pictures of you: the mitri family

Remember this time last year? Or have you tried to block it from your memory like me? You know, barely leaving the house, life on pause. Well, it was about that time, when my work had come to a screeching halt and I was experiencing what I can only describe as an identity crisis, that I realized just how integral photography was to my being and how much I missed it, how much I needed that creative outlet. I also felt that I would regret it if I didn’t do something to capture a slice of that wild, bizarre and unprecedented time. From that came my Pictures of You Project in which I aimed to photograph families of all sorts throughout Southern California in a creative but honest way from six feet apart.

After the project ran its course and glimpses of normalcy started to appear, I didn’t feel quite ready to share the photos (I think because they felt so personal) so I sat with them. But, now seems right.  That time and space provided an unexpected perspective, dare I say, retrospective twist to the images that make them that much more meaningful.

Exactly one year ago tomorrow, I photographed the Mitri Family and my first family for the project.  Their images feel like a natural place to start sharing.  As with many of the families I photographed for the project, life has changed dramatically for them since we took the photos and I thought it would be interesting to include a bit of where they are now in their own words:

“Life has completely shifted since the COVID lockdown. I began working from home overnight for the first time in my professional career. My daughter went from a packed, active school schedule to a 3-hour, part-time zoom followed by very few outdoor activities, especially as we moved into the Fall and Winter, due to the weather. A lot of things became incredibly clear for us as a family though as a result of COVID, we re-prioritized from the top down. We bought a second home in Texas with some land so we could give our daughter the best of nature and the wild outdoors. With so many friends moving there as well, we were able to resume a new way of life. We picked up a stray pup on our travels back and forth from California, who has become our pup Taco’s new best friend. There is a silver lining in all things. Overall, I would say COVID changed everything but also simplified and brought us back to an easier and less distracting way of life and as we keep rolling into 2021, it is only looking better and I wish the same for everyone else.”
Kristina Mitri

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exhale

A blog post! What a concept! I just checked and it’s been almost exactly a year since I last posted to my blog. Perhaps it literally is a little “last year” to blog, but it’s such a great way to present a body of work and to tell a story instead of one, singular image or a small carousel of photos here and there on Instagram.  This series of photos from Oksana and David’s maternity session at their gorgeous Los Angeles home lend themselves perfectly to such a format.

I also feel like I’m finally coming up for a big breath of fresh air after the last year and these photos feel like a deep exhale to me, so them seemed like a good choice for my first post back at it.  Enjoy!

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staying in

A few weeks ago, I met up with Ashley and Bryant at their West Hollywood bungalow, which was as cool as it was comfortable. They wanted to capture this moment in their shared story… married four years, together eleven, high school sweethearts, no kids (yet), three beloved fur babies and enjoying this time together before things are likely to change in a big way.  One of their favorite things to do is to stay in at their home that they have so thoughtfully made together, so doing the shoot there was a no-brainer.

And, I have to say, while photographing families is my true passion, photographing a married couple pre-kids might just be one of my favorite things to photograph ever. It’s like an engagement session with all the significance of capturing a couple at the beginning of their family’s story but with people who are even more in tune with each other and even more at ease.  I felt the room to stretch creatively and the time to slow down and be inspired. It was a GOOD feeling!

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