One of my clients sent me a New Year’s card that read simply, “Happy everything, everything happy.” I died. This phrase has been ringing in my ears ever since. Happy everything, everything happy. Oh yes, and the beautiful thing? Everything already is; you just have to open your eyes.

So thankful for these beautiful visitors from home sweet Hawaii. Love them like family times infinity. Too bad they’re only staying for about 42 seconds. I miss them already. :(

Happy Monday EVERYTHING!



Two weeks ago, I photographed the funeral of a beautiful, strong, sensational 16 year old girl. “Coincidentally,” she died 2 years after my sweet son, to the day. I arrived to the funeral early and had the opportunity to spend some time “with her” in private before the family arrived. I looked into her radiant, peaceful face, and I asked her to find my brother. To please find him and to tell him I love him and that I’m doing my best to really LIVE my life for him. I held her mother in my arms as she cried. I comforted her in a way that only a mother who’s “been there” ever could. It broke my heart wide open. SHE broke my heart wide open. I learned so much from this girl. This beautiful girl I had never met. I left the funeral that day knowing, deep in my heart, that I had been exactly where I was meant to be.

Exactly one week later, I stood helpless and watched a man die after being struck by a truck while riding his motorcycle (without a helmet). I held the man who hit him in my arms while he cried, over and over, “I don’t want to kill anybody; I don’t want to kill anybody.” I prayed with him as they covered the victim with a sheet and loaded him into the ambulance. Then I took his face in both of my hands, looked him squarely in the eyes and told him, with all the energy of my heart, “THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING YOU DID. YOU ARE GOING TO GO ON WITH YOUR LIFE, AND YOU ARE GOING TO REMEMBER, THIS.WAS.NOT.YOUR.FAULT.” We held each other tightly as I offered one last prayer. . . and then I got in my car, and I drove away. Changed. Knowing that for whatever reason, I had been in the right place, at exactly the right time.

A day shy of a week later, I found myself here, watching Chelsea give birth to her first child. A beautiful little girl. She was born 5lbs 6oz, with dark eyes, and a beautiful head full of hair. It was awesome—in the literal sense of the word: as in, I was full of awe at the beautiful miracle God was bringing to the Earth. After Baby J was born, she experienced a bit of distress, and Chelsea wasn’t able to hold her for long before they whisked her away. At that moment, Chelsea and I locked our tear filled eyes and she thanked me, in very few words that were full of every ounce of her heart. Again, I knew, there was nowhere else on Earth for me to be in that moment but there.

I don’t share these things from a base of egotism. Quite the opposite. I am humbled by the gifts God has given me in such quick succession. Gifts that have changed my heart, completely, and reminded me that THESE are the moments that life is all about. Moments of true, significant love and contribution. Moments where we let our guards down and simply love one another as God so freely loves us. Moments where we are able to see into the Heavens and to KNOW that somehow, someway, this is all part of a greater plan.

I hope these images touch you as much as they do me.

Like I said, when Baby J was born, she was quickly taken away from her mom to be checked by the “nursery team.”

She didn’t love them. Obviously. ;)

My favorite image of the day (times a million):

Chelsea simply watched her new daughter from afar, with so much love written all over her face you could smell it in the air.

Her mom showed her cell phone pictures of Baby J, so she could see close ups of her new daughter! I love this image, so much. Look at Chelsea’s face! RIGHT?!

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Such a beautiful little boy! When baby’s momma, Liz, contacted me to see if I was available to shoot her newborn on January 7th, I hesitated. The 7th marked 2 years since we lost Gavin, and I wasn’t sure how I’d manage a shoot of this nature. I’m SO GLAD I talked myself into it. There’s NOTHING in this world like baby therapy! Nothing. And this little guy?! Oh my goodness. Perfection. I hope you enjoy his sweet little self as much as I did.

PS. It’s really amazing how God works. This shoot on this day? Who else could have orchestrated something so perfect? Enjoy!

Then we got the most wonderful visit from these darlings. Love.

What a joy to shoot the beautiful Shannon family!

I shot Ashley and her wonderful little family in Hawaii last year and loved every second of it. When she contacted me to check availability for an extended family session in Palm Springs, I about jumped out of my skin with excitement. Ash is one of my favorite clients of all time. Happily she loves me too: “I’ve told Matt you’re going to become our first family tradition.” What an honor! I can’t wait!

Let me tell you, extended family shoots are the very hardest shoots of all. They are dripping with complexity. One thing you can always count on? Madness. Complete and total, madness. The Shannon family, however, made it easy, and it shows! I hope you enjoy looking at this beautiful session as much as I enjoyed shooting it! xoxo!


The Higgins Family!

You know when you meet someone and you’re pretty sure you’ll be friends forever? Enter Becky. Becky came to The Phoenix Breathe Intensive in May, and look at us now! Practically neighbors. . . well, as far as the Phoenix valley is concerned. Who knew it was THREE HOURS WIDE. She’s bright, compassionate, grounded and a hundred more wonderful things I can’t wait to discover! It was so fun to spend time with her BEAUTIFUL family. Enjoy!

The things one does to elicit smiles:

BAM! Cartwheels and hand stands never fail.