Tag Archives: summer

::wedding by the lake::

Now that summer is drawing to a close and I’ve had some time to reflect on what an amazing few months it was, one of the things that comes to mind is how many gorgeous days we enjoyed in western NY. Everything seemed lush and full of life, soft baby blue streaks stretched across the sky almost every day, and the sun was warm and welcoming. Kristin and Brent were lucky to have planned their wedding on one of these perfect summer days, and they picked a beautiful location for it too. Their wedding was held at the Crosswinds Wesleyan Church in the town of Canandaigua next to one of the grand finger lakes.

The wedding was mid-afternoon so we had quite a bit of time to get ready which is always nice. I was even able to squeeze in a newborn shoot with precious Brayden that morning at a nearby park.

See, what did I tell you about that blue sky?!

I was actually in the bridal party for this wedding so I couldn’t shoot the ceremony but I’m very thankful to Tim Chen for partnering up with me to take on this day!  The ceremony was short and sweet but very meaningful and lots of fun fellowship was had at a light reception immediately following right at the church grounds.

It’s always great when brides (and grooms) plan for lots of picture time during their wedding day.  Kristin and Brent made sure we did, so we spent an hour or so down at the lake taking pictures and relaxing a bit before the crowds and conversations began at the dinner reception.

The ring bearer and flower girl were Brent’s niece and nephew and they are just the cutest kids! They were pretty preoccupied with the snails they found near the gardens by the lake- I guess it was good that they found something to keep them entertained!

The snails got boring after a while so they decided to climb trees instead- wedding apparel and all : )

There was lots to capture that day but I’ll share just a few more shots below… Thanks so much Kristin and Brent for being a wonderful couple, picking a gorgeous summer day, and planning a perfect wedding!

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::spiritual moments::

I heard a sermon last week in which the preacher was talking about her experience on her family vacation in the Catskill mountains.  She mentioned this moment where she hiked alone to the nearby waterfall one morning, sat peacefully beside the stream, and dove into the clear mountain water. Immersed in the frigid water she felt renewed and refreshed. She said it was a ‘spiritual moment’ for her. One in which she felt complete, and spiritually whole.  She went on to describe what she did next.  She carefully collected small rocks-shiny and colorful, smooth and marbled, and placed them in a bag.  She was trying to gather mementos of this spiritual moment.  Mementos that she could place about her home, on her nightstand, her bathroom sink.  Things that could tangibly bring her back to that place of peace and wholeness, once her hectic life started to crack through her being.

The preacher then began to warn of the foolishness of this kind of living.  She said she felt like the rich young ruler who was storing up his earthly treasures. She told us to be complete people, we need to live beyond those spiritual moments, tuning in to our real feelings and emotions and embracing them when things are hard.  We need to be careful not to idolize good times, and not to limit God to our description of what a ‘spiritual moment’ is.

Although I liked the point she was trying to make about not limiting God to our own version of spiritual moments, I felt hesitant to embrace the idea that we can’t rely on great moments of peace and restoration to help us through.  The past few weeks that’s what I’ve been doing. Trying to suck the life out of this beloved place I call home.  Grabbing up moments and taking pictures as mementos before our trek back down south.

Like gathering green beans with my Grandpa in his garden and canning them back in the kitchen with Grandma.

Feeling the early summer sun beat down on my shoulders while squatting to pick strawberries with a friend.

Sharing a cold drink with my cousin, dipping our feet in the pool while he helps me shell a bushel of peas.

Enjoying a late night piece of pie with good neighbors.

Running through the beloved woods across the street.

Cooking and laughing together in the home of good friends.

Taking my sister out on a Friday night date.

Trekking up to the sheep barn and letting a baby lamb nuzzle up to my knee.

Hiking hills of blueberry bushes and picking peacefully with my family.

Spending the morning exploring the landscape with a beautiful child.

These pictures are my mementos. Beautiful memories I can rifle through weeks from now.

And my freezer and cupboards will be filled with mementos of the richness and goodness of my home that I can eat in the lonely winter months.

These are my spiritual moments.

The moments that get me through.

And if my efforts to grasp onto these people and this place is in vain, then that preacher can call me a fool.

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::cute kids::

Some kids are just so stinkin’ cute they deserve to be photographed.   And that’s not to say that all  kids aren’t awesome… but I especially can’t resist photographing little curly haired boys like this one.  I’ve been working on a personal project this summer, in collaboration with a friend, and will be sharing more about it at some point.  As much fun as we are having in producing our own work- the set-up, communication, and interaction we’ve been having with other people has been a good time too.  Like working with little Ralph here… we tried to get him to pose with his friendly cat, Wall-e.  But all I got were these candid shots of Ralph.

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::family(part 12)history::

One, two, three, four, five.  Five.

I have five Uncles.  My Grandmother had five sons.  Five.

Five boys.  One house.

One whole counted hand of converse sneakers, scraped knees, dirt and mud, baseball, blue jeans, late homework assignments, broken bicycles, stray animals, campouts, tree houses, bruised bodies, fist fights… my poor Grandmother.  I can’t even imagine.  And they are all so unique.

My Uncle Don is wise.  He pursued education and has a quiet but loving manner about him.

My Uncle Jim is the ace.  He’s talented at everything he does and can smooth talk his way out of anything.  He’s always got a wink and a sly smile ready.

My Uncle Chris is the joker.  He embraces his goofiness and can make my entire family cry from belly-aching laughter in 30 seconds flat.

My Uncle Doug is a ham.  He’s sincere to the core and gives the best hugs.

My Uncle Shawn is a sweetheart.  Everybody knows him, everybody loves him.

Five boys.

Five men.

Although this photo only features three of my Uncles, I love how much it captures their personalities.  Uncle Don the ‘wise’ and oldest is on the far right.  Uncle Jim the ‘ace’ is center, and Uncle Chris the ‘joker’ is far left.

Rushford Lake on a hot summer day.

Call your boys, now that the table is set and shining,
no one’s seen, them in many days,
Call your boys, they shot a buzzard off a Chrysler,
and you still taste, all that you swallowed before grace,
and you’ll forgive, even the time they burned the hen house,
and ran from you, and ran to the hills with burning hands,
setting sun, framed in the doorway right behind you,
several chores, surely some lessons left to tell,
setting sun, wolves in the hills are now before you,
sit you boys, each with their shining silverware,
they’ll bury you under wood beside the carport,
bury you, at some neon stop along the way,
radio fuzz, on the fencepost by the pasture,
long ago, Liza and you would dance all day,
now you lay, buried to stir and a sacred father,
in a sacred urn, under a billboard, in the rain,
but one last toast, here’s to the brave who went before us,
and died in vain, died in a movie for a dream.

-Sam Beam

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::family(part 2)history::

i am a little church

i am a little church(no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
-i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth’s own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little church(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
-i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

-ee cummings

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