Posted on January 31, 2016
Can you guess what time of year this is?
Yes, March last year…the gorgeous deep Spring emerging is coming!
As some of you already know my love of photography is deeply intertwined with my love of learning, and observing learning. For me noticing, and then painting the pictures for all to see, telling the story of Free Range Learning, Wilderness Play, Un schooling, honouring learning styles, and weaving strong attachments to community and place is gorgeous, yummy stuff. its what I do. That is why I started Apple Star Photo and Apple Star Independent Learning. It’s all about trust, being present, and opening your heart. Of course, as a parent I have learned so much from my own child, Daniel, quiet man that he can be, thinker-tinker, explorer, runner. We are both so lucky to have access to Denman Island’s wonders. Here at Maresia, my parents place, and the beaches surrounding, Daniel has been able to discover the very palpable silence of still waters, slowly drifting air, suddenly brought to life by a soaring flock of sea birds…he’s marvelled at that, and seen the Divine in it. I always say nature is the great equalizer…She gives us space, space to be ourselves, space to collect, to gather, to disperse, to go slow, to quicken like a pulse excited by discovery. Space to feel small, and huge all at once. Space to belong. She shows us unconditional, bountiful love by holding us to her boossom, and at the same time she shows us clear boundaries – the waters edge, the flight of a wild animal at our approach, the unclimbable tree, the polluted waterway. Here, with her gifts and her storms, her softness and her edges, we encounter ourselves, our own capacity to love unconditionally, our own boundaries and limitations, lour very own resilience. This is why free range learning with access to nature, time, self exploration, and freedom of movement and association are so vital. While I have not been able to give my son the home learning, un schooling I would have liked. I have done every thing I could to allow for these times. Watching him grow up with this brings me so much joy. I am so proud of us. Dan taught me at the age of 3 to hold baby crabs for the first time. Dan has been leaping over this stream every year since he was two! Dan loves to crack these slate like slabs to make natural puzzles. Dan and his friends run through the tunnel under the road, where, during high river salmon return upstream! With his walking, sword, drum sticks in hand, my son plays!
Posted on January 30, 2016
Posted on January 12, 2016
This is a unique take on the head shot, a studio-like session, but more candid. Through my work in photography, I have discovered that unravelling and retelling a story is a big part of what I do.
As a single mother who chose to stay home with her son and build a career that honoured my deep needs for attachment, I have a soft spot for women and how they struggle to balance meaningful work with family life. I am also passionate about helping women to define their on-line presence / image by honouring their unique gifts and how they show up and portray themselves in their work / craft / career / art form. As women, we often struggle with the ideas of beauty or presentability. I aim to show you off as you are, radiantly you! While I am not at all against using lighting, make up or styling to help bring out the best in you, I have learned that we gain a lot of confidence and can portray a much more honest and accurate image of ourselves and what we have to offer, when we feel safe, honoured and heard.
I had a lovely time with my friend, Rachel Sanders. http://rachelsanders.com/about/
We walked up to a local cafe in our neighbourhood, sat and talked over tea, then meandered through the streets and parks back home.
Cafe Conversations are 1 to 2 hours
A variation of a candid available light / studio style session / interview. We meet in a cafe of your choice that has good available light, nice windows, we talk about what you do, how you feel about how you look and show up in the world.
It’s a great way to create safe place to express, show some vulnerability, let your unique personality, expressive style, and story shine. Who are you? What do you do? Why do you do it?
10-15 high res large files $55 to $125 sliding scale
Posted on November 11, 2015
Fall Mini Photo Play Sessions
I’ve really been enjoying doing these. Fall is such fantastic time for family photos with Mama nature’s last colourful display before Vancouver’s rain takes over and Winter arrives, the earlier sunset offering it’s golden glow, and the brisk air inviting warm jackets, scarves and fuzzy hats, and a good reason to runs around and then get cuddly and warm! :) I’m grateful for all the lovely families, large and small, each one unique, that I get to meet and photograph. The fast, fun pace, tied in with the invitation to play, run, jump, brings us all together having fun and offers some pretty delightful images. My aim is to capture you and your family at ease, having fun, naturally close, and engaged with each other in a way that is more natural rather than posed. I hope you like what you see. If you are interested in capturing some lovely memories like these, contact me at http://www.facebook.com/applestarphoto
What makes a great candid family portrait? I feel that its more than just a nice picture of the whole family, with everyone smiling and looking their best. Who are you as a family? How to you connect to each other? How do you who love? What if one of you feels awkward in front of the camera? Or what about if you have many family members, or your child is shy or won’t sit still?
I feel that a good family photo session allows for the family to express itself naturally. In short 15 to 20 minute sessions how can that happen? How can I capture a genuine sweetness and natural togetherness of a family small or large? For me space to explore is needed, a beautiful and inspiring setting, and freedom to move, especially for the little ones or shy pre teens to approach and gain trust or ease in a way that suits them. Play is important, using your body, moving away from your family, doing your own thing, regathering to hug, play, joke around. I sometimes try to explain that I’m like a wildlife photographer who specializes in the human animal, with a special fondness for children and youth. I have worked with children as a nanny and tutor as well for over 20 years. I have learned from both research and many hours with kids and families that we all thrive when we’re having fun, whether thats learning, trying something new, or getting over some fears, shyness or hurdles. Photo Play Sessions are all about this! Working with children over the years, one of the things I have loved most is watching them shine, watching their eyes sparkle as they come alive engaged in something they love, watching them gain trust as the adults in their life really listen, really show interest in what they care about….all this has added to my photographic style. I hope you like it.
What happens after play is amore relaxed pose, where hopefully each member of the family can really sit comfortably with who she or he is, and the family bonds show up naturally. Everyone feels good, and therefore looks good too. Beautiful, natural, candid shots, as well as some sweet stolen treasures!
Posted on November 11, 2015
Fall Mini Photo Play Session
What is a Fall Mini Photo Play Session?
I love this one, the first of this season. The session is short, super affordable, and therefore accessible to all. But more importantly it’s fun, it’s in a gorgeous setting, with different play zones to inspire my subjects. My photo sessions are quite different from a traditional formal shoot. I have a background in working with children, and love to see them shining, doing what they love, free and having fun….for a three year old, that is NOT sitting stiffly in front of a strange person with a camera that they just met. My goal is to engage, get the family trying some fun stuff, jumping off a log, climbing, throwing rocks into the lake, snuggling, making funny faces, chasing each other and so on. This gets everyone warmed up, and children and adults alike lose some of that self conscious awkwardness. Our photos turn out more candid, natural, and most typically it is at the end of our session that I get my favourite group shots. Everyone is feeling relaxed, they trust me more, and have forgotten a little that the camera is there. I hope you enjoy what you see.
Posted on November 6, 2015
Fall Mini Photo Play Sessions
\I’m really enjoying doing these!! Short, 15 to 20 minutes, at the end of the day when the sun is going down casting that warm Autumn glow, the brisk air, and last leaves are lighting up the sky, families are wrapped in woollies, cozy and ready to hug. A gorgeous outdoor setting provides both a memorable back drop and lots of fun locations for play or interaction, beach logs, climbing trees, a playground, something to bring families together, get home laughing, stretching their limits a little to break out of the stiff portrait mode.
#celebratefall #fallminiphotoplaysessions #fallminis #vancouverphotographer #candidfamilyportraits #naturalfamilyportraits #kidfriendlyphotographer
Posted on October 12, 2015
A meditation on seeds
As I walk around these days, watching leaves float and seeds tumble and spin, I spin tales. Tell stories of the tough “conquer” (Horse Chestnut) battles of my childhood, the miracle of helicopter seeds….as always I’m taking pictures of mamas feeding their babies at their breast….I am teaching children, I am leaning into and learning daily more about that beautiful entwinement of love and attachment….it is not all loveliness, is it?
There is pain, there is loss.
Our baby is a gift, we have sprouted, there is new life, there is harvest, Thanksgiving! But how do we hold a space for what is lost, what is broken, what hurts?
When we have a child, we are cracked open, we are broken.
Tell that story!
Have you noticed all the armor, all the fuzz and fluff, the wicked fast wings and strong anchors seed pods have!! We women have all that armor, that prickly or soft fuzz, we have those wings and anchors…..until….crack, we give birth, or miscarry, or FAIL to get pregnant, or FAIL to carry a child to term, or FAIL to be lovable.
It cracks us right open, it empties us out.
It breaks right through our armor, it clips our wings, dethorns us, plucks our fuzz, it rips our anchors, like roots in their clinging to the earth.
Huskless we fall to the ground, the wet mud….
Unteathered we fly spinning, terrified, forgotten?
Who am I?
This is giving birth
Or giving death
Or standing barren before the storm
Tell that story!
We generate, we regenerate.
We have incredible power, and yet we feel so broken, so ripped open, so emptied, so exhausted, so alone.
We have incredible power, and yet feel often so powerless, so terrified, so ungrateful, even angry at our child who has torn apart our whole being and left us an empty husk.
We have incredible power, and yet that power is not honoured, not told and retold, not upheld, not painted and hung in spangles for all to see, the incredible power and beauty of the pregnant, the birthing, the breast-feeding, bottle-feeding, the stretch marks, the Caesarian marks, the empty womb, the broken heart, the single mama, the sea mama, the childless longing mama, the sexless marriage, the withered breast, the saggy belly…..all in us that is wholly generative and regenerative, this incredible power….of life and death we hold within these armored, winged husks of ours.
Tell that story.
A child at the breast is attached to the pulse of life.
A child held in the arms with a bottle, a child against your chest mama, papa, uncle, auntie, grandma, grandpa is attached to the pulse of life. In that hold, the heart beats synchronize, the message is exchanged, we belong. We have incredible power, and yet, we are told an image of a mother nurturing her baby is revolting, unseemly. I’m so sorry if the pan sexual, or deeply sensual nature of that connection offends your delicate senses.
Tell that story!
Instead, I will bind my breasts in satin or leather, push them together, bend over, shake it all up for your pleasure. Instead, I will encourage the pre pubescent girls and boys in my community to shake their booty, learn lust, sexualization, commodification….oh why get angry now? Perhaps that’s exactly it…sever that commutation, make sure the message doesn’t get through, make sure we are disconnected from that pulse of life!!
Today, I post two images of my gorgeous, strong, broken, regenerating friend A. as she holds her babe to her breast. The first is so uplifting, so telling, so much of the story of life is there: as a mother we face that over-powering ocean, as our babe at once clings to us and pulls away. The other is the same, only edited, cleaned up, blurred, censored. Because we all know that the nipple is disgusting, right? Because it is sexual, it cannot possibly be linked to nurturing a child, right? It must be reserved for the erotic, the lovers, for the advertisers….not the pulse of life.
Mamas, like the Ocean roar!
Tell that story.