becca & niko.

i’ve had the opportunity to photograph this amazing little guy & his gorgeous mama on a regular basis since he was about 6 months old. it’s such a cool experience to watch him grow through the view finder. at 4 years old niko is fun and playful and wild and awesome. he likes to shoot webs out of his fingers like spiderman and trap me. he also likes to run circles around his mama who works multiple jobs *and just completed nursing school. i don’t know how she does it! i’m sure for becca it feels like there really are 4 of him sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜‰ love you guys.

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hold them close.

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“hold them close.”

those are the words that have been echoing through my mind the past few days.

hold them close. hug them. love them. tell them they’re good enough. listen to them. appreciate each moment with them. hold them close.

it’s unimaginable for me to put myself in the shoes of the 20 sets of parents that just lost their babies. i literally can’t imagine it. my mind won’t let my heart begin to feel that kind of earth-shattering pain. in such a time of complete devastation and confusion, we question everything. why did this happen? what does this mean about our nation that this keeps happening? how do we stop this? how could someone murder innocent children?

i don’t know. i wish i did. my only answer is – “hold them close.” not just now in the midst of this horrific tragedy, but always. hold them close. hug them. love them. tell them they’re good enough. listen to them. appreciate each moment with them.

hold them close.

lead them down a path of light. encourage them. expose them to a life of positivity and creativity. create lines of open communication. turn off the tv. turn off the 6 o’clock news. (for the love of god, please, turn off the 6 o’clock news.) turn off the video games. connect with them at the most raw, human levels. laugh. play. talk. foster their self expression. be an advocate for their health. go outside. connect with nature. tell them the truth. do the work on yourself so that you can provide (y)our children with opportunities you never had. help them when they’re in need. it’s our responsibility to do better. it’s our responsibility to help our children grow into conscious, loving adults. it’s our responsibility to hold them close.

patricio + shawn. married.

in october i shot one of the most powerful and beautiful weddings that i’ve witnessed so far. there was nothing ordinary about it – it was a traditional mayan ceremony that took place on the beach in tulum, mexico. the bride and groom are both artists and dear friends of mine ย and i’m so so honored they chose me to capture their wedding day. people gathered from around the globe to celebrate and participate in their declaration of love for one another, everyone wearing white on the white sand beach. it was stunning from start to finish and the love on that beach was palpable. i could write on and on and on and on for pages about the experience of being there, the beautiful people i met and what an amazing couple they are… but i’ll spare you the long-winded sappiness and just let the photos tell the story. congrats, pato and shawni! love you both.

it’s a bird, it’s a plane…

…it’s a flying amora and the launch of my new website! we’ve been working hard on streamlining my online presence. as my work diversified over the years, so did my websites. well, they didn’t so much diversify as straight-up multiply. i had 3 different domains for my work – ouch. now we’ve created a place where my photographic multiple personality disorder has a cohesive place to call home. ๐Ÿ˜‰ check out the new katieleephoto.com! many thanks to my super talented hubby over at beClicking for all the hard work.

good life.

summer is (way past) officially over and i am officially home for a few weeks. it’s been a whirlwind of what seemed like endless travel and amazing photo shoots. i love, love, love what i do and this life that we’ve so carefully crafted. i love that my kid has a stamp in her passport at 2 years old. i love that we haven’t let all the “adult” responsibilities dull our love for life. yes, we have a child. yes, we own a home. yes, we have pets to care for and a garden to tend to. but that doesn’t stop us from pursuing our dreams and Living It Up.

it’s not always easy being on the go. in fact, it’s quite exhausting at times especially with a toddler in tow. but i feel the pull deep down in my heart to continue on the path that feels most authentic for me despite the foggy moments of weary travel, the constant change of the time zones and the interrupted sleep cycles.

it’s moments like these (see above) that really break my heart wide open with gratitude. it’s moments like these that can’t be replaced or recreated. full moon, warm waves, beautiful people celebrating love in a breathtaking setting…ย it’s a good life.

 

hey, i’m fast!

a friend of mine sent me a text a few days ago saying that one of my images was featured in an article online. i didn’t pay that much attention to it because people are always pulling my images from flickr and using them in blogs, articles, etc. i used to try to hunt down every person i found that was using my images without my permission and without proper credit, but i long since surrendered to the major blunder of posting your work online. copyright issues. well, when i finally took the time to check out the link, i realized it was a photography website that i’m a fan of that actually featured my work. and it wasn’t one, but two of my images in their top 100 list. how cool! the title of the article is “100 Stunning Photos That Freeze Time With a Fast Shutter.” check out the article and the other amazing featured images here.

yay for being fast! =)

mikey + robyn. sneak peak.

last weekend i had the honor of shooting a very special wedding. mikey and robyn are very dear to my heart and i’m happy that i can now officially call them both family. their wedding day was beautiful and so moving. the ceremony didn’t leave a dry eye in the courtyard. yours truly included. i’m not gonna lie, i cry at most weddings, even when i’m photographing people i don’t know well. (yes, i’m a sap.) but trying to shoot through suppressing a full-on sob was a bit of a challenge. i’m so thrilled that i got to be a small part of their day and that i got first row spot for the now infamous cake cutting. (see last image)

congratulations, mikey and robyn! i love you both and wish you a lifetime of love and laughter… and babies!!! (sorry, had to say it. no pressure. but seriously, make some babies already. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

sweetness.

gorgeous baby, gorgeous mama. pure sweetness.

hunter.

today i got to spend some time with a brand new teeny tiny newborn, hunter. are they really ever this small??? it seems like such a distant memory. hunter is beautiful and such a mellow, content lil guy. a total sweetheart. congrats, hileigh and michael, he’s just perfect. =)

weather the storm.

sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the weather of life. my vision gets so cloudy that it’s hard to see what’s waiting on the other side. but with a little faith and (a lotta) patience, my distorted view will inevitably get flipped right side up… sunny side up. in just the blink of an eye. with the presence awareness and mindfulness, my world view can instantly transform from grey & rainy to vibrant & illuminated. thanks for the constant reminders, mama nature, you’re the best.