an evening in the water

last weekend, our dear friends asked us if we'd like to go out on their boat with them.  we absolutely love spending time with the skubins, so of course, our answer was an overwhelming yes, yes, YES!!  having not shot underwater for quite a while, i decided to bring my D700 and underwater housing with me.  it was different than what i'm used to (shooting in my pool) but i loved it just as much.  there's something about shooting in the water that so resonates with and speaks to me.  i don't think i could ever get enough of it (except for dealing with my wet dreads).  lucky for me, we're headed to MN for a week -- to a cabin on a lake, where i'm connecting with the amazing  martha (of i see the moon photography). martha and i dream and talk about lots of shooting together, including underwater.  :-) and i so cannot wait!!! here's a few of my favorites from our amazing evening together just off of our (almost) private island...

ETA:  nothing like just finding out that tropical storm debby is continuing to leave her mark in the pinellas county waters.  the pinellas health department just issued a health advisory declaring that the waters at five popular beaches are a potential health risk because of high bacteria counts.  why? because of...

FECAL MATTER that was washed from the land into the gulf.

OMG, how gross!  of course, the waters we were in is one of the affected areas.  yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck!


getting in front of the camera

when meredith contacted me about photographing her family, she mentioned how important it was to get some photos of her with her children and husband.  my guess is that every photographer knows this feeling, whether a professional photographer or you're just the one in the family who always seems to be behind the camera.  i know for myself, i take so many photographs every year and yet i'm almost never in my own family's photographs.  and with that said, i so cherish each and every photo i have of me with my kids and husband -- so, so cherish! i did take photos of the wilcke family and the kids by themselves, but today i want to celebrate mom | photographer getting in FRONT of the camera.

and if you haven't had your family's photos done in a while and you're waiting for the perfect time, you might just want to read THIS!

happy you are home

being especially thankful is obviously on everyone's mind this week.  but this family has something momentous to be thankful for; they will never forget thanksgiving 2010. daddy is coming home from iraq this afternoon.  he was gone six months -- left when their baby was three months old.  and steve just happens to be best of friends with B (they met in EOD school), so my whole family will be there to welcome B home.  and i get the honor of photographing the homecoming.

so can't wait.

just a few more hours now.  and we're getting our signs ready :-)

hoping to share some homecoming photos in the next few days.

wishing everyone a most wonderful thanksgiving tomorrow -- filled with love, laughter, friendship and joy.  we have so much to be grateful for!

my first

had my first tampa shoot last week.  i mean i've shot here before.  but this was my first family shoot.  here in tampa.  a client.  a friend.   i adore them. we decided to head to picnic island because they wanted beach and it's pretty close. i had shot there before on a cloudy (empty) day.  the M family moved here this past march, from ohio, and they wanted something florida-y so we thought picnic island would be perfect.

K and i talked about the location after -- nice because it offers both green and beach.  but the beach was not the greatest, we agreed.  the water isn't the kind you really want to get into and it was a bit crowded with some interesting characters.  so i'm still longing to find that magic beach, like this one.  i will eventually find it.  maybe here.  i mean really...PB pier didn't come to me overnight.  it will happen here too.  and so...the tampa location scouting continues.

with all that said, i do love the mix of green and beach that picnic island has to offer.  but i miss the texture and shade of a pier.  thanks M family for being my first!! :-)

how things work(ed)

meet my dear friend, heather, and her two boys (ages 3 years and 8 months). her husband isn't in the photographs because he's currently deployed in iraq and has been for the past six months. yes, he deployed when the baby was only a couple months old and the baby hasn't been the easiest baby in the sleeping department. we're hoping heather's husband is home in time for christmas. fingers crossed!! heather absolutely amazes me -- her strength, kindness, patience and generosity -- to mention just a few of the amazing qualities this woman possesses. i've known heather as long as i've known steve. you see...heather was actually the mastermind behind steve and i meeting one another in destin, florida, at AJ's. heather reminded me of the story yesterday, which goes something like this...

some guy spilling his beer on me. me getting mad, having had a beer or two myself. guy's friend, heather, intercepting by sending a cute guy over to create a distraction. enters cute guy...steve!!

steve and i saw one another every day from that day forward (until he had to move to WA and i had to stay as an air force nurse in FL). that was back in fall 2001.

and heather just happens to be married to one of steve's best friends, brian (he and steve went to EOD school together). so after not seeing one another for almost nine years, our families now live 40 minutes apart. how lucky are we?!! funny how things work sometimes. actually, it's amazing how things work sometimes. and it all brings me back to how very blessed i am!!

thank you heather for being you -- for your friendship and for your never ending support, encouragement and inspiration (oh...and for introducing me to my husband :-) ). adore you and your family and am so excited to share our next three years together! soon, we will celebrate and do photos of your complete family. can't wait!! xoxo.