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Zero to Two happened fast, too fast…

Two years ago, I started this blog post:

Welcome to the world baby, Alistair Henry Harris…

_44A0092We waited a long time for you to arrive.   000061900007A long, long time.

000061910012And you didn’t come how we expected…

IMG_7010But you eventually came.

IMG_7027All whopping 10.2lbs of you.

IMG_7029Everyone was excited to meet you, but no one more excited than your big brother…

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And then, as it happens with the second child, I blinked (and didn’t finish this blog post) and suddenly TWO YEARS flew by…

Ally_44A9060-2And now you are a little boy who has become very serious about baseball…

paigegreenAlly-000076640010-2Making people laugh…

Ally_44A9139And dance parties…

But best of all, you have a relationship with your brother…boys14042016bwthat just keeps on getting better and better.

ally_44A9101Happy To You, Ally Boo Boo! To show you how much we love you, we are going to get you some shirts for your birthday, so you aren’t half naked in all the photos in your next birthday post.

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(MTV video footage by: Laura Schneider.)

Farm Family Photos: April 1st & 2nd

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The grass is green and the baby animals are bouncing… Come celebrate spring with Family Photos at Windrush Farm:

$250 for 30 mins (includes 5 high resolution digital files of your choice)
$450 for an hour (includes 10 high resolution digital files of your choice)
Additional images will be available for purchase.

Please wear clothes/shoes you don’t mind getting dirty and bring a colorful blanket we can spread out in the grass.

To schedule your session, please follow the link below and select your preferred time slot:

http://my.setmore.com/bookingpage/c2369b83-d535-4dfc-bd12-b96aa13ecb9e/bookappointment

*We will do our best to take photos with baby animals, but because they are baby animals, we can not guarantee they will always cooperate. But no matter what, we will get get cute photos of your family on a farm…

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thoughts from a house full of boys…

Once upon a time I believed gender was a social construct… but along came my two very adorable and completely truck, mud, ball and wrestling obsessed little boys. And I quickly learned that girls and boys are indeed different creatures, without any help from society.

After four years of living in my boy centered world, I find myself standing next to my sons, also staring at little girls like they are from another planet. A planet that I once belonged to and will happily jump at the opportunity to visit any chance I get…

What photos of children on a beach should look like…

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Today I received my film from our annual family trip to the beach, which included four rolls filled with images of my two boys (ages 3 and 1) and their cousins running on the sand and swimming in the ocean.

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At the same time I am looking at photos of my three-year-old on the beach, the world is furiously debating a very different photo of a three-year-old boy on the beach: the photograph of Aylan Kurdi’s tiny body in a bright red T-shirt and dark shorts, face-down in the surf.

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Aylan, his 5-year-old brother, Galip, and mother, Rehan, 35, were among 12 people, including other children, who died after two boats capsized while attempting to flee their war-ravaged homeland, Syria.

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To hear the little boys’ father talk about what happened in the ocean and how he tried to save his sons is unbearable. I feel a sadness for him I did not know was possible before having my own kids.

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If there is any comfort that can come to the father of Aylan, hopefully it is that because of the photograph of his three-year-old son dead on the beach, the world is now finally paying attention after:

  • four years of armed conflict
  • 200,000 deaths
  • more than 4 million refugees, mostly women and children,
  • and an estimated 12.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 5.6 million children, according to the UN.

What if the photo of this one sweet boy washed up on the beach can help save the 5.6 million other children who are still living in danger?

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What if everyone who saw that photo of little Aylan on the beach signed a petition to allow more refugees in their country and sent a donation to nonprofits who are on the ground working to help refugees?

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So in honor of Aylan Kurdi, I have signed a petition and sent a donation, because I want to live in a world where the only photos of little boys on the beach look like this…paigegreenBeach09022015-000074240006To learn more about how you can help the migrant crisis please click here: http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/28/world/iyw-migrant-how-to-help/

 

the most beautiful home birth I almost saw…

If you asked me how my home birth was, you would not hear me say, “My home birth was beautiful.”

Instead I very honestly would tell you, “It was extremely long, incredibly painful and very, very messy. I can understand why drugs were invented and why people take them.”

Between endless hours of back-breaking contractions, I kept repeating, “This is ridiculous. How can there be 7 billion people on the planet.”

I couldn’t see why anyone would voluntarily choose to do this more than once in their lifetime, let alone 7 billion times.

People told me eventually I would forget and the hormones would win again, but I refused to believe that I could ever forget what that day felt like. And I announced that I was quite happy with one.

Yet here I am, one year and 5 months later, just like everyone said, wondering… if, maybe, should we?

So I was excited when Rose sent me an email asking if I would photograph the birth of their second baby girl, who would be born at home some time in March. It would be a good test. How would it feel to see someone else go through labor? And what was a home birth like the second time around?

I was also excited because I have never seen a human being born. I have seen cows, sheep, and dogs… but not a human (I had my eyes closed the whole time during HAH’s birth.)

And I got a small taste of what it must feel like for doctors and midwives. For once in my life, I had my cell phone almost always charged and I almost always knew where it was. And at gatherings with friends, I would announce, “I can’t drink tonight, I’m on call.”

But then it didn’t happen. The due date came and went. I started filling up my calendar. I had photo shoots scheduled every day. Arann got sick, so I was working all day and on solo parenting duty at night. Until finally at the end of day two of photographing flowers in SF, I got the texts:

4:12pm “I think we are in early labor, midwife is coming over. Will text again.”

4:57 “Come now!!”

I was in San Francisco.

The family was in Oakland.

For those of you not from the Bay Area, 5pm on a Thursday means… Fat chance.

I only had to drive 10.5 miles.

It took me one hour.

When I finally arrived at the house, Rose’s mother let me in and said, “The baby was just born, come on in.”

And this is what I saw…

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While I was disappointed to have missed the birth, it was probably for the best because I got to experience all of the joy and none of the work. Which means I can confidently say that it was the most beautiful home birth, I almost saw.

Thank you, Rose and Jonathan, for inviting me to be a part of this amazing moment in your lives. It was such an incredible honor and I am so excited for your family. And, as Rose said to me after the birth of HAH, “Have fun falling in love.”

Wait for it…

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Seana first contacted me on November 10th about family photos. We had three or four scheduled dates to meet but each time it just didn’t work out… thanks to conflicting holiday schedules, bad weather, the flu, and even an epic battle with poison oak. But we didn’t give up. We waited until schedules calmed down, the weather was just right, the poison oak went away and everyone one was feeling healthy, relaxed and ready to play…

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Thank you for not giving up, Seana.

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It was so worth the wait.

No warm-up necessary this year…

This was the third year in a row that I photographed Jasmine and her parents

…which, I learned, makes for a very comfortable and very action-packed photo shoot.

No warm-up time necessary this year, Little Miss Jasmine was ready to go…

And so was I… after spending 72 continuous hours working on getting our new house ready for us to move in to it this week! It is totally chaotic and insane what we are trying to do in such a short amount of time… so this one hour photo shoot, in this perfect location (which happens to be conveniently in my new backyard,) with these ready and willing models… was exactly the boost I needed tonight to keep me going.
And hopefully the next blog post I write will be from my desk, in my new office, in our very own house! Eeeeeeeeeee….. wish us luck!

it is all about people…

I may photograph food, products, events, and flowers… but for me, it is all about the people. So I get excited when family portrait season comes around and families invite me in to their homes for an hour, or even better, for an afternoon, and I get to play…

I enjoy it so much that every time I am at a family photo shoot I usually have to remind myself that it is time to put down the camera and go home. And when I do eventually leave, I feel honored to have been invited in to the homes of these families and to document what their lives are like at this moment… and I can’t believe that I am lucky enough to call this my job.

This is what’s going on at our house these days…

It has been awhile since my last post, so I thought I’d at least share what we are working on…

In addition to learning how to grab our toes, roll-over, fly, drool, and laugh… we are also working on my new website.

Because now that we have this parenting thing figured out (as demonstrated in photo above)…

…it is time to get back to work again. New website link coming soon.

One Street, Four Families and Me…

Last year I was lucky to photograph this cute family

And that cute family showed their photos to this cute family…

And that cute family showed their photos to this cute family…

And to this cute family…

And because all of these cute families live on the same cute street in the East Bay, this year one of the mothers offered to help organize schedules so I could come back and photograph all of the cute families on the same day.

So that is what we did.

And here are some of my favorites from our marathon photography day on that sunny Saturday in November…


Thank you, Rachel, for suggesting the Clover Drive photography day. And thank you, Kim, for coordinating all of the schedules. I had lots of fun with each of your families and I really hope to see you all again next year.



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