Psychedelic Family

As I transition to using only film with clients I relish the families willing to step into experimental territory with me. Shay and David requested psychedelic blues film (the most fun film!) to be included in their session and I am so thrilled to present these lovely soulful portraits we made together. Thank you Shay and David for getting weird and trusting me with the work of capturing your family on film.

I choose photography for the way that it lets me see people and reflect what I see back to them. You are lovely and human and true friend. Believe me, I have a lot of practice with this, you are valuable and good and worth remembering right now.

-Yola

Black and white

All Film Sessions are here to stay.

I think of these as short-form lifestyle shoots. Meaning we spend roughly 45 minutes hanging out in your home, making jokes and looking at your favorite things, having your kids or animals take center stage for a while and just generally getting comfortable in front of the lens. And really it always becomes something beautiful. You may think you’re awkward or not sure what to do when a camera is pointed at you but know this…everyone feels that way and it absolutely does not get in the way of beautiful family photos. Prime example below. Gorgeous family photos.

Beeaaach!

Beeaaach!

Family is this totally wild thing. You commit yourself to others without reservation. You invite them in to hold while hurting (and they hold you in your vulnerability as well). And it’s not so dramatic as I’m making it sound either, more like the subtleness of noticing each other, reading the signs, communicating gently…. A thousand touches and glances…a million shared meals…singing along to the same tunes on every car ride. Endlessly changing and monotonous and thrilling and satisfying and scary. Thank you to the Hoyts for honoring me with the task of documenting your loving.

-Yola

Picnic

Self Portraits

I find most of my inspiration arises from color and pools of light. This particular light comes in the late morning, during the summer and fall, to the corner of my bedroom. I’ve photographed a few people in this light and I love it. Here are todays images, self-portraits in the same light.

Late summer soiree

The colors,

the light,

the kiss of fall air

cutting through the

late summer sun.

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This is a story of romance on a late summer day leading us through the garden. Clippings of hollyhock, grape, rhubarb and chamomile hot in the sun. A fall breeze wafting us with the sweet scent of overripe fruit and dried herbs. And only eyes for beauty open to the world.

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Beauty

the romance

of late summer fruit

and dried herbs...

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I haven't found a dreamier dream than connecting women and photographing their lovely selves. 

To attend a Soiree hop on the mailing list! I'll be sending out invites to subscribers for first dibs on tickets. Private Soirees are available! Hire me to Soiree you and your friends, what a great way to celebrate friendship, connection and love.

-Yola

Sweet Summer Evening

The Barnharts

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Playing on the front lawn

Good for the soul, good for the heart, good for the family

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Play

I count it a true success when a session feels like quality family fun.

Seeing the beauty often means just observing with a gracious heart. Loving what is and showing that back to the family you're with.

-Yola

Destination

At the top of Mount Spokane.

 

We brought our vision together over the course of a few months and that effort culminated in a wonderful hike up the mountain, wedding garb in tow, to capture some magic the day after their ceremony. We talked about life and marriage. I got to hear their engagement story (which by the way included a hike to the top of Mount Spokane as well). And when we reached the top, my heavens. My jaw dropped at the breathtaking beauty of the wildflowers, the cold wind, the way the setting sun cast a pink glow on our bare skin. They brought all the romance and I brought my eagerness to capture that romance in all it’s authentic loveliness. Lauren and Matt were amazing in their comfort and willingness to be freely affectionate with each other, to let me witness their deep connection and adoration. I’m so glad they trusted me with this adventure.

 

 

 

Photography

Photography is this amazing physical representation of our lives. A photograph can show us what it looks like and means to be loved, who people we've lost were, just how heartbreakingly beautiful and ugly this life is. So many of us today think about photos in terms of how enticingly unrealistic and idealized they will be, and we link our estimation of their worth to their aspirational glory. But aside from 'insta-worthy' or 'pinterest-worthy' images there is a whole world of photography that serves an entirely different purpose. To speak ourselves back to each other. Raw, true, real, to evoke the feelings of a time, place or person as it was felt. And that second group of motives is why I use photography. I'm awake to the ethereal realness of being alive. Sensitive and honest, my photographs are telling a story of beauty and wholeness and the truth of feelings. I'm not a documentarian, not a lifestyle or editorial photographer, I defy these categorizations because I am a poet of photography.  

-Yola

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feel this

 

you are mysterious and lovely and totally yourself. No one else can claim you. It's up to you to be true.

10 years baby!

Josh and Colette brought me along to celebrate 10 years of marriage! We laughed and laughed and had gorgeous drinks at Wilder. Being able to be close to the people I am photographing, being trusted with the intimacy of recording special time for them, to receive the honor of an invitation into sacred and intimate moments is freaking amazing. What a gift! I have cultivated this skill so I can shower it on others in service and in turn receive the gift of trust from them. So many heart emojis. Love you friends. Happy 10 years.

-Yola

Creative Authenticity

I've found that many creatives, myself included, feel a disturbing sense of inauthenticity over their medium choice. While some feel certain that one path or another of creative outpouring was always the one they wanted to pursue others can feel called in many directions, earnestly dabbling in all kinds of media. Having a splayed set of interests is a challenging hurdle. How do you grow proficiency when you keep changing your mind? After leaving the world of dance which I heavily invested in for about 10 years of my youth I was struck with a feeling of lack. As though I would forever be a jill of all trades master of none. Somehow finding a new creative outpouring was frightening in it's insecurity. What if I had left what I was meant to do? Were all those years dancing instead of everything else just wasted? Had I thrown it away? Would I ever be able to do anything else well enough to make something of it? The answers were all over the map and I thought for many years that my true creative life must be over. But recently I have realized that when you are called to be creative there is not a singular path to letting that light shine into the world. There are probably many paths to a true expression and they all are achieved through hard work. Deep diving on any media that you feel excited about will teach you either that you don't like it or that you do. And all that's required of us to succeed is hard work. Put the time in to studying and finessing your craft and you will be able to use whatever that craft is to express your creative truth. So the quandry isn't 'what should I be doing?' it is in fact what do I choose to do first. And then you just keep plodding along. Learning, honing, diving deeper, changing course when necessary. The only way to do the correct thing is to do anything at all as well as you possibly can. Do the work and the beauty will follow.  

-Yola

Source: yolaowensphotography.com/blog