21/31 epic summer sessions

Is this session personal work or client work?

This session was personal. I shot these while we were on vacation.

Tell us a bit about the magic of summer + the connection to your lens?

Summer really is magical for me. I take so many photographs over the summer, I’m usually still editing them during the long nights of winter. I am always immensely inspired when I travel or when am exploring the outdoors. I love to hike and discover new places, and am very fortunate that my daughters and husband also share that love of adventure. While it is hard finding time to fit work in while my girls are off from school, just being able to spend so much more precious time caught up in their wonder makes me see the world with new eyes. I find that because of my photography, I allow myself to slow down with my girls. Any other time I’m in a rush for one reason or another. Because of my camera, I let them take off their shoes and splash in the stream longer, I let them get extra muddy, I let them take the long way home, I let them pick extra flowers, I’m the one who is lagging behind and slowing up the walk because I’m taking pictures. I’m thankful everyday for that kind of magic.

What about this session makes it an Epic summer session?

I love this location. We’ve been coming here for a few years. Its on the bay which gets way less crowded than the beach side (most of the time we have the entire place ourselves) and at low tide the water pulls back so far I can really capture the vastness of it all. I love huge horizons and tiny subjects. When we are lucky, the laughing gulls are also here taking a break from the crowds.
There really is no way of directing two nine year olds over the din of the gulls, and there really, really is no way of directing the birds. Lensbaby lenses are manual focus. Can you see where I’m headed? I had to just shoot hundreds of images and hope for the best. It is never fun culling through that many images at one time, but when you start finding the gems, it makes it all worth it. I love the movement that the gulls bring into the frame, the frozen chaos. My girls are always sure that this will be the time that they will catch one. So they sneak, they run, they try surprise attacks, and each of their failures ends in hysterical giggling as birds wings are ruffling their hair while they lazily take wing and land a few yards away…where the whole capture attempt begins anew.

What else is on your summer bucket list to photograph this summer?

My bucket list is pretty much bottomless so I will save you from all of my grand dreams of travel and adventure! My girls and I have just started planning a road trip across the country, from coast to coast. It is something that I have wanted to do my entire life. It’s not going to happen this summer, but for now, we are having fun planning and researching.
Realistically this summer I just want to photograph with all of my heart. I’m taking a little hiatus from client work this year so my focus is solely on my family and my own whims. I’m exploring new techniques and ideas, being open to inspiration as it comes. We are taking advantage of some of the closer to home wonders that we have overlooked for the grander. I want to shoot more of the sea, I’ve always had a fierce connection to the ocean. I want to shoot more car trips, I love photographing from the passenger seat. I want to shoot more hiking, I love capturing my girls discovering new things in the wilds. I want to shoot more street photography…I have inane fear of photographing strangers but I see such beautiful and magnificent stories all around me.

What gear was used to achieve these?

I shot these with my Canon 6d and my Lensbaby Edge50 lens. I love the Lensbaby Edge lenses (I use both the 50 and the 80) for the freenlensed look I can achieve with them while having the security of the lens affixed to the camera. Because of that reason, I use them almost exclusively when I’m out in the elements, like at the beach or doing any hiking.

Any summer tips or photographer advice?

The only thing I can say is just have fun. Use your photography as a way to get into the moment…with your children, family, friends, significant other, or even just yourself. Just go with the flow and don’t give into the urge to amend and direct the scene. Try and use your photography as a way of slowing down and really taking note and enjoying the things that capture your heart and imagination. Make the most of the longest days of the year. Don’t even stress about perfect lighting, perfect composure, etc…if you feel it, shoot it! What you shoot with your heart will always mean more to you than what you shot with your head.

I crave the sun and I’m happiest when I’m barefoot. I am inexplicably drawn to the ocean and I love epic long car trips, finding new places, and museums. I collect vintage photographs and old books. My girls and I look for treasure everywhere we go, which almost always is found in the form of pretty rocks, funny pine cones, and gnarled feathers….most of which end up going through the wash at the end of the day. We live in a small town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania.
I am moved by gritty, emotive, and real photography. I tend to shoot the way I dream, blurred, surreal, and a bit dark. I love my Lensbabies and am quickly amassing a collection of vintage film lenses.

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