryne and Keller showed up for their engagement session on the most beautiful overcast day in laguna. I love shooting on these type of days. I can't help but see these two as characters in a most intense love story.
Everyone, I'm pumped to share this story with you all. Shot in Los Angeles Art's District, Model Lily shows off some california winter basics for any budget.
Forming a relationship with the subject of your lens has great benefits. While I often think photographers are worried about shooting more models, shooting with someone you already have before has its benefits. Where do you think muses come from? There's a level of trust that is there and often a smooth flow, like dancing. Having a level of comfort is essential for me when shooting. I'm asking someone to be vulnerable. I might ask them to show intense emotion or do something that might seem really silly to them. If they don't trust me, it will show, seeming forced or unnatural.
This is preciously why I like to speak to my models as much as I can before shooting. I try to have everything ready even before everyone's arrival, if its possible, and that way I can talk to my people. Get to know them a little bit before I start directing them from behind the camera. I find this is especially helpful for new faces.
Shooting with Lily again, I wanted to do something very different from the beauty shoot we had done previously. Her own personal style influenced my choices and this sort of vintage street style became the movement for the shoot. I was super inspired by the makeup trends for winter this year. I've always been a fan of the classic looking cateye, in the hands of my makeup artist, Crystal came out so beautiful.
I'm a big fan of Zara and they show up a few times in this story. Proving fashion does not have to cost an arm and a leg, Zara has become a major staple in many women and men's closet. I can still recall my first time in their store. I was in high school shopping with my sister at one of our favorite places, South Coast Plaza, known for its luxury designer stores, and she exclaimed that we just had to go in to Zara. Previously, I had always looked longingly at the dressed mannequins in the window and continued on assuming it was one of those stores I could never really purchase anything at. She led me in and years later it is still a must visit during shopping excursions. Oh my goodness and now with their kids line! I can safely assume Billy's closet is over half of the Zara brand. If you haven't checked out their kids line I order you to do so right now. For some more adult looks check out our story below.
Shirt: Ella Moss
Ear Cuff: Leith
Blouse and Skirt: Zara
Model: Lily McCune
Makeup by Crystal Martinez @ Iconic Artistry
Thanksgiving is officially behind us. I hope everyone can attest to eating as much turkey as I did. And now...onward to the Christmas season! I'm sure many of you will agree with me, there is something about Christmas that just makes everything good. There is nothing I love more than seeing all the lights and decorations. I absolutely love the window displays, each transporting you to magical world. I'll admit sometimes I head to the mall, grab a cup of cocoa, and my favorite almond croissant, just to look at the over the top holiday displays. The creativity that goes into everything is just one of the reasons I love the season so much.
Another reason it remains my favorite season is the holiday parties. Holiday parties are a chance for us to show that same creativity, luxury, and opulence. One of the few things in today's casual world we can still dress up for. Perhaps it is the cold weather allowing us to wear that outrageous fur coat that automatically ups the ante or the twinkling lights that provide the perfect ambience for our floor length gown we thought we would never have a chance to wear...but let us dress to impress this holiday season.
Last week I had the pleasure of shooting Miss Taylor Anne of Brand Models. Here she shows us some perfect holiday looks from the party, to after hours. Everyone on set was loving the sequined asymmetrical dress, vintage fur coat, black velvet, and classic lingerie. What do you guys think?
Model: Taylor Anne @ Brand Models
Makeup by Sharla Sobraska
Photography & Art Direction: Sidney Kraemer