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I am grateful…

I have a lot to be thankful for and love that there is a time of year dedicated to reflecting on those things.

I am grateful to my husband for being willing to come along on whatever adventure I come up with next (among many other things!). I am lucky to have kids who bring such joy into our lives and are such great travelers. I am grateful to live in a community where I get to do what I love. I am grateful to my clients for supporting my photography, and to my employees for helping me to get it all done, so that I can also have the time to go exploring with my family.

Here our some images from a recent trip to the San Juan Islands– we had such a wonderful time exploring!

Our spring trip to Zion!

Its always so rejuvenating to get out of town! This spring we took a trip down to Zion National Park, and got some great family time in. We hadn’t been to Zion for 10 years– last time we were there Asha was 1, and now she is 11! We also had kind of a milestone– doing out first real mountain bike ride with Kyra– so exciting! The trip definitely gave us a little bit of spring fever and we are ready for summer!

A Quick Trip to Cuba

I have wanted to go to Cuba for as long as I can remember.  So when a friend suggested that we go there for our annual no-kids trip, we jumped at the chance.  Cuba definitely lived up to the hype. I have never been to a communist country, and definitely not one that has been cut off from the rest of the world for so long, as Cuba has. Over the course of the four days that we were there, it was super interesting to piece together and slowly begin to understand the history and culture of Cuba and where it stands today.

The trip was short (when you go on a trip without the kids, you only get so much time!), so we stayed in Havana—making the decision to try to really see the city, instead of rushing to try to see the whole country. We spent our days wandering the streets of Havana, eating (though the food was quite disappointing thanks to communism!), drinking (lots of rum to be sampled!), trying to perfect the art of smoking a cigar (I personally was not super talented in this area!), and of course photographing (such a treat!).  Here are some pictures from our trip—hope you enjoy them!

Grasping the joy bubbles: Celebrating motherhood one moment at a time.

Hi, my name is Jenna and I have a confession to make….I’m a mom and often times I am down right tired. Like with all of us, my life is a swirling balancing act between family and work. I spend my days trying to juggle my priorities and always feeling pulled in multiple directions. Running my daughter to and from play dates, school activities, and sports. Staying engaged and present at work in a way that feels meaningful. Trying my best to get a healthy meal on the table each night. Quickly ushering a reluctant kid from dinner to bed so that we can get up and do it all over again tomorrow.

Studio Manager, Jenna and her joy bubble, Brooke.

So it was when I tripped over my husband’s shoes in the middle of the hallway and spilled my coffee in my rush to get out the door that I forgot to say to my daughter on her way out to school “I love you. Have a great day.” In this daily survival mode thing for the past week (ahem, I mean 7 years)….I have moments where I am missing it…the joy of it all! Kids playing in our muddy yard and tracking it through the house-I have been trying to clean it up instead of reveling in the fullness of the moment.

So I re-center.   I remember that mud, and slugs, and forts were once the coolest possible thing in the world and still should be. I remember that what is important in my life is being present for the flashes of the daily thoughts of a 7 year old. Like her solution to the flooding situation this morning… “Mom, let’s just ask the beavers to build a dam up at Galena and then there would be lake to swim in and no one would get flooded.”  I remember that this IS the longest shortest time and I truly do love every second of it.

How lucky am I that I get to come to work and help families capture their golden nuggets. On the days that I need a little reminder on what to focus on, I see it all around me in the beautiful images in Dev’s studio. There it is…the pure beauty of a mother’s love frozen in time.

Celebrating Mother’s Day by sharing some of these beautiful joy bubbles that Dev has captured of moms in our little valley over the past few years. Happy remembering….

Selfies! Because I just couldn’t help myself…

I first went to India when I was 7 years old in 1986. I was in boarding school there for 9 years. At that point, India was closed to most outside companies and development. Things were as most of us have always thought of India– with a traditional culture that was not very influenced by the west (except of course for colonialism). As school children, we spent a ridiculous portion of the little money we had on hard to find, and very coveted American candy. All that time, things really didn’t change all that much. I moved back to the states for college, and because life is crazy, somehow it took me 15 years to get back to India. And boy have things changed! There is now a middle class. In major cities, you can now find McDonalds and Dominos, cars of all makes and models, and cell phones. Cell phones every where. You can live in a hut, or drive a rickshaw, and you will have a cell phone. And what I discovered on this trip, is that Indians love their selfies. And because I love the juxtaposition of the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, I couldn’t help myself.

India 2017 with the family

We love to travel and try every year to go on an international family trip. We love where we live (it really is amazing!) but we also love to share the world with our kids. Because Gurmeet was born there and I grew up there, India holds a special place in our hearts. With Japji and Kerstin’s wedding in February, we were really excited about another opportunity to go back. India is such a diverse and incredible place and we had so much adventures! Because I am better with images than I am with words, I will just let the images speak for themselves!

 

 

 

 

Kerstin & Japji’s Wedding, Chandigarh, India

Indians do weddings right! But there is no rest for the weary– after 3 days of major events, we were tired! Manbir and Kavie put together the most wonderful celebration for Japji & Kerstin. Starting with the Henna party on Friday night for just close family and friends (100-200 people!), to the Anand Karaj ceremony where the couple was married in the gurdwara (Sikh temple) followed by an elaborate lunch event on Saturday, to an even more extravagant final reception the following day (around 500 people), these people know how to party! Even though I grew up in India, each Indian wedding that I have been to has been a completely unique experience. In addition to the big events, each day is full of small ceremonies and traditions specific to the particular family. Some are fun little games– like when the girls in bride’s family are supposed to hide the groom’s shoes and not give them back until he gives them some money, and then in turn, the girls in the groom’s family teases the newly married couple and doesn’t let them enter the house until he has paid them a little something, or when the guests all watch as the bride and groom compete with each other to find coins in a basin full of milk. Others are meant to welcome the bride or the groom into their new families- members of each family having fun smearing a gorbanzo bean paste onto the couple, and elaborate ceremonies that require one family greeting the other at a specific time and place with just the right food or treat. What a pleasure it was to be a part of the wedding, and to be able to photograph behind the scenes.



       



Mother’s Day madness!

Singh Girls Mother's Day 2016_029

Had a blast with our Mother’s Day shoots! Lots of photos to post, but since I still need to pull those together, I thought I would post some photos of my kids from the shoot– Asha & Kyra were not going to miss an opportunity to play dress up. Thanks Laurel Holland for all the amazing outfits, which made this so much more fun than just dressing up in my clothes (since they did that last year already).

Spring in Nicaragua with the family!

Nicaragua 2016_022There are few things that I enjoy more than traveling internationally with my family. It is so great to see the world through the eyes of our 5 and 8 year old girls. Living in this our sweet, but isolated little valley in Idaho, their world is pretty straightforward. It’s so interesting to watch how they react to and experience, new places and new people. There is always so much to do at home that it’s hard for me to just sit still and give my husband and kids my full attention all the time. When we are on vacation, the time we spend together as a family is so much more focused. A couple of weeks ago we took a trip with another family to Nicaragua. Another step in our quest to have new adventures with the kids, while also making sure to pick somewhere where we (the adults!) would get some nice rest and relaxation as well. Nicaragua turned out to be a great choice! We spent the first week at an isolated beach called Playa El Coco, not too far south of the busier San Juan del Sur. Then we drove to the colonial city of Granada, where we stayed in a house on top of a steep hill (on which our trusty van got stuck several times) overlooking the isletas of Lake Nicaragua. All in all, the trip was just the adventure we had been looking for. Here are some images from our trip. And the slideshow I just put together: https://vimeo.com/162994389