I am stunned by the light in my bedroom. Why did it take me this long to see?  This little muse was happy to bask in it for a few minutes….Great portrait light

KristineNoel

There are loads of teens here at the American School of the Hague that I am dying to get my hands on for a senior style photo shoot.  I love photographing teens, they take direction and are happy to do some of the silly things I ask them to.  And guess what my antics for little kids are completely unnecessary. I was so glad that a teenage daughter of my friend was game to try to find those wild horses in the field and twirl a bit in the grass.  She is such a light.

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I have found some local stylists that can help make the shoots even more fun with professional hair and makeup.  Which really makes photographing a teen girl even more fun and more of an experience!  So officially calling all high school seniors…. Contact me here for more information.

KristineNoel

A new friend took me under her wing, early in our move here, to show me some special places in Wassenaar.  Just outside of Wassenaar, as if you are headed to the beach and along the road to Katwijk, is one of these little spots – the “Overdevest Tulpen & Zo.”  It is a family run business that sells a variety of bulbs in the fall (I planted a couple hundred of these in October!) and they sell forced blooms in there late winter and early spring.

The farm is in a beautiful spot on the way to the beach and next to a dune park with a long open field that is a perfect spot to watch the sun set.   Kees (pronounced Case) and his wife Saskia are so open and love to let people tour their greenhouses.  It was new to me, but there are tulip growers in The Netherlands that grow bulbs, and there are tulip growers that grow flowers. And we live right in the  middle of Tulip country!  I am so excited to see what the area looks like this spring.  We are so close to Keukenhog, or the “Garden of Europe” where they have plant 7 MILLION BULBS A YEAR – that I have to believe that spring is going to be unbelievable.  So book your trips now to visit us!

This farm has heated greenhouses and forces bulbs to bloom ahead of schedule.  The kids loved seeing the operation and learning a bit  more about growing flowers and the people that do it. And they also have an adorable tea house and gift shop adjacent to the bloemwinkel…

They also sell in typical Dutch fashion, really lovely arrangements and baskets with bulbs that are growing and ready to bloom.  All in all a great little weekend side trip and it was fun to learn a bit more about the flower business here in Holland.

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KristineNoel

 

“Our parents leave us too early, our spouses and our children come along too late… our siblings are the only ones that are with us for the entire ride.”

-Jeffrey Kluger

I had the pleasure of photographing brothers recently in Wassenaar at the Raadhuis DePauw.  They were expat kids, they had lived in several countries and their mother wanted to gift their father images of the boys and their relationship.  It was powerful to me to think about how unique the bond must be that these brothers have.  I could see how they relied on each and gauged what their next move would be by watching what the other might do.

I love being a witness and a recorder of this “brotherhood bond.” I also really appreciated how the wonderful mother of these boys saw how important it was to celebrate brotherhood these boys share today and will hopefully strengthen over time and for the rest of their lives. I believe the real gift that was given by the mom was the gift of acknowledging the brotherhood of these two boys.

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KristineNoel

New Year and a New Baby!  Well I guess by now this baby is a smiling, sitting up, happy 1 year old – but he was always adorable.  I was thinking this week about why I love the new years time of the year so much.  As unoriginal as it sounds, I love new years for all the reasons that most people do.  A fresh start, a time to look at things and set some goals, an opportunity to see the amazing possibilities of life and this journey that we are on. I don’t typically set resolutions, but reflect on what I want to accomplish and what I want to experience.  Sometimes this means trying to adjust the things that I am doing to make room for new things.

Which is what a new baby does for a family.  A new baby is so full of opportunity and wonder and everyone around is delighted to make that additional bit of space for them in their lives.  From the crib and the creation of a perfect nursery to the immediate place in their hearts that a baby fills.  A new baby brings joy and it is an honor to photograph their newness.  Those little swirls of hair, the tiny wrinkles of their fingers and toes, those pink little lips.  But even more important to me and story I want to tell, is trying capture that space in the hearts and relationships, that has been created long before the baby is born.  Lifestyle portraits of a family interacting and doing the things that families do. That look between a mother and her baby, that hesitation of a big brother holding the baby, the twinkle in the eye of a father who is delighted to see this miracle in their lives.
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