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Sleeping In The Forest  //  by Mary Oliver
I thought the earth remembered me,
She took me back so tenderly
Arranging her skirts
Her pockets full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before
A stone on the riverbed,
Nothing between me and the white fire of the stars,
But my thoughts.
And they floated light as moths
Among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
Breathing around me.
The insects and the birds
Who do their work in darkness.
All night I rose and fell,
As if water, grappling with luminous doom.
By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times
Into something better.
For about a year now, we’ve adventured on early weekend mornings, in search of quiet beaches, all to ourselves.
The boys run, and carrying shells in their pockets.
Coffee in hand, we follow them the length of the beach, and back again.
And as the rising sun shortens our shadows, we head home.
Windows down, hands riding their warm salt air, sandy feet dangling from car seats behind us.
We began this tradition in hopes of leaving the Saturday morning cartoons behind.
And found the calm of our breath, and have begun to understand how our bodies depend on it.
// a bit about our group //
We as a group of artist mothers from all over the world are making it our priority to turn off the tv/video games so that we can give our children the sacred experience to connect with the fast disappearing natural world. We will freelens our adventures into the wild and share them through this monthly project.
To find out more about the beautiful art of freelensing, follow this link to Erin Hensley’s Freelensing Tutorial
This is a special Blog circle, full of incredible artists from all over the world. Please follow along through the whole loop to enjoy the wealth of talent. Next blog, a personal inspiration Sherri Davis
I so appreciate you taking the time to look through to the end. Please make sure to keep on to Sherri Davis’s Beautiful work
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A couple months into being five, and my oldest son is really trying to up his jumping game. But there’s a lot more to it than just that. So, let me tell you the story behind this story.  //  Make sure to skip onto the next blog and check out Andrea, of Little Story Studio‘s beautiful work. You can click on her name or right here:

In a month, I’ll be teaching the first round of my Storytelling Workshop, “The Visual Narrative,” with The Bloom Forum. One of my goal is to make videos of how I shoot in documentary situations around my house. That’s right, I’m following myself around with another camera, and recording myself as I attempt to both parent and photograph. It’s actually pretty fun, other than the part where I watch myself back on camera. ha! Anyway, last week, my son was jumping on our red couch, like any other given day. He jumps on this couch for hours some days. I know that one day I’ll have to have the whole couch rebuilt, but today, I let him jump.

The light in my house was nice on this late morning. It’s been raining here. A lot. We don’t usually get rain, but for the last few weeks it’s felt nonstop. I love that soft gentle light we get in the house on days like these. So, inspired by the everyday jumping of my son, and motivated to film clips of my shooting, I pulled out the video camera, set it up, hit record.  My son jumps from one end of the couch, and back again, over, and over, and over. Since my couch sits pretty far into my house, in can it can be pretty dark without the direct light of the rising sun or golden hour. We have a huge eight foot slider that faces due South, that sits behind the couch, and lets in a lot of light, but between the late morning time, and the cloudy, rainy day, there was just not enough light to work with back lighting. I knew I would need to sit right at the end of the couch, with the slider on my right, to get a nice indirect side light from the window, to add interest to my photos.

If you look closely, you’ll notice the I missed the focus on my son’s feet, although thankfully, he was close enough to the plane of focus to be seemingly sharp. I don’t mind the missed focus at all, and perhaps even prefer it. The missed focus gives a nice softness to an otherwise busy photo. I sat on the ground at the end of the couch, and originally he was just standing on the edge of the couch just in front of me. If you spot meter, you also know that this will also focus the camera on the same point. And so, as I checked my settings, while spot metering while he stood on the edge of the couch, I grabbed focus on his feet. True to my son’s personality, out of nowhere, he decided to leap into the air for a forward flip. All I could do was start shooting, and magically came up with this capture of his flip mid-air. Thankfully, I was already in a good place, at the right time, with my shutter set to “continuous” (a must when shooting fast moving kids), and I was paying attention.  Most of the time I spend a bit waiting for the action that will be worth hitting my shutter button for, but in this case no waiting was necessary. And so, with a some healthy reflexes, a little bit of preparation, and a lot of luck, I was able to capture an image I am in love with.

If you’d like to learn more of my process for storytelling, and learn from many more images like this, as well as receive feedback on your own images, I’d love for you to join me in my WORKSHOP, beginning February 27th, with the Bloom Forum (



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This last April, I ventured on my own to the Bloom Forum’s SEE Palm Springs Workshop with the incomparable Summer Murdock.


It’s the only word I want to use to describe my time there. It was everything my soul needed and more.

On a extremely cold evening (yes, it gets cold in the desert. It even snows there sometimes), we found ourselves in Joshua tree. We each had ten minutes to shoot with two different families. That’s hard, right? Ten minutes with a family you have never met before.  But, as scary and intimidating it felt at the time.  I walked away with the affirmation, that we truly don’t know what we are capable of, until we are given that small nudge, or big shove, into a situation that really challenges us.

I have to say I am very proud of the images I created in that short amount of time.

Very proud indeed.

Did I mention how magical the desert is?! Gah! I LOVE IT!!  Who wants to go back with me for some family photos?!





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  • June 18, 2016 - 6:03 pm

    Brandi Corriveau - Gorgeous session Kelly! Totally jealous. It would be amazing to learn from Summer Murdock.ReplyCancel

This is my sister, and her family.  They are my favorite family.  I get to call them “The Pretty People,” because that’s exactly what they are…beautiful in soul, and gosh darn pretty to look at, too.

Every year they get stuck with me to take their pictures (one of the many obligations of having a photographer IN the family 🙂 ) And, every year we pick somewhere different, from the last, for their family session.

This year, that special place was El Matador Beach, in Malibu.

It was one of those perfect California Fall beach days—overcast, but still warm, and ending in a gorgeous sunset.

All of these images are them, as they are. No posing necessary, although I did gather them for a quick smile at the camera, and in true form, the kids had a different idea. Those are the ideas I like the best.  kids being kids, and parents not worrying about it one bit.

Here are my favorites.  Many, many favorites.

Too. Many. Favorites.


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  • June 3, 2015 - 12:22 am

    Frances Hood - I just love getting to know your family with all the photo’s, it is great.ReplyCancel

The last six months have been an absolute blur. I’ve been working so very hard to get this website together, I haven’t blogged anything, since July.  I’ve become a photo hoarder. A memory keeper, and I know I just need to start somewhere. So what better place than with a new favorite image. Just one image to sum up how I currently feel… busy, but happy.

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