Monday, November 5, 2012

Magical Maine.

Each time I try to sit down and write this post, words fail me. It is for this reason that I surrender my desire to create a narrative that is eloquent and profound. Some things defy explanation, and as long as we live on this side of Heaven, there will be those things that we can't fully grasp or understand. 

This precious island on the coast of Maine is one of these things. My heart lives on this island. It is the closest I’ve ever been to perfection. It’s the kind of place where time and schedules don’t exist and you can hear God’s voice whispering through tall trees.

The island has been in my family since the 1800s. The pictures that line the walls of our house reflect generations of people who loved and cherished it as much as I do. Though I am too young to have known them, we are linked by an unmistakable and enduring bond.

Our trip to Maine this fall was simply wonderful. Blood orange sunrises led to brilliant blue days. Long morning hikes led to lazy porch afternoons. Farm-fresh dinners led to campfires and card games after dark. We shared stories and had conversations. We chased dogs and picked brussel sprouts. We sat on the dock and stared at the stars. We lived life in a way that only seems possible on a sacred spot in Maine.

No one who has ever visited the island has left the same. The misty eyes and tight throats that come forth as the boat slowly pulls away from the dock are evidence of changed hearts. There’s a sense of gratitude for having been there and loss for having to say goodbye. As hard as it is to leave, goodbyes are only temporary. I am fortunate in that I married a man who loves the island as much as I do. We make a point to remember it in our daily lives–through stories, photographs, and big rocks used as doorstops. Even when the island feels a million miles away, these things remind us that it really does exist. 

I hope you enjoy these images of a magical place. 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Light and Life

Today we shift gears a bit – from newborn babies to baby mamas! This radiant mom-to-be happens to be extra special because she’s Jeff’s sister, Sarah. Sarah and Ben moved back to Tennessee earlier this summer, and it’s been fun to have them closer to home. Last month, we spent a gorgeous Saturday afternoon taking their maternity pictures in Franklin.

Jeff and I are big on natural light…we’d even go so far as to say that lighting is the single most important factor in distinguishing good photography from great photography. Scheduling this shoot during the “golden hour” made the photos all the more beautiful. Not only was Jeff able to experiment with some interesting lens flares, but the horizontal light from the setting sun cast long shadows across the landscape that enhanced Sarah's internal glow.

There is something so sweet about these images - the natural beauty of the great outdoors combined with the natural beauty of a woman who’s about to bring life into the world. Special, isn’t it?


Monday, October 15, 2012

Life's Littlest Blessings

All babies are beautiful. Precious. Miraculous. Heaven-sent.

Then there are those babies that are beautiful…those little beings that just make your heart swell with complete and utter amazement…those that make you tilt your head up toward the heavens and ask God, “How did you do it?” Hudson Matthew Tant is one such treasure.

We were fortunate enough to meet the little man shortly after he was born, and y’all, it was wonderful. Hudson’s parents, Matt and Kristin, were glowing and couldn’t have been more smitten with their firstborn angel. Though Jeff was a little nervous about photographing a newborn for the first time, Hudson was a champ and cooperated wonderfully. We only spent an hour and a half with the 
sweet family, but we left feeling inspired, encouraged, and grateful for life’s many blessings.

I hope these photos warm your heart as much as they warmed ours. I am so grateful to Kristin and Matt for giving Jeff this opportunity. Congratulations to you both on your beautiful boy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Family. Friends. The theory that "Telluride" is a contraction of "To Hell You Ride" is no joke. As legend has it, the town was named for the famous send-off given to fortune-seekers headed into the harsh mining conditions of the southern San Juans. Getting to this beautiful resort town felt a bit like traveling to hell and back.

When Jeff and I originally booked our flights, we were thrilled at the prospect of flying directly into Telluride (Side note: each of the times I’d been before, we’d driven in from other parts of Colorado). A connecting flight that could take us to our final destination without long hours in the car? Yeeeee-hawww! Sign us up!

Enter the reality: Telluride Regional Airport is the highest altitude commercial airport in the United States. The airport is considered “extremely challenging” by pilots because of frequent (and I mean FREQUENT) adverse weather conditions, high altitude, and the rugged mountain terrain which surrounds the airport on all sides. Even better? The runway begins at the edge of a plateau with a thousand-foot drop to the San Miguel river below. If that doesn’t sound like fun, I don’t know what does. To make a long and dramatic story short, we had a heck of a landing and all but kissed the ground when we finally got out. There’s nothing like an adrenaline-filled adventure to begin your adrenaline-filled adventure, right?

All joking aside, Telluride gave us one of the best weeks of our lives. Words can’t possibly do its beauty justice. The town itself is nestled in a box canyon (surrounded on three sides by 14,000-foot peeks) and is home to the greatest concentration of “fourteeners” in North America. I tried to describe what it was like to Jeff while we were in the early planning stages of the trip, but driving into town from the airport left us both speechless. No memory or photograph can adequately prepare you for the insane beauty that awaits.

Everything about the trip was perfect – the accommodations at our hotel were excellent, the food in town was divine, and the hiking was breathtaking (literally…it’s hard to breathe at 12,500 feet). I could go on for days, but I’ll stop with this one request: Go to Telluride. Experience its charm. Take in its views. It will challenge you and change you. It changed us.

We are eagerly planning our next trip back.

Telluride Regional Airport in all her glory. 

The view from Bridal Veil Falls looking back toward town. 

Blue Lake. It really was that blue!

The Wilsons from Highway 145. 

A beautiful morning on Bear Creek Trail.

Miss this town!

Mining remnants. 

Afternoon tea :)


Puppy parking.

Our first view each morning.

Photos by Jeff Newman. Telluride, Colorado. July 12-17, 2012.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

See the Light

Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! We spent the holiday relaxing in Sewanee with family and two lively black labs. Remember this post? We're kind of crazy about that place.

The beautiful, clear weather provided Jeff with the perfect opportunity to test out high dynamic range imaging with his D800. HDR is a set of methods that allows a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than standard digital imaging. By taking multiple pictures at different exposure levels and then stitching them together, you can create a picture that is representative in both dark and bright areas. Pretty weird/impressive, don't you think? 

While we're talking about impressive photographs, check out this video that Sewanee Alum and National Geographic Photographer Stephen Alvarez created from over 5,000 still images. A-mazing.

More to come!

Photos by Jeff Newman. Sewanee, Tennessee. May 27, 2012. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Color into Quiet

Art, at its simplest, is a form of communication. When we view a work of art - be it a canvas, a photograph, or a sculpture - we surrender ourselves to the direct experience of it. We enter into the artist's world, allowing us - for a moment - to see something as he or she saw it. 

"Meaning," then, is created between the artist and the viewer. Some images speak to us, others don't, but no act of creativity can be said to come without meaning or substance. Why do I share this? It's how I feel when I look at Jeff's photographs; each one of his frames is painstakingly and methodically chosen. Carefully crafted. Thoughtfully observed. 

...enough of my rambling :) Have a great week.