HELLO + WELCOME
TO THE BLOG
That you are here - that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
January, like a rare soul-friend, soothes my soul in the quietening of Minnesota winter.
In the past few months, photography, writing and engaging on social media have taken a back seat to personal life stuff <insert passing of my grandma, parents with heart attacks and strokes, foreign travel, a new job, holidays + simply life with 4 kids> and so, my creative energy... gone.
But then January arrives. My favorite month of the year.
As the year turns, January brings rest. Reflection. And meditation through reading and personal writing. (And permission to wear the same yoga pants for several days on end.) Daytime coffee soothes, and come darkness, a glass of red wine awaits. January is when ideas visit more often, and these inspirations sometimes pile up one on top of the other until I have to get off the couch and go for a run to sort them out. (If you've read Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic, you know what I'm talking about.) But mostly, like an old friend, January is content to sit comfortably with me in the silence as my soul rests, and rejuvenates for the adventure of what will be 2016.
January and I have been thinking a lot about living wide open, and vulnerably. What holds me back from being all that I am created to be? If I am created good (which I believe we all are) then what good am I leaving in this world? For my kids? For my neighbors? My community? For the every people my life naturally brings me into connection with? As my pastor Steve asks in his book Beginnings, what is your great gift you bring into this world? In order to GIVE fully, I must first learn to LIVE fully. Instead of going through the motions of another Monday - Friday, I must be intentional about delighting in the normal, everyday of life. Working, laundry, dishes, squabbling kids at bedtime... all of it. I love this quote by poet Jack Gilbert who encourages us to step into that great adventure of goodness + joy, no matter how sad, mundane or painful this life can often be.
In a really practical aspect, I've been working on leaving "good" in this world by preserving pictures. I am blessed to do this as a Photographer but as a mother, I want to ensure my children have pictures to remember how loved and enjoyed they were. When the photography business slows, January and I have been organizing and storing 13 years of digital family images. We've been at it for three years now but slowly getting to the current day! And, you know those iphone pictures you simply upload to your computer and never weed through because you need more space on your iphone, now? I'm pretty excited about getting those Instagram snapshots printed into CHATBOOKS! Preserving these memories is a delight for me, and I'm stubbornly plugging away at it.
My current social media project is photo-storying my Haiti experience. Last November, I photographed at two orphanages in Haiti. And it has taken more time than I expected to process what was a scary, exciting, overwhelming and life changing trip. After whittling down over 4000 pictures, part one of my Haiti story is scheduled to be on the blog later this week. I can't wait to share it with you.
Now that February is here, I am stretching my arms and legs, excited spring, and the year ahead. (But still in my yoga pants and drinking coffee, most of the time....)
Thank you for being here in spite of our long absence. Your presence is noticed.
Risk delight today.
I love nothing more than to give gifts that last! Which is one reason I LOVE my job as a photographer.
And I would be honored to help YOU give that gift of timelessness to that couple, family, friend, co-worker, pregnant mom.... anyone you can think of who would be blessed to have photos that capture the love + joy of their every day relationships, or those pivotal once-in-a lifetime moments.
Choose any amount, starting at $50, up to a full session. Fast, free shipping.
Applies toward any session with Leaves of Grass Photography.
TO ORDER TODAY: E-mail Pamela directly HERE.
Hurry! Last day to order: Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2016
Their love endured a 3 year long distance relationship until Phil recently moved back to Minnesota from Iowa. This fall, Ashley and Phil were engaged and are overjoyed to finally "be" together!
I invited Phil and Ashley to meet me over coffee before heading out for our session. I'd already met Ashley but wanted to get to know them as a couple before we took out the camera. Ashley is the owner of Preston Floral and Gift in Preston, MN (can you guess who will be doing florals for her wedding? I cannot WAIT to see her artistry in person!) and Phil works in sports physical therapy. They may keep busy with their jobs but also find time to be together, visit coffee shops or spend time outdoors. Their warm personalities and love for each other was no match for a cold December engagement session. They have a sweet, genuine vibe together that the camera simply adores.
After our session, Ashley sent the most heartwarming note: "Thank you again so much! We talked all night about how much fun we had! We had a rough week and that session made everything better! We both feel so comfortable with you! Amazing how we ended up finding you... We're so lucky!" But wait, I'M the one who is feeling lucky here! It continues to amaze me how incredible my wedding couples are. I can already tell 2016 is going to be amazing!
Phil and Ashley, I cannot wait to story-tell your outdoor wedding this June near Rochester, MN! Until then, here is a blog preview celebrating your love. Enjoy!
After our outdoor session, Phil and Ashley warmed up at Eden Prairie's beautiful Dunn Bros at the Douglas Moore house. A perfect way to end the session, being the coffee lovers they are!
A huge thank you to the Eden Prairie Dunn Bros for letting us use your beautiful shop for a few photos!
A few months ago I received an e-mail asking if I would be interested in going to Haiti with a new non-profit humanitarian organization needing photographs for their new website and other materials. I was honored and of course, said yes without much hesitation. This November, I am excited to be working in Haiti for 12 days creating photographs that are intended to make a positive impact, especially for women and children. I also look forward to looking up into these smiling faces helping fit on new shoes!
(Photograph from ConnecTeams)
I used to listen to stories and look at the photographs my Uncle would bring back from his photography trips to Haiti. After looking at my National Geographic magazines, I would head into the woods with my camera pretending I was just on a new expedition! I have studied God's word and understand His heart is simple: to love the poor, orphan and widow. I feel so fortunate for this opportunity to give back to Him, and to others, in this way.
They say Photographers have had a love affair for Haiti for years. There are many stories and images that we see here in America from countries, like Haiti. And as a Photographer, I naturally go to Haiti these preconceived ideas, and whether they are skewed or not, I will get to see that for myself. But my prayer and hope is that I can be open to seeing these beautiful people and their amazing country with new eyes. And bring back truth, beauty and untold stories that honor Haiti and its people.
I will be away from all internet access and cell coverage until November 22, 2015.
BUT LET IT PRODUCE JOY."
- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Meeting families like this reminds me again and again why I love my job as a lifestyle photographer. Story-telling has always been my passion, and when I get to document the most precious life relationships, like family, I feel so very, very lucky.
Even more, after our session, I got the most heart-warming message in my inbox: "...everyone is feeling pretty happy about this... even if the photos somehow got lost, it was a great occasion to hug and enjoy each other's company!" THIS. THIS perspective is exactly what I hope for all the families I get to photograph. During the session I want them to feel and be genuinely thankful for each other! Because when they are, joy happens! And joy naturally results in amazing pictures because it comes from within. Our afternoon ended with a mini-cake smash for A's 1st birthday! I can't think of a better way to end a session than all-you-can-eat cake, anyway!
Thank you for letting me in on your joy. I loved meeting you, and spending time getting to know you. May our paths cross again in the near future!