Once upon a time I had something to say about gathering. It was good. It was really going to blow your mind.  I even messaged Kelli and was all “hey, I’ve got this post to write. It will probably win a Pulitzer. Just so you know.”  Then I went to Petsmart.  Also I haven’t left my house in two days. It’s been snowing.  A LOT!  So I’m in Petsmart and I need to buy crickets for my son’s frogs. But first I take a turn around the store. I went and saw the cats. Read all their back stories. You know like-  “This is Tiger. He was found wandering the streets drunk, disorderly and wearing only a t-shirt that said  party animal. Tiger would do best in a home without other animals to enable him.”   I wandered passed the guinea pigs, those guys are so misleading “hey, bait and switch much guys? you’re all cute and cuddly looking but you stink, you’re noisy and generally a real pain in the ass.”  One of them flipped me the bird. Which reminds me I almost got a bird. I don’t even like birds. Well that’s not true. I like birds, in the wild. I don’t think they make great pets. So i’m staring at the finches and I think “YES. I’m going to get a bird. Yes this is definitely happening. Where are the cages? I am going to need a cage. Where am I going to put the cage? Wait- No. Walk away…Just walk away. Oh look the frogs. I should definitely get another frog and name it Guinevere.”

It was at this point I realized I had perhaps gotten off track and also that I shouldn’t be left home alone for two days straight. The ironic thing about almost getting another frog is I went home and lost one of ours. No joke. I was doing the big clean on their terrarium so they were in a smaller enclosure and Flippy somehow escaped. The kids and I spent the afternoon into the evening alternating between searching and following the cat through the house convinced that:



We tailed her for twenty minutes only to find a stash of plastic lids and string. At one point the dog started to throw up and we followed HER to see if she would cough up the evidence. She did not and I think it was just the stress of the whole thing getting to her.  Then I remembered that the cat was parked in front of the corner hutch for a while today and I took a chance, Everything came off the hutch and I tipped it up to find underneath covered in dog hair and lint was our missing frog. He was fine and we managed to get him out from under the hutch and rinsed off. By the time we were all sorted and put away it was late and  I have no idea still what I was going to write about. And they lived happily ever after. The end. –Tarah

tarah d'elia

What she actually said was, “I can’t think of anything to write.” And, then, when I get here to make the post I see that she’s written several hilarious paragraphs! Truth be told, I always have a hard time writing anything after I read Tarah’s stories. I just can’t compete. But, luckily for me I don’t have time to write anything. As you can see from our photos we are deep into the holiday season, and apparently I’m having a pink Christmas. Can’t talk now, must go apply glitter to something! –Kelli


I’ve never been a huge fan of just making a laundry list of things for which I am “thankful,” even though I know that’s a popular activity this time of year. It has always seemed kind of artificial to me. My experience of genuine gratitude is visceral, which makes it hard to put into words. Still, I can see some value in listing off the things I am grateful for, at least occasionally, because it often turns out that my list consists of people and relationships that have been neglected or overlooked; or, the basic necessities of life that I so often take for granted because I have never had to experience life without them. Taking inventory helps me see just how blessed I truly am, but also inspires me to do more for others who have not had the same good fortune.

So, without further ado: I am thankful for my husband; my two beautiful children; my home; my cat; my friends & extended family; my husband’s good job that allows me to be home with my kids; my faith; my creative spirit; my good health; the jaw-dropping beauty of nature; the art, music, and literature that gives my life meaning; and many, many more things that are harder to pin down in writing.

— Kelli

tarah d'elia

tarah d’elia

There is no way to encompass all the intricacies of life down to a few precious bullet points. I am thankful for an infinite amount of things both seen and unseen. It is easy to forget however. A spirit of peace and thanksgiving isn’t always present in each of us 100% of the time. So if I were going to make an accurate list I would say-

These are the things I am thankful for. Sorry if you didn’t make the list. Better luck next time…  

  • Myself. Well done self. You’ve seen some crazy shit.  You’re doing alright. Your confidence and determination has been a real asset to the team.
  • Where I come from. (reference crazy shit)
  • Sommerleigh, Josiah, Gideon and Natalie. More than anything in this world.
  • My husband. You should all be jealous.
  • my siblings. you are all nuts.
  • our home. it’s safe and warm and perfect.
  • our pets. OK…mostly my pets. Bunnies, frogs, cats and dogs.
  • The cats. (they made me give them their own bullet point. they also want to remind me to be thankful they let us sleep on THEIR bed.)

— Tarah

……Next time is now. I have been informed I did not include my mother on this list. It doesn’t matter how I obtained this information. Just that I am now aware of it. So. Very.  Aware. In light of this egregious error on my part I would like to make the following statement.

  • I am thankful for my mom. She makes me laugh and is a kick ass grandma   -Tarah 


I take photos because I can’t paint. I take photos for the pure aesthetic joy of creating an image. This week I shot moving water, a flock of snow geese, a car on a quiet street at night and some trees. Only the trees weren’t in motion my lens was. I wish I had something profound to say about time constantly in motion and the camera as a tool for capturing a small frame of that time and seasons and the documenting of the collective human experience and run on sentences and also the circle of life and Disney movies. But I don’t. Damn….— Tarah

kelli ann wilson

kelli ann wilson

What do you do if you find yourself trapped in the back seat of a compact car with a tween and a toddler who have just spent hours running around at a science museum and haven’t eaten dinner yet? Take photos, of course! This is especially true if you are two weeks behind on a deadline for a joint photography project and your collaborating partner has recently compared working with you to contracting the Ebola virus (or something like that). Having found myself in this very situation, I thought I would make the best of it and try taking pictures of cars in motion. Cars in motion look really cool at night, especially with very slow shutter speeds. All of those lights streaming off into the darkness create what looks to me like abstract art pieces. It was a fun experiment, and perhaps Tarah will forgive my tardiness (though, in all honesty, this won’t be the last time this happens). — Kelli

Tarah says:

I tell it better.

Kelli: “UGH! I have nothing for motion i’m the worst collaborator and I kick puppies you must hate me!”
Me: “I do. You are worse than Ebola. Christmas is ruined. Stop kicking puppies.”- end scene

The POINT being it’s all about perspective. Kelli will be late again. It won’t be the end of the world. If it is we apologize.


The days aren’t discarded or collected, they are bees
that burned with sweetness or maddened
the sting: the struggle continues,
the journeys go and come between honey and pain.

Pablo Neruda, Still Another Day

I’m a person who lives to remember. I love to be reminded of things: other days; other hours; other points on the continuum. My perspective is most often one of looking backwards into the past, and even when I am working in the present it is likely to be an exercise in recording the experiences of the moment, so that I may look back on them in the future. Not very Zen, I know. I am a historian; a genealogist; a photographer. In their own way all of these pursuits spin around the axis of memory. For this assignment I worked on gathering images that represent parts of my life that I would like to remember, but also bits of and pieces of a past that is even farther back than the “now,” in some cases reaching back beyond the threshold of my own life. — Kelli

tarah d'elia

tarah d’elia

I remember my grandmother on my moms side was a terrible cook. Every year when Christmas time rolled around I have memories of a bread she would make- Stollen. It was awful. The only joy that could be derived from it was picking off the frosting bit by bit from under it’s tin foil. I don’t remember anyone actually eating Said stollen. I also remember being told it was Swedish. It is not. When this post theme came about I decided to tackle this recipe and see if stollen or christollen as it’s sometimes known could be made edible. I began scouring the internet for information on different recipes and traditional methods for making this sweet holiday bread. I managed to find one that came as close to what I could remember as possible and I am quite happy to say stollen is very edible and was quite well received in my house. Which is good because I was up until one in the morning finishing it. I went for the traditional roll in powdered sugar as opposed to a frosting or glaze and I like it much better. I sent some to school with my teenager and her friends deemed it “really awesome” . For our friends this holiday I’ve decided to go old school and make my candied fruits and nuts then soak them in rum. Not a kid friendly version but I’m excited to try! In closing Stollen is bread. Not a dictator. But it is that too. It’s also German. And it’s really good…..when I make it. — Tarah

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 ounce yeast cake*- i used two packaged dry active yeast in 3/4 c of 110 degree water. let it sit until the bubbles start to rise up a little
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon seed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup finely cut citron
  • 1/2 cup sliced candied cheries
    Preparation Instructions
    1. Scald milk. Add sugar, salt and butter. Cool to lukewarm.
    2. Mix yeast with 1 tablespoon sugar until liquid. Add to lukewarm milk. Stir.
    3. Add whole eggs and egg yolks. Beat.
    4. Add 3 cups flour. Bear well. Cover.
    5. Let rise in warm place about 1 1/2 hour or until doubled.
    6. Add cardamon, raisins, citron, cherries and enough flour until dough pulls from side of bowl and is no longer sticky to the touch.
    7. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and satiny.
    8. Place in lightly greased bowl. Cover. Let rise about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
    9. Divide dough into thirds. Use 1/3 for each stollen.
    10. Roll on floured canvas into and 8×10 inch oval. Spread with melted butter. Press down center, fold over lengthwise.
    11. Place in shallow greased baking pans or on greased cooky sheets. Brush with melted butter.
    12. Let rise about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
    13. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes.
    14. spread warm loaves with melted butter and roll in powdered sugar


This week’s theme was “spooky” and I love how it turned out. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and the weather actually cooperated. Tarah usually finishes her assignment long before I do (she’s so dedicated!), but I intentionally do not look at her work until I finish mine. I was both shocked and amused by how perfectly our pictures coordinate this week — it’s almost hard to tell whose is whose! Great minds think alike (ours, too)! I’m looking forward to taking my kiddos trick-or-treating tonight. Happy Halloween! — Kelli

tarah d'elia

tarah d’elia

Standing on a dark road late at night, all alone. Who’s idea was this? The only time I was more scared was the Halloween that we ran out of candy and had a troop of kids on the front porch who would not give up and started looking in the windows because as one put it- “I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE. I CAN SEE THE LIGHTS ON!” — Tarah

low key

If you have children then you’ve probably come across the book ‘Stranger in the woods’. It is hands down my favorite children’s book. It’s also what inspired me to get out into the world and start taking photos. This week the theme is low key. I can think of nothing more low key than a quiet morning in the woods with some surprise visitors. Four meandering deer found me very entertaining. It may have had something to do with my unique early morning look of pajamas and hot pink hikers….. — Tarah

kelli ann wilson

kelli ann wilson

I love that Tarah and I took such different pictures, and yet there are still similarities (we both took photos of deer and autumn leaves). I wasn’t sure how to interpret this week’s theme of “low-key” so I went with the technical angle. In photography you can use high-key lighting (which gives you those beautiful blown-out newborn portraits with big glossy eyes) or low-key lighting (only a part of an object is highlighted and the rest of the image shadows). There are a lot of tutorials out there for creating low-key portraits with just camera settings and an off-camera flash. Unfortunately, I don’t have an off-camera flash, so I had to get really creative with the available light and a bit of tweaking of exposure and shadow settings in Photoshop. I’m pretty happy with how everything came out. Low-key portraits have a studio feel to them, which isn’t really my style. Still, it’s great to get pushed out of my comfort zone sometimes, and I feel more confident to try other techniques now. — Kelli


I think it’s unfair for you (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) to expect me to have buckets of witticisms that I slather on the screen each week with a trowel. What is a trowel? And anyway I’ve just been informed computers don’t work that way. Now don’t YOU feel silly. — Tarah

tarah d'elia

tarah d’elia

Please bear with me while I write seriously for a moment. I started out with a completely different idea for the theme of “framed” but sometimes life presents us with interesting twists, and we just have to go with the flow. These photos were taken at the Pumpkin Festival in Keene, NH, a tradition that has been part of my hometown’s cultural life for over twenty years. It was never really my thing, but it’s my mom’s favorite “holiday” — this year she carved fifty pumpkins (with some help) to bring down to the festival. If you have been reading the news or social media over the past 24 hours or so, you probably already know that students at Keene State College threw huge parties, clashed with police, and rioted into the night during this year’s Pumpkin Festival (#pumpkinfest is a trending topic on Twitter as of this writing).

Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Keene is my hometown and Keene State College is my alma mater. I find the events of yesterday and last night deeply disturbing. The actions of a bunch of drunk idiots took away something that my mom loved, and something that was a vital source of fundraising for our local non-profits. It’s very likely that there won’t be another Pumpkin Festival for a long time. And, now when I tell people that I graduated from Keene State, they’ll probably just snicker. The pride I felt after all of those years I spent toiling away, trying to finish my degree while raising two kids, now feels more like shame; the actions of a bunch of drunk idiots devalued something that I worked very hard to earn.

So, with a heavy heart, I give you some photos based on the theme of “framed” from what is likely Keene’s very last Pumpkin Festival. Even though I was never a huge fan of the crowds, or the spectacle, or even the pumpkins, I’m so glad I was able to go one last time and capture what really was a lovely event. — Kelli

[Update: Tarah tells me not to despair, and that there will be more pumpkin fests in the future; I hope she’s right! Also, #pumpkinspiceriots on Twitter — perfect.]


I had a REALLY hard time with this assignment. I don’t really consider myself lacking in passion, but I guess I’m not very good at working with the more esoteric themes. Regardless, the night before our photos were “due” I still didn’t have anything. I messaged Tarah on Facebook secretly hoping that she was also struggling and that we could just call off the whole “passion” thing and try something else — what about all of these gorgeous fall leaves!? She pushed back saying that no, she had some good stuff and I should just suck it up. Okay that’s not exactly what she said (but I think it’s what she meant!) and she did give me a couple more days to get my act together (that’s why this is a collaborative photography project). I wandered directionless for the next 72 hours before zeroing in on my interpretation of this theme: MY passions. I thought, “what am I passionate about?” I found it challenging (in a good way!) to figure out how to represent all of the things I love: my husband; my kiddos; my hobbies, like genealogy, art, photography, and music; flowers and the natural world; and making stuff. I hope that a little of my passion shines through in this week’s photos. — Kelli

kelli ann wilson

kelli ann wilson

How many cliche’ sayings are there in the world about passion? I don’t know…I gave up counting on pinterest and started pinning hilarious cat memes instead. But you can trust me on this- A LOT! For example, and I quote:  “DO IT WITH PASSION OR NOT AT ALL”





And my personal favorite “YOU CAN’T FAKE PASSION” – I beg to differ

What can we learn from this? Passion is something we must have or we do have and we spill because we are passion and passion is energy but also chaos and that’s how you get paid and it’s not fake.

Passion has a pretty vague definition actually. (strong and barely controllable emotion.) It could easily be applied to things of the romantic nature or the endeavors of the determined.  How then to photograph passion? I don’t know… steamy scenes of lust between two people. That’s easily identifiable as passion I suppose. I asked my nine year old “what is passion?” he said “it’s two people kissing in the waves or working really hard on a drawing.”

I was really starting to feel that “passion” was highly overrated and a huge pain in the ass. Yes. ASS. I had scrapped a few sessions that just weren’t coming together on this subject. I wasn’t happy with any of my photos and I needed some clear head space. I planned on getting up and photographing the sunrise on a day my husband could be home with the kids. I set my alarm and fell asleep looking forward to some pre-  dawn time. It was not easy to drag myself out of my cozy blankets but I knew I needed to be there for the first light on the lake. I got up- skipped coffee to save time and made a straight line for the lake.

There was a fine layer of frost covering everything and I could see my breath. I set up and started with low lights. It was so peaceful. Only the sound of the shutter and the lake meeting the shore. As the sun shone through the clouds I began to realize something. I was again competing with myself. And it was unnecessary. This collaboration is about the art of the photography. It’s meant to be experienced and savored not met like some self imposed deadline where failure is hovering to slap you.

I am passionate about my photography. There are times when I feel my competitive nature is an asset. It drives me to constantly work on my art. Seeking locations, lighting, and angles that are new to me and will take each frame to another level. Then there are times, like that morning, when it’s enough that the passion has brought me out. I have seen such beautiful natural wonders. Experienced peaceful moments and had amazing animal encounters because passion brought me out and into a new space. Thanks passion! WOW, the more you know. – (INSERT RAINBOW HERE)

in keeping with the theme I’ll close like my favorite band THE AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT did this week in concert. “Thank you! Goodnight! Go make some babies!” — Tarah


I first heard the term “golden hour” used by the photographer who did my engagement and wedding photos. This was at least a year before I became seriously interested in photography, but it was the first time I had noticed or considered how the light looked at different times of the day. Our engagement photos, taken just before sunset on a warm summer day, really did make us look as if we were bathed in golden light. Over the years I have learned that lighting is a huge part of what makes a photo “great” as opposed to “good” or just “okay.” Sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I don’t. This week I had a lot of fun playing with the theme of golden as both light and color.— Kelli

tarah d’elia

Light is an amazing subject matter and a powerful tool for conveying emotion in a photo. To me golden is more about a feeling than a color. When I think of golden it evokes warmth and contentment. This week in some beautiful locations and with amazingly cooperative weather I tried to pull these feelings into frame. *With the exception of the dog on the couch…that makes me feel like vacuuming. — Tarah



photo by tarah d’elia

“Maine is excessively, disgustingly beautiful.”
— Tarah D’Elia
(That’s me. I said that.)

When people ask where in Maine we spend time and then I tell them Lubec I always get the same response.
Me: “You know WAY up there. The Easternmost town in the United States.”
Blank stare
Me: “On the border of New Brunswick. Canada.”
“OH, Canada….right, right.”
Me: “Right. Canada.”

Geography is hard.

It’s roughly a 9 1/2  hour drive from our home in New York. The first time we went we drove all night and saw the sunrise over West Quoddy lighthouse. Totally worth it. We camped, hiked, played, and discussed in depth how it was possible that we’ve lived thirty something years and this was the first time we had set foot in Lubec. We’ve been back every summer since and I have never been disappointed. Well, UNTIL this summer. It all started around 2 in the morning. I was jonesing for a bear encounter hardcore and when I heard the BANG! BANG! BANG! on the deck outside I was sure I was about to get my fix. I grabbed my phone so I could facebook, text, tweet and instagram all the selfies of me and the bear I was about to take. Then army crawled across the living room floor toward the sliding doors. I didn’t want to startle the bear. I got into position and drew back the shades before turning on the light. When I did I saw nothing. NOTHING? WTF MAINE! Then I noticed near the grill a small but alarmingly dexterous paw creep out from under the lid. Next a long ringed tail dropped into view. Wow- the bears in Maine look just like raccoons! He was kind of a jerk though and wouldn’t pose for a photo.

To soothe my disappointment we went over to the beach the next morning. The sun was shining and we set off to explore low tide. You can find a lot at low tide. Shells. Sea glass. Crabs. People who recognize you from the internet. No seriously it’s a thing. That’s how I met Kelli. Nothing is better for a raccoon rebuffed ego than being recognized for your photos. #EGOBOOST #OMGTHISLADYSAWMYPHOTOS #ONEOTHERPERSONBESIDEMYSISTERSAWMYPHOTOS

Her children were adorable and keeping mine entertained AND she takes photos. I was going to ask her to marry me but her husband showed up and he has a really great beard. Also mine was there and it seemed weird. But it was great to sit and talk. To daydream about living there and starting our own upper echelon of Lubec society that would consist of us wearing big hats. (SOMEDAY KELLI!) Now we have combined forces to venture on a new artistic endeavor.

I have never collaborated on anything like this before. I’ve been told I don’t play well with others. (This should be in bold neon letters that flash and emit a siren, but the INTERNET was like “No. you can’t do that.” so use your imagination) For me the act of photography is equally important as the outcome. It adds depth and focus to my life. As we start this project I am looking forward to seeing all the sights along they way. I hope you enjoy viewing the photos as much as I enjoy taking them. — Tarah


A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses
that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.

— Graham Greene, The End of the Affair

I’ve been visiting Lubec with my in-laws since 2009. I believe the root cause of our driving to the Easternmost town in the contiguous United States was my father-in-law’s interest in purchasing a lighthouse there. Yes, he wanted to live in a lighthouse. My mother-in-law “persuaded” him not to buy said property, but it seemed like a good place to vacation so we kept going back.

Despite visiting every summer for five years, I had never made a friend in Lubec (other than the harbor seals that hang out in the channel), that is until I met Tarah D’Elia this past summer. The story of our meeting is kind of strange, and telling it makes me feel a little bit like a weirdo/stalker, but here goes nothing. I met Tarah on Mowry Beach in downtown Lubec. We both said hi to each other in passing, and then she disappeared into the fog to take pictures of her daughter (one of which you can see in the collage below). As I stood there watching my own kids, I kept having a nagging feeling that I’d seen this woman before, which was strange since I was seven hours away from home. It turned out that, yes, I had seen her before — on Instagram! I recognized her from some of the photos in the #lubec feed, which I had been looking at earlier in the day. When she came back to my area of the beach I told her that I recognized her, and thankfully she did not run away screaming.

We chatted for the next hour or so, about photography, and kids, and the beauty of Maine’s Bold Coast. Then we exchanged Facebook info and returned to our respective corners of the world. We’ve kept in touch ever since, and recently decided to do this project together. I’m very excited about it because this is my first ever collaboration, and I think it will help me to be more intentional in my work. Plus, Tarah is awesome and I am really looking forward to working in tandem with her. I think our personalities and photography styles really complement each other, and I can already tell that Tarah is going to pull me, at least a little bit, out of my comfort zone. For example, we were discussing the format for the posts and Tarah was talking about the style of her writing. All I could think was, “Wait, we have to write things? Like, more than a couple of sentences?” I think we can learn a lot from this project, and each other. — Kelli