ansley emer | a birth story

There are very few things as incredible as witnessing a birth. This is without a doubt my favorite thing to photograph—to document a human being entering this world leaves me speechless and in tears every single time. And this one is especially close to my heart because this is the birth of my best friend's youngest child. Sondra is my soul sister in motherhood; our families are growing up side by side. I was so grateful to be able to capture this amazing day for her as she met her sweet Ansley for the first time.

 

Now this little one is already 7 months old! (at least I'm getting these blogged before her first birthday, no?)

drea & family

Last year, I had the opportunity to shoot with a super sweet and talented local blogger, Drea, on several occasions. Her gorgeous (gorgeous!) home has been featured on Design Sponge and Glitter Guide, and I had the honor of photographing it on both occasions. I also did some work for her upcoming cookbook, which is now available for preorder (more info at bottom of post!), and she and Marlowe are part of my motherhood project. I've shown one of her home tours here before, but this is closer to my heart (and hers): her family, at home just being together. Is there anything sweeter? 

Drea's amazing plant-based cookbook, A Family Feast, is set for release on October 20th! I've tried several dishes from it (because after shooting you have to eat the food right?!), and I'm telling you- yum!


That photo on the cover was shot by yours truly, and I simply cannot wait to see it in print!

You can preorder it from amazon, barnes and noble, indie bound, powells, books a million, or workman.

begin again.

The inner life of an artist is constantly in flux. There is never a feeling of having arrived—rarely even a feeling of satisfaction. It is a constant journey, ever moving forward to the next thing and not always knowing what that might be. There are times when the journey must be more private and introspective, and it's difficult to put anything out into the world. And I've learned to be ok with it. To pay attention to what I need wherever I am in the journey. To allow old things to pass and to let go of them in order to begin something new. Even when I don't know what the new thing will be like, exactly.

Just to begin, is possibly the most difficult and most vital step. 

These past months have been so full. Full of adventures, challenges, love, life. I haven't announced it here yet, but we are joyfully expecting a baby girl in September and will now be a family of five! So much change, but it is so good. I will continue to work, to create—that is an inseparable part of me. I will also still be taking commissioned work when I can, though this will evolve along with my life. I'm excited for new projects and continuing current ones.

Ever moving forward. 

end and begin

I have always loved celebrating the New Year. Ever since I was a child it has been my favorite holiday of the year. Reflecting on all the previous year was and letting it go, and welcoming the hopeful fresh start of the next twelve months. I love the way you so actively witness the transition from one year to the next. Yes it's only time, and everything is really the same, and yet it always reminds me that you can have a fresh start, new goals, a shift in perspective... whether it's January 1st or the middle of July. There is always hope.

2014 far exceeded my expectations, both personally and professionally. I am truly grateful. There were joys and challenges, breathtaking moments and feelings of defeat. I took on too much at times, but continued to learn when to step back and how to balance and prioritize. I gained wisdom, and in turn realized all over again how very little I know. But there is hope in that too—you never arrive; there is always room to learn. This year was real life, at its best and grittiest, in all its love and heartbreak.

I'm so very excited to dive into this New Year, 2015. There are amazing new people to meet, with incredible stories that I haven't heard yet. There is so much to learn, so many places to grow, so much art to create and mistakes to learn from. I wish you each joy and adventure in the coming year.

Peace and love,

Hannah