Letter No. 9

Dear Lulu,

The sun is still high. You want to live freely and openly. You want to dance even if there is no music. You want to sing even though there is no tune. Life, for you, breaths effortlessly. You tell me to hold on “one sec”, you look away almost always. You stand still only when there is noone else watching. You love to explore new places and follow new paths in this maze. You just turned 7. You are happy to run and jump and hold your hands high. The innocence you breathe is precious. You love the way your dress blows every time you turn with the wind. You love my camera. You are yourself. You giggle through most of this session. You are beautiful and kind. Someone once told me that you are lit from within. It is true. Even when I don’t think I have any light to photograph you, you stand there and suddenly there is light. You radiate light, even when there isn’t any. You are doing so amazing in school and I couldn’t be prouder. You are reading. You practice. You sound out words. You ask to go to the library. You ask for harder books. You test yourself. You read everywhere to anyone who will listen and even to those who don’t want to listen. We read every day and most nights. You love to read to me and sometimes just want me to read to you. We are in sync these days, you and me. I adore your sweet voice and all that you are today and tomorrow. Life is good. I love you.


Please take the time to go through our glorious circle of photographers, moms and Letters To Our Daughters, next up the always delightful and lovely, Debbie Wibbowo with her sweet vivacious daughter, Jo.

Kirsty - I adore this series of photos for you can see the light shining from her – and it follows through in your letter – how wonderful to be 7 and full of enthusiasm for learning and reading and soaking it all up – I’m so glad you preserved this for her forever

Debbie Wibowo - The pictures where she twirls and jumps make me happy. I can totally see the joy of being 7 in those pictures. Being innocent, freely, curious. She is a light and she really shines in those pics. xoxo to Lulu.

Melissa - such beauty in your words and photos of your little lovely. i’m pretty sure that my bean and your lulu would get along so well. <3

Ginger Unzueta - so much to love here Sara. i always love getting to see a little more into your world and your heart. beautiful.

Megan C. - LOVE this. LOVE her. Beautiful, my friend.

Amanda O'Donoughue - She is so beautiful and the cream and pinks in the photos of her are so warm and soft just like I assume she is. So pretty Sara.

Janet Bailey - Love the colours here – really reflect both the light and the love. Dreamy!

Sarah C - The light really does radiate from her, but with you as her mama I am not surprised in the least as you are her mama! SO gorgeous. These images are amazing! You can tell what a special little lady she is, not just by the way you photograph her but also by the way you speak to and of her. <3

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Letter No. 8

This is Our Letters To Our Daughters. A series of letters written monthly to our daughters every month on the 25th. Please join me in clicking through our blog circle project. Next is the often funny, lovely and very talented Sarah Cornish | Colorado photographer.

Dear Loopy,

I am always amazed at the roads and winding paths we have drawn for ourselves all along the year of school. Your one path of your first year in kindergarten has come to a close. The path has been much like an opposing pendulum swing of a swing. You have had quite a year, the slow start, math facts you learned, sadness and anger you kept inside for so long, kid art you brought home, your always finished centers pages, sight words we practice, the music you studied with Mr. Eddie, your amazing teacher, who you played with on the playground, rode the bus with, had a playdate with, the monthly homework bingo board, and so much more. Your swing went back and forth, twisted up, spinning, going up, holding tightly, going down, laying back, building steam, seeing the clouds, smelling the grass, opening our senses, filling our buckets, the drop of the stomach and the sweet mess of your hair. The swing is predictable, the wonder, the speed, the suspension, the freedom, the lift, the underdog; it gives us that one jolt of adrenaline butterflies that can last with every pump of your feet and gives you the lift, energy and spirit you need to go on and go higher…..sometimes the swing can be complicated, tedious, sometimes monotonous and sometimes drones on, Why is that we always like getting back on the swing? We know monumentally the sensation that swing will bring. Just like the hopes, dreams and goals we want to achieve, the feeling of accomplishment, building our self esteem, the predictability, the distractions, the love of the people we will meet, the heart and soul of the teachers we will have, the tough questions we will answer, the journey yet unknown, the newness. We learn to want all of what we cannot predict, the stuff we cannot control and the love, courage and smarts we obtain from yet another completed year. We swing through all of highest points and take heed, pause and reflect with the lower ones. I love your sweet look of innocence and blowing me kisses. You on your swing. One year more mature. One more year of growing into your little life. Three words for you, Dare To Fail. Swing higher, touch the clouds with your toes, change directions, breathe in the sweet air, twist it up and let it go. Your swing will always be just a few steps away and perhaps your path will be just like you on your swing but maybe, just maybe, one day you will want to jump off your swing and try out the slides or scale a wall or two.


jess - love these images. so simple and beautiful…yet they represent so much. xo

Wendy - Love this series on the swing. And such a lovely letter.

courtney - loved this! i so can relate with my sweet lilliana …

amy grace - i had to read this twice. it was that perfect. you made the metaphor come to LIFE. just perfectly constructed, purely felt, beautifully done. i bow to you…and my favorite group of images from you. they sing. xoxo

Kirsty - The images, the words, the reflection, the encouragement, they all sing together to tell the story of the year and yet also of the road to come – my favourite from you Sara

Ginger - Sara, this is beautiful . The swing.. What a great comparison to this time in life. Your words perfectly paint this picture. I love the words at the end : dare to fail. I need to hear this more and remind my own loves of it as well.

shalonda - sara. as i sat here reading your letter through tears, feeling this same flood of emotions of closing out the first year of school, i am so thankful to know you. the rise and fall of it all is so different yet so much the same for all of us moms and baby girls alike and your words just seemed to give me such peace, as i continue to cry over the passing of time. xoxo sweet friend

Debbie W - Sigh, Sara. Such a perfect letter that captured all the things not only a child will go through in life, but also a great reminder for me as an adult. I had to read it twice. The pictures are just perfect in depicting the carefree, the freedom, the joy, the risk that we decide to take, but also the calm moment of life that we can experience in a swing. You make me see a swing in a whole lot different way! xoxo

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Letter No. 7

To my Dots.

The time has come. This letter month. I am always amazed at what we do in a month. What we learn. How things have shifted. What you are learning in school. We are a month away from the end of another school year. The next tooth you lost, the growth spurt, the new food you tried, the Kumon pages, the tiny zit that appeared, the newest wrinkle on my face, Passover, your not so straight hair that you want straight, the new bracket in your mouth, your new routine in the morning, your broken nail, the harder book you read to me, the math test you aced, the games you downloaded on your itouch, the DC Cupcake, Temple Run, my gained pound, new artwork you brought home from school, Easter, the anticipation of what makes you the most anxious, getting through it, my love for Frango Mints, your love for Frango Mints, celebrating your twin cousins birthdays, my failed cleanse, the coldest shoot you sat for me, the job I did not get. The season has been unseasonably unseasoned. We have had snow in April, well, flurries, but still. It is usually in the 70’s and 80’s by now. You are another month older. I am so happy about the things we have been able to celebrate. Even the tiniest of things. We are working towards our goals. We are finding ourselves. We are transforming. We are being vulnerable together. That there is no shame or fear in our vulnerabilities. We are learning from our mistakes and celebrating our amazing strengths. I am reading “Daring Greatly” with Brené Brown. She is teaching me to be a better parent through pushing through, leaning in, through knowing how vulnerability is one of the best emotions and things you can have as a parent and as a child. It is moving through all of these things in life that we somehow fear or feel shame from, it is learning to cope, it is learning to grab it in it’s tracks and transform from the feelings into strength and resolve. This is a month of grace, with resolute and uncanny vulnerability and socking it in the face, acknowledge it, grow from it and move up, over, down, sideways or lean into it. And that all of us have these things. From Brené Brown’s Parent Manifesto: “You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections…..I will let you see me and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you……and live and love with my whole heart and dare greatly…” These are the things I am so passionate about and what I want to teach you and for you to know.

These images were taken April 11, 2013 at the Eckert Family farm.

Please link to our wonderful and inspiring blog circle. Next is one of my dearest and sweetest photographer friends, Amy Lucy Lockheart out of Minneapolis, MN.

Letters to Our Daughters | April 2013 » Minneapolis Photographer – Olive Avenue Photography - […] head over to Sara Tegman | St. Louis Photographer for her letter and amazing […]

Ginger Unzueta - Sara,
I love these pictures..they are beautiful as always, the softness, the colors.But of course, I love the heart of you that you share so well. I really love the words you share from the book you are reading. Beautiful!

Amy Lucy - Sara, what beautiful and true words you write for your daughters. It is so true that we need to embrace our imperfections, to find joy in it all, and to learn from our mistakes. How blessed those girls of yours are to call you mom, and you, in turn, to have them. Your images are stunning, my friend. xoxo

amy grace - sara, i love the concept of derailing shame and doubt. of grabbing it and wrestling it into something else. gracefully. with humor, with acceptance. wonderful advice, wise advice that i can use on this very day. you don’t simply profess things in these letters. they don’t feel empty, never, your words. they aren’t fluff, they aren’t just hopes, they are your real life, your soul and theirs in one beautiful and sincere effort. you’ve made me think, and given me comfort, as you undoubtedly do for them. all of the bumps, hiccups, tasks, zits (and we’ve had a few already that have taught us about a very down to earth grace too)they are part of the mix. they are as real as the inspiration, the love. they take up space in our lives and we navigate with strength…all of this i got from you today. and how perfect are these images…xoxo

shalonda - sara…first of all cheers to a failed cleanse, ha i did the same this month hahaha. now onto this incredible letter…WOW. these images take my breathe away but your words…yours words are so real and so full of heart and life. “lean into it” what a soul bursting translation of a book i must read.

Kirsty - Sara, the beauty of this letter is in its embrace of imperfection – isn’t it all too easy to either think we’re getting it all wrong yet pretend we’re getting it all right? This letter says it’s OK to be real and this is something I want for my girls too – I want them to see me as having flaws, but without criticism.. and for them to be able to embrace their own imperfections – really, truly, this spoke to me and was just what I needed – thank you sweet friend x

Debbie W - First..love the nickname. Dots is just cute! I really enjoy reading this letter, Sara. All the little details that happened in a month (and that’s a lot!) and especially the part about being vulnerable and finding ourselves. Your daughters learn something new from you and so do I. Oh, and of course I adore the pics too. I always enjoy the sisterhood relationship you depict in your pics. Makes me miss my own sis. xoxo

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10 on 10 | April 2013

Please click through our glorious circle to the uber-talented Rachel Devine :: Photoblogger.

Rachel (sesame ellis) - What a lovely day. I can’t wait to do field trips with my kids’ classes.

wendy - love the compositions.. wonderful.

lizzie - LOVE this. The way you capture moments makes my heart sing!

Ginger Unzueta - what an amazingly creative 10 on 10. i love the compositions you found. really was a cool look into the field trip!!

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