Klein Twins, a birth story

A year ago today, the Klein Family started the day as two and ended as four. Breanna is the sister of one of my best friends, Jess. Breanna and her husband, Brice, became fast friends of Mike and I as we started to get to know them around the time she became pregnant with the boys. They’re the kind of friends who are real and true, who will cook you dinner in their home and come over to let your dog out at the first light of day while you’re out of town. Their extended family (parents, grandparents), have welcomed us in with literally open arms, seating us at their table for holidays and special family occasions. I knew that the birth of the twins was going to be an event that would rock the Klein / Irish family’s world, and I know that photographs, for me at least, are such a sweet way to make a precious memory more tangible. I asked Breanna if she would be interested in their birth day being photographed, explaining that while I’ve never done this before, I would do my very best to stay out of the way while still documenting the spirit of the event, so that later on in life they could look back at the photos and remember what that crazy day looked, smelled, sounded like. I’m so glad she said yes.

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After many hours of labor and pacing, Breanna needed to be wheeled into the operating room to deliver the boys. With all of the nurses and doctors it takes to handle the delivery of not one, but two babies, there was only room for the father and the doula in the OR with Breanna. We watched them wheel her bed down the hallway and through the double doors, wishing them the best, and we waited. and waited. The waiting felt like forever, because we had no way of knowing what was going on. We sat on the hospital floor right outside those double doors, listening for the sound of crying babies as the sun began to rise.

Eventually Jess received a text message, a photo from Brice, of Breanna with the two tiny boys resting on her chest. Just seeing that iPhone photo gave us overwhelming joy. Here, at last. Not long after the nurses wheeled Breanna back to her room at the end of the hall. She didn’t look up from her sons as she passed us. Our eyes were full of tears as we watched Breanna hold them. Re: Stacks was playing and the room was full of light and the smell of lavender. Brice was crying and it was beautiful.

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Samuel and Wesley Klein. One blonde and the other brunette. Both incredible little blue eyed boys who I can’t help but love.

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June 14, 2014 - 2:33 am

amanda vanvels - this is so sweet, i teared up :’) you did such an amazing job, jenny!!!!

June 14, 2014 - 2:53 pm

nancy irish - Jenny! you captured a most beautiful life experience in a sweet tender way. thank you sooooo very much!

June 18, 2014 - 9:46 pm

dorothy - jenny these are incredible. wow. I can’t wait to have you photograph my babies being born… ten years from now.

June 19, 2014 - 2:31 pm

jenn stark - i remember you telling us about doing this — & it’s a joy to see the photos! what a beautiful memory you’ve captured. xoxo

June 25, 2014 - 3:43 pm

Ali Migliore - Oh this is so beautiful! You made me get all teary! That is so special of you to re-cap their story… such beautiful images <3

This is the story of Collin and Maddie, and the day he surprised her with a trip to Seattle and a marriage proposal.

I got an email from this guy named Collin back in August, asking if I could photograph the moment he planned to propose to his girlfriend, Maddie. I kind of exploded with excitement because this kind of thing, documenting something so big, so special and important, something that goes down in a family’s history book…that’s what I live for. Collin was going all out for his girl, Maddie, and I loved that. I’m an all-outer, too. So we started planning. Sending coordinates, choosing locations over face time, mapping out the proposal day, scheming. I remember the day Mike asked me to be his wife so clearly, I will never forget it. I was only photographing the event but man, I probably wanted Maddie to have an unforgettable day almost as much as Collin did.

I’m sure she will tell the full story over on her blog, so I’ll try to keep mine short.  Maddie went to sleep in her home in Los Angeles Wednesday night with no bags packed and no knowledge of her early wake up call the next day for a flight to Seattle and, eventually, a proposal. Collin and I already discussed we would have minimal communication throughout the day, as to not give Maddie any ideas. I had never met Collin or Maddie in real life before this day, but I noticed them, the guy in tan and the girl in the blue shirt and brown pants, as soon as they stepped out of their car at Discovery Park. I slouched down in my driver’s seat as they passed my window, but as soon as they were out of sight, I got out and followed.  I took creepy stalker photos of them as they walked to “the spot”, hoping that Collin’s memory of the maps I sent would serve him well, since he’d never been to Discovery Park before. I signaled to Mike, who was hiding behind a nearby tree, already taking photos as the couple sat down. We waited nervously, doing our best to stay out of sight while also documenting the conversation that was unfolding between Maddie and Collin. It was one of those ridiculous days in Seattle, where clouds are nowhere to be found and it still smells like summer. I doubt the two of them noticed since they only had eyes and ears for each other, but there was an owl in a nearby tree hooting quietly the whole time they sat at that bench. The sun was dipping behind the Olympics so beautifully as Collin got down on one knee.

The day after the proposal, we planned to take engagement photos at Deception Pass. Everything was going according to plan until we hit traffic on I-5 North, and quickly realized neither us or Collin & Maddie would get to the Pass with enough decent daylight to take photos. I knew the forecast for the next morning called for heavy rain, but it was our only option, so we planned on it. Mike and I camped in the state park that night and it rained the whole time. I was pretty concerned…we’re used to shooting in the rain, but this precious couple from L.A. was not used to being photographed in the rain. Instead, we woke up the next morning to a gorgeous PNW foggy morning with the sun rising into a blue sky. Thanks, God. It was perfect.

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October 10, 2013 - 10:10 am

wang - ohhh! i love these so much!!! you did such a good job of being a stalker!!! def. such a sweet and very special moment, i kinda wish i was a stalker for yall’s proposal. i feel like i already know these two. also, i can’t believe i’ve still never been to deception, it looks so majestic. all the aqua colors. you should post more laughing pics often, i really, really like them. :)

October 10, 2013 - 10:26 am

ashlee - loooove deception pass! well done, lady!

October 10, 2013 - 6:43 pm

David Meye - So rad Jenny!

I love this couple and you killed it!

October 10, 2013 - 8:49 pm

Brandon Peterson - I jut met these two yesterday!!! I love this. Such an incredible story and love. Wonderful job capturing the moment :)

November 5, 2013 - 11:53 pm

Emily - These are just so unbelievably stunning.

Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride | Seattle 2013

This last weekend Mike and I joined in on the annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. It’s the one day where bikers all over the world can put on their bow ties, tweed jackets, newsboy caps and oxfords and ride their classic motorcycles all over the city. It’s totally silly but totally awesome…and the best part, all proceeds from this year’s ride went to prostate cancer medical research. This event happens on the same day in at least 110 countries around the world. That’s a lot of distinguished gentleman (and ladies!), and a lot of money going to prostate cancer awareness.

I did something completely stupid/dangerous and brought two of my cameras along (secured by my HoldFast strap, for those of you who asked about it), and took pictures throughout the whole ride (see all here), on the back of our Honda CX500. It was risky, but absolutely worth it in my opinion.

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October 8, 2013 - 11:15 am

jenn stark - ….completely stupid/dangerous/AWESOME. love these.

October 8, 2013 - 1:08 pm

mandie - damn. these are so good, jenny. i’m dying over all these beautiful bikes.