boho photo

a beachy, arty day…

Cedar is loving his time with Uncle Jon-Erik (aka Boho Brother). He wakes in the morning and runs around looking for him in all the corners of the house...but you can usually find him out on long walks come rain or shine. I love love love this image of Cedar running up towards his uncle's open arms. We had been playing in puddles for a while and when his uncle surprised him up on the hill, Cedar went running. *sigh*

The brothers walked up to a sandy hill and were walking through the seagulls as they took flight. You can see the two of them in the background while Cedar explores new textures in the sand.

After washing off the sand at the beach shower, we put him in the warm shower at home...back into his comfy feetie pajamas and Boho Brother brought out his art box and paper to explore some art.

Mmmmmm...its been just me and the boys.

Until tonight...when Omi arrives (hopefully safely as a thunderstorm is coming in!).

Oh, and here is my weekly kissy photo except this time with five canker sores. heard me...FIVE...all on the rim of my bottom lip. Have no idea what caused them but we are giving them tender loving care. Well, not the kissing kind because Boho Boy kissed me last night and his whiskers made them bleed. Ouch!

way too much fun*

self portrait with hipstamatic on iPhone4

I took this today while wrapping gifties. Do I look done? ; )

Having WAY too much fun with my phone. Now that I am getting the hang of it, I will practice on other objects other than myself...I promise. ; )

The three things I am grateful for today that I wrote in my Gratitude Journal:

  • How Cedar's curls feel against my cheek
  • Hearing Boho Boy peacefully sleeping upstairs while I wrap gifts down below
  • Recording myself dancing in the kitchen for Sus on my iPhone and sending it to her (oh no, watch out friends!)

{ps. my head wrap is from Colour Bazaar.  love her stuff}

pixie love *

pixie campbell, canon 50d

I met Pixie years ago in my very first online community:  Sark's Marvelous Message Board.  Both her and I moved on from that community to writing our own blogs and a few years later, her and I reconnected again in blogland.  In the beginning, I went by the name Bohemian Girl and in her comments, she addressed me as Boho.  It caught on and others started doing it as well.  I myself connected more with that sweet nickname and there you have it.  Pixie is the one who named me.  ; )

I received a very tantalizing email from her a few months ago wooing me out of my sabbatical to photograph her.  I told her that I feel rusty and that she would be the perfect person to stretch my photographer limbs and explore where I am at with this art of mine.  It had been a little over a year since I had a session.   When she told me how enormous this session would be for her at this time in her life and that she wanted no one else for the job, I felt honored, humbled...and more importantly, needed.   I had forgotten what it felt like to feel needed in a deep and spiritual way outside of these four walls of my home.  It gave me courage.

I told her I have a mushy mama brain.  She told me she does too.  So, we gathered our wits and our charms and wine and cheese and music and props and dress-up duds and hats and BRAVERY and we hiked up a weedy hill to see what would follow us in our surrender.

It started with sitting on a blanket, taking deep breaths and reminiscing about the journey of our relationship.  How when I was going through fertility stuff, she was having babies and how neither of us forced anything with one another at that time.  The mutual respect between Virgo sisters born just a few days apart has always lived between us.  There were a few tears.  Then we lightened up and tossed around dreams about our art.  Then we burned sage.  Then made a prayer to the heavens.  Then once the big black top hat went on her gorgeous head, the whole darn field was infused with magic.   I call it our Pleasure Field.   I felt a warmth surrounding us and our vulnerability gave way to some very raw and moving moments with one another, with ourselves, with Mother Earth and some singing coyotes.

The whole session shifted some things for both of us.  She wrote a bit about her thoughts on it here.  For me personally, it opened up a space in me that hasn't been explored in some time.  Sessions to me go so far beyond just capturing moments for my client.  Every single one of my sessions so far has been rooted in some sort of transformation for the artist I am photographing.  It is emotional and freeing and opening.  Not only for them but for me.  It has always felt like an even exchange of love and adoration.  And it never just happens within the few hours of shooting.  The transformation begins with the emails exchanged beforehand and then perhaps a long phone call and then right before the session when there are hands being held and long gazes and spilling and tears and then afterward...the emails sharing  how they feel changed and how I feel changed and the photos shared and oh man...they feel beautiful and whole and seen and I feel seen.  Its such an intense process and it is why I am not able to do this all the time.  I am so lead by my heart on the timing of sessions and I honestly let go and don't try to make any of this happen.  It is such a lesson in trust for me.  Its been hard to put into words for people why I don't offer myself as a photographer full time.  I am not even sure if I knew why exactly...until now.

Pixie asked me where my heart was now with my art after having this session.  I told her it felt like a veil is lifting and I am beginning to see and feel more clearly where I want to journey with this art of mine.

A previous client of mine wrote this to me recently...

Denise, you have no idea no idea all that followed from that cracking open-- I am so in my beauty.  My soul is so in me.  SO much is happening and it ALL. BEGAN. WITH. THAT. TRANSFORMATIVE. photo shoot.

I think I am learning that I may have a deeper purpose with my lens.  Its not easy for me to say that.  I am shyly putting it out to the world.  As most anyone who knows me intimately, knows I can be a fault.  Meaning, it is easier for me to let others shine than to allow my sparkles to glisten.  But after every session, I have received very similar sentiments and years into it, I am just now willing to embrace that there is something truly unique happening here and I promise you I am not at all thinking it is about me.  I feel strongly that it is a collaborative movement between spirits.  A movement that I want to tap more into to see where it can take me and other photographers.  Its a movement that isn't just about the images but the process and the journey.

Look at the peaceful calm on Pixie's face in those last few photos.  I look at those and cry every. single. time.  I want to bottle that cocoon of soft flowing self love and abandon and gently mist it all over our world and throughout the Universe.

We were one another's nurturer that day.  Then we ended with wine and food and feeling tipsy and giggling.  You can't end a day in a Pleasure Field without getting high.


pixie campbell, canon 50d

I feel surrounded in romance right now.

Freshly showered, I can hear the tiny drops of rain on our veranda behind me, up in our loft. The door is open and the crisp breeze comes whispering in and out of my wet dreads. My mug of yerba mate and its stream is drifting up, tickling my nose. I can hear the laughter of my boys downstairs.

And for the next few hours, I get to stare at her beautiful face...while I process the photos from our session last Saturday. I have so much to share about our time together. It transformed both of us in surprising and healing ways. I think you can see some of the healing emulating from Pixie in this image above. Just linger in that space with her, with me. Words are not enough.

She spilled some emotions about our time together here:

The Goddess of Calamity meets Venus

I will spill soon.

Cedar...The Boy.








I've been so lazy about getting what we call my "big camera" out to take photos of Cedar. I've been snapping sometimes hundreds of photos a day of him with my Palm Pre phone and sending them to family and friends. Its easier. Its practical. Its faster.

Although, today I realized how much I miss my big camera. Deeply miss this integral part of who I am. Lately I've been more into writing than this other part of my creative spirit. Today, it spilled open when I captured my son. Seeing him through my lens made me realize he is no longer a baby, really...but a boy.

I feel like something cracked open in me.  Now I am beginning to look around me, again...and long to capture the romance that I everything.  I feel more willing to add extra weight to my bag.  Now that my "boy" is more independent, there is more space to hold my other baby.  The big camera baby that I cherish so.

Today, after clicking away, I paused and observed him as a boy and not a baby.  I got a bit weepy.  He noticed something different about mommy's eyes.  They had water in them.  I said "mommy is crying"...and he went over to the bookshelf and handed me this book.  He's so connected.

Here are some Cedar-isms that are emerging lately...

  • He likes to make ramps out of his books to let his cars loose on.
  • He's really into his Helicopter book.
  • When classical music is playing, he closes his eyes and sways his head from side to side.
  • He now loves to dramatically move his body on the floor with dance fingers and flips, just like the dancers on SYTYCD.
  • He is not cool about daddy snuggling mommy unless he is part.
  • When he sees someone new, he hands them the toy in his hand.
  • He speaks his own language when flipping pages of a book.  It might be part Japanese.
  • He loves to share his food.
  • When he is coloring, he wants to make sure all sitting around him has a crayon too.
  • He will only drink with a straw.
  • When he sips water, he follows it up with "ahhhhh".
  • He thinks he is really funny and laughs at himself all.the.time.
  • His favorite things to play with are airplanes, helicopters, balls, automobiles, books, drums, guitars and stuffed animals.
  • He's super clumsy because his feet and toes are HUGE.

how i move and groove.

jessamyn, canon 50d

I remember taking this photo. When she first sat down on my floor, we were concerned about the lighting. It was shining bright on one side of her face and the other was shadowed. I remember pulling the camera down and away from my face and looking into her eyes. I pressed my finger down and clicked while we were talking because I loved what I saw in our exchange. So, what you see in her gaze is real. When I showed it to her later that day, she said "that is how I see you. that is love in my eyes."

So today, when I opened this image up, that is what I saw. Not the imperfect lighting...but the love in her eyes and the softness of her soul and the beauty of her being.

I might have missed this soulful exchange if the camera was covering my eyes and I was fiddling with settings to get it just right.

These are the moments that free me up as an artist and photographer. The moments that carry no rules and no limits but just soul and play and raw exchange.

Sort of like what we teach our children about art yet we forget. We forget how to create without boundaries.

Some professionals out there may pick apart this photo like mad. But others out there will see what I see and more importantly, feel what I feel.

And this my friends, is how I move and groove with my photography.

blue poppy...a drowsy fabulist.

elizabeth maccrellish
elizabeth maccrellish {blue poppy}, canon 50d

"What we see isn't in things, but in our souls."
~ Salvador Dali

Elizabeth is the brainchild behind Squam Art Workshops, she is the creator of all things Squamesque. She had a vision, she followed the dream, she gathered like minded spirits to make it happen and last year was the first try. Now it is a revolution drawing kindred spirits from all around the world. It is a dazzling woodsy art gathering of all things creative and soulful. She took the leap and now because of her bravery, we have all been inspired to spread our wings.

Most Squamettes see her gracefully running around all week, checking in with students and teachers and camp staff to make sure all is well and flowing as it should be. Because she is the director so to speak, she doesn't have the luxury of gazing at stars on the dock or resting on a hill overlooking the lake or breaking bread with those she's been longing to connect with. Of course she is okay with this. She is one of the most selfless souls I know. Stepping back and observing all that is transpiring and seeing the beauty of what lies in front of her is what fills her soul during those five days. I liken it to the conductor of an orchestra. She gently guides, yet encourages each of us to play our instrument and create gorgeous harmonies together.

Elizabeth and I set aside some time together for a photo session away from Squam. She drove me to her breathtaking home in the woods, at the end of a woodsy road, overlooking Squam Lake. "This is me...this is who I am...I am a drowsy fabulist, you know..." she said to me with her arms wide open as to show me the view around her home. It is a side of her that most do not see and I felt honored, so honored to witness her melt into her couch out on her porch and snuggle her puppies and take deep long breaths and close her eyes. No one was calling her name. No one was needing her direction or her positive peace-keeping energy. It was just her and me and the breeze and silence. She let me lay her down in quiet and stroke her forehead so that she would release. She let me twirl her hair with my fingertips and place the curls where they were prettiest. "Yes, this is who you are, Elizabeth...a serene, soft, beautiful, peaceful, soulful, changer of hearts and souls...".

Even writing about it, I have tears. Those few hours were a precious gift to me. I needed some time away from the overwhelming outpouring of love that is Squam. I needed a safe place to digest it all. I needed to be reminded of why I do what I do. Why this is my gift...seeing people and allowing them to feel seen and understood and with it all...feel truly magnificently beautiful in front of my lens.

When we were finished with the session, we sat in her kitchen drinking spicy hot cocoa and sharing what the last few days had made surface in our hearts. We talked about our dreams we are now inspired to manifest. I remember how she was sitting there on the kitchen stool with a glow around her...she was almost whispering to me. It made me realize how very much she gave to all of us at Squam when her natural way of being is in such quiet, such meditation in her home. At times our eyes would well up with tears in those moments we felt safe to tell one another what we loved about each other. There is something about the magic of the woods that lets these thoughts spill. Thoughts you may otherwise keep to yourself. But in these woods, in the walls of her bright windowed home, it seems senseless to not share such things.

On the last morning at breakfast, she came up to the table where I was eating. She kneeled down on the ground and while looking up at me with her crystal blue eyes said; "You opened me up..." and she had tears. Then I had tears and we hugged and that is all that needed to be said.

On the plane ride home, I kept thinking to myself..."I wish others at Squam could see this side of her...the drowsy fabulist that she knows herself to be."

Then, a few days later, I saw this photo when I uploaded it to my computer and I put my hand on my heart and took a deep breath and called my husband over and said..."This is her...this is Elizabeth."

feeling blessed...again.

tara & em

Heather with Found and Made (one of my delicious sponsors) made Em and Tara friendship necklaces to wear while they are apart (our dear Em moved back to her home in Australia...I wrote about her blessing on the beach here).

One of the photographs I took of them during their BFF photo session last year is on the back of the necklace and I LOVE how it turned out. I am just adoring how they can carry one another around close to their hearts. Em wrote about the necklaces on her blog here.

Oh how I need these little blessings as of late. Our dearest Cedar is cutting his first two bottom teeth, so it has been three full days and nights of a low grade fever and him in pain. Our sweet chill baby has been whimpering and limp and just wanting to be rocked and held. My heart is breaking into a million pieces. I love him so, so much and when he hurts, I hurt.

Boho Boy and I are so new parents, I know. There is such a tenderness that has surrounded all of this. We held him all night, back and forth...holding a cool wash cloth to his forehead. We talked to his Pediatrician and we are doing all the right things. Now its just having to wait.

So Kelly Rae's article and Em and Tara's necklaces have truly been a gift during a tender time. Giving us that little boost of strength we need right now.

Feeling so blessed to be reminded about how important our friendships are in our life. I do not take for granted that we are circled by some of the most amazing souls that walk this earth.

published in somerset life!

photo by kelly rae

Months ago, Kelly Rae let me know that she was writing an article on friendship for Somerset Life magazine. She had asked if she could use images from the session I photographed of her and her BFF, Mati Rose last Fall at Squam.

I was tickled that the timing of her writing this article shortly after that photo shoot was so absolutely harmonious. Initially, I had scheduled separate photo shoots of both her and Mati but last minute we thought it would be fun to also get a "few" photos of the two of them together. It ended up unfolding into this beautifully bonding experience for all of us and such a release for the two of them together at the end of a long week.

Behind the lens I fell in love with their connection, which both seemed so grown up and then so giddy and childlike. We had joked that it felt like I was doing an engagement session because of how close and intimate it ended up being. I felt honored to capture the endearing and charming layers of it all. I had no idea the impact this session would have on the three of us.

The article has been recently published and is on bookshelves as I write this. When I first read it, I became lost in her words, resonating so much with how much my friends have helped nurture and guide me throughout my life. I love how she expresses how different friendships offered different gifts at different times in her life and the acceptance surrounding all of that. It was surreal to see my photos accompany her powerful sharings. I feel honored. Humbled. Awestruck.

When I found out it was on the shelves, my boys and I took a trip to Barnes & Noble and there it was; The sweet salmon colored beauty with Kelly Rae's article on the cover with "Friendship" in big juicy white words. Chills I tell you. Chills and tears. As I sent a picture message via my phone to my family, I felt so totally choked up and blissed out. Especially when they wrote back that they were proud. I don't think those words will ever fail to move me deep when coming from my family. No matter how old I am or how many dreams have come to fruition. It feels so good to make them proud. My inner child take sit all in.

More than all of that, I feel so proud of Kelly Rae. To have witnessed her follow her dreams, take flight and soar has been so inspiring for my own journey. Do pick up a copy if you can. Her writing is absolutely yummy.

Kelly Rae wrote about it here...and Mati here.