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.

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