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Happy 2015: Once in a Lifetime…

Well, it’s that time of year again…paigegreen2014paigegreenAOCSF082014-017-1

Meaning it’s time to dig through the memories of last year…

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Pull out the highlights…

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And make big plans for the coming year…

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Thing is, I have been chasing big plans for the past 15 years…

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Finding a job turned into building a career…

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Six years of saying, “my boyfriend Arann,” turned into five years of saying, “my husband Arann…”

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One great dog love was lost and another amazing dog love was found…

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Paying the rent turned into paying the mortgage…

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And two people became four…

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So now that all the important life boxes have been checked…

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I have a lot of brain space that is available for rent…

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But instead of searching for the next big thing…

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I would rather slow life down…

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And celebrate how amazing things are right now…

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Because the most important lesson I learned from 2014…

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Is that life does not always go as you planned…

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And it all can change so fast without any warning

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So in 2015, I am looking for more of this…

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paigegreen2014paigegreenAnna110514-050And less of this…

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Because hopefully there will be more harvests…

paigegreen2014paigegreenDaVero92414-088More drinks…paigegreen2014Paige_Green_Peets_DUO_WIP2_v2_FINAL_Rd1(2)More cook books…breadrevolution2014

More clothes…

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And more weddings…paigepageDaniAdam092014-0579

 

But these two will only be like this…

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Once in a Lifetime.

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So Happy 2015 (five days late.) Here is to a year of no big plans.

 

 

 

 

Well, if we have to grow old…

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At least we get to grow old together…

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And at least we know we’ll have fun while we are doing it…

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Happy Birthday to my Favorite Chicken…

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I am so glad you are my person…

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And I look forward to seeing what happens…

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Day 26 – MAN-venture…

When I asked HAH if he wanted to go on an adventure today, he said, “A MAN-venture.” Lucky kid gets to spend a lot of time with his dad and his dad’s creative vocabulary.171-harper2yr But today was a family-venture day, which I documented with my Rolleiflex, a medium format film camera, so no photos to share of today, yet.

173-harper2yrFortunately I didn’t share any photos last year, so here are some film photos from our Wisconsin family-venture last summer.

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Because I am the photographer, it looks like all we ever have are MAN-ventures… but occasionally I can sweet talk Arann in to photographing me so I get to be in a couple of photos too…000076850006Although it is quite funny how miserable we seem in all of these photos… but that is what can happen with slow focusing cameras, just look at any photo of your great-great-grandparents as kids.

000076820006To prove that it was actually a fun trip… here is at least one happy smiling photo to help start Monday off right.

Day 3 – bribery for a good cause (picking just one photo a day is going to be hard…)

New Year’s Resolution #3: Hike up the hill behind our house once a day.

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Good thing I didn’t say we couldn’t bring cookies as motivation…

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Because hiking with a two-year-old kind of defeats the reason for the resolution.

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But five cookies, two tangerines, a handful of almonds and craisins later and…

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We finally made it to our goal.

paigegreen01032013-048Going home was a much easier sell. paigegreen01032013-052

Mabel Mai and The Big Flip are going on The Katie Couric Show!!!!

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It is an exciting time for the Wan-Rees family and for The Big Flip! On May 22nd, 2013, sweet Mabel Mai was born and we were lucky to have the opportunity to document what day 5 looked like for this family of 6…

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And now for the Katie Couric part…. on Tuesday, June 11th, Mabel Mai is going to New York, with her parents and The Big Flip, to tell Katie Couric what it is like to be in a modern family with a breadwinning mom and a stay-at-home dad. We are crazy excited for this amazing family and for the opportunity to share our documentary project with the Nation.

To find out how you can watch the Wan-Rees family on national television and to learn more about the The Big Flip click here: http://bigflipdocumentary.com/action

the most beautiful home birth I almost saw…

If you asked me how my home birth was, you would not hear me say, “My home birth was beautiful.”

Instead I very honestly would tell you, “It was extremely long, incredibly painful and very, very messy. I can understand why drugs were invented and why people take them.”

Between endless hours of back-breaking contractions, I kept repeating, “This is ridiculous. How can there be 7 billion people on the planet.”

I couldn’t see why anyone would voluntarily choose to do this more than once in their lifetime, let alone 7 billion times.

People told me eventually I would forget and the hormones would win again, but I refused to believe that I could ever forget what that day felt like. And I announced that I was quite happy with one.

Yet here I am, one year and 5 months later, just like everyone said, wondering… if, maybe, should we?

So I was excited when Rose sent me an email asking if I would photograph the birth of their second baby girl, who would be born at home some time in March. It would be a good test. How would it feel to see someone else go through labor? And what was a home birth like the second time around?

I was also excited because I have never seen a human being born. I have seen cows, sheep, and dogs… but not a human (I had my eyes closed the whole time during HAH’s birth.)

And I got a small taste of what it must feel like for doctors and midwives. For once in my life, I had my cell phone almost always charged and I almost always knew where it was. And at gatherings with friends, I would announce, “I can’t drink tonight, I’m on call.”

But then it didn’t happen. The due date came and went. I started filling up my calendar. I had photo shoots scheduled every day. Arann got sick, so I was working all day and on solo parenting duty at night. Until finally at the end of day two of photographing flowers in SF, I got the texts:

4:12pm “I think we are in early labor, midwife is coming over. Will text again.”

4:57 “Come now!!”

I was in San Francisco.

The family was in Oakland.

For those of you not from the Bay Area, 5pm on a Thursday means… Fat chance.

I only had to drive 10.5 miles.

It took me one hour.

When I finally arrived at the house, Rose’s mother let me in and said, “The baby was just born, come on in.”

And this is what I saw…

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While I was disappointed to have missed the birth, it was probably for the best because I got to experience all of the joy and none of the work. Which means I can confidently say that it was the most beautiful home birth, I almost saw.

Thank you, Rose and Jonathan, for inviting me to be a part of this amazing moment in your lives. It was such an incredible honor and I am so excited for your family. And, as Rose said to me after the birth of HAH, “Have fun falling in love.”

Wait for it…

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Seana first contacted me on November 10th about family photos. We had three or four scheduled dates to meet but each time it just didn’t work out… thanks to conflicting holiday schedules, bad weather, the flu, and even an epic battle with poison oak. But we didn’t give up. We waited until schedules calmed down, the weather was just right, the poison oak went away and everyone one was feeling healthy, relaxed and ready to play…

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Thank you for not giving up, Seana.

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It was so worth the wait.

the best present ever…

After spending the month of November buying a house, remodeling, moving, photographing families and sending out photos for other people’s Christmas presents… it was time for me to think about my own Christmas presents.

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But I was feeling unmotivated, broke and out of time (we only had 18 days in our new home before our annual Christmas pilgrimage to Carbondale, Illinois.)

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But there is no place under my Grandfather’s Christmas tree for excuses.

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My Grandfather purchased and wrapped 100 gifts this year, so I had to get my act together quickly.

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Luckily my family likes my photos, so often times prints become my default gift. But this year I wanted to be more creative.

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And then it occurred to me… my mom gave me a baby book after Harper was born, which she very sweetly (and repetitively) encouraged me to use, reminding me that these days go so fast and that if I don’t write these memories down I will forget.

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But the baby book, although super cute and exactly the one I chose, was not inspiring me. Every time I sat down to work on it I would get stuck on family history I didn’t know or on an irrelevant question that I didn’t care about.

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And the thought of making one more scrapbook (I was a scrapbooking fool in high school, before scrapbooking was a verb) that would fall apart in 10 years… did not appeal to me.

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So I decided to make my own baby book that I would give to our parents and to Arann. Several 4:30am nights and 240 pages later, here it is…

 

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Watching my mom and Arann open their copies and flip through the pages on Christmas was the best present ever.

No warm-up necessary this year…

This was the third year in a row that I photographed Jasmine and her parents

…which, I learned, makes for a very comfortable and very action-packed photo shoot.

No warm-up time necessary this year, Little Miss Jasmine was ready to go…

And so was I… after spending 72 continuous hours working on getting our new house ready for us to move in to it this week! It is totally chaotic and insane what we are trying to do in such a short amount of time… so this one hour photo shoot, in this perfect location (which happens to be conveniently in my new backyard,) with these ready and willing models… was exactly the boost I needed tonight to keep me going.
And hopefully the next blog post I write will be from my desk, in my new office, in our very own house! Eeeeeeeeeee….. wish us luck!

One Street, Four Families and Me…

Last year I was lucky to photograph this cute family

And that cute family showed their photos to this cute family…

And that cute family showed their photos to this cute family…

And to this cute family…

And because all of these cute families live on the same cute street in the East Bay, this year one of the mothers offered to help organize schedules so I could come back and photograph all of the cute families on the same day.

So that is what we did.

And here are some of my favorites from our marathon photography day on that sunny Saturday in November…


Thank you, Rachel, for suggesting the Clover Drive photography day. And thank you, Kim, for coordinating all of the schedules. I had lots of fun with each of your families and I really hope to see you all again next year.



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