In Front of the Lens | Pasadena, CA Photographer

This is me.

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So very often, I find myself behind the camera…taking pictures, collecting memories, and creating art.  I won’t lie.  It’s my happy place…my safe place.

A few weeks ago, my dear friend and fellow photographer, Shannon Beardslee of One October Day Photography  and I met up to exchange headshots.  The few times I do find myself in front of the camera, I often find myself enjoying cuddles with my little man while Greg clicks the shutter.  I feel alive and joyful and free because I’m so caught up just enjoying my son.

To be in front of the camera alone is a completely different experience.

Just me.

These pictures aren’t meant to capture a cute outfit, summery sandals, or the sunset at Pasadena City Hall.

They’re meant to capture me.

All of me.

Shannon photographed my giddiness, my shyness, and my confidence.  She photographed 32 years of life and faith and love all packaged up into little old me.  She photographed a hobby turned into an incredible joy.  She photographed me.

Being in front of the camera is not easy.  While I always try to create a comfortable and playful atmosphere for my clients, I know full well that feelings of nervousness and self-consciousness still exist deep down within.  What can I say other than we’re human.  However, when we name those feelings and embrace the opportunity before us fully…whether that is having our photo taken or something else…our beauty radiates.

Thank you, Shan, for capturing my heart in your photographs.

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Spread the Love | Altadena Family Photographer

Let’s spread the love shall we?  I know so many of my east coast friends are still covered in snow and haven’t been enjoying the sunny skies that we’ve been enjoying here in Southern California lately.  So to get that sunshine out and about….

I’ve created a little postcard that you can print out and share with your family and friends.  You can access the file HERE and print it at home or anywhere your like!  Write a little note of gratitude, joy, or love, and send it on its lovely way!


you make me happy when skies are gray 2

My Daily Journal

Something struck me the other day.  I don’t know what made me think of it, and I’m sure it probably seems obvious to many of you, but photography has become my most favorite and most authentic method for journaling the story of my life.

This year, I committed to taking one picture a day on my iPhone.  To say that I’m delighted I decided to do this is an understatement.

I typically share anywhere between one and five little captures from my day…something to remember what the little man did that day, something that struck me as beautiful, something that stirred emotion deep in my heart.  I know some folks think I take too many photos or that I share them too frequently or that they’re redundant or simple or or or.  But.

So many days go by in a blur, and I don’t want to forget these beautiful years.

I want Greg to see the little moments he misses while he’s at work that I know will make him chuckle, make him proud, and make his day seem not so long.


I want our family and friends to witness the joy that I so palpably feel surrounding us.  I hope my pictures bring them joy in some small way.


I want our little man and any future siblings he might one day enjoy to see what life was like back when.  Toys strewn.  Messy hair.  Stained onesies.  Perfection.


I want to take note of the bits of life that otherwise may go unnoticed.  It is often for these simple scenes for which I am most grateful.


I want to witness to the Divine in my everyday.  It’s as simple as that.


Picking up my camera phone and getting the shot usually takes all of five seconds.  I edit the pictures when the little man is sleeping; PicTapGo and Instagram are my apps of choice.  I can then quickly share photos to Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr with one swipe of my finger on my phone.  As I collect more photos, I’m planning on printing out my images into books.  I’m still researching some options for doing so (Chatbooks, Artifact Uprising, Social Print Studio, etc.) but I can’t wait to flip through them for years to come.  And remember.  And love.  And see that God was there and all was good even during the years when life was a blur.

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Yes, I could just take mental snapshots and preserve my memories in my heart.  But.

This works for me.  This is good for my heart.  And maybe, just maybe, this spreads Joy and Love in our world in a tiny way.

And so I will continue to journal the story of my life.


If you’re interested, follow along with me on Instagram…my username is @marybigskylove.  I’d love to follow you there too!