Lifestyle Family

Tiny House, Growing Family - Fairbanks Family Photographer

It just snowed for the first time this winter yesterday.  So I'm still in the 'oh, snow, you're so pretty' phase of things, and it seemed like a good time to finally get some pretty winter sessions up on the blog!  

These faces are probably familiar to many - both Baylie and Bjorn grew up in Fairbanks and seem to know almost everyone, LOL!  And they became even more well-known on an entirely different scale when they joined the tiny living phenomenon about two years ago (yeah, this session is circa late 2014....oops).  

This sweet session shows them with their first tiny house, here in Fairbanks.  They've since moved on to warmer climes (Washington state) and bigger houses (... I think they gained something like 25 square feet in their new tiny, haha!), but this is a chapter in their journey that's definitely worth remembering.  

You can catch up with their adventures raising two (soon to be three!) kids in a tiny house on Baylie's blog, Tiny House Growing Family.  

2016 Mini-Sessions at Running Reindeer Ranch - Fairbanks Holiday Photographer

I can scarcely believe it,'s that time of year again!  

I'm thrilled to offer mini-sessions with Running Reindeer Ranch for third year in a row this October 22, 2016.  Sessions are on-location at the ranch in the Goldstream Valley, sun or snow.  The inclusive fee of $150 covers your 15-minute session, three to five finished high resolution images via digital download*, and a print release so that you can print your holiday cards wherever you please with no hassle!  

*Clients who elect to sign a model release will be offered five finished images instead of three.  

Questions?  Give me a holler!  

I hope to see you there.  :) 

Robin's Family Maternity Session - Fairbanks Pregnancy Photographer

This family, you guys.  This session was a rare treat.  

Shooting in the direct (brutal, brutal) sun is challenging, both technically speaking and in terms of hot little Alaskan kids unused to this thing called "eighty degrees."  (As a friend would say, our Alaska is showing.)  The difference in the exposure between the sun and shadow is extreme, there's haze and sunflare (which I love, but in controlled amounts), and above all else, trying not to blind your clients.  But as this session reminds me, it ALWAYS pays off.  

This session actually garnered one of the best compliments I've ever received from a session.  Robin wrote to me that when she shared these images with her family, some of whom are far away, they told her it felt like they'd just spent a day at the park with her and the kids.  That hits home in a big way, because believe it or not, preserving a slice of life is one of my main goals in any family session.  I want you to be able to be immediately transported back to that time whenever you revisit your images, to remember the feel of the details of your kids when they were that age, to remember how you felt when you were 35 weeks pregnant (for better or worse, lol!), to remember what it was like to be a family of five about to be six.  

I can't even tell you how much it means to me that at least in this case, I pulled it off for one family.  

Make sure you check back soon to read the next installment of this family's story - the Birth of Lilly Mae!

The Boen Family - Featured on Let The Kids Dress Themselves

Sweet baby Jackson, his parents' loving arms, and that particular kind of sunlight you only see in the early spring when the sun just barely edges over the horizon (for those scant few hours a day!).  What's not to love?  

It's such an incredible honor to share that this session was featured on the photography and lifestyle blog Let The Kids Dress Themselves.  I shared a bit about how the session was designed and shot with the curator there - you can read the full feature here!

Stellan - Fairbanks NICU Photographer

More than once, I've been rushing to the hospital, cameras in hand, to have bystanders wonder aloud, "are you sure they want pictures now?"  Or "why would anyone want pictures now?"  

This is situation might be my favorite instance to employ the picture-tells-a-thousand-words rule.  

This is why.

Things might be happening differently than expected (a LOT differently), and not everyone would even think to ask their photographer to join them in the NICU with everything that's going on and it all happening so fast.  But when it transpires that I get to be there, I am humbled by the privilege and importance of the images.  No matter what else is going on, it's still your first hours with your baby; still the first time your family has been together.  Yes, it documents the real story, and this includes the sometimes harsh reminders of the locale: an IV on perfect baby feet; a cannula across the softest cheeks.  But just as real is the overwhelming love in parents' eyes, in siblings' reaching hands, and in grandparents' supporting caresses.  These things are just as real as the procedures, the uncertainty, the fear.  And personally, I feel that they are the things I will treasure and cherish for the rest of my life - and making images to document that love is a true passion that makes me feel a sense of purpose.  

The first time I was invited into the NICU was two years ago.  My dear friends Rachel and Nels knew I was in Anchorage visiting family and called me to tell me that their forth child had finally joined them earthside - but that he had to be resuscitated immediately after birth and was being medivac'ed from Fairbanks to the NICU at Providence.  Rachel wasn't immediately allowed to travel with him since she was immediately postpartum, so Nels rode with their baby boy and Rachel waited to be cleared to fly the next day.  I met her and her mother at the airport in Anchorage and drove them straight to the hospital.  

At the time, it was still somewhat unclear what was happening; all they knew is that there was swelling around the baby's brain and he had suffered a traumatic shortage of oxygen (HIE).  After time, it was determined that he had suffered a massive stroke either during or immediately before birth.  To mitigate the swelling, he was kept on a cooling blanket for the first leg of his stay in the NICU (which is the reason you won't see kangaroo care in the first set of images below).  

Though his injuries were severe, the baby they named Stellan ("calm, strength") proved his tenacity right away.  By the time I came back to Anchorage two weeks later, he had gone from a comatose infant to a baby who was exclusively breastfeeding.  The change in him was utterly remarkable, and he's continued to approach life the same way since then, under the caring and loving eyes of his parents and siblings.  

Here are the images. 

On Stellan's second day of life, at the Providence NICU in Anchorage:

12 days later, still in the NICU:

And finally, three months later, at home in Fairbanks.  

The Birth of Emersyn - Fairbanks Birth Photographer

Sweet miss Emersyn was in such a hurry to join her brother earthside, I wasn't actually there for her birth!  Hers is one of the (very, very) few that I've ever missed.  But getting to meet her within the first hour of her life and capturing that fresh baby goodness - well, it doesn't get much better.

From start to finish (maternity to Fresh 48), here is her story! 

Just this weekend I photographed Emmy's first birthday.  (Say WHAT!?!)  More of this sweet girlie will be hitting the blog soon!