caiti / woman on fire session

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she wore a smile like a loaded gun
— atticus
 

You know those people that come into your life with such a blazing fire that it doesn't matter if their right next to you, across the world, you stay in touch or you haven't heard from them since you don't know when? That would be this lady. And I'm lucky to say I hear from her consistently as she's taken over as honorary sister, best friend, aunt to my kids and so much!

Recently, life decided it be fun to once again try to knock this incredible woman down.  And with life shattering events, this woman drank a heck load of coffee, brushed off and got back up stronger than ever, with a smile still radiating.

I couldn't help but take advantage of when she came for a quick 24-hr stay to document this woman and all of her fierceness. It's been over a month since this shoot, and I'm slowly trying to regain my blogging momentum...let's just say I'm so not ready for school for my kids to start next week, for warm days and long nights and I've put off every other aspect in my life to try to soak up as much of it as possible.

I love you Cait <3 You are the wine to my tea cup!
You are a force and rediculously fierce! Never forget!

And so it continues ( ; )

With Grace+Guts,
-H

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dara+ben / a pdx, or engagement session

 

When my client texted me a couple hours before their session asking if I liked old fashions - - I knew I was in good company.

Dara + Ben are fun loving adventurous people who I felt more like friends with at the end of their engagement session then anything else.  We started on their back porch with their hammock, drinks in hand and their creamsicle kitty, Gus. Here I got to hear about how they met (two words...anatomy class) and connected over their love for hiking, camping, travel and the outdoors.

We then took a drive over to Powell Butte, a frequent place for them to escape the city to run and hike around.  Besides the precious wildlife and stellar clear views of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Adams - this session was filled with golden light, clearing up any confusion Ben had had about walking in fields nicely dressed and sun flairs. 

Honestly, my heart was so full by the end of this session, that I didn't get lost once ya'll on my drive back to my hotel!  And that's saying a whole heap - since this girl right here has like zero sense of direction.

I cannot wait to capture their wedding this September and wish them all the joy and happiness as their summer has been filled with adventures to be had before their big day.

With Grace+Guts,

-H

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

emily / garden goodness session

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emily +

the garden goodness session

 

okay,
so i've had this need. want. drive. whatever. to do a photo session in a greenhouse for like...EVER!
the thing is as a photographer - i will do just about whatever my clients want me to HAPPILY.
but sometimes, as a creative, i just need to go out with my camera and play.  sometimes it doesn't work. sometimes it does.  i may by biased here...but i'm so jazzed with how this idea worked out so beautifully.
emily has humored my creative ideas before (she followed me to a laundry mat last spring) but she's gorgeous and has such a sense of humor that she's my gal when i just need to go take photos.

as a creative.  you need those peeps you can call on to make your visions realities.
ya' dig?

it was supposed to just down pour when we'd planned to do the shoot but by grace the rain and storm (that blacked out my town for hours) held back till we were done with the shoot.  the lighting was primo, my first attempt at a flower crown didn't turn out so shabby and i'm so in love with these photos that if you follow me on instagram (and ya should! @littlemissheather) and do give fair warning that you might get spammed.
 

sorry.
not sorry.

ugh! enough chit chat.
thank you em for being my go to gal.
you are beautiful in every way!

with grace+guts.
-H

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

 
emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

 
emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

 
emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

 
emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

 

jamie // wsu graduation session

jamie marks | wsu 2017 graduation session | heather woolery

jamie marks | wsu 2017 graduation session | heather woolery

 

recently i spent a sleepless night browsing the rabbit hole that is better known as pinterest and found this quote:

magic happens when you do not give up, even though you want to.
the universe always fall’s in love with a stubborn heart.
— unknown

anyone who's gone to college can testify how true this statement is...oh how many times i wanted to give up while i was in school...and yet now...i look back and all there is is pride.  because yes! i did that! me. and this may, this beautiful boss lady who i'm lucky enough to call friend is graduating from washington state university in pullman, washington.

can i get a huge whoop! whoop! for this lady!!!

i have lived only 20-minutes from this campus for 5+ years, however jamie was my first official tour guide for the campus and as we hung out, snapped pictures and played with the unchangeable april winds, one thing was clear, this lady is so loved and will do so much good...I'm so dang excited for her.

we were stopped by beloved friends on campus, we laughed at the strange things i did or made jamie do, to get the shots and enjoyed the first major real sliver of blue sky and sunshine we've seen in quite some time.

good things are coming for this lady. 

so congratulations my friend!  i'm so excited for all your future endeavors.

with grace+guts,

-h

 

Boise in November

I grew up in the Treasure Valley of Idaho, surrounded by the foothills and Boise mountain range.  Nampa to Meridian to Boise, though only a twenty to thirty-minute drive was always a "stretch" growing up.  There were fields everywhere, and lots of open spaces, and now, well...not so much.  This area has grown and exploded since I was a kid (or even just in the 5+ years since I moved away) and whenever I come back, I love to explore the new eateries, shops and hangout spots...and of course spending time with my family.

 

I am an only child, from a small family, so I am overly close to my mama and my daddy <3  They are why I am stubborn, a feminist, a Christian, an adventurer and book worm...overall their pretty outstanding humans and I know I brag about them a lot here, but they sort of deserve it (even if they can't figure out how to read my blog lol.)  Thanksgiving was simple and I loved every minute. Turkey with my folks and then the traditional Thanksgiving pie with my husbands family (will a tiny portion - he is not from a small family.)  If every Thanksgiving could be this laid back and whimsical I'd be one happy camper.

 
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Over our little "staycation" in Idaho we went to some wonderful stops that during the November/December months I truly think are a must! So let the list begin!

Boise, Idaho in November/December

  • The Idaho Botanical Garden turns a glow at the end of November for their annual "Winter Garden A Glow" turning their 50-acres into a Christmas heaven. Check out more HERE.
  • When the weather turns gloomy and you sort of miss summer, and your really over turkey leftovers, Flatbread is the answer.  Warm summer pizza's, sammies, salads and more to hit the spot with a wonderful atmosphere to boot.  You can find them HERE.
  • Shop Small is a huge deal in historic downtown Boise.  There are so many shops, but a favorite stop of ours is Idaho MADE.  Full of local artisans goods and lots of funky cactus and succulants, this little shop has so much to offer (and it's beautiful...so whats not to love?)  Find out more about Idaho MADE HERE.
  • There are many places to go for a cup of joe in downtown Boise, and there a lot of beautiful one's to boot.  Some of our favorites include District Coffee, Glodies, and the Flying M.  All three have funky shops, home roasted beans and a cozy atmosphere. (Even their bathrooms are funky!)  This time down I got to grab a cup of coffee and a pastry with my mama at the Flying M. Check out their coffee goodness HERE.

All in all we had a wonderful little Thanksgiving, and got reminded, though things at time seem bleak, we have a lot to be grateful for.  I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday...now for me to get back to the North so I can hunker down with Gilmore Girls!  (PLEASE no one say anything till I watch it!!!)

With Grace + Guts,
-H

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Flatbread | Boise, Idaho

Flatbread | Boise, Idaho

Flying M | Boise | November 2016

Flying M | Boise | November 2016

Flying M | Boise, ID

Flying M | Boise, ID

Flying M | Boise, ID

Flying M | Boise, ID

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MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

BFA Exhibition: Matryoshka

Yesterday I went into the Ridenbaugh Gallery connected to the University of Idaho and pulled all of my stuff down.  It was 2-hours of mixed emotions.  Here was the culmination of my 5-years in college as a art + writing student and in a 2-weeks time it was put up, viewed and was now being taken down.  Bitter sweetness is for lack of better words.

I'm now into a month before graduation and though I'm nervous, I've got my plans, my list of "Heather Will Do's" (which I will share with you later in December) and now it's time for me to finish up my thesis and graduate.  

On this note you'll be seeing a couple changes to the website over the next few weeks in my portfolio areas, but don't worry, everything will stay...it just needs to be relocated.

Here's a few photos of the installation and you can view the whole gallery HERE.

With Grace+Guts,

-H

shop the post

Her Element: Water

Taken out at Spring Valley, August 18th 2016 of the beautiful and strong Mikayla Johnson.

I first had the joy of meeting Mikayla on a trip with our University back in 2015 to Guatemala. It was there that her fire and her joy ignited our trip. Her friendship and love for water hard to beat.Though recently she has been a boss lady kicking lupus' ass, she has been 8-months out of the water.  Sometimes, all one needs is to be in their element to feel the strength that burns inside of them.

Shout out to Tessa's Powder Room in Moscow, Idaho for doing Mikayla's amazing make-up!

You can see more shots from this shoot + others at my Facebook page.

#thatPNWlife

I've only ever claimed residency in Idaho, though I've spent applicable amounts of time in both Washington and Oregon growing up and through my adulthood.  I've also ventured into Canada and Northern California...all to say my souls home is inadvertently, the Pacific Northwest.

Over the weekend, I got to kick off the camping season at Nehalem Bay State Park in Oregon, about a 15-minute drive from Cannon Beach, and it was hands down the best beach camping grounds I've been to yet.

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

I was there for an Instameet put on by a personal Instagram favorite, @thatPNWlife (with sponsors from Pendleton and Stumptown Coffee).  I had never been to one, and when I saw this, I just had to go.

At first it was a bit uncomfortable, people just posing and being, and everyone else just taking pictures...it was something I was not used to.   

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

But what it came down to was...we all loved the PNW, we loved adventure, we loved cameras and taking pictures, we drank cans of Stumptown cold brew, at dogs and talked about anything and everything.  I got to meet other PNW photo mama's and other adventure junkies like myself.

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

It was a breath of fresh air as spring fully bursts alive and we edge into the beginnings of summer.  My battery fully recharged, I am so pumped to go out and explore, create and make.  I was once again reminded about the sense of community and connection you can get through a lens of a camera.  It doesn't take much, but it's this huge photo-geeking out family, and I am so in love with it all and feel so incredibly blessed to have been a part of this moment this weekend, to be apart of the photo family.

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

There is so much going on this summer, going on right now, that I at times feel overwhelmed and frazzled.  But then I have moments like these, a day on a beach, an afternoon hiking, a morning watching the sunrise with coffee in my hand and I am reminded "If our minds are ruled by the spirit, we will have life and peace" Romans 8:6

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

My life was shambles and darkness...but no longer.  I have been blessed with a beautiful world to explore, an amazing family and so much more.  I am free.  Free to be who I was intended to be.

So now it's onto finishing up finals, getting my pack on as we get ready to move into our new home, and buying loads of sunscreen and goldfish for the upcoming adventures in the next month.  

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

who i am : abandon all else

To the fear, the anger, the beast that lives in me.
     A repetitive looping film of his hand up against my neck, pushing against my veins.
           His words of who I am, what I'm worth, what I will never amount too yelling, echoing,
                 whispering.... You Are Worth Nothing To Me Till Your Dead ...

But then...

But then I picked up a paint brush, even while his bruises were still faded from my flesh long after I walked away...I picked up a pen...I began to write, began to create, make...
     and I began to feel free...
                I began to understand that he was only afraid of me....of my

strength.

Now he has found the last way to control me...legality with our daughter.
     My sweet little daughter who's first kick, first breath, first laugh, first tooth, nightmare and
     dream he was not present for.
         And the courts started telling me all of a sudden what I could and couldn't do.  What jobs to
         have, what state to live in, what to do, where to go, when to be there...and I couldn't help
         but feel like everything I was working for, every dream that had reinvented itself after my
         awakening, my survival, was once again being torn, pulled, controlled by my abuser.

So I started making work.  I started screaming, yelling I WAS RAPED - I GOT PREGNANT - AND YET STILL I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER MY LIFE OR OVER MY OWN CHILDS LIFE.

and people heard, and people saw my work, and people gave their sympathy, and then there was nothing...
       a void.
              what else could they do?

But then my foot laced up into boots hit a trail.  I climbed, I sweated my heart out, and at the top all I saw was...

I am more then nothing.

...if something like this existed in the world, then though I am small, every substance that makes
       up my body, makes up the earths body.

For weeks, months, years I've been furiously making work, writing pieces, screaming, yelling, praying someone would hear me...help me change the current...but up on that mountain I learned:
 

I AM MORE THEN NOTHING.
I AM ME.
I AM A CHILD OF THIS EARTH.
OF THE SKY.
I HAVE A SOUL THAT STRETCHES THE VALLY PLAINES.
WANDERLUSTING IS WHAT RUNS THROUGH MY VEINS.
I AM MORE THEN NOTHING.
I AM ME.

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I am ALIVE.
 

how can I not be with so much in this world?

So I will never stop screaming, pounding a drum for women, for victims, for children who have been wronged, who have been let down by our judicial system...it is a fire...a fuel that was ignited,
       ignited when he shoved me off the bed, when he never came home, when he told me to
       go back to the kitchen, when he locked our child outside, when he raped me of more then
       just 30-seconds of life.
             IT IS THE FIRE THAT BURNS SO DEEP INSIDE OF ME.
             IT IS THE FIRE THAT BURNS, but also has found respit against the whipping winds
                                                              with pen stained fingers, with late nights in the studio,
                                                              with every step out in this world I've spent soaking it up.

But I will also celebrate the fact that I am

ALIVE.

I have no idea what's next.  What I'll make.  How I'll celebrate first. 
And that's okay.
The robin doesn't know when it's next meal will come but it doesn't fret.
It finds respite in where it lives, where it flies, where it is free.
...this...this is enough for me.

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after a thoughtful critique, after a day of contemplating, writing, running in the sun...
in honor of John Muir's birthday,
in every inch of my body flinging off of a cliff...I celebrate this place I call home...

The Pacific Northwest.

I am pacing myself, putting any + all work about my past up on the shelf,
and I am lacing up my hiking boots.

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remembering "we are in the mountains...and THEY ARE IN US"

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Donuts + Coffee + Mountains + Thinking About Color

Go Get Lost | Moscow Mountain, Moscow, IDAHO | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Go Get Lost | Moscow Mountain, Moscow, IDAHO | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Maybe its a cliche thing to do here in the beautiful PNW?  But there is something mentally revitalizing from filling your body up with delicious glazed carbs, too much cream creamy coffee and some fresh PNW air that does a soul so much damn good.  Not to mention it helps my wander prone soul to take a chill pill and get a mini fix.

There comes a point in the week for me, and I'm not sure if it's exactly at the crack of dawn on Monday or midway through Wednesday...but its the undying urge to go and get outside.  To climb something, trek something, and capture it with every form of film possible + not to mention bring my babes along.

Something I have found recently, is that I am so intimately aware of color when I'm outside. I'm aware of how the lighting is changing the color, and how the image will look if I edit it a certain way.  Color + lighting are constantly on my mind while I'm outdoors (even if there's no camera attached to my hand.)

Focus | Moscow Mountain, Moscow, IDAHO | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Focus | Moscow Mountain, Moscow, IDAHO | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

The concept of color when it comes to my photography has been a constant struggle.  I love black and white photography.  End of story.  It's classic + crisp...it makes the viewer look at what is truly in the image.  However, color can be so powerful too!  I really faced this struggle while I've been working on the photos I took while in Guatemala...the culture, place, + people were so colorful...but the black + white photos made you REALLY look at the people which was really important to me.  So it was a 50/50 balance of what photos I kept color and which ones I chose to turn black + white.

But MOST photos I take of outdoors usually stay color.  Its an inner struggle that I'm not sure I want to confront just yet.  When I'm doodling, or playing with water color to just play hands on I am drawn to warmer colors like reds, oranges, and yellows but I also love me some Kelly Green's so my love for color is vast and strong in a lot of what I do.

While I was out on Moscow Mountain this past weekend, I gave my two own kids the same Fuji 35mm disposable cameras I had given my students this past week.  I told them the same guild lines as I had given my students...which was nothing.  Take pictures of what you deem beautiful, important to take pictures of and it became this wonderful morning adventure. There was hard lessons of not to take selfies with these cameras because you'll see blue and yellow dots, but there was also wonderful warm lessons of what my children found beautiful in the outdoor setting I myself was taking photos of.  I learned a lot from their small POV and I'm still channeling this in my note book to help me when I get all the cameras back from my other students I handed out last week.

In the pursuit of learning film + stitching it together I started filming my fam. tribes mini adventures and splicing them together into something tangible while also working on the little rocket ship project I started last week.  I've put them below so check um' out!

If you haven’t already follow all my adventures and creations both big and small on Instagram @heather_woolery + on Facebook: Adventure With Purpose
— https://www.facebook.com/adventurewpurposephoto/

Raining Snow, Realizations + Coffee

Since I've gotten back from Guatemala it's been a whirl wind of school, senior studio, new work schedules, teaching, still trying to move into our new place and other family ordeals and I've failed to let you all know about my trip down to Guatemala...and I'm in all honesty so sorry.

For the past handful of day's here in North Idaho it's been raining snow - quite literally - and I have quite literally learned that my TOMS may not be the best sort of footwear for this sort of weather.  I've also tried breaking out the Chaco's and the Birkenstocks without socks...and I'm sure this is all a direct result of my revolting against the PNW weather I do truly love but still longing for that Guatemalan sunshine.

I've been reveling in the memories lately with the constant work of editing the photos I took on this trip.  Which, I will let you all know, will be on display at Bloom Cafe & Art House in Moscow, Idaho March 3rd for Moscow's First Thursday and then again for the month of April at Emerge Gallery in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.  Both will have some of the same photos, but each show will also showcase special photographs that will only be shown at that specific show.
(stay tuned for more info - or e-mail me about any questions regarding)

With the joys of educational bliss about to come to a close at the end of this year, the hubbs and I have had multiple "what do we want to be when we grow up" sounded conversations and we couldn't help but feel, where the town we reside in now has been incredible and so near to our hearts, that it may be time to start renesting elsewhere.  Now, where that's 9-months or so down the road, conversations like those always lead to realizations about oneself, ones predicament or even those that one may surround themselves with.  I feel pretty lucky to be married to the man I snagged almost three years ago and last night I went upstairs to send out a couple emails and I saw this...

Married to a Forester | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Married to a Forester | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Being married to a forester has its days of way too early of a morning wake-up call, sap and who knows what stains on his jeans I'll never get out, and summer's tend to leave me quite lonely at times...but this man has been standing by me, helping me with every dream and ambition I hold near to my heart + he works his ass off for me and our two Things that run around like possessed monkeys.  This hat, so worn, yet so comfortable and loving incapsulates my husband better then anything I've found to date.

Childhood Residence | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Childhood Residence | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

It doesn't matter where we live, or how much like nomads we resemble some days/weeks/months - our life is ours to live.  We're a family of four outrageously crazy not-normal normal humans all co existing together everyday through up's and down's.  We help one another, cheer each other on, fight with one another, snuggle and love one another.  We're as real of a family as it's gonna get, even if we have no ambitions for white picket fences at this point in time.  And that is the realization I needed to make.  There's no list of boxes to check off that I need to complete by the time by kids turn 18, or I'm married to my husband for 20-years.  Its just simply what makes our family run, that's all that matters.

So let my mini-but not so mini life lesson be a hug on this Friday afternoon before you step into your weekend.  No matter what your family looks like, whither your all related or not, find comfort, love and light in their presence knowing that this is exactly where you need to be at this moment in time.

With Grace and Guts,
Adventure With Purpose