It’s been a super busy month of travel, weddings, and even a funeral of my dear grandpa, but I found rest at a fragrant lavender field after I wrapped this beautiful engagement session. I couldn’t help but show a sneak peek from a lavender field we shot at near Santa Barbara. My bride wanted a lavender field and found one in the sweet little sleepy town of Los Olivos. That smell just adds to the romance of the session. The town itself is worth the drive with about six wine tasting rooms in each square block. The town is only about three blocks long- cute, charming and very quaint. I’m off to Portland tomorrow for more work and will post more from her engagement session along with weddings weddings and more weddings when I get back. Enjoy!
I love getting the invites to the weddings I book. One – it’s fun! Two – I photograph it and it’s one less thing for the bride to remember to bring on her wedding day for photos.
Kathy did such a beautiful job on invites. It’s a little sneak peek of all the burlap and lace to come.
It totally made my WHOLE day to receive something so pretty and lovely all packaged up! I
sn’t snail mail fun?
It’s been a whirlwind of change and growth this last year. From doing the most weddings ever to moving into a studio, then my husband breaking his neck in a surf accident and now sale and move of our house. While the injury itself was not the best gift, all that came along with it has been. We were able to RESET all our priorities and refocus on each other and now my business. I’m very excited for the year ahead. VERY!
I have a heap of work to blog, but I’ve simply been delivering the work and not blogging it through all this crazy. Life has settled, well almost… we move houses in a month. I’m now pretty much booked up for all of this year. I’m contemplating taking another 5 or so weddings and focusing more on weddings and less on portraits with exception to those repeat clients. I do LOVE shooting full circle. the wedding. the belly. the newborn. As is life.
**WARNING: iPhone Pics Ahead**
Here’s where I’ve been the last few months…
The new studio, which after only about six months will all get shifted into our living room as we’re moving!! Can’t. Wait. Who knew that Santa Cruz had the Burbs?!
The studio was heaven sent though for the short season it served.
Morning monopoly. Talking with his family in Australia.
Walking West Cliff and hanging out with a Kiwi Mate. Rod’s boys shipped an Aussie classic over to help nurse Rod back to health. VB beer.
We took the kids to see the Globtrotters and caught the lightrail there…
Watched my daughter play words with friends with her grandma and explore the iphone camera.
I shot some killer weddings.
in beautiful churches…
… and shoot a good friends wedding in So Cal. Halarious as always.
Attended a bridal faire in Santa Clara with a wicked eventscape put on by Asiel Designs.
Taught Rod to make some dinners while he was passing time healing. YES- husband learned to cook! Only took 10 years.
Had fun trying on daddy’s neck brace when he wore his wet one in the shower.
Started to take my iphone on runs along west cliff to rediscover photography.
Had some rainy day fun at the roller rink
Played Pirates and dress up at home.
Had Crazy Hair Day at school.
Helped in Luke’s class. Umm, FYI- Ochilea = Australia.
…and just soaked in the reason for living. Family.
My husband, Rodney is alive and well. His neckbrace has come off after three months of healing a broken neck and he’s able to drive again. Amen! I’ve caught up on work and am back in full swing.
I’m tremendously grateful to all of those who have love and supported us through this process. Especially my amazing brides who allowed me to slow down my normal workflow to be present with Rod and deal with the countless doctor appointments.
Here is Rod’s story from FB on his brush with death a week before Christmas and a DAY before his birthday. Poor Guy. He is lucky to be alive as he was mm away from being paralyzed from the neck down.
Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement. I’ve always been skeptical about Facebook but now I’m seeing another side!
So what happened? I’m as surprised as you are! It started out as a routine dawn patrol. I’d surfed Saturday morning and scored some super fun 4 foot walls from table rock down through to indicators. So Sunday morning I was fired up to get out in the water again, especially since Ryan had read the waves were forecast to get bigger. I watched middle peak from my truck for a solid 30 minutes to get a feel for the set size and timing and to wait for the tide to suck down to about 1 or 2 feet. It was breaking out on the second reef and the waves were stacked up in 10 wave sets without the long lull we had the morning before. It was probably 6-8 foot with the occasional 10 foot bomb rumbling in.
I jumped off the point between sets and made my way down toward the peak. TK and Flea were pulling in late into some deep pits in the slot and it was looking sick so I hung out down the line for a bit. Next thing I notice Ive been washed down toward table rock and everyone is paddling for the horizon where I can see high spray being blown off the tops of a few monsters approaching from way outside. It was too far to go to get under it before it broke so when the first wave approached me it was already broken and was moving as a double story wall of white water blasting across the reef. Without a thought I duck-dove under the front lip as I’ve done maybe a thousand times before. Immediately my board vanished from my grip and I was entrained into the rapid turbulence with a couple of quick backflips and twists. All standard winter time treatment so far. Nothing to get excited about, I would just have to stay out a little deeper on the next set.
Then something cracked into the top of my head with a loud boom and I felt my spine splitting and ears ringing. Immediately I whispered a silent prayer; “Lord, you gotta help me here”. I was upside down under about 8 feet of water I reakon and it took me a few seconds to wake up, turn, and kick my way up to the surface. Once I got a breath and looked around I noticed my surfboard floating next to me with a giant round ding in the middle of the deck. Weird. That had never happened before. I tried to get back up on my board but I seemed to have no strength and little feeling in my arms and shoulders. As the next wave of the set buffeted me I could hear this crunching noise in my neck so I tried to go upside down and bury my head under the water as the next four or 5 set waves passed.
I realized quickly that I had no paddle and I wasn’t going to make it to the cove so I set my sights on the stairs by the statue. I just floated myself in the river and kicked to stay on track. As I approached the stairs I tried standing up and the weight of my body was almost too much from my shoulders and neck to carry so I slumped in the water till I was washed right into the base of the stairs. Thankfully it was low tide and the turbulence at the stairs was manageable. I knew I need to get out of the water so I barged up the stairs wincing with the strain on my back. I stopped half way and struggled to find a flat place to rest my surfboard before sitting down to catch my breath. I was confused about what to do next. My truck and phone was too far to walk to, should I try to reach Julie, should I ask someone for help? One guy climbed out after me and gave me a smile as if to say “good waves hey!” as he passed. So without much of a plan I climbed up the remaining 10 or so steps to the road and just as I got to the top my neighbor Will pulled up to the stop sign right there, saw me, saw the look on my face, and jumped out of his car and ran over to help me. I told him I think he is an angel and he just looked at me with deep worry on his face and said he would drive me to hospital. Soaking wet boots, wetsuit and all I get into his car and he takes me past my house to get my wallet and tell Julie and then drives me carefully to the hospital. His wife Brooke swings into action to take Bella and Luke to their house and Julie drives to the ER to catch up with me.
Next thing Im getting wheeled into the ER on a gurney and nurses are buzzing around asking me my name and birthday and we share a choked laugh when Nurse Sarah realized it was tomorrow. In the middle of the ceiling is a stainless steel hook and suddenly the fun starts to wear off. Just about then I started loosing control of my language and breathing as anger came to me with power. “Cut the f’n suit off” I mutter, “I just got a new suit yesterday for my birthday”. I think that’s when Julie walked in and gave me a kiss and told me all of the people who were already praying for me and I started to break and realize with relief God was not done protecting me yet.
About a month ago, I turned the big 3-0! We partied it up at the Harbor Cafe on 7th and had a band come play for a few hours. Totally recommend the harbor cafe for intimate parties. It includes staff, full no host bar, clean up and food if you want or you can bring your own. Here are a few from the last minute theme my sister in-law put togeteher.. hula-tiki-pirate?!
Slow dance with the hubby.
Waterpolo teammates from college!
No party is complete without a cake fight…
Good Times xoxo
Companion Bakeshop moved into the vacant spot near Another Bike Shop off Mission. Starting from a simple commercial space that sold their fresh breads at farmers markets, Jeremy and his wife, Erin have now expanded to a shop serving fresh baked goods of all kinds and great coffee. They exclusively serve Lulu’s coffee. Yum! When I first popped in that morning, they had the fresh loaves of dough covered with towel and ready to go into the brick oven. That is what really made me want to go grab my camera. That and their drip coffee. I thought it would be fun to photograph some drip coffee. I love that a beach cruiser was parked out front when I arrived and I was able to get some sun flare shining on their sign. It so encapsulates the sunny Santa Cruz lifestyle. Check out the sweet write up in the Sentinel to learn more and go check out their beautiful fresh new space for yourself!
A new summer project for me is to snap some photos of local things in Santa Cruz. We have SO many amazing ma and pa shops, great resources, colorful characters, and natural beauty in our town of Santa Cruz, California. My goal is to feature some local love. Give a flavor of this town through my eyes.
Up first is the brand new bakery that opened across the street from me. Comapanion Bakery. I pick up my farm share from Free Wheelin’ there every Tuesday and have watched them revamp and open their new shop over the last few weeks, so I stopped in today to meet the owners. More on this sweet spot soon!
I just heard from Lale and he picked up a 10 day old baby boy, he promised pictures soon! He also said that he is heading back out to the Hammer tribe where there is another baby waiting for him to come rescue it. We are praying that things go smooth and that he is able to rescue this new baby. He is renting a car for this trip and it appears that it may be the last rental we need to do, the new car should be here any day now… Fingers crossed on that one!
I’m moved to tears to think that these babies and children are killed. I think of my friend, who as I write this entry, is in labor with twins. She and her husband wanted children so badly and had already been approved for adoption before being blessed with a pregnancy of their own. I guess I wrestle with the fact that the people who are not in a place or even ready to receive a child, can get pregnant and the ones who want children so badly, can sometimes not conceive. In the case of these children, they have a family and are loved. However, if the village elder says your child will bring a curse to your people and orders your child to be thrown into a river to die, you have no other choice. How heartbreaking…..for a family, a mother, and the child.
I was not in the position to be having a child at age 20, only half way into college, with my boyfriend back in his home country, Australia and legally not approved to work in my country. What a mess of timing. However, God has His own plan and brought us together, making something I only could have dreamed up become a reality. I believe if you are even willing, not necessarily ready, then He will bring change!
Kristen was willing and ready. I heard from her auntie, who is a dear friend of mine that her niece, Kristen had gone to Africa to speak with the elders to ask if they would turn the children they deem “mingi” or ”cursed” over to her and others to care for instead of throwing them into the river to drown. Thus “Drawn from Water” was born. This amazing organization has grown so much in just over a year. Within eight weeks of the first rescue, eight more children were rescued!! I believe so passionately in this organization. Ten percent of profits from Julie Cahill Photography are donated here. To learn more, check out their blog, Drawn from Water and please view the short video below.
“And sometimes it takes just one voice
to interrupt the pattern of injustice…”
Please, please, please watch this amazing and beautifully made video about the birth of this organization.
Happy 30th Birthday Greta!
Most of my friends birthday parties seem to be late night affairs, but Greta arranged for us to relax poolside with drinks, magazines, and a gal to change our toe polish. A relaxing change from the normal 30th birthdays! After hanging poolside, we all had a formal Sunday dinner at the restaurant there, Dio Deka where her hubby is the chef. YUM! Unfortunately, I don’t fine dine enough cuz by the fourth course I had no room for the main course. I literally took one bite and asked for a box. I thought all the burritos I eat would have been good training, but no.
Still to come… two weddings and a maternity shoot.