Magic is that moment that the light looks so pretty you just want to bottle it up and save it for later. Magic is when you love what you do, as a passion and a profession. Magic is when you can make other people feel absolutely beautiful. Magic is when you get so caught up in taking pictures, that you lose yourself for hours upon hours. Magic, is what happens every time I look through my camera.

This Saturday I organized two photo shoots with two lovely ladies so that I could get more work to put in a portfolio for a big review at the end of school. (three more weeks!) I used the portfolio as my reason, but truly I think I just needed the excuse to do it for myself. I
need to take pictures, like people need their morning coffee, their favorite bathrobe, or 8 hours of sleep at night. And photographing people is something I haven't had the chance to do enough of while I've been here. I was craving it. The funny part is, I got so nervous the night before. And I've done this for years, but it always turns out great, and this time was no exception. I am in LOVE with the photos from Saturday. And, although I was the one behind the camera, I have to give my beautiful friends credit for being so patient and so awesome. They rocked it. Lacy and Heidi, you should be models. Seriously.



I was especially excited about the shoot with Heidi, because I created every piece of her outfit from scratch. I'm almost 23 and apparently still love playing dress up. I even hand made both hair bows, and the veil just for the shoot. It was one of those scenarios where I had pre-visualized exactly what I wanted out of it, and got even more than I had expected. Thanks girls. You made my day.



hello fall.

goodbye sweet, sweet summer.

It doesn't look like this everywhere in Missoula yet, but I sure wish it did. This is Pattie Canyon. I went for a nice drive this afternoon in search for locations for two photo shoots I'm going to do tomorrow (yay!) and got lost in my thoughts, which was kind of nice. It never fails, this time of year is very nostalgic for me. Every season has memories, but fall is different. There's a feeling in the air that brings up a rushing anxiousness in me and distinct feelings of change. There's an unsureness of what's about to happen, but it's always exciting. It's my favorite time of year, by far.

I get this urgent desire to do certain things:
  • Make zuchini bread
  • pumpkin pie
  • carmeled apples
  • buy new school supplies
  • play in the leaves
  • go to football games
  • dress up for Halloween
  • buy candy corn
  • take evening walks in the brisk air
  • watching the new season of The Office!
  • watch my old marching band videos (a cool fall morning always makes me feel like I should be going to practice. haha)

My friend Danielle and I last year.
My 'Office' watching buddy and pumpkin carver extraordinaire...

And I couldn't leave this one out.
Miss you Kevin!

Happy Fall Ya'll :)


push. pelt.

"The rain to the wind said,
'You push and I'll pelt.'
So they smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
and lay lodged- though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt."

-Robert Frost.


balls and beer.

Okay, so if you're in AI and you skip out on bowling night, you're just absolutely crazy. I suck at bowling. In fact, I think the older I get the worse I am. True story. The only bowling I'm good at is Wii bowling, and that's usually when I've had a couple drinks. I didn't drink at bowling night, but I'm pretty sure everyone else had enough to make up for it. I just bowled, drank a cherry coke, and took a lot of pictures :) I'm so glad I brought my camera too. I've felt a little "off" lately and I think it was exactly the dose of medicine I needed. I didn't, however bring my camera to the Karaoke bar afterwards, and I wish I had. Although, everyone would of missed out on seeing my sweet dance moves if I had been taking pictures, so I'm pretty sure it was a good substitution.

This is the sweetest couple ever!

Some of us, Heidi for example, take our game very seriously.

I think it's funny when you you take bowling pictures, because you get a camera full of butt shots. Tim's made the cut. Nice form Mr. Cooper. :)

I love the lines in this one. :)


Andy. Do I need to say more??

My amazing friend, Kevin.

This is what happens when photography students get together. There were even studio lights set up to the right. haha.

dragging the shutter.

Okay, and this is completely unrelated and random, but I couldn't help myself. The tomato plants at my house are going crazy right now. Which is kind of weird, because fall has stopped by to say hello and I think it's going to to stay and visit for a while. I wanted to take a picture of them because they're so yummy and cute! Besides, I got this old school canister at the thrift store the other day (50 cents!) and was dying to put something in it. Thrift store treasure hunting makes my heart smile.

I hope everyone had a good weekend.
Thanks for stopping by!


patient friend.

I don't like being forced to pick up my camera, especially when i'm not feeling inspired. I like when my hands know it's time to pick it up and they just do- without thought or hesitation. I haven't been taking any pictures. I feel almost ashamed when that comes out of my mouth. But it's true. My days have been full of photoshop, photoshop,
However, it sits there, in my camera bag, like a patient friend. Like the friend you never see, but know the minute you talk to them that a conversation will pick up exactly where it was left off. A good friend, and a best friend, who will never let you down.

A panoramic photo assembled in photoshop combining 6 images.

It was nice to see you again. Let's talk soon.


love affair

Have you ever been in love with someone? Someone that you had just met not very long ago and everything was still fresh? Your skin tingles when you see them and you find that you always have a smile on your face. And you never get bored with them because there is always something about them that intrigues you, inspires you, draws your interest more and more each day...

And then you find out that they are leaving.
Whether it's for a week, two weeks, or even a long term job assignment. Either way they are leaving and you find yourself wanting to be around them every chance you get. Almost as if the more time you spend with them is like gathering up all the "feel good" and putting it in a jar to open later and savor, little by little, over the duration of their absence.

This is how I feel. Except this time, I'm the one leaving. I don't know why but I'm already putting a lot of thought into leaving Missoula. I have another 5 weeks until school is even over, but I feel like the beginning of Advanced Intensive, is the beginning of a downhill slide. And I already know that those 5 weeks are going to go by way too fast. I waited 4 years to do this with my life. Four years! I waited for the money, I waited for things with my family to be better, and most of all I waited because I was afraid. And the ironic part is, I never got the money and my family life never came close to perfect, but I did stop being afraid. And I went anyway. If there's one thing I've learned from my experience this summer it's to look fear in the face and embrace the things that scare you.
  • learn to drive a stick shift.
  • float down a cold river.
  • take your clothes off and jump in the freezing lake. In your underwear.
  • tell people how you really feel.
  • always follow your gut, even if that seems like the most risky.
  • talk to people you don't know. Ask them if you can take their picture.
  • ride your bike on very busy streets, even if you're a terrible klutz on a bike. and ride it every day.
  • ask lots and lots of questions.
  • embrace the darkness of the woods. woods with bears.
  • humiliate yourself in order to get the picture you want. trust me, it's worth it.
  • take on assignments that you know are hard for you or you have no interest in.
  • bees.
  • Photoshop :)
And as I say this, I find myself fighting the fear of leaving Missoula. Not just because I'm in love with Montana, but because I don't know what lies ahead. Leaving means entering back into the real world. Getting a job and no longer being surrounded by my amazing family of photographers I have now.

I find myself making a list of all the things I want to make sure and visit, or re-visit before I go. As if to save them in my "jar" of favorite memories. As if that will help me hold onto this experience longer. But in reality that's silliness. Missoula will always be embedded into my heart now. And will be the foundation on which everything in my life to come builds itself upon. And I'll be back. I have to. This relationship I've established will never die. I just won't get to hike the "M" whenever I want. Go to the Good Food store or farmers market for my groceries. Or drive in any direction and have limitless outdoor exploration.
I'll miss the weather, the sunsets, the people, the ice cream, the lack of judgment, the hippies, the Obama bumper stickers :), the fairs, the restaurants, the bicyclists. This is an amazing place, and I have fallen in love. It's just like John Steinbeck wrote once:

"I am in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect and some affection. With Montana it is love. It seems to me that the frantic bustle of America was not in Montana... the calm of the mountains and the rolling grasslands had got into the inhabitants."

So school is going well. I was a little worried (well, very worried actually) when it started again, but so far it's been great and the schedule this week wasn't even very intense. (knock on wood) I've already learned so much more Photoshop in just 4 days that I can't wait to see what I'll learn in 5 more weeks. We also had the privilege of meeting Mary Virginia Swanson for two days of lectures. She was very knowledgeable and encouraging I'm actually thinking about buying her book.
I put down my camera and picked up my bike. I haven't taken a picture in a week, which is weird for me, but at the same time kind of nice. And instead I have been biking everywhere. I've biked all summer, but now that the weathers getting cooler, it's a lot more of a motivation. That, and I'm on a quest to get back in shape. :)

And what would a blog be without a few pictures? This is Slinky. He lives with me, licks me, and sleeps with me on most occasions. And I get this look a lot.

And, as my mom would tell me,
"When you get the chance to sit it out or dance... I hope you keep dancing."

And, keep Missoula weird. It's not rare to see a dancing man in a kilt around here. But I like that. :)


have your cake. and eat it too.

Today was a good day. All week I've felt like I was fumbling in the dark to find the light switch. It took me until Thursday to find it.
And finally everything was so much brighter.
I was in my element. We shot wedding details today (macro lens!), ate cake, learned a lot, and much much more. I didn't get home till dark, but it was all worth it. Tomorrow's my last day of wedding photography and I'm kinda sad. We took our last pictures today I think. So, to tribute, here's a day in the life, of me.

we shot details.

we shot cake.

and then we ate it!!

we were bad ass photographers with bad ass lenses.

and we blew bubbles!

we had a photo shoot with a beautiful model.

then we kind of looked like a paparazzi.

and,... i shot more details : )

we got waist high into a pond for a trash the dress session.

we had some fun with mini water cameras!

And I shot into the sun.

watched others jump for joy.

and took a bath, in beautiful light.