Kaeleigh | Creative Empowerment Session

Kaeleigh: thank you for showing up, for unapologetically owning your space, rejoicing in your physicality, for braving the wind and snow with me. Thank you for reminding me that approaching the water with openness and love means that the water won’t always behave as we want or expect, that the water before us reflects the water within us, and still, we enter.

Jessica and Vera | Richmond Beach Saltwater Park Wedding 9/9/17

I've been staring at the blank blog template for a few minutes now, at a loss for words for how to begin writing about Jessica and Vera. I met these wonderful women the summer of 2015 when I took their engagement photos. During that shoot, I was deeply struck and moved by their comfort and ease around one another. I photograph people in love for a living, and in my time, there have only been a few couples that stand out to me as much as Jessica and Vera. These women are strong, kind, and resilient; two best friends who fell in love across the country. Jessica and Vera deeply know the power of time and space, as well as the way that love can weave its way through them regardless of impossibility. There isn't much to say besides thank you, you wonderful women. It is an honor to know you both, your story, and now, the beginning of lifelong commitment!

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rumbling, /i've come to take you home/

I returned to Seattle the night of January 5th, and two days later, Brooks, Katie, my sister, and I all floated to St Paul’s Episcopal Church for their evening jazz liturgy. Through the last three years, I have all but given up on church and the structure of religiosity that I was surrounded by growing up. However, the sensory experience of the Divine and embrace of paradoxical Christian mysticism in the Episcopal church has consistently, tenderly, called me back despite my growling and barking.

And so, we sat, twenty people all holding our breath, and the bell gonged, and unrelenting rain pattered against the windows, and the silence of beginning and unknowing cradled us. One of us would later remark that much of the service and liturgy is pregnant; this word of anticipation and femininity, of vulnerability and physicality, of relationship and transformation, of fertility, of land and body where things can grow.

In Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Sue Monk Kidd leads us through her journey of rediscovering the feminine divine after forty years of practicing in the Baptist tradition. At the cusp of her dive inward, she describes a dream where she gives birth, looks down at the child, and gazes into her own face. Although not as vividly metaphorical, there is a rumbling in my sense of Being, pleading for affirmation and nourishment. An intuition that has been dismissed as illogical by Western patriarchal understandings of knowledge, yet speaks from my gut as distinctly and clearly as my mind (if not more so). Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run with Wolves, consistently emphasizes the validity, mystery, and spirituality of our intuition and connection to the Sacred in her work. This Knowing is embedded in our bodies, at the places where flesh and energy and earth and spirit all intersect (as if they are separate), where we hear the calls, “What are you willing to give up? How far will you go? Will you listen, will you act, when nudged?” Pregnant.

At St Paul’s that night, the homily discussed God’s sense of humor and unapologetic fuckery in the lives we craft oh so carefully. God is not a dove, as we are often taught in Judeo-Christian tradition. Contrary, in Celtic spirituality, God is a wild goose let loose in our lives to remind us that nothing is static, that despite our plans and well wishes, all we can do in this life is hold our hands open to the miracle and holiness of now. Because the more you try to grab the goose and throw it out of the house, the more the goose will scream and flop Her wings in your face, until you remember! The door! And you fling open the front door in desperation, and the goose rushes outside into the night, and then there we are, gasping, standing in the doorway. Behind us, the chaos of a house in ruins, a house we built so intentionally, so carefully, so perfectly structured, and yet, before us, the world of trees and wind and stars and leaks in the boat and mice in the car and friends getting engaged and skinny dipping in the ocean with strangers and harvesting purple potatoes and making meals together and musicals that make us consider faith in new ways and tattoo pilgrimages to Vancouver Island and art and new friends in the rainforest and dancing shadows of aspens and sitting in silence and holy tears and realizing that nothing is separate and; we step out into the fresh snow.

Father Gregory Boyle, in Barking to the Choir, tells the story of a homie who, while trick-or-treating on Halloween, has dog shit thrown into his candy bucket. After describing the event, the homie smiles, shrugs, and says, “Life’s great.” The two of them continue to remark "Life's great" at moments where one would typically become disheartened. Since church on that first Sunday after my return, Katie and I have continuously thrown our arms in the air at appropriate moments and exclaimed in surrender, “The Goose!” Hope! The Goose! Life's great!

There is a rumbling and unease of this season, a preparation, an advent. As I continue to process the last few months with those closest to me, we all seem to be holding this temporary space with softness, indicative of a gentle closing. The shift is here, the cracks can’t be ignored anymore, and all we can do is sink our toes into the earth and turn our palms upward in awe.

And there’s mountains where there used to be earthquakes/ what’s a heart for/ but to break” - Eileen & the In-Betweens

pacific northwest, departure /october 21, 2017/

colorado plateau

southern california

te waipounamu, aotearoa

te ika-a-māui, aotearoa

california, return

colorado plateau, return

pacific northwest, return

"When we believe in what no one else can see, we find we are each other. And all moments of living, no matter how difficult, come back into some central point where self and world are one, where light pours in and out at once. And there, I realize - make real before me - that this moment, whatever it might be, is a fine moment to live and a fine moment to die." - Mark Nepo

And, deep in the night, I feel the presence
Of something that was long ago told to me
There is a hand, guiding the river
The river to wide open sea
And deep in my heart, in and again
On any mountain, no I'm not afraid
Standing on stone, you stand beside me
And honor the plans that were made

- The Killers, Heart of a Girl

Jennalyn | Tacoma Senior Photos

It's wild to remember that I met Jennalyn a year and a half ago when we collaborated together to create her new album cover. We've stayed in contact since then, and when she asked if I could take her senior photos and play with smoke bombs, I knew we would craft some magical images. Jennalyn is incredibly creative and talented, and working with her is always fulfilling and whimsical. Thank you, my friend!

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Kellianne and Logan | Cabin Creek Lodge Wedding 8/2/17

I met Kellianne at the beginning of my second year of college; since then, we have remained in one another's circles, watching as we found our partners and grew from bouncy college dorm girls into women. It was a joy to photograph Kellianne and Logan as they committed their lives to each other, as well as dance and feast and swim in the Snoqualmie River in celebration of their love. The balancing act of simultaneously being a vendor and a guest can be tricky, but as their steady, lovely day unfolded, I found myself grounded and thankful and rejoicing. Thank you, dears. Cheers to the rest of your lives!

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Tammy | Liberty High School Senior Photos

I've said it once, I'll say in again: I love capturing high school seniors. Summers are filled to the brim with the chaos of wedding season, so taking an evening to chat with and photograph the incredible young people I work with is a breath of fresh air. Tammy is a GEM of a young woman - she is confident, kind, humble, and as you can see, simply stunning. Thank you, my new friend, for trusting me when I directed you to become friends with the trees and frolic through the fields of Discovery Park. Cheers, lovely lady! I'm so thrilled for what life has in store for you. Thanks for making art with me!

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Christina and Josiah | Shaw Island Backyard Wedding 8/16/17

Christina reached out to me at the beginning of 2017 asking if I would be interested in shooting her intimate family wedding on Shaw Island; as a photographer, these are the emails you hope and pray to have show up in your inbox someday. The more we talked about her wedding, the more excited I became. And when we finally met up at the beginning of the summer for beers, I knew that Christina and Josiah's wedding was going to be a day I would remember forever. I'll let the images speak for themselves, but from their island florals to their profound, beautiful ceremony (a seven spices ceremony, washing each other's hands in rose water, having lavender and rosemary thrown on them after they were introduced for the first time) to taking a quick jaunt out on a kayak, I don't know what to say but thank you, Christina and Josiah, for the opportunity to document such a sacred and wonderful day (I wish that Austin and I hadn't needed to catch the ferry back so quickly so that we could've celebrated into the evening with you!). Cheers to the rest of your lives, I am so thrilled for your union.

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