Welcome! I'm Shawna, an on-location natural light photographer from Kent, WA serving the greater Seattle and South Sound area. My passion is for birth photography! In birth or family sessions, I strive to capture details and the spontaneous moments that truly reflect the beauty in your life, and that you will treasure for ever. Sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy my musings, or better yet - pop me an email and introduce yourself. I love meeting new people!

savoring: a picnic

Right now I'm savoring the bits of sunshine we had last week. Winter weather here is very gray, so much so that Bella shouts Look, it's sunny! when the cloud cover this out a bit. This was a day so bright that she kept squinting, saying, It's too sparkly today.

So, we ran outside for a sunny little picnic. (We do things like that since you never know how long it will last.)

Lia has apparently gotten over her fear of leaves and Bella enjoyed the grass (So squishy!), chatted with a spider, and took delight in an optimistic winter dandelion.

Whatever strikes your interest this week, I hope you'll take time to savor it (and come back to share!)


Whimsy faces

If you're in need of some photographic inspiration, one of the best things you can do is participate in a weekly theme. This week over at the Slice of Life Project, Darrah invited us to find a bit of whimsy.

Indeed, when I stumbled across two flowers growing in winter, I felt a bit of whimsy. When I saw a stick nearby, I could not resist this:

Bella has a fascination with snowmen, and thinks all smiley faces are called snowmen. Just a few days ago she came running to me with her usual excitement and declared, I made a so-man!

And so our lives are full of whimsical little smiley faces on every surface, in every medium.

It's exactly the way it should be.


Sunrise in Kent

A bit of local beauty to start your morning:

This was the view from my front window two mornings ago. Sunrise is my favorite time of day, though I find I rarely ever want to be awake for it anymore. A view like this is a nice trade off for the mornings Lillia wakes me up early - a little treat before the clouds roll in for the day.

Hopefully you will get to enjoy something spectacular this weekend as well!


Holiday Fun

Okay, I know. You thought the holidays were long gone. But I've been waiting forever (so it seems!) to post this adorable session.

I met this amazing family earlier in the year (last year!) and just in the course of getting to know one another, we realized that we already had mutual friends. It is a very small world, and Facebook definitely makes it seem smaller.

This is my kind of fun, cold and all. Going out where we can run around, play with rocks and make memories. We met up at Enchanted Winds Tree Farm and I just followed Brin around until they picked a tree! I can certainly see how cutting down your own Christmas tree could become a favorite holiday tradition.

There was the lightest dusting of snow that day, just enough to add that holiday feel. (Ok, snowbirds, stop laughing. I get my snow fix where I can, even in a flake or two.)

Brin is such a free spirit and I could have run around exploring with her all afternoon. Her parents embrace her independence and this family is completely in love.

And what girl doesn't need a bit of snuggle time with Papa?

Teresa, Mike and Brin, I cannot wait to see what lies in store for you this year. Two is a year of adventure, no doubt!


A girl walked into a bar...

Oh yes I did.

Unfortunately, because it was a cozy little bar and I was fifteen minutes late because I don't know my right from my left (true story), I swear every person turned towards me for evaluation as I realized there were no seats left, found a spot at the bar and clung to the counter for dear life.

I was a nervous disaster for the first 45 minutes.

Alone! At a bar! With a cool jazz band! And amazing women! And no clue how I would meet any of them. Sure I'm loud once I'm in a group of people I know, but in a room full of strangers (awesome strangers - so much worse!) I would rather be invisible and hide in a corner (preferably behind my invisible camera). Lucky for me, there were no corners left and Karen took her place on stage to read with the band.

Then I had to pee, realized in the bathroom I had an unzipped pocket and no phone, darted out of the bar (hoping Karen wouldn't take it personally), found my phone, came back in, met Darrah, and found that I was still just me and had nothing to fear.

It's very hard to know who you are when you go out alone after years of being in the company of little clingy beings, taking a break only to go out and work. I was on an artist date with myself, struggling to remember what we had in common. And then Karen started talking about confidence and how she got tired of trying to be someone else (I'd get sick of putting product in my hair for 30 years, too...)- not even the person people expected her to be, just the person she thought people expected her to be. The only person making her be someone else was... herself.

I don't mind being alone, so why was I panicked that everyone else would consider me socially inept? The bartender asked which beer I would like, kindly warned me that my choice was bitter, so I laughed and said, It won't matter! It didn't. It all tastes like crap to me and I just wanted something to sip. It was perfect.

It didn't matter when I started taking pictures of the floor. It didn't matter when I smiled at different parts of Karen's book than everyone else. It didn't matter that Karen moved to the music like it was in her soul and I was stiffly leaning against the bar shoveling cheesecake into my mouth. No one there expected me to groove with the music, that's just what I thought people would expect of me. That's not me. I appreciate music by watching the artful way the mechanics of the instruments become music. I appreciate the great company by watching candlelit bubbles rise in a glass. I appreciate Karen's sweet, confident readings with a piece of chocolate cheesecake.

If you haven't already gotten your copy of Karen Walrond's The Beauty of Different, go now. Do it. And then put it on your life list to meet her, because her view on life will improve yours. In the mean time, follow Karen's blog, Chookooloonks because it will put a little more wonder into your day, and that's never a bad thing.

P.S. If you're a Seattle local, definitely cut out some time to see the Jason Parker Quartet. They are fantastic.


A night on the town

Sometimes it's nice living near a big city.

Sunday night you'll find me at Lucid Jazz Bar in the University District listening to the Jason Parker Quartet and Karen Walrond herself reading from The Beauty of Different. If you haven't checked out this book, please do. It's amazing on so many levels. It's more than just photography and words. It's inspiration to celebrate the beauty in everyone.

There are moments in my day when I just stop what I'm doing to soak up a stranger who fascinates me with their unique beauty. I can't help but notice it in everyone I meet and it's what inspires me in photography. To see such a artful publication centered on this feeling gives me the warm fuzzies. To celebrate it in such stellar company (Darrah, I can't wait to meet you!) makes me giddy.

And the prospect of an artistic evening without kids around is positively thrilling.

Evidently, I need to get out more.

If you're local, I can't wait to see you there!


Night snowing

Last week an elusive little snowstorm hit late at night. I knew it would be gone by morning so I ran outside to capture the magic of snow swirling at night.

The gusting wind was amazing! If I had my way (my little point and shoot did not like the cold) I would have waited around all night until the gusts died off. Alas... this will do. It brings me back to that peaceful space with the wind whipping around unexpectedly and just dying off just as suddenly.

P.S. Happy 7 month birthday to my wee one. Not so wee anymore!


Savoring: The Mess

Once upon a time I had one child and lots of time to write. Lately it's all I can do to keep up with the girls' monthly letters. Whenever I get pulled under by life, I take a moment to appreciate the wonderful little things that make life a bit more worthwhile.

Hence, my savoring posts.

Every time I have walked down my hallway this week I have tripped or stepped on a squeaky toy or stubbed my toe. Why?

Bella has set up a restaurant and invited all her stuffies. They are drinking coffee, eating ice cream and cookies, and then being put to bed. My pillow had no less that 3 friends already occupying it when I headed to bed last night.

And when we had real friends over, the oldest showed Bella how to make ice cream. You microwave it, of course! And then it goes in the freezer to stay cold.

I'm savoring the beginning of this make believe world, remembering bit by bit the hours upon hours of my childhood spent there. How is it that I had already forgotten most of it until now?


Welcome to 2011!

And...... we're back.

What a busy month December was! My parents came to visit and soak up the craziness that is life with two little kids (but didn't get too wet since they wisely slept elsewhere).

Since they left I have been playing around with my camera, trying to get into the groove of the new year!

Let's just say that I'm loving this 80mm 1.4 lens. And Bella in red with rosy cheeks straight out of a nap.

That's all for now as I have cards to write and photos to edit - I hope your New Year is going spectacularly!

P.S. I think it's about time for another class - how many people got awesome new cameras this holiday?!


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