women's march 2.0

Have you seen the girl with the mind on fire?
She set out to tell the world how they suppress our desires
Said she wouldn't back down till the rules were amended
And she didn't give a fuck who she offended
Have you seen her now?
- Aisha Badru

One year ago I marched with half a million of my sisters in Washington DC. Today I marched at home in Seattle. where we brought the heat despite the cold and a little rain. 

cousins, bathtubs, mobile saunas, and chickens | seattle tacoma documentary family photography

It's been far too long since I've blogged, but spring has arrived and I've been shooting a lot lately. I'm also *very close* to fully recovered from major knee surgery last year (more on that coming in another blog post) so I'm ready to start photographing families again! While Viggo competed in his very first chess tournament last weekend (you can see my Instagram post here), Leo got some quality time with his cousins. Documenting the day with his cousins was a great reminder that we can include extended family and cousins in your photo shoot. I would love to spend a morning or day in the life with your family, your littles, and their cousins. The cousin relationship is pretty special, whether they are all close in age, or years apart, it's such a fun, unique dynamic. I'm not sure which was more fun - 3 cousins in a bathtub or 3 cousins in a hammock. We have a bathtub (but the light isn't nearly as pretty) but I'm convinced that we definitely need a hammock.  Back at the house after a long day of chess, Viggo sat proudly for a photo with his trophy before we all jumped into the converted horse trailer that is now a mobile sauna. We warmed up in the sauna listening to the pouring rain on the metal roof of the trailer, snacking on bowls of goldfish, when Leo shouted "chicken bawk bawk!" and sure enough we looked out the little windows to see one of chickens running down the alley. The kids all jumped out to chase the chicken but he was long gone, leaving four sopping wet cousins scrambling to get inside and warm up in front of the fire. It was everything that a day with cousins should be.

women's march on washington

"Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul."
-Coretta Scott King

Last week I traveled from Seattle to Washington DC for the Women's March on Washington. I had heard amazing stories about airplanes filled with women donning their pink hats, but since the first leg of my trip ended in Charlotte, I only saw a handful of pink hats on my plane. Wearing my own hat however (knit entirely of pieces of pink scrap yarn from the 15 hats I made), got me a seat upgrade and a free glass of wine. I rolled into DC in the midnight darkness on the eve of the inauguration, my taxi driver taking side streets to avoid road closures. The day of the inauguration I was careful to avoid all activity and protests, opting instead to explore the neighborhood and enjoy a long lunch with friends. The morning of the march we spent a laughably long time deciding what to wear, adding layers only to change our minds and remove layers, and change our minds yet again. I know all about music festival attire but protest attire? Not so much. Ready or not, armed with our pink hats, good walking shoes, metro cards, and packs of granola, we set out to the nearest metro station. After letting a few full trains go by, we squeezed our way into a packed subway car, only to welcomed by a woman from NYC who greeted us with "All aboard the pussy train!". After a very crowded and very slow trip, and about the time our collective claustrophobia had reached a tipping point, we were let out of the metro and eventually found our way above ground to overcast skies and cool air. We could hear the voice of Michael Moore over the loudspeaker and slowly made our way to the nearest jumbo screen where we could finally see some of the speakers even though we were 7 blocks from the stage. I got goose bumps listening to Ashley Judd recite “I’m a Nasty Woman”, a spoken word piece written by 19-year old Nina Donovan. I strained to hear Gloria Steinem talk about our collective strength and the importance of working together. We heard Alicia Keys and Scarlett Johansson and the voices of the amazing, diverse women who organized the march. But the one who stood out, the one who brought down the house of hundreds of thousands of people, was 6-year old Sophie Cruz, the daughter of undocumented immigrants, who in the clearest, most confident voice, wise beyond her years, gave us this message: “I also want to tell the children not to be afraid because we are not alone”. The speeches ended and we soon learned that there were so many people in attendance that the march route was completely packed and no one could even move. We ccelebrated the fact that there were far more people in attendance than planned and considered it a victory despite not being able to move and getting restless. Finally, the crowds were starting to move so we jumped into the current and marched. I met people from all over the country, from Florida and Texas, to Portland and Ohio, and Saskatchewan, Canada. At the time I had no idea just how many people were present, but I knew I was in the midst of history being made and it was spectacular. We were on our feet standing and walking for close to 8 hours, and at dusk as the march headed to the White House, we crossed the street holding hands, zig-zagging through the crowds one last time before starting the long walk home.  Exhausted, sore and hungry, I felt like I could have marched forever. Back home, I’m still basking in all that we accomplished from DC to the sister marches across the globe, from Seattle and everywhere in between, knowing that this is just the start.

from london to seattle with love | seattle documentary family photography

You know it's going to be a good session when you wake up to dark Seattle skies and a slow drizzle but instead of canceling, your client embraces it and wants to document life in their new city, rain and all. And even better is when you're greeted by smiling, giggling girls who can't wait to show you their baby sister.  This beautiful international family recently moved from London to Seattle and the girls still have an accent that will melt your heart.  The laugher that fills every room of their house is infectious, and families that embrace the silly will always have my heart. As a mother of boys, I love documenting life with girls and I'm always curious about the differences and similarities and make no mistake, these girls could give my boys a run for their money. They jumped, wrestled, danced, and scaled rock walls in the mud and rain. It was my kind of morning. 

dancing in the rain | seattle family documentary photography

We met at t-ball, standing on the sidelines chatting and watching our boys clumsily chase after the ball, learning to throw and catch, all while being cheered on by their coaches and parents. My family quickly fell in love with Coach Caleb and his sweet demeanor, always patient with this gaggle of 4 and 5 year old boys with an easy smile. Sharsti and I fell into the habit of walking up to the coffee shop, with Abbi volunteering to push Leo in his stroller. I was thrilled that Sharsti asked me to photograph her beautiful family this winter at their gorgeous home in Montlake. The weather was terrible, utterly and absolutely atrocious. It was dark and gloomy and I didn’t think it was ever going to stop raining. I considered canceling - but this is what I love so much about this family - they just rolled with it. We do live in Seattle after all, and this is what life looks like in November in the Pacifc Northwest, and they totally embraced it. The rain let up a bit so we decided to take Bailey for a walk out to the Montlake cut. We watched boats go by, the kids hid in the weeping willow branches, jumped over puddles, and sang Macklemore songs with voices much better than my own. My kind of afternoon. By the end of day I felt like I knew the kids so much better and was able to see their different personalities (and voices!) shine through. I left admiring Caleb and Sharsti for how beautifully they embrace and nurture Max and Abbi's different personalities, loving them for exactly who they are. I can’t wait for more lingering mornings on the t-ball field with these guys this spring. 

at home with bubba | seattle documentary family photography

I was lucky enough to spend the morning with Erica, Dudley, and Ellis in their gorgeous new home in Queen Anne. It took Ellis a few minutes of hiding behind his mom, but before I knew it he was proudly showing me around the house and giving me the best hugs. Ellis reminded me that sometimes you just need to put the camera down and hug it out. This may be my new motto in life. He showed me his big boy room and his favorite books, and even made me "toast". I loved watching the three of them cuddle in bed, giggle, and play under the covers. Dudley is an excellent gently-toss-the-baby-into-the-bed kind of guy, FYI. 

at home with baby E | seattle, wa

I've known David and Alana for several years and I've even been on some pretty grueling bike rides with David. I was beyond excited to finally meet sweet baby E and see how well they've all settled into their new house as a family of three. They made it look effortless! Seriously though, they were such naturals at this new parenting thing and they had the calm demeanor of seasoned parents. I loved seeing David in his new role as dad and how E has already captured his heart. E is such a sweet baby and is already a great sleeper - no wonder Alana looked so gorgeous and refreshed. Of course no family session would be complete without a guest starring role from the family pets, in this case their hilarious cats "Chicken" and Max.