iceland trip

We went to Iceland in October of 2015. Lots of these photos haven't seen the light of day yet. And WOW do they deserve to be seen. Iceland was the most magical place I have ever been and I hope you can feel some of that magic while looking through these! 

daadaoui family

Nicole (of Shop Bisby) and Mohamed welcomed me so warmly into their home and Nicole said "Hi!" while immediately handing over sweet Malik. I was thinking yes, this is my dream client- someone that trusts me to hold their baby before I photograph them, someone that knows how badly I want to hold cute babies before I get to work. I like to get to know my models. ;)
Their beautiful home was the best backdrop, with their moroccan inspired style and incredible textures. Their love as a little family unit was so breathtaking and just fun to watch. Malik, of course, stole the show. I mean, come on. His hair and big dark eyes, and that gummy smile oh my goodness. 

Family story sessions include photos and videos, so I get to capture those sweet giggles real time. Don't miss the Daadaoui's family film below!

august newborn home session

This simple, natural home session to celebrate the newness of August is so so cozy. I love the textures and the sweet expressions we captured. This type of session is so easy on baby because we went at his pace, took a snack break in the middle and really kept him comfortable. 

bryn & kolby

I reached out to Bryn & Kolby because I knew from seeing them around town how in love they were. So I knew they would be easy to shoot! And I needed a pretty session to get me through the winter slump. This did the trick for sure. We shot in the Kendall Whittier district and kept it super casual. I love this set because of all of the giggling and their unique personalities!

natalie maternity session

Natalie has been through so much this year and her sweet strength through it all is awe-inspiring. If you would like to read her story here's a link to her blog.  

It was so freezing during this session and she was such a trooper about it, I can't believe she doesn't even look cold in any of these! The goal was natural photos showing off her last trimester with little Holden. I love how important capturing this season is. Soon I will be posting photos of his sweet face and I can't wait. 

prairie letter shop brand film

Brand films are something I'm passionate about. It's like telling a love story between a person and their craft. They are the kind of story I'm inspired to tell. I love to get to the 'why' behind someone's work and show that facet back to them and to their clients. I think there is so much value in putting your heart out there and I love creating artistic visuals as a way to do that.

"Especially when you have an online business, visuals are the primary method for building trust with your clients. Social media and blog images are helpful, but the online world has become so saturated with photos that video is a necessary way to set your brand apart. When your audience can not only see your craft in action but also hear your voice, they begin to feel like they know you. Words can only convey so much. The attention span of the average consumer is short. Video helps grab the attention of those you want to get to know and gives you the floor. It's an extremely powerful tool for sharing the heart and mission of your business--one that simply cannot be matched by other media." -Alex Estes, Prairie Letter Shop

Here's a glimpse into the heart of Alex's hand lettering business. You already know lots of this if you have ever worked with her. Her sweet nature and amazing talent shines through and makes everyone who works with her feel SO lucky to be working with her.

kayla & quin

These two just melt me. They are so happy together and there's just something so tender about this set of photos for me. They let me come in and shoot them doing lots of 'boring' things one morning early this year. They were actually my first session of 2017! What a great way to set the tone of my work this year- humble and joyful and tender. 

lamb family

"We contacted Molly in an effort to capture the innocence and the simplicity and the joy of being 3 years old and 6 years old. We didn't want to chance forgetting the everyday moments that make life with our boys so special. Her work magically transformed the ordinary into extraordinary. We are so thankful she shared her talents with us!" -Kendall Lamb

These sweet boys were SO fun. They gave so much life to this session, you can see their personalities and their joy just beaming out of them. 
And I love that their parents wanted to get just a genuine glimpse at their days. It allows me to do what I truly love. And capture cute concentration faces and reaction-to-icing faces. 

somehow cleansed by the ashes

December 9th, 2016 we came home to a bunch of flashing lights and firemen in our house. An electrical fire had taken most everything we owned from us while we were out with friends. Shock is a funny thing, everything that night is a blur but certain things stand out. My husband burying his beloved pet. The way the heap of rubble (our charred belongings and art and keepsakes) in our backyard steamed. A fireman telling us "Happiness isn't in the things. It's in the love you guys have. BOOM." and making us giggle. Lots of hugs. Realizing that I lost everything I had ever created in one fell unexpected swoop. How cold it was. Saying "I am so glad you're okay" to each other a hundred, maybe a thousand, times. Shock at finding my camera bag and it was okay, like WHAT. The way our people truly showed up for us. That stomach-drop feeling over the next few weeks as we realized forgotten things that we lost. This process has been heartbreaking and heart warming all at once. Which is overwhelming at best. And oh, so humbling. 

I learned what matters to me so fast. My husband. A few books, our artwork, our blankets and things that were handmade for us. My letters and our travel photos. Now I know, like truly know, what matters to me. What to hold on to. What a crazy way to learn about letting go of things.

In that weekend alone, in two days, we were shown more support and love than I think either of us can comprehend (STILL). Our GoFundMe reached fulfillment and then DOUBLED and I am still more in shock about that than I am about the house fire. People we have never met just donating their money to us. Friends and strangers gifting us artwork to restart our collection. Sweet unfamiliar faces with bags of clothing. The way that people had our backs and really felt our pain is something I will be processing and learning how to pay forward for years. And lots of them were strangers- the most gracious, kind strangers. I feel so inspired to be the type of people we have been shown. I want to be a gracious stranger.

I do know this- my house was one way that I took care of people. I wanted them to come in and feel loved and warm and taken care of.  And I know that all of these people giving us all of these things and support is just to replenish us. To replenish our taking-care-of abilities. I cannot wait to love on everyone who steps through our new door. And everyone I hear of that needs support.

I'm not posting this to make you feel bad for us, or to gather any more "I'm sorry"s. I'm posting this because I have to acknowledge it to move on from it. I am ready to post the new work I am making for 2017 and I felt weird doing that without acknowledging this absolutely life-changing and work-changing thing. I am so ready to move forward. This has been the most twisted, heartbreaking, insightful, beautiful gift.

"The best is yet to come." Out of all of my hundreds of greeting cards, this is the one that shows its face in the rubble. I choose to believe it. 

fowlers

This family means so so much to me. They are some of our best friends and now neighbors! I've been documenting their family since the beginning of Goldie's life. Most often, I film them. But this time I got to photograph them and I loved every minute of it! 

Goldie's personality has been so bright since the beginning and watching her grow up is one of the top highlights of my life so far. And watching your best friends become parents is just the sweetest thing. It makes you swell right up. I am so proud to call them my people. 

valerie & evan

I LOVE THIS SESSION. I love these two and their magical house and their sweet love. 

My eagerness to post these is such a good feeling. Making something that feels so authentic and happy is so rejuvenating.
It super helps that Val & Evan are some of our closest friends. We have a bimonthly dinner that leaves us all with headaches from laughing so hard. The best kind of gathering ends that way.  Shooting close friends actually allowed me to get even more intimate interactions because their comfort with me was already established. So we started the session with creativity and trust flowing freely. And that's where the magic happens. At this intersection of creativity and trust, that's where the genuine joy and authenticity comes out to play. 

leah & oli

Little explorer Oli. Wandering with him and his momma was just what my spirit needed. They have such a calm, curious, kind way about them. I love watching Leah mother Oli with such a playful tenderness. And I love watching Oli take in the world and seeing it through his little eyes for a minute.

ty 6 months

The Shipley's are always fun to photograph! They have so much fun with their son and it conveys in photographs beautifully. I love it when they can't take their eyes off of each other and their baby! So much good work is made with clients like that. 
And prepare for the. cutest. thing. Terrie told me that Ty loves bubble baths so of course we had to work that into their session! I will say it over and over again, I LOVE photographing real life things.  Enjoy this sweetness. 

mica & myla

"We are made up of tiny little pieces and we have to take care of all of them." -Myla

There's something a bit magical about Mica & Myla. They have garnered plenty of attention for their work so I will let that speak for itself (See it here!), but their connection and the way they work together is so moving. I feel so honored to have been able to capture a small slice of the sweetness of their ongoing collaboration. Myla's imagination is so so incredible and Mica's way of nurturing that is amazing. If you flip through their sketchbook with them, they have so many stories and silly backgrounds. SO whimsical.  

Take a moment out of your day to browse around their Instagram if you really want to be inspired. I have browsed through the #stuffmylasays many many times and it just always leaves me in awe.  

mary

Curiousity and playfulness seem to be reoccuring themes in all of my favorite sessions this season.

I love letting littles be themselves. Watching and capturing the way they take in the world around them is so much more priceless than them posing perfectly.   Mary loved running, checking out different leaves and climbing on rocks. I loved her little curls and the way she lights up when she hugs her parents. 

eleanor is one

One of my favorite everyday things to shoot is snacking. Toddlers eating is so so silly and cute. And I promise you will enjoy looking back on it when they eat like normal humans. ;)

I've been photographing E since before she was born! One of the best things about my job is watching littles grow. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a small part of so many magical first years of life. The change and personality that happens in a short year leaves me in awe. What a lovely job I have. 

nicole + family

A gorgeous family in a gorgeous location?! Yes please! 
I love that Nicole and her kids came up with shooting at the lake. It's somewhere that means something to them in this season of life. Plus I love shooting in different places. 
Enjoy these giggly goofy kiddos and their momma. I know I did!

gratitude

I realize it's cliche to talk about gratitude on thanksgiving. I am a firm beliver that you should work on making your heart and soul thankful every day, month, and season. It's not just something that should be acknowledged or practiced because there's a holiday telling you to. It's foundational to a joyful, wholesome life.  But since it is Thanksgiving, I felt what better time than to express how throughly grateful I am to everything and everyone. 

"Gratitude is a magnetic energy that draws people to us." -Anne Lamott

I think gratitude is a practice. You have to train your human tendencies, it takes a lot of grace. I'm not saying I'm amazing at it, but I do know the importance of it. Being grateful is an anecdote to anxiety, self importance, emotional imbalance, and so many other things. Of course I am only speaking from my own experience. This is just my practice. I'm publicly sharing how important you are to me if you're here. 

To my clients, the biggest thank you. Your investment into my passion and purpose is so so incredible to me. I am throughly, deeply, passionately grateful for each and every one of you. 

To my peers, THANK YOU. The guidance, understanding and encouragement I have received from you all is immeasurably soul-warming. I have this warm nest of creatives that will lift me up while also being honest with me. What else do you need?!

To the mysterious magic that are Inspiration and Creativity, thank you. (And thank you to Elizabeth Gilbert for giving us a way to talk about this magic.)

To my family, thank you. For believing in me and supporting me always, in all ways. 

shawn + katelynn

I've known these two since high school, so capturing their wedding day was effortless and personal. I love the modern vibe that the art gallery provided. Katelynn said " It was a really heartwarming feeling to see so many of our friends and family come together to make our wedding day perfect. It was at an art gallery that I've shown at, and we have spent endless hours installing my work there. I loved the days leading up to the wedding having everyone sleeping at our house, going to one of our usual restaurants for dinner and drinks on the patio, anxiously getting things ready the day of... it was wonderful and I wouldn't have had it any other way."

Their ceremony was so authentic and true to their characters that I had to shoot through tears.  Here's some snippets of their vows, just to share some feels.

"Shawn, every day with you is like getting a hug and a high five. You're my best friend, my biggest fan, my rock, and my heart. I promise to support you as you have supported me, to allow us to grow independently while weaving ourselves together. I promise to love you unconditionally, as you have loved me."

"Katelynn, you are truly the perfect partner for me to spend my life with, you are the reason that I strive to improve myself daily, be it on a personal level or on a professional level, you have helped me become a better, stronger, and more ambitious person and I am incredibly thankful that you have chosen me as the person you will spend the rest of your life with. I promise to do all that I can to ensure that I see you smile every day, whether we be together or apart."

palmer family

"Molly's kind, easy presence made us feel comfortable, allowing her to capture a very ordinary Saturday morning for our family. I love that we have beautiful documentation of Caroline's extreme love of puffy tacos." -Ashley Palmer

The Palmer's little family tradition is to go to the farmer's market every Saturday to have tacos and dance to local music. And WOW wait until you see how much Caroline likes those tacos. I love how the Palmer's answered my question "what do you do as a family?" with such a fun tradition. I truly think it makes all the difference.
I absolutely loved capturing the Palmers in their natural routine. It's so authentic and makes these photos just that much more valueable.

Plus, Caroline is just a little doll baby in the most literal definition of that phrase. Just look at the sweetness that shines through.