Grand Rapids Engaged Couple Holding Hands

Congratulations to Kristin and Brandon on their engagement and wedding in the fall of 2017! My schedule is beginning to fill up–please contact me soon with your wedding date!

A Reflection and a Well Wish for Your 2017

I think I speak for many people when I say that 2016 was a year of surprises. For many folks, some of those twists and turns in the road were unpleasant. We felt joy and pain, lost some inspirational and well-known individuals, and experienced a wide range of emotions. Things haven’t really slowed down through December, and I know that many of my friends and family are anxiously awaiting the clock on December 31st to usher in 2017 with new hope and the promise of a proverbial clean slate.

This year was full of plot twists for me in a very personal way! I spent my first year as a married woman, bought my first home, and then, SURPRISE! My husband and I discovered we would be bringing a new soul into 2017. Our daughter, Greta, will be arriving in February. However, if I’m being transparent, I never thought I’d have another child, and the news blew me back like a leaf in the November wind (I alluded to the emotional news in a recent blog post, Emotional Moments of 2016.) It was June, and the summer (and wedding season) had just begun. As a dedicated planner and list-maker, I had summer and fall goals and was ready to tackle the season. In fact, the day I discovered I was carrying a new life, I was scheduled to perform at the DAAC in Grand Rapids with my solo music project, Ida’s Rope.  I was also planning on photographing the other women artists who were performing that evening for my personal photography project, In the Band: Michigan Music through a Feminist Lens. As I drove to my gig with a thousand thoughts streaming through my brain, I wondered how the rest of the year would pan out, and what was truly in store for me.

Camera in tow, I arrived at the show’s location, which was an old church with an eery warmth about it.


I watched the first performer, Hailey Wojcik, intently, as she did her awesome magic and I geared up for my own set.


I performed emotively and felt catharsis but still, an undercurrent of anxiety was coursing through me with the news of “unexpected” expecting. 

After I wheeled my equipment off stage, I sat on the cooled wooden floor of the church, barefoot, in a floral dress with my camera in my lap. A dim light surrounded the next performer, Fiona Dickinson of Mountain Thrum, as she sat with a guitar, and then a harp. Using selective strums and vocalizations through her pickups, she began to create ambient, melodic frequencies that reverberated around the walls of the church. The swell of her voice and bleeding tones of the strings waxed and waned in the dark space, surrounding me entirely.


Fiona’s lovely bloom of sound penetrated my soul.

With every moment that passed my anxiety began to fade, and felt a new peace about the unforeseen news I had received earlier in the day. My heart and my spirit began to settle and somehow, the idea that the universe was correctly unfolding seemed to glow around me with each echoing vocalization. I was letting go of my narrow expectations, allowing myself to be present, and sanctioning the world permission to guide me, without resistance, into the new future that lay before me.

Do you struggle with expectation?

As humans, I think we all do to some extent. We have a plan. We have NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. This is painfully obvious upon descending  into annual transitional times. As an artist and photographer, I am not free from those parameters, but interestingly, I am able to be present with my camera and encourage others to do so. With so many authentic moments being astronomically huge in their importance (yet so quick to pass!) many of us may not even be able to experience being present or reflecting on them if we cannot remember them. Or, if we are more practiced at being present, perhaps we forget to reflect. Perhaps our expectations are unrealistic, and we need to be shown our gorgeous, candid truth through an image.

I would never glaze over the imperative value of experiencing your own life in a present and real way, but I do see the value of capturing special moments organically to be preserved forever. I am so glad to have visual representations of my life to ponder over, and I hope to provide many of those emotional time capsules for my clients in 2017.

My Wish For Your 2017

Friend, I wish for you a seamless flow with the unexpected change that is sure to be presented in your 2017, and the ability to embrace its purpose in your life. I wish you health, strength and good judgment! And I wish you beautiful memories, in vivid colors.

If you have a moment, I encourage you to experience the beauty of Fiona’s music here at her bandcamp page, where you can stream some very lovely sounds. <3

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