A heartfelt "Thank You" to all of my Sakura clients this year! The blossoms took their sweet time to bloom this Spring and the weekends were rainy, but I am thrilled that no sessions had to be cancelled and the portraits are lovely! This season would not have run so smoothly without the patience of these fantastic families. For most of you, this is your last Sakura season in Japan; thank you for allowing me to capture and be a part of these final memories of your time here.
I haven't been very successful at taking photos of our travels through Japan this past year. There are many reasons for that, primarily traveling light and traveling with kids. Cell phones can capture the memory, but those snapshots never quite measure up. With two kids, we won't be traveling light anymore. And now that my oldest is talking and can better understand that he isn't allowed to grab mama's camera, I'm looking forward to taking my camera along on more of our family adventures across Japan (and the Pacific!).
Over President's Day Weekend, we took a quick trip took Hakone and visited the Open Air Museum. It was supposed to snow that morning and, instead, the sun came out for a beautiful late Winter day.
Carl Milles is my new sculptor obsession. I have to go to Sweden to see more of his work.
Japan is incredibly kid-friendly and I love how the Open Air Museum had spaces where children can truly interact with the art. Children can climb up the Diamond Structure to the very top. Our boys are still too young for this structure, but we'll be making a trip back here when they are older for sure!
Alba, Alba, Alba. Oh Alba, with the penetrating stare.
And then there was Picasso. A little Picasso is good for the soul. Photography is not permitted inside the exhibit.
I stumbled on "The Hand of God" without realizing that we were close to it and I was stunned. We came to the Open Air Museum specifically to see this work and it did not disappoint!
There have been a few works of art that, upon seeing them in person, truly touched my heart: The School of Athens by Raphael in the Vatican, the Oath of the Horatii by Jacques-Louis David in the Louvre, and the Hall of Prisoners by Michelangelo at the Accademia Gallery. I would add Milles' The Hand of God to that list.
I could have photographed this statue all day as the sun shifted and touched it in different ways. Words do not do justice to the beauty of this piece.
After marveling at The Hand of God, I forgot to write down the names of the other sculptors/designers as we travelled through the rest of the museum.
Visitors are allowed to sit or stand on this Egg, so long as you took your shoes off!
This statue is hilarious and wonderful! Some of our other favorite pieces:
I could have easily spent the whole day in the Open Air Museum, but nap time calls ...
A family portrait to conclude our delightful morning!
In the Fall, I went with one of my favorite families to Ginza Street. This is easily one of my new favorite portrait spots! All of the look and feel of Japan without having to travel into Tokyo.
And how precious is this family?
I have some very dear friends who love Winter. I know many, many more people who like Winter. Me and Winter? I can't even...
I love my home in Virginia. I love our life in Japan. But I could happily live in a place without seasons (tropical island, anyone?).
My sons are little and I know this time of their lives is fleeting. I want to cherish every day of their baby years. But really, just wake me up when it's Spring. Can we just skip over all the cold, windy, dreary days of Winter?
Cold and flu season? OVER IT!
To make a long story short (too late), I hate Winter, which is why my heart soared last week when I saw the forecast for Sakura Season. The end is in sight, everyone! And the cherry blossoms are supposed to bloom EARLY! It's like finding out the groundhog didn't see his shadow. Winter is almost over!!!
I am beyond excited for this year's Sakura mini sessions.
Who else is over Winter, ready for Spring, and can't wait to see the cherry blossom trees in bloom? Reserve your session soon to secure your spot.
Things have been a little quiet around the blog. And by a little quiet, I mean *crickets* ... and here's why. We welcomed sweet Sam into our family on December 6th:
When I was pregnant with his big brother, I was photographing weddings until I was full-term. However, every baby and pregnancy is different and this time around, I was exhausted for 9 months. Add to that chasing around his big brother and, needless to say, not a lot of blogging happened. But it's a new year and my resolution is to become a better photo blogger!
There is so much to share - client sessions as always, but also photos of my two growing boys and hopefully some landscape/street photography from our travels in Japan! Stayed tuned!!
I have been waiting to see cherry blossoms since I first arrived in Japan. Sakura flavored drinks and snacks have been in stores for weeks! After a long, but apparently mild, winter, Japan and I are READY for Spring and Spring flowers. The predictions said that the sakura would bloom in the prefecture where we live on March 26th. However, the 26th came and went with very few blooms. The week has been cold and although a few blooms have popped out here and there - as a good friend put it - "all of Japan is waiting with baited breath for the trees to bloom."
What a difference a few days can make!
I have my first portrait sessions in Japan scheduled for this upcoming weekend and I am so relieved to be seeing so many sakura! Who knew it would be so stressful waiting for these pretty, delicate little flowers?!
What do you think, were they worth the wait? I think so!
In 2015, I was blessed to document the wedding of several incredible couples. My first wedding season as a mom and my last wedding season in Virginia for a while: it was lovely and more than I could have dreamed!
I want to take a moment before the year ends to express my deep gratitude and affection for these brides and grooms. Thank you for helping to make 2015 so beautiful! As you celebrate the first New Year as a married couple, I wish you all the best in 2016!
Congratulations to Alex and Christina (and Comet)!
I can NOT believe that this sweet boy is ONE YEAR OLD today! It feels like I met him just yesterday to take his newborn portraits. You are just as cute today as you were then!
It isn't fair. Sometimes I get to meet and work with an awesome family - and a fellow W&M alum! - whom I just adore and then later that week then move TO A DIFFERENT COUNTRY! It just isn't fair. Lauren and my baby even share the same birthday - just one more thing that makes her completely awesome. Sigh ...
But seriously, how sweet is this family??
The expression "dead of Winter" always feels appropriate to me this time of year. I grew up at the beach, so I love Summer, not Winter. All Winter long, I find myself looking out the window thinking, IS IT SPRING YET?!?! To remind all of us all of warmer, more colorful seasons, I'm finally sharing Courtney and Dave's beautiful Fall wedding. Actually, the weekend of their wedding, the temperatures were below freezing. Their outdoor reception moved indoors, but they held their ceremony outside as planned. It was the peak weekend for Fall colors and everything - particularly Courtney - was just gorgeous! I want to post a quazillion photos from this wedding, but I'm going to try to narrow it down to some of my very favorites from the day to share with you ...
In the days since my precious son was born, I have gained a new appreciation for photography. I look back on the portraits that I took when he was just 5 days old and then I look at him now, 3 months later, and think, "where did my newborn go?" The jaundice is long gone and he's so alert and expressive now. I can't believe how quickly children grown and change. I know that I will cherish his newborn portraits in years to come, but I didn't know that I would cherish them already!
I have also been humbled to realize that I am the WORST when it comes to making the time to take portraits of my own son. I always think, "oh, I'll take some portraits when he goes down for his next nap." But then I realize that I'm exhausted or hungry OR it took so long to get him to fall asleep that I'm not going to risk waking him up! But these moments are fleeting and precious, so I'm forcing myself to be really diligent about taking his portrait whenever is convenient (and sometimes even if it's inconvenient).
I look back on sessions with families who have invited me into their homes when their children and newborns. It's such a sweet and special time, but it's also an exhausting and challenging time. I appreciate even more how hard it is for a mom with a newborn to put herself together for a photo shoot. I'm so grateful to have been witness to that time for each and every one of those families. Newborns may be one of my absolute favorite subjects to photograph and I do not take the responsibility and the honor lightly.
I wrote this blog post and then I looked back at my post from last year, I realized that I wrote almost the same post! I adore Matt and Michelle as much as I did when I first met them last year. When Michelle contacted me in the Fall about getting portraits of their family during their annual visit to Williamsburg, I was so heartsick that their vacation was scheduled so close to my due date. I jokingly asked Michelle if they'd be willing to reschedule their vacation. I am so humbled and honored that she said, "yes!" I am beyond thrilled that I got to meet their little girl, Vivienne. That smile and her beautiful head of hair and those eyelashes ... I don't have the words for this cuteness overload! I can not WAIT to see how much she's grown next year!
When Chris, Charlene and I first talked about their engagement portraits, the first thing they mentioned was wanting to order union suits, aka adult sleeper pajamas. My immediate reaction was, "yesssssss!" The Union Suited Engagement Session (as it came to be known) was SO. MUCH. FUN. It was only 28 Degrees and super windy but we DID IT! I had hoped it would snow, but in hindsight, I'm so glad it didn't. The amazing bright orange sunset and their bright red suits against the Blue Ridge Mountains ... I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful landscape.
As cliché as it sounds, it really is hard to believe that another year has come and gone! 2014 was filled with so many gorgeous weddings and many more wonderful portrait sessions – I’ve been a very busy bee! My clients have come to feel like a large extended family, and I feel so lucky to have met each and every wonderful person that’s come in front of my camera since I started my business back in 2009. Wishing you all a wonderful 2015!
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you'll buy your pint cup,
and surely I'll buy mine,
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Courtney and Dave were married this weekend! In trying to find words to talk about Courtney, the phrase that keeps coming to mind is "classic beauty." Our early morning bridal session was dewy and a little chilly, but Courtney had such ease and grace about her that our session could not have been more fun and warm.
Today, this beautiful young lady will become Bat Mitzvah! Mazel Tov, Isabella!