not out of control

I have been wanting to share this for a long time. Mostly for myself, maybe for anyone who needs something to buoy them up - to remind all of us that things are not as chaotic and out of control as they feel.

Faith (not faith as a religion, more as...beliefs) is an interesting thing. We all have a different feeling, interpretation, and story around faith. For me, faith is the core of everything I do. When I focus on Faith in Christ I am propelled into people, places, and relationships I would not have found otherwise. I am consistently in awe after learning about those I come into contact with - where they have walked, what they have seen, and especially what they have overcome.

(As a side note, I took a test once while working at Kids on the Move in Orem, UT from the Strengths Finder book. One of the things it told me is that I am a WOO. "Woo stands for Winning Others Over. You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. Strangers are rarely intimidating to you. On the contrary, strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to them. You want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that you can strike up a conversation and build rapport. Some people shy away from starting up conversations because they worry about running out of things to say. You don't. Not only are you rarely at a loss for words; you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection. Once that connection is made, you are quite happy to wrap it up and move on. There are new people to meet, new rooms to work, new crowds to mingle in. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet -- lots of them." Gallup. I love meeting, connecting, sharing with people, and I believe faith strengthens my ability to do that: I know we all have worth and will become something we currently are not. I bask in the thought that we all deserve to be showered in mercy and love.

This bible story about faith has me looking at life - and faith - in a completely new light:

Jesus and some followers had come back from across the lake and a huge group of people were waiting for Him. One who immediately approached Jesus was Jairus, a ruler of a local synagog. Jairus approached Christ with "reverence due One whom he considered able to grant what he asked, and fell at the Lord's feet." 

Jairus came seeking the Lord even though he knew that in leaving his daughter at home, she would pass away during his journey. He said to Christ, "My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her and she shall live."

Jesus went with the imploring father, and many followed.

On the way to Jairus' home an incident delayed their journey: the woman with the issue of blood came to Christ. After time and conversation passed, they were finally able to continue on to Jairus' daughter.

This is the part that stands out to me:

"No intimation is given that Jairus showed impatience or displeasure over the delay; he had placed trust in the Master and awaited His time and pleasure; and while Christ was engaged in the matter of the suffering woman, messengers came from the ruler's house with the saddening word that the girl was dead.

"We may infer that even these dread tidings of certainty failed to destroy the man's faith; he seems to have still looked to the Lord for help, and those who had brought the message asked, 'Why troublest thou the Master any further?'" In other words, "Time to give up, Jairus - your daughter is gone anyway."

"Jesus heard what was said, and sustained the man's sorely-taxed faith by the encouraging behest, 'Be not afraid, only believe.'"

The group finally arrived at the house and saw quite the scene. Customary mourning processes were in place, professional mourners had been hired. Loud noise and musical instruments and people opposed any opportunity for silence. 

Christ commanded, "Peace, be still."

Jesus restored peace to the house. He then entered the death chamber, accompanied only the the three apostles and the parents of the girl. Taking the dead maiden by the hand he 'said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say to unto thee, arise.' To the astonishment of all but the Lord, the girl arose, left her bed, and walked."

This account is powerful to me. Things frequently seem chaotic and out of control to me: HOW?! WHAT?! WHEN?! WHERE?! WHY?! 

But they are never out of control to Him.

He has walked in my shoes. He has walked my path. He retains complete loving and merciful control. These days I want to choose to patiently "[await my] time and pleasure." One day it will make sense, one day things will feel whole again.

While Jairus had legitimate reason to want to hurry things along, or get frustrated when someone else's miracle was taking time away from his own, he waited. I think I can do that, at least I want to try. 

So, my questions have changed.  

What do I want?

What do I need?

What do I need to sacrifice to attain it (even when it feels out of control?)

What will I learn that will make me more compassionate like Him?

I know things are really hard for a lot of people - I hope peace finds you and carries you through, and that you begin to feel confident things are not out of control.





Here are a lot of pictures from the last year that I love:

Quotes and summaries are from Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage (one of my favorite books...)

sky high

So many things. 

"First see it, then be it." (What I learned from Barbie the other day.)


Light makes all the difference.


This is Jenna, a friend and fabulous photographer who lives in West Seattle. Our families went on a hike to one of my favorite (secret) places in Seattle - a beach in Discovery Park. It has a humongous tree swing. And she's pretty much the best.


I love the people who are in front of my camera. 


I just learned that empathy is not connecting with someone because you have experienced what they experienced. Empathy is connecting over the emotion someone feels as a result of their experience - we may not have gone through what they had to go through/are going through, but we have all felt sadness, embarrassment, rejection, regret, stupidity, shame, joy, excitement, success, and a plethora of others. I empathize by holding anothers' feelings in a sacred space because I understand we are all human, and all of humanity feels things, be it under different curcumstances (summaraized from Daring Greatly, Brené Brown p 81).


My prices are SLASHED. If you want family, engagement, baby-in-the-belly photos, mom and baby bath photos (or any other photos, of course) I'm ready to party!

2018 Travel Dates:

Grand Rapids, MI: August 3-5

SLC - Payson, UT: September

Santa Cruz, CA: October

Austin, TX: YOU are on my radar! When do you want photos?!



honest with myself

2017 is not a year that stands independent from the 4 previous years. 

I bunch the past 5 1/2 years into a chunk of time in which real life hit me square between the eyes, and I do have to say i was unprepared for the blow.

Here is what I thought:

My life is great. I have nothing to complain about. I am a confident, competent person. I just have to wait until I snap out of it. I’ve never had depression. I can’t be depressed.

As the years crawled on I would look at other moms and wonder how and why they liked their kids. Why did they hold them, snuggle them, enjoy them? All I wanted was to constantly run away from my girls. Every night I didn’t want to go to sleep because I didn’t want to wake up and do it all again, every day, forever.

I recently took time away from social media to get un-addicted to everything. My phone. Social media. Checking out. I even try to make phone calls more than text these days. I did think unplugging would create moonbeams and unicorns and I would be happier being a mom and having my girls climb all over me and I would be full of love, peace, joy, and rejoicing but what I learned was, without wasting time doing the numbing scroll (as frequently or infrequently as it was) I was left to myself. I spent more time in stillness and consequently thinking about…everything...

I came to the conclusion that I needed more help than I would admit. I couldn’t keep going on by barely hanging on, pushing through, or waiting until (…fill in all the blanks). 

The past 5 years were nothing how I imagined they should be, or how I wanted them to be, and I wasn’t getting better - it was a stark reality but I was getting worse. 

“So many other women could do this better than me. Love them better than me. Have fun with them better than me” were the constant strands of thoughts rolling through my mind regarding my family.

I never slept. Every night I lay in bed for hours, my heart racing, unable to breathe deeply or slowly. I woke incessantly throughout the night and worried about everyone, every thing, past, present, and future. The next morning I would lie in bed until 11. The girls would scavenge cookies from the cupboards and dine on ice cream and cookies for breakfast. 

I found myself in a hole of missed expectations and dark thoughts.

I wonder if postpartum depression lasts until you are finally able to rewrite your story, inserting yourself now as “mom.” Or, maybe until you are able to redefine yourself in this new role of “mom.”

Whatever the root, I kept thinking, “I’ll be me again when they go to preschool, to kindergarten, when they […..fill in the blank….]” But honestly it didn’t matter how long they were away. As soon as they were back with me simple daily tasks brought on an anxiety and hopelessness that devoured me. 

(Almost 2 years ago I left my 2 year old and 1 year old with their grandparents while Tyler and I flew to Argentina for 16 DAYS! 16 DAYS! And we did not call, facetime, talk - nothing! In addition, I did not miss them until day 14; I did not miss my 2 year old or 1 year old for two weeks. In fact, I was living the dream and happier than I had been in a few years. There was something clearly wrong, but I didn't see it or accept it. Last year I went to California for some sunshine and told Tyler I would be back in a couple weeks. Every single week I asked, “Next week…?” 

6 weeks had gone by. It took me six weeks to feel "like me" again.

I think this story began when I became pregnant with Annie. We moved to Seattle that winter; she was born in the spring. I held on through the summer, became pregnant again, had a 15 month old and a newborn in a small apartment in a city - not something I had ever done before. Winter again, endless coughs and colds are the never-ending name of the winter game. In addition to that the sun rises late and sets early, around 4pm. It’s overcast and rains quite a lot these winters. We stay inside a lot. It’s not a lifestyle conducive to my sanity. Each summer I would barely come up for air because we lived at the park every. single. day., only to find myself in a lower low the following winter.

I finally went to the doctor last week. I was honest - most importantly with myself but also with her. I’m usually honest with God (I have no problem shouting out my insecurities, complaints, problems, frustrations, with him - He is love and I know he doesn’t expect me to be something I am not; He sees who I am, who I will become.) I do think for a long time I wanted Him to fix it. He didn’t. He wanted me to be open with myself, communicate with my husband, and my doctor, and move my own feet toward help and improvement.

I guess every story doesn't have, or need, a miracle ending - maybe we wouldn’t learn the lessons that make us more empathetic, understanding, compassionate, forgiving, willing to listen to, and see, others.

I know all of this does not compare to other’s who have lived with depression and anxiety for longer, and on a much deeper level. I don’t know why I write this and put it out there. Maybe to say social media lives look pristine. I know I’ve posted so many “happy posts” which were real moments, real feelings, but were no more than brief instances. Happy was not an overarching feeling of my life in general.

I thought: maybe I need to get off social media, sleep more, do less. I did all of those things trying to “cure” myself. While those were moves I will continue, as they had positive outcomes, they did not change the emotions and feelings that dominated me.

Maybe I write this for anyone who can relate but who hasn’t yet put words to their thoughts or feelings, those who are still trying, by sheer grit, to press through. 

No one need endure the misery, sadness, numbness, inability to function, until their circumstances change, especially not alone. Changing my circumstances certainly may change my brain, but there are some things I cannot change right now. I have had to accept and acknowledge that, and realize there are other steps I need to take to improve my situation right now. And I don’t need to feel guilty about them. 

If you feel any of these feelings don’t let more time go by hoping for some other future to distill itself upon you. I let too many years go by. I haven’t found an answer yet, and have been allergic to both medications the doctor has given me, but I have hope again. While my body reacted negatively to them in one way, in other ways they did help me feel light again, feel like real happiness, real enjoyment is there! I was happy to wake up for a few mornings - something I haven't felt in years. I just have to work through some kinks to find it on a more consistent basis.

If you need someone to talk to or confide in or somewhere to go - I will do whatever I can to help you. You can have my cell number and call any time! You can come over! We can put a show on for the kids and just talk. If you need anything find someone you can confide in. You are not a burden.

Maybe I write this for myself. So I can remember what the up and down feels like in motherhood, in family. Sometimes things feel hopeless, but they never are.

My greatest thoughts are summed up perfectly in these words by Elder Bradley D. Foster, “It is my witness that our Heavenly Father loved us so much that He sent His Only Begotten Son to live the life of a mortal so that Jesus could say to us, ‘I’ve been where you are, I know what comes next, and I’ll help you through it.’”

Jeffrey R. Holland recounts a moment in his young fatherhood and ends with these words, "Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but...they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."

I could not move forward one inch without this knowledge. 

I hope 2018 is different from past years. That I will notice and accept the things that are hard and do my best to patiently resolve them.

Happy New Year. Here is to good things to come.



Use code GOODTHINGS to take $100 off any shoot between now and the end of February!

bottles, bows, and balls

“Some people don't understand the promises they're making when they make them," I said.

"Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That's what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.” John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

hey lady

That's what he kept calling me. I told mom not to worry - Annie use to click at people when she wanted their attention: "hey mom, knlnock, knlnock, knlnock."

Love and Kindness = Love and Forgiveness

It’s finally sinking in. I’m finally beginning to understand the worthiness conversation.

Why should any one of us be made to feel "less than," even and most especially, when we aren’t behaving as our best selves? Isn't that when we crave love and acceptance the most?

While it’s easier to show “love and kindness” to those who believe, think, act and vote like we do, I️ finally finally FINALLY feel so strongly about what I️ do - and why I️ do I️t - that my own armor is slowly shedding itself. I find myself less afraid and more understanding, even towards those who don't reciprocate all the happy things... ;)

“If we want to reclaim the essential emotional part of our lives and reignite our passion and purpose, we have to learn how to own and engage with our vulnerability and how to feel the emotions that come with I️t.” @brenebrown

I believe this is how we will solve problems and misunderstandings between family, friends, neighbors, and beyond. When we let down our guard, protection, fear of losing, being hurt, or wanting to be right, we stand in another’s shoes and life becomes less a battle of right or wrong and more a conversation of where we come from and how we can help.

Maybe others will never change, and that’s OK, but if I choose love and forgiveness I will be changed. My girls will learn from my actions, my words, that the process of listening, learning, and trying to understand - without letting negative feelings overcome us - will strengthen our families, change our communities, and build our nations.

My prayers have become more real, more honest. I️ tell God things that don’t make sense, things I️ don’t like, the things that are too hard. My experiences have been powerful as He has filled me with love and shown me all the things I️ am doing well. My feelings move from anger, frustration, retaliation to forgiveness. I️ feel whole, full of worth, and wish those feelings on all within my reach.

And now I know: if I can do it, anyone can.

always on my mind

This was the first family I photographed strictly on film. The learning curve was steep! When I asked little girl to come take a picture with her mom, and she responded by shaking a finger near her nose while saying, "I...don'" in a high pitched voice while prancing on the log, the pressure was real - ha!

I could not have asked for more beautiful photos of this family. The grain, the real emotion, the creaminess - I jumped for joy when I first saw them, and still do when I relive the moment now. I do not believe the images could have been created under any other circumstance, with any other medium. I feel passionately about the journey to, and process through, film photography... much so that I have a personal project in the works that will be unveiled one day soon. It sits in the back of my mind, a powerful tool to document the things I feel, and hope others feel, most strongly about.

For now, esta familia, on film.

riding free

We are all worthy - of love, forgiveness, friends, connection, a home, a place to unwind, a place to cry, a place to bounce back. No matter the voices in our heads, we begin to practice worthiness, connection, and belonging in the way we first speak to ourselves. I know from my own experience that practice doesn't make perfect but it does make us stronger and more confident!

"...shame is the fear of disconnection - the fear that we're unlovable and don't belong... The expectations and messages that fuel shame keep us from fully realizing who we are as people. Today, I look back and feel so grateful to women and men who have shared their stories with me. I'm thankful for the people who were brave enough to say, 'These are my secrets and my fears, here's how they brought me to my knees, and here's how I learned to stand in my worthiness again.'" (Brené Brown, Italics added.)

before she flies

I bought a film camera, had no idea how to use it, and took it with me on a shoot "just in case." As soon as I walked in and saw the brilliant light pouring in windows that ran up the wall, I loaded it up with a lot of determination, and just enough fear to kick my heart beat up a few notches. The only thing that went awry: I only took one extra roll of film. When I ran out and still needed a few family shots I had to go digital.

All (but 3) photos are film. This is my last post with any ties to the digital camera world - huzzah!!

never happier

I have never been so happy during a shoot. There was so much Utah LIGHT I didn't know what to do with myself. This family laughs, jokes, smiles, and then laughs some more, constantly! They are crazy about one another. I kinda didn't want the evening to end (I was actually ready to move my family into their basement - construction could have carried on around us.) 

Since I have moved to full-time film over the next month my pricing structure has changed - if you feel something tempt you to take family photos this year CONTACT ME here. I use everything in me to photograph from my feelings, from my heart, and I want to photograph YOUUUU. xoxo.

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.