Eclipse Week: part 1 {Salem, OR}

We spent a week "back home" in Salem, OR this past August. It ended up being a special and monumental week to be in Salem as the total eclipse just happened to be taking place! The week seemed to serve as a final summer hurrah of sorts. Andrew had been working pretty crazy hours most of the summer and I knew that this trip marked the end of that and the start of a better many months ahead.

Bonnie and Abram had a blast with their cousins: Cora, Isaac, and Eliza. It is always so special to see them together. Months pass between our visits which means that each time we all get together, there's always something new to share and enjoy. It's also safe to say that our kiddos are still catching up on sleep from the week (it's been 2 weeks since we've been back!). They played hard!

Pictured below are some highlights from the first half of the week:

Muir Woods // Family Day

Today was magical. Apart from the occasional fusses from the babes, our surroundings came straight out of a dream. Don't get me wrong, I do love a cliff-side with crashing waves and rock-filled beach, but oh my, today's Muir Woods offered such life and left me in awe. I'm now inspired to make a trip back through the real red woods before we relocate.

Bonnie kept saying, "Wow! God made this! It's amazing and so pretty!"

God is good. I needed this heavenly glimpse today. And, I needed the family day. We've had a fine week but the month prior was a tough one. Andrew is in his last 3 weeks of his 2nd Residency year. That means, one more year to go! It also means the most difficult is behind us (in theory at least). Hooray for a much nicer upcoming schedule and real weekends. More adventures to come!

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.”
Henry David Thoreau

Shoot every day

I'm taking a few moments to break from processing, editing, and organizing images from an amazing community Easter Event this past weekend at Busy Bodies Playhouse. If you're a local (Vacaville/ Fairfield area) and have littles, go check it out!


When others ask me how they can get better at photography, I usually begin some sort of word vomit and make statements in every different direction. Because there is SO MUCH to learn and SO MANY different avenues to take. Not to mention, a bazillion different styles.

But, I regain composure and I finally end on my biggest and most important piece of advice: Just shoot! Shoot every day! Shoot every single week. Shoot and learn. Learn by trial and error. Leave your camera OUT. It's perhaps a miracle that my camera has yet to endure any significant damage seeing as it literally has no home. It hops from counter to couch to end table to coffee table... to dresser to stroller and so on.  Out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, keep that camera in sight! And use it! Out of 100 images, 10 might be keepers. This is normal and all part of the art (& wonder of being able to shoot digital).

When we drove into the garage and I saw that little Abram had fallen asleep in his car seat, I ran in to grab my camera, this little bed prop, and a quilt. I've had my eye on the front bed of weeds for a few days and have held off on pulling them... Granted I knew my luck at keeping him asleep was slim... but I went ahead and plopped him down to see what we could get.

That smile and those eyes are everything. My soon to be one year old... how I'll look back at your precious face and treasure each and every image.

Now, go. Get that camera out and shoot. Enjoy it. Use your cell phone for practice with composition and angles. Use the amazing tools we have today to learn more when you have time. Hello, google and you-tube! Most of all- if you want to truly get good at something, it takes time, effort, and yes... some money too. But, mostly time! Take a work shop. It's an invaluable and perhaps essential investment if you really want to learn.

My photography journey began over ten years ago but I've just finally been able to invest my time and efforts into the art over the past year and a half or so. To those just starting out- keep at it and keep practicing! I learn something new every day. Literally, every single day.