Life of Pie & Corresponding Theories on Memory.

Over the last twenty years, I have collected hundreds of images. And in that time they have started to look different to me or to say something new. Either way, they have defined moments in my life and given me new ways to feel about the things that I could not change. They have even acted on behalf of my memory, kindly replacing the characters from those pictures with the cast of my own life. I have postcards from almost every place that I have traveled, torn pages from magazines that I can no longer remember ever having. And even after the numbers of them have multiplied, perhaps growing out of hand, I always know when one is missing.
I have to go searching for it, and grow sad as each hour passes, and finally forces me to let it go.
Now, I try to photograph all of them (or scan them) whenever possible, and Drew laughs at the concept.
A copy of an image, in order to preserve a memory.
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The human memory, with its web like structure, is an amazing process. If you haven’t read up recently, ideas about how memory works have evolved. When I first started researching the topic I, like many people, treated my memory as just another part of my body. I would exclaim that in addition to near sightedness, I had a bad memory.
It turns out, I was being more short sighted than near sighted right then.
Now, when I smell my mothers perfume, grown thick and sticky around the edges of an antique glass bottle, the path of that memory follows exactly the same one that it did 23 years ago, as I stood leaning hard against a white laminate countertop, short enough to have to squint my small eyes to look up at her. The many different areas of my brain, linked together by the hippocampus, will begin to fire and in a flash I can see her there in front of me, and hear her voice down low in the folds of my auditory cortex.

I was unaware of it, I think, but this concept may have contributed on that first day that I picked up the camera, aiming it all around & feeling assisted by indisputable captures;
the light that stained that film was to be the blueprints to my future.

And because I understood, even then, that things remembered can bend toward the subjective, it was not enough just to remember.

Life must be Documented.
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And then, in the summer of 2007, I traveled all the way to Istanbul Turkey to wander blindly through ancient country.
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I remember miles & miles of olive groves, & cats everywhere, & Incredibly good food. (I love olives and tomatoes.)
I remember sitting way up in a tree, at a meditation camp that we literally stumbled upon, and feeling that things would be changing soon.
I remember drinking red wine with complete strangers, and breathing deeply in all the amazing possibilities ahead of me.
But the air does change, it has to. We change. And thanks to hundreds of images I can return again, anytime I want, to the City of Ephesus, or sit alone in those olive groves.
(Miles of repetition; a comfort to my senses that use to surprise me.)
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Despite all of that, what I remember most was the conversation that my two companions and I shared on our very last night in that amazing Republic.
A conversation that was the start of the change that I had been sensing all the way up in that tree.
We talked about pie. LifeofPie_Blog111

Selim Morelevi is a native to Istanbul and four years my senior. We had never met until the day that I arrived there, along side his long time friend Christopher.
It took us a little over 6 hours to bloom though, falling open like books, spilling stories forth like small children. It was 21 days later, as we sat in the dark at a small cafe table; Selim giggling as I reluctantly sampled beef tongue for the first time.
As much as I remember the test of that strange cuisine, and the various colored lights that speckled the Galata bridge, I can not remember how the conversation started. But Selim illustrated the space in front of him with a concept and Chris & I looked on, shaking our heads in agreement; like a head bangers ball, all enthusiastic.
He said that he looked at life like pie, prioritizing each piece carefully, things like family & relationships, hobbies & whatever career you choose.
“You can have as many pieces as you want, but there’s only so much to go around. Your pieces get thinner and thinner as you try to add more, and frankly at that point they stop fulfilling you.” He smiled and looked down right then, and I knew that he was proud of his metaphor. Christopher sat to my left, distracted. He was thinking about all of his pieces, counting them silently on fingers under the table.

I know that this is no new concept, and there were certainly no theorems to put down on paper that evening, but six years later I still think about it, and I call it memory pie.

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I think what fascinated me most about what I learned in all my reading about memory was the concept expressed by Dr. Fiona McPherson on ‘the role of emotional memory.’
She supports the idea that how we feel directly affects what we see, and therefor, what we remember. It seems to me that if this is true, and in turn we repeat those paths each time, we should treat ourselves and our memories delicately;
taking care of what must last. Like our bodies, or the earth.

Because our memory is always taking pictures.
Copying down images to preserve what was there.
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Feedback is encouraged and as always, thank you so much for visiting Seraphim Fire Photography. finalSFP22

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Mustard Seed. (The light hitting the water: part two)

It doesn’t happen all the time, which is what makes it feel so good, I think.

Despite all the noise in this busy world, things get very quiet. And I can see the color of the light and all the zones of gray as the shadows start to bend and spread, like a photographer’s stepping-stones;
sometimes, the only way to get from where we are to where we want to be.

If it is late in the afternoon, just before sunset, the light seems to drip off of things,
and because I know it will all change within seconds I must look into the future;
a private little race between the sun and me.

  

I live for these moments, and in them I feel truly centered, and the work seems to do all of my talking for me. Photography has become so much more to me than a job, and more than my passion even. It is my voice, and some how it always seems to say the right thing.

This summer has been one of the really good one’s. One of those summers that I know I will look back on and long for. Thank heavens then for photographs and for all that quiet & dripping light, because in June I traveled to Mexico and kicked off the wedding season with a wedding of my very own…

                                                                                    Right next to the water.
             

The truth is, I would have married Drew the day that we met. But it took ten years and six months to finally meet on a beach in the Riviera Maya with a small group of family, and make it official. Drew wore flip flops and after it was over he threw me over his shoulder and carried me off, down the beach. The clouds kept us cool and everywhere we looked, there was a blur of smiling faces, and so much love.

I don’t think I will ever forget the way it felt, but if I ever do, I will just look at all the photographs and travel back in time.
(Or look into the face of my husband, who never seems to age for me.)

He is the light, He is my water.

  The woman responsible for these beautiful images is my assistant and partner here at Seraphim Fire, Hannah Thomas.
Over the last year, Hannah and I have had far off adventures photographing weddings in places like South Carolina, various regions of Colorado & Wyoming, and most recently, Mexico. She has a beautiful eye for details and composition, and on the day of our wedding she moved quietly around us, simply capturing what existed, and with her own share of love…
she also happens to be my new sister in law.How wonderful that this marriage has brought with it a new partner in work & life. Twice. Thank you so much to my sisters that spent their time & energy making me feel (and look) so beautiful on our wedding day.
A few weeks later, still buzzing, Hannah & I flew back to Mexico (To the exact same little beach in the Riviera Myay!) to capture the wedding of Natalie Wellam and Ian Seyerle. Natalie is originally from London, but lives now in Houston, Texas. Her crew for this weekend wedding celebration flew in from all over Britain & the U.S., and gave me the opportunity to experience a little bit of my own wedding, but this time, behind the lens.
How marvelous…
      





Every wedding is unique, and it is one of those rare times in our life that we can share the way we feel about our partner, unencumbered.
I think the guests (and even the vendors) can get caught up in the wake of such a glow, and then they carry that extra little bit of love into their own lives…
And you never know the impact that influence can have one us,
or the distance it can go.


 

I wish I could recall for you all the details of those few minutes before I walked through the door, on my father’s arm. But I will tell you that it was very quiet, and the light seemed to drip off of things. And I thought of mustard seeds.

It was years ago that I heard the expression that ‘Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.” and it gives me so much joy.
It reminds us of our power as individuals, I think. Tells us to hold on.

Without faith we might never try anything new, or scary. We might never travel, or follow our passions. With out it, we might settle for something less than true love.

I think that passion is my mustard seed; my passion for Drew and for photography. And even though it can’t be seen or touched, its power is still so present to me.
Perhaps if I keep using my camera to harvest,
I can always share the bounty…

Whatever the reason. (or season.)

Prelude.
One of the most wonderful things about writing is that you can look back on how you have been feeling, and how your perspective has changed. In the past my battle with this blog has been slow and steady bouts of writers block followed by intense focus and eventually, a common thread. One worth sharing.

The past four months have been quite different, and so full of experiences that the writing just appeared each day, like it did in my much younger years.
And even though the common thread (now pretty frayed from so much use) is so long it dangles behind me when I walk, and has become difficult to manage even; it still seems worth sharing.
So forgive me for taking so long and for a few disconnections, but stay with it. Because nothing worth doing is ever easy. And some lessons can take a while to learn.

February.
I don’t know if everything truly happens for a reason. But I do like the comfort of the message. I also like stories with a narrator, with their omniscient nature and the promise of balance in things. February reminded me of how much I enjoy what I do, and how even the simplest encouragement can push us forward.

At the start of the month I shot an event with a dear friend of mine, Jana Everett, for a new business in the up and coming Highland area of Denver. The Tea Bar has become part of a local Triad with The Green Garage, and The Motherhood. All three are located in one very large space, and offer Green options galore. The Motherhood has educational classes, yoga and products for new families, while the Green Garage is an eco-friendly full service auto center. In between the two you will find the Tea Bar by Teatulia, chock-full of delicious options including infused tea sodas; an invention that they were giving out the night of the grand opening. My favorite was a strawberry tea soda infused with lemon grass. I started to feel spring creep in when I would drink it, despite the cold and windy weather outside. By the end of the night we saw a few hundred people pass through the space, and between the band playing in the garage, Teacup the Clown, Joy’s face painting and free children’s yoga, I was moving and snapping the entire time.


The following weekend I had the pleasure of shooting a B’not Mitzvah for All Digital Studios in Lafayette, Colorado. The event took place at the Lions Gate, a huge interior location with dark wood and a giant stained glass window face. It is one of the most challenging places to shoot, but I adore its vintage touches. It was my first mitzvah of any kind and a really  beautiful tradition to witness. This particular occasion is called a B’not Mitzvah because it honors two girls (sisters in this case) that are accepting the responsibility of adulthood. It made perfect sense to me as I watched that the tradition called for tremendous focus in education and philanthropy. There was also singing in Hebrew, which I think is a feat in and of itself. The girls finished their ceremony without any mistakes and I saw the Hora for the first time. I admit for a minute that  I wished to set my camera down and join them on the dance floor.

A few days later  I received an email from Joy Knickerbocker, a fellow artist that I had met the night of the Tea Bar Grand Opening. Joy was reaching out in an effort to connect and to also collect some images that I had taken of her that night. After reading the blog she said,“Your writing somehow felt like it was watering my soul as I was reading it.”
And I was reminded exactly why I started this blog to begin with. Because I wanted to share my work and inspire others, and in that moment I felt so successful and full. She went on to remind me that I was due for another entry, and that night inspired by what she said, I sat at my computer for a few hours writing about duality and learning about its corresponding theories in physics.
When I finally retired for the night, I said a little prayer for Joy and I slept so well that I didn’t dream at all.

 
March.
It was in the first few weeks of March that I realized that I could count on one hand the months left until our wedding day. In quiet moments I could close my eyes and look back on all the change and patience and distance covered in the past three years. In those moments I could feel, very physically, my pride in Drew and all our growth.
During one of these quiet moments, in the middle of the afternoon, Drew called me at work to tell me that he had mailed our invitations. When I came home I saw that the little red flag on the mailbox had laid down. Like an excited child I peered inside to make sure that they had really gone.

I never thought I would be so happy to see our mailbox, empty.


A few days later I got an email from Yellow Paddle informing me that I had a client looking to do an engagement shoot in the next few days. Mindy and Levi had a very similar story to my own. He was in the military and they had known each other for years. I swear, as I watched them together on that sunny afternoon my heart swelled. Their love was so genuine and she watched him with adoration as he told me their plans. Our session went on for almost two hours and if I hadn’t any other appointments that day I could have stayed on into twilight. Love has in it so many possibilities. And with my camera I tried to capture all of them.

April.
It was well into April when I had a truly ‘terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.’ And even though I loved the book as a child, it seemed not nearly as funny when one morning I woke up to a very flooded basement and no hot water. Later that afternoon  I would learn that my car was due for some very costly and time sensitive repair, and so I called into work and sat waiting for our ‘super’, while Drew ran to the hardware store. As I watched him drive away I looked up at a looming storm and thought that perhaps my mood had brought it on.

It is in these moments, usually forced upon us, that we can give thanks for the good days and realize that maybe they wouldn’t be so good, without the bad one’s. I wrote at my desk for nearly an hour before our doorbell rang, and in the end I was thankful for the inconvenience. It was the first day off that I had seen in 10. And our kitchen floor was finally clean.

 The following day I borrowed Drew’s car and  visited one of my oldest friends and her husband in order to shoot their very first maternity session.


For those of you that have followed Seraphim Fire, you may recognize this lovely couple from their wedding shots posted last year. I have known Sassy since college and this day she helped me complete a dream of mine. To steadily capture the growth of a couple as they move through love and into a family. She is an even more beautiful mother than she was a bride, and a terrific friend. Congratulations Mr. & Mrs Allender…
 
 

May.     
It was actually the dogs that  helped me notice all the time that had passed. That suddenly May was here and instead of snow we had sunshine all around us. We found a new hiking trail in Morrison and I could wear short sleeves and the dogs could swim.
I have always loved this change of the season. It feels to me, like a crush. Something you wake up thankful for and look forward to. The heat is comfortable, welcomed even, and my skin slowly darkens by the end of the day.
 
Thanks to February, March and April I was able to enjoy so deeply all the experiences that I was sharing with my family, and soak in all the love that was being given to me. Three weekends out of the month were dedicated to bridal showers and celebrations for my up coming marriage to Drew.
I shot as much as possible but allowed myself the freedom of setting my camera down when we all gathered together.  For the first time, perhaps ever, I enjoyed the weightlessness and absence of my camera strap, and I forced myself to remember all these special moments in a new way. Mostly.


I once described love as the light hitting the water, and I really do see it that way. When you are loved and give love back, things can brighten all around you, motivate you, and give you peace.
And despite not having all the answers (and the occasional bad day) that refracted light can help you see far into the distance.
I think, thanks to all these experiences, which I never could have had with out all this love, I understand this concept more than I ever have. And the future looks bright.


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A Travel (B)log: Changing lanes…

The apex of my circumstances these last few years have usually taken place behind the wheel of a car, or in the seat of an airplane; there is always and of course, the lens of my camera too.
It has been a period of transition, as they say. But luckily,  I believe that we grow the most when placed outside of our regular routine.
(It could be that I believe that because I can’t remember last having one.)
So, in both a blessings wake and what would feel at times like a dare, I traveled from one end of the country to the other; changing as I went, my entire life.

September:  Olympia, Anacortes & the San Juan Islands

If W. Clement Stone was correct , and we are a product of our environment, then I am the product of a small green suitcase with one broken latch. In both the state of our living and all the states that we still have to travel through, I have realized what few items are my desert island five, and how to strategically fit them into the suitcase with one broken latch. It is a shame I think, that I can not sift the salty sea air of Washington and some how steal it away in these last days of September; as summer drags her fingertips across the Sound just one more time.


We have been living in one long narrow room for five weeks. The tenants of a local Olympia hotel while Drew will finish what the military calls his ‘ETS’. It stands for ‘estimated time of separation’, one of the many acronyms that I have learned in the last two years. So to break out of the monotony of working and waiting, Drew & I filled the car with our two dogs, his pack and my little green suitcase and headed almost four hours north to ‘Deception Pass”.

(Named by Captain George Vancouver in 1792… “Feeling that he had been deceived by the nature of the inner waterway… he wrote on his chart ‘Deception Pass’.” )

To cross this amazing channel means that you have finally arrived in Whidbey Island, just the first in a long and beautiful string of Islands in the very north corner of Washington. The plan was to spend the weekend on the shore with family, coaxing mother nature into kind temperatures….


She listened so well that we didn’t leave Anacortes for almost three weeks. Instead we combed the beach and made boats, played pirates and always stayed “just one more day.” One of those rare times in life when we followed only our bliss, while we let the rest sit waiting.



October: ‘Our last gasp’, the I-90 stretch and an early Thanksgiving in Mexico.


We finally left Washington in the early weeks of October with two walkie talkies and a dog in each car to keep us company. It took three days on I-90, which meant time to enjoy the way that the color of the sky changed as we passed through Idaho in the early morning, the moon rise in Montana, and
the density of the dry Wyoming air. For me, it was a welcomed change. Like Colorado was waving hello, and I knew it wouldn’t be long.



We only had two days in Colorado before we hopped a plane to Mexico for an impromptu Thanksgiving with my family. (On October 12th!)
It was just enough time to find an apartment and lock it behind us.

 

What a blessing that we should once again find a reprieve from all the change; with only the shadow of love to fall underneath. It was one early morning on this trip that I stole away to simply sit and give thanks.

 


A few days later the reality of my  ‘best laid plans’ surfaced. Seraphim Fire had a wedding booked at the end of the month, which meant that I had four days to get the sand out of my  suitcase and pack for the next flight.

  

Sasha Gil, a beautiful and long ago friend from my days in New York, works in fashion and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Her fiance Wallace is from Greenville, South Carolina. For a chance to capture their southern wedding day, I would head East.

           
           

It was my first time visiting one of the Carolina’s, and turned into one of those magical trips that made me want to (despite all odds!) pick up and move again.
I suppose that is the curse of being malleable. Each place I have been, I have left a small but imaginative piece. One that can exist right there, and maybe never go any other place.


November: Coming home.

On the plane ride home, I imagined clicking my heels together slowly.

Like Dorothy would have.

I immediately pictured myself in Drew’s arms, and I thought of the dogs taking up my side of the bed.
I always thought of myself as a gypsy. Someone who flowered along the roadside. I realize now, that  my home is not defined  by which state line I land within, and it isn’t ‘my next big adventure’ either.

Now, when I picture the future, it always has just those few simple things.

And of course, my camera.

I wish you all the happiest of holiday’s, and I remind those that find themselves absent from my photographs to give me a call.
Because I celebrate life through the lens, you (come one, come all!) are always welcomed.

Please visit http://www.seraphimfire.com for contact information,
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Old friend, new love.

 

In the early fall of 2000 I left the small town of Littleton Colorado and moved north… to an even smaller town just shy of Wyoming. Greeley, Colorado is known for its cows.
But it also features the campus of the University of Northern Colorado, where I was slated to get my teaching degree.

Instead, I noticed how much I really loved the cast of the late afternoon sunshine and the way the corn would glow as it swayed. Little torches for the effort of a long day.
I spent most of my time in the darkroom. But in that first year I also met a group of girls that completely changed my life.
In truth we were all very different, but we flourished around each other, and while doing so we saw deeper within ourselves. I found out that I had a little catholic and a little hippie, A lot of music and some Betty Crocker too.
I took photography classes at night at a nearby community college because the teacher let me stay late, and eventually we became great friends.
(Thank you Dan Templeton, for being someone who saw something special in me.)

Fast forward to July 2011, where on the D.U. campus I would follow one of those very special women as she walked (no, strutted) down the aisle.
Elizabeth Houghteling, known as Sassy, is loaded with spirited grace. She is almost nymph like, and for this very special day she allowed her fresh and lengthy curls to fall around her shoulders.
Andrew, her groom, is calm with all eyes peeled and he thoughtfully attends to her every request. I noticed this trait three months earlier during the engagement shoot in their home.
His posture always alert, but with the aire of a deep breath. (Heh heh heh…)

   


I think It was actually Sassy, in the depth of our junior year, that stirred some of the first confidences that I had in my talent, and as a photographer.
“Wow, Regan. I have never seen myself this way,” she said. Without looking I could hear a smile as she went on. “I feel so beautiful.”
And that bloom is still on the rose, dear friend.


I want to officially congratulate the new couple, Elizabeth & Andrew Allender.
It was such a pleasure to be a part of your day…
To see the rest of Elizabeth & Andrew’s photos, please visit: http://pictage.com/1075859

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“Let’s stay together.”

There truly is no telling when inspiration will strike. For me, as July just started creeping in, it was on board a 220 heading back to Seattle. I can officially call it a trend now. Whenever I am flying, all those dormant thoughts and considerations are pulled to the top; demanding proper notice. And it is not conversation that I want. I long for clean lines on a page, or the familiar click of my keyboard. (Secretly, I wish it was more the clank and clutter of my typewriter. But TSA would have a field day with that.)

Heading west from Chicago Midway, I sat there in an aisle seat thinking about age and memory. I think that ageing is miraculous because it makes us all collectors of people and things that, thanks to our amazing cognitive skill, link themselves to memory. When I catch a glimpse of my tattoos (a moon and baker’s dozen of stars across my upper back) I always recall how I felt the day that I got them.  I felt brave and independent, but I had support all around me.
Like all the stars in the sky.

Most of you can relate to this, but if you still need proof, think of your senses. Your mother’s cooking, your grandfather’s aftershave, or the combination of the outdoors and a specific bottle of wine. The sight of the label makes you smile all alone in the grocery store, and even though the memories sometimes hurt, the power that we have as humans to transport ourselves back in time…
In that way, we are never really separated from anyone.
It is the greatest trick that I have ever learned.

As most of you know, I have been in the home stretch of a deployment with my soldier. Since very early March we have each learned the survival skills necessary to make it through months of rare and scattered conversations over very dodgy phone lines. The time difference is a fascinating 11.5 hours between here and Afghanistan, and obviously there were weeks that we could not match our schedules.

So, to survive the time and reconnect with myself, I planned a trip for the last half of the month of May. I had work waiting for me in Denver, and then I would continue east to Chicago and for the first time really take a look around. I have driven through the windy city twice before, but this would be my first official visit. While there, I would also have the pleasure of  watching a very dear friend of mine graduate from Rosalind Franklin Medical school of Chicago.
 

Lindsey Ann Long is a stunning woman of extreme intelligence. She has also been my best friend since 8th grade. Although small in frame, her warmth is consuming. And if you could weigh her heart it would read in quadruple digits. I love her more than chocolate. But mostly, I love the way that she can always some how help me see myself in a new way.
A kind and more forgiving way.

And then, while sitting in the Civic Opera house with ‘Pomp & Circumstance’ playing all around me, I allowed myself to pull apart the dense damn that had been blocking some very pushy emotions; holding them back for fear of drowning. I remembered the day that we met, (I wandered into the wrong gym class. A new girl in a new school, a couple hundred miles away from Texas.) The day we separated after high school because we had been accepted to separate colleges (to me it felt like the severing of skin), and now here we were all these years later and not a beat had been skipped. It got me thinking though. What is it about me that attaches so deeply? That feels so passionately locked into a moment? Inevitably, in this fast world, is it a weakness or a gift?

A few years ago I read a quote by Tom Robbins that said:
“I believe in nothing, everything is sacred. I believe in everything, nothing is sacred.”
I loved it. What a very clear call for balance.
(The funny part is, I had always remembered it as being “I love nothing, everything is sacred, I love everything, nothing is sacred.”)
See that’s the thing with memory. It is subjective and personal, and usually… wrong.

There are certain parts of ourselves however, that we simply cannot change. We cannot change our family or our skin. We cannot force ourselves to see farther than we do at one time, and we cannot against all effort, stop being who we are. We can say for a time that we are not that. We can even lie for so long that we believe it to be true, but in my opinion we share just as much nature as we do nurture. The key, I think, is to respect the fundamentals.
I am a lover. I love the earth and all it’s simple textiles.
I love music and travel, and when I am driving long distances I sometime imagine myself a tour bus.

I see now that my passion gives me power.
It lets me show a child what their parents looked like at their age. I have seen them, in that moment, transform. He see’s a completely new person in his father and in my imagination that change creates new pathways for the child. Hopefully, they will be courage’s enough to keep exploring. Because the truth is, our parent’s growth is tandem to our own and the lead is always changing. There is never a moment when they are not capable of surprising you.

A few days before my departure I sat with a girlfriend at the breakfast table, our plates nearly cleaned. I said that I loved getting older because no matter what, it meant improvement.
“Improvement for me means joy, and the word choice is important. Joy is different from happiness, which is actually pretty easy to achieve. If you have a good attitude and a little perspective, happiness is always there. It can lay low, of course, but if you just look around you’ll see it is blended into the scenery. Birds fly around with it, the sky sometimes let’s it fall, joy however is a little more difficult to spot. It is usually a gift, given when you didn’t know you needed some, and it has this familiar but far away smell. Like childhood. Joy is stronger and lasts for a shorter time.“
She laughed when I said all this, and gave me an adoring smile.
“Oh Rea, I just love you.”
And right there, joy joined us at the breakfast table.

Regardless of our age, we are all getting older, everyday. You can argue that as our bodies and minds are developing, that we are gaining, but we are losing too. Along with dexterity (and ah! elasticity) we are losing the ability to love openly.
We feel silly, or embarrassed by strong emotion. We just grow out of falling. I wonder if it is because we are so much further up?
   Boudoir
 

People usually confuse this tragedy with maturing. So we make fun of people who are uninhibited, and we think we know better about the way some one else should be living.  And the sort of lame thing about it is that some of us are right. Some people are frustratingly careless about their choices, and some strangers are rude for no reason. Some children do need more discipline and the younger generations will always be out of touch. Even though if you really stop and look, nothing ever really changes. (Good one big guy, good one…)
 

The problem is that our focus on those things only personifies them, and then the only thing getting drowned out is the light.  With out light (and love is that if nothing else) we are incapable of seeing where we are headed. It is a substance that can be directed anywhere you want it to go, allowing it to enhance things already present. When you really love someone you allow them the pleasure of being just what they are, and forgiving the naturally dark parts. You do this because you remember that you yourself have them. You  also know their story, their particular struggles and weaknesses, and with patience and understanding you just love them through it. Because you know that really is the only thing.

That’s what the Beatles meant, that is what God is made of (regardless of which one you believe in), and that is what I’m selling here.
Because there are not many living things out there that ever flourished in environments of darkness & containment.

I am setting up the camera now…
Everyone get together.

I am also happy to announce that my sweet heart finally made it home. I want to thank all our friends and family for their support during the deployment. We are blessed.

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Edify.

      

After a life long winter, when the sun finally breaks apart from an ocean of cloud cover to light up the sides of buildings, it makes art with their shadows; and we gleam.   

 Leaf, reflection, Seraphim fire photography, Washington State, Reganb.comTree, seraphim fire, Seattle, Museum of Rock, ShadowArts walk, Olympia, Washington, Seraphim Fire Photography, chalk, drawing, May 
I have always had this love affair with trees.
I am positive that a fair number of you know exactly what I mean. Trees always smell like that first few minutes of morning. Trees reach up, even when we can’t seem to. Trees make my heart sing.
But the trees in Washington are especially lovely. Maybe it is that sunlight helping us to notice them? Or maybe it is just the sheer number? Whatever it is, summer is making its way up and over the Sound, and boy am I ready.

arts walk Olympia 2011, April, Washington State, Seraphim Fire Photography

Something else begins to happen here in Olympia when flowers start to bloom, so does the city.
Every year, twice a year, everyone gathers for the Olympia Arts Walk.
The spring time version of this tradition also involves the ‘Procession of the Species’; a most spectacular spectacle of costume and design.
In waves of earth, air, fire, & water adults and children shimmy & shake past me, the shutter on my camera sounding like a drum roll.

I admit while winter held on tight here, trying so hard to stay, I thought: “How do people do it? How do they sustain with as little as one hour of sunshine a day?”
And then that glorious weekend, the way that everyone came alive, the cupcakes, the glee everywhere; such a shine!
I immediately understood. Anything that magical is worth waiting for.

Believe me folks, I  would know.

  

Unexpected Tenderness, Harlequin Productions, Israel Horovitz  In January I took a job with Harlequin Productions, a non-profit company responsible for 20 years of live theater in the downtown area.
It finds its home in the State Theater on 4th, a main vein that leads you up and around an inlet to the Puget sound. Sharing the view with the capitol building and a thriving local community very dedicated to keeping it that way.
In the last five months of working with them I have fallen in love with my co-workers and without even realizing it, they have helped me write my mission statement.
The production this month was powerful in an unexpected way. ‘Unexpected Tenderness’ written by Israel Horovitz, deals with the volatile relationships within a 1950’s family that is compounded by an overly jealous father. I was lucky enough to shoot the photography for this show, and witness not only the power of the performance, but to also see the input of Mr. Horovitz himself.
When properly done, theater can have an amazing ability. Spoken at any volume it will resonate and the echo, it stays.

 Unexpected Tenderness, Israel Horovitz 

It was only a few weeks later that I had the pleasure of shooting a big event with Provail. This company is truly amazing. A group of people dedicated to making opportunities more easily available to those with disabilities. They also remind us that we are all capable of giving something, even if it is just a little bit of our time. This particular afternoon was dedicated to golf, so a few hundred of us gathered at Sahalee Country Club and after 18 holes we all spent the evening eating, drinking and bidding on items in their silent and live auction. The kicker to this amazing day was the presence of Warren Miller, film maker and cinematographer of adventure sports.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Miller after the evening’s events. His attitude and presence was beyond inspiring, and I admit my ego swelled when he complimented my work.
Even after all these years of meeting exciting people, it is not usually what they say that affects me. It is their disposition, a lot of the time it is what their eyes say. But when it came to Mr. Miller, his words are what will always stick with me. He spoke of freedom mainly, commenting that he doesn’t believe in disability.
“We are all just searching for a way to express our freedom. Whether it is a deformity or simply age, we are all uncomfortable with the loss of independence.”
He urged all of us there to enjoy our liberties, and to respect them. Later that night when I said good bye to him and thanked him about a half a dozen times for all his hard work over the years, he hugged me.
I realized that in the four months that Drew has been gone, that is one of three times that I have been hugged.
  

wine, provail, seraphim fire photography  Provail golf Tournament

It’s hard to believe that after all of that, there could be anything more that would excel my happiness.
I have described these last few months accomplishments as delicious. And there really is no other word for it.
As a photographer, I love the power that I have to tell the story.
What I love most though, is reminding people how special they are. Showing a bride’s grace, or a child’s unique expression.
As usual it all comes down to love.
I have talked a lot about my ‘mission’, and eventually I have realized just how much my methods will change as I learn how to capture things in the best possible light.
That right there, that should be the mission for all of us, regardless of the profession. To find the strongest part, the best side, that little bit that makes us feel. How that is done all depends.

So this Sunday, despite a little bit of rain, my fabulous friends Bethany & Jesse Spear, made the trek to my home studio where I had the privilege of shooting my first maternity session in 6 months.
As you can see, the sun eventually showed itself, and in one lovely afternoon I had the opportunity to celebrate new life, the love of a fresh marriage, and friendship.
With my camera I reminded a new mother of a beauty all her own, and there sat Jesse, silently enthralled, ready to assist his partner at every turn (even if it was just to help her up).
  

    

It seems only natural that we should improve as we age. But in the inevitable glow of accomplishment we can forget that natural is not synonymous with simple.
Improvement is often difficult, and that difficulty can even hurt a little. I believe however, that the presence of that difficulty is crucial. It cultivates awareness.
Like glaciers, they carve through what already exists to make room for what will come next. In those moments of struggle, when pieces of you are being shifted around and you think that you can’t take much more,
remember that what fills that space next is completely up to you. Revel in all that possibility, and then dive in.

As usual, I want thank all of you for your continued support and presence here. Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments.
Seraphim Fire photography is now introducing hand made light boxes! These light boxes are  custom made and can feature an image from your own sitting! Call Regan Beisenherz @ 970.371.8282 for details.Also featured on Etsy!