Month: July, 2009
I had such a good time photographing Hannah. Hannah is a dear person to my family. She’s watched my girls countless times over the years and they absolutely adore her. There are very few people we trust with our children. And we are grateful that we can call on Hannah. She’s a bright and beautiful girl. If you are a client that visits my blog, you’ll recognize her name because she may have sent you a contract or pricing or something along the way – she’s been assisting me this summer!
I can’t believe you are going into Senior year, Hannah! Thank you for spending last night with me. And Lynn – I so enjoy talking with you. I feel like we are kindred spirits!
Urban Cowboy. That’s how it all began for me. I watched that movie 70 gazillion times by the time I reached my mid 20′s. I loved the music. And the love story. And the bull riding.
By the time I graduated from high school, I discovered the country music radio station in Chicago. It isn’t a stretch to say that I was in heaven. I know, I know – you were in heaven because you found country radio in Chicago? Yes. That’s what I’m telling you. I couldn’t help myself. It’s like how some people crave chocolate. I craved country music. And I got made fun of – a lot. I was undeterred, however. I’m still undeterred. The twangier, the better. Merle Haggard; Johnny Cash; Loretta Lynn – oh yeah – that’s right. That’s what I’m talking about.
Funny thing is that none of my friends in Chicago felt the same way. No one adored country music the way I did. What’s a girl to do in a situation like that? Well, I made new friends. I still have my old friends; but I needed friends that got this thing that was inside of me. So, I started going to Honky Tonks (yes, that’s what I said) and I learned how to dance and I dreamt of cowboys. I did.
That’s when my new country-music-loving friend and I devised a plan to go to a rodeo. We tried the rodeo that came through Chicago. It would NOT do. So, we set our sights on the Daddy of ‘em all – Frontier Days – in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
So my girlfriend from Long Island, NY and this Chicago girl hopped on a plane to Denver, Colorado so that we could venture north to Cheyenne for the rodeo. I met my Dave on that trip – he was living in Cheyenne. We married a year later, after dating long distance (Cheyenne/Chicago) and hundreds of dollars in telephone bills later. After we go married, I moved to Cheyenne. When I was expecting our first daughter, Mak, we decided to move back to Chicago. We’ve only been back to Cheyenne two or three times since then.
Until this weekend. We decided to take our girls to the rodeo; and to see Taylor Swift.
Cheyenne is a beautiful place. It’s laid back and relaxed. It’s not at all like where we live now. And I love that about it. The people are so kind; and happy; and peaceful. I love the people in Cheyenne.
We stayed with a dear friend while we were there. She was gracious enough to let the girls ride bareback on her horse – Comanche. Comanche is a painted horse – beautiful as can be. We also met Lucky. Lucky is a wild mustang that our friend broke.
The night I took these I was so incredibly excited about the way the sun was setting. Technically, these are all wrong from a photographer’s point of view. But you know what? I tried my hardest to get them to look just like they do. Oh that sun flare – and those pretty little prism rainbows – they make my heart flutter!
I currently have one day open in August for booking. Otherwise, we have two sessions left for September. Please contact me soon if you are interested in booking for the fall, the sessions are booking quickly.
A few weeks ago my dear friend Danielia asked me to photograph her daughter because she had just celebrated her 8th birthday. When I thought about taking this little one’s photographs – I immediately started thinking of a fun & lively place. Because this little treasure is both full of life and *fun*. The fair, I thought. That would be perfect for this sweet one.
When we met up at the fair, I was so excited to see “I” in a beautiful dress with beautiful shoes for her photographs. I was even more excited that she felt special. Now, “I” has an amazing mother. Uhm, it’s one of those things I really can’t explain. You know when you have a friend and you think “oh, I wish I was more like that”? That’s how I feel about Danielia. She’s kind and gentle with her children. And she gives them every drop of herself that she has to give. Wait til you see the look on “I’s” face in these photographs. She felt like a princess. I don’t think it’s because she had a special dress on. Nor do I think it’s because I was taking her photographs. I think it was because she got her mama all to herself; a special date. That’s why she’s glowing like she is……..and because God is working inside of her. I can see it. Can you?
“I” – my sweet love – I love you very much. Happy 8th birthday. D – how I loved being with you! Thank you both for your patience with me; and for agreeing to lay down in the grass in the middle of the fair because I thought it would make a great photograph. I always do take you down with me, don’t I? xoxox ~dawn
I spent a lovely morning recently with three little girls. I followed them around while they clipped beautiful flowers from their mother’s beautiful garden. No, really – when I say beautiful I mean botanical-gardens-beautiful! We dressed up and had a small tea party…..it was wonderful. Thanks, Cheryl for inviting me over. I came home dreaming of borrowing every book you have on gardening and reading for months! And thank you girls; you are so enjoyable to be around.
Sometimes when I’m on my way to meet family for the first time, I get a bit nervous. Not sick-to-my-stomach nervous; just a bit anxious about the comfortable quotient. I photographed this lovely family this past weekend and I will say this – I was at ease immediately. I went on over to their home for the shoot and I think I could have stayed all day long. Thank you both for making me feel so comfortable. You are seriously the kind of people I’d like to go to a Cubs game with! And little “K”, well, just check out how gorgeous he is. Capital G.
This afternoon when I came home from a long day, the girls met me at the door extremely excited about something. ”Close your eyes and come upstairs with me”, Livy said.
They slowly opened the playroom door and began talking a mile a minute about the things they had accomplished. They had created a little village for their American Girl dolls, you see. The interesting thing to me is how excited Mak was about it – being 12 years old and all. Can I share something with you? I *love* when she delights in things that little girls should delight in. Dolls are all good, right? Even for a 12 year old. I know, I know, they are all about texting and growing and spreading their wings. However, I’m learning that little Livy has an influence on her big sister. Livy gives Mak the freedom to be a little girl. Amen, to little girls just being little girls!
Shot these the other day – love the contrast between being interested in Grace Kelly in all of her princess glamour and loving coral colored converse gym shoes. Right in between – right on the cusp of becoming a teenager (only seven short months away).
For as long as I can remember my mom has told me that she believes that I would be well suited if I could just live at least nine different lives. The reason she says that is because my mind goes every which way a lot of the time and I dream and dream about things there are to do and ways God has provided for us to enjoy this life. I enjoy this life. It’s crazy and is most certainly not perfect – but I enjoy it.
For many years now, I’ve dreamt of being a boat builder. Are you laughing? It’s ok. I get that a lot. Last winter when it was snowing abundantly, I wanted my girls to have in inner tube to slide down the mounds of snow in our neighborhood. After Dave told me we didn’t have one in the garage, I said “what if we deflated the tires on your F150 – is there a tube in there we could use?” He laughs. A lot. Not at me. He laughs because I’m so cute. At least that’s what I tell him when my crazy ideas come out. I say, “I’m really cute, right?” He always agrees. And then I thank God that he agrees.
Back to boat building. It’s interesting at the very least, right? That I want to build a boat? Well, since my dad and I are a lot alike, I decided to rope him into building one with me. Funny thing is – he was pretty stoked about it. I gave him a few books last year about boat building but we never really got anything off the ground.
This year I was determined that we would do it. And we started this weekend. For the first boat (see – I’m already dreaming about the one that will need to be launched into the Atlantic because it will be too big for the lakes around here) is a little wooden canoe. We began building it in my dad’s garage this weekend. It will take over 100 hours of work. We stripped a lot of wood this weekend. And I learned a lot. I really had a wonderful time with my dad….and my hot, hot, hottie husband. My brother even showed up for a bit. The girls got involved and my mom loved watching us and dreaming about the launch. I’ll be sure to post photographs of the finished vessel. For now, I’ll show you some of our progress.
Sometimes the light streams into my kitchen window so beautifully that it really does amaze me. A few evenings ago, the light was coming in just right during that golden hour and Livy was bouncing around in her little nightgown. Often times, I just can’t stop myself from taking a photograph. I asked her to stop for a moment so that I could snap one. She obliged and this is what we got. The combination of her golden tan at this point in the summer and the golden light is so soothing to my eyes!
Pilgrim’s Progress is the second most published book of all time – behind the Bible, of course. It was written in the 17th century by John Bunyan who was a preacher imprisoned for preaching the Gospel. A description of Prilgrim’s Progress: The story of Christian, whose pilgrimage takes him through the Slough of Despond, Vanity Fair, and the Delectable Mountains, is full of danger and adventure. Together with his trusty companions, Faithful and Hopeful, he encounters many enemies–the foul fiend Apollyon, Judge Hategood, Giant Despair of Doubting Castle–before finally arriving at the Celestial City.
We found a children’s version, entitled “Dangerous Journey” and Papa has been reading it to us. Livy loves the illustrations and usually curls up next to Papa while Mak & I just listen. Just last night he read something that made me weepy. Christian (the main character) begins his journey with a huge burden on his back and the illustrations show a huge, enormous weight on his back. During his journey as Dave read last night, this is what I heard:
“Now I saw in my dream that the road, from then on, was fenced on either side with a wall. The wall was named Salvation. Along this road did burdened Christian run. Or should we say, he did his best to run, so far as he could, with that load upon his back. At the foot of a hill, he passed an open tomb. Then up again, upon a little knoll, he found himself beneath a wayside cross. And as its shadow fell across him, so suddenly the burden, slipping from his shoulders, fell from off his back. It tumbled down the hill. It tumbled into the mouth of the tomb. It was never seen again.”
Look at poor Christian with that big burden on his back. Ever feel like that? Me too. That’s why I got all weepy when Papa read the part about the burden falling off when Christian saw the tomb and the cross….and that burden tumbled right down into the tomb and was never seen again.
Tonight the illustrations were extremely exciting as Christian was attacked by Apollyon. Apollyon threw all kinds of stuff at Christian……just like stuff is thrown at us each and every day. This particular book is so child friendly. It caused the girls to agree – that fire that Apollyon is throwing at Christian is just like all of the temptation to sin that we face everyday. Here’s a link to the book in case you’d like to get one – I highly recommend it! Dangerous Journey