to chase the light

These images come from the most sacred photoshoot in which I have ever participated.

An evening of remembering, of leaving some things behind to cling to others,

of grieving and healing, of waves that ebb and flow like tears, like laughter, like sorrow.

Conversations, time, and embraces with this family have forever changed me.

In moments of engulfing darkness they choose - and over again - a fight for light

almost at the cost of life.

I learn what it truly means to chase the light.


The best things in my life have happened because i have taken a risk, even when some voices suggest it’s not a good idea:

reading the book of mormon

10-day social media fast

buying a camera

charging people for sessions

charging more for sessions

moving to orange county

reaching out to certain people i dreamed of photographing

changing my entire brand

Here is a bit about my next risky move:

I AM NEEDED: my strengths, my conversion, my conviction, my ability to lead, my wisdom, and my voice. Russell M. Nelson

“We love you for who you are.” Dallin H. Oaks

I am needed, and not on social media. 

I have recently learned that social media growth is a by-product of business growth - it is not the catalyst of business growth. Social media has been fantastic in connecting me with like-minded creatives who love to talk life, love, family, and photography,

but when President Russell M. Nelson invited women to take a 10-day social media fast, and simply record what we observed, I had no idea the scope of what that would show me about myself:

I have never felt more human. Within 1-2 days of being off I felt, and acted, dramatically less robotic - my interactions with my children were 1000% more natural. I had to think less, plan less, and work less to engage more - more willingly, more happily, more naturally, more playfully. Life unfolds itself to me naturally when I am not trying to document all of it (especially to meet the demands of an insatiable algorithm). I make an exponentially greater difference in lives when I am not addicted to my screen and the life-sucking scroll. 

I gained clarity in every other area of my life.

My priorities effortlessly fell into place. Social media gives me a faux sense of immediacy. In the last 10 days not once have I felt rushed to complete something, post something, write something - my decisions were made naturally and calmly and the least important item smoothly fell behind.

I stuck to tasks without getting distracted (even though my brain wanted me to “just check facebook really fast…” I did not cave and holy moly I had not realized how much time is spent doing nothing by “just checking really fast!!!”

I have less anxiety (which I did not notice I carried.) The absence of the constant unintentional comparison has brought more fulfillment, more satisfaction, more calm, to my brain and my heart. The social-media/phone addiction is a numbing agent that covers, or distracts me from, the negative things I would normally feel, think about, and work through. Without ever addressing them they fester. For me, without social media, I am exceptionally more at peace, even when life is chaotic.

It has been more deeply instilled in me that I am strong, I am wise, I am powerful, I am important, I am beautiful, I am smart, I have the gifts of discernment and of faith, I am capable, I am a rockstar mom, friend, and neighbor. I am a force.

I deeply enjoy learning about my body - learning to understand it, listen to it, and obey it. I love being filled with light, knowledge, and love, and sharing it! Those feelings are pouring into me as I naturally and deliberately spend my time doing the things that are most important right now: lying on the bed snuggling Kate watching a million shows, lying on my bed alone staring at the ceiling, building a raging photography business, bike rides, beach trips, cooking, answering Annie’s every question about how to spell every word in a paragraph, actively serving in my church and community, and taking quiet time for myself whenever I need it. 

Without social media I live.

So, I will keep staying off. I will pop on sometimes - maybe every 10 days, maybe not. But my time will be spent “building an empire” (as a dear mentor once told me I would, and she was right in every regard.)

I am building an email list to communicate when I will be where, and from there I will send out blog posts (almost) weekly.

I have huge business goals. 

If you come to So Cal and want a casual, sun-filled, light-filled, laughter-filled, love-filled photography session (mom and baby, family, couples, whatever else the heck you want) please come see me - I pour my heart into everything I do and if you don’t mind me falling head-over-heels in love with you I am your girl ;)

love, love, love, 

forever love, 


I just had a family come from all over the states for an extended family reunion and we took their photos on the beach! Portraits will be painless and seamless and then WE WILL PARTY. Click here to make your beach session happen!

I chose the latter...this time.

My children are beautiful and perfect and smart and funny and vibrant and delicious and creative and give the juiciest kisses, but HEAVEN. HELP. ME. every single time I ask them to clean their room - or ANY mess they make - and they fire back with, “But what are YOU going to be cleaning, mo-om?!” Someone please restrain me.

The other day a neighbor friend came over to play and Kate said, “Oh, you can just throw it on the floor. My mom cleans for us so we can make a mess it’s OK, my mom will clean it, just throw it over there.”

Two dear friends came over today and we huddled around each other like sisters while chatting, laughing, crying, and simultaneously squeezing and snuggling our babes while whisper-screaming at them to [get lost] go play.

#momming  It’s the best. I love it exponentially more when I see other moms expressing feelings like mine. I love my village - so much.

If you have not read The Big Leap you haven’t read anything ;) 

You know those moments you are feeling all the feelings and you volcano-erupt on everyone but when you finally lock yourself in a room alone you start to realize that all the things you are screaming at everyone else for really has nothing to do with them. Your emotions just take over and everything and everyone is annoying and it actually physically hurts to deal with it all?

Since reading The Big Leap in Seattle a few months ago everything has changed for me: instead of feeling all the feelings and then lashing out I am able to think, “What is ACTUALLY happening INSIDE MY BODY?! My heart is racing, my brain is spinning, there is a pit in my stomach, my chest feels tight and I can’t really breathe….” I am more able to close my mouth for one minute and process what is going on inside of ME before unintentionally blaming everyone else for what I feel. I may still feel hurricane-like while emotions swirl in every chaotic direction, but it doesn’t pour out onto everyone else as treacherously.

Kind of an Example:

The neighbor’s hot potato toy was left at our house (when the button on this toy is pressed some real obnoxious music plays for an unknown amount of time). My children have loved it and I have woken angrily to that music for the past few days. Well, this morning something miraculous happened. I was, once again, woken by the annoying singing, and instead of RE-acting and lashing out two scenarios unexpectedly played out in my still-half-asleep mind:

A. I storm out of my bedroom while griping at the girls about how they woke me up and they are supposed to be quiet and I tell them every day and on and on with a bunch stuff they will never remember or follow and that will make us all feel like worthless terrible people. 

B. I stay in bed, laugh about how freaking much I hate that toy. The girls come in 10 minutes later snuggling me, spooning me, and slobbering kisses all over my face while I wrap my arms and legs around them all without even opening my eyes. Their naked selves bounce around on my bed as they scream, “Mommy’s awake, mommy’s awake, mommy’s awake!!!!” while laughing and acting like a buncha crazies.

I chose the latter…this time.

I have a lot of plans for my photography business in the new year (once I get through the next couple of months! I have a few changes coming up that I get scared to talk about and think, “What if people don’t like it?!” HA!

The excitement of something that lights me on fire drives me, and I continue the practice of quieting the other voices…

These last three images were taking at Leo Carillo in Malibu on a camping trip. Before the trip Tyler was back and forth between the garage and the car, taking all the sleeping bags, etc. to the trunk. Kate was then taking all of the stuff back into the garage to play with. When we go to the camp site Tyler said, “I think Kate took all the sleeping bags back into the garage. So, ya, all 4 of us slept in our tent with one sleeping bag and one blanket and two crappy pads. Worst sleep of my life, but when I look back on the trip, of course, all I remember is the good, the fun, the unity, the laughing, the biggest waves any of us had ever seen.

Those little girls had all those sticks because they were fighting the boys and wow were they a sight.

Portra 800 and orange people can never, ever be beat.

***For interested photographers: I wanted to see what Portra 800 could do in low light, because a lot of people talk trash on P800 but that was only rated at 800 + 1 and overcast outside. I shot mostly at 1/30 and I don’t think pushing and shooting at 1/30 was necessary.