Jenna Kaye + Kyle // Engagement

These two are simply adorable.  Their love and excitement for one another is contagious.  And I can't wait for this Saturday when I get to capture the moment these two commit their lives to one another.  Side note, they hide well the fact that it was freezing cold the day we shot this engagement session. #champs 

A Day In The Life // January

       2 years ago a group of six photographers, including myself began what we called "The day in the life project."  If you're thinking it is what what it sounds like you're probably right.  Our task was simple- document an entire day once a month for a year.  I didn't complete it two years ago so I'm excited to give it another go in 2016.  It's not easy having your camera attached to you for an entire day, especially when you're capturing just the day to day "boring" stuff.  That is half the battle, really.  The other half is most certainly an internal one.  "Jamie, don't make your life appear as if it's something it's not," I say to myself.  "You don't have it all together so don't make it look like you do."  This is my own personal internal battle.  Throughout a day of shooting I have to ask myself repeatedly, Is this the real Ronning family or the Ronning family I want people to think we are?  Now for those of you reading this I certainly don't believe that people long to see or are even interested in the inner working of my family life.  I think I used to think that.  Because I'm the first to admit I gravitate towards that kind of pride and arrogance.  But now, I see it simply as an opportunity to experience a deepening level of gratitude for my life and family.  My dear friend Kandice posts a photo every Monday with the hashtag, #mundanemondays.  Her photos are often of her two little ones.  Maybe it's an image of them looking out the window for the garbage truck or playing in a giant cardboard box.  Whatever the case each image has a unique feeling of peacefulness.  Really the word that comes to mind is contentment.  There's that word.  Contentment.  Always seems to pop up these days.  And here is Kandice capturing the simplicity of her life and it shows her desire to stay present in the moment. To fight for contentment.  And it's beautiful.  You see within marriage you sacrifice so much.  When kids come along you sacrifice what feels like 1,000 times more.  Day in and day out consists of meal planning, cooking, cleaning, driving, running errands, sibling arguments, yelling outbursts (from mom and kids), messes, budgets, car issues, you name it.  Every day I have to make the choice to do it all over again.  I have to choose to sacrifice.  Overtime life can really feel less gratifying, less rewarding, less glamorous.  So I turn to discontentment.  But I don't want to marinate in those feelings for so long that I deprive myself of the beauty within the day to day, the mundane.  Because I believe contentment resides within the fabric of my heart when I choose to experience gratitude for all the things that come with this motherhood stage of life, the good and the bad.  Before I know it this season will be gone as fast as it came.  So therefore, as clumsy and difficult as it may feel at times, I choose contentment.  I choose gratitude.  "We might as well stop resisting it," my husband says.  "And start embracing it."  

       So here is Day In The Life- January.  A typical and not so typical Sunday consisting of family breakfast, church, and a long and restful afternoon of celebrating great grandpa Paul's 76th birthday with family.  Then return home for a dinner of peanut butter banana sandwiches for the kiddos, a frozen burrito for mom, and top off the night with some light viewing of Making a Murderer before the start of a new week.  I think he's innocent.      

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The Puckett Autumn photo session

Some of my favorite photo sessions in the past have been ones taken in a cozy and familiar setting for the client; their home.  Especially when there are kiddos because you see them in action doing what they do best in a place they know all to well and where they spend much of their time.  I LOVED this home for this particular session.  I loved the charm, I loved its uniqueness.  Thoughtfully decorated and oh so eclectic.  And the backyard is a dream for their little daughter complete with her own tree branch fort made by Dad (and my oh so talented brother in law).  Thank you Noyes family for welcoming me into your lovely home! 

// The Bradshaw + Day Wedding //

What to say about this wedding except that it was simply beautiful.  Beautiful bride, beautiful scenery, beautiful friendships, a beautiful marriage.  It was an honor to be a witness of Nate and Lianne making a lifelong commitment to each other.  Hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed editing them:)

The Yoder Wedding

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This wedding was a joy to be a part of.  Congrats to Taylor and Andrew on your new marriage!

The Trammell Family

I had the privilege of shooting Williams birth in September.  A few days after their return home from the hospital, I came over to their house for a newborn session.  It was a joy to be in the background capturing the excitement/ craziness of a new baby in the home as well as Jeff and Whitney's deep love for their little ones.

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The Williams Family

This was a great family session with Toby and Jaymi and their beautiful daughter, Harper!  What made it even more special is that these photos were taken on the property where Toby was born and raised.  His parents still live there today.  Enjoy:) 

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Taylor and Matthew- Engagement Session

  I have known Taylor (the bride) for a long time.  She was one of the first people I met when Dave and I moved to Ellensburg.  At the time Taylor was a senior in high school.  Now, 5 years later she is a college graduate with a degree in nursing and a wedding on the horizon.  Although she and I have lost touch over the years, she is one of those individuals I absolutely love to run into.  She is a special woman with a heart of gold.  I was incredibly honored and excited when she reached out to me to shoot her engagement photos.  This session went great.  I got to catch up with an old friend, get to know a really cool guy, and take pictures of two people who really love each other.  Oh, and did I mention we saw a rattlesnake?!  Yuck...  I would have taken a photo if I hadn't been so busy being paralyzed with fear.  Thankfully we escaped alive!  Taylor and Matthew thank you for letting me share in such a special day with you and wish many blessings for you both in your soon to be new marriage.  Congrats!

            

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Braeden Conley

Here is a recent session of some dear friends of mine and their adorable new little one.  

A Day in the Life- June

Better late than never!  This is our day in the life in June, posted in September:)  We enjoyed a family day on a Saturday in the midst of many packed summer weekends full of weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, reunions, and the like.  We took a trip to the westside ( what people from Eburg call the Seattle area) and attempted a raspberry picking day only to be foiled by the typical early summer Seattle rain.  But Matthias picked a ton of berries so at least it wasn't a total fail, right?  Except of course when he accidentally dropped them all in the mud.  Oh well, memories were made:)  On to the "free" animal farm where the kids had a blast looking at the chickens and pigs.  And of course no trip to the animal farm (or any public place for that matter) is complete without a timeout or two. Or three.  And yes I took a photo of one of my children in timeout.  We followed the day with what ended up being our last visit to see the kid's Great Great Grandma McCormick.  She passed away only a couple of months later at the age of 97.  It was a special visit and was thankful to have one last photo taken with her.  Then on to visit the kid's Great Grandparents for dinner and lots of play time.  The evening ended with a quiet and peaceful 2 hour drive home with two children exhausted and passed out in the back.  I love it when that happens.  I would say it was a successful day trip.     

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The Enchantments- Alpine Lakes Wilderness

A not so lifelong dream, but a dream none the less has been to run the entire length of the Enchantments in a single day.  By no means am I an accomplished runner but it's certainly something I love.  My husband loves it too so I thought this would be a great way to spend time together while simultaneously abusing our bodies.  For those of you who haven't heard of such a place, the Enchantments is a popular point to point backpacking/trail running destination regarded as one of the most spectacular locations in the Cascade Range.  Good luck reserving a permit to camp here because it's often booked over a year in advance.  The trail length exceeds just over 18 miles and is packed with gruesome elevation gains/losses with tumultuous rocky terrain difficult to navigate.  The Enchantments has two options for a starting point.  The first is the Snow Lake trailhead off of Icicle Creek Rd, just minutes out of Leavenworth, Washington.  From here it's a 6.5 mile gradual incline loaded with switchbacks galore to the entrance of Snow Lake.  The elevation gain totals 4100ft.  From there the trail ascends another 2.5 miles over granite rock until you arrive at the Lower Basin of the Enchantments.  The other possible route begins at Stuart Lake Trailhead.  This route, although not as long is substantially more difficult with a higher elevation gain in a shorter distance.  The distance from Stuart Lake Trailhead to Colchuck Lake is roughly 5 miles with an elevation gain of 2100ft.  Once arriving at the south end of the Lake you will see the notorious Aasgard Pass.  This is your final ascent into the Upper Basin of the Enchantments sitting at 7800ft elevation.  Aasgard Pass is a distance of 0.8 Miles with a 2200ft elevation gain.  Having backpacked from both entrances my personal preference is starting from Stuart Lake Trailhead.  Although I have read that the purest way to experience the Enchantments is progressing from the Lower to Upper Basin, for me it boiled down to whether I wanted to go up or down Aasgard.  Because of its steep grade and my brittle knees, up was the way to go.  Either way you slice it, this point to point trail is a harry beast.  In total this run/hike took us roughly 7.5 hours to complete.  I can say this was easily one of the hardest things I have ever done both mentally and physically.  My husband commented on the drive home about how prior to the start of our journey he wondered if running the Enchantments would make him lose respect for this magnificent mountain range.  Would running it equate to conquering it?  "Absolutely not," he said.  "The Enchantments allowed me to be released after I surrendered."  As we limped and dragged our broken bodies back to the car it was clear who won the battle.

            During 7 or so hours of our run I thought mostly about how much pain I was in.  But there was a sliver of time in there when I thought about life prior to becoming a wife and having kids of my own.  Like some some of you, I have moments throughout the day to day when I seriously lack gratitude for what I have and instead pine away for the days when I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.  So here we were, Dave and I sitting on the edge of a granite boulder looking out at the beauty surrounding us, doing the exact thing I so often long to do and the one thing on our mind is, "I wonder what the kids are doing right now?"  We have a rare day to ourselves not to mention a break from our daily responsibilities of work, parenting, taking care of cars, a house, a yard, etc., and what we're thinking of is our kids.  This isn't to say I don't deeply value the one on one time I get with my husband, because I definitely do.  But what I realized is that what I once thought was important to me now pails in comparison to what I have.  I'm so grateful for all of my adventures, explorations, travels, experiences, backpacking trips, hikes, etc.  I'm beyond thankful for my time with Dave and our memorable trek through the Enchantments this past weekend.  But what I'm most thankful for is the two little ones waiting for us when we return home and those same little ones who will one day join us in our many adventures to come.     

 Colchuck Lake.  4.5 miles in with 2100ft. elevation gain.

Colchuck Lake.  4.5 miles in with 2100ft. elevation gain.

 Aasgard Pass.  Last push to get to the top of Upper Enchantments.  2300ft elevation gain in a single mile

Aasgard Pass.  Last push to get to the top of Upper Enchantments.  2300ft elevation gain in a single mile

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 Image on the left take from the top of Aasgard Pass.  Image on the right taken from half way up Aasgard.

Image on the left take from the top of Aasgard Pass.  Image on the right taken from half way up Aasgard.

 Upper Enchantments 7800ft.

Upper Enchantments 7800ft.

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 Lower Enchantments

Lower Enchantments

 Another section of the Lower Enchantments.  Or what dave refers to as "The Shire."

Another section of the Lower Enchantments.  Or what dave refers to as "The Shire."

 Nearing the end of the Lower Enchantments.  Looking down onto Snow Lake.

Nearing the end of the Lower Enchantments.  Looking down onto Snow Lake.

If you plan on running the Enchantments, here are a few tips:

What to bring:

  • Hydration Pack
  • Gloves
  • Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Compression Sleeves (not a must but would definitely help)
  • Water Filter
  • Clif Shot Bloks(3-4 packs) or GU's if you prefer
  • 5-6 protein bars (We had Clif trail mix bars)
  • 1-2 Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Small first-aid kit (for possible blisters and major scrapes)

Depending on how frequently you plan on stopping and your skill level I would plan for 7-9 hours for the run.  For a day trip you only need a parking permit which you can purchase for $5 at the ranger station in downtown Leavenworth.  

The Conley Family

I haven't posted a session in awhile.  Let's be honest, I haven't had a photo shoot in awhile;)  But Kristina, Donovan and I had a great time documenting this special season of life as they wait in anticipation for the arrival of their new little one.  I was honored to be a part of it.  Enjoy.

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A Day in the Life- May

This particular Day in the Life was special for me because we celebrated our daughter's 2nd birthday.  The day started with the Ronning family birthday tradition; lots of balloons and the Beatles song, "Today is your birthday" blasting at 6:30am.  This followed by lots of tears, more balloons, breakfast, helping mom bake pie pops, mom gets frustrated, followed by more tears, farmers market trip with Matthias while the birthday girl napped away her crankiness, pizza at the farmers market, ballon animals, balloon animals popping, more tears, coffee stop, and then a mad dash to get everything ready for her birthday party.  Another Ronning birthday tradition is that the birthday boy or girl can eat whatever they want and as much of it as they want.  Berit didn't hold back. We stopped keeping track of how many pie pops she ate after the 10th one.  And after sneaking bites of pie off of the plates of nearly every guest, eating a container of trail mix and topping it off with three banana muffins, she was finally satisfied.  I spent much of the day in disbelief that it had already been two years since I gave birth to this sweet, beautiful, sassy little girl.  Trying to imagine what my life was like before her seems impossible sometimes.  But this day is yet another reason why I love the day in the life project.  It challenges me to document life moments I might typically let pass by.  But one this is for sure, this moment in my life I will cherish for years to come!  Happy Birthday, Berit!    

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The Wachsmith Family

Here are a few favorites from a recent family session of the Wachsmiths.  I hope the fun and sweetness of this awesome family shows through in the images.  Enjoy!

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"I Love to Denver..."

Ever have those moments when you're spending time with people you love sharing lots of laughs, food, good stories, and special memories and feel like if your heart got any more full it would explode?  I often think these are the moments where we are given just a tiny little glimpse into what heaven is going to be like.  I live for these special occasions which seem to be few and far between these days.  So I give thanks to my best friend, Cait who decided to graduate from Seminary this past week and give many of us friends from the past an excuse to get together and hang out for a weekend.    Although a short weekend at that, I will never forget how special of a time it was.  The friendships I value deeply are the ones where you can pick up right where you left off, no matter how long it's been since you've seen each other.  So today I am filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for a weekend full of hilarious belly aching moments, words of encouragement, and of course, good coffee and beer.  Congrats to Cait for your three years of insanely hard work and commitment to finishing your masters.      

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Alpine Lakes Trail Hike

My brother in law was in town recently so we thought it would be fun to take the kids hiking in one of my favorite areas in all of the PNW; Leavenworth.  About an hour drive from Ellensburg,  Leavenworth is a quaint Bavarian tourist town known for great hiking and delicious brauts.  We arrived expecting rain but instead had lots of sunshine.  The afternoon was a blast!  We hiked a small segment of the Alpine Lakes Trail, one we are all most familiar with.  It is by no means an easy trek (all up hill with lots of switchbacks), but we figured we would see how much the kids could handle before the inevitable meltdown served as a signal for us to head back to the car.  5 minutes in the kids were ready for snacks.  At that point I thought they wouldn't have it in them to go much further.  But we made it over a mile up the trail before Matthias told us it was time to head back.  We ended the afternoon with delicious brauts and beer before the drive home.  Here are just a few of my favorites from the hike. A thank you to my bro in law for snapping some great pics as well:)

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