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!

The Ice Storm

I never saw a wild thing 
sorry for itself. 
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough 
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

David Herbert Lawrence.


The ice storm was beautiful and terrible. It crippled our trees and set our region at a stand still- cold, immobile, and in awe at the kind of natural acts we so rarely see here.

All night we listened helplessly to the crash of trees as the weight of the ice snapped them in half and ripped them apart, branch by branch.  The scene the next morning was unbelievable. Our hearts ached for the trees, in disbelief that nature would do this to her own. 

The roads still look like this, lined with destruction no one will ever finish clearing. I wonder how long it will be before we no longer notice it there, no longer notice the roads lined with scattered pieces of trees, and forget how the proudest once stood, whole and flourishing.

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The destruction is in every direction - undeniable and overwhelming.  And yet, it's not the way of nature to linger on it as we do. There's no pity in storms, no sorrow in the destruction they leave. Leaves will bud out this spring, proud and unaware of the winter's cruelty. Trees will not ache for their lost limbs or fallen neighbors. Those that do not make it become part of the earth again and nourish the saplings that will replace them.

The ones that survive will continue to stand strong, no matter the weather, and stretch their branches towards the sky.



Tidbit #29

Unrelenting rain smacking the thin walls in huge, heavy drops. Listening in the darkness. Steady breathing from nearby. Hearts beating together as the little one gently rises and falls, sleeping on my chest again.


Tidbit #28

Captured candid moments at a life celebration memorial tonight. My heart is full and aching.  Photographs were everywhere- both beautiful and painful in their innocence.  When the two year olds grow up, they will only know their mother in their hearts and in the stories their loved ones tell. Those photographs will be the only vision they have left of her as they grow up and away from their last day together. Through the images she left behind and the stories they inspire, they will grow to know her and never doubt for a moment how much she loved them.


More tidbit catchup!

Tidbits 15-27  (Apparently losing power for four days has me a bit behind.)

Sun 15th: How is it that the girls put on footy jammies and suddenly they're one year younger and completely cuddleable?

Mon 16th: Tracking foot prints in the snow. It's amazing how much wildlife is all around us, and how much we miss without the snow to record everything.

Tues 17th: Music holds our lives together. Lia is already taking to singing music, but when she and Bella were sitting in a boat together, she asked Bella to sing. A new understanding opened between them and suddenly they were off in their own world.

Weds 18th: Snow day! Lia looked like a giant pink marshmallow, and every time I saw her, I had to give her a big squishy hug. There's just no way around it.

Thurs 19th: So grateful for our amazing friends, opening their homes to keep us warm and dry during this incredible storm.

Fri 20th: Away from home tonight. Lia wants to sleep on my belly to fall asleep. Okay, snuggle baby. If you insist.

Sat 21st: It seems as if nature has turned on herself, sabotaging her amazing and beautiful work. It is heartbreaking to see the trees broken, fallen, beaten, just by ice and rain. But to her, it's just another part of the great cycle.

Sun 22nd: Oh my sweet sweet baby fell asleep in my arms, with the whole hubub of the house swirling around her. I can't remember the last time that has happened. Being trapped by a baby is bliss.

Mon 23rd: When we're listening to CDs or radio, one second between songs is one second too long for Lia. Song?

Tues 24th: Apparently, Lia has decided that if she is not grumping, she's going to be the world's most hilarious comedian. (Oh, I so dearly missed her goofies during these last few months of teething.)

Weds 25th: Sometimes it's hard to believe we live here. We really do. I look up at the jagged piney tree tops and sniff the cool, rainy air and I'm instantly transported back to my childhood vacations, riding in the car, dreaming someday I would live here. Now I'm living the dream, dreary days and all.

Thurs 26th: Giant squishy nap with my girls. We must be on the same sleep cycle, so I got to lie there and listen to the girls waking up. The both smacked their lips and squeaked the same way before waking. The same as they did as babies, too.

Fri 27th: Sitting in the sunbeam. Babies asleep, Bella reading an ipad book aloud. Watching this video (on my phone, no less) and giggling. 


Tidbit #14

My parents came over for a sushi extravaganza tonight.  It's amazing to have them so close. I hope girls will never remember a time when we couldn't just call them up and invite them over for dinner.

Sidenote: How does anyone ever get full on sushi? By the time you've prepared it, you're hungry enough for three more rolls!


Tidbit #13

Learning yoga is not so easy in the presence of a toddler who thinks you are a shape shifting jungle gym.


Tidbit #12

Long long day with the girls. Some days I feel like flying out of the house the second Dave gets home from work.  And yet...  
That feeling vanishes at bedtime. That moment before I put Lia down for the night, it's nearly impossible to let her go. Tomorrow she'll be just a little bigger, her body a little longer. She'll never again fit just so on my shoulder as she does today, relaxed and snuggled close for comfort.


Tidbit #10 & 11

Tidbit #10:  Amazing how quickly magical moments escape the memory when you don't write them down straight away.  Despite many wonderful things I smiled at, all I can remember from today was how beautiful the great golden moon was as it rose into a clear, starry night.

Tidbit #11: Another sunny day!  We headed to the park, and as soon as Lia saw the lake, she shouted, BATH!  That would be one cold, cold, bath, my dear.


Tidibit catchup!

swinging in the sunset.
Jan 1 in my Project 365

Tidbit #1: It's a new year. We are so far past the intensity of 2010 that I feel like I can breathe.  This year's word is engage. I plan to be fully engaged in whatever I have chosen to do at that moment, working, playing, or just being. There's going to be a lot less multitasking this year!

Tidbit #2: Instead of directing her feet into her shoes, Lia grabs her foot just as I do and tries to shove her whole and and foot in the shoe. It's been less than successful so far, but oh-so-cute.

Tidbit #3:  When the fog rolls in ("it's froggy!") or clouds slip past the moon, or Bella squints so her eyelashes haze everything over, she calls it melting.  "Look mommy, the clouds are melting the moon!" "Hee. Hee. I'm melting you, Mommy." It's quite the perspective.


Tidbit #9

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Editing a most beautiful, rewarding (pitch dark) birth tonight. The genuine strength, energy, and love at a birth are amazing to witness.  Births are truly my favorite thing to photograph.


Tidbit #8

Damn You Auto Correct tonight had me laughing til I cried, squeaked, and gasped for breath. It just never gets old. Machine+Man = best farce humor ever.


Tidbit #7

I caught a brief glimpse of the sunset while driving tonight. One long, thin golden ribbon adorning the steely sky - a reminder that the sun rose today and was with us all along, even on the grayest of days.


Tidbit #6

Things I never imagined I'd ever shout:

Enough! It's your dinner, not a water park! (Who knew soup could be so fun?)
Eat your food, don't decorate with it!
Lillia, get Jesus's head out of your mouth. He's not for teething! (Tho I guess no one can resist the Jesus Action Figure.)


Tidbit #5

This afternoon Dave came home on lunch and rocked Lia to sleep.

Then again tonight, completely out of our routine, I did the same.

I sang this.
And this.
(As usual.)

Her little head kept popping up, swaying a little more each time, dropping down a little heavier each time.

I hope that little head will forever fit so perfectly in the nook of my collarbone, my cheek resting gently on her sweet, silky hair.


Tidbit #4

This is part of my 366 Tidbits series. I'd love it if you'd join me!
(What? You like to start at #1?  Well, you can start wherever you'd like! I'll be catching up soon.)

Lia was in her birthday suit at dinner tonight - she shoveled rice in her mouth tonight, dropping it all over the chair. In the process of getting off the chair, she managed to cover herself with every single piece and then proceeded to run around the house, shedding rice right and left. (And I wonder why I'm always vacuuming.)  Oh, Lia. You crack me up.


Memories and Tidbits

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You may have seen this circulating around over the past few days: Portraits Are More Than Paper

It hits home for a lot of us. We take pictures out of habit, in hopes that we might ever get them up on Facebook, or even into albums and scrapbooks. But what happens when they are all we have left of someone we love?  The simplest snapshot takes on new meaning when someone in it is no longer with us.

I just came across the picture above - a little selfie I took in August with my point and shoot. I love this moment. Our days are so full that even though I might remember feeling this way, I doubt I could ever recall the moment without a photograph, and certainly Lillia never will.

It's not about getting your portraits done. Its about existing in living memory. Sure, not every moment needs a camera - but the sweetest moments need memories. We don't pass down spoken memories as societies used to, so it only makes sense that there is a shift in the way we maintain our history. A picture is one of many simple ways to do just that.

It doesn't matter how you capture your memories - just do it. Jot down your favorite moments of that day. Take a snapshot with your phone. HAND YOUR CAMERA OFF TO SOMEONE so that you are in a picture. Guess what? Your family loves you for who you are, and if you're avoiding the camera, you're depriving them of preserving memories they love.

That one letter has spurred a memory revolution - feel free to join in any way you would like. What am I doing to make sure my girls remember our beautiful, imperfect life?

I've started a 366 Tidbits Project.  (Yes, indeedy! It's a leap year!)

I'll be jotting down one tidbit each day and posting it here (informally, and not necessarily with a picture - gotta keep it simple, people!). I haven't kept up on the girls' monthly letters, and I feel their memories melting together and drifting away, which I hate.

So check back here for 366 days of tidbits - things I noticed, something quirky about my day, something that inspired me or made me giggle. It coincides nicely with my second project 365 that I started in October (which you can view here).  Hopefully through this, the girls will get to know the me they loved before they were old enough to really remember. 


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