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I promised I’d write a blog post about why I loved flying with Alaska Airlines out of Oakland Airport compared to flying with United out of San Francisco, and then I returned home and Will was sent to Japan on business for 3 weeks.  Needless to say, blogging took a major backseat while I hunkered down and focused on keeping Lauren and I rested, well-fed, and sane.  I think she and I did pretty well together, but it sure is nice to have Will back home.

Also, I thought I’d spruce up a non-photo related post with some shots of my favourite spot back home (Kal Park in Vernon, where Will and I got married five years ago).  My family looked after Lauren one morning so I could have some quiet time out at the park and it was glorious.  Taking a dip in Kalamalka Lake first thing in the morning on a quiet summer’s day is one of my favourite indulgences, and I love that these photos represent my experience so perfectly.

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All right, now back to business.

Lauren and I have already had our fair share of little adventures together, specifically with flying, which reminds me of how my mom always said that I was her little buddy when I was a baby and we used to fly across the country together.  That’s how it feels when Lauren and I fly…she’s my little buddy, and I love it.  I loved the experience even more when flying out of Oakland with Alaska Airlines and here are my top three reasons why:

  • From the moment I stepped into OAK pushing a luggage cart (piled high with a massive suitcase, hockey bag containing carseat paraphernalia, small backpack/diaper bag, camera bag, and lunch bag with Lauren’s food) and pulling Lauren in a stroller, airport staff hurried to my side to help lift bags, help with luggage tags, and usher me through the baggage drop process smoothly and expediently.  Usually by the time I leave the baggage-drop area I’ve got a scowl on my face and I’m cringing with dread as I make my way to the security line with a stroller and all our stuff.  I finished up with the bags wearing a smile and feeling positively light–a sensation which must be partially attributed to the fact that I was now unencumbered by three-quarters of our luggage.
  • OAK has a security line AND conveyor belt just for families, whereas SFO has a security line for families, but then families share a conveyor belt with everyone else which backs up essentially everyone else who move much faster and have less stuff than parents with young ones.  The relief I experienced knowing that I wasn’t going to feel pressured to hurry through the security process was monumental.  Here’s how our things are lined up on the conveyor belt to go through the scanner:  Bin with shoes, cardigan, passports, and small backpack/Bin with Macbook Air/Bin with camera bag/Bin with liquids and with Lauren’s lunch bag containing food and drinks/Stroller (I put Lauren down to sit in a fifth bin while I collapse the stroller and heave it onto the conveyor).  Doing all this while other families wrangle their children and belongings makes me feel so much better than if I’m holding up a stream of annoyed travellers that  just want to hurry to their gate.
  • Alaska Airlines still offers priority boarding to those traveling with young children.  WAKE UP UNITED!!!  No one wants to have the line held up because you’re trying to collapse a stroller on the jetway and keep your crawling, curious baby from melting down because she can’t go exploring at her leisure.  All while trying to keep track of your boarding passes, passport, lunch bag, camera bag, and diaper bag of course.  Oh right, and then carry all of this to your seat with a squirming little monkey who just wants to bust free from the confines of your arms.  For those of you who are wondering why I don’t use a carrier in the airport, it’s because the stroller enables me to go to the restroom more easily, feed her without mess, have a break from being joined at the hip all day, and largely, because I need a massive under-carriage basket that can hold my camera bag/purse–that gear is HEAVY.  Anyway, I was delighted to find that Alaska offers pre-boarding for those with little ones and the airline staff were flabbergasted to hear the United has done away with this courtesy.

As we all know, air travel has gotten ridiculously tedious over the past decade, but the intensity is kicked up to a ludicrous level when flying with a baby.  Anything the airlines or airports can do to streamline some of these processes can make a world of difference to a parents and their little ones.  No one likes to sit near a baby having a meltdown, but I wonder how many fewer meltdowns would occur if the journey didn’t start with parents being forced to endure the endless constraints imposed upon them on airports and by airlines.  Wouldn’t that be amazing?  Less crying babies on planes?  Less harried parents in airports?  In Seattle on this trip, I saw an exhausted mother of 3 LOSE IT on some irritated traveler who tripped on her son and muttered, ‘stupid kid’.  Granted the kids was running around the terminal, but they’d also been there overnight.  Still, no fun for anyone.  Sigh…

So if your nerves are frayed or if you’re dreading your next flying experience, with or without little ones, here’s one last image to bring you back to a place of serenity.  Peace.

© Jaime Lauren Photography_052

Film – Fuji 400H | Scans by Photovision

 

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I met Julia and Ben upon my introduction to my husband’s family.  The moment I met Julia, (Will’s cousin) I knew I liked her instantly. Creative, outgoing, genuine and smart, she is incredibly endearing. Ben‘s personality is just as infectious and it’s apparent right from the get-go that he really cares about people. Together, Ben and Julia are dynamite, lighting up the room wherever they go and loving each other with deep commitment and light-hearted affection. 

I was thrilled when Julia and Ben asked me to photograph their wedding at Serenbe, Georgia this coming fall, and I was delighted that we’d have the opportunity to work together beforehand on an engagement session. Since Julia wasn’t going to be getting married in her home state of Mississippi, (or Ben‘s for that matter–he’s from Indiana) we decided that meeting up in the Magnolia State would serve as a heartfelt nod to her roots. 

Both being lawyers, (they met while studying law at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee) we chose the Hinds County Courthouse (a true antebellum gem) in Raymond, Mississippi, and as Julia described, “a fitting stop for two litigators living in the Deep South”.  After a wardrobe change, we drove up the road to catch the last bit of daylight, and finished our session in an honest-to-goodness Civil War battlefield turned cotton field.  I kid you not.  Things like this may seem normal to southerners, but to those of us from MUCH further afield, the whole deal is pretty exotic!  Oh, and to top it all off, Ben and Julia brought their dapper beagle, Amos along for the shoot.  

Here is a sampling of favourites from our Courthouse/Battlefield engagement shoot.  I’d also recommend heading over to check out our feature on Elizabeth Anne Design’s Facebook Page.   

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I absolutely loved everything about this session from Ben and Julia’s style and well thought out wardrobe choices, (not to mention Kristina Myers’ elegant hair and makeup artistry) to the charming historic location and soft lighting of the late afternoon.  Of course I also love witnessing a couple in love like Ben and Julia–their affection and admiration for one another was so palpable and genuine.  By the time the sun set, I was grinning from ear to ear, and still beaming with joy when I fell asleep that night.  This is why I love what I do.  Cannot wait for your Serenbe wedding in October Julia and Ben!!!

If you are interested in booking an engagement session and would like to chat, please send me an email at jaimelaurenphotography@gmail.com  I absolutely love photographing couples who love one another like crazy and want special moments together captured on film (yes, FILM).  Throw in a creative wardrobe, lovely location, and a sunrise or sunset and I’m all yours!

Want to know where Julia found her gorgeous dresses or who styled her hair and makeup?  Curious as to where Ben’s super-cool blue suede shoes are from?  See wardrobe details below.

Hair + Makeup by Kristina Myers 

Courthouse Wardrobe:  Julia | Dress — J. Crew / Earrings — Kate Spade / Belt — Anthropologie / Shoes — Antonio Melani / Sunglasses — Kate Spade | Ben | Shirt — Banana Republic / Pants — Banana Republic / Shoes — Sebago /Sunglasses — J. Crew | Amos the Beagle | Bow tie — The Southern Pup (Etsy shop)​ |

Battlefield Wardrobe:  Julia | Dress — BHDLN / Earrings — BHDLN / Shoes — Anthropologie | Ben | Shirt — Bonobos / Pants — Bonobos / Shoes — Banana Republic

 

Today is our five year anniversary.  What a different one from all the others…booking baby-sitters, arranging bottles, the list goes on.  But seriously, of all Will and I have done and seen and experienced in the past five years, giving birth to, and raising Lauren, has most definitely been the highlight.  So since it’s been a week of babies and parents on my Facebook and Instagram feeds, I thought I’d share a few of Lauren from way back in January when she finally started putting on weight like a boss, giving us previews of the sweetest little giggle, and leaving the newborn stage behind…a little sad, but so much fun.

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We love our spritely little cherub to bits and know one of the best gifts we can give her are parents who are committed to loving one another selflessly and steadily across the years.  Happy Anniversary to my most remarkable husband who coached me through the birth of our little girl in every way that I needed and was the very first to hold her as she came whooshing into this world!  Those moments holding her together in our bedroom after her birth will always be some of the most tender, precious memories for me and I will treasure them always.

Happy Weekending!

PS If you’d like to check out more sneak peeks from my most recent Newborn + Maternity Shoots, Like Jaime Lauren Photography on Facebook and/or Follow Jaime Lauren Photography on Instagram.

PPS  Lauren…please don’t grow up too fast.  Pretty please?

  • Jacqui

    Oh Jaime…can she get any cuter???? Oh my…I just can hardly wait to see her in a few weeks! What a precious, beautiful, scrumptious little niece I have!!! Your photos are beautiful…all of that beautiful blue in that wedding shoot…ooo very elegant and lovely! Amazing as always Jaime!!ReplyCancel