Sunday, September 29, 2013

Confidence found + a WORKSHOP for YOU.

the last time ryan and i coerced oliver into 
swim lessons went just about as well as the
first two times we signed him up.

he cried, kicked, screamed

until finally we decided that
he was TRULY terrified of water
and we would try again in a few months.


family vacation.
we arrived in maui three days ago.

day one - daddy and oliver headed to the pool.

three hours later...
oliver was nonchalantly splashing
from one end of the pool to the other
with a solid look of "yeah, i got this"
on his cute little face.


and he is so proud of himself.

i love watching my kids grow
and discover confidence in themselves.

and i love the gift
of being able to capture these
fun, iconic moments of growth
with my camera.



"start from where you are
while you imagine how far you can go."

PS -

there are a few spots left
in my 
Photography Workshop - October 26th.
Sign up {here}
and spend a SUPER fun day away with some fabulous women
 gaining confidence
in using your camera to tell the stories of your family.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Bride-to-be: Transition {September Blog Circle}

my fellow confidence teachers and i opted to write on the topic of transition 
for this month's (super fun) blog circle.
as i thought about what to write about,
so many different topics came to mind - 
oliver going back to school,
leaving miles and i to transition into some (awesome) one on one time
and oliver to transition back into preschool fun with his little buddies!;
the transition of the seasons as summer gives way to fall -
the trees dropping their gorgeous leaves and
the blue skies lending to grey; and
sunday and monday nights returning to the nfl...
so many fun transitions in the air!
with fall, comes the end of (my) busy wedding season -
as i move away from weddings to family/holiday portraits...
i am recalling my AMAZING brides from this summer!

all summer long as i watched my brides walk down the aisle and 
transition from beautiful bride to be to
beautiful new wife, 
i was reminded of the incredible excitement and amazement and joy
that encompassed my own wedding and the planning that lead up to it.

the months i spent as a bride-to-be (just over five short years ago!)
were some of the greatest of my life!
the journey  - as i went from girl (madly in love) to bride-to-be to bride (still madly in love) 
was amazing. full of bliss, excitement and anticipation.

i am so thrilled to be working this fall with some incredible women (and their super rad fiances...)
who will be walking down the aisle in the coming year!
i love the squeals in their voices, the bounces in their steps
the joy and wonder surrounding them.

i was so honored to shoot the engagement portraits of
miss cambria and her groom to be, mason over the weekend.

i could have cut their excitement with a knife!
they are so in love AND so adorable together!!!!
love, love, love:

i ADORE this photo of cambria blushing/giggling. i shot it wide open (f1.4) to focus on cambria and let mason softly blur out in the background.

and i love this detail shot of her wild flower bouquet!:

it can be fun to shoot in big, empty unkept fields.
often times...the less distractions, the better to tell the story.

so awesome telling part of this love story 
with my camera
while being reminded of one of the sweetest times
of my life...
as i went from a girl in love to 
a mrs. mclaughlin in love. 

here's to change, to transition -
and all the joy that it can bring!
(not just for brides-to-be, students and football fans - but for us all).

be sure to read my dear friend/fellow teacher Cathy Mores' take on transition. she is an absolute gem - an amazing photographer and gifted writer.  read her post here!
{and be sure to continue reading the remaining posts in this month's fun blog circle!}

happy fall!


"time does not change us. it just unfolds us." - max frisch

Monday, September 16, 2013

let them be little; me, me ra koh + YOU.

thank you God for lightning mcqueen
and for buzz light year
and for woody
and for every super hero
and for our beautiful, comfy beds
and our tv
and our family.

and please bless daddy to be safe at work

and please bless the bed bugs don't bite us goodnight.
and thank you for all the beautiful pictures
and for space.


oliver's prayers at bedtime
are seriously
the greatest things i have ever heard.

kids are amazing. 
they say and they do
the most incredible, hilarious, heartwarming things.
their sweet little personalities... i LOVE them...
and LOVE to capture them with my camera! 

i had so much fun shooting two of 
my favorite girls yesterday.
we escaped from the rain in a tacoma parking garage! 
i LOVE how the background completely blurs out behind these two.
i love the bright colors.
and i am crazy about their sweet, fun personalities.

i started out shooting these two in a "traditional manner"
(a few portraits for grandma and grandpa... smile and look at the camera...)

AND THEN i switch to continuous shutter, tell them they can giggle all they want -
and i let them be little. silly. fun. little.

love. love. love.

i believe wholeheartedly in the importance of storytelling images. 
i am SOOO excited about my latest photography adventure - 
an adventure i hope you'll share with me!
i have partnered with a dear friend, mentor and MASTER storyteller Me Ra Koh
to offer you workshops that aim at building your confidence
in using your camera and in your own CREATIVE VOICE
to capture your stories! 
i am honored to be a part of an incredibly talented group of photographers/teachers
and am so excited for what lies ahead!

find out more about upcoming award-winning photography CONFIDENCE workshops here and here!


be sure to tune in wednesday morning for more details about
my first seattle workshop and a fun way to "meet" other teachers from 
around the country! 



ps. i am loving the rain! it's back in full force. it sounds amazing.

pps. i am drooling over this:

why, anthro why do you torture me with these ridiculously gorgeous chairs at
 ridiculously out of your mind prices?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

{ridiculously} cute cutie pies + fall photo TIPS!

my favorite time of the year!

for many reasons:
football season,
pumpkin spice lattes,
new soup recipes in all of my favorite mags,
rainy days,
awesome tv,
+ the gorgeous fall colors
+ lots of fun family portraits!

FALL FAMILY PORTRAIT season is in full swing. {woot. woot!}

love. love. love fall.

every mom loves new family photos, am i right?
- just in time for fun
holiday cards.

unfortunately our little ones are
{usually} not as excited
about portrait time as we are! (understatement. ha!)
the camera is far from enticing to a little person!

a few simple tips to make portrait time
easier on the whole fam:

1) find (or build) a setting that is FUN for the kiddos! for a recent portrait session with two of my favorite cuties {scarlett and coco}, i brought a "tea party" with me (bonus, the table and tablecloth doubled as a fort!). i am not joking - i shot 350+ frames before these two tired of the camera and needed a change of scene. 

    the tea party flowers allowed for some super cute individual shots of sweet coco too:

2) let sweet little voices be heard! towards the end of the shoot, when it seemed miss scarlett was DONE, her mom (in a stroke of genius) let scarlett change into her FAVORITE dress.  Scarlett was happy to dance and play for another 10 minutes! so fun AND the photos tell a story of how much she loves this sweet dress handed down from a family member:

    seriously, are those the cutest little princess tootsies ever???! and with that sweet dress?!

3) LET THEM WANDER FOR A FEW. little ones who have been strapped in a car seat for any given amount of time LOVE a chance to wander and explore for a bit. some of my favorite shots of one year old cooper are of him simply exploring...

4) BRING TOYS! little cooper (he is so cute - melts my heart. seriously. and i had no idea it was possible for a baby of his age to have the greatest mcdreamy hair i have ever seen in person.) had a super time playing with cars, planes and elmo... during family portrait time:

5) let you own INNER CRAZY/KIDDO out to play! often times, ten minutes into a shoot that involves   anyone under the age of five, i will feel like i've been on a treadmill for an hour. i have found myself dancing like a chicken, making monkey noises, playing peek-a-boo, jumping up and down, demonstrating simon says, doing the hokey pokey... all in an effort to get a kiddo to stay interested and have fun! it works. it really does. cooper's family portrait session was awesome! i did not break a sweat. at all. but... his parent's may have. they were amazing! 

cooper's mom got her work-out on and i captured these fun shots while she was directly behind me doing jumping jacks! (yes, i love her.)

i am not even sure what cooper's daddy was doing to get this smile out of him, but whatever trick he had up his sleeve, worked like magic! yay:

put these tricks to work and capture some fun new portraits of your kiddos! and for portraits of the whole fam - call me! i'd love to shoot them! i may or may not agree to chicken dancing or monkey noises but we'll see.

i hope all of you and your kiddos are enjoying the adventure of a new school year! i am so excited (next post) to fill you in on my latest {photography related} adventure!!!! (sooooo excited!!!)