A playful Valentine to you!

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Let your love rain down

Hearts, candy, flowers, love. We love St Valentines Day! This year we decided to do it up with a modish flair. Set in the classic but quiet Gallerie Bortier, I even made a thorough search for sweet and fun props to add a little sparkle.

Special thanks to my stepmom Cindi for coming out and keeping me sane during a long away trip for the Bear. Without her this session would have been completely impossible!

Today do something playful and loving for yourself and those you hold dear for time passes too fast.

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These two
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Where it all began
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The sweetest girl in the whole world
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Gotcha
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Heartbreaker
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Imp
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Stroll
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Who wrote the book of love?
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A perfectly imperfect holiday session

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A dream come true

For us Americans, the day after Thanksgiving signals the official start of the holiday season. One month of Christmas and I can’t wait to get started! To get you in the mood, I am glad to share our perfectly imperfect Christmas session that took us for quite a ride last week. Here is what happened…

Pretty much forever, I have wanted to hold a holiday session at a Christmas tree farm (check your mail for a Christmas mini session next October!). Like many dreams that grow in importance and magnitude over time, this day was a little doomed from the start. Spending way too much time gathering the perfect props, researching Belgian Christmas tree farms and picking out lovely matched outfits, the expectations were high. Too high.

The morning of, our many materials gathered into bags. Snacks, jackets, hats, hot chocolate in a thermos, three kids, lights. It was a seriously pile. As we loaded up and headed out, I just hoped it would all go smoothly and the lovely late fall light would hold.

The first hint of a coming disaster hit on the way to the farm.

Me: “Honey, can you give the kids a banana? They are in the snack bag.”

Honey: “Um, there is no snack bag here. I looked everywhere.”

Me: “What?!”

Next we arrived at the address. No Christmas trees! It seems this was the administrative office of the farm. They can’t be too far I thought so thus we drove in ever widening circles…with fussy, increasingly hungry and tired kids and now an awake and screaming two month old. Until finally, there they were! Gorgeous, green Christmas trees in sweet rows. The trees of my dreams!

So we parked and hopped out. Time to set up. A quick scan revealed that not only was the snack bag missing but also the one with all the props. A lone bag of fake snow luckily stashed in my purse was the only merry-making article to be found. Geez louise.

I will say we gave it our best but after a short time decided it just wasn’t meant to be. Sigh…

Finally home and fed, I reflected on the day. My perfect scene slipped away and here we were without the beautiful pictures I had in mind. Suddenly it dawned on me. We are not perfect. We don’t need a perfect setting, perfect clothes and perfect weather. We are perfectly imperfect. And we have a backyard…. and now all the fun Christmasy things we has left behind.

Thus I present our perfectly imperfect Christmas photos. Taken in our garden. Full of fun and love. Happy holidays!

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Magic
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What a scene
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Troopers
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Little loves
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Now time for some garden merry making
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Let’s scare mommy! 
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Monster face
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Merry and bright
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Don’t tell santa
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The way we are
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Berry kisses and fresh faces
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Perfectly imperfect
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Baby bear
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All the love in my heart

Ch-ch-ch-changes :)

Beachy
Full of it

Wow, what a year! Seems like a strange thing to say in August but the time until now has really flew by and now as we near the time to welcome our new baby boy, a sense of completion…and growth have settled in.

As the title implies, this new “project” has led to some ch-ch-ch-changes as we moved out to the ‘burbs into a sweet little house and I am just starting maternity leave now. Really I am much to big and lumbering to do my usual jumping up and down, running through parks and playing during photo sessions! It breaks my heart a little bit to miss my favorite photo time (fall) but I am determined to give this new little guy all I have got to make a great start in life.

So what’s next for Bear & Dragon? In the new year I will open a new studio space in a beautiful and convenient location in Brussels. I expect to be back in the early months of 2017 and can’t wait to see all my families, old friends and new for many new adventures.

In the meantime, stay tuned on the blog for some cool Brussels kids locations and to-do’s and a slice of life from bucolic Beersel.

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We are waiting for you

A Swedish midsummer eve

On the road
On the road

These days are precious. So precious and wonderful and special as we spend time, love and energy just enjoying each other. In some ways, time goes slow and in some ways it goes so so fast and even whole periods of your life can seem to fly by in a heartbeat.

Despite occasional protests from the Bear, my camera is the tool that I use to grab these moments in time and store them away. I imagine pulling these out when I am 80 and marveling at all the beauty. All the love and all the moments bursting with the vibrant life we have. Exhausting, busy and at time past trying but I would not trade even one second. As you enjoy your holiday, I hope you also look around and take a more distant view for once. Imagine yourself in 40 years looking at this moment. Let your heart fill up and then jump in and enjoy every second of it.

Here we are in big sky Sweden with our beloved Farfar and Farmor. I am so glad to have had a chance to organize a little mini session to capture the loving relationship that is growing across these generations. This pond is just a short walk from the family home and we have spent many an afternoon throwing rocks and shivering in the cold Nordic waters and evenings enjoying a cold beer and getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Its a special place and I hope you enjoy it!

Trailblazer
Trailblazer
These are the moments
These are the moments
Generations
Generations
Vibrant life
Vibrant life
Touch
Touch
Cool water
Cool water
Love and laughter
Love and laughter
Little big man
Little big man
Flower girl
Flower girl
Before you know it
Before you know it
Jump!
Jump!
For you
For you
Golden
Golden
Our place
Our place

First look: A family by fate

All together now
All together now
There are many many types of families. Big and small, those grown through new marriages and those who are families are brought together by fate. Today I share some inspiration from one of the latter.
Those who have been on the long road of adoption can tell you, it can be difficult to keep that image of your complete family in mind. Something that requires enormous commitment, patience and love. With this in mind, I was so happy to work with this beautiful family after they welcomed their new baby boy home from South Africa. To make that image in their minds a reality that celebrates their new unity.
One more example of a love that knows no bounds. If you are on the same path or thinking about adopting, I hope you find the same inspiration I did in this lovely story.
Light and love
Light and love
Play!
Play!
At last
At last
Summer life
Summer life
Whee!
Whee!
The Sweetest Boy
The Sweetest Boy

First look: Ieva and Mathias got married

Time stands still
Time stands still

I can scarcely think of a greater honor that being asked to photograph someone’s wedding. Your big day, and unless you are Kim Kardashian, certainly one of your most photographed ones! Ieva and Mathias are one of those couple that embody all the beautiful things about being young and in love. Sweet, light-hearted and above all, incredibly devoted to one another. I had a great time getting to know them! While respecting the privacy of the ceremony, I am happy (and proud) to share some of their fun and moving portraits. Cheers to this wonderful couple. Cheers to love!

May I have this dance
May I have this dance
Twirl
Twirl
Merry and Bright
Merry and Bright
Timeless
Timeless
Get over here :)
Get over here 🙂
Hand in hand
Hand in hand
Handsome
Handsome
Now break it down!
Now break it down!
Veiled
Veiled
From this moment
From this moment
Sunshine
Sunshine
A classic
A classic
True love
True love
The fun lies ahead
The fun lies ahead
Enjoy the ride
Enjoy the ride

First Look: I Love San Francisco engagement session

Soar
Soar

My little sister is growing up. Crazy but true story, she is even getting married! When I heard that Lauren and her long-term love, Ben (aka Uncle Ben) were getting hitched, I knew I needed to get my butt to California and take some engagement photos. Having missed this opportunity myself when I was still young and unwrinkled (cough, cough), I wanted to make sure they made some love-filled memories to reflect back on one day and to be admired on their save-the-dates and at the wedding itself.

Throughout a bright and romantic morning exploring Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, I found myself getting a little tearful (happy tears) just to be close to the special love these two share. And now I can share it with you to. A bright spot on a soft grey Sunday.

On the love note, I am excited to launch a new offering for engagement and wedding photography packages. More to come soon on the blog and website.

Here’s to love, youth and magic. Enjoy!

On your toes
On your toes
Journey
Journey
Lean on me
Lean on me
Tangled
Tangled
Being with you is like walking on a very clear day
Being with you is like walking on a very clear day
All grown up
All grown up
Just for fun
Just for fun
Soulful
Soulful

First look: Jumpin’ Jack

Hooray for sunshine!
Hooray for sunshine!

What a week! Bababoo started school on Monday and I think she likes it. Come on, they have a pet rabbit! Excited to get to spend some one on one time with my little Babatwo who, let’s face it, is not so little any more. 10 months old on Friday, crawling and talking up a storm including a rather unusual first word, color. 

It has been a busy time in the studio as people reach out for back to school and last summer hurrah in the park pictures. Last week I had the chance to meet a lovely American-British family, in for their first photo session with 3,5 month old Jack. Such a sweet boy and with the most amazing eye lashes. Why do little boys always have the longest lashes?! 

Please enjoy these sweet pictures and the late summer bump of sunshine. Cheers! 

Those lashes
Those lashes
In mother's arms
In mother’s arms
Man to man
Man to man

 

Together
Together