Aug 26, 2013


For those of you who haven’t been photographed by us, there is a real person behind the camera at Real Moments Photography. A living breathing artist and I’ve had the deep honor of using that camera with the amazing clients I have to create some really amazing images that I’m really proud of. Recently though I’ve felt a little lost, and it’s no surprise with how the photography industry is changing.

You see I’ve always been an artist. The idea was always to create something that people loved, were proud of, and treasured. Before I used a camera to create I was a write, and if you will excuse my arrogance a very good one. So I decided to take a little walk down this path of uncertainty and find out just why I was so stuck, and felt so frustrated with my work. I’ve come to realize that in the rush of people into the field I’ve felt swallowed up. Everyone was doing the same thing,

I’ve always marched to my own beat. I started doing maternity photography when people were shocked and some openly appalled. I loved and was deeply inspired by how gorgeous an expecting mother is. How strong she looks, and at the same time deeply vulnerable. Like a goddess of the earth, about to create a miracle. So when people complained I didn’t care, and shot it anyway. Now it’s all the rage.

It’s no secret that I adore babies and was lucky enough because of my maternity work to be at the crest of the wave of modern newborn photography, when Anne Geddes was the only model to strive towards. (If you don’t know who Anne Geddes is stop reading this, she’s more important than anything I can say, go straight to Google. You’ll change your view of how precious babies can be. She’s amazing.) I remember life before Etsy was popular and having to hire people to hand make me hats. Still to this day I hold those designers dear to me. They are amazing people and I can never thank them enough.

Photography is, no matter what anyone ever tells you, at its core, at ART. Some people who are in it are not artists. They are more like engineers. They know what settings, and light, and posing it takes to make a pleasing looking image. There is nothing wrong with that, but its more math than art. Sometimes I wish I had more of their math skills.

But I don’t. I’m the artist type. I’m the who cares if it’s perfect, I love it, look at those colors, oh my gosh I love her skin, did you see her skin its glowing, wow that’s perfect just perfect oh my gosh! (Seriously that goes on in my head all the time. I know I need medication or something.)
So I’ve noticed that everything looks the same. I’m tired of all the cute hats in the cute props on the cute back grounds. They are cute. Seriously. And I shot them for years, and loved it. The thing is… I don’t anymore.

I love the art images. The ones people know me for, usually in black and white. Almost always, with very few props, and always timeless. So I’m going to be doing more of that, because not only is that what I consider to be my best work, but that’s what makes me happy.

That’s not to say I won’t have adorable props. It’s just to say they won’t be sticking around for very long. If I see something I love I’ll purchase it and maybe use it for a shoot or two, but then its off to another photographer, and all the current stuff is out the door next month. Okay, maybe not all, I can’t part with the custom stuff, but the rest, bye bye. So please ask me if you’re hoping for a special prop.

We are evolving again to focus more on birth photography and much much less on other areas. Not only is this where my heart has ALWAYS been leading, and is my greatest love, it is also again the cutting edge of photography. Which it appears is where I like to be. I know people go “Why in the world?” I don’t care. I love it. Love that moment when a baby takes its first breath, the look on moms face, the joy and relief on dads. I love it, and I’m going to capture it for the parents who are awesome enough to see the world the way I do.

Why in the world am I telling you all this? Well because more than the props are changing....

We are closing down as a business. We are no longer a photography studio, I don’t need it to be, and running it like a business is sucking me creatively dry. Ever try to do something you love as a job and have people tell you how to do it? I’m becoming a little more honest with myself and what I want to do, and yes this sounds cheesy I know, but well I’m a photographic artist, not a photographer.

Difference? A photographer will give you whatever you want regardless of their style or preference. You commission an artist to create something special for your family. From now on I want to know the people I’m shooting, their personalities, what they love to do, and focus on six or seven amazing pieces of artwork that they want to display in their homes, not just on their Facebook walls. My prices won’t go up, but quality will, and quantity will go down. Or so I tell myself. You all know how I can never stop editing.

That also frees me a little bit. I’m no longer following business rules. Please read that. I am no longer following business rules. No I’m not tossing the good stuff, like treating people with respect, and fair practices. Those are things I was raised with and will NEVER change. But flatly if someone don’t like my work, and say something nasty I’m kicking that person to the curb, nicely of course. I’m not going to do just what is going to make me the most money, like business practices call for. I’m going to do what is going to make me the most happy and allow me to create the best art I can. I’m also going to post what I want to post, instead of worrying about if that will insult the masses. So be prepared my Facebook page is going to become a lot more relaxed and less stuffy. Hope you don’t mind, because I really want you all to stick around on this journey with me.

Lastly I’m going to be doing projects for myself. I’ve tried to do these before and always had lot of road blocks trying to run a “business”. Since I’m putting the art before the money now (with my families blessing, I know their crazy) now is the time to see them come true.

I hope you will all continue to follow me as we move from a caterpillar into a butterfly, from just another photography business to embracing this crazy dream of being true to myself as an artist. It is my greatest honor to continue to create with timeless images with you.

Please keep an eye out for more information on my current project “Birth, A Magic Moment.” I’m in love with this project and I know you all will be too!

Lots of love,


Jun 11, 2013

Art For Arts Sake

When I first started this journey I wanted to use my art to make money. Now I have moved to the point in my life where I just want to create the art, the money is, when it comes simply a positive side benefit.
I have realized in both being deprived through circumstance of photographing as much as I used to, and the amazing stories I have received about how my work has touched people, that the need to make gobs of money isn't why I do it.
The utter love I have for seeing something be captured forever for these people, for the work, is sometimes overwhelming. Perhaps it is egotistical or just a natural human desire to be appreciated, but it is often payment enough to have clients adore my work. To have them cry, or share it proudly in their homes, or email me that they witnessed someone profoundly moved by its creation has led to some of the moments in my life when I was most proud of myself.
While it is my name on the photograph it is also the client. Certainly she didn't paint it, but would the Mona Lisa be as special with a different woman's smile? It takes both photographer and client, art and knowledge of the process, perfect moment and good planning to create something special.
I have been blessed with many of those moments, and I can no more find an adequate way of thanking these clients for allowing them to be part of them than I can thank my children for loving me so unconditionally. There simply are no words and gestures good enough.
I have celebrated weddings, watched families grow through the years, taken many a precious newborns first photographs, many of which I saw take their first breath, and sadly been with families taking some last images. All through a lens, and all have touched me in some way.
So while this industry is forever changed those of us who love it, who see the magic in creating these very personal pieces of art, will always be here. Its not just an affection for a camera, its a desire to give to create for the people we meet through our art, and that is an amazing way to live.

Dec 16, 2012

A growing belly, and a growing artist...

image copyright Real Moments PhotographyThere are some clients that are just so awesome they make the favorite client list pretty much right away. Adina and Josh are two such clients when I met them a few years ago when Adina was expecting their little girl. When you add in that they are both Nuclear Reactor Engineers (seriously they are that smart, I feel like Penny with a totally sweet Sheldon around. Big Bang Theory reference, if you haven’t seen this show you’re missing out btw.) And are still really nice to those of us less mortals aka me who might be super creative but passed math in school by a wing and a prayer. Not to mention they come with total faith and trust with a “go for it Keesh” attitude, they totally get a pass to the top of the favorite list.

copyright Real Moments Photography www.realmomentsphotography.comAdina is an amazingly talented at yoga, and with her daughter gave me some really awesome poses, this little boy due in January was no different. Even though we were crammed into a tiny hot hotel room for this shoot (sorry about that guys) even little Annalise was an angel, and we got some great artwork out of the shoot.

I also got a rare and special opportunity for a photographer. Adina wanted to copy a pose we had done a few years ago, one I was very proud of. Her legs straight up, the pose can be tough on a mom, but it’s beautiful. I copied it, swapping out a pink scarf for a blue one, or so I thought. This time the pose was better. I had grown as a photographer. My posing was better; the angle showing her face, the scarf no longer hid her hands. The editing was cleaner, deeper colors, better style. I even gave the old image a quick edit to bring it up to better standards. It’s nice to look back on your art from years ago and be proud of it, it’s even better still to see that you’re growing. That the hours and money you spend on training and better gear shows, and that every day your becoming more and more of an artist and less of someone that just takes a photograph. There are still many things I LOVE about that first image, don't get me wrong. Still seeing it new, with a new baby. I think I like the twist on it, especially seeing Adina's face.

Special thanks to Adina and Josh for not only the honor of photographing another precious baby belly for you, but also reminding me how much all that hard work pays off with time! And that’s a lesson even Sheldon would appreciate.

Oct 18, 2012

It's that important....

Image Copyrighted: Real Moments Photography Digital tracking tags added.A year ago, on a cool October night I received a text from a long term client that her husband who had been valiantly fighting cancer had passed peacefully away. They had a very young son, and it pained me deeply to know this little guy would be without his dad. I was comforted by the knowledge that I personally had photographed this family several times, including just a few months before his death, and I knew there were many images of father and son that would endure in his memory. Recently after hearing of a talented photographers death, leaving behind a young son as well, and reading several columns similar to this I’d like to put my two cents in.

Two out of four newborn shoots I do one or both parents tries to decline to be in any images. If it’s mom it’s because she’s not fond of how she looks post baby, Dad because well most men aren’t fond of having their portrait taken. I try deeply to encourage them to give me a chance, and they almost always treasure the image. When they ask me why I feel it’s so important I ask them a question instead. “Think of your most treasured family picture from your childhood. Odds are it has someone you love in it. What would you do to protect that image? Don’t take this picture for yourself; take it for your daughter, so 25 years from now she can show the man she’s going to marry how much her daddy loved her from the very start.”

This may sound like I’m heaping on a bit of guilt, but it’s really just showing the parents WHO is going to love this picture. Of course parents treasure images of their child, but in the years to come that child is going to want to see YOU with them. They will want to see their mother looking at them with patient understanding when they smash their cake at two or dad with pride in his face when they graduate.

Image Copyrighted: Real Moments Photography Digital tracking tags added.When I mentioned this to a photographer friend she nailed it on the head “Dads just don’t think about it, being in pictures, but moms… well they feel bad. They think people will think they are vain if they insist on an image of them with their kids or GASP by themselves.”

 It’s really sad because woman need to be reminded HOW important the mother child relationship is and that its worth being documented professionally. We need to remind each other that our children love us, are proud of us, and some day will want to remember their childhood with us THERE. Pictures capture that. My oldest son Triston will walk up to me and says “Hello beautiful. I love you mommy.” He says this whether I’m in sweats or a fancy dress. If I’m covered in flour from cooking or running around crazy getting ready for a shoot, because to him I am always beautiful, I’m his mommy after all. That is unless were in the toy aisle, then I think the I love you might have another motive. His daddy always calls me Beautiful if your wondering where that came from. Triston will not look back on an image of me and ever think I’m anything but beautiful. I know this, I really do. You should too.

That said, I’m one of the worst, photographers always are. I have VERY few images of me with my children, aside from a precious few snapshots taken with cell phone cameras. I don’t have a single image with all four babies and I together. So I’m making a pledge to fix that, to hand over the camera to my husband or family member and pose with the kids, for their sake and mine, and for future generations.

Image Copyrighted: Real Moments Photography Digital tracking tags added.
I’m hoping you will do the same. The next family shoot you have, if your photographer doesn’t suggest it, (which they should!!) ask for an image of you with your children. When you are out with your kids at  a park ask your husband to take that cell phone shot your holding your youngest, or playing ball with your oldest. If dad is the stubborn one tell him, as I do, how important the picture will be for your child someday, and later your grandchildren.

There are many things we do for our kids, from working an extra job to send them to the best schools, baking cookies at 2 a.m. or sitting in the freezing cold to watch them play football. This is one thing we can do that costs so little and lasts forever. We never know what tomorrow will bring… except one thing… they will get older, and it goes by so fast! Enjoy your little ones!


Sep 11, 2012

One of my favorite images....

Okay... there is something I have to admit. One of my all-time favorite photographs isn't something a photography teacher would be proud of.

The lighting isn't very good, as I was in the middle of setting it up when it happened. The focus is terrible, why? Well to put it simply I was laughing too hard to hold the camera still. All in all from a technical stand point it’s far from perfect. But it’s so perfect from a life stand point I just adore it.

Baby Jack's newborn shoot goes down in history as one my top five shoots. The reasons why are simple. He was adorable, and sweet. His parents are gorgeous, daddy a marine who sooooo adored his son I tear up almost every time I see some of their images, and his mommy pretty and open to lots of fun ideas. I got tons of great shots and many are on my website and in videos. Yeah it was that good of a shoot.

And then there is this shot. Mom had brought her mother and sister to the shoot to get a generation’s picture. I love these and was setting up for a nice traditional one when Jack, very content in Mommy's arms decided to well.. let nature take its course. Now I'm used to babies making a mess, but his Aunts were not. Thus pure riots ensued as they all tried to decide whether to run or try to stay posed. Daddy and I were laughing so hard we couldn’t even help them.

So on a technical level this photo isn't the best, it never fails to make me smile, and it’s a good reminder for new parents that the best thing to remember with little ones is that no matter how perfect you have something planned, well shit happens, and we just have to laugh and get through it. I'm also very certain little Jack's parents will be happy to pull this out to show his girlfriends every chance they get. :)

Aug 27, 2012

The moment's you'll love forever...

Having a baby will change your life forever….

For the better…

In amazing awesome ways…

Like no other event… ever….

But those seconds will pass so quickly…

And you won’t be able to see all those great details…

The look on your face the second you see her….

The tears daddy sheds when he holds him for the first time…

How he wraps his hand around your finger …

When your twins look at each other for the first time…

Those details will fade as the years pass gently by…

But you’ll wish you could bring them back…

Every mommy does…

Capture those first moments forever…

Invite a professional birth photographer….

Professionals are amazing….


And the images are so powerful…

Your child and your heart will thank you.