Couples Session | Michele Flagen Photography

This couple traveled over 4000 miles to vacation in Alaska.  When you travel that far to such a beautiful place, it only makes sense to get your photos taken, right?

I could not have asked for a more perfect evening for a couple's session.  The cotton candy skies were beautiful and the sandbars on the Tok River created the best setting for this couple to laugh and play.  It's awesome when a couple doesn't take themselves too seriously and can let loose and have fun!

I'm happy I had the opportunity to capture memories for these two while they were on their Alaskan adventure.  I'm looking forward to many more vacation photo sessions in the future!

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Family Session | Michele Flagen Photography

How do I get so lucky to have the most awesome families to photograph?  I seriously enjoy getting to know my families and capturing moments that mean something to them.  From the start the plan was to incorporate fireweed in some of the photos.  I was really looking forward to some beautiful photos of the high school sweethearts in the fireweed and they did not disappoint.

Their girls remind me so much of me and my sister.  I remember when we were about this age.  We were getting to the point where we were a little too cool to show we liked each other (hugging? uhg).  The truth is that no one knows you, loves you, and makes you laugh like a sister.  I was happy to catch those little moments that depict the bond only sisters have.

When Alecia asked if their dog could be in a few photos of course I said yes!  I love when people include their dog in their family photos!  Their photogenic pup got lots of love from the whole family during the session.  Side note: my camera bag is always stocked with Milkbones.

Big thanks to this beautiful family for trusting me to take their photos!

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Family Session | Michele Flagen Photography

I had the joy of meeting this family who was visiting Tok all the way from Shageluk, Alaska.  I am truly honored they took time out of their visit to Tok for this session and trusted me to take their photos.

In the early stages of planning this family's session, Sonta asked me if we could incorporate their 1986 low rider truck into a couple photos.  Her husband, Chevie, started working on this truck when he was in his teens and they included it in their wedding photos 9 years ago.  It was like a member of the family.  My response?  YES!  I immediately had some ideas in mind.

This family was so wonderful to photograph.  They clearly have a ton of fun together!  I hope I can see them again during their next stop to Tok.

 

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Family Session | Michele Flagen Photography

One year ago I photographed this family as they settled into their new life as a family of four and welcomed baby Linus.  I had such a good time during their newborn session.  This family just oozed with love.  Big sister Emma could not keep her hands off her new little brother.  Dad beamed proudly at his son and his wife.  Mom was all smiles and bursting with happiness for her little family.

A year later and not much has changed.  This family is on cloud 9.  Emma still can't get enough of her brother, and mom and dad can't get enough of each other.  The only thing that has changed is sweet Linus, who is growing up so fast!  He has quite the personality and had everyone giggling as he blew kisses and honked noses.

I look forward to many more years of watching this family's love grow!

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Winter Family Session | Michele Flagen Photography

I was so excited when I received a message from this family that they needed photos ASAP before their move to the lower 48.  I know it was important to them, and it was very important to me, to capture some snowy memories before they leave the frigid tundra for heat and humidity.  

When they showed up at our location and piled out of the car I immediately knew this was going to be fun.  This family is filled with so much laughter, joy, and energy.  These parents know how to have a good time with their kids, which often included a little teasing.  But let me tell you, these kids can dish it as much as they can take it. 

With all the silliness I wasn't sure how everyone was going to feel about getting close and showing a little love.  As it turns out, not a problem.  When I shouted "group hug!" there was no hesitation to get in close and cuddle.  Whatever these parents are doing, I want to know.

I love this family and I'm bummed I didn't get a chance to meet them sooner.  I wish them luck on their next adventure!

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Winter Family Session | Michele Flagen Photography

I love this time of the year.  The sun is shining and the temperature is warm enough to enjoy the winter activities that my family loves.  On the weekends we pile everyone onto the snow machine and go for a ride or take the kids to the sledding hill.  Other days we simply play in the yard and walk among the trees.  

I am happy there are so many families who cherish winter the way I do.  Those families are the ones who gave me the idea for winter family sessions.  Traditionally families like to do their photos in the summer, and understandably so.  The green grass, the sundresses, it all makes for beautiful photos.  But in this part of the world, so much of our year is spent in the snow.  It only makes sense to capture those winter wonderland memories too.

I had a great time taking photos of this snow loving family.  There is so much love in all these images.  Mom had that cool, collected, soothing vibe that ever mother wishes she had, and dad was constantly beaming with pride for his ladies.  Their little girls were dolls.  I mean, look at these curly little heads and their precious faces!  There were lots of hugs and cuddles for mom and dad from these two.  It makes me so happy when families bring their dogs to the session.  Let me tell you, this little lady is a model.  Doggy smiles give me so much joy.

It was a pleasure getting to know this family and I hope to see them in Tok more often!

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Family Session - Mount Fairplay | Michele Flagen Photography

This family wanted photos with snow, and we were lucky enough to get it.  It snowed the night before our session. Talk about perfect timing!

I have been wanting to do a session on Mount Fairplay for quite some time and I'm so grateful this family was up for it.  There could not have been a better group for it than this one.  It was a little chilly on the mountain but not for this Alaska family.  Their little man was cozy in his beaded booties and knit hat as he snuggled in with mom and dad. 

Let me just take a moment and say a few words about baby boy.  First off, those big brown eyes.  *Sigh*  Mom, good luck saying "no" when he bats those beauties at you.  Then there's those amazing baby smiles that are pure joy.  Dad knew exactly what to do to get a big smile on his son's face.  Little guy had us all grinning ear to ear with his infectious giggles.

While editing these photos I had a flashback to when my son was a baby.  I remember when he was getting past the newborn stage and started interacting with us.  Watching him respond to our little games made me feel like I could burst with pride and joy.  I see the same look on these parents.  I truly hope years down the road they can look back on these images and have all the games, smiles, laughter, and love come rushing back to them.

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Fall Family Session | Michele Flagen Photography

This family had a lot to celebrate during this session.  This couple has a wedding anniversary this month and a certain someone is expecting.

No, I did not just spill the beans on this woman's pregnancy!  Actually, her sweet dog is going to have puppies!  Let me add that this pooch is the perfect doggy model and it was a pleasure to have her with us.  I love when families include their furbabies.

One of the things I aim for with location selection is that is will work for the family.  I don't expect a family with a baby to climb a mountain, or a family with school age kids to be in a place where they can't play.  This location was perfect for this family and I'm so glad they suggested it.  These boys could have spent days out here on the hunt for the perfect stick and the biggest rock to throw in the water.  

Thankfully we were able to get some fun moments with mom and dad before they ran off to the creek.  While the boys played I got to learn more about mom and dad.  I'm always fascinated how couples met and where they came from.  Hearing their roots definitely shined a light on their cowboy boot wearing family.

Another memorable session with a lovely family in the books!  Happy Anniversary to these two.  I can't wait to see the puppies!

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Fall Family Session - Four Mile Lake | Michele Flagen Photography

Let me start by saying how amazed I am at this couple.  Looking at them you would never guess they are the parents of five children between the ages of 11 years and 2 months old.  They are cool, calm, and not a hint of lacking sleep.  They smile and laugh at the craziness that unfolds around them.

Their children are full of energy, laughter, and a healthy dose of sibling rivalry.  They can play rough and tumble then turn around and give their baby brother the most gentle caresses on his cheek.  The love they have for one another is apparent in every photo.

This was the first time I had been to Four Mile Lake and I'm so glad they wanted to do their session here.  It was the perfect location to roam, run, and jump.

It's always important to me that I get photos of mom and dad without the kids.  I mean, without them there wouldn't be this family!  Between the light, the location, and their loving looks it could not have been more perfect.  A big "thank you" to Grandma for watching the kids so mom and dad could enjoy the beautiful sunset.

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The Importance of Professional Photography | Michele Flagen Photography

We often realize the importance of photography after it's too late.  The years pass and we look for photos of a person or a time in our lives, only to find blurry photos at best.  

It can feel silly to spend money on professional photography when everyone is walking around with a camera in their pocket.  But let's face it, those pixelated photos on your iPhone don't capture how it felt to hold your first baby or the giddy love you felt for your new fiance. 

Photos are so much more than what we look like at a certain time in life.  They trigger memories and stir up emotions.  They send us back in time to places and details that were long forgotten.

When I take photos of my own family I think to myself, what will my kids want to remember about their childhood?  What will they want to remember about me?  What do I want to remember about them?

Photos are part of our legacy.  We cherish them for allowing us to remember our past.  We pass them on to future generations so they can know the stories that shaped us.

Please, print your family photos and hang them on your wall.  Invest in a professional photographer to preserve these times in your life and your children's lives. You will be giving yourself and your family a gift that can not be purchased ten years much less one year down the road.

The days are long but the years are short.  Don't let these moments pass you by.