like a dream

There is nothing easy about photographing a newborn but these people make newborn life look like a dream.

 

And next week I photograph TWINS! If you would like to book your session, in Seattle, in AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, or the last two weeks of NOVEMBER contact me here! If you are in California, I am booking sessions October through November! Let's make it happen!!!

it's my brithday

and I love my life, and while my family sleeps I sit looking at pretty pictures. It's a beautiful, overcast, peaceful, Seattle day to celebrate life.

These babes were all born at home - wherever home was at the time - and baby brother will soon make his debut. 

If you would like images that showcase your beautiful contact me and let's make it happen. I will be in California (bay area, Tahoe, Fresno, Sacramento, and everywhere in between) October - November. Seattle, I would love to schedule your photoshoot in August, September, or the last two weeks of November. Love to you, Christina.

lifting more hearts up together

"I'LL BE LIVING MORE LOVE

THAN YESTERDAY

AND MORE THAN THE DAY BEFORE

GETTING MORE DONE

THAN I'D DREAMED OF

AND FINDING NEW WAYS TO EXPLORE

I'LL BE SPREADING THE LIGHT

FROM THE HILLTOPS

I'LL RUN LIKE A FOOL

THROUGH THE WOODS

I'LL BE DREAMING A WORLD

BEYOND REASON

AS WE CELEBRATE ALL THAT IS GOOD

AND THOUGH I MAY

FALL AND UNRAVEL

AND CRY LIKE A CHILD LEFT ALONE

WE'LL BE LIFTING MORE

HEARTS UP TOGETHER

THAN WE EVER COULD 

LIFT ON OUR OWN."

If you have not read Dallas Clayton run! and get lost reading.

I don't talk much about my subdued - and probably insignificant - thoughts or feelings on the wide open web, but I had an experience that changed me during a conversation with Meadow and Jenn, and I came home feeling emotional, open, aware, moved, stronger, and more resolute. The next few paragraphs are a step towards vulnerability as I share these images coupled with pieces of what I learned about myself.

This is Meadow and Jenn and their twin babes! This day, light, and moment was nothing short of perfection. The best part of taking people's pictures is that they become my newest best friend. When Meadow and I exchanged emails her sense of humor immediately reminded me of that. I also caught another glimpse of who she is when I realized that the family picture she attached was not focused on her - the focus was on her beautiful wife, Jenn. 

There was a moment after one of our conversations that I realized two things: I have never had to fight for anything, or anyone, as much as some around me have and, there are people who have been given a gift of looking past any details that would seem to divide us, who are able to celebrate our differences, and who, without reservation, see all of us for who we are, brothers and sisters, children of a divine creator. 

Meadow so naturally, so easily, pours love and light and happiness into you when you meet her. I don't know if I have ever met someone (except my mom) who can connect and laugh over all the happy things as she can. It was a blessing for me to have spent time with her incredible family.

As I sit in shock and disbelief and tears while watching Hacksaw Ridge, I once again am reminded that all of our freedoms are never free and what I attain to is not who I am - and especially not the most important thing I do. Desmond Doss' story is a miracle. My values, who I focus on, who I stand by, who I stand with, make the measure of my life.

I'm doing my best, imperfectly, to act more faithfully on these impressions, and most importantly, to teach my family the same. I'm thankful for friends and family who are forgiving of my process in learning such precious lessons.

My ease of life may be my toughest reality, but I am (slowly) learning that what we live together we can unify over. Whose burden can I help lighten, today? Or, as Desmond Doss prayed more than 70 times, "Help me help one more."

I wish everyone a happy 4th, happy weekend, and happy freedom celebrations.

"THE LOUDEST CLOUD

HAD THE SOFTEST SCREAM

WHICH FELL WITH A RAINSTORM

THAT FELT  LIKE A

DREAM."

Dallas Clayton

xoxo,

Christina

Where darkness melts into light...

Where darkness melts into light

Lines meet and quickly fade.

Expectations dissolve and

Given new ears I hear

The melody she sings

When not confined to the shadows.

There is an artist, photogtapher, writer I love, Amy Grace, who is the master of combining words and photos. I want to be a better writer - and reader - and put my thoughts down, especially in a way that specifically makes sense me. Here is my attempt and poetry; I hope it's a lifelong friendship.

"...to the core."

 "...we love each other, to the core." That is how Kennedy describes the love she and Chris share.

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle, comings and goings, and stuff that presents itself in our relationships, it can be hard to remember that we loved one another "to the core." Somehow those moments, mistakes, or habits, become more important than the person we love, or once loved. 

While it is work, and was not meant to be easy, I am sure the growing pains will have unified us. When we are old and gray, and he paints my fingernails and feeds me oatmeal (not to mention changes my diapers), the hard stuff will be nothing more than a distant memory.  

This is my reminder to recommit to choose love.

To always choose love.

Who I Truly Am

"I may always feel subject to the forces of echolocation, moving to and from experience and reflecting back again, but like the bat I can determine outcome. I do this in every thought and in every action. Every day I have to inventory the messaging. Edit and rewrite. At times there may be a little retrofitting to get the landscape to better reflect my desired outcome, but I have to do it again and again until it is true. Until all of the messages rattling around in the sound chambers of my mind are reflective of who I truly am. Simply charming, vastly likeable, perfectly self-deprecating and absolutely wonderful! As for now I am happy to be a work in progress."

Maran Hanley, Echolocation of the Soul: A New Perspective on Identity

I love her words. The complete article can be found here. Here she is, enveloped in the eyes and hands and love of those who are lucky to call her wife and mom.

"The Clock Man"

"How much will you pay for an extra day?"

The clock man asked the child.

"Not one penny," the answer came,

"For my days are as many as smiles."

"How much will you pay for an extra day?"

He asked when the child was grown.

"Maybe a dollar or maybe less,

For I've plenty of days of my own."

"How much will you pay for an extra day?"

He asked when the time came to die.

"All of the pearls in all of the seas,

And all of the stars in the sky."

Shel Silverstein

When the wild and crazy of children stills and I await distant FaceTime calls, I know I'll be telling anyone who will listen that I would give, "All of the pearls in all of the seas, And all of the stars in the sky" to have it all back: tiny arms squeezing my neck, middle of the night whimpering from babes wanting my bed, and the constant tugging on my legs while shouting, "Mama, come pway and dance wid me!" 

Mamabird

 

"You should not have come today. It's a free day, for everyone to enjoy." The lady who stopped our photoshoot to continually lecture me about how I - and the other photographers - should not be there in their way.

"Moooommmmm!!!!! She turned it off and we LOOOSSSTTTT IT!" Ashton and Oliver when I turned off Pokémon Go to take pictures and they didn't catch their Pokèmon (which now I feel bad about.)

"I want this to be what it is - Brenda is the star of the show." Lorin looking at my camera after the session.

At least we ended on a good note - a really good note!                

In the Rain

"Ian and I coming out of the fog." That's what Katie said in response to what the perfect shot from this session would look like. I'd say the fog of an infant hasn't phased them at all; they are gorgeous people cloaked in fall and leaves and rain - everything Seattle does best. Add that sweet baby M + Bosco. Total heartstoppers.

Love and Choice

"If we did not have moral agency we would simply be puppets manipulated by the strings of fate. ...the great purpose of mortality is to learn. [Faith] is a spiritual gift...and it always requires that we act first, and then the power comes. We don't know where to go, we don't know what to do. But my trust in Him enables me to act. He blesses me with His power, that confidence increases, we then can ultimately navigate the most difficult circumstances in life, knowing that we will never be alone, and we will always have His help.

"The greatest gift that the Father gave to us was His Son, and the gift that comes to us through the Savior's atonement is agency. So agency is central to the Father's plan, and it is the capacity to act and learn from our own experiences. That is the very essence and purpose of being here in mortality." a 3-minute video by David Bednar

The greatest lesson I have learned in my life is: This life is about love. If I am not loving, I am not doing it right.

The greatest gift we have is the gift of the atonement, from which I am bestowed the gift of choice. My greatest job is to love, no matter another's choice.

I love this family. This is my family. And their photos tell a perfect story.

Greenlake at Dusk

This family was one of the very first families I ever photographed - bless them for coming back for more. One year has passed since I started this gig. I have learned so much and have connected with people I now love, who I never would have met otherwise. My photos have been sent out to the world via blogs, The Wall Street Journal, and plain 'ol Instagram and Facebook. When I see canvases in peoples' homes I still cannot believe I was the one who took the picture. This was a dream I never saw turning into this much of a reality.

These photos of Kristi and Mike wrapped in each others' arms, E being kissed over and over again by his mama, and his swinging in his dad's arms, are all the things that make me love what I get to do. I am giddy inside thinking of what the coming year will bring. XOXO.