November 16, 2020

Walkin’ in a….

Look at that snowfall!!

Look at that snowfall!!

I grew up in Wyoming. Snow abound. And may I just say- it’s not my favorite. I could not WAIT to move away from Laramie after college to come to the scorching, soul sucking, 105ºF summer on average wasteland that is Las Vegas.

The morning of this shoot I spent a little bit of time outside, and it was not encouraging. It was chilly, especially for a baby, and for the babies (Haley and Arnold) that had to take care of her. Though I do proudly boast Wyoming blood, that blood has become quite temperamental in the last two years I’ve spent in Vegas. I get quite chilly embarrassingly quickly. I think I said “It’s gonna be fine, it’s gonna be great” and Haley said “I’m really not at all concerned about it” ten times a piece. Both translated to: “it’s not gonna be fine; I’m actually very worried about it.” And despite it all, like always, we did the damn thing!!

The drive up to Mt. Charleston was punctuated by wind gusts across the freeway that actually shook my car, and Adeline’s mid-sleep deep sighs. At least someone was relaxed, ha. Ha. When we got to the base of the mountain, there was a wall of grey in front of us. Picture the wall from Game of Thrones and you’re there. At 5,000 feet elevation, it started snowing, horizontally. At this point I had accepted that we would not be shooting anything legitimate, but that I might catch a couple shots of Adeline seeing snow for the first time before we all shuffled back to the car. 6,000 feet and the snow was sticking, cars we pulling over to put chains on (wtf? it’s 30 degrees), and there was a dense fog that showed not signs of lifting. “Maybe we’ll go a little further?” every time we passed a pullout. And then finally, past 7,000 feet, we pull into a campground and into a spot. When we got out of the car I was expecting the type of brisk wind that cuts through your coat seemingly to the bone, but there was none. The snow was drifting peacefully out of the sky, taking its sweet time before sticking everywhere but the pavement.

This family is so easy to shoot with that it barely took us any time. When the people you’re shooting are just genuinely happy, it makes everything so much easier. The emotion that you capture is authentic, and I think this shoot really encapsulates how much love there is in this little family. We all just smiled so big the whole time. Like, am I crazy? They look like they had a good time, right??

My goal as a photographer is not to capture moments, per se… but I still have trouble putting into words what I really want to do. I want to invoke an emotion in you that takes you back to the exact moment you’re seeing in the photos. I want you to think, “this is what our life feels like,” not necessarily what it looks like. I want to take you on a journey through your own life. I want to be there for you when you get engaged, and when you get married, and then when you have babies. Or when you don’t. But I want to tell the story of your life. Does that make sense? Eh, it’s a work in progress.

I am thankful for this family. For all the families. For what they teach me every day. For the chance to document their lives for my own personal enjoyment, and hopefully for theirs, too.