when I caught a glimpse of our baby James sitting on Matt's lap at the kitchen table. Matt was drinking coffee and reading the paper out of the corner of his eye, occasionally telling James about what he was reading. James meditatively looked out the window at the trees, sucking his thumb and listening to his dad's voice. It took all my discipline not to run over to them and cover them in kisses. Instead I hung back, taking in the scene and reveling in my two gifts. I didn't interrupt their moment, but I recognized both its sweetness and its ordinariness because this is always what life is made of if we choose to see it: sacredness in the everyday.
If you were to step into my family's house on the occasion of one of our many parties, you would see a scene that looks something like this: my mom and a few of my aunts would be arranging a beautiful spread of food on the island counter, stopping to give you a strong hug and a warm welcome before returning to the salad, the potatoes, the roast beef, and the jam cookies. At the kitchen table a few of the grandkids (there are 45 of us!) would be gathered around my 101-year-old grandpa, intently listening to him speak of "his bride". Around the corner in the living room, a few more cousins would be laughing their heads off as Laura debuts her new hilarious and surprisingly flexible dance move. This life, this family, this home bursting with love and laughter wasn't made my accident, and it wasn't made overnight. It took years of presence, service, and kindness. I come from people who believe in marriage and family as a gift and who choose to give everything they have in service to that gift.
My parents and grandparents built this big, beautiful family one diaper change at a time, one kiss at a time, and as my grandpa says, "one day at a time". Each small act added up to a loving community and a legacy of faith, presence, and support that will live on for generations. I'm here to witness this humble but extraordinary love in families from all walks of life, to document it one frame at time, and to show people how sacred their everyday lives are when they are filled with love.
My parents and grandparents built a built this big, beautiful family one diaper change at a time, one kiss at a time, and as my grandpa says, "one day at a time". Each small act added up to a loving community and a legacy of faith, presence, and support that will live on for generations. I'm here to witness this humble but extraordinary love in families from all walks of life, to document it one frame at time, and to show people how sacred their everyday lives are when they are filled with love.
Years ago, in the midst of a conversation about love and loss, Vera inspired me.
My great uncle had just passed away, and I sat with three of the women in my family discussing his life, his faith, and his marriage to his wife, Vera. It wasn't until years later, that I realized that Vera, Latin for “true”, represented everything I loved about photography. She loved in a way that was pure, holy, and dedicated to humble service. Even the loss of her husband wouldn't put an end to that love. I saw how each step in life can be seen as the month of August: will we be saddened by the end of summer, overwhelmed by our autumn to-do lists or will we choose to be present to our loved ones in this season of rest? Will we fear change or seek the beauty in it?
The women in my family, including Vera, modeled to me how life brings loss, but it does not take away love. Reality and beauty exist together. That is what I am here to capture: beauty in all its truth; the everyday sacredness of real life. Life is constantly changing, so I am here to capture the good, the sacred, and the lovely in your life, so that when you need it most, love's beauty will fill you with hope.
I married an incredible man. My husband, Matt, amazes me with his generosity, patience, understanding, and never-ending quest for what is true and good. We have a little boy, James, who has Matt's smile, his pensive nature, and strawberry-blonde hair. Well, I may be partially responsible for that because it's also my mom's hair color! James got my nose, eyes and curiosity about how things work. I'm crossing my fingers that he grows up to make furniture with me in the garage! There is nothing sweeter to me than spending time filling their lives with love, kisses, and great food!
I work from home during the week, so when the weekend rolls around I crave some exploration! While I loved my family's summer camping trips growing up, my go-to weekend adventure spots are art museums, gardens, libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops! My family and I live in Phoenix, so there is plenty here to explore, but I'll always have a special place in my heart for the sights and activities in Southern California, my home until 2016! Side note: this is the Huntington Library, where Matt and I got engaged!
Birthdays, baptisms, holidays, weddings, you name it--if it's an occasion to eat, we are probably throwing a party! With 30 cousins on my mom's side and 15 on my dad's there is never a shortage of loving people to converse and catch up with. The more the merrier is always the rule when it comes to these gatherings: more people, more food, more dancing, more laugher, and more hugs. It sounds cheesy, but these parties never get old. And now that many of us are getting married, I think we are going to need a bigger space than our homes!
I wouldn't call myself a decorator, and HGTV isn't about to offer me a pilot anytime soon, but I love to make my home welcoming and inspiring for all who enter. From framing my favorite cards to making a blanket ladder out of pine and a little wood stain, I have a passion for using art to bring happiness onto my walls. Every place I've ever lived, no matter how small or dorm-like, I've decorated it within a matter of days from moving in. Put art on the walls, and I instantly feel at home.
Is there anything more satisfying than crossing something off your to-do list? Well, my husband can think of 4,235 more satisfying things! I am a to-do list lover and a productivity junkie. I use Google Calendar to organize my month, Emily Ley's Simplified Planner for day-to-day schedules and tasks, and the Trello to download all my thoughts onto their various lists. Want a recommendation for a meal-planning routine or a budgeting app, I've got one!
It might sound SO cliche to say that I love flowers, but I really do. I had a pair of floral pants in college that I wore out with friends when someone stopped me to tell me that they couldn't tell "whether they were the ugliest pants they've ever seen, or the cutest"...but I didn't care, they were floral and I LOVED them! If you come to my house, you'll probably see lots of painted and photographed flowers in frames on my walls, but my biggest goal is to start a small cut-flower garden in my backyard! Did I mention I know nothing about gardening? Stay tuned for that adventure!
My love for making art spills over into the kitchen and my garage. Cooking a homemade meal and sitting down with a glass of wine is my idea of a GREAT night (with the exception of weekly date night!) Preparing a meal is comforting and calming for me, now if only I could muster up the energy to do the dishes!
With that, for the past 8 years, I've given homemade gifts to my family and close friends for Christmas. I've made everything from flower vase holders to chalkboards that double as mail/key centers, to graphic design art prints. Some of my favorite wood-working furniture tutorials come from the ladies over at Shanty2Chic. Check them out, you won't be disappointed!
Engagement, anniversary, and "just because" portrait sessions for people whose love story is ever-unfolding
Pregnancy, newborn, and parenthood portraits for those who wish to document the sacred arrival of new life
Family, children, and graduating senior portraits for those that value the growth of their little loved ones
Based in Phoenix, Arizona & available for travel
Who Is Vera In AugusT?
She opens her home with arms outstretched. She values making other people feel included and invited, and knows the power of comfort to disarm and bring peace.
That home might not always be clean, but it's a joy to walk into. She knows that art on the walls will fill her children with wonder and inspire her family to create.
Perfection isn't her ultimate goal. She would rather keep working on self-improvement and besides, her mistakes give her a chance to laugh at herself!
She cares for her family like a mama bear and her hugs are so tight they can hurt, but her soft stomach is her children's favorite place to lay their heads.
She never makes too little food, she knows that service is the most intentional form of love, and if you comment on something in her house, she'll probably give it to you.
She appreciates good art, good food, great coffee, and homemade crafts. She probably has a slight obsession with Joanna Gaines.
I combine medium format film and digital photography at every session, so the images you receive will be as timeless, artful, and lovely as possible. This style of shooting, called "Hybrid Photography", is perfect for getting the light-filled, crisp look of film, with the ease and image count of digital. I shoot with a Pentax 645N and a Canon 5D Mark III. If you have any questions about my use of film, drop me a line below!
Whether you're planning an in-home newborn session or an outdoor anniversary session, I offer suggestions on locations, outfitting, hair & makeup, and anything else you feel in the dark about. Upon booking you'll receive a portrait guide, that walks you through how to plan the perfect shoot! When the shoot rolls around, I'll be there to guide you as you step in front of the camera.
I think you & your loved ones are the most beautiful parts of your photographs. I want to take away all that is distracting, which is why I advise that we keep it simple! No props, plans, or shot-lists, needed. Let's keep everything minimal so your love is shown abundantly! Simplicity is also important to me in the booking and delivery stages. All contracts, invoices, and galleries are completely online!
THE PORTRAIT COLLECTION
I specialize in fine art, natural light, portrait photography to capture the everyday sacredness found in the relationships between you and your loved ones. No matter your background or walk of life, if you are seeking a relaxed, authentic portrait session in your home or out in nature, I would love to hear from you. I photograph engagements, couples, anniversaries, maternity sessions, newborn sessions, family portraits, and graduating senior portraits. If you are interested in learning more information or would like to book, scroll down to the inquire form below!
I specialize in fine art, natural light, portrait photography to capture the everyday sacredness found in the relationships between you and your loved ones. No matter your background or walk of life, if you are seeking a relaxed, authentic portrait session in your home or out in nature, I would love to hear from you. If you are interested in learning more information or would like to book, please fill out the following form or send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org!