March 6th, 2014 by sharaleep | No Comments »
March 4th, 2014 by sharaleep | 1 Comment »
brody was cautious, which i really respect. while he admired her intelligence and was drawn to her beautiful smile, she was inspired by his strong character. they took their time getting to know each other before committing seriously (which at the time was kind of annoying for amanda as she sure felt ready ;).
now here they are on the brink of being married and there’s no mistaking…it’s love. the roads were slightly treacherous coming down and we found ourselves stuck behind someone who had no clue how to drive in snow (it would have been comical if it wasn’t so terribly dangerous), so we ended up on a detour right past this rock face. thank you, bad driver and lady who insisted on trying to push the passenger’s side of the truck to try and get it off the shoulder (like i said, comical). so looking forward to their wedding at the ubc boathouse this summer!
March 2nd, 2014 by sharaleep | 7 Comments »
“koreans all look alike”, she said. ”it’s okay, i can say that because i’m korean. so i was at a conference and there was this room full of korean men, all dressed in suits, looking exactly alike. except for one. he was wearing a suit, but when he sat down, you could see just a hint of a rainbow sock peeking out from under his pant leg. that intrigued me.”
meet ryan & suvin.
February 11th, 2014 by sharaleep | 1 Comment »
it’s engagement season…one of my favorite times of year. spending time with couples who are in love is inspiring, there’s just no getting around it. i feel like if captain hook or the joker had surrounded themselves with people who were in love, they would have lived their lives much differently. thoughts?
while you ponder that, here are a few snippets from some recent engagement sessions – can’t wait for their spring/summer weddings!!
corey&ashley: the perfect winter morning…aside from the fact that corey kept trying to shove/convince ashley to jump into the frozen lake.
brad & sarah: could her scrunched nose smile be any cuter? probably not. i love these two and not just because they are incredibly good looking. their hearts are golden. really truly.
matt & sam: they booked me without having met me, which made me adore them that much more. their love story is incredible…let’s just say don’t write off high school reunions as a place to reignite that spark!
February 3rd, 2014 by sharaleep | 1 Comment »
“Remember growing up? Playing outdoors while using our creativity and imagination was the norm. I don’t really ever remember saying, “I’m bored” very often! Our children have every source of technology available to them, and although technology is great and we cannot be without it in today’s world, it has really stolen so much of our children’s ability to be creative, to play without being entertained, and the use of their imagination. Children have lost the ART OF PLAY.” These are the words of Monica Calderin, the woman behind not only the blog, but the “movement” of Childhood Unplugged. She joined together with 10 other photographers and committed to unplugging alongside the kids to remind them (and ourselves ultimately) what pure unadulterated play could look like.
Now check this out: they’ve asked me to join them. What an absolute honor and a privilege to be a part of a community of women who are raising their children to be…kids. Not that we don’t want them to grow and mature (even though we kinda don’t sometimes), but I love the idea of just letting our kids be kids, nurturing their imaginations without the constant influence of computers and phones and movies and and and…
One of the things about all of us unplugging and REALLY engaging is that sometimes I’m tempted to control their play. We had the chance to go to 4Cats Arts Studio to participate in a paint splatter class, the very nature of which is to: splatter.paint. And yet both Cliff and I still wanted to control where the splats landed and how the squirts dripped. We’re talking in hair, on clothes and on my camera (ahem). It wasn’t until we stepped back and let them be that we could truly enjoy and appreciate the beauty they had created. Childhood. Unplugged.
Check out the Childhood Unplugged blog! At the beginning of every month, each contributor submits a post. They also have an inspiring Instagram feed and you can follow them (us) through Facebook too. They’re going to start accepting outside submissions, so please contribute pictures of your family unplugging!!
January 27th, 2014 by sharaleep | 17 Comments »
so here we are, end of january and i still haven’t done a wrap up of 2013. i was struggling with how to approach this in a fresh way and i thought since the majority of you who follow my blog have already seen my best pictures, i would add a personal spin and show you some of my favorite pictures taken on my phone. i think the images i captured on my phone this year more fully encapsulate who i am and what my day to day life is like, so it will help you to get to know me a bit better.
the thing about the year coming to an end is that so much evaluation happens. i have a love/hate relationship with evaluation. on one hand, it can serve as encouragement and affirmation while on the other hand, it can be darn near the most depressing activity possible.
this time last year i was preparing to attend the what if conference in dominican republic which turned out to be a life changing experience (tickets for 2014 available here). and as i sit here preparing to attend this year’s conference, i’m suddenly filled with fear: i’m going to see many of the same people, people who have started non-profit organizations and traveled the world and written books…and what have i done in a year?
fear. it can be so.freaking.crippling. the voice that says, “pack it up, girl. if you haven’t started yet, you never will. compared to everyone else, you really don’t have much to offer.” and while the temptation is there to agree, i can’t. don’t get me wrong, many days i have succumbed, listened and obeyed it. and those were some dark days.
so i’m here to tell you what i’ve done. not as a point of pride, but just to document it, to speak it out, for myself more than anything. to say “screw you, fear. i’m going to go about my business trying to make this world a better place.”
p.s. “doing” is not the be all end all. ultimately i just want to “be” better and not worry so much about what i do. but “being” is a little harder to measure, so here’s a glimpse at some of the things i “did” which are all hopefully feeding into who i want to “be”. enough “quotation marks” for y’all?
this year i hung out with my kids. sometimes i just watched; watched them play, laugh, poop (sorry but i did), be ridiculous, cry, love, fight, think…i watched. because i know this time won’t last forever, blah blah blah, and i want to remember it with even more than pictures, but with actually memories. in my brain.
i also got to take pictures of some other people who were watching their own families grow.
and i watched my husband daily, i mean daily people, becoming a better and better father to these little monkeys of ours.
i traveled! so many good memories of trips taken, on my own and with my family, of sights seen and friends made.
i picked up the ukelele again after about a million years, i planted (kind of) a garden, i baked lots of sugary treats (some of which i shared and some….), i learned how to crochet and i worked at making our house a safe place where we can learn together and make mistakes together and do things that we love and encourage anyone who comes through our door to do the same.
we hosted friends from australia and i almost peed my pants going across the longest unsupported something or other gondola in the history of the universe (pretty sure that’s what it says on their website)…but i did it!
i ate some spinach.
we welcomed some amazing people into our lives who love our kids and obviously love us as they were willing to invest time and energy into our offspring when work took us away from them.
i got to venture a little outside my own territory to document peoples’ love and commitment to each other and had a darn fun time doing it.
i shot a ton of instant film, all different kinds. a goal i didn’t even know i had, but once i was doing it, i was like “yes”.
we lived a dream of mine, traveling to the “birth place” of one of my favorite bands and watched them perform on their own farm. and we met a man that owned a motorcycle shop who knew everything about cameras, so that was awesome.
we spent so much time in our yard. so much. and it was wonderful.
there were also some pretty sad things that happened this year to people i love. loss is hard. and while the temptation is there to bottle it up or feel like it’s too much, i was forced to open my hands and release it to God and trust that he will sustain. and he did. and does. he really does.
i got to experience the joy of welcoming new life into the world (without the pain of having to “welcome” it myself, which was a bonus).
we took a couple of little trips as a family and it was so fun to see all of our kids at a stage where they could experience and enjoy these places in new ways.
i tried to get out from behind the camera a bit more, even if it meant the outcome was awkward pictures like this:
we celebrated 14 years. 14 YEARS!!!
i was terrified at the speed with which my children’s bodies/attitudes grew.
i stopped to smell the roses (or fresh laundry, whatever the case may be). for reals. sometimes you just gotta to stay sane.
i grew some really fat/slightly deformed carrots. any tips on growing normal looking carrots are welcome.
i had SO many cool couples choose me to document their weddings…absolutely blown away by people’s willingness to include me in their celebration. they fact that they entrust a day like that to me…i’m almost in tears just thinking about it.
we took our kids on a plane across the country. hold your applause please.
we celebrated. that youngest one of ours knows.how.to.celebrate.
i got to see my kids perform on stage, some more willingly than others, which is always a joy. i’m plan to live vicariously through them when they make it to broadway. you think i’m kidding.
i went to new york city for new years eve. dream come true.
and like i said before, i tried to get a few pictures of myself. when i die, i don’t really want my kids to wonder who that strange lady behind the big black box all the time was…i think it will be good for them to know i had a face and a name and something of a personality independent of who i was as their mom. because sometimes when i look at some of the things i pursue because i want to, it’s tempting to feel really selfish. but then i think, “how am i serving them if i don’t go after any of the things i feel called to/have always wanted to do?” not all of those things need to wait until they are teenagers or out of the house. it could be something as small as investing in a friend or spending time “creating” or sitting down at the piano or something as big as taking our family to india for a month…i want to be someone who had dreams and went out and lived them.
so. 2013. a good year. not without it’s failures and disappointments, but a good year. thanks for living it with me.
p.s. more of my day to day life can be viewed over here on instagram, if you’re interested (if you are interested, that’s kind of creepy). i just passed 1000 followers and am going to post a little contest this week to say thank you!!
January 13th, 2014 by sharaleep | 5 Comments »
while beth had already been my homegirl for awhile, i first got to meet this whole clan at hannah and shawn’s wedding in 2011. then came beth & mark in 2012 and finally kristina & david in 2013. with no more daughters to marry off, we had to make an excuse to get together in 2014 which is where mama wendy’s dream of having family pictures taken came into play. and since i’m in the business of making dreams come true…
January 6th, 2014 by sharaleep | 2 Comments »
i adore these two. we met briefly at a wedding last summer, but the first time we sat down together to chat about their own wedding, i knew we would be a great match (and i say we because it’s super important that you feel a connection with your photographer! sermon over). i’m greatly anticipating their summer wedding, just so i get a chance to hang out with them again.
December 18th, 2013 by sharaleep | 5 Comments »