Last month Luke and I packed up my Honda Fit with musical instruments and cameras and hit the road to Austin, TX stopping on our way for Luke to play a few shows. Our main reason for this road trip was to visit our dear friends Katie & Maia and meet their sweet sweet little baby named Noah Ryan. He is basically perfect, their new home is the best and I really didn't want to come home - I wanted to stay on their back porch, snuggled in with a book and a baby and eat tacos from breakfast, lunch and dinner. So before we left, I had to document this little family in their new space.
I find myself in January wandering back to August when Luke and I spent 10 days in Panama away from email and wedding edits. So today will be a little throw back to the images I took on that trip where we spend a few days exploring Panama City,Â then took a bus to Boquete for some coffee tours and hiking to then get a shuttle to a water taxi to Bocas Del Toro where we lived the island life for a few days, biking, swimming and not seeing a sloth- which was my one goal for this trip.
After a long week who doesn't want to hop on a sailboat with cocktail mixing, a group of friends and a photographer-- a few weeks back I joined Sam & Ryan on their sailboat and spent a Friday nights sunset drinking Bourbon and documenting their life in the weekends away from computers, cell phones and alarm clocks and it was pretty magical.
A few weeks ago Luke and I took to the road and drove to the warmth of New Orleans for a few days for a little vacation. Often times when I am on vacation I find myself working still, photography is my job and also my hobby & passion so I find it difficult to put my camera down, so for this trip I decided to leave my digital cameras and computer behind and just take what I learned on - my little canon that I shot my first 5 weddings on with a 50mm and 3 rolls of film - I took only the good shots, I framed up, focused and decided in that moment if what I saw in the Â view finder was worth the space of the roll of film. I took under 100 images, here are some of my favorites Â - I still have one roll to develop but I couldn't wait to share.
A few weeks back I travelled to Missoula, Montana to spend aÂ week with my dear friends Abi & Christopher and celebrate with them at their wedding. The day after I gotÂ in we took a trip up the mountain to the spot whereÂ these two were going to say their vows, a beautiful little hike into a quiet little spot. I am so thankful for these two and feel so honored to have been able to be there on their wedding day -- I love you guys and I am missing you dearly.
I'm not entirely sure how to start and where to end on this one -- Elizabeth Rose has been my best friend since before we had our drivers licenseÂ and we were pen pals before cellphones were in everyone's hands. Elizabeth and I have many stories I could share, so many memories growing up together - every weekend being a sleepover throughout high school. I love her dearly and being a witness to her marrying into this amazing family was one of the greatest things I have been apart of. I could write a novel about how I feel about these two and this family of six, but I don't feel like everybody who reads my blog needs to know, or really wants to know â€“ so I'll say this â€“ when Elizabeth called me to tell me they were engaged â€“ I made the weirdest sound possible - a combination of a scream, a burst of tears and some kind of words of congratulations â€“ I was filled with joy because I truly couldn't pick out a better match. The love these two have for each other and for those 4 amazing children is a beautiful thing to witness â€“ the love these two have for their close friends and family is just as beautiful and I am so thankful that when I come up to Appleton, I know I can spend a day at the beach hanging out with the kids and Elizabeth followed by making massive amounts of food and end the night sitting on their porch talking until the early hours of the morning.
Here is a series of photographs that I took while being apart of their wedding, with the exception of a few that I am in taken by my lovely Father and Elizabeth's brother, Ezra.
Sometimes before you start to set up a DIY wedding you need a little time in the woods. A few week back, my best friend, Elizabeth Rose got married and before the wedding I spent 3 days with some wonderful women in a cabin.Â Time with my girlfriends is a rare thing in my busy season, but something I need -- these women are lovely and inspiring and when my time is up, I always feel refreshed and inspired. Elizabeth Rose makes me all of my favorite jewelry, sends me the most beautiful mail and I get to spend many evenings on her porch in Appleton until the late hours of the night. Noelle and I just met on the trip, but it didn't feel that way, she is an amazing artist who has made a career out of Â her talents, Â the hats in these photographs are made by her, she is currently having a 30% off sale until the 4th, so visit her website hereÂ . Here is a series of images from Elizabeth, Noelle and I's Â morning stroll in the woods, before Colleen arrived and we baked 100 cupcakes and made burrito fixings for 60 people.
The last part of my trip was in Leipzig, a beautiful city only 120 mile and only a 1 hour train ride from Berlin. My dear friend Katie Krol studies there and she took the a few days off to show me around the city and I was finally able to meet her boyfriend, Lukas. My time spent in Leipzig with these two was wonderful and although I got sick, I have Katie and Lukas to thank who made me tea, soup and watched Harry Potter movies with me all day. When I wasn't sick we spent our time wandering the city, Â eating amazing food and meeting up with Katie's friends. If you ever find yourself in Germany, try to make a trip to Leipzig, I only wish I would have had more time to explore.
After my time in Sweden I hopped on a plane to head to Germany for a week. My plan was to spend 3 days in Berlin alone and catch a train for 4 days to Leipzig to visit my dear friend Katie. I arrived to Berlin on Monday afternoon, me with a big ol' backpack and 2 camera bags -- grabbed a cab to head to Berlin Mitte where I had a room booked through AirBnB with a lovely family. I spent my first evening finishing my first book I brought on the trip ('Where'd You Go, Bernadette?' read it, you will not regret it) and mapping out my first full day in the city - feeling overwhelmed with how much I wanted to do and see and realizing 3 days just wasn't enough. I made it work -- waking up on Tuesday at 7am and made sure I was out the door by 8:30, Day 1 ---amazing breakfast buffet, art museums, and wandering on foot. This was my first time traveling solo in another country, apart of it was refreshing, not having to work out a plan with another person (or persons) but just going with the flow, if I got tired of a museum, I would leave and go sit in the park with a coffee and read or just watch all the tourist look at their maps or search for reception on their phones. The other part of traveling alone; the photographer - I had this pressure to make sure I documented everything I saw, the texture in the roads, the people on their bikes or the ladies sitting outdoors with their latte in hand and their dog resting by their feet, the street musicians collecting euros in exchange for a song, the architecture that literally brought tears to my eyesÂ -- the list could go on. I had to take a moment to remember to be there,on the first day in the park I remember writing in my journal 'it is so beautiful here, I have to come back' instantly scolding myself, you are here, so be here. I often don't live in the moment but instead relive it from my photographs, a problem I am sure many photographers experience. So my week in Germany was less photographs more just being there- enjoying meals alone, taking small bites and ordering a second coffee, honestly a hard thing for me to accomplish, but I did my best. So with that I will share with you the only photographs I took in Berlin. Enjoy.
On the day before the wedding I went over to Isak and Clara's place to help bake 150+ buns for their wedding dinner. In Sweden it seems to be a popular tradition for the couple and family to make the dinner for their wedding guests, something I find amazing and such a personal touch to a wedding, a community coming together to create a meal is one of my favorite things ever and I was so happy to be apart of it. Â when my hands weren't filled with flour and dough, I grabbed some photographs of Isak and Clara's teamwork to get the meal prepared -- and I never did get an image of the end result due to my dedication, I turned baker instead of photographer and forgot about my camera, a very rare occasion.
A few weeks back I traveled to Sweden to photograph Clara and Isak's wedding. I came a few days early to adjust to the time difference and also to spend time getting to know Clara and Isak a little better before their wedding. I arrived on a Wednesday afternoon in Gothenburg, they picked me and and we drove an hour or so through the countryside to a lovely little town called Horred, where they live and where the wedding was going to be. We went straight to Clara's home for fika, which means taking a break in your day for coffee and usually with something sweet, something I have decided should happen here everyday as well. Then we were able to spend time with a barn full of puppies followed by an evening dinner & wedding prep at Isak's place --- A day of avoiding a nap so I can get on Sweden time was a success and here are a few images from that day.
I have just returned from a week long trip to one of my favorite places in the world - the San Francisco Bay Area. There are many reasons as to why I love this place, weather is one of them, the fact that your backyard can have avocado trees, pomegranates, limes, figs and grapefruits etc. One of the biggest reasons that keeps me traveling West any time I get a chance is the community of people that I have there, and the things they do that inspire me. My friends help me find photography work, they put together dinners to 'celebrate me being there' and they are just wonderful people with great stories and amazing hearts - I hope work continues to pop up there so I am able to spend more weeks in this magical place.
The reason we were connected with Seeds of Africa is the same reason why this organization has this wonderful Micro-Finance Project for the mothers- and this reason is the lovely Maggie Sands. I met Maggie a little over a Â year ago on a shoot and while working together here and there I was able to learn more about Seeds and what they do not only for the children but also for the parents. Â To start they offer an adult literacy program that offers the parents the opportunity to upgrade their level in reading, writing and financial literacy, acting as a tool for personal empowerment and a means to reach their full potential as parents, community members and employees. After that they offer a Three Day Entrepreneurship Seminar, and in November of 2012, twenty-three mothers participated. The seminar focuses on topics such as separating money between business and household, reinvesting profit, maintaining records, thinking proactively about new markets and a how-to in writing a business plan. If both programs are completed then the women are eligible for the Micro-Finance Project which allows the women to create a business through a Micro Credit of about 2,000 birr per person (2.000 birr is about 105USD). This opportunity allows mothers to work independently, train in a field to increase household income, and moving away from the traditional aid model, a shift takes place allowing mothers to support themselves and their families. So after Luke and I would teach during the week, on the weekends we would go out into the community to meet some of the business owners. On the first Saturday we went to visit Martha and Banchiayahu's mother who has a successful business selling injera, which is a traditional flatbread made out of teff flour and served with just about every meal in Ethiopia. While we were there we learned about her business and she talked to us about how big of an impact Seeds has been for her and her family. She told us that since she has opened her business she has made a wooden box and every day she puts a percentage of her earnings in the box, she plans to open after she has paid off her loan to Seeds.
A few Saturdays ago a very rare thing happened - Â I had the day off, so I was able to go over to Grey Gardens for their pizza party. In the last year the Gagnon's built a brick oven in their yard and every weekend they have people over to make amazing pizza and drink wine- it is the perfect way to spend a Saturday.
During our time in Ethiopia I took a few rolls of film, and after I got them developed I wished I would have taken more. Below is a collect of my film shots, I only took a few at the Take Root Center but most of them are from our last days in Ethiopia where Luke and I spent it exploring Addis - drinking coffee, searching for cassette stores and wandering the beautiful city.
As most of you know I have just returned home from just shy of a month long trip to Ethiopia where my boyfriend, Luke and I spent the majority of our time working with Seeds of Africa , teaching at the Take Root Center (See blog about my teaching here). Along with teaching the Seeds I was asked to document the TRC, staff and the community, so I have many photographs and stories to share -so for the next several weeks, Mondays will be 'Ethiopia Day' - I will be posting my photographs and telling my stories from our travels so be sure to check out my blogs on Mondays!
Today the following images are from our time out in the playground with the kids, everyday between classes and after classes were done, Luke and I would get to jumprope, play football and I would usually get my hair done (no photo proof of this).
For more information as to what Seeds of Africa does please visit their website here
It is finally sleeping outside weather, so Luke and I packed up the Station Wagon and headed West to Wyalusing State Park for a weekend outdoors. It was my last weekend before my life becomes filled with weddings and portrait sessions, so one weekend where I replaced my computer with a book to sit still for 2 days. Camping calms me and slows me down- in order to get a coffee, I don't have the luxuryÂ of walking down the block to get one, instead we build a fire, heat the water and pour it over the grounds. Luke and I made all of our meals on the fire, we spent the afternoon hiking to caves and to a beautiful view of the Mississippi River meeting the Wisconsin River.
San Francisco is a magical place, I recently went there for a visit and a few projects and it was hard to come back here. I had a very lovely trip, and saw many wonderful people, I can't wait until I get back out there. Here is a collection of image from when I wasn't doing projects: