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Happy Mother’s Day, Grand Rapids Family Photographer

Here’s  to the late nights, the sleepless nights, the worry, the joy, the angst, the bliss, the frustration, the pride, the fear, the love.  For the dreamers, the doers, the apprehensive do-it-anyway-ers, the overachievers, the door-openers, the helicopters,  the teachers, the audience, the supporters, the disciplinarians, the bread winners and the bread makers, the enablers, the unconditional lovers and the booboo kissers.  No matter who you are, how old your ‘baby’ is, thank you for being a mom.  Celebrate yourself and have a lovely Mother’s Day.


black and white film portraits of mom and baby bond in michigan by dena robles

portrait of mom and baby boy together in michigan by photographer dena robles

the mom stays in the photo, portrait of mom and baby by dena robles in grand rapids michigan area

Moms, no matter how you feel, how you look, or how YOU feel you look, you are beautiful and priceless to your child.  Moms, get in the picture.  Why wait?  One day they will thank you for it, guaranteed!



Evolution of the Vagabond Spirit

“The only constant in life is change.”

I saw this quote on a motivational poster in a ladies restroom somewhere in the middle of nowhere on a long cross-country road trip 16 years ago.  I happened to be driving a UHaul full of my belongings between my Portland home and my new home in Boston. With a soon-to-be-born baby in my belly, I was on the verge of nearly every critical life change a person can make in her life—all in the span of one week.  It was an exciting and adrenalin-filled, but uncertain time.  After the worry and scurry of making plans, the heart palpitations of taking the first step into the unknown, the risks, the tears, the good-byes…came the peace.  And everything was all right.  Since that time I have come to embrace the realization that I am actually more alive and most content when things are changing.

So here we go.  Again.

After 22 years in my career in photography, and several evolutions, I am ready to take on a new venture.   I am not putting down the camera, or saying good bye, or closing up shop.  I haven’t gone blind (yet.)  I am merely taking these past 22 years and building on a body of work and experience that I am very pleased to have in my repertoire.  I am redirecting my vision and I can’t wait to unveil the changes and share with you.

While I am busy working behind the scenes on the changes, the important thing to note today is that I will be accepting fewer portrait clients.  I still welcome the opportunity to chat with anyone who shares the same love of artistic portrait photography with me.  I welcome the opportunity to collaborate in a portrait session with you and involve you in my new projects when our visions match.   I  also hope to find a whole new world of experiences with the launch of my new website and photography adventure.

This transition is requiring a lot of time and heart & soul (and sweat.)  Until I can get the finishing touches on everything, please enjoy a little peek of our recent excursion to colorful Puerto Rico.  And please stick around with this vagabond spirit and stay tuned to follow the new story as it unfolds.

Photos of Culebra by dena robles



Photographing his First Birthday — Grand Rapids Portrait Photography

If there were a frequent flyer club for photography sessions then this sweet family would have platinum status membership.  I am sincerely grateful and honored to be chosen over and over again to document the life of their growing family.  One day (too soon) they will move away to take on the next chapter of their lives and it pleases me so to know they will have the memories of their children’s early lives captured so fully.

grand rapids m ichigan baby photography

moms get in the picture with your babies


crawling baby photo with babylegs and wooden firetruck

baby and mom playing together photo

happy baby photographed in the studiobaby boy and mom photographed together on first birthday

grand rapids michigan baby photo studio

one year old first birthday boy in photos

baby crawling in babylegs and cloth diaper grand rapids photos

Even though I have photographed them several times over the last three years, this was the first time the Pierce family had a portrait session in my Grand Rapids studio.  I love the variety of photographs we were able to create (birthday cake included!) in the studio mini session and I look forward to seeing these prints on the walls of their home next to the photographs from our past sessions.  Shout out to mom for always being willing to be photographed with her beautiful children!



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