I love to create beautiful portraits for the stylish teen. This beautiful senior girl from Anchorage came out to Palmer to have her portraits done. We went to a few of my favorite spots, and each spot really gave it a unique feel. The majority of my senior clients that come from Anchorage come to me because they want something different and unique then all of their friends have. So, I make that happen. This session happened in the middle of fall, and did need to be rescheduled a couple of times due to the rain. We lucked out this day, and the lighting and weather was gorgeous! Take a look below and let me know what you think. Isn’t fall such a beautiful time to have senior portraits taken.
Every photographer has a unique style. It takes years to develop. But when you place two photographers in the same location, it is amazing how unique and different their work can be. So, I like to believe my that style of photography has it’s own unique and creative edge to it. I love to combine commercial feel of images that would look amazing on a cover of an Alaska wedding magazine with an documentary feel of those images that capture the emotion and moments of the day. It’s the real moments shots that stop you in your tracks, and that really matter. I know how important images of you smiling at the camera can be, but at the end of the day I aim to capture more of the moments that how you connecting with the ones you love. Usually these images do not have you staring into the camera.
Once upon a time I wanted to a a photographer that photographed babies. Babies on a beanbag and perfectly posed. Then I realized I was not comfortable with that. What I was really drawn towards was images of the parents holding and snuggling their new baby and not looking at the camera. That’s really where they belong. So, I decided to change my approach. I now do lifestyle newborn sessions.
First, I guess I should explain what lifestyle means. A lifestyle session is really a storytelling session. The goal is to get a series of images that tell the story of what feels and looks like to care and love your newborn. During the sessions I usually wont ask you to look into the camera. I do give direction to get the best images possible, but I won’t put you in any stiff poses.
When it comes to being a newborn photographer in Palmer, Anchorage, and Wasilla, Alaska lighting is very important. Not all homes have amazing light, and during the winter months the light isn’t always ideal. So I do ask my clients to pay attention to the light in their homes, and when I arrive I will ask you to show me around so that we can use the best light possible. If additional light is needed, I am equipped to bring additional lighting equipment.
Here are a couple of questions that I am often asked.
First, why are lifestyle sessions better than posed portrait sessions?
I’m not against a posed family portrait. The problem I have with that is when a client thinks that that one image is all they want or need. That might be the case, but if so, then I am not the photographer for them. I want images that show a variety of moments, emotions, and compositions. With one or two posed portraits you can’t really see how much they are loved by their parents, or capture their little features.
The second question is why don’t I offer mini sessions?
Again, I am all about telling the story of the newborn and the family. I can get a good posed portrait in a few minutes. Looking at the camera posed portraits is really about how they look and not how it feels. I cannot get a collection of images that show the special connection between family members, a variety of emotions, and moments within 10 minutes. It generally takes a while for clients to get comfortable and relax during the session. What is special about how I photograph is that I take my time, I work the scenes, and I let my clients be who they are. I have had clients come to me in the past because they had a mini session, they felt rushed, and didn’t love their images. I really don’t recommend mini sessions for photographers or clients.
I get asked often for a list of Alaska Wedding Venues, so I finally sat down and started making a list of the Matanuska Valley, Anchorage, Girdwood, and Eagle River Venues. The two lists are below, and here are a few things to consider:
First, this list includes a wide range of budgets, space size, atmosphere of locations. Every couple is unique, and I don’t come to any wedding with any preconceptions. I love to photograph weddings as simple as an elopement in Hatcher Pass, to weddings in a beautiful venue with colorful up-lighting.
Second, it’s helpful to have an idea of how many people you plan on inviting. You’ll want to be sure all those family members and friends will fit.
Third, be sure to take your time and find a venue that you really connect with. Happy planning!
Matanuska Valley Area:
Anchorage, Girdwood, and Eagle River Area:
Sometimes we forget what a beautiful place we live in, and that we need to get out and explore Alaska. So, this week we decided to pack up, drive to Denali, and then camp and drive home along the gravel Denali Hwy. This July has been a wet one, but we lucked out and only had a few rain showers. The mosquitoes are everywhere we go, and at times the kids didn’t want to get out of the car because of the hoard of mosquitoes surrounding us.
Before we left on the trip I decided I didn’t want to take anything that created dishes to wash. We ate instant oatmeal, freeze dried food, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It was the most low stress camping trip I’ve ever had, and I think it’s because of this.
We didn’t get to bed until midnight most nights, because we wanted to watch the beautiful sunset. We were hoping to see some bears, but found lots of rabbits, ptarmigan, moose, and pica.
We searched for an abandoned gold mine, but just ended up driving 8 miles into the middle of nowhere. There was fun to be had gold panning, hiking, off roading, rock-hounding, lots of driving, and just had a blast.
We were warned that the Denali Hwy was really rough. But, I have to say that it’s a really well maintained gravel road with amazing views. We plan on heading back this fall.
Here are some beautiful portraits I took in my home studio, and on location. Spring, summer, and fall dates are open. I will only do a very limited number of winter sessions. I hate working in the freezing cold temperatures.
I loved photographing this family and their beautiful little daughters! An in home session is perfect for families with small children, they are more comfortable in their own surroundings. If they get hungry, there is food right there, and they never get bored. Next time you are considering a session, consider your home!
Here are the images of their wedding that took place in Wasilla, Alaska! It was a rainy day, but it created some absolutely gorgeous images. I love couples that aren’t afraid to get out in the rain!
Time is coming up to schedule your spring senior portraits! If you love flowers like I do, you don’t want to let this chance go. Every year I get seniors in December or January who are scrambling to get their pictures done before the due date. Let me tell you what I want every parent and senior out there to know….don’t put it off for winter. I kid you not when I say I shot a session at 4 degrees! It’s too cold. The photos were still beautiful, but it is hard for the senior, and for me to take the photos. The clothing they can wear is so much cuter in the spring, summer, or fall.
Here is one of my favorite senior sessions! Look at those flowers, they don’t last long in Alaska.
Mothers do so much for their families! It needs to be celebrated and documented for them. Mothers day is coming up, so don’t put off putting mom first and scheduling a session for her. The longer I take photos, the more I realize that having images and prints of your family is priceless. We’re only getting older, so don’t let this time get away! These sessions can take place in your home, on location with a beautiful Alaska backdrop, and for smaller families in my home studio.
I live for summer in Alaska! Minus the mosquitoes! It’s warm, but not so warm that you don’t want to go outside. I love how temperamental the weather here in Palmer is. One minute it’s sunny and beautiful, the next you are having a rain shower. The clouds here have to be one of my favorite things ever. I wouldn’t change living here in the summer for anything, the winters are a different story!
Let me tell you a secret, this is my family. Every time look at it I hear the bubbly laughing that would float out from my little 3 year old as he would chase the chickens around trying to get them to eat bugs. I feel the tall weeds crunching beneath my feet, and feel the late evening sun on my back. To look at this image brings tears to my eyes.
When you stand on the glacier the blue extends for miles. As you walk you feel the crackling of the ice under your feet, and the cold air brush against your face. Suddenly you’re hit with a sense of how small you really are. But even though you realize how small you are, you also realize the love that this mother and daughter have for each other is more than words can describe.
You can just feel how close the Reindeer have come, can almost feel their breath on your face as they nuzzle close for food. For some people, this might be uncomfortable, but for this mother and daughter, this is magic.
As soon as Steven sat down at the piano, Ada speed-crawled over to him. I love how she smooshes down the piano keys just like her dad. She takes piano seriously. Just look at that face.
When you were a child did you ever read those “Choose your own Adventure” books? I did, and I loved them. I would even read the books a couple of times, just because I wanted to see what different endings, or stories I would get. I love to relate these books to my photography. I offer two types of sessions for families. Portrait sessions, and In The Life…Home Sweet Chaos Sessions. Let me break down the differences for you, so that you can choose your own adventure.
First off, let me be clear that I enjoy both types of sessions. I find them both equally important, but they both serve different purposes for families.
Portrait Sessions: are you and your family at your best. This is an opportunity to capture emotions you feel for your family. Such as joy, affection, connection. You are proud to show off your family, and the images. They are beautiful, and are often something you hang on your wall, have printed in an album, and send out as Christmas cards. During portrait sessions you are directed to the best light, and given direction on posing for the most beautiful images. If you have more questions about my portrait sessions visit my F.A.Q.
But that is really half of the picture. It’s a small slide of who you are as a family. That is why I also offer and recommend In The Life…Home Sweet Chaos Sessions.
In The Life…Home Sweet Chaos Sessions: show a wide range of emotions. Everything from happiness when your toddler runs through the sprinkler, tenderness when you touch your baby’s face. Sadness when your child is throwing a tantrum, humor and what your toddler is doing, and exhaustion from parenting all day. During these sessions I document rather than direct. I capture the activities that your family enjoys doing together. Little things such as making breakfast, washing the baby, going for a walk, spending the day at the fair. The little things that families do every day to grow closer together. 30 years down the road it is these images and moments that you will want to remember…because they are real, natural, organic, unposed moments. They are who you really are as a family. When you are a parent it is important to have images of you with your children. It’s impossible to photograph these moments yourself. Your job is to be in the moment. My job is to make sure you remember every breath. If you want to learn more about these sessions visit my F.A.Q.
Her contagious smile, her hands that she excitedly waived up and down. She was looking at her parents, they were behind me talking to her, and making the silliest noises. It’s just a good reminder that our emotions are often contagious.
I love this image because of the radiant smiles, and lighthearted play. The pink majestic mountains remind me of how fortunate we are to call Alaska our home.