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Typical New England. Rainy and raw one week, then sunny and sweltering the next. It’s a good thing Brody is so darn cute — I felt like I was standing on the surface of the sun during his shoot, but he stayed totally cool and happy and awesome.

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Lindy and Billy are so fun and have such a good time with their little guy:

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Love this one:

Even the dog kept her cool:

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Happy baby!

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This is kind of how excited I get when I gnaw on fried chicken. Without the cuteness.

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A big thank you to Brody’s whole family for welcoming me and for being so much fun. I’m going to be visiting them every few months, so keep watching!

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There’s an Annie Leibovitz quote that I use on my website: “The thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people”; nowhere is this more genuine than with the families who allow me to document the first year of their babies’ lives. I meet these kids when they’re fresh out of the oven, and then get to visit them over and over in that first year — smiling, sitting up, crawling, walking — all the fun stuff (which: no diapers!). Lucky, lucky me.

This week marked the end of my year with the amazing Tylerific (see his other shoots here, here, and here). I met up with his mom Krista and his grandma at a park near his house in the city, and he once again blew me away with his scrunchy smile and enormous blue eyes.

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Do you see that smile? Seriously, I don’t think I can stand it.

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City kid:

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Quick wardrobe change, and Tyler posed with Krista, who is a total rockstar.

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My heartfelt thanks to Krista and Ryan for sharing this amazing little boy with me — I will definitely be watching out for him!

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Three days of sun. I believe we have ignition. Turn it UP.

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I was so happy to see the sunshine on Saturday; after a solid week of rain, I was finally going to have a shoot on schedule, on the beach, with sunlight. WRONG. About 20 minutes before Mike and Kristen were scheduled to meet me in the harbor, a big thick marine layer rolled in and covered the sun. These two took it in stride, however, and made their own heat. And I may have changed my opinion of shooting in the mist. It’s pretty romantic, all that dewy skin and soft light…

Kristen is a total smokeshow, and she and Mike immediately started laughing at everything, which made for a super fun time.

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I have a crush on Kristen’s shoes:

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We left the harbor and headed down to the beach to see if we could get some shots on the sand. Unfortunately, the seaweed was about a foot thick and covered the whole beach, but once again, Mike and Kristen rallied and were so much fun. Despite the chilly temperatures. These two just melt into each other and it’s so clear how happy they are.

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Rawr. Seriously.

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Kristen and Mike, you guys are tremendous fun and I know your wedding is going to be amazing. Can’t wait to see you again! xoxoxo

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I have had to reschedule FIVE shoots this week due to this ridiculous weather. That’s a lot of extra time for sitting at my desk watching YouTube videos. (About photography, of course.) Fortunately, weddings go on despite the weather, and last weekend I had the enormous privilege of tagging along with the amazing Bob Pattison to second shoot with him at Deirdre and Brian’s wedding. I got to hang out with the guys while they got ready and then I rode with them in the limo to the church. They were awesome.

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Go check out Bob and Tricia’s blog for full coverage of this great wedding. A big thanks to Deirdre and Brian for letting me share in their happiness, and as always, to my hero Bob for letting me come along!

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My first apartment in San Francisco was a sunny second-floor railroad flat in Noe Valley. We had a great back porch and lots of light throughout, with the exception of one window in the master bedroom that looked out over an outdoor space in the center of all the surrounding buildings. It was a narrow, dank space that no one ever hung out in, and we generally kept the curtains pulled on that particular window. 1997 was an El Niño year in California, and my first real experience with the kind of miasmic torpor that comes with day after day of rain and fog. One morning I woke up and in the blear of my dreadful no-contacts-or-glasses vision noticed what I thought was a huge bug sitting on the top of the window ledge in our bedroom. I poked Matt and told him that he was in charge of squashing said bug (usually I gently usher visiting bugs outdoors, but some of those SF bugs were gnarly). He dutifully climbed up on a chair with a paper towel to do the deed, and then started laughing. For that blob I saw was no insect, it was a clump of MUSHROOMS. Growing in my BEDROOM. Because of the DAMP.

Remind me of this the next time I whine about missing California. It’s wet all over. Really, though. Enough already.

Stella and Sam are looking forward to beach days. Me too…

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Last summer I photographed Muffy’s extended family; since then she’s been wanting to do something a little more intimate, and so last week she and her two amazing daughters met with me in a field of spring wildflowers and we had a wonderful time.

(photographers note: I strayed from my normal workflow and processed these using a TRA recipe that included Clairify, Warm it up Kris, Punch-Out, Flare-up (golden), and Boutwell’s Magic Glasses. Just for fun.)

Here’s the gorgeous Ashley:

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Ashley and Bree playing in the flowers:

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Bree was slightly apprehensive in front of the camera, but Muffy and Ashley have a whole song and dance routine that brightens her right up:

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Swinging was also effective:

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Who says dandelions are a nuisance?

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A big thank you to Muffy and the girls for a really lovely morning. I look forward to hanging with the boys later this year!

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Jenna and I traded about three million voicemails before we connected to talk about doing a newborn session for her upcoming baby boy. With every missed call I was afraid the kid would be born, eating, and walking before we were finally able to pin down a day. At last we talked, and a few days later I got the message that baby Greyson had arrived! I got to meet him earlier this week and he was as cooperative as an eight-day-old can be. Check out the fabulousness:

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Jenna’s family has a wooden cradle that has been passed down from baby to baby for over 100 years. Each child’s name and birthday is recorded on a brass plaque on the base of the cradle. Greyson seemed perfectly happy to hang out in his antique bed.

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As a matter of fact, Greyson seemed perfectly happy to do pretty much anything I wanted him to. Jenna and Mark are lucky indeed — this is one chill baby.

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I feel so lucky that I got to spend some time with this great family, and I hope to show you more of Greyson as he grows!

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prana |ˈpränə|
noun: Hinduism
breath, considered as a life-giving force.
ORIGIN: Sanskrit.

There’s a technique that my Yin teacher uses to help us wage gentle battle against the aches and pains that arise while holding postures for a particularly long time. She urges us to use ujjayi breathing to “wash the area with fresh prana” — in other words, breathe deeply into the sensation to fill it with energy and openness. As with most things Zen, you have to draw upon your imagination and faith a bit to accomplish this; sweeping your breath past the biological limits of your lungs and down through your body to your lower back or hips or whichever spot is making noise. The art of pranayama means “extension of the prana or breath” or more accurately, “extension of the life force.” Pretty deep when it works. Unsettling when it doesn’t.

For the past few weeks, I haven’t been able to breathe correctly. It’s not noticeable all the time, and it’s not like I’m wheezing or struggling to fill my lungs. There’s just a hitch. A hitch in the path between taking a breath and breathing. I can’t get past my chest, I can’t get that fresh prana into my head. It’s like there’s a bubble between my throat and my lungs, and I can only fill that particular bubble. I can’t bring fresh breath — clean, open, healing breath — to any of the parts of me that really need it, like my heart. The nature of this problem is obviously not physiological; it’s a big honking obstacle in my brain, in my attitude, in my cosmic balance. You don’t need to be on the lookout for a metaphor to see the situation for what it is: I can’t get out of my own head. I’m suffocating myself.

A series of disappointments in my personal life have undoubtedly been the catalyst for this, but it’s also possible that since I took all of my love advice from Jody Watley in 1987, I’m looking at things the wrong way. I think I become so certain about who I was, and who others were, and it blinded me. Another version of reality came knocking on the door, and I didn’t want to accept it. Photography allows me to create things as I see them, writing stories lets me have everyone saying what I want them to, but life? Not so much. Life tells you that it’s unattractive to be so querulous; don’t seek to straighten out everyone else, do a harder thing instead, and straighten out yourself. One of those things I’m hesitant to admit because I don’t like the way it sounds. Not very charitable of me, huh?

I’m working on it. I received some kindness last week from a place I never expected. It shook me up and spit me out and made me look at things from two or three degrees over. Not a complete sea change, but just enough to make me willing to sit and try to breathe past that hitch today. And tomorrow. And that’s far enough for now.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.

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