When Stone and I met six years ago, climbing Kilimanjaro was on both our bucket lists. Not all bucket list things are impossible things. But they sometimes require things like time and money and stubborn determination. The first two, we have realized, are more elastic than we think and will often stretch to accommodate the third. Even if it takes a while to get there, and even if we're a little hazy on some of the details till it's too late to change things.
Oh how I love girl dates with coffee and thousands of WORDS. Throw in a photo-op, graffiti and nutella crepes, and you pretty much have me on a leash. Meet the very talented Erin Fisher, musician, photographer, and one of the most honest-to-goodness people you've every met.
Eric and Heather joined us for a mini shoot on the beach by Makai pier with their three little people. Riley and Tyson had their toes and fingers in every crevice in the rocks, always looking for something to explore and discover. (They reminded me so much of that very awesome book in Keri Smith's collection: How to be an explorer of the world.) And Emily looked like she would turn into a mermaid any second.
We loved meeting this wonderful, beautiful, happy family of three. Black hawk pilot turned chiropracter Christine and U.S Marine Ryan wanted to celebrate their little Ayla turning one. As you've gathered from our Instagram posts, we fell in love with Ayla, and we had the best fun with these guys.
These guys are some of our favourite people in the world. The Mauds and I took a drive into Maboneng, the revitalised inner city of Johannesburg one afternoon to grab some family pictures. We stopped for coffee and slushies (as one should during a shoot), walked the streets we love so dearly and made memories.
Jonathan and Mackenzie are kindred spirits who love laughter and a good adventure. Mackenzie was scheduled for a long over-due double-knee surgery this month, and she knew it would be a while before she was out of her wheelchair and skipping across boulders by the sea. So we sneaked in this shoot a few days before her surgery. Ten minutes into the shoot, the waves crashed down on us. Soaked in in salty sea, we saved some timeless moments for posterity.
Sunita emailed me one day to say her husband Dave was flying home from his deployment for a couple of days, unexpectedly. She was seven months pregnant, and wanted some pictures taken while he was here - their family of three before the baby comes this November. So of course we made it happen. Military life is full of last-minute plans, I have learned.
Rory and Denise are the kind of couple you want at every single party, because they are so loveable in every way. They get a million points here for not only being beautiful and funny and hysterically in love, but also for not complaining about the scratchy veld. God knows I would have.
John and Tiffany, with their ridiculously adorable kids, Roarke and Margot, recently moved back to the mainland after having made Hawaii home for a few years. But not before we got to shoot them at the Makapu‘u tide pools, one of their favourite places to hang out on the island. They have a lot of special memories here, so we loved that we were able to save some of these moments for them.
It is public knowledge that Stone and I hike at very different paces, and that this is sometimes cause for a savage tirade or two on my part, and much slow breathing on his. But throw some kids into the mix, and I am no longer the slowest wolfcub in the pack. "I'm stopping because the KIDS WANT TO STOP, babe." This must surely be why people have children. So they can stop and eat snacks often.
I did a family shoot for the Chos a while ago, when Sunita was still pregnant with her second little girl. Last month, the beautiful Selah was born into the world. Dave was home from deployment just long enough for us to sneak in a home session and capture some of these earliest moments of Selah's life with her precious family - mom, dad and big sister Olivia.
She laughed. All the time. When she was sitting on her bed in her room-of-many-years, and she looked around wistfully and said, "That was my last night here!". And when she showed me her mother's wedding dress framed and hanging on the wall by the stairwell. And when Sean saw her for the first time. And when they kissed.
The island state is still the most popular wedding destination in the world, but for John and Tara, this is the place they call home. They got married at Grace Chapel, their beloved community church by the sea, one March evening in Oahu, Hawaii, surrounded by dear ones who love them deep. Weddings are always a time to reflect on how much two people mean to their friends and family, and we were more than a little moved by all the heartfelt speeches.