Strong Young Women

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Labor Day weekend.
Salmon Lake.
Cloudless.
I’m with friends.
Lots of them.
I’ve known them a long time.
We’ve seen our kids start small and go big.
Smiles are great.
But eyes are better.
They’re tough as hell to fake.
Eyes scream reality:
We take no shit from nobody.
Not in high school.
Not in college.
Never.

Contact me for kids, teens, couples, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.

Have Sister Will Weep

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Sisters.
They can be a nuisance.
Paige pushed one too many buttons.
And Gavin was about to punch her in the throat.
I saw him wind up like Madison Bumgarner.
Fast ball, all the way.
I intervened.
Dads.
They can be a nuisance, too.
When the urge to violence is muted, frustration often ensues.
Bitter, heartfelt frustration.
Tears happen.
Then—moments later—
A silent, unobtrusive camera click,
Because of course…

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Simply Catherine

I have an idea for a new project: Being Human.
Its premise is straightforward.
Business professionals are people, generally speaking.
They may have titles, roles, and responsibilities.
But who they are goes way beyond workplace ephemera.
And it’s not a carefully guarded secret, either.
You just have to ask the right questions.
So, meet Catherine, a communications professional.
A writer, musician, and, well, read on…

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When you grow up, what kind of person do you want to be?

I want to be that 80-year old or 90-year old who’s still riding her bicycle or running along the shoreline or hiking through redwoods as she gets older. She’s full of zest for life. She surrounds herself with people who love and inspire her. She’s radiant, humble, wise, and present — deeply present — to the hum and flow of each moment. She loves the world, in all its brokenness and heartache and still sees its glory shine through.

What is one question you would ask a fortune teller?

Am I going to be alright? Am I going to make it to 70 or 80 or 90 years old and still have my body parts working well and be cared for and surrounded in love? Am I going to be happy? Will I have done all or most of what was on my “bucket list?” Will I die a peaceful death and leave this place at least a little better than when I came in? Imagine how life could be lived if we knew that we were going to be alright no matter what. Nothing could stop us from pursuing our dreams.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 

Sitting in sunshine on a warm day, surrounded by giant trees or the ocean or some magical outdoor setting. The sun on my skin. The smell of the salt air or eucalyptus or thick earth surrounding me. Listening to ethereal music. Sipping a phenomenal cappuccino. And eating the most heavenly slice of pie. Mixed berry pie, with billowy whipped cream. There must be pie for it to be perfect happiness.

Contact me for kids, teens, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.

Urban Chic

When I capture a candid expression like this…

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….and a heartfelt laugh like this…

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…and a bookishly hip shot like this….

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…all in the space of 23 minutes, well, I’m ridiculously happy as a result.
“There’s one thing a photograph must contain,” says Robert Frank.
“The humanity of the moment.”
For what it’s worth, I agree.
Thanks for visiting.

Contact me for kids, teens, family, and corporate staff and event photography in the Bay Area.

Fields of Gold

Meaghan had a straightforward request.
Shoot my family, she said.
Not that kind, the other.
I chuckled to myself.
I admire a woman who’s direct.
To the point.
Like this.

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It’s a gorgeous image.
Matt wondered about his role in the affair.
How does the back of my head look, he asked.
Splendid, I said.
He almost certainly smiled.
But I got his point.
So we turned Matt round.
And then it happened.
A hush fell.
The trees glowed.
And Meaghan’s hair went electric.

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With chemistry like that,
Matt and Meaghan are bound to have kids, right?
Well, they do.
They’ve got two of them:
Logan and Lexie.
Lexie may be Logan’s little sister.
But she’s got big-time affection for him.
Just look at that reach!
What a handhold!

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Before long, Lexie put her generous athletic gifts to use.
She free soloed the center of the tree climbing universe in record time.

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After she safely descended,
We hung out in a field of green and gold.
And we—including, me—smiled for the beauty of it all.

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Thank you, Matt and Meaghan!
It was a joy and a privilege to photograph your family.

Contact me for kids, teens, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.

New Yorker Abroad

I’ve shared photos of this NY ballerina before. At the top of the year, we kicked off a half-day collaboration, working deliberately to achieve certain effects. Here are some of my favorite images from the collection, each introduced with a verbal cue only:

Atlas Slave

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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Color is Black and White

Curves and Lines

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Living Green Frame

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Life without Beautify is Empty

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William-Adolphe Bouguereau

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Determination

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Thanks for visiting, hope you enjoyed!

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Dance Like Everybody’s Watching

Melody.
That’s her name.
It describes her laugh, too.
And her movement.
She’s a ballet dancer, after all.
And every ballet dancer needs a portrait.
Well, portraits—one is never enough.
Of course, they have to be worthy of a dancer’s art.
So while I played with light, Melody played with expressions.
Lots of them, endlessly inventive ones.
We made for a great collaboration.
I hope you enjoy.

Contact me for kids, teens, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.