Femke is here! My buddy Miranda and her husband Richard's little girl has arrived and everyone is happy at home with stuffed giraffes and hundreds of geboorte kaartjes. I did Miranda's maternity shoot a few months ago, and Femke is nearly a month old already! We had a nice home shoot on a sunny Saturday with Miranda's parents, who are visiting from South Africa, and Femke pretty much slept through it - even when we put her on top of the standing piano that Miranda's family had shipped all the way from Africa to now live in the Netherlands! Miranda and Richard are both so natural and sweet with their little girl, and getting to hang out with Miranda is always one of my favorite activities :)
This fun family session took place about a month ago in the Quintusbos near the town of Glimmen, just south of Groningen, and it was a fun afternoon spent romping around on hay bales and playing with the pets.
The family had an awesome jungle gym in the backyard, and Iekje really showed the kids how it's done.
Harriët's pet rats Dolfje (left) and Cleo rode along for the photo shoot on Harriët's shoulders, and were super sweet critters.
Amy and Barend are awesome. Amy contacted me recently about doing an engagement photo shoot of her and her Dutch fiancee at the world famous tulip garden, de Keukenhof, and I could barely contain my excitement. Really, it was a little embarrassing. De Keukenhof is quite likely the most beautiful place in the entire country, and this week was the peak of the short tulip season. We were also incredibly lucky with the weather - not a cloud in the sky! We arrived at the gardens as they were opening on Wednesday morning, the day after the coronation of the new king, so we managed to have the garden virtually to ourselves as the Dutch were nursing their hangovers and tourist buses hadn't flooded the gardens yet. Amy, Barend and I had a great time, making bad puns about wells, Game of Thrones, and dogs providing natural fertilizer to the flowers, and even though we had to negotiate our way over some barbed wire to get to the gorgeous flower fields outside the gardens, no one was injured in the making of this epic photo shoot. Thank you, Amy and Barend, for making my dreams come true.
Olya jokingly referred to herself during our family photo shoot on Sunday as a "copy machine" in explanation for the clear Mini Me effect of her sweet son Casper - he is a tiny, rambunctious copy of his Dutch dad, Chris. Olya thankfully sought me out about a year ago to work with for a photo shoot, and luckily we have gotten together a couple of times since then, but this weekend's shoot was really special. The family will be growing by one in the next couple of weeks, and it was really a pleasure just hanging out with them in their well-lit and colorful house of love and occasionally questionable humor (mostly Olya and I)!
On a misty October afternoon, long, long ago - all the way back in 2012 - I spent a fun afternoon with my good friends Rebecca and Alain, along with their son (Ilya, otherwise known as Alain's first clone) in Heusden. In addition to it just being a family shoot, they also wanted a special maternity shoot before the arrival of their second son, Merlyn. Well, in January - while I was in Nepal - he arrived! Last week I headed back to the Dutch south to do a follow up featuring the family's newest addition!
The boys have matching dragon outfits!
My super talented friend, Anniek Olsder, used one of the photos from the maternity shoot in October in her Juno-inspired design for Merlyn's birth announcements:
These guys are some of my favorite nerds, and they've started the important work of spawning the next generation. I've known Rebecca and Alain since I first studied abroad in the Netherlands in 2005, and since then they've gotten married, started a business together and started a family. Their son is a clone of his dad, and they're expecting their second child soon. They technically meet my unofficial international criteria too, since they are a Dutch-Belgian family, and both my fiancee and I were really happy to have a good excuse to spend the weekend with them, hanging out, eating copious amounts of baked goods and watching "Scott Pilgrim versus the World." I always appreciate it when my friends want to work with me, and I love to work with people that I know won't think I'm truly crazy for my suggestions - in fact, they're often crazier than me, which I love.
The ministry of funny walks is genetic.
This loving international family wanted a sweater-tastic autumnal photo shoot to give as a gift to Deike's mom, which is a wonderful idea I'm hearing more and more often from clients as their motivation: it's hard to find a meaningful gift for grandparents, and a fun family photo shoot is a lovely present! We had a nice, albeit blustery, time in the Dutch countryside, complete with a windmill (naturally), and some delicious German/Dutch apple pie afterward. Thank you guys for working with me!
This is the family's sweet pup, Beer, who was interested in getting some camera time for herself. Kids and critters make any photo session infinitely more fun, in my experience :)
Falling in love with a place is not so different from falling in love with a person, especially if either that place or that person happen to be thousands of miles away from the place you come from. This place-and-person love is something that Erin and I have more intensely in common than most: Erin, originally from North Carolina (Winston-Salem, even!), chose somewhat randomly to study abroad in Groningen, subsequently fell in love with a nice Dutch guy (René), and is now living here in this special Dutch city running her own business. It's a trajectory I know incredibly well: it is exactly the same origin story for how I came to be living here myself! Erin just happened to do it about 10 years before, so I was following her example without realizing how parallel it was until she introduced herself to me about a year ago. She and I have happily become friends since then, and it's so satisfying to have someone with the exact same background of sweet tea and Southern living with whom you can talk about the charms and weirdness of our new adopted culture. Above all, it is inspirational to see another American and Dutch love story being celebrated in such a beautiful place - congratulatons, Erin and René, and thank you guys so much for letting me be a part of your day.
I had a lovely time spending the afternoon in Stadskanaal with the extended Poelman family, thanks to my talented friend Jet inviting me to do a family photo session. The town of Stadskanaal is right on the border of the province of Drenthe and quite close to Germany, so it's surrounded by lots of big open fields and beautiful forests, both of which are great places for a walk and a laid-back photo shoot. Thank you, Jet, for letting me hang out with you guys!
Cristina and Ernst met in a place neither of them were from, and this beautiful Italian-Dutch family that has travelled the globe is now calling Groningen home. Their beautiful and goofy daughters, Carolina and Isabella, made my work so easy on Sunday morning in the Noorderplantsoen. We got really lucky with some nice spring weather in my very favorite place in the city!
This is Eleanor, she is tiny, and she is very patient. Her aunt, my friend Irene through Stichting Didi, asked me to take photos of her newborn niece in Den Haag, and I was happy to oblige! Eleanor's mom, Christy, is American, and her dad, Matthieu, is Dutch, and these two actually met in the exact same way as my fiancee and I - she studied abroad, fell in love, and got her Dutch significant other much more into American college sports. They are a great family, and it was a fun time hanging out with them in their beautiful apartment in the center of Den Haag, along with their four pet rabbits. One of the bunnies makes a cameo in the shoot, and almost every toy Eleanor has is also a bunny of some kind, so it wound up being a bit of a theme.
And so, a month after doing a maternity shoot with her mom and dad, I got to spend the afternoon taking photos of Anna. She is already such a laid-back and pleasant personality, much like her mom. I channeled a little Anne Geddes (hopefully in a good way), since there's is simply no way around the preciousness of a newborn, and I'm looking forward to getting to see her grow up!
Michelle's mom has been staying with the family since shortly after Anna was born, so we wanted to get a multigenerational photo while she is here visiting from America.
When Dutch families have a child, it's traditional to put up the congratulations cards up in the house on display, so I figured we may as well have a photo of the reason for all the cards. Congratulations, my friends!
This wedding was featured on the Dutch wedding blog Wedspiration on March 8, 2012.
Happy New Year! I am very excited to share my first wedding of 2012, Barb and Edwin's ceremony at the Stadhuis in Den Bosch on a gloriously clear day (which in the Netherlands is indeed a miracle!). This international couple met in Canada, Barb's homeland, while Edwin worked at her company, and they hit it off immediately. It's always nice to meet other international couples, and seeing two people cross borders and oceans to find each other is a beautiful thing. The ceremony was, to use a great Dutch term, gezellig, with just immediate family and closest friends, and the wedding room at the Stadhuis was beautiful. Congratulations and gefeliciteerd!
Merry Christmas and fijne feestdagen! Today I'm blogging from the quiet Frisian village of Warns, taking it easy on tweede kerstdag, as it is called here. But, way back this summer, I was lucky enough to end up in the same level two Dutch class as another awesome American woman who's now calling Groningen home. Michelle and Jeroen were so nice to work with, they're just effortlessly photogenic and were very sweet with each other, and their soon-to-arrive baby. It was an unbelievably beautiful day in Groningen on Christmas eve, and I really enjoyed getting to be a part of this time with them.
These two are not only beautiful, super photogenic and totally adventurous, they are also two of my closest friends, so it was so much fun to spend their wedding day with them in Harderwijk. Karin and Jeroen looked like movie stars, and her glamorous red dress brightened up the cold February day. This was my first Dutch wedding, and I fell so in love with the gezellig atmosphere of the bride and groom's families enjoying coffee together before the ceremony. Adding to the lovefest, my fiancee Elger helped me out immensely by shooting the wedding with me. The whole day was completely relaxed and reflected their personalities to the smallest details. And really, what's not to like about a bride in a red dress?