Nantucket! Take out your map and look at it…

Oh Nantucket!  It truly holds a special place in my heart (and soul!). We have some dear friends who own a home there, and we have been blessed to visit three summers over the last 5 years.  I am a beach lover for sure, but Nantucket, it is something so very special. From the beautiful open beaches to the darling little town… We stay on one of the outer areas, near Miacomet Pond.  We see people around, yes, but they are few and far between!

This summer we visited for a week in July and I was able to walk alone on the beach or the dune paths every day ~ the air on that Island is magical.  I have terrible allergies and asthma, but from the minute I step off the plane I breathe free and clear.  There is a beautiful yogo studio in a barn above a little farmers market and I was able to walk the couple miles to and from yoga while listening to the ocean and breathing fresh, clean air.  Just glorious!

And oh how my boys love it too!  They each took a swim with me out in the ocean this year!  Not just chasing the waves at their feet, but past the waves, out in the ocean, and swam!  It brought me so much joy ~ and they were so proud they were about to burst!  We don’t turn on the one small tv in the cottage all week.  No tv, no movies, no video games.  And everyone knows that is Mama’s hard rule!  So we just get outside – all day every day.  Amazing!

I really backed away from the camera while we were there too – a bit surprising for me!  But it was a time to put down electronics and just enjoy.  We went on a sailing cruise for a couple hours – and it was the same boat and captain from our trip 2 years before!  So of course I did need to recreate the little photo series of them on the boat ;)  And one of the passengers was so kind to take a photo of us as a family ~ and it is one of our very favorite family photos from the past couple years.

These photos don’t tell all of Nantucket’s story, but hopefully it gives a little glimpse….

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ReneeStengelPhotographyNantucketSummer2014

ReneeStengelPhotographyNantucketSummer2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyNantucketSummer2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyNantucketSummer2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyNantucketSummer2014

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Sweet Blessings

My sister and I live pretty far away from each other – and we have for a long time.  I was in Virginia for nearly 15 years before we moved the family to Kansas in 2013.  She has always lived in California.  She now has two beautiful daughters, and I was extremely blessed to be able to visit just after her second daughter, sweet little Harper, was born in March.  As a newborn photographer, you can imagine what a joy it is to photograph your own family!  Without a studio, I couldn’t do my normal posed newborn session for her, but I wanted to do something!!  So I decided to do a lifestyle session for her.  It was just perfect.  I loved capturing all of her perfect little details with my macro lens!  My sister has done a beautiful job with each of the girl’s nurseries and it was such a joy to be able to capture Harper in her sweet room at just 10 days new.  And see that beautiful dresser?  That belonged to my sister and I in our shared room at my Daddy’s house when we were little girls.  I am so happy that Baby Harper now gets to use it.  So many blessings (and so much emotion! ;) displayed in this post.  Thank you baby girl for coming just in time for our visit!

~ Auntie Renee

 

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ReneeStengelPhotographyNewbornLifestyle2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyNewbornLifestyle2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyNewbornLifestyle2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyNewbornLifestyle2014

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California Poppies

My love of photography really started with nature photography.  The first time I picked up an SLR camera (no digital back then ;) was to shoot some deer in a field on an adventure to Northern California with my Dad.  I think I was about 9 or 10.  We were waaaay up north, close to the Oregon border – a whole different world from where I grew up in the Central Valley.  It was beautiful country and I was so proud that my Dad let me play a bit with his Minolta and his 70-300mm lens.  I didn’t know much, but I sure knew it was the “big time” ~ or at least compared to anything I had ever held it was!!  For years I dreamed of owning a “Big Camera” of my very own – and eventually bought a used version of the very same model as his Minolta when I took my first photography class in college.

But I digress, back to nature photography…In my college years and through my twenties my photography was focused almost solely on nature and architecture.  Then a couple years before my oldest was born I started focusing more on children and babies – and by the time my second came along I was on the baby track all the way!!  I still love nature photography, but it has been a long time since I have had the time to do much work in that field.

We are out in California this week visiting my family for spring break.  Every time we are here I long to get to the coast and shoot my beloved Pacific Ocean ~ I even tried to talk my boys into jumping in the car and heading over for a one day trip with me this round ;)  I had no takers – the little cousins and Great Grandma’s ice cream cones were just too much fun, but I still find myself looking all around for hints of my favorite California spots.

And then I spotted them.  My very favorite flowers in the world… Bright orange California Poppies.  They grow wild all over the Pacific Coast and I just adore them.  I started spotting them as I drove down the freeway, but I couldn’t exactly pull over in the median and with two little boys in the car and whip out my camera, right?  And then, it all fell together.  We arrived at my sister’s house (where I got to photograph my brand new niece! Eek! But that is for the next post ;) and she had EIGHT of them in her backyard!  I was over the top excited!!

Of course I had all my gear with me ~ she has a brand new baby, I brought everything!!  So, out came the macro lens… I haven’t shot macro flowers in years, literally!  It was so fun to play with my beautiful Orange Poppies.  Maybe next trip I will get over to my Pacific and eight of them in the backyard won’t seem like such a feast ;)

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ReneeStengelPhotographyWildflowerCaliforniaPoppySpring2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyWildflowerCaliforniaPoppySpring2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyWildflowerCaliforniaPoppySpring2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyWildflowerCaliforniaPoppySpring2014

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