Golden leaves before the snow

Today my friend and I went hiking in one of my favorite places. Golden Gate Canyon State Park has been one of my favorites for a long time and I'm so grateful I go to share it with a good friend. 

You know those rare few friends you meet and somehow instantly just become friends and then sort of gradually find out some of the reasons you connected so well immediately as time passes? Kat is one of those people for me. I'm truly grateful for her lovely presence in my life and our wonderful conversations and real life questions. To me, real looks like home and is incredibly rare to find. Those people who walk with you no matter how your life is going... and stay walking through it when you don't even know what questions to ask. Those people who laugh with you and let you cry without any discomfort. These are the people who impact your life for the better. Those people you know are in your life just when you needed them to be. Those people who stand real with you as you look at all the world.

Feeling in general very grateful not only for Kat, but also for some unexpected kindness and love from my cousin today, too. Friends and family. You know, those people who have your back even in the kindest of ways. Today is a beautiful day. And there will be more sunshine to come. I'm believing in goodness because of the kindness and beauty that exists in this world that I got to see and experience a bit today. 

Here are a few photos from our hike among the remaining golden Aspen leaves before the snow looks to come tomorrow in Denver.

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family before baby arrives!

This was such a fun shoot with Emily and Brian! And in perfect timing! Little Grace Elizabeth arrived only about a week after these photos were taken! I'm so glad that we were able to do these photos in the late summer days. Check out a few of my favorite images below.

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The Sagrada Família of Barcelona

When I had the privilege of visiting my friend in Barcelona this Spring, I was able to do vacation on my own terms. Essentially that meant wandering the city streets, going to coffee shops, and enjoying incredible food and wine. I went for early morning runs with the sounds of Barcelona waking up to greet me, and my friend and I went to a fashion show over the weekend I was there. It was a fantastic experience. I love truly experiencing the true feel of a place when I have the opportunity to travel, and as such, sometimes I don't bring out my camera as often as I perhaps even should. I also tend to be wary of tourist attractions. That all being said, the architecture of Barcelona is amazing, and there are multiple buildings all over the city that Antoni Gaudí put his craft to display. His work is incredibly iconic, fantastic, beautiful, and reminiscent of nature itself in an unexpected way. My friend recommended touring The Sagrada Família even though it was indeed a tourist attraction. I am so very glad I did. These pictures hardly do it justice I feel, but perhaps you may glimpse a little of Gaudí's intent to incorporation nature itself into its design and structure. If you ever have the chance to visit, I highly recommend doing so! These are some of my favorite photos of this incredible Basilica and Church.

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memories lived

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.
— John F. Kennedy

This March I was able to spend some time with family after a work trip out to California. There really is nothing quite like going back to the place you are from and seeing family again. I'm so grateful for my California roots and being able to grow up in such incredible scenery. Even with my home being Colorado, seeing and spending some quality time with my cousins and aunt and uncle and grandma meant the world to me. It is a beautiful melancholy type of thing to be able to call many places home. I'm so grateful I get to have so much wonderful family to go see out in the Golden state. These pictures are of the ocean at a beach I grew up going to about a 45 minute drive to/from my grandma's house.

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Solar Eclipse 2017

I'm sure you have seen many many solar eclipse photos, and I know I've seen some amazing photos myself. If you haven't found enough that impress you, I would recommend checking out Chris Burkard or National Geographic for some amazing shots.

The day was unexpectedly beautiful for me. I had a friend join me on a short hike to the top of a nearby mountain on the front range here in Colorado. She and I talked about life and the beautiful symbolism of the moon covering the sun. The idea that the shadows themselves coming into light. It seems so foreign a thought but beautiful in the opportunity to examine our own shadows and bring them to light. It was the light of that day that fascinated me most, and I admit that I probably took a few more pictures of the plants and flowers that surrounded us than I did of the actual eclipse. The light was fascinating, soothing, mysterious, and incredibly healing in this moment of life, sitting on top of a mountain with a friend. Kat, I'm forever grateful to you for joining me that day and everything we spoke through and about.

Here are a few of my images from that beautiful day on August 21st, 2017. I didn't take many as I mostly wanted to take in the day, but these were what I came away with and am happy to share with each of you.

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who she is

If you haven't checked out the first part of my shoot with Sarah, please check it out here first for some context to this second part.

I think the best place to start with the story behind this shoot is with the song that Sarah is really connecting to for this, and that is "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys. Because truly, this is about Sarah being who she is in this time, on the other side of loss. The way she lights up a room and brings her full presence to every place she enters. This is about who she is on the other side of an unexpected loss and how she continues to move through everything in her life... through every roll, from that of a mother to an employee, to the very soul of who she is and what brings her to light on fire. Sarah, you go, girl. Way to bring your passion to the table and make your goals continue to grow even as you explore all ways of who you are as you are. This is Sarah on fire in her life, and I'm so glad to be a part of the adventure!

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when things fall apart

About a week before Sarah came to visit me, I sent her a text that started with something like, "so... don't hate me... but I have an idea." Sarah's husband left her about a year and a half ago, and so the story of this shoot has a lot to do with that reality. I've watched Sarah grow and move through the pain of the leaving and the divorce into an even better friend and a more stunning woman of heart and soul than I knew of her before. They say trials brings out who you really are, and as such, it is my privilege to call Sarah my friend. This shoot is about moving through the process of releasing dreams and hopes and stepping out of what was, even allowing it to fall away. Sarah played the song "Burning House" by Cam a few times that day and it seemed to fall in line with everything. Sometimes you have to let what was burn and wash away so that you can become new. Like a phoenix from the ashes, Sarah is still Sarah, but more of her than she was before. Sometimes you start anew. Sometimes you find life on the other side and even through pain. It's not as though what was no longer exists, it's just in a different state of existence and you yourself have become more of who you are through it, and I see this so much as a part of Sarah's beautiful soul. Sarah, thank you for being so willing to work through all this with me. I'm truly so grateful for you and the woman you are and how you have come even more into yourself through this. 

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you were born with wings

Rumi has often been an encouragement to me. Very often, very easily I can get bogged down in my surroundings. In the gentle misting rain of today, I set an intention, a reminder for myself using these words by Rumi today: 

“You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.”

So lift up your eyes today. Even if your sight is blurred. Find your wings. You have them. 

Image taken 7August2017 with Canon 5D and lensbaby lens. Copyright Amber Lianne

Image taken 7August2017 with Canon 5D and lensbaby lens. Copyright Amber Lianne

insomnia

This post has a story to tell. To begin, I owe thanks to my friend in Barcelona for encouraging me to go stargazing to help with my insomnia and calm my mind. The experience of the drive, and the time to sort and think while in motion through mountains, begun my day in such a way that I'm still sitting without enough words to describe. The timing was unintentional for how the lighting worked to my favor, but being on the continental divide at Independence Pass in perfect time to watch the sun peak over the mountains... leaves me speechless still. The rising sun... at just over 12,000 feet. I drove all the way to Aspen and back today for my little journey. I hope the pictures speak for themselves to you as they stood out to me and speak to my heart still.

Also, to note, I know I don't always watermark, but for me, this is some of my best work. Let me know if you would like any reprinted for yourself without the watermark. 

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rhythms

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You know those times when you tell yourself and others a truth over and over again....and you think you get it yourself but suddenly it really hits home?


How many times have I said that it's not about the arrival but about the journey....the rhythm. Somehow awoke feeling discouraged again about many things. Got my butt out the door for a morning trail run. And it was rough going at first. Feeling every hill to be bigger than it was.


And that's just it. Finally on the way back when it was just a minuscule easier than on the way out, it finally struck me.


Life really is about the rhythm. It is about somehow finding our soul's best path, best balance in what we can do for others and ourselves. That rhythm is life. And frankly sometimes just moving in that rhythm is so difficult.


Sometimes the run is easy. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it feels almost impossible. Sometimes your best rhythm is tears and hiding under covers. Sometimes it's your soul bursting into all the crevices of an empty mountain.


It is all rhythm. It is all about balance. And let yourself move in rhythm. Sometimes telling yourself how to when you can't figure out how.


Loss comes. Rebirth comes. Rhythm is yours through all of it. And somehow timing--in this construct by which we manufacture out lives--ends up being what you need


To all in the midst of loss or rebirth today.....may you find rest and movement as needed in your soul's natural rhythm.

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Shot with my Canon 5D at Pismo Beach, CA on the evening of 13 March 2017

the love of a mother

I had the wonderful privilege of taking photos of Miss Cassandra TeLae and her beautiful boys earlier this year in March while I still lived in Minnesota. This March day greeted us with lovely sunshine and warmer than usual temperatures. Cassandra also happens to be a dear friend, for whom I am so grateful. She shines so brightly in all that she does. She is a wonderful mother, and incredible encouragement and loving person to so many. You and your boys are amazing people, Cassandra, and I am so grateful to know you!

“There is no greater heaven the heart of a loving mother” 
― Bangambiki HabyarimanaThe Great Pearl of Wisdom

little family happiness

Today I dream of little families and happiness on tiny faces in the Minnesotan springtime sunlight. My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew from this last March.

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Brandon & Sarah's mountain wedding

I cannot tell you how excited I was to be able to be the photographer at Brandon and Sarah's wedding! Years ago, my family met Sarah's family, and we have stayed in touch off and on throughout the last several years. When Sarah started telling me about Brandon, it was so exciting to hear about someone so special to her! I loved hearing the stories she would tell, and I Even got to meet him last October before they were engaged! These two have so many wonderful adventures ahead of them, and have a gorgeous way of looking at life! I'm so excited for you both! 

Here are some of my favorites and some highlights from their day in the California foothills (and even up into the mountains a bit!) I seriously can't get enough of these two! So gorgeous together!

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Tal & Neela's wedding

I'm so excited to show you picture's from Tal and Neela's wedding! Their wedding was on the 19th of July in a gorgeous garden on a simply amazing Minnesotan summer afternoon and evening. I was so excited to photograph their wedding! They put the most beautiful details and organic pieces into their wedding! Their wedding had the most incredible elements of love and family and friendship crafted into every corner. And the garden setting! Wow! I honestly do not know if I have ever seen a more beautiful backyard garden... so perfect for a weddings setting!

These two carry about their presence such an ease of love and affection. It is a delight to simply be with them, and I am was honored to photograph their wedding!

Enjoy their lovely photos below! I hope you can feel the love I felt in simply being there to be a part of everything. Here are my favorites and some highlights from the wedding!

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the darling Maggie Mae

Back in December last year, Maggie Mae and I found a small studio and shot some new headshots for her. We were trying for a few different looks, and had so much fun in the studio! She is seriously such an sweet and fun and amazing woman! You should definitely check out her website here! She is an amazing woman and I am privileged to know her! Maggie, I can't wait to see where you go!

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Hope, California, October 2013

This may be one of the longest blog posts I have had yet! This was certainly one of my favorite photos shoots I have done! So many incredible photos that it makes it really hard to choose. And I actually did not post all of the shots we took!

Hope is amazing. She has been staying with her family out in California. This past October when I was out West, we coordinated a time when we were both free, and went and played all afternoon by AND IN the ocean!

Seriously, SO MUCH FUN! There are lots of pictures below, but enjoy! I love doing these types of shoots where we plan out some ideas of things we intend to do beforehand!

Ah sigh... That western sunset and rocky shores of the west coast. I took a couple scenic photos... thought later that I maybe should have taken more... but that's okay! Some beauty is remembered best in the mind. Enjoy!

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Do you see my shadow???? haha! 

Do you see my shadow???? haha! 

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first DIEZZELPUNK product shoot

This one is a bit of a throw back. I am working on several projects at this point, but wanted to share a little something, even if it is a tiny throw back. A little over a year and a half ago, the designer/owner of DIEZZELPUNK and I started conversing about a potential photo shoot. The winter following (last winter), we decided to go for it, and in the cold, we threw together some last minute shots. Our model being gorgeous herself, she really shines in the pictures.

And the fun part about this shoot? It really started the best friendships a person could ever ask for! Photo shoots are inspiring and fun! I love working with artists to create and imagine what we see together. And then! To turn it into a reality!

You will see Cassandra's gorgeous self again soon I am sure.

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Christian Schizzel, December 2013

I would like to introduce to you, in brief, Christian J Schizzel. He has become one of my dearest friends since coming back into my life. We knew one another from years ago, and thanks to his being in my brother's wedding almost 2 years back, we came back in contact. Since then, we have been able to design incredible shoots together, and have gone through a lot of life and laughter in our group of friends.

Christian is a dynamic person. Full of a lot of hilarity and brilliance! There are so many artistic endeavors ahead of him, and He is one of the most capable people I know with following his intention. His intelligence and ability to think through something, and then put action behind what he has thought through is one of many appreciated characteristics. Truly, Christian is inspirational. But he is also real. I doubt you could hardly meet a more real person. He gets down to the grit and raw reality of life in a heartbeat.

But perhaps a better way of getting to know him is through his jewelry line. Christian has a line of "jewelry and tomfoolery," called DIEZZELPUNK. His work is incredible, and I highly appreciate his intention for his work. Please do take a moment to check it out! 

Christian now resides in Los Angeles, California, to further his dreams and goals.

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And we had to take a couple of funny pictures, because why not? It was so much fun to do pics with him, and had to goof off a bit in there, too! (Minneapolis, Minnesota is the background city.)

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Laura, After the Storm

Last summer, on 21 June, Minneapolis and the surround area saw a massive storm. Trees were downed, and parts of the city completely lost power for days. It took weeks to get the trees cleaned up and removed because so many massive trees fell down.

For a while previous, I had been thinking how much fun it would be to do photos in the middle of the pouring rain. My neighbor in my current apartment building (who was also a friend previous to when we had moved into the apartment as neighbors) thought this was a fabulous idea. 

While the rain and wind pounded against our windows and we kept asking one another if we were brave enough to go out and do this in this storm, we planned out the outfit and what we would do.

We left to go get waterproof mascara... I am laughing at this right now, thinking about that crazy night... Laura driving. The rain was coming down so hard that had we not been wearing raincoats, we would have been instantly soaked. Our first stop for mascara proved unsuccessful, as we found that a majority of Minneapolis had completely lost power, due probably to the downed trees we dodged. (Not kidding! Thankfully, no trees in the motion of falling!) We found a store with power, bought mascara...

And then, true to the style of a Midwest storm, the storm stopped. Almost instantly. But everything was soaked, and the gutters were pouring with water. The air was so wet it almost felt like it was still raining at times. So we went to one of our favorite little streets in Minneapolis... a place we like to say is our "little bit of Europe in Minneapolis." I am sure you know the place if you have been there. ;)

This shoot was so much fun! I love that my friends are willing to be a part of my sometimes crazy ideas. ;)

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