quick recap of the last year

 

It's nearing on a year since I last posted - no surprise, unfortunately. But what a year it's been! 

Since last summer when I wrote about dropping out of college, my internship with adidas came to an end, and i started language school to (hopefully) learn enough german to study in germany. Now I wait for test results. Notable is my feeling that my ability to communicate is diminishing - my german is mediocre, and my english... let's just say it's seen better days ;) 

Jay and I moved into a bright and beautiful apartment together in the center of Nuremberg - and i am so lucky to spend my days with such an ace guy! 

I am often asked when i'll move back to the states and the answer isn't so easy because it's hard to choose between the two countries - politically of course germany is a wonderful place to be, particularly in comparison to the USA. But I also love how walkable the city is, the cafes on every corner, the language, our friends, the proximity to so much of the world. Last month my parents joined for a sojourn in Portugal. On the other hand i miss my family, and all of our stateside friends. so to answer the question of when i'll move back - i just don't know. we'll have to see!If you're reading this, I hope you'll come visit! we have guest beds for you! 

sorry for the rambling.

I've been lucky to have photoshoots both in the US and in germany. I feel so lucky to be invited into homes and lives of such lovely families to capture such sweet fleeting moments! Below are a few such stills. 

 
 

I am in maryland until mid june, and have a few slots available for family, senior, baby, etc shoots! Send an email if you're interested! 

(until next year!)

(maybe)

(hopefully not)

 

My best decision: dropping out of college.

- this has nothing to do with photography -

People often ask me what I'm studying, what I'm doing, where I go to school... and I take tremendous satisfaction in telling people that in truth, I'm just a college dropout. 

Leaving school was one of the best choices I have made in my 22 years.

I went to college right after high school because that's just what I was supposed to do, it's what all of my friends did. It was fine, I made some wonderful friends, I learned some things, but it didn't feel real in the sense that I wasn't creating anything that had any value in the world, just papers that got me a grade and were stored away in some folder on my computer or dumped in a bin at the end of the semester. It was unfulfilling. 

My friends seemed unhappy, too. Many switched schools; some were happier, some were not. Not a day went by when I didn't hear one grievance or another about colleges, from the school not extending care to those struggling with mental illness, or victims of sexual assault, to shocking leniency with really awful behavior by groups on campus, all the while relentlessly sucking the money out of everyone's pockets. 

I started getting migraines at least once a week. On the weekends, I just wanted to go home. My classes, for the most part, were not pushing me. We called one of our communications classes kindergarten. I felt, and still feel, that college, and perhaps really all education in the states, needs a significant overhaul. 

So I left. 

I bought a ticket to Germany. I started an internship with the digital marketing team at Esprit. I learned so much, each project had value within the company and the world, I met incredible friends, I was pushed to grow up more, and I felt that I was living real life with intention and meaning. 

All too soon it was over and I realized couldn't go back to school having tasted passion for every single day. So I went home for Christmas and bought a one-way ticket back to Germany. I started an internship in the consumer analytics team at adidas.

I learned about social media and analytics, and the intersection of the two. About engagement rates and posting cadences and reach, impressions and shares... I learned about what management styles work, and some that are toxic, I learned about the importance of being proactive within a team and a role, about being sensitive to the needs of others and allowing them the space and resources to grow. And I learned how fun data and numbers translated into insights can be, and finally, what I want to study. I lived by myself in a beautiful sun-soaked apartment, and I grew up even more. I paid my own bills, I battled German bureaucracy - sometimes I won, sometimes I did not. 

I met more incredible friends, all of them a bit older and wiser than I, and I grew up some more to meet them at their level. On Sundays we meet for brunch, and we've tried every burger joint in the city. We never cease to throw around business ideas, many of which are really stupid. 

I fell in love and I learned how to live with another person and to share life so closely, how to make room for another person to be right. 

I moved into a house by some amazing stroke of luck. I suddenly had two cats that needed attention every single day. A yard to mow, a garden to water, three floors to vacuum. Sometimes I feel that I'm in too deep. Most days I feel blessed beyond comprehension. 

I will go back to school soon. But it will be in Germany, my classes will be in German, and I will study business informatics because now I know what will excite me everyday. Going to school isn't daunting anymore. I'm excited. 

Dropping out of school is one of the best decisions I've ever made, and I wholeheartedly encourage anyone with the slightest bit of doubt about being shuffled from one school to the next, or anyone who doesn’t know what direction they are headed, or anyone who is following a path only because they don’t know what they actually want, to take the time to do something else. Take a gap year and travel. Get an internship or three. The opportunities around every corner are endless; keep your ears and eyes open. Follow your gut. It is so worth it. 

wedding // dublin, ireland

when my dad was 16 he flew to the usa for a few months and went to a school in upstate new york, where he met christopher. fast forward many years, my dad moved to the usa, met my mother, and, pregnant with me, they went to a birthing class, and there was christopher, with anne, pregnant with conor. our lives have been entwined since then, and just a few days ago, i flew to ireland to meet my best friend and his family (though they feel like my own) for anne's sister's wedding. 

i was so nervous, never having taken wedding photos before, and i certainly have a lot to learn, but it was wildly fun, she was stunning, and ireland blew me away. I must admit that in the 9 years since i had been there, i forgot how magical it is. 

anyway, some photos. 

 

all in all, such a lovely weekend, and i am so grateful for the chance to spend a few days with the people i love in a gorgeous place, and for the opportunity to take photos of such a beautiful wedding. xo

a few iphone photos, for good measure. 

 

kindergarten in the woods

I went to a little kindergarten in the woods called Acorn Hill, where I didn’t learn to read or write or add numbers, but I played in rainbow silks, with wooden blocks, and in a sandbox which, at the time, was nothing short of colossal. On really special days we were allowed to push the chairs around by the legs, the seat back to the floor - they made great cars. 

This past week, right before taking off for 7 months in Germany, I took photos of a kindergarten class not unlike my own - just a little bit more fun. Waldorf in the Woods, aptly named, is a kindergarten class in the woods. The children, clad in waterproof clothing from head to toe, spend their days stomping over the bridge which they built, hiding in the house of sticks which they also built, splashing in the stream that runs through their “classroom”, peeking into holes in trees where creatures live, building homes for fairies, gnomes, and elves (“the size of my pinky finger,” one child explained.) I asked how they know to build such things, and a child responded "well, our teacher is REALLY clever." The children are too, and they expertly navigated the land while I cautiously tried to keep up. 

In first grade they’ll learn their letters and arithmetic, but for now they’re children and they are being allowed to take their time as children. I think that's pretty special. 

I am so grateful to have been invited into this little class for an afternoon - I'm ready to go back to kindergarten! 

For more information, click here

final days at home // recapping

in the blink of an eye i've been home from germany for two full months. each day seems to fly by faster and faster as i grow older and fall more in love with this life, this earth, my family, my friends.  i was worried about coming home after loving my time in germany, and growing up, so much. but it turns out i love my time here just as much, and i loved my days in ohio, my days in new york. . . but here i am sitting in the bedroom i grew up in for the last monday night ever - i'll leave for germany next monday and my family will move into a new home before i return. it's hard on this home loving heart of mine, but it's also an exciting step for our family. 

these months have been sweet. i've been welcomed into so many families and their homes for photoshoots, i've spent precious time with my own family, i've played with the children i hold most dear, and our family orchestra has blossomed. Below, some of my favorite captured moments both from photoshoots and my day to day. and, a peek of our home, staged. 


graduate

we hopped on a plane bound for salt lake city just two days ago with so much pride, anticipation, and excitement for my little sister, about to graduate. 

beautiful, wise, hilarious, generous, warm, witty, and sincere. in her senior year, elia grew in tremendous ways and matured into an breathtaking woman, inside and out.  

elia formed a deep and moving bond with her horse, toby, who pushed her, challenged her, calmed her, and loved her in the most gentle way. their love is evident. 

oh the places you'll go, cowgirl!


O & N | love in spring

I'm back at school and immersed in homework and fearing accounting and I find myself not taking as many photos as I'd like to. So, I was so excited when O asked for my help in surprising N with a photoshoot.  

dear friends

nearly 7 years ago I fell in love with photography and I was lucky enough to have two beautiful little subjects. I did a middle school project on photography and took photos of them which were framed and hung in a deli somewhere near my middle school. And then the photos were given to the family.

Today I arrived at the home of our dear friends to take photos of them again- and the whole family this time! It was so fun to see those photos from so long ago- and I hope that the photos I took today reflect practice and more and more love for photography.

 

Olivia Clare

Olive, the little girl who sang "opera" at the top of her lungs in the car on the way to school and drove me bonkers,

who taught me to love pretzels and cream cheese,

who walked through the neighborhood with me and her doll who sighed the same robot sigh for 10 minutes straight before "falling asleep",

who played house with me for weeks when my family was away,

who hikes with me and the dogs in the woods, 

who compares child rearing techniques with me despite the fact that we won't have kids for many years still, 

whose beauty, both inside and out, grows with each day that passes. How lucky i am to have her as an honorary sister. 

oh the places you'll go.