Friday, December 21, 2012

Round with child

2012 11 13_CS120web

Is there anything as special as being pregnant (or “with child” as my parents’ generation would have said) at Christmas time?

2012 11 13_CS116web

I realize it is a bit out of fashion to LOVE Christmas these days, but I do (more about that in this old post). As pointed out in The Sensationalism of Holiday Stress, moms—and the media--- tend to focus on the demands and exhausting expectations of the holidays. I love the above article because it clarifies that we have a choice to opt out of holiday stress. And I have to link to one of my favorite posts about keeping the holiday simple, by the always wonderful Lori Pickert.

2012 11 13_CS114web

Nothing invokes the spirit of advent the way that pregnancy does. Advent is exactly what I love about Christmas---that it isn’t just about one day, the big birthday celebration on December 25th, but that it is a whole season of preparation. Advent literally means “coming” and advent is the season of preparation for what is coming; so pregnancy is basically 40 weeks of advent rather than the usual four!

2012 11 13_CS117web

I hope that people of all faiths can find meaning in the nativity story---this idea that real power comes in the most humble of forms. Not from wealth or class standing, but from vulnerability--- is there a more vulnerable image than an expectant mother traveling in her final trimester and finding “no room at the inn”? 

2012 11 13_CS122web

I want to thank Chrissy for choosing me to capture a moment in her pregnancy. What a wonderful way to show your child how anticipated and how wanted he or she was even before birth.

May we all relish these quiet days of short sunlight to look within and prepare for all that is coming in our lives and in the new year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

The past few days have been filled with sadness, tears and prayers for the community of Newtown, Connecticut. My dad called, while it was still unfolding. Aidan was home with the flu, so I didn’t dare to turn on the news. I was reminded of how my dad would call me while I was in college in Chicago whenever he heard of a crime in my neighborhood. He wanted to warn me, but he mostly wanted to hear my voice and know his children are okay. It was the same this week.

He went to bed for the rest of the day, he hold later. It was all too much. “We’re still struggling so much with losing your mom,” he said, “and yet we had a whole lifetime together, and time to say goodbye. How will these parents survive?” I don’t know, I said, but we have to surround them somehow---in our love and in light. How to do that, we’ve been asking ourselves. The best answer I’ve come across is this from Katrina Kenison:

Perhaps there is no good answer, other than to honor the sanctity of life by loving more and loving better, whatever that means for each of us. Compassion is the thread that binds us to one another…Compassion is what clears our vision, so we may begin to see, even in the midst of the darkest and most unspeakable horror, the light of something larger than our own understanding at work. Compassion is what allows us to seek redemption in the midst of tragedy — to reach out a hand and step toward rather than away from, to act rather than to wait for others to act in our stead.

Compassion is, perhaps, the point of the journey, both our purpose and our calling, the place where healing and hope for tomorrow resides. A reminder that in all its shadow and its light, this fragile, fleeting life is full of beauty and meaning nonetheless.

I’ve been grateful to Katrina for her wise words so many times as a mother, but never more so than this week.

Brene Brown also has a post full of light and pointing to strong links for those wondering how to talk to their older children about such random violence and loss.

My mother loved musicals, and “Meet Me in St. Louis” was a holiday favorite. I’ve always loved the melancholic yet hopeful mood of Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Christmas is a time of celebration, yes, but it is also a time of advent, preparation for the birth of light within us. May we all do what we can to cultivate compassion and a heart of light this season.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the yuletide gay
Next year all our troubles will be miles away
Once again as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us once more
Someday soon we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Family Session

mother and children reading by Deirdre O. Keating

I’m going back over the whirlwind that was November and hoping to post a few sessions before the new year. A couple days ago I received a beautiful Christmas card from this sweet friend featuring a photo from her session. How happy that made me!

by Deirdre O. Keating

This sweet boy and his sister had a field day with the noisy ducks at the park. It seems ages ago it was that warm at Old City Park but it was only a month ago. I wish I could bring him to all my sessions because his antics and funny faces kept getting this reaction from his little sister:

throw your head back and laugh by Deidre O. Keating

That face! This girl knows how to live. She is a ball of light and can just throw her head back and laugh. She was laughing in the majority of her shots, which might be why the following one is my favorite. Actually one of my favorites of the year:

the serious side by Deirdre O. Keating

Her other, calm, taking-it-all-in side.

I also loved getting to capture the two people at the core of this family, in the soft golden light of dusk.

grown up love by Deirdre O. Keating

When’s the last time you got a photograph of just you and your loved one? Even if it’s the arm-stretched, Thelma & Louise style shot, be sure to get one this holiday season. Hand the camera over to relative or even to a child. Time keeps moving, but photos allow us to capture just a taste of what is right now.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Moab Newborn: Emily

moab newborn emily by Deirdre O. Keating

As a momma of three boys, I fell in love with little miss Emily and her world of pink.

moab newborn with pink boots by Deirdre O. Keating

She’s ready with her hot pink booties for Moab to get some snow!

cute runs in the family by Deirdre O. Keating

Can you read what her onesie says?

moab newborn and mother by Deirdre O. Keating

It’s true, cute does run in the family!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Behind the Lens with Karisa Larsen

behind the lens
I’m so excited to share our 2nd interview in the Behind the Lens series, which features a different local artist each season. The more acquainted you are with all the photographers available, the easier it is to find the best match for your style.

A huge thanks to Karisa Larsen, whom I’ve known for years thanks to her oldest daughter who is the same age as my “middlest” Sean. She also has the sweetest mom whom you probably know from City Market.

My boys always visit their adopted grandma, Miss Bobbie, on Halloween, and this year they insisted we also stop at the cool house on the same block with the “awesome scary stuff!” I’m glad they did because that’s where I ran into Karisa and got her to agree to share a bit of her story with us.

How did your passion for photography start/develop?
I have always loved photography. As a child my mother was always using us to play with her cameras. It wasn't until I was pregnant with my own child that I realized it was something I could do to make money and be able to stay at home with my children. My girls are such good sports when I find some new prop to play with and they truly are my inspiration!

What brought you to Moab?
My family moved to Moab when I was about one. So although I'm technically a transplant from the beach...I still believe I am a true Moabite!

What’s something you wish you had known when you first started your business?
When I first started I didn’t know what or how I loved to photograph, I just loved it all. Now I have a style that’s mine and I know what I want from a shoot. My ultimate goal in every session is to capture that ONE photographic moment that can bring a tear to your eye. The one you say "YYESSSS" when you see it!

What is your favorite kind of photo shoot?
My favorite session involves a happy giggly child! Impossible right! However, when you do get a session like that one it is so fun!

What’s an area of photography where you have seen yourself grow?
I have grown in the kind of photos I take. As much as I am asked to do a studio portrait, I just love to be outdoors. I am more aware of the time of day for a certain shot or mood than I was when I started and so I would say that my eye for places and light has really improved.


If you could photograph any individual living or deceased, who would it be & why?
My best friend and I each had a grandmother named Rose. They were the neatest ladies. I wish I could go back and capture them each. The laugh they had, the gestures they made etc. That helps me in the way I photograph today because I am aware of the things I miss about those ladies and don’t want the next generation to feel the same.

What are some of the creative ways you’ve found to juggle being a mother/business owner/photographer in Moab?
Juggling kids and work is challenging. I have taught my girls to help with the shoot--- they know how to entertain small kids and make them laugh and they know they have to be directly behind me so that they are looking at the camera rather than off in a different direction then the rest of the family.
Sometimes it’s overwhelming but most of the time they are pretty helpful. ...And bonus for me, they now know how to pose perfectly!

If you were having your family photographed, what location in Moab would you choose?
My family LOVES the mountain. We always go there for our family pictures.

Share with us a favorite recent image and what you love about it.
The images I shared are some of my favorites because: the girl against the fence was one of THOSE sessions the giggly happy child. She is so fun! The little girl in pink with the john deer boots is just beyond cute and the older girl is one of my favorite senior sessions. I loved that shoot--- it combined the mountain with my family with just being able to capture such a beautiful young lady.

Random Facts about Karisa:
Favorite sweet treat:   My favorite treat lately is a caramel or vanilla coffee hot or cold.
Favorite song to play loud in your car: Old tunes. I like the 90's alternative stuff.
Three things that always make you happy: My family is definite one. Days that ideas just come so fast I cannot keep up :) and crafts. It’s cool to see someone receive something you made just for THEM.
webEmily 006

Thank you, Karisa, for sharing your beautiful work with us, and a bit of your background too! You can get in touch with Karisa and see more of her lovely work by visiting her Facebook page.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Baby Season

Lately I have delayed blogging in order to stay caught up with shooting, editing, preparing galleries and orders. But so many cute little ones have joined our world recently, I wanted to share a few photos.

Meet Miss Joscelyn.

sleeping angel Photo by Deirdre O. Keating Moab Utah

Could she possibly be more angelic?

And here’s sweet Mister Edgel. Those little fingers!

little baby fingers Photo by Deirdre O. Keating Moab Utah

When I was up late editing little Kaycee’s gallery, this shot kept me company. I know just how you feel, girl!

Big yawn Photo by Deirdre O. Keating Moab Utah

And finally, one of my new favorite shots, Little Miss Zoe.

Gray Flower Baby by Deirdre O. Keating Moab Utah Newborn Photography

Meanwhile, the population explosion in Moab continues. I hope to post a couple more sneak peaks next week---and look for the next Behind the Lens interview on Monday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Here We Come

People always say that those first holidays are rough after you lose someone---it’s almost a cliché. I should have expected it but I hadn’t---so I felt a bit blindsided by my emotions on my first Thanksgiving without my mom. Last year we were in Chicago and helped my parents host 30 people---that's just my siblings and their children and that still wasn’t all of us. This year’s Thanksgiving was decidedly quieter and it was lovely, but it was also incredibly sad.

I’m torn between wishing we were going to be in Chicago this Christmas so we could be with my dad and my brothers and sisters,----and  being grateful that we won’t be because by being far away, I can pretend that she is still there, baking Irish Brack for everyone, with seven-layer-cookies in the oven, her holiday village all set up and Andrea Bocelli in the background. It doesn't matter if it’s been years since she was able to bake those raisin-filled cakes; I can still imagine her healthy and getting so excited for her annual Christmas Eve gathering of grandchildren.

Xmas printLeft to Right: That’s me in braids, with our basset hound Wilma in front of us, John, Karen, Eileen, Elizabeth, and Erin. Maybe 1977?

I’m grateful for the magic my mom created for us every Christmas as kids. I’m grateful that Aidan’s and Nolan’s first Christmases were celebrated in Chicago. I’m grateful my brother Kevin and sister Elizabeth flew in last Christmas, making the holiday so special for Mom. I’m grateful for the memories and the traditions, new and old, that make my mom part of our holidays.

In case you too are finding the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas, from what was to what is, a bit harder than normal this year, or I've depressed you with my time-out from baby posts, here’s a few things to make you smile:

1. Turkey Tunes.  Jimmy Fallon’s rendition of We Are the Champions was the hit of the Macy’s Parade with my boys, and they loved his holiday version of all their pop favorites even more.

2. Cookie Monster Humor

3. Tara Whitney’s Elf Bernard

I adore Tara Whitney in general, and her Bernard is much more original than the Elf on a Shelf phenomenon.  Her post from 2010 may be what made me think an Elf on a Shelf would be a good gift for my friend Angie. Christmas isn’t Angie’s favorite to begin with, and then I gave her one more thing to add to her to-do list---because a Christmas elf is more planning, more work.  We joked about it this fall, and I realized I made a classic gift mistake---giving something I wanted so much that I couldn't imagine another person not wanting. So I ordered this cheaper elf for our family: The Elf on the Shelf: Plushee Pals 19 Inch Elf Light Skin---and I’m putting Aidan in charge of his magic.  Tara’s version is lovely and I’ll be lifting lots of her ideas.

I know you don’t like to post comments (because I see how many people visit here and don’t leave comments!) but I’d still like to hear how you are planning to add some magic to your holiday this year.
If you missed the Tiny Prints Cyber Monday 30% Sitewide Sale, they extended it for another two days. You can still get a great deal on Christmas cardsHanukkah cardsholiday party invitationscustom photo gifts...everything on their site is on sale until the end of today  November 29. Just use the promo code CB12 when you checkout to get 30% off your entire order.

We just got our cards in the mail yesterday---now the challenge is to carve out time to write them! I really do like the quality of Tiny Prints cards. Their site is super easy to use and you can personalize everything by writing your own text, uploading pictures, and making everything uniquely you.

If you miss today's 30% deal, I believe this weekend the promotion will continue as 25% off sitewide with the code: WKDSALE1112  That's only good Friday through Sunday.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Gratitude #10

In case you haven’t heard, there’s been a slight population explosion in Moab this month. Which is my way of telling you I am behind…in editing, in posting, in every area of my life. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t give thanks, especially in this week dedicated to gratitude and the giving of thanks.


1. For this hilarious five year old who makes every day an adventure. Last Friday he carried a lantern around Old City Park in celebration of Martinmas, and warmed my heart with his singing. I didn’t bring my camera, but he was just as much a superhero there.


2. I’m grateful for my marriage and for Brian. I had a much needed girls weekend in Prescott after my trip to Chicago that had been on the calendar for two years, but which I debated cancelling given my recent time away. Brian never fails to encourage me though, and I had three great days of amazing food, even better conversation, and inspiration for every area of my life. The boys had an amazing weekend with their dad who, despite feeling sick, managed to pull off their Ghostbuster ensemble for the annual Walling Halloween party!

3. I’m grateful for old friends. I celebrated my 43rd birthday this month, and so enjoyed being pampered for a day by the boys. I also relished being thought of by old friends. A dear friend from high school sent a sunflower card and my boys were amazed to hear they were a favorite even back then. A phone chat from New Zealand was the best gift I could ask for from Annabelle, who I guess after eight years is now an old friend rather than a new one! And Angie, my soul-sister, sent these dishtowels that crack me up every time I look at them:


Angie has a way of working “When Harry Met Sally”, her favorite movie, into almost any conversation, so I hear this exchange every time I use one:


Thank you, Nora, for a lifetime of great lines.

4. I’m grateful to all who serve our country.

2012 11 12_1440 Flags on Veteran's day

Veteran’s Day was also my mom’s 69th birthday. It was an emotional day, made even more so by the beautiful tribute to all veterans that Aidan’s class participated in at City Hall that day. When I talked to my dad that night, he had gone to visit Mom’s gravesite with my brothers John and Marty and my sister Elizabeth. At lunch they realized that the only non-veteran at the table was Elizabeth’s five year old daughter, as all four of them served in the military. I am so grateful for their service, as well as our brother Kevin’s, who is currently serving in the Navy.

5. These messy-haired, book-obsessed boys who also happen to be amazing brothers.

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This is a SOOC (straight out of the camera) shot of a common scene in our house. I had to shoot it from behind otherwise I would have broken the spell and gotten a bunch of funny faces instead. Having three boys means lots of loud moments, messy moments, all-together too silly moments, but there are also these magical moments, when I find Aidan reading to Sean and Nolan and I feel grateful for every moment we have.

If you stop by and actually read through this, I’d love to hear what you’re feeling especially grateful for this week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Koy & Kyler: Moab Twins

I only spent a couple hours with Koy and Kyler, and they were as sweet and cooperative as could be, but I walked away completely in awe of all parents of twins.

©Deirdre O. Keating Photography, Moab Utah

Is there anything as cute as newborn twins?

©Deirdre O. Keating Photography, Moab Utah

These guys did not want to miss out on any of the action so they hardly slept despite being so very new to the world. When they did close their eyes though, you could see they were used to snuggling in with each other. I don’t know how parents manage it, but at the same time---what a gift to your child! To go through life with a buddy who was been with you since the womb.

©Deirdre O. Keating Photography, Moab Utah

©Deirdre O. Keating Photography, Moab Utah

©Deirdre O. Keating Photography, Moab Utah©Deirdre O. Keating Photography, Moab Utah

Koy and Kyler are not Mama’s first boys---she already had two “helpers” who were so sweet, I couldn’t help turning my camera on them for a bit.

©Deirdre O. Keating Photography, Moab Utah

I’m curious to see if Koy and Kyler with have the same blue eyes and light hair as their big brothers someday. I want to thank Connie Wilson for connecting me with Koy and Kyler’s mama. I loved getting the chance to photograph these identically beautiful boys!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Holiday Cards and Newborn Announcements with Tiny Prints

I’m thrilled to be working with Tiny Prints as an affiliate this holiday season.  For the past 10 years I’ve ordered my family cards through Shutterfly, where I also store all my personal photos, but I’ve turned over so many friends’ favorites and seen Tiny Prints on the back. Now Shutterfly and Tiny Prints have joined together, offering even more options and better deals.

If you do print an image I’ve taken for your family on your holiday cards, I’d appreciate you using the my Tiny Prints storefront link on the sidebar (or via any Tiny Print offer on my site) so that my copyright might be included on the back of your card.  You’ll also find several of my favorite Tiny Print designs shown there, and I can even upload your image of choice to their site for you if you like.

To celebrate, here’s the latest Tiny Prints deal---10 free holiday cards with your order, through 11/13/2912.

If you are planning to use Shutterfly, you can also find them by clicking on the storefront link below. At the very top of the next screen, you’ll see Shutterfly listed as well as Tiny Prints and their other brands, Treat and Wedding Divas. For a limited time, the code HOLIDAY will give you 40% off your card order at Shutterfly!

Moab Newborn: Beautiful Brynlee

Deirdre O. Keating Photography, Moab, Utah

My apologies to anyone waiting for a sneak peek of their photo shoot. November and December are always a busy time, but especially so this year in Moab. For some reason, more babies are due during these two months than any other season. I still hope to post here at least weekly, but preparing galleries takes precedence.

However I had to take some time (specifically from sleep, as posting and a four-year-old do not mix well) to introduce Brynlee. The above photo may be my very favorite from this year. I wish I had taken even more of her laying in that pink satin blanket, but I was afraid she would slip right out of it.

Deirdre O. Keating Photography, Moab Utah

Brynlee is beautiful and sweet photos of her day-old beauty were easy to capture. My weakness though are for the parent shots. Dad was fighting a flu, Mom had just given birth for goodness sake, but even more than their natural good looks, I believe their love for each other and the new child they had just welcomed come through in these photographs.

Deirdre O. Keating Photography Moab Utah

Deirdre O. Keating Photography Moab Utah

My bias in newborn photography comes from the point of the view of the child---which of these five photos do you think she’ll value the most 20, 30, or 43 years from now?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Gratitude #9

I’m back in town for a couple days before leaving for a long weekend, but want to give thanks before I go.

1. aidan's card to grandad

I’m so grateful my dad is doing well. Aidan made him the above card---it says “No wonder your heart’s tired…it’s been so busy loving people!”  My dad got a great kick out of it as well as the lucky shamrock Sean drew for him.

2. Grateful that Brian was able to take work off and that he is such an amazing dad---without him, I’d never have been able to go to Chicago and spend the week with my dad.

3. Grateful for the time I was able to spend with my sisters Karen, Eileen and Elizabeth as well as my brother Marty and his family. Elizabeth shared her sweet daughter Maria with me while I was missing my boys.

4. mom and karen photobooth

One of the things my mom asked me to do while she was sick was to help her organize and label her photographs. Whenever I visited, we’d go through half a shoebox before she’d grow tired and we’d put it aside. On this visit, I was able to go through thousands and start the process of having them scanned for all of us. I found so many treasures---and a scrapbook made by one of my dad’s sisters. Dad had recently had this above photo enlarged---of my mom and sister Karen in a photo booth. I’ve lamented here before about how few photos we had of my mom with her babies, and I’m a little photo booth obsessed, so this photo makes me all kinds of happy.

2012 10 20_0829 Campfire

5. The best part of any trip is coming home. Excuse the grainy/blurry photo---it’s from Saturday night. The boys slept in a tent in the backyard and roasted hot dogs over the fire pit. We made s’mores, my favorite dessert, and listened to great music. A “cup overflows” moment of gratitude under the stars.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Moab Newborn: Introducing Harrison

Little Mr. Harrison was a dream to photograph, not only because he’s perfect himself, but because he has a beautiful family who were happy to let my camera capture a bit of their love for him.

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Let me amend that. Almost all of them were happy to let my camera capture them---Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa…but big brother, well, he wasn’t that happy about the camera. However, the idea of photo-bombing the shot, by popping up from behind his dad, did make him happy. Capturing the entire family in one shot also made Mom and Dad happy, so we tried our best to not give away that big brother was doing exactly what we wanted.

Harrison, on the other hand, seemed to relish the camera’s attention. Here are a few of my favorites:

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bw2012 09 16_0488weberibcobbBWweb

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2012 09 16_0670

And in the end, even big brother was happy----especially when he had his mom all to himself.

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