Slowing down with Miss Elowyn

I admit it. I don’t like writing. I could photograph and edit all day long, unfolding the story of a moment in time with my camera. When it comes to writing as expression, I generally feel inadequate.

Getting to tell the story of families and their connections, in photographs, is my passion. When I get to the words, focus quickly fades, distractions enter, wandering thoughts prevail. “That sounds disingenuous”, “don’t settle for that word”, and “come on, you can do better than that”. Clearly it is those exact thoughts that are likely in the way of my true expression.

I want my words to flow from inside, less-filtered, more insightful – enhancing the story of my photographs. More easily. Now. My writing friends say it takes practice and patience. Sigh…patience.

I want to slow down and hear them. I want to be less rushed and more in the moment. I want to feel that stillness of what it feels like when you first bring a newborn home (and NOT the not sleeping part). Perhaps that is happening. With both of our kids away at boarding school, the house is often still these days with only the pinging of the wood stove as it slowly melts our cat into a blissful warm puddle. Even she has slowed down. There is less distraction and more time to ruminate in thought and in what something feels like.  I think about what I want for my kids. I think about what I want for my life. I think about what I want our lives to be. 

If there ever was a family who inspires me to be real, it is the Baldwin family. Their vibe is kind and playful. Their home, warm with love. Stephanie inspires me. When she writes, her words seem to flow without a care in the world about what comes out. (I know she’s laughing right now ). I do love this quality in her. Her gratitude for life and for all for those itsy moments in the middle is palpable and contagious. In fact the other day she wrote that she “asked her husband to photograph her with their baby in a sling in the middle of REI, because she wanted to always remember it, just like it was”. I adore that about her. Simply in the moment, yet I know she isn’t always this way. She’s honest about struggles too. 

It is a combination of these traits that inspire me to be a better person. Thank you Stephanie for sharing your gift with me.

To be asked to capture a lifestyle session at the Baldwin home, just days after Miss Elowyn was born, was truly an honor. Being with them, in their “nest” for a few hours is what it feels like to be inherently trusted. I don’t mean with the quality of my work but with the quality of who I am as a person. It is in this acceptance that creativity flows. It was so fun being, capturing and creating with their family. Time stood still. Stephanie loves photography and is a very talented photographer. It was important to me to try to translate these moments into photographs, for her, for them.

Sessions like these are therapy for my heart and a reminder of how I want to work. I love my job.

Didn’t someone say “if you love your job, you never have to work a day in your life”? Whether a mother or a photographer, or both, I am grateful for all of the people in my life who have been supporting me and all of my work all of these years. 

Words can’t even express my gratitude to have a life and work that I love but maybe if I slow down and listen, they are starting to. 

Thank you Stephanie, Jake, Wyatt, Sawyer and Miss Elowyn. The pleasure is all mine.

“And in the end we are all just humans,

drunk on the idea that love,

only love, could heal our brokenness.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald


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