Class of 2018

Recently some friends asked me if I would take their son’s senior pictures. Since I have never taken anything close to portraits let alone the all important senior portrait I was hesitant to say yes. After talking to them, and making it known that this was outside my comfort zone, we came to an agreement and I decided to take the photos contingent on the fact that if they didn’t like them they would have plenty of time and resources to get them redone by a professional.

The following are a few snaps from my Senior Portrait Session with Tyler.

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First day of Kindergarten

31st Anniversary of The Incident of 1986

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Thirty-one. Whoa. When did you sneak up in here? Pleased to meet you — I do believe we’re going to get along just fine…

With an impending trip to California looming in the not so distant future I decided to keep my birthday adventure this year a little more low key than usual. Low key is not to be confused with less an adventure, just a more mellow one. Thanks to my friends who showed up to help me mark the occasion and eat a (literal) boat load of sushi.
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Mommy to Be

It seems as though everyone I know is having a baby. One of my very best friends clued me in a few weeks ago to her upcoming little one, several other friends just welcomed a small sibling to their respected line-ups and my co-worker, Malissa, is due mid-October with her first child – a boy. Months ago, Malissa came to me with the idea of doing a maternity shoot with her at one of my favorite Alaskan locations. I reluctantly agreed, but only after making sure she was fully aware that this would be a learning curve for both her and I.

We wanted to do the shoot in August for the colors, as well as the full, round pregnant belly Malissa would be sporting around that time. Unlike the rest of the country, August in Alaska is a cold, rainy month. It took over two weeks into the month to finally catch a break in the rain long enough that we could make the 45 minute drive south to Virgin Creek Falls in Girdwood. After a short hike and a quick wardrobe change, here are the results of our adventure.

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While the maternity shoot was lots of fun, we decided to add a lot more laughter to the mix by having friend/assistant for the day – Cally – don my dino suite for her very own photo shoot. Dino Falls - 1

Milk Bath

I’ve been trying to step outside my comfort zone a bit more with my photography because, well simply because I love stepping outside of my comfort zone. In life it’s outside those finely drawn lines of comfortable that I truly feel like I’m living. Most of the photos I set out to take are the result of an adventure of sorts.

These photos however, are WAY outside the lines of my comfort. They’re artsy. Something I am not. They make me feel vulnerable, If it weren’t for a particular TED Talk by Bene Brown there’s a good chance these would stay locked in a file on the abyss of my Surface Pro.

I hope you can appreciate them. I’m even open to some constructive criticism, although, go easy on me, this was my first venture into something so exposed (and I’m not just talking about the skin)
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Portage Pass

While the tiny town of Whittier, Alaska is only 60ish miles from downtown Anchorage, it requires a paid pass through the longest highway tunnel in North America. The 2.5 mile tunnel is a one way tunnel and shares its time with the Alaska Railroad, meaning traffic only flows one way at a time and is occasionally paused for the train to use the space as well.

I’ve not spent much time in this town, only having really explored it once a few years ago, Brian & I set out with Kratos to complete a short hike through Portage Pass that we’d been hearing so much about.Portage Pass - 1Portage Pass - 2Portage Pass - 3Portage Pass - 4Portage Pass - 6Portage Pass - 8Portage Pass - 9Portage Pass - 10Portage Pass - 11Portage Pass - 12Portage Pass - 13Portage Pass - 14Portage Pass - 15Portage Pass - 16Portage Pass - 17Portage Pass - 18Portage Pass - 19
After having trekked (and down and up and down again) this short trail, I can’t believe we haven’t spent more time on it’s dirt pathway to heaven. Hopefully we can make a trip up here again after the snow has fallen for another unique view, although I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the lake completely freezes over and we can walk straight up to Portage Glacier before we depart Alaska.

Final Farewell

It’s been a revolving door of friends and family the past few years but now that Heather & Chris are safely on a plane headed back to the lower 48 I can [with great sadness] say I’ve said my final farewell to my Alaskan visitors.

Even though I’ve tried to remember, I can’t honestly tell you the last time I saw my cousin Heather. One of us was probably in high school – although with us being 4 years apart I’m not sure which one of us that was.

The weather seemed to hold out for the most part (a rarity this time of year in Alaska and something that seemed to be even more rare this summer in particular) and I think it’s safe to say they had a pretty good trip and got to experience a good chunk of Alaska. They slept in a different bed almost every night, traveled several hundred miles and still managed to squeeze in some quality time with Brian & I, not to mention an impromptu camping trip. We’ll be stopping in to visit ya’ll in PA soon enough! xoxo.

Dip Netting

According to my calculations I’ve been a transient in Alaska for exactly 3 years and 25 days. It’s always been a known fact that my time here was (most likely) going to be cut off at some point or another, so I’ve tried my best to experience Alaska to the best of my ability. Despite all my adventures here it was this weekend that I firmly believe I became a tried and true Alaskan after dip netting the Copper River. (Don’t worry Montana, you’ll always have this girls heart) To fish this river one usually employs a boat to avoid having to navigate the steep cliffs and raging current, but wanting a true Alaskan experience, we chose a different route.

Brian’s Army buddy Scott flew in to town to visit his brother who was stationed at JBER just two days before. Brian is not known to be the most outright adventurous person, there is one person – other than myself – who can talk him into crazy adventures, it’s Scott. So when I learned that Scott was coming into town I knew to expect an adventure and got excited for his arrival.

The four of us took off for the little town of Chitina (pronounced Chit·na by Alaskans) where we parked our vehicles, loaded up our gear onto our backs and took off down an old mining trail for our destination. About 5 rough and tumble miles down river Scott took us down an even gnarlier path through the tree to the cliffs directly above the river. Here we set up shop for the night and got to fishing.
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The boys made quick work of it and by morning we were already packing up and heading back down the trail; except this time we have about 70 lbs of fresh salmon fillets to add to the weight on our backs.

We had strategically taken two vehicles so that the boys could return to Anchorage and I could set out to explore one of the few unexplored (to me) , drive-able sections of Alaska. I made a quick trek into Wrangell – St. Elias National Park as well as explored the town of Valdez. Dipnetting - 14Dipnetting - 15Dipnetting - 16Dipnetting - 18Dipnetting - 19IMG_9788