Some photo sessions just fly. This was one of them. We had a gorgeous evening at one of my favorite parks, and Tiffani is a delight to work. We laughed a lot. Especially at her kah-RAZY black lab who literally ran circles around us.
And, it’s always fun as a photographer when you get a gorgeous pair of bright blue eyes and a natural beauty to work with!
Tiffani is excitedly jumping into the Spring of her Senior year. Her final tennis season is sure to be memorable as her love for the game HUGE. I just might have to catch a match to see this girl in action.
Tiffani will heading to the University of Oregon this fall. Go Ducks!
I was pretty excited when Robin came my way. I have lived next to her grandparents for over 10 years…her grandfather and I swap garden stories regularly over the fence. Getting to know Jerry’s granddaughter was pretty special.
Robin has so many fun interests. I loved talking and taking pictures of her with her beautiful sheep. I also photographed Robin on the football field, as she was a drum major for the award-winning Sherwood High School Marching Band. Soon I hope to take some pictures of her with a refurbished VW Bug that has been a labor of love for her and her dad this year.
Robin’s Senior Favorite image is with her beautiful Beagle puppy. What a cutie. Robin loves this image “because the composition and lighting looks so beautiful! Plus I love my puppy.”
Robin’s plans for this Fall are to study at Oregon State University and pursue a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). She would love to be a marine mammal/zoo animal veterinarian, hopefully working at a zoo, aquarium or rescue shelter.
Robin is inspired by this Eleanor Rooosevelt quote, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
So you would like to bring a circus to the park for your Senior Photos? Okay, I-am-so-in!
Laurynn is magic with animals. She hauled her dog, her pony and her horse to meet me at a park one early morning for photos. They all clearly adore Laurynn. Her patient and calm nature made it one of the easiest sessions I have every shot.
Laurynn’s Senior Favorite image is of her and Annabell. I love this one as well, though I don’t think I could take a bad photo of these two beautiful girls. Since this was taken, Annabell gave birth to some of the cutest puppies I have ever seen. No surprise that Laurynn chose to add one permanently to her family. I wonder if little Grace was in Annabell’s tummy when this was taken?
Laurynn plans to attend Walla Walla Community College this fall. She would love to continue working with horses and pursuing a degree in Farrier Science. Laurynn will also have the opportunity to ride along side the WWCC rodeo team.
Sometimes you just connect. I was instantly drawn to Molly and her mom, Deann. They have so much energy and great ideas and are so sweet to work with. And…well, Molly is joyful and beautiful. Her home and property and animals are gorgeous. It was a pretty fun morning at the “office.”
Molly’s Senior Favorite photo is with her horse, the lovely and patient Mac. There is an undeniable bond between Molly and all of her animals, but clearly Mac is a little extra special. Molly shared these beautiful words with me, “Mac means the world to me and has seen me at my best and my worst. It has been incredible to work with an animal that is so gracious and loving. He’s become my best friend over the last five years and it’s going to be heartbreaking to leave him behind when I head to Cali next year. I do, however, have a beautiful photo to remind me of that friendship, and I am so grateful.”
Molly will be attending Azusa Pacific University (about 40 minutes outside of LA) to study nursing in the fall. Nursing is such a great choice for a caring person like Molly who is inspired by this quote, “Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Breathe deeply. Do your best. Leave everything else to the powers above you.”
My friends asked, “What was the best part of your trip to Mexico?”
They said “Mexico” because no one dares the attempt to pronounce “Zihuatanejo” (zee-watt-a-NEH-ho).
For many vacations, that question would be hard to answer. But not this one. It was easy.
Las tortugas marinas, the sea turtles, were the highlight of my stay in Zihuatanejo.
I’ve always been in love with sea turtles. In Hawaii I have accidentally bumped into one under a waterfall on the Big Island and followed them (at a distance) while snorkeling on Maui and Kaua’i. I’ve also body-surfed alongside them at Brennecke Beach on Kaua’i. Amazing creatures.
Playful. Ancient. Wise creatures.
I was beyond excited at the prospect that we might actually be able to watch sea turtles out of the water in Zihuatanejo. And even though I knew our hotel, the Viceroy on Playa de Ropa, was the place to be, part of me thought it was too good to be true. I was prepared for disappointment.
It turns out that our timing was excellent in early December. While it was technically “late” in the season for the turtle mamas to come ashore for egg laying, we saw just it a happen our very first night in Zihua. We were eating a late dinner on the beach at the Viceroy. We notice a man with a flashlight and a bucket and my husband says something like, “there’s your turtle.” I deserted him at the table while he signed the bill, and then we watched.
We watched as a mama turtle struggled and heaved her heavy body up to soft sand, dug a hole one flipper at a time, became incredibly still, laid 80+ golf-ball sized eggs, filled in that hole, packed in sand with a slap of her belly, scattered sand to erase the evidence she’d been there, and then slowly made her way back to the ocean.
It all looked sooo hard. And beautiful. And, yeah, I teared up a little (a lot). It truly was awesome.
Once on the brink of extinction, olive ridley sea turtles (golfinas), are loved and protected in Zihua. You actually need a license from the Mexican government to disturb a turtle nest. The license gives turtle conservationists the state’s blessing do so to save eggs by reburying them in safe spots. When the eggs hatch, turtle keepers feed and care for them about a week, so that the babies can grow and mature before facing the big ocean and all its dangerous inhabitants.
Early December was the tail end of the laying season, but also the beginning of the hatching season!
Not all of the turtle eggs are re-located. So at random times along the beach, a baby would pop up out of the sand. Some were gently coaxed to the sea but powered by their own determination. Some were carefully carried to the water.
Once we learned to recognize baby turtle footprints, we were able to track the little darlings. We also watched as an entire nest was discovered in the shade of a beached catamaran. We watched as the hotel “entertainment” director ran for a bucket, scooped up probably 100 little tortugas and put the bucket in shade. They were to be released at night to avoid the complications of heat and predators.
I loved my time in Zihuatanejo….for many, many reasons. But I absolutely have to get back there to show my kids the turtles. For now, the images will have to do. You can see larger views of the turtles and more of my trip to Zihuatanejo in my web gallery.
If you are interested in reading more about las tortugas of Zihuatanejo, here are some articles/sites I’ve enjoyed:
“Labor of Love” article on Viceory Hotel and the turtles (aka Tides)