Emily and her boys

She is one of the most inspirational women I know. Every time I get a chance to photograph her and her sweet boys I leave with a full heart. These two little guys are much bigger now, just like the love she has for them.

I am still over here celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, I am still over here celebrating Mother’s Day. I am still over here celebrating You. Once the hashtags and celebratory posts are over, we are still mothering and feeding our children, loving and giving as much of ourselves as we can.

I have opened up space in my book this fall to dig deeper into portrait photography. I want to spend more time photographing all of the beautiful moments that make life divine. I would love to photograph more births, families, women in their power.

Miranda's Home Birth Story

The thread that binds us together as women, the link that is always there, (though sometimes we forget) became very clear to me during childbirth. It was my strength. It continues to become even more apparent to me each time I connect with a woman through her story. Photographing Miranda in her power, watching her push through pain, seeing her dig deep into the depths of herself, witnessing her birth into Motherhood, was an experience I will never forget. Women are amazing, I will say it over and over again. Child or not, we are all Mothers, the caretakers of the Earth. We have so much strength and it grows stronger when we connect with each other deeply via our shared personal experiences. We touch the Divine and the Divine touches us back.

Miranda gave me permission to share her birth experience, because she is proud of herself. She birthed a baby, she did it, no one else. She also wants her experience to help educate others. You have permission to take control of your birth, it is yours. Miranda’s birth team provided her support and reassurance during her birth. They gave her the space and energy she needed to know she had the power to give birth to her baby. They respected her wants and made sure she was safe.

Here is her birth story from my perspective…

It was a mild Friday night in February. I happened to be apart of an art show and the opening was going on. I had already heard from Miranda when she told me she was in labor, so I packed my camera bag to take with me to the opening. The gallery was closer to Miranda’s house than my own, I was ready to go when I got the call it was time for me to arrive. I hadn’t been this excited for a shoot in a long time. I was going to document a new life joining our world. What an absolute honor.

When I arrived, I was greeted by excited grandparents who were waiting patiently in the living area of the house. I slowly gathered my breath, said a prayer for Miranda, and went upstairs. The first thing I noticed is that it felt inviting walking up the stairs, the smells were wonderful, the room was dim, light music was playing. The perfect scenario to welcome Miranda and Brent’s daughter to her new home. Brent was rubbing Miranda’s feet, she had no idea I was there, until a bit later on when we made eye contact in between contractions.

I introduced myself to her Doula, and Midwives. I settled into the energy so that I could become apart of it. I realized with my own birth, that every person present at your birth has the potential to add or take away from the experience. Its very humbling to be trusted with an invitation to this sacred moment, I wanted to make sure to honor that.

When I met with Miranda and Brent to talk about working together, I asked how much of the birth she wanted photographed. I feel it is important to respect the wishes of the women I photograph and be very clear about expectations. She wanted me to capture exactly what I saw, every emotion, every surge, every push. She wanted to see her baby being born. Since Miranda gave birth at home, she had added freedom in her decisions about food/drink, positioning, and comfort choices. She was able to go from her own bed to the bathroom, to the pool pretty easily.

It wasn’t long after I got there that Miranda gave birth to her sweet baby girl. Mom, Dad, and baby got some snuggle time in bed before the grandparents got to meet the her. I noticed something that was very special when the grandparents came in…both grandmothers went to Miranda and hugged her first. What a beautiful way to pay respect to and honor Miranda’s Rite of Passage. It was her Birth day too and they respected that. Miranda’s Doula made her a nice meal while the Midwives changed her bed sheets and made it cozy for her. It was awesome watching everyone care for Mother and Child so deeply. I am grateful to have been part of such a wonderful group of women. Miranda is an inspiration to me, always. Her strength is something I will carry with me.

Her Doula was Annie Sweeney

Her Midwife Team was Women’s Wisdom Cincinnati

Greg and Dave's Neltner Farm Wedding

If you want to know what a dream wedding looks like for me, this is it. Of course , Greg and Dave had a beautiful venue, gorgeous flowers, and dapper suits. The food was great, the music kept people moving all night. It was perfect. But, for me the dream comes from creating a space in time where all of the people who love and support you come together and lift you up in their love.

These two men were part of the reason I am able to say 2018 was one of my absolute favorite wedding years to date. Their fun loving attitudes were an absolute pleasure to be around. Their wedding day was full of positivity and love. Everyone smiled, everyone had fun, everyone was ecstatic to be there and to send them soaring into their new life as a married couple feeling supported and celebrated.

Some Polaroids and 35mm film. I hand delivered these to the guys. It was so special being present to see their reaction, Polaroids are meant to be seen in person. Scans are nice, but nothing compares to the actually print.

Jacqui and Dan Cincinnati Art Museum Wedding

I first met Jacqui when we sat down for a meeting to go over the details of her wedding. As we talked I noticed she asked more questions about me than I did her. It wasn’t because she was trying to see if we were a fit. I think we both knew we would be before our meeting. Jacqui is the type of person who sincerely, without any reservations, cares about people. She is interested in stories. She makes everyone around her feel important. At her wedding I saw it even more. She tended to all of her family and friends in such a loving way. Dan, her husband was just as gracious when I met him on their wedding day.

This was one of my favorite weddings of 2018. I loved how open Jacqui and Dan were to any suggestion I had. My assistant, Dana and I were able to create very unique images this day.

Thank you to an amazing group of vendors, who made the day so special for the couple

Planner Maura Bassman Events Venue Cincinnati Art Museum Second Shooter Dana Rogers

Here are some of my favorite Polaroids from the day.

Emily's Maternity Photos

It was a dark winter day when I showed up at Emily’s home. I had no idea what I was going to do for her photos. Instead of overthinking or worrying about light, I surrendered to the moment. I found a comfortable place to work and talk and I let go. A lesson I have learned as a mother, as I pretend to control everything, is that nothing is under control. Surrendering to that is liberating. The birth of life, the birth of a creation requires more than anything else, Surrender. You must surrender to your self, surrender to every mother who came before you, surrender to the muses, you must learn to trust your body and your instincts. When you let go of control, the divine power that lives inside all of us, the stregth of every woman who came before you, has the space to guide you.

The Fields Family is Growing

The Fields family is growing even more. I am grateful to document these special milestones for them. We went back to the location of Joe and Kendal’s engagement session many years ago. Neltner’s Farm has one of the best fall festivals. We headed there on a weekday to avoid the crowd. Sweet August is 2, so we were celebrating so much that day. I love all of these natural moments we captured.

Kendal is one of the best mother’s I know. I am always asking her advice for toddler activities. She and August are constantly doing fun things, soon they will have another member of their adventure tribe. I cant wait to meet him or her soon.

See you again next month sweet family! <3

Rebecca and Tanya Little Red Schoolhouse Wedding

Today, as I was scrolling through Instagram, I was stopped in my tracks by this beautiful story written by Rebecca, one of my past brides. I remember feeling so overwhelmed with love on their wedding day. It was really such a special feeling. She put it into words better than I could

Here is what she wrote.

“I meant this for yesterday, on #nationalcomingoutday, but I’m posting it now because representation matters on every day of the year. 🌈
This was the happiest moment of the happiest day. It felt like something indescribable, like my very cells were charged and vibrating with some wild energy, like we were wrapped in a tangible love force field radiating out of every person present. It gave me chills. I’d never before felt such a shocking depth of emotion, such raw bliss. ✨
I started wrestling with my sexuality as a pre-teen. It’s not something I wanted, it wasn’t a rebellious streak, it wasn’t a choice. As a people-pleaser growing up in a church that actively spoke out against homosexuality, that ranked queer people amongst pedophiles and murderers, I wanted more than anything to be normal. I spent many nights crying and praying and begging to be wrong about myself, and I spent years in a downward mental health spiral.
And then, guess what happened. Yep. I stepped out of that bubble, I learned to love myself, and life turned around fast.
I’d give anything for a time machine, to go back and scoop that little girl up in my arms, to hug my teenage self and tell her what is to come. “You will be happy,” I’d tell her. “You will be loved and you will love yourself. You will be matched with the most incredible soul in the world and together you will work hard and build an inspired life. Your friends will become your family. You will be surrounded and supported and lifted and all of this pain will be just a blur.” 💖
Too many queer kids don’t get a chance to grow up. They get bullied, they get thrown out of their homes, they get abused, they become victims of violence or suicide, and their candles burn out before they have a chance to tell a story like mine. 🖤
In the words written by JKR and spoken so beautifully by our officiant, @chelletresbelle, at the close of our ceremony, “You are protected, in short, by your ability to love.” We can protect the queer people around us, especially the young people, by loving them outright. We can remind them that they’re beautiful, not broken. That we need them. That it gets better. ⚡️”

-Rebecca

I felt the electricity she was speaking about. Rebecca and Tanya were surrounded by so much supportive love. I always tell my clients that one of the purposes of a wedding, is for all of the people who love you to lift you up in their love, to set forth the momentum that will become your new life with your partner. To put a huge gust of wind in your sails and give you a giant cosmic group hug. This was a homegrown wedding, Rebecca and her friends made everything from scratch. Tanya, who is a chef made all of the delicious food including incredible Buckeye cupcakes. It was labor of love that didn’t feel like work at all. I am so appreciative for their trust in me to capture such a wonderful day.

This is the photo she posted, and more from this very sweet, intimate wedding.

Claire and Wei 35mm and Polaroid film wedding

Not long ago I drove up to Oxford Ohio to photograph Claire and Wei's wedding.  They eloped in Boston where they live, but wanted to come back to the town where they met to celebrate with friends and family.  It was a beautiful day.  I documented the ceremony and family photos with my digital camera, but Wei and Claire were most excited about creating unique images with film, so we spent the later part of the day doing that. 

I cant say enough how much I love making unique art with my couples.  Their trust and enthusiasm inspires me.  It is a beautiful exchange of energy that I am so, so grateful for. 

My 2018 wedding book is closed, but I still have room for your 2019 wedding.  I have packages that include both traditional images full of emotion and images that I consider to be art, like the ones below. 

 

I brought all of my favorite cameras, including a $40 toy camera that inspite of having it on the wrong setting, produced one of my favorite images from the day.  The first one here.

A powerful maternity session

 

When I was pregnant, I asked everyone I knew to share their birth story with me.  I knew I wanted to try my best to have a healthy, natural birth, but had no idea what to expect.  Some of the stories were beautiful and peaceful, some were scary and difficult.  I listened to every one of them  with an open mind and heart.  I now understand, that those stories and the power of every woman who came before me, every woman that has yet to be are inside of me.  When I got to the point during childbirth that I thought I could not go any further, they carried me.  They pushed me to dig deeper.  They threw the rope I needed to pull from to help guide my son into this world. 

For this shoot I wanted Kristina to embrace that divine power that will be her strength as she steps into her new role as a mother. I wanted to encourage her and to create space for her to enjoy the moment she is in right now.   Everything about her will change dramatically in the following months.  Soon, her heart will open up in a raw, delicate way that is indescribable.  As she is going through the stages of being pregnant, it is already happening. The journey from Maiden to Mother,  has been the most life changing experience I have had.  I feel everything so much deeper and with a more empathetic view.   My heart has softened, yet become more protective.  It is truly a blessing for me to be able to create beautiful art with women in this very precious part of their journey. 

The images below were all created with 35mm and Polaroid film.  Kristina gave me full creative control and really encouraged me to push things as far as I wanted.  I couldn't be more happy with the magic we made.  I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to make art with her.  

Kris and Molly Engaged

When Kris and Molly contacted me about photographing their wedding I was thrilled.  Not only is it going to be one hell of a party, but also because Kris is a good friend.  No matter how much time has passed, conversations with him are honest and without effort, something I am grateful for.  Seeing my friends happy, makes me so happy.  I got a chance to get to know Molly a lot after our shoot as we spent time together at their favorite bar.  She is a smart, strong woman, who I really enjoyed talking to, I could have stayed there all night.  . Photographing gorgeous people is a nice, but photographing gorgeous hearts is what I live for. 

Thank you for the amazing day Kris and Molly.  I cannot wait to see you again!

Jessica and Emmie

I should have shared these images months ago, when I made them.  As much as I have tried to write, lately something inside of me feels like I have to keep everything private. I feel like I  have to protect these sacred stories and moments.  Deep down I think I am afraid I might not give them the respect and care they deserve with my words. 

I have been thinking a lot about the people I am connected to through my work.  I was trying to understand what they have in common, what kind of person am I attracted to? I feel like we all bring in certain kind of people into our world, for me, that person is one with a big, powerful story. It is usually a person who, through their own experiences has found their own path to be one of helping others heal whether they know it or not.   Love attracts love, beyond all of the fear I have been hiding behind recently is so much love. 

Jessica is one of the strongest women I have ever met, not just because of all that she has been through and come out of, but because she is sincere, caring, forgiving, resilient.  She is a wife, sister, mother, business woman.  She balances a very busy life with a smile on her face.  She gives more than she takes.  She has lived through one of the most heart wrenching experiences a woman can go through, yet she elludes so much grace.  She is an inspiration to me.  Her trust in me to tell her story was a gift. 

When I first posted a photo of her these are the words that came to mind.  Emmie is a couple of months older than this now.  This is a collection of Polaroid and 35mm images.  <3

"As we celebrate Emmie thriving in her seventh month, we are also remembering Meggie, Emmie’s twin sister who is no longer with us. This was such a special session for me. I spent 3 hours with Jessica discussing life, and loss, and dreams. Jessica and Craig came into my life a few years ago when I photographed their engagement, twice because it rained, then their wedding where it rained again. Their strength to endure has been tested over and over again, yet they prevail over and over again, and they do it with warmth in their hearts. Jess has this grace that eludes strength and confidence. She’s such a badass in her giant pickup truck and muscle car from her teenage years in her driveway. Yet, as I watched her look after her babe I was engulfed in her tenderness. Through my lens I’ve watched her grow into a woman, and a beautiful mother. She is the saint who will help those in need, no questions asked. Her husband Craig supports and loves his wife dearly, his presence is soft and kind. I’m inspired by their bond. It is a bond that has grown stronger through the kind of pain that is unthinkable. When you see a butterfly on the crib in the NICU it let’s you know the baby is part of a multiple pregnancy and one of the babies is no longer with us. Jess and Craig only got 2 weeks with their sweet Meggie here on Earth, but she will live in their hearts forever. "

 

 

Greg and Dave Engaged at Crazy Fox

This photo session with Greg and Dave was a blast for me.   I am really looking forward to spending more time with them this summer at what will most likely be one of the most fun weddings I have been too.  For their engagement session, we decided a drink would help take the edge off, so we hung out at the bar where they first met,  then headed to their home for some magic light filled images. .  

 I always feel like the luckiest girl in the world because I get to capture love like this.  Thanks for trusting me to tell your story Greg and Dave. >3

Adalia of the band Knotts

Working with other creatives fuels me.  I love collaborating on ideas to come up with something unique to their personality and craft.  I met Adalia when I moved into the new neighborhood we are living in.  I was thrilled when she contacted me about creating content for her band Knotts.  She suggested we shoot outside the skating rink near our homes.  I love all of this color. 

Love Love Love

Marisa, who is from America, was living in China.  She was working as a General Manager opening a restaurant for Expats and tourists and teaching Chinese people about Western service.  Jacob had just finished a 3 week journey through Tibet, traveling with a Buddhist Monk visiting monastery's and sleeping with a Tibetan Nomad family who were Yak Shepherds.  

Jacob came to the town Marisa was living in to fly out of the airport there that weekend.  As Marisa was walking into a bar called "Jellyfish",  Jacob was standing outside.   They were both open to love and in a place in their lives where they were ready to accept it.   After a long weekend together,  Marisa moved to Amsterdam to live with Jacob. They have been together ever since. 

Fast forward 6 years later.  They are now married and have a sweet little boy who is the best parts of both of them.  After spending time living in Amsterdam and London, they found their way back to Marisa's home here in Cincinnati.  I suggested we do a mini wedding shoot when they returned since they did not get many photos from their intimate ceremony in England. Marisa showed up in the most beautiful red dress, my heart exploded. 

I had been eyeing the restaurant, Frida in Covington and really wanted to shoot there.    The owners Emily and Paul were very gracious to allow us in on a day they were closed.  Emily also gave this underpass in Covington new life as well.   She is a pioneer in making Covington the amazing place it is today.  <3

I want to thank Evelyn from Eve Floral Co for these AMAZING flowers.  She is absolutely incredible and such a sweet woman.

Cincinnati Family Photos

I really enjoy photographing senior photos.   Simultaneously, we are paying homage to youth while witnessing witnessing parts of the adult they will become.  It's an exciting time full of transition and change.  Olivia and Kirby left me with a sense of hope and excitement after their session.  They both seem very driven and kind.  The future looks bright through their eyes, I really enjoyed that. 

This is a combination of senior photos and family photos.  Jill, is a wedding industry friend.  Her family runs Village Pantry Catering.  She added time to the girl's session so we could fit the entire family in some of the photos.  It was a gorgeous day at French Park.  I cannot wait until the weather gets nice, so I can visit again. 

Savannah and Andrew's Downtown Cincinnati Wedding

2017 was a year full of much love and laughter.  The clients who came into my life left me with a deep reminder of the magnitude of gratitude I have for this very special job that has been presented to me.  I document love.  I document the emotion.  I help preserve memories and moments.  The time I spend with the people who come into my life through photography help me become better at living and loving in my own life.  Its pretty damn incredible.  

I have a huge body of work I have not shared.  Time got the best of me last year.  I am still trying to find balance between being a mother, a business owner, an artist, a lover, a friend, an aunt,  sister, a daughter, ....does that ever really happen?   I feel like if I am productive every day,  I am doing IT.  I have just learned to give myself some grace. 

 I vow to spend the rest of February sharing lots of new stories, a new website, a slow integration of my art and my work , and some very big announcements. 

This is Savannah and Andrew.  Before they moved away to North Carolina for Andrew to continue his studies, they had an intimate wedding celebration downtown at The Blind Pig.  The theme of their wedding was fun.  Look at all of these smiles.  <3