Friday, August 29

hope and release*

em, canon digital rebel xti

This week I've been bitten by the sore throat, achy body bug and have had no choice but to slow down and rest. I've been quite busy preparing for Squam and tying up loose ends so that when I leave on the 9th for the trip, I can take a deep breath and be able to completely absorb what is transpiring around me by the lake.

I tend to have guilt surrounding the idea of me resting during the day. When I woke up this morning with a throat that burned so badly that I couldn't swallow, I let go of that guilt. Boho Boy made me an icy chocolate banana egg white protein shake before he left for work and now I lay here in bed while the icy drink sooths the burn.

This quiet time the last few days has been what I have needed to ponder some feelings that are surfacing about my journey. A beautiful soul guided me to the book Spirit Babiesand I've really enjoyed reading about the clairvoyant gift this author was born with. It always seems when I begin to feel depleted and confused, that some sort of clarity comes into my life and hope is offered to me.

I needed this hope.

So, today I am going to read through the book, rest, take naps, listen to a podcast by the author, create new playlists...all from my cushiony bed. Since Squam is around the corner, I truly want to feel 100% and this means resisting all the active things I am tempted to do today.

This photo of Emily above emulates the hope and release I feel in my heart today.

Tuesday, August 26

boho girl vlog {2}

new dark hair, canon digital rebel xti

click once to play

A sweet friend of mine blessed me today with much darker hair. She is an artist with color and I love to watch her work and get in the zone. Another stylist walked up to us to watch and she was 7 months pregnant. I asked if I could touch her belly and she lifted up her shirt for a skin on skin contact. I swooned over her stretched tattoo. When she walked away, my friend stroked my shoulders and said "you are so strong..." and I got all weepy.

I did feel strong today.

Then I came home to a soft wind blowing from our veranda. A wind that smelled like coconut and flowers. I wanted to share it with you. In the background, you can hear children playing in the water. This next weekend Boho Boy and I are going to plant a lot more flowers and hang prayer flags out there. I'll be sure to show you.

My recorded footsteps are inspired by my soul sister love...Jen Gray.

I MUST invest in a real video camera soon so my vlogs will be much clearer for you.

dear blog reader kerilyn...i am unable to respond to your message inquiring about photographers in your area because the email address you sent to me through my photography website is not working. please send me the correct email so i can get that info to you. thanks so much!

Monday, August 25

Ordinary Sparkling Moments*

"Ordinary Sparkling Moments", limited hardcover edition by Christine Mason Miller

The other day I received a package in the mail that I've anticipated for months. My dear friend has poured her entire heart and soul into this book and to have it in my hands felt like a precious treasure. This was the first time in my life when I have been really close to someone that has gone through this entire process from beginning to end. Learning all of the many steps needed to accomplish this gave me a whole new appreciation for this vulnerable, yet empowering path an author takes.

Each day since I received Swirly's book, I've carefully read a few pages at a time. Each page is an art piece in and of itself and I soak up every morsel. My heart swells with pride and awe of how she has been so absolutely raw...wide open...for the world to see. I told her that lives will change the moment they begin to read her story...and I have learned from others that have read through these pages that it is indeed true.

This book came into my life at the most perfect time. One of the first things I read...

"I am finding myself once again.
She is waiting with open arms."

The image of this inspires huge spilling tears each time I imagine my true self, waiting to embrace me, as I take baby steps closer and closer towards her.

If you are in need of inspiration that feels so in reach...know that it is here, in the pages of my beautiful friend's life book.

edited to add: for those of you inquiring on where to get a copy, she is selling them on her website, as well as in her Etsy shop.

Friday, August 22

boho girl vlog {1}

(click to play)

Until I get a proper video camera, the one on my new cell phone will have to do. ;) Forgive the blurry pixel-y style.

A lot of my friends have been encouraging me to vlog (video blogging) but I always shied away because I am super nervous in front of cameras. Ironic being that I am a photographer. I am so much more comfy behind the lens. So...this is me stepping out of my comfort zone in a big way!

The more I play, the more at ease I will feel. The video camera on my phone only records small increments at a time...but less is more, right?

Relax into yourselves this weekend.

Thursday, August 21

Wrap Up Africa*

Rita (program administrator) & Letha (Founder) in Uganda, photo by Tilly Temperly

I've known my dear friend Letha since 5th grade. When I look back on our colorful history together as friends, I am filled with warmth and pride. We stayed ever so close through Madonna, florescent socks, first kisses, bi-level haircuts, break-ups, broken hearts, moves across the country and the list goes on.

She was a friend in my life that always inspired me to seek within for what I am passionate about. She encouraged me in my quest to remain unique in the choices for my life. At a very young age she was sharing with me how she wanted to somehow make a difference in the world. A huge difference. At that time she wondered if it was working in marine biology. I remember her talking to me about this in her room covered in paintings she had done of dolphins and mermaids and sea life. There was always such a power in her step and her goals...like you had absolutely no doubt she would arrive wherever she dreamed.

She married a very gifted doctor and although at times it felt like his career is what steered their lives, where they lived, how long they stayed...she somehow made those experiences about her dreams as well. She finished art school and her paintings hung in galleries and coffee shops with a long list of commissions. When they had to move back to Seattle, she started her own business selling her clothing designs. As soon as that started picking up, they received the news that they would be moving to Africa. This was a huge dream for her husband who studied international medicine and wanted to be part of discovering a cure for malaria.

The idea of moving to Africa blew her away. She didn't want to just be there as a wife, supporting only his dream, although she was so very supportive of it. She wanted to make a difference in her way, with her gifts and this was her opportunity to figure out a way to save lives along side her husband but with a creative twist.

I write this with tears in my eyes when I see how very hard she has worked this last year. My dear friend Letha amazes me to no end. She has a huge, sensitive heart and seeing so many patients that she has grown to love pass away over and over has taken its toll. It has made her quest to help save lives even greater. Rather than feeling overwhelmed and helpless, she has channeled that energy into creating change.

She founded Wrap Up Africa which is an organization that helps provide jobs through local partnerships where the profits will be funneled back to community support programs through non-profit partners. Wrap Up Africa collaborates with the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala, Uganda to help with the growing and often unrecognized needs of the patients.

Letha has designed wrap skirts to fit any body type. She then trains local Ugandans (many of them are parents of cancer patients) to sew the skirts...providing them with a job that not only helps their family live a little more comfortably but helps care for their dear child who has cancer (see photos of this here). She gets so much joy out of seeing these parents feel as though they have a sense of purpose now because sitting around and waiting was just too painful.

Wrap Up Africa also supports education, nutrition, therapeutic art and play and other basic needs of the patients.

If you want to help support her cause, do check out her Etsy shop...knowing that if you purchase a skirt, you are helping to save lives. So powerful. So real. So important.

I feel so blessed that she chose Boho Boy and I to do the website design. It provided us with a close-up to all that is unfolding over there because until then, it all felt so far away.

I want to go back in time to that moment when we were curled up on her bed in high school and she was passionately declaring her dream to help save the world. I want to go back there and hug her tightly, gently grab her face and say, "you did it honey...you did it."

As challenging as it is to live in Uganda, she has fallen in love with the people and landscapes. Her son has adjusted to the local school and her husband is where he has always felt he belonged.

I'm so proud to be her friend.

Tuesday, August 19


charlie (photo session), canon digital rebel xti

I had a dream last night that I was sitting on a velvet couch at a cafe. My mind was interlaced with the book I was reading and the table in front of me to the left. There was a male psychic giving a reading to a woman. He had long gray hair and a peppered beard. I thought I remember him wearing a cloak.

My head was down and I heard him say in my direction;
"Excuse me, ma'am..." in an authoritative voice.

I looked up at him and he was pointing at me with white gloves on. He asked;
"How old are you?"

I answered;
and simultaneously, he answered his own question with "37".

"Well, not really", I replied..."I'll be 37 in a few weeks."

He then said;
"You're going to have a baby."

I felt my eyes get larger and my mouth slightly open. The woman he was giving the reading to jerked her head my way with a huge smile. But he didn't smile. He had such a serious look on his face, almost exasperated, like he knew that he would have to convince me.

He continued;
"You'll need to take care of that round belly of yours and make sure to keep it in there for 9 or 10 months."

Then he turned around and went about the reading with this woman. I sat there stunned. How could this man even know my story? Something deep inside me didn't question this gift. I knew I needed this reassurance so badly. I knew I needed it now in particular, as I have been feeling myself slip into sorrow and impatience.

As I gathered my things and brushed crumbs off of my skirt, I walked over to their table and put my hand on his shoulder. Tears welled up in my eyes and I felt like if I didn't say what I wanted to say in a quick fashion, I would have fell to my knees with weepy gratitude.

"You have no idea how much I needed to hear this...thank you."

I saw a kindness fill up in his eyes that slightly washed away the abrasiveness I first felt from him. As I walked away, I heard his last words trail after me...

"This child is going to be very special, you know."

And I walked away knowing. Knowing that this must be the reason why our baby is taking so long to get here. There must be a specific purpose to their life.

I know this was a dream but rarely do I remember my wild dreams each night with such detail. I still can see this mans face so clearly. I still can feel the myriad of emotions I felt while sitting on that velvet couch. And I still believe what I felt walking out of that coffee shop. The reassurance from his words didn't fade away as I opened my eyes to stare at the indigo walls in our bedroom this morning.

Sunday, August 17

the language of surfers...

logan (photo session), canon digital rebel xti

Boho Boy and I just returned from a few days away in nature to celebrate our anniversary. It wasn't far away. In fact, just about 30 minutes north of us...but we imagined we were thousands of miles away on an island resort near the sea. We both have pretty huge imaginations, so it wasn't hard to dream up and believe. We tried not to remember that our computers and our work were just a few exits down the highway.

Both him and I talk so much about wanting to live somewhere else. Somewhere cooler and less expensive so we can actually buy a house with a yard. Somewhere more cultural and funky and artsy and well, different. Because we spend so much time dreaming of this place, we don't take enough time to appreciate where we are, in the present moment. Its always during times when we step away from our everyday life that we realize we live in a spot where thousands tourists come from across the world for their vacations. Our beaches are sublime. Our waves a m a z i n g. Our weather pretty much perfect. Whenever we spend time at the beach, we look at one another and say "we live here...". For some reason during this time away, it hit us a little harder that we need to appreciate the parts of our hometown that are indeed unique and magical and spiritual.

As much as I have loved the ocean and being near it all of my life, I also fear it in a big way. Being submersed in salty water with sea creatures and powerful currents crashing over me can cause a bit of anxiety and at times has kept me watching from the sand. Lately, I have been a bit more daring like I was when I was younger and have played in the waves. We went out a few times over the past few days and there is such a magical energy force that permeates my being when diving underneath a large wave. It makes me both laugh out of joy and cry out of fear. It's such a rush. I realize I am beginning to speak the language of surfers but in a sense, I am resonating with them a bit more each time I go out. I so get it. I get why it consumes them and why they would get up at the crack of dawn...even during the wintry weather.

So, a lot of inspirations came to me while in the water but one was a bit random and odd that I just can't seem to get out of my head. I envisioned this cool vintage looking sign to hang in my kitchen with the word "Recycling" on it. We need to put a sign above our recycling bin because people tend to think it is our garbage when they come over. I am wondering if any of you creative betties are into making painted signs or know of someone who does that would custom design one for me? I wish I had time to make one myself but I also love to support other independent artists out in our world. I love the worn out shabby chic look (but not overboard). Totally random, I know...but if you can think of something or someone, please let me know in the comments. Thanks so much!

Thursday, August 14

Four Years*

our wedding day, photo by robin nations

Happy Anniversary, my love.

Last night, as our home filled up with the smell of incense, I looked down at you from the loft above. I saw you sitting on the couch, with the beautiful curls from your hair sticking out behind your ears because you're growing your hair out. You were talking on the phone with your best friend and I smiled hearing your Canadian accent come through. Always happens when you talk with him and hear his. The kitties were curled up near you. You were laughing and glowing. My heart just totally swooned like a school girl peeking at her crush around the corner. I love that four years later...I still feel so in love with you. In that moment, I felt truly, truly happy to the core.

Thank you for marrying me by the sea four years ago today. I'm a lucky girl.

Tuesday, August 12

in the quiet...

em falconbridge, canon digital rebel xti

I've found myself in a quiet space lately. Not just me really, both boho boy and I have been silently mindful, working together in our studio upstairs, both on separate projects but still feeling each others presence close. We have a lot on our minds and simultaneously have a lot of work to do. Its a blessing to have no choice but to get to a place of balance so that we are able to provide our clients with a beautiful piece of art...despite the inner turmoil we may be feeling. Feeling grateful for abundance with work definitely shifts perspective.

This past month we both felt some impatient feelings surface about our fertility journey. The longing is getting stronger, as the hope gets wider. Our bodies feel fertile and ready and it has been taking quite a bit of energy to not look back and allow the fear of new things failing to creep up on us. We're at a place where we are discussing other options...every single possible kind of option and asking one another, "what do you feel deep in your heart about this? what is your gut?" These are questions that sometimes we can answer right away and sometimes we have to ask for time. We've never been one to rush into any decisions. Our slow and mindful way of going about this journey from the inside out would probably annoy many people but we are fortunate that the lovelies in our life get it and support us.

Its another lesson for us in tapping into our inner wisdom...that voice that sounds so sure and strong and powerful. Its so easy for us to hear of another couple's story and what worked for them and to feel that might be the answer for us too but we have to be reminded...no two stories are a like and that we have our own precious story unfolding before us. There is not one way, one treatment, one option that is right for everyone and through learning this, we have gained an awareness of our inner voice and trusting that guidance.

Its beautiful, really...how much we've endured and how much closer we have become. That when one of us feels like we're going to lose it, the other one takes the reigns and keeps us moving.

I've been feeling really close to this little spirit floating around me. I dream about it and wake up wondering where my baby is because it feels so real. I know that this is what has made the last few months tougher. Just knowing it is all so close. This is the biggest lesson in patience that I have ever had and perhaps will ever have in my life.

I know some day it will all make sense. I will kneel down to my child and have that conversation expressing gratefulness for them coming into our life when they did. I'll know that the timing was absolutely perfect and that they waited for good reason. Today, I can already look back and see all the amazing opportunities that have come into my life that otherwise may not have had I had a child a few years ago. I just need to be reminded to trust that process when the ache gets so big that I want to carry around a soft cushiony pillow against my chest to soften the blow.

Being "in the quiet" lately...up here in the studio with boho boy...has helped me to turn the panic around and move through this more gracefully and thoughtfully. I never feel alone in this. Whether it be with him or with my dear tribe...all that embody the patience of saints. I never feel alone.

I just ask that as these days are getting more tender, that you all keep us in your thoughts and prayers and to help us focus on the positive and to keep those affirmations coming. So many of you have an energy about you that reminds me how fertile I am in all areas of my life. Thank you for that.

Monday, August 11

client cards and things*

announcement front (left) and back (right)
~ click for larger view

I'm having way too much fun with these! I'm wanting to provide my clients with an option to have cards, announcements, invitations, etc...designed by me for special occasions (or just because they need stationary).

This one above I worked on this weekend and I'm still working on other styles for them. There's something so restoring about putting earphones on at the computer and listening to some groovy tunes while feeling inspired to create.

I've been in a bit of a funk lately and this has been my ticket out of funkland. This and the Olympics. ; )

More soon.

Friday, August 8

The Twins*

charlie & logan, canon digital rebel xti (click for larger view)

Do you remember these guys? I had the privilege of photographing them again to document their 2 year birthday. These cute little dudes are miracle babies, born from an amazing couple that was on a fertility journey very similar to ours.

I wondered how I would feel being around them as I had freshly just come to grips that yet another month had gone by without conception. I never know how I will feel around babies at such a tender time. I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't at all triggered but was totally preoccupied with running around and trying to keep up with them on the beach. This photo above was taken at the end of the session, when they were pooped and finally stood still (waving at their momma who was jumping up and down and making goofy noises...bless her).

Being with two miracles gave me hope that I needed. Sometimes I need that reminder more than others. Last night was one of those times.

I drove away from the session with my windows rolled down, no music...and just allowing the wind to create that soothing space for me. I felt exhausted from running around and scooping them up as the waves almost crashed over their tiny bodies. I was comforted by the fact that I could shut off my mind for a few hours and dive into the art making I do with my lens. Not to mention that the energy of the ocean never fails to heal a heart that feels a bit broken.

My friend Emily let me borrow her fabulous chair for this shoot. Now I am on a hunt to find one at a second hand shop that I can use in photo shoots and that my kitties can curl up in. So fun!!! Speaking of Emily...check out the new gorgeous paintings in her shop. I am commissioning her to do a HUGE one for my home. She is also the one that designs those gorgeous camera straps. I have a red Asian print one that I love.

Wednesday, August 6

message to those inner gremlins...

self portrait, canon digital rebel xti

I am enough.

Monday, August 4

to my tribe...

thea coughlin, canon digital rebel xti

thank you for allowing me the space to spill my tears,
even when i try to hold back.

thank you for shouting to the sky for me,
when i don't have the energy to.

thank you for never questioning my love for you,
when i need to pull back and be quiet.

thank you for saying its my turn to be pregnant,
when i discovered 7 acquaintances were pregnant in one week.

thank you for suggesting i tear off my clothes and go to the ocean,
because you knew the salt water would heal the wounds.

thank you for reminding me how wonderful Nia feels,
when i felt too tired to move.

thank you for saying i am not delicate during this time of the month,
but that i just need to reserve my energies. that felt empowering.

thank you for the special ways each of you nurture.
it feels like a soothing balm of pure white softness.

Sunday, August 3

and the Gratitude Giftie goes to...

boho boy drawing a name & me holding the winner (click for larger view)


So, my dear Nashay (we heart your name)...do browse around my shop and let me know which 8 x 10 print you crave most and then email me at denise@bohophoto.com with your mailing address.

And to all the ones who entered...I just wanted to say how very moved to tears I was by those of you who shared your thoughts and feelings on my journey and art. In fact, when I took some time on Sunday to put my earphones on, listen to Amy Seeley and write out each of your names, I set aside some precious time to read your words again. A huge part of me wanted to choose the person by their heartfelt sharings but I had to trust that the one we chose in the hat was meant to receive this gift. I wish I could give something to all of you. Especially those of you who spilled your heart into the comments. You gave me such a gift that I was not expecting. Thank you.

It was fun to play this with Boho Boy. I swished the hat around for a while and blew some kisses into the hat, then set it down and he chose the name. I might do this twice a year!

Again...thank you for being here with me on this journey and for your support. It breathes strength and inspiration into my days.

Tonight Boho Boy and I watched the sun go down while we were in the ocean, jumping in and out of waves and holding onto one another. There is nothing like the healing energy of the sea. Now I lay my head down to sleep with that wonderfully exhausted feeling one feels after spending time being tossed by the sea.