LIFE AS ART
Storytelling photography by Willow Tree Images

An un-posed, documentary-style journey through the everyday: celebrating the messes, the imagination, the silliness, and the sweet chaos of childhood.

Join me at the beginning of each month for "Beautiful Messes," a collaborative project with Stephanie Lawless Photography, in which we celebrate the messes our children make by documenting them in a new light: as fleeting daily reminders that our kids were here, they were young, they played, they laughed, and they left a physical mark on the world around them.

Beautiful Messes: May

May 04, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Beautiful Messes - May 2015:

-

Willow Tree Images:
 

Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com

Professional photography in St. Lawrence County, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com

Stephanie Lawless Photography:
 

Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com

Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional family, newborn, maternity and senior photographer in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com

 


Like what you see?  Feel free to leave a comment and/or use the social buttons below!

Until next month.....

xoxo,

Liz & Steph

www.willowtreeimages.com
www.stephanielawlessphoto.com

 


Beautiful Messes: Happy New Year!

February 05, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Hello again!  Stephanie and I took a few months off from our Beautiful Messes project so we could recuperate from the holiday season and focus on family a bit more during that time.  But now it's a new year, and we are excited to be collaborating once again on our favorite project!  We didn't choose a specific theme this month, but we already have a fun one that we're working on for next month's post.  And as always, if you have any suggestions for future themes, let us know in the comments.  We'd love to hear your ideas! (If you're one of our photographer followers, we may even give you a shout out!)

So without further ado, here are the "beautiful messes" we documented during January.  We hope you're all having a happy new year so far.  Enjoy! :)
 

-
 

Willow Tree Images:
 

Professional photography in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional photography in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional photography in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com

Professional photography in St. Lawrence County, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com

Stephanie Lawless Photography:
 

 


Like what you see?  Feel free to leave a comment and/or use the social buttons below!

Until next month.....

xoxo,

Liz & Steph

www.willowtreeimages.com
www.stephanielawlessphoto.com

 


Beautiful Messes: "Orange"

November 03, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

October has come and gone, and along with it another month filled with memorable moments and Beautiful Messes.  To pay tribute to this uniquely colorful time of year, Steph and I decided to follow the theme of ORANGE for this month's installment.  There has certainly been an abundance of it over these past several weeks, both indoors and out, so we didn't have to search too far for inspiration this month! 

We hope you all had a happy October and a safe Halloween, and we wish you a warm and thankful November.

Enjoy! :)
 

-
 

Willow Tree Images:
 

Professional photography in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional photography in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional photography in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com

Professional photography in St. Lawrence County, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com

Stephanie Lawless Photography:
 

 


Like what you see?  Feel free to leave a comment and/or use the social buttons below!

Until next month.....

xoxo,

Liz & Steph

www.willowtreeimages.com
www.stephanielawlessphoto.com

 


Beautiful Messes: "Back to School"

October 06, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

With September under our belts and autumn officially in full swing, Stephanie and I are pleased to bring you our "Back to School" themed installment of Beautiful Messes

Fall may look a little different in Texas, where Steph lives, than here in Northern NY, but there's something strangely unifying about the first month of school: no matter where you live, it always looks basically the same.  And I think there's something comforting about that.  It's a time of year we often dread, but there's also something beautiful about the routine, the cycling back to the beginning, and finding that things haven't changed much since the last time we were here.

Here's to a wonderful school year!
 

-
 

Willow Tree Images:
 

Professional photography in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional photography in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com Professional photography in Potsdam, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com

Professional photography in St. Lawrence County, NY | www.willowtreeimages.com

Stephanie Lawless Photography:
 


Like what you see?  Feel free to leave a comment and/or use the social buttons below!

Until next month.....

xoxo,

Liz & Steph

www.willowtreeimages.com
www.stephanielawlessphoto.com

 


Beautiful Messes: "Black & White"

September 03, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

And just like that: September is here again.

For this month's Beautiful Messes installment, Stephanie and I decided to welcome the cool air of fall with the more calm, moody theme of "black and white" - which, surprisingly, we had never done before.  I've always been partial to B&W images, because I find that the intended emotion of the image is so much more visible when the distraction of color is removed.  There's certainly an appropriate time and place for color, and not all images look better in black & white.  But for the most part I prefer to tell my stories using only the basic tools of light, contrast, and texture.

We hope you all had a wonderful summer, and that you've enjoyed our messy captures along the way.  We certainly have fun documenting them. :)

Happy fall!  Enjoy!
 

-
 

Willow Tree Images:
 

tangled wet hair paging through a lego magazine bananas with chocolate syrup



Stephanie Lawless Photography:
 

 

Like what you see?  Feel free to leave a comment and/or use the social buttons below!  And be sure to stop by again next month for our "Back To School" installment.

Until then...

xoxo,

Liz & Steph

www.willowtreeimages.com
www.stephanielawlessphoto.com

 


Beautiful Messes: "Summertime"

August 07, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

For this month's Beautiful Messes installment, Stephanie and I decided to focus on the theme of "summertime."  It seemed an appropriate fit, since this time of year most of our images probably would have followed that theme anyway.

Since Steph lives in Texas and I'm up in Northern NY, some of my images took on more of a "summer's end" theme, which was interesting to see.  The snow will be here before we know it!

So without further ado, here's what "summer" in August looks like for each of us.  Enjoy! :)
 

-
 

Willow Tree Images:
 



Stephanie Lawless Photography:
 

 

Like what you see?  Feel free to leave a comment and/or use the social buttons below! :)

Until next month...

xoxo,

Liz & Steph

www.willowtreeimages.com
www.stephanielawlessphoto.com

 


Beautiful Messes: May/June

July 01, 2014  •  Leave a Comment


What are you going to do?
Everything, is my guess.
It will be a little messy,
but embrace the mess.
It will be complicated,
but rejoice in the complications.

(Nora Ephron)

-

Willow Tree Images:
 

sand box pluto

Stephanie Lawless Photography:
 

 

Like what you see?  Feel free to leave a comment and/or use the social buttons below!

xoxo,

Liz & Steph

www.willowtreeimages.com
www.stephanielawlessphoto.com

 


Beautiful Messes: April

May 06, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Hello friends!  Last month we hinted at a fun theme for this month's Beautiful Messes post, and now we're excited to finally be able to share it with you! :)

For our April installment, Stephanie and I decided to switch things up a bit and focus on a fun theme that is near and dear to both of our hearts: *DISNEY!!!* 

The back story goes like this.  Steph and her family have been to Disney World about 53,322,967 times (I'm only slightly exaggerating).  She and her husband honeymooned there, and since then have gone back as a family multiple times.  I went once as a child, but my husband and kids had never been there, so this past Christmas we decided to start planning our first family trip.  Steph and I initially decided on the Disney theme because it would be easier for me to work on the project while on vacation, but it ended up being a great idea for so many other reasons as well.  Now, in addition to the main focus of our BM project (which is to document everyday glimpses as microcosms of the much larger story of our kids' childhoods), the photos below will serve as a tangible reminder of my kids' first trip to Disney World - which is something pretty beautiful all on its own.

We hope you enjoy our captures, and find the same *magic* in them that we do. :)
 

Willow Tree Images:
 

"mickey mouse", disney, drawing mickey mouse cookie cutter disney charm bracelet

disney magic bands, fast pass bracelets pluto lego disney, cinderella's castle, magic kingdom disney infinity, elsa

Stephanie Lawless Photography:
 

 

Like what you see?  Feel free to leave a comment below to let us know!  (You can use the social buttons, too - take your pick!) :)

Until next month...

xoxo,

Liz & Steph

www.willowtreeimages.com
www.stephanielawlessphoto.com

 


Beautiful Messes: March

April 01, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

For last month's Beautiful Messes post, Steph and I decided to narrow our captures down to a specific theme: "Red."  This was something we'd never done before, and we thought it might be a way to make things more fitting for the month of February.  Having a set theme offered some challenges, because it meant we had to overlook a lot of shots that didn't fit the theme and search for inspiration in other places.  Additionally, it meant that black & white conversions were pretty much out of the question. 

But at the end of the month, we both found ourselves completely surprised: rather than being limited, we ended up producing more images.  It turned out to be a challenge that opened our eyes to new inspiration, boosted our creativity, and helped us reflect on the fleeting moments of our lives within a new, more narrow scope.

Given the success we had with our first "themed" messes post, we decided to do it again, this time with a theme fitting for the month of March: GREEN.  It was a lot of fun, and we both ended up capturing some great messy moments.  We hope you enjoy them too. :)
 

Willow Tree Images:
 

green legos shamrock prints play food

dishes in sink drawing on fridge post-it note legos

Stephanie Lawless Photography:
 


We have SUCH a fun theme that we're currently working on for the month of April, and we can't WAIT to share it with you next month.  You're not gonna want to miss this one, trust us! :)

Until then...

xoxo,

Liz & Steph

www.willowtreeimages.com
www.stephanielawlessphoto.com

 


Out Like.... Another Lion.

March 31, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

It's hard to believe that as we're reeling from ANOTHER FOOT of snow that got dumped on us yesterday, March is actually over.  I'm not sure if it's some sort of April Fool's joke from Mother Nature, but this would *not* be how I'd describe "going out like a lamb."

Don't get me wrong - we've had a great winter this year.  My son discovered his love (obsession) with ice hockey, and indoor swim lessons have turned my reluctant daughter into a confident little fish around water.  But now my son is eager to wear his new roller blades, and my daughter wants to try out her skills in an outdoor pool.  They're itching to get dirt under their fingernails.  And I actually miss the feeling of a peeling sunburn.

Poor little t-shirts and dresses.  I know you want to be worn, and get dirty from the sandbox and the playground.  You'll have sunscreen marks and sidewalk chalk on you soon, I promise. 

Just hang in there a little longer.
 

shirts


Beautiful Messes: February

February 28, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

For our February installment of Beautiful Messes, Steph and I decided to narrow our captures down to a specific theme: "Red."  This was something we'd never done before, and we thought it might be a way to make things a bit more fitting for Valentine's Day and the month of February.  There were also some other reasons for wanting to focus on these colors during this particular month, but that symbolism will remain private in my post (Steph's post explains it a bit more and can be found HERE).  Having a set theme offered some challenges, because it meant we had to overlook a lot of great shots that didn't fit within the "red" theme and search for inspiration in other places.  Additionally, it meant that black & white conversions were pretty much out of the question. 

And guess what?  The strangest thing happened.  Rather than limiting us, we ended up producing more images than we usually do.  It was a challenge that ended up opening our eyes to new inspiration, boosted our creativity, and helped us reflect on the fleeting moments of our lives within a brand new scope.

Here are our "Red" captures from the month of February. 
 

Willow Tree Images:
 


Stephanie Lawless Photography:
 


Thanks so much for following us on this messy journey.  Next month: get ready for some GREEN! :)

xoxo,

Liz & Steph

www.willowtreeimages.com
www.stephanielawlessphoto.com

 


Beautiful Messes: January

February 02, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Last month Stephanie and I made the decision not to post a Beautiful Messes installment, opting instead to spend time with our families and *off* the computer (and the camera) as much as possible during the holidays.  Sometimes it's a fine line we toe, documenting and capturing versus actively experiencing.  When we're behind the camera we're given a unique perspective on the moment in front of us, but it can also create a barrier between us and the experience we're capturing.  So rather than welcoming the new year with images of the previous month's tinsel, wrapping paper, toy boxes, cookie crumbs, and scattered pine needles, we chose to document those images privately in our own memories instead.  (And spend some extra time cleaning, too.) ;)

Here are our favorite captures from the month of January. 
 

Willow Tree Images:
 


Stephanie Lawless Photography:
 

 

Lastly, Stephanie shared an awesome post on her Facebook page this morning and the timing and subject couldn't have been more perfect for today's post.  The author even uses the phrase "beautiful mess," which is just plain awesome. :)  You can read the original post HERE

Have a great month!

xoxo,

Liz & Steph

www.willowtreeimages.com
www.stephanielawlessphoto.com


An Apple A Day...

January 21, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Back to school after a long weekend.  June can't come fast enough.
 

"an apple a day"


A Resolution

January 01, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Not so much a resolution as a business model... but still. 

Happy New Year. 

This year, just be you.
 

"be steady and well-ordered in your life, so that you can be fierce and original in your work."  -gustave flaubert


In other news:

In order to keep our focus on spending time with family and friends, and not behind a camera, Steph and I have decided not to post an installment of Beautiful Messes this month.  Our next installment will be posted in the first week of February.

-xoxo-

Liz


Now We Are Six

December 14, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

In Remembrance:

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Madeleine F. Hsu, 6
Catherine V. Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Nancy Lanza, 52
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6

 


// BLOG FEATURES //

-

-

- - -


---

// GEAR BAG //

// FACEBOOK //

// INSTAGRAM //

// PINTEREST //

---
 

Tiny Prints Holiday Card Collection

Wedding Paper Divas Sitewide Sale

Valentines Day Greeting Cards from Treat
Archive
January February March April May June July August September (3) October (2) November (1) December (1)
January February (1) March April May (1) June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
Subscribe
RSS