Well people, it's been a minute. Toward the end of 2017 we were finishing up our home remodel, hosting holiday gatherings and working our tails off. Well my husband was.. I took a little break toward the end of December.
I ordered Christmas cards, didn't get them sent out... my new kitchen is only 78% put together and I have a raging UTI (tmi? no such thing). Many balls have been dropped and I'm just now, on January 5th, starting to do something about it. I've vowed to make Dr. appointments on Monday, but for today, I offer a blog post. With pictures.
Instead of taking a million years to go through and choose the best photos of 2017, (and then second guess myself, and then text no less than 5 friends to make sure they agree, and then wake up my husband to see if he concurs), I thought it would be fun to choose a session from each month that speaks to me in one way or another. Fun? Yes. Let's go...
Okay, this was a very difficult month to choose one image from! I was shooting up in Pioneer Square (Seattle) all weekend with women while the Women's March was going on right outside those windows. Not only did the studio time produce some of my favorite boudoir + fitness images ever, but photographing ONLY women, all weekend long, felt very right. It was as if we were joining the march in our own way; celebrating female entrepreneurs, support systems and friendships. Though there are other favorites from the weekend, this image below embodies the feelings brought to my surface those two days. I love it and love all the ladies I worked with that weekend. You know who you are xoxo
My son Baker's birthday is on January 29th. We always do a little photoshoot in the days following and this was the end result. I just love this kid with all my heart and I can't imagine a life without him; he's freaking funny and smart and weird and loving and just my favorite ever.
There were a lot of great sessions in March; this is proving to be more difficult than I thought! BUT I have to highlight the couple below. Kelsey came to me after a snafu with her initial wedding photographer and having already known her as my Orange Theory Fitness coach, I knew I'd LOVE working with her. She's such an inspirational woman in the community and Sam, her now hubs, is one of the best sports out there.. they were such a pleasure to photograph and I'm choosing this image below because I just LOVE the personality coming through.
So I can't get halfway through 2017 without mentioning the Hollenbeck Family. They've been instrumental in helping my business grow, sending family my way, telling their friends about me, and just overall being so supportive. I have such a fondness for Sarah and her family and I hope that we never cut ties... ever.. I'll come find you (Sarah)... ha
As most of you know, my little fam and I moved down to Portland from the Seattle area a few years ago. Well for the first two years, all of my wedding couples were also from the Seattle area. And while I love Seattle so so much and loved every wedding I photographed, it also meant a ton of traveling back and forth. Which in theory I don't mind at all, but it was getting a bit difficult logistically. Megan + Paul were one of the first Portland area couples who hired me for their wedding down here and I can't tell you how happy that made me. I also just loved spending time with them and shooting in my new town.
Carla and Alex met me for a maternity session this past spring and it happened to be while I was going through some very frustrating fertility issues. I've had friends ask me if photographing bumps and babies is difficult for me right now but honestly, it's just not. I'm thankful that it hasn't affected me and I'm thankful that these people choose me to help them remember such momentous occasions. I do, however, feel the urge to connect and talk with other women who've gone through similar struggles, sometimes total strangers, and sometimes clients. Well Carla was gracious enough to tell me a little bit of their own story, which was longer and rougher than they'd expected and it just touched me so much that day. They were both just so thankful and excited and it gave me so much hope. Also, this just happens to be one of my favorite images from the last year. Give me all the flowers.
My best friend was married this month. She and her hubs eloped here in Portland, Oregon with a beach reception following that weekend. It was one of my favorite weeks ever and we love them very much.
I'm sort of breaking the rules here and posting a very late July session. I mean the 29th is basically August, no? Carlee + Doug's wedding was one of the highlights of my summer. Their whole wedding was just gorgeous and the bride looked like she should be plastered all over magazines. I mean, her dress alone! So stunning. This image also happened to be the most 'liked' on instagram last year.. which is hard to ignore.
When Courtney + Cameron reached out about their Bellingham wedding, I just knew I HAD to have it. Bellingham is my very favorite PNW city and their venue, one of the best it has to offer. While we're on the subject of dresses, Courtney's was seriously stunning. Romantic, sexy and just a touch of edge, it was definitely a favorite of the season. And the photo below might be the image I'm proudest of this past year.
Hawaii!! Lucas, Baker and I took a trip to Maui this fall and while we were there I was lucky to shoot with these cuties below. If I had my choice, 80% of sessions would be done by the water. Kirkland, Seattle, HAWAII, it doesn't matter. Though my work has matured and changed over the years, water continues to be my favorite background and it gives me ALL the feels. Brit + Jameson did Maui justice and they were SO fun to photograph; I'm pretty much going to force them into working with me again some day.
Moving to a new city as an adult is difficult. As a stay at home/work from home mom, I didn't have the built-in social scene my husband had with his new job. I started to sign Baker and I up for every possible class in the area and I met this next family at swim lessons and then forced Janina, the mom to be my friend after they hired me to do some family photos. She's since become a close confidant and I'd sure as hell be a lot lonelier down here without her. Plus their family is just so dang cute; I never get tired of a traditional family portrait.
Oh my gosh, sorry this ended up being so long! I've never been known for my concise descriptions. December was a pretty stressful month for me. It feels silly to say since everything was very much okay, everyone was healthy and the stress was self-inflicted, but it affected me nonetheless. Remodeling and being out of a kitchen for 5 months was weighing on me, I was (am) still sad about losing a pregnancy in the Fall, and I just needed a bit of a break. I decided not to take on mini sessions for the holiday season and instead just settle into our house more.
Well that lasted a week or so, and then I was itching to work. Very last minute I decided to rent studio space up in Seattle to do a few family sessions and it ended up being the best choice I could make for myself. I saw some families I've been working with for years, photographed some friends + family, and also worked with a couple new families. The space was new to me, I felt fresh and had a lot of fun that day. I love being a mom more than anything ever, but this past year has also taught me that I need a thing or two to be my own as well. I don't feel quite as fulfilled without photography and though I might need a break now and then, it feeds my soul and in turn makes me a better partner and mom. Plus I think Baker needs a break from me every so often as well ;)
I'll leave you with one of the sessions that day I had fun with. Adult children and small spaces made for a fun little challenge.
Thank you so much for following along with my work and life this year. I have THE best clients in the world and promise to never take it for granted. Your support is everything. xoxo, Janine