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  • Welcome to Our Journal

    Keith is a photographer who believes that kids are nearly perfect and that great images capture a bit of that perfection for all eternity. He loves that children don’t filter their emotions. Living loud is their power. And his job is to capture a moment of their uncontained imaginations: your children, unscripted.

    Melissa is the studio manager, adoring wife, busy mom and occasional writer that believes she is living the most beautiful life in the whole world.

    Keith and Melissa have two amazing daughters, Isabella and Gabriella and a little Jack Russell named Pooch.

    This journal is our personal blog about our family, photography, travel and how we are inspired by children in all their authenticity, one beautiful photograph at a time.

Sleeping Beauty | Personal

catching dreamsLook at my little sleeping angel. She is so small in her bed. As grown up as she seems to be getting some days, I look at a picture like this and I am reminded just how young she still is.

I love that both our girls have dream catchers hanging over their beds. Tiny little dream catchers. Bella and Gabby really believe in their power. And if they think it works, then it works. And that makes for many a good nights sleep.

These are the photos I treasure. Their childhood.

My ramblings about my grandparents

nana and pep

I am part of all that I have met. – Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I have been putting off writing this post that I have wanted to write for a long time. One of my most favorite people in the whole wide world died earlier this year.

Nana (my grandmother) died in January. Pep (my grandfather) died in 1999. The home that they lived in together for the better part of their 50+ year marriage will be sold.

This day was coming I knew. My heart gets this tight pulling feeling just thinking of my grandparent’s house being sold.  Knowing that an offer has been accepted on their home has just hit me hard – the two of them are really gone forever. I will never sit in their kitchen again and listen to their stories and tell them my stories.

We were practically raised in this house. We were there all the time. We played with our cousins – silly games like Star Wars or our own made up version of the Price is Right game. We had “restaurant” evenings where we invited our parents and served them dinner that of course Nana had cooked but let us take credit. We made jello. We had talent shows with not so much talent. We had every Christmas Eve till Nana just couldn’t do it anymore. We came there after school while mom worked. Courtney ate her soup at the dining room table while she did her homework. We watched soap operas with Nana in the den. Pep came home from work like a clock every day and Nana would put on her lipstick right before he came through the door. We loved our sleepovers. We loved sleeping in the big canopy bed. Nana had our towels heating on the radiator so after our shower we would be nice and warm. We would lay on the couch watching The Lawrence Welk Show with Pep while he rubbed our heads. He made me deliciously crisp bacon in the morning. Fried bread dough oozing peanut butter as an after school snack. Funny stories. Great times. We grew older but still came back as often as we could. Old friends that didn’t know how to find us would know to call Nana for our number. Then Pep was sick and then was gone – so quickly. He died one night in the house. We never thought Nana would survive. Yet she was so strong she lived in the house all by herself till just before her last day. Her house meant everything to her. And to us.

My grandparents played such an integral role in my sister’s and my life. They were always there for us. They were constant. They guided us. The taught us. They loved us so much. I’m not sure if I can ever put into words just how much they meant to us.

Fortunately for us we had them in our lives for a really long time. Not everyone is as lucky as we are to know their grandparents as long and as well.  I never knew life without Nana in it till now and it will never be the same. I miss them so much.

Composition | Tech Assignment 2 | Melissa goes back to school

leading lines phoenix country day school IMG_9702

On to our next assignment: Composition.

Luckily I see Keith compose beautiful images all the time so I think I have a leg up on this assignment. We have to submit 8 photos from 8 different composition principles.

Above are my two personal favorites from this little scavenger hunt. The first photo demonstrates a few of these principles: line or leading lines, positive + negative space, implied line and texture, pattern or unity. The second is my asymmetrical composition or rule of thirds.

So even though Keith thinks I’m a bit of a slacker when it comes to my homework (just kidding sweetie!) – I did get it done and submitted on time! I’m back in the swing of things.

 

Back to School | Tech Assignment 1 | Digital Photography

tech assignment

(tech assignment 1 – intro to digital photography, learning camera settings photo by Melissa)

Isabella couldn’t look less thrilled to be my subject for this digital 101 homework!

I have not been in a college classroom since I graduated in 1991 – 23 years ago. (Wait, I can’t be that old?)

So far so good. In some respects I feel like time has stood still and I’m just taking another class. But then I realize that there are subtle changes that have happened in the last two decades. Technology is number one.

I’m taking an intro to digital photography class – I’m not sure I could have done that back in the late 80′s early 90′s. I don’t think this class even existed. My second class is an analog camera/darkroom class that would have existed back in the day but wouldn’t be considered as exotic as it does today. This class is a throwback. Imagine using a film camera with manual settings and developing your own photos. Half my digital class has never even seen a roll of film. How is that possible?

Now I sit in my digital photography class with a Canon 5D sitting on my desk (thanks for the loan Keith), a beautiful iMac on every desk with access to Lightroom and Photoshop, Flickr for uploading files to be graded, the instructor takes attendance with his iPhone, students text and check email. This classroom would not have existed in 1991.  That is what is most remarkable about going back to school – how technology has changed the student experience.

I have been back to school 5 weeks now. I’m finally starting to feel like I might be getting to know my cameras and their settings a little bit better. Keith has been so supportive – not only encouraging me to go back to school, but keeping on top of me about my assignments, explaining things when I have questions and just genuinely being excited for me.

 

 

My Glass is Half Full | Personal

family time

“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way”. Buddha

There are so many great quotes that if you read them closely just mean so much. This is one of them. There isn’t a magic pill to take to be happy, you have to wake up every day and be happy. How hard is this? Very hard for some I realize. For others, not hard at all.

I consider myself a happy person. I’m not exuberant on the outside by any stretch but I’m happy on the inside. Content. In fact sometimes I just can’t believe how good I have it. I am rich in so many ways: healthy kids, an amazing husband, a business we love, great family + friends, the list goes on and on.

Keith and I have had plenty of ups and downs over the years but for some reason we rarely get discouraged. We may be disappointed but we always see through the temporary set back. We tend to find the good in the bad. We work together and get through things. I think if either of us was a pessimist, it just wouldn’t work for us. I guess it’s the way we deal with things, just let them roll off of us and that keeps us sane.

Seeing the photo above puts me in a happy place. Every day is fast paced, chaotic but fun and full of love. We wouldn’t have it any other way. This is our road.