Lifesong Photography & Designs had the pleasure of traveling to Alaska last summer.
Although some time has passed, I have finally found the time to share with you some of the images which were captured in an effort to always remember what I saw and how my breath was taken away.
Ending the long days with stunning moments such as the one below …
and starting the days with equally lovely colors will never fade from my memory.
While I traveled, my eyes were opened. The snow-capped mountains in the distance paired with the wildflowers blooming amongst me made such an impact. The idea of something having fertile enough ground to blossom while in a climate like the one Alaska is known for took me by surprise.
Such a perfect opposite of the mountains in Hawaii, we enjoyed wearing some layers and doing a cooler-climate hike to Exit Glacier.
Congratulations to Kylie, the senior I photographed there! She has recently graduated and is one her way to making her place in this world.
I feel so blessed to be a part of these cherished moments. Thank you, Brock family!
I always enjoy watching and capturing a family who allows their family-time to happen as if I wasn’t watching.
Themes of sessions sometimes seem to reveal themselves without provocation. For this family, that was certainly the case. The theme? Watching & waiting.
The four of them watched one another at various times and waited for reactions. Together, they allowed their laughter to fill the air around us.
Walking, relaxing, parenting and playing; now that is a good combination. Mix that with this evening sky at one of the clearest teal water beaches I have ever seen, that is THE combination.
You never would have known that just moments before the session began and as we were leaving the parking lot, rain clouds filled the evening sky. I stuck to my gut knowing they’d clear and an impressive sunset revealed itself.
I am still coping with the idea that I may never again be able to capture this stunning family, due to distance and military duty stations, but I feel blessed beyond belief to have had the chance when I did.
When someone hires me to do a lifestyle session, I literally do a happy dance. When Destiny suggested that her lifestyle session be at the beach followed by a hike to the Lanikai Pillboxes, my excitement went through the roof. An afternoon starting at the beach and ending at sunset overlooking the Pacific, and I get to call it my job?
I am SURELY livin’ the dream.
Destiny is a fit and fierce woman who can take on anything.
I urged her to hike the hardest portions of the hike for “that shot”…
…and she certainly took that challenge head on.
Enjoy the little video below of our adventure to the second Lanikai Pillbox at sunset.
Enjoy your ALO][A Friday and thank you for stopping by! Be sure to “share” and comment if you like what you see!
Email me at Chelsea@Lifesongdesigns.com for your Lifestyle session!
Senior sessions are notorious for being ‘over-thought’ and ‘over-worked’. I aim to grab those stunning shots for everyone to hang on to: grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, the boyfriend and the best friend. In doing so, I also focus on not letting too much get in the way.
How to get the best session? Only focus on the parts that are vital. This allows a little extra time to play and nab the unconventional shots because you aren’t worried too much about the additional things which can create stress and unnecessary work.
1. A simple theme.
2. Fresh makeup.
3. Surroundings which are symbolic to the senior.
4. A relaxed style look with a maximum of two other looks.
5. A background which needs very few props — if any at all.
The treatment did not save his life but gave him a chance to center himself.
At 4:45 am, the day after returning home from Germany, my father died in his home in Michigan. I can remember what I was wearing, where I was standing and the look on my mother’s face when she gave me the news.
Later that month, as things were being sorted out, this piece of paper with my dad’s handwriting on it was found amongst some German stamps and a bracelet he had brought back for me. On this piece of paper, under another quote he had written down, there lied “Adversity introduces us to ourselves.”. I do not know where he derived the sentence from since it can be found in many places and has an unknown original author.
Since I can remember, I have lived my life with this writing forever engraved on my heart. On occasion, after my good friend Matt began tattooing I spoke with him about having this profound statement tattooed but I needed all the dots to line up. I wanted to have the tattoo completed in the Spring, more specifically, in May since that is when he passed away. It just never worked to be in Michigan at the same time as Matt and during May. I started to think I should just ignore the urge to do this seemingly out-of-character act, especially since my fear of needles is so high.
A year and a half ago, when I was working through the Bible I came across Proverbs 24:10. This verse which stated, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” immediately struck me and I began and cry. I felt my own dad’s words and love surround me as if he was giving me this fatherly advice for the first time. I KNEW I must have the tattoo I had always dreamt of.
Now, just to make the arrangements for it to happen.
Then came a hiccup. Matt moved 3500+ miles from Michigan to Germany. At the time I did not see the parallel between his move and where dad WROTE those words. It wasn’t until this past January, when I was planning the Euro trip and realizing I could visit this good friend at his new home, that I connected those dots. I was headed to Germany and there was no question what the biggest bucket list item was, the tattoo of a lifetime from a friend who I’d known and trusted for over a decade in a country where it all started.
As I began to contemplate where I wanted it, again I felt it must be symbolic.
These words of wisdom seemed to ground me in difficult moments, they seemed to be a firm foundation for my soul, there was no question it was a place I could set my faith in and rest my aching mind. In addition to all of these reasons, the fact that I was standing when I was told the news of dad’s passing lead me to choose my foot.
The morning of the tattoo, I ran my 100th day of running (where I ran at least a mile or more each day for 100 days). It was completed just outside Cologne (Köln), Germany and tattoo-less. After getting cleaned up and putting on my dad’s high school class ring, we headed to the tattoo shop where we spent only 20 minutes doing something which will last a lifetime.
I know this is much more thought than any one person ever puts into a tattoo, but here I am writing this, choking back tears of happiness and pride.
I am so thankful to Matt for his friendship and to Zach for dealing with my sappiness. This was an experience which I will never forget. If you made it through this lengthy post, I commend you as well. 😉
Thank you all for allowing me to be your storyteller. Whether you allowed me into your most exciting, most emotional, most vulnerable or even most private of moments I thank you! 2017 was really a wonderful year from start to finish.
In 2018 I have a plethora of new things added to my bucket lists…personal AND professional. All of them will be much more fun with some smiling faces!
I plan to travel to surrounding areas and states to fulfill some of these exciting challenges! Keep in touch on Facebook, Instagram or email me about some of the dates where I might be in YOUR area!
Do you have a session you’d like to book, but fear I am too far away? I NOW DO BLOCK BOOKING! One of the best parts about living in this area, the light stays perfect longer! Contact me at Chelsea@LifesongDesigns.com to ask about the perks of booking your session, your friend’s session, your neighbors session or your co workers session within the same day! Rates are discounted and travel fees are (often) waived!
Enjoy this short video in thanks to all who asked me to be a part of their Lifesong in 2017. (I apologize for it being a tad small and will work on that in the coming videos! View on a computer, in HD with sound for best enjoyment!)
One of my favorite family sessions is a favorite not only because of the wonderful family who hired me, but because of the ideas they had to carry it out.
This family took “spirited” to a whole new level and I LOVED it.
Everything from playing football in a marsh to the expressions of love, happiness and joy on their faces made this session memorable. It is one to showcase also to give others an idea what a true lifestyle session can bring.
We were amongst some of the most stunning mountains I have ever seen. However, I knew we nailed the session when we looked at the images and the family’s connection to one another stood out equally beautiful as the backdrop.
I would be honored to enjoy the last bit of the football season with you and your family in this way! Who says a family session has to take place before Christmas or even in certain attire? There are no rules in the game of photography! Book now and make your next session with me all about YOUR family’s style, traditions and influenced by your energy. Not sure what to do? I will gladly help you brainstorm. With my background in event planning and design, I am sure to help you land on a “theme” everyone in your family will enjoy!
This sentence has become what some consider a cliché or “overused”. Since the statement adopted those labels in our society, it has been much more difficult to express my appreciation of God’s gifts in my life. I find that it offends some, is mocked by others and most of all seems to fall onto deaf ears.
I am proud of the blessings God has given my little family. The ability to go into the Christmas week with nothing but excitement is truly a gift from above. I just want to state my appreciation for God’s love and grace to my family in a simplistic way.
All this came to mind as we walked around a local Christmas Tree Farm. As my daughter merrily pranced around the farm choosing the best tree for our new home, I just couldn’t think of a better way to put it than, “I am so blessed”.
She had not a care in the world and was eager to learn how to cut down a tree from her incredible daddy and more excited when he let her help!
I have a husband who allowed all of us to enjoy the spirit of the season in matching outfits. A man who, even though the decorating for Christmas isn’t his favorite, he drove where ever we asked to find the perfect tree we could cut down together. A guy who is providing for us in a way that we are able to enter into the holidays with little worry and a very low stress level.
My want to express how precious I find this life is in great part because I am aware of the struggles some face and also the struggles I may someday endure. Do we have problems and hiccups along the way? OF COURSE WE DO! Those bumps along the way are what make us stronger together and more connected. However, those little potholes in the road are the moments we can learn from and often pale in comparison to what others are experiencing in life at the moment or what may hit us down the road. Most of all, those issues are the times which help the average days feel like we are truly conquering life together. Those problems should also be considered blessings. Some might even call them blessings in disguise.
My prayers this season always go out to those who need that extra joy in their life, but something is pushing me to write this blog and go one step further. As I pray to God for those who are currently putting their life back together after damage from a wildfire, a flood, a death, a divorce, a sickness or something else, I urge you to help one another to find why you are blessed. What makes you get up each day? What prompts you to smile? Think of that moment, that daily reminder or that happy memory and make your Christmas season the best it can be. Pull those close to you even closer and find the sparkle in the season. Maybe if we all help one another to see the silver lining, instead of making good things into what they are not meant to be, we can pull together for even bigger issues. Find ONE thing you can say you are incredibly blessed with and shout it from the tree-tops!
After all, isn’t the biggest blessing in each of our lives, the blessing of Jesus? Isn’t the reason for the season, the miracle who came to save us? I will leave you with Matthew 1:21, “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” What a blessing, what an amazing blessing given to all of us. If nothing else, know YOU ARE SO BLESSED because you are a child of God.
Don’t let the mockers take away the love in your heart or the excitement in your body. Be PROUD to love the life you live and be LOUD. Be proud to be “so blessed” and say it over and over again. Best of wishes to you and your family this CHRISTmas season. May the Lord bless you and keep you.