Family books

Earlier this week, we were surprised to learn that five eagerly awaited boxes from France arrived and were waiting for pick up at the post office. My husband dashed out the door to pick up the boxes and was back home surprisingly fast.

Knowing the boxes were filled with old family books, we carefully opened them, one by one, 


making sure each book was removed gently.


We took time to admire the textures, patterns,

Jean_H_de_Buren_Family_Books_5664vibrant colors,

jean_H_de_Buren_Family_Books_5673to read the inscriptions,

Jean_H_de_Buren_Family_Books_5747and to explore their pages.

Jean_H_de_Buren_Family_Books_5645All of the books were written in French, and the girls were curious to know more about the contents of each book. Thankfully, my husband reads and speaks French, so he was able to elaborate.


After the books were all unpacked and the girls went off to play, I remained close by with my camera. In the quiet, I watched my husband explore the books,


often smiling as he read more of the inscriptions. I imagined him establishing a deeper connection to some of his relatives from generations past.

Jean_H_de_Buren_Family_Books_5758We are so fortunate to have such rich family history to pass down through our family.



I spent some time in the bakery today, taking in the aroma of baking breads, the laughter, and swirl of activity.

In this moment, as I watched her measure, weigh, and mix, I was drawn her delicate hands; I appreciated the precision of her work.


I am a storyteller

Today, I came across a box of photos from 1996-1997, which I haven’t opened in some time. These were important years in my photographic journey as it was during these years that I fell in love with black and white photography. My Canon AE-1 camera was by my side just about everywhere I went; I learned to take photos from different perspectives; I often stayed up through the night until sunrise, just so I could process my film and print my own photos in my darkroom (where time passed by so quickly, that I didn’t trust that the time on my watch was accurate). I was in love with the whole process.

So today, forgetting about all of the tasks I had planned to accomplish, I simply sat down, pulled photos out one by one, smiled, and enjoyed myself.

Then, when I saw these photos of my dad, I stopped.

Jean_H_de_Buren_dad_-9919I stopped, in part, because I vividly remembered taking these photos of my dad, and how much I enjoyed following him around as he performed some of his training routines (as a decathlete). I remember taking photos of my dad setting his timer on his wristwatch, before getting ready to run at the track; I photographed him resting in between sets, with his hands on the weightlifting bar in the garage;  I photographed him sitting on the bleachers at the track, looking out, reflecting on his last performance, and preparing for the next.

But, the other reason I stopped is because I was surprised to recognize and discover my current photographic style in the photos I captured 17 years ago. I saw storytelling, through capturing the details.

I was surprised to make this connection and discovery, because, since I stopped working as a portrait photographer, I have been unable to explain my photographic style to anyone, including myself. These photos of my dad pulled everything together for me.

I  know that I love capturing events unfolding in front of me; I love capturing everyday moments; I love capturing the details, which often go unnoticed by those around me; I love capturing connections between people; I cannot get enough of photographing beautiful light; I love pulling images together, to tell a story.

I may not have been able to say it until now, but in my heart, I know that am a storyteller.

Favorite Photo Friday: Creating in the morning

Some mornings, we have the luxury of having extra time to create. Our girls love to write, draw, design, and build. I love to capture these moments as they unfold, revealing and creating a story of my own in the process.


Storytelling: Hands

Quite often, it is the little details that catch my attention and inspire me to take photos.

I am drawn to people’s hands; they show playfulness,

express love,

and connection;  

hands can reveal our courage, excitement, and

the pride we feel in a job well done.