wild shore

I love the water in all her iterations.

I love it when she's steamy and the shore stretches on forever.

I love it when she's calm and still, a glass castle bouncing off the sounds of children and birds and fleeing fish.

And maybe I love her most when she's moody. When she eats the at the earth with an insatiable appetite. When she is wild and free and full of life. 

And we get to stand at her edges, soggy and silenced, completely aware, and maybe slightly afraid,  of her power. 

the livin' is easy

You don't need to be an artist to seek inspiration.

We all just have this one short life, and we need to do it right.  

Sometimes it helps to be inspired.

These guys might be just the inspiration you need. These guys will make you want to invite your friends over to sit in the backyard while children play in good old fashioned plastic yard toys, just like the ones from your own childhood.  They'll make you want to let the kids make mud pies while you thread kabobs and sip hard cider, the smell of honeysuckle eventually being overpowered by the grill. They'll make you want to listen to JJ Cale and early Springsteen and stay late into the evening so you can help your friends clean up so that they won't wake up to a dirty kitchen. 

You don't need to be an artist to be inspired by them. You just need to send the damn group text and make it happen.

This session was a part of a  giveaway that I held on Facebook a while back. The idea was that I wanted to  take pictures of families in their own spaces, living summer. I'm so happy Della won this and shared it with a group of friends, which got me thinking about how similar sessions could be orchestrated. If you and a group of friends would like to do something like this, it would be a way to get lots of candid natural photos with your friends, but we could also easily peel off individual families for a few minutes for more traditional family shots. Everyone in the group could pitch in on a two-hour session, which would make it an affordable way to get photos and a fun excuse to host a party. 

it happened on a tuesday

Sometimes it happens so easily. Sometimes the light is perfect. Sometimes the children are happy and well-behaved. Sometimes the beauty is there, right at your finger tips. Ready for the taking.

That was Tuesday.

Their beautiful house in a South County beach neighborhood just a block to the water. We smelled the honeysuckle before we saw it. And the ospreys were in their nest, right where they belonged. And there were no tears or attitudes. And one thing led right in to the next and the evening stretched and held it all.

Dimpled baby hands resting on a father's knee.

Games of chase.

Peals of laughter.

A playful duet.

The cat prowling the porch's perimeter.

Mating lightening bugs.

Mama's milk.

Love.

Shadows. 

But even more light.

where the watermelons grow

John and Kelly graduated from the same college as me, but a year or two before I got there.  Sometimes John's band would come back down to play, and my significantly older boyfriend would take me to the house right house party, and I would dance and dance feeling slightly self-conscious because most people were older and cooler. But, nevertheless, I persisted, because very little kept me from dancing back then.

Another college friend, Kenna,  moved back to Maryland after living ten years abroad, and we were talking about things that had changed in our social group in her absence. Just little things, she said. "Like you hang out with John and Kelly now, and they were always the 'cool' kids."

I reassured my ego that it was fine that people should be surprised that the cool friends are, in fact, my friends now.

And as you can see, they are cool, with their beautiful exotic breakfast, their waterfront house in a community that feels something like a Wes Anderson movie with a touch of John Waters. Their daughter just a little younger than mine who boasts a vocabulary nearly as impressive as her dance moves. 

And if anyone is to be blamed for me venturing into professional photography, it's Kelly, who once suggested I could have a successful business, and maybe, because, despite our friendship now, her unflappable air made me think, hope, maybe she was right. 

what remains

These are the days of arms full of squirming kids.

Of lollipops and sandy feet.

The days of sniffing grass instead of flowers. 

Of pants revealing little baby butts.

And these days, they are fleeting.

Because with people this small everything changes on a dime.

Her curls will pull down with the weight of new hair.

And his little body will lose its baby bulk.

And it will be almost impossible to remember exactly what it was like at any given moment. The memories of who she was, who he was, who you were, they will all blend and stir together.

But this at least will remain.