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Holy Jenga, the sun came up on a new year. (After 2016, I wasn’t so sure it would.)

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But the last thing we need is another blog post about how bad things were in 2016.paigegreenfarmphoto01162012-0010

I figure, since most of our history books are filled with one-sided perspectives, and those perspectives aren’t always very factual…paigegreennaomimeyers2016-film-000003410007

And since we now live in a society that prefers make-believe over reality…000061930010

Why not write my own history of 2016. So here goes…paigegreensaragottfried08242016-152

It was amazing. paigegreenhabit09022016-0912

My house was always clean.paigegreenhabit09022016-0035

My kids never fought. img_0662

The IRS gave us lots of money back after our audit. paigegreengloria05182016-0181

I have perfected the work/life/love balance.paigegreenfarmphoto01162012-0160

Orangutans are making a come back. Syria is rebuilding better than ever and…000086800005

Hillary Clinton won the presidency.  paigegreenkatemcpherson06032016-070

OK… so maybe not. paigegreennaomimeyers2016-film-000003410008

But instead of dwelling on the darkness…paigegreensarahentrup06232016-224

I am going to focus on the light…paigegreenlinsey03062016-056

And extend an invitation to more of the awesome…000086810006-bookclub112016paigegreen

And less of the shitty for 2017 (unless it’s compost.)000038550010

But there is an extra challenge for me, because entering this new year means entering a new decade. paigegreenmiranda092016film-012

I am not thrilled about my new decade starting the same year that our country offers the potential of nuclear war, or starts burning so many fossil fuels that we cook our way back into a primordial soup.

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Oh man, if I didn’t have kids… I would jump off of this doomed life raft so fast…

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And jump on to a booze cruise in Mexico, preferably one with lots of milkshakes and tequila.

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But thanks to raging hormones that took over my good judgement in my early 30’s,

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I now have two small people who I am responsible for.

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And I desperately want those two people to live in a world where police don’t shoot citizens they were hired to protect, presidents don’t encourage hatred and violence, warlords don’t kill innocent children, and companies don’t destroy the planet or wipe out species for products like ivory, palm oil and shark fins.

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So I have lots to do in 2017. The party is over.

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It is time to get to work.

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Because it is better to solve problems than cry about them (although I have little to no control over my tear ducts thanks to having kids, so crying is probably going to happen regardless.)

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But through the tears you may hear our family theme song, “If there’s a problem, yo, I’ll solve it. Check out the hook, while my DJ revolves it.”

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And for the real history books (and because I promised to focus on the good)…

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Here are a few of my actual favorite moments, projects and memories of 2016 and a new song (from La La Land) for the soundtrack of a new decade….

 

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A bit of madness is key to give us to color to see

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Who knows where it will lead us?

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So bring on the rebels

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The ripples from pebbles

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The painters, and poets, and plays.

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Here’s to the fools who dream.

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Crazy, as they may seem.

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Here’s to the hearts that break.

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Here’s to the mess we make.

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Here’s to a work-our-asses-off new year.

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Thank you for all of your love and support.

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I look forward to seeing what we dreamers create together in 2017.

(Drawing by Christian Anthony)

 

 

 

 

 

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.)

Good Riddance 2013… (the abridged photo version)

I am feeling a touch of the end of the year blues this year.

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I think that is because if I had to pick one photo to describe 2013, it would be this one…

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I definitely bit off way more than I could chew this year…

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But 2013 did not always play nice…betsy-000070610003No matter how hard I worked…

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It seemed like life had some fun new challenge just waiting for me to catch up,

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Leaving me just barely treading water.

000032910003Rarely did I ever feel like I was leading the family and work dance.

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And as a result things suffered…

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Such as my social life…

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My blog…

000070660008And my hard drives, it was a very, very bad year for hard drives… back them up people.

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But because I use this time of year to really examine the past year…

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To try and measure how much I have grown…

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I know it is important for the well-being of 2014 that I dig even deeper…

HAHSF2013-_0001And filter out the best of 2013 so I can set the bar higher for 2014…

219-harper2yrBecause despite the technical setbacks and the lack of time… it was an amazing year for photography…

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Filled with fun projects…

 02paigegreenGloriaFerrer81613-0750(Gloria Ferrer)

paigegreenLilaB21213-011(Plant Recipe Book with Lila B)

000096610001(The Big Flip)

Interesting people…

67650001Generation-93890002 paigegreenLorifilm-67660009And very special moments.

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I feel incredibly humbled each and every time people invite me to document their lives…paigegreenAyelet112313-128

Their businesses…

pizzaiolo713-000063440003Their art…

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Their cause…

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And their love…paigegreenLisaAndrewFilm-67670006I still get butterflies before every photo shoot and I hope I always will.

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In 2014… I want more of all of it… except for the technical difficulties… I have had plenty of that for a lifetime.

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Now that all this looking back is said and done…

058-HAHIslePalmss-000070660001It is time to kick out 2013…

000086520006And get started on making 2014 awesome.

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Happy, happy, happy new year.

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.”

My Best Tip-Toe Forward…

Last week I received a phone call from a well-known company asking to see my portfolio. They wanted to see still life, food and some people (because they don’t usually do much photography of people.)

While that phone call was very exciting, the problem was that no one had ever asked me to send in an actual printed portfolio before… so I didn’t have a portfolio to send.

Inspired, I started enthusiastically dragging out the hard drives and digging though the archives. Eventually I came up with a portfolio containing my most favorite 137 photos.

Luckily my talented graphic designer and trusty adviser, Tyler Young, said 137 photos might be a tad too many. So reluctantly, I whittled the portfolio down and here it is… my best (abridged) attempt to tip-toe further into the commercial world of still-life and food… with just a few people.

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