By far the hardest part..

My sister, Tamar. It's hard to say what I am going to say, because it makes it real. It forces me to face the fact that my life isn't always what I want it to be. I can't will it to happen, or 'try harder', or keep working towards a goal. Tamar lives across the country from me, back home in MI. It's probably the hardest aspect of my life - being away from those I love, especially her. She's the last bit I have left of our mom, although my children are a constant reminder. Whenever she comes out to visit, we always make plans for photo time - I mean, always. But, for one reason or another, the amount of time we spend actually taking photos is like 20 minutes. It's kind of hilarious actually. But when we do it, we do it. I'm grateful for this time we had together. And even though these were meant for her new website, I already have plans to print some for our walls because we just miss her so.

The most challenging part of being a professional photographer (for me) is creating connection with strangers. People who hire me to shoot their births, or take their family photos, or even simple portraits like these.. It's all about the connection. I've been blessed with the birth clients I've had so far.. Six wonderful families who really put their trust in me to create my art and capture their story simultaneously. Birth is where I thrive, I feel SO ALIVE and I'm able to just be - I call it an out of body experience. Something comes over me and I go into the zone of creating and I am gone. I often need to look at the photographs myself to see what actually happened, or to grasp the time line because it goes by so darned fast. Portraits are tougher for me, it's more of a director role - I'm touching your hair, fixing your clothes, telling you where to stand, etc.. So when my sister and I went down to the bay, I was a little nervous. Not fumbling around stuttering nervous, but butterflies in my stomach, I'm about to ride on a roller-coaster nervous. The good kind. When we got to the shots of her looking out onto the bay waiting for the sun to go down a bit, I had tears in my eyes, because as I was looking through my viewfinder at my sister, I saw our mom. In Tamar's extreme laid-back coolness, her eyes, and her smile. It was truly beautiful. We were connected, in a big way. I felt so revved up and alive from these 20 minutes that it's made me want to shoot more portraits for members of my community. To really connect one on one and have that intimate experience to create beautiful and meaningful photographs that will be cherished.

By the end, we were covered in mud and salt water. My cameras were covered in mud (yes, literally), my boots, my pants, and my bottom. It was perfect and I loved every minute of it. I love you sister!

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with 50mm f/1.2L, and 85mm f/1.2L lenses. All images shot with available light. I also shot these on my EOS 1-V with 35mm Fuji400H and I cannot wait to get these scans back! Please check back for an update :)]