The best weekend of the season at Covenant Pines Bible Camp.
I met this little one on the day that she was born. She has grown into a delightful toddler and it was such a joy to spend time capturing she and her little family on a warm summer evening. She's something special! These sessions are my favorite - connecting with friends and capturing life as it is.
It doesn't get much better than connecting with a family through the years. Paulie and Rachel have been faithful friends of mine throughout the years(I knew Paulie when he was in High School) and it has been such a blessing to document their engagement, wedding and now two of their little ones. They are truly two of my favorite people - they have amazing stories and am so grateful for them! Welcome little, Z!
People sometimes say that they wish they could be a fly on the wall in someone else's experience. Well, that is often how it feels to capture a family's story in photographs. It was such an honor when Rita asked me to come and photographer her family in their home. She is a gifted photographer herself and it was such a joy to come and be a fly on the wall in her home as she and her beautiful family spent some time doing some things they love.
Since joining the Childhood Unplugged collaborative, I have been more thoughtful about what it actually means to have an unplugged childhood. For us, it's music. Music has been a huge part of my life - I even majored in music in college. Music has provided beauty, escape, joy as well as ways to create. I knew I wanted music to be a foundational part of my children's childhood. We love musicals, singing in the church choirs and listening to all kinds of music. The kids have all learned instruments and although the process has definitely not been without practice battles - the journey has already proved rewarding. One of mine still wants to plug in an electric guitar and amp.... but that's probably ok. This month's post is found at Childhood Unplugged. You can also follow Childhood Unplugged on instagram (@childhoodunplugged).
"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood." Fred Rogers
As an early childhood educator - it is no secret that play is the heart of learning! When I work with teachers - one of the things we always look at in their daily schedules is how much time they have set aside for play! The longer, the better! As the minutes go by play becomes deeper, richer and more creative, developing so many higher level thinking skills, executive function and pure fun!
A few years ago, a friend of mine, Monica Calderin, founded a photography collaboration called, Childhood Unplugged - "a group of photographers who are making a conscious effort to encourage our children to get back to the art of play." Their popular instagram feed highlights images of children at play throughout the world. When Monica asked me to join, I was thrilled.
An autumn weekend in the heart of the northern woods of Minnesota was the perfect spot to tell an unplugged story as a part of the Childhood Unplugged team. No internet, no television (other than one fuzzy channel) helped draw us all through an open door to outdoor play, yard work, cousin fun, grandparent time, freshly fallen leaves and time at the farm.
I met this family when their oldest was just a little babe - it is so fun to reconnect and watch families grow and change throughout the years and there's nothing quite like summertime to document families together!
North Community Theater Auditions. I saw the event announcement pop up on my screen. I love musicals, I love the Northside. All ages. Why not give it a go? It seemed like an opportunity to do something I love and to connect with my family and with my community. As an artist, I understand the power of creating something collaboratively that can foster new relationships and strengthens communities. Dudley Voigt along with John Bueche and Kenna Cottman had a vision to bring theater back to North High School and back to the Northside community. The process was more than just a final production. From the building of the sets, the making of props and the gathering of costumes this community was engaged in building a production that spoke of the uniqueness of each individual and the importance and value of joining together. "We are different and united. We are us and we are you. This is our story." There's something about theater that brings people together. Reviewing dance steps in the hallways, painting backdrops, sharing ideas, practicing song lyrics, playing theater games, and having conversations backstage - encouraging each other to be brave and confident - these are the things that helped create a "community production". These scenes from the eyes of a cast member may not tell the complete story of the final production - but help tell the narrative of a community uniting to create something amazing. My son's new "best friends" are the high school students he got to meet... he keeps wanting to call them to get together. And..... at my house we are all making predictions about what next year's show will be .... we know this is only the beginning of the lives that will be touched by the creation of North Community Theater.
I can't believe that I haven't posted anything since September. Now, more than just a few months later, I was able to spend some time with the little one who was just a newborn in my last post. The changes that occur in the first year are so amazing and to watch a little one become her own little person is such a gift. So grateful for these friends!