AKP-2582Our third year of fall mini sessions was yet another huge success! We photographed six families on this beautiful fall day and we were excited to not only have some gorgeous faces to photograph but good weather as well. Some of these families are long-time AKP families and some are brand new. My hubby James and I carted our gear and props (and families) all over Isaac Evans Park in Auburn. We had colorful trees, bundles of leaves, pathways, a cool bridge, open grass … it was a fun and versatile spot. We got to photograph a pregnancy announcement and some cozy family Christmas jammies, too. We got some great family photos and individual portraits and enjoyed the time with our sweet AKP families! AKP-2619 AKP-2631 AKP-2672-2678 AKP-2727 AKP-2750 AKP-2882-2971 AKP-2886 AKP-2931 AKP-2996-3011 AKP-3311 AKP-3318 AKP-3337-3350 AKP-3361 AKP-3384 AKP-3402 AKP-3431 AKP-3460 AKP-3470 AKP-3477 AKP-3512 AKP-3546 AKP-3552-3535 AKP-3575 AKP-3598 AKP-3669 AKP-3691 AKP-3726 AKP-3731 AKP-3752e AKP-3765 AKP-3879 AKP-3891 AKP-3928-3772-3882

Well, here goes. Check me out. I haven’t done a blog post in more than a year. Not because of a lack of photos to share or stories to tell. Quite the contrary. It’s amazed me how quickly the days have flown by, how fast the weeks pass and how already we are working to close out 2013. It really feels like we just rang in the new year a month or two ago. No complaints. We’ve had a year full of memorable events and milestones and beautiful moments, both for AKP and for my family. It’s true what other parents, more seasoned in their roles than we are, usually say about life after kids — the time goes by much more quickly than it ever did before. And this year I had to make some choices on how I spent my time. I love my business and I love my family and it’s not an easy balancing act to maintain both well. So blogging took a back seat for awhile. I hope to return with a bang and share current images AND images from 2013 that were never blogged. So where shall I start? We’ll journey back to July, to a warm summer evening when I had the privilege to photograph a friend while she and her family visited from Yucca Valley, California. Meet Amanda and her family.

I don’t know if I can accurately describe how Amanda and I have grown to rely on each other in certain aspects over the past four years. We know each other through a mutual friend (believe it or not, another awesome gal named Amanda) and have known of each other for a very long time. I’ve admired her from afar for awhile. She is inspiring. She knits and crochets, cooks food (including authentic Cuban food that looks DELICIOUS and I hope I get to sample someday), comes up with cute creative games and lessons for her kids at home, writes very well and shares her family’s stories on blogs she maintains … her talents are endless, so it seems. And then she entered a world I love shortly after I fell into it. She picked up her camera (same one I started with, the little Nikon D50 that packs a punch!) and started photographing herself during her pregnancy with her first child. Then she photographed that child. And she photographed her home life, the food she cooks, the treats she bakes, the things she knits and crochets, the fun activities she does with her family. And she started her business, DelaLane Photography, and things just skyrocketed from there.

I follow a handful of photographers that inspire me, but Amanda tops the list. She is creative, unique and intentional with every photo shoot she takes. She knows that love is in the details and, like me, loves to tell a story with her photography. She understands that every family has a story to tell and a message about their life experiences they want to remember. She and I have spent hours talking about our businesses, the pictures we hope to make alongside our great clients and where we both hope to take our artistic passions someday. But we don’t just share business talk. Amanda shares life with me — the good parts and the hard parts. She’s a wife, a mother, a business owner, an artist, disciple of Jesus … and she’s my friend. She shares some of her home life on her business blog and her Facebook page. Her client sessions and her family life are both beautifully photographed by my talented friend.

It was such an honor to photograph Amanda and her family. While Amanda has made her home with her husband and two adorable children in the California desert for several years now, she grew up in our great state of Washington and longed for tall trees and luscious green plant life in her family photos. I think we captured those details for her session this year. We got lots of smiles, lots of green, some towering trees, bits of laughter between parent and child, quiet storytime moments and even some romance between hubby and wifey.

Just to add even more coolness to the fact that I get to photograph Amanda once a year … we do a trade-off and she photographs my own family while she’s in town, too. Best photos EVER. Check out the first part of our session (the fun, crazy colorful, messy part) on her blog. She gave us such gifts that evening through her talent, skill and camera lens. I stare at our photos all the time. It was so cool being the client for once and letting someone else take our pictures and direct me in a session. Thank you so much, Amanda!

Thank you for being who you are, Amanda. Thank you for letting me photograph your awesome family, for sharing life with me and inspiring me on an artistic and personal level. I love and admire you!