Freiburg & Titisee: Day 3 (Part 5)

April 24, 2014 by kimeree13

On Monday morning, my third day in Freiburg, I woke up to some dense fog.  I ate a quick breakfast in my pension, talked a bit with Greg over email, then made my way back to the Seepark to take a few more photos near my dorm area.  The thick fog reminded me a lot of our fall mornings growing up in Oregon.  At this early point of the day, there were a few people coming out of their homes to start their morning commute to work, but other than that, I had the entire place to myself.  It was peaceful and very ethereal!



Back in the center of the city, still very early in the morning, I stood right in front of Zum Roten Bären, a 700-year old hotel and restaurant, and took some photos of people riding their bikes up and down the cobblestone streets.  Going to work, going to school, dropping their kids off at day care.  Many Germans, like so many people in Boulder, ride their bikes to and from work every day.  They are all about public transportation and staying active!



Then it was finally time to say goodbye to my special and wonderful friends at the train station.  They took off on an eight hour journey back to Padua, Italy, and I hopped on a small commuter train all by myself to ride over to a nearby town in the the Black Forest called Titisee.


When I arrived in Titisee, I bought some groceries to make my favorite sandwich lunch: salami and Butterkäse (mild, white cheese) on a Brötchen (small, hearty roll).  I packed my small lunch for one inside my hefty camera bag and set off to hike eight Kilometers around the lake.  Halfway around, I stopped to eat my lunch and ended up sharing some of my roll with a few of the local, hungry, Mallard ducks swimming by my spot.  The fall colors were still out some and although the air was brisk, it was a perfect day for a hike!




I loved the little details I found on my walk.  It’s amazing what cool things you can find when you have the time to stop and focus on your surroundings!  Forest trees.  I loved how the light was shining through the trees as I walked the lakeside path.  Forest blooms.  I caught this feathery beauty in the middle of some fall leaves. Forest logs.  At the end of my hike, these were stacked up and perhaps ready to be transported somewhere to keep a person’s home warm during the winter months?

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I hiked almost all the way around the lake, but eventually I ran into a pretty major street and walking along a busy street with lots of cars was just not as enjoyable as walking through the forest, so I cut my hike short and hopped on a bus back into town.  I spent my last few hours in Titsee relaxing at the local spa, Badeparadies Schwarzwald.  Inside, they had all types of (hot!) saunas, a steam room and a large indoor swimming pool.  My favorite part was sitting outside in a hot tub for one with a glass of champagne in my hand while looking out at the gorgeous Black Forest.  It was idyllic for sure and completely awesome!  After spending the past few days walking everywhere I went, my muscles and joints sure thanked me for that little stop to refresh my feet and relax!


I spent my last night in Freiburg eating a döner kebab (turkish lamb kebab) al fresco and treated myself to a movie in a theater close to my hotel.  I spent most of this day and most of the next few days of my journey completely alone.  It was heavenly and I can’t wait to share more!

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Jewish Naming Ceremony

by kimeree13

Recently I was asked to photograph a Jewish naming ceremony for baby Eli Abraham.  The lovely spring snow was present at his grandparents home on this day.  Eli’s closest family and friends were present.  It was a beautiful ceremony and every part of it was full of meaning.  Eli’s parents spoke words of love and hope for their son’s future.  Eli’s grandparents also spoke words of love and hope for their grandson.  A local Jewish rabbi conducted the ceremony and led the group in various Hebrew songs and Eli’s dad, Larry, sang him “Imagine” by John Lenon. He wore the cutest little Yarmulke on his head and was still so little that he slept through his whole ceremony!

EliNaming-9 EliNaming-3 EliNaming-16 EliNaming-34At one point, the rabbi gave every person a yellow rose pedal and then we all placed them in a cup of holy water that was stirred together by one of his godparents by using the stem of the plucked rose.  The rabbi anointed parts of his body with holy water and sacred oil flown in by his grandpa from Israel.  At the end of the one-hour ceremony, Eli and his parents stood under a chuppah and everyone sang a few more songs in Hebrew.  It was a really neat experience for me and I wish Larry and Liz all the best as they raise this special little boy together!

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Freiburg: Day 2 (Part 4)

April 10, 2014 by kimeree13

I loved living in Freiburg!  My dorm room was just a few steps away from a beautiful lake area called Seepark.  This is where I got all my exercise and where we would gather every sunny afternoon to study and listen to Francesco play songs on his guitar.  On this particular Sunday in October, we walked around the lake and stopped several times to take photos along the way.  Halfway around the lake, there is a bridge that extends over the water.  We stopped here to look at the water turtles and I got to  snap a few shots of my friends being cute and lovey-dovey.  Francesco and Irene are also parents and really cherished their long weekend away from the kids and the chance to talk uninterrupted!





As we continued to walk over the bridge, I noticed several locks were hanging off the fence.  This is a new tradition that I never seen before.  Young couples buy a lock and key set, sometimes with their names on it, and then hang the lock on this bridge and throw the key in the water.  Tanja loves Dieter forever.  Together forever. Cute. I also found a random bent spoon hanging off this fence as well.  Not exactly sure what this means, however.





On the opposite side of the lake from where we started our walk, we stopped to say hello to this funny statue.  Everyone likes to rub his man parts for some reason, maybe for good luck, I am not so sure.  He’s busy guarding the small garden of grape vines next to him!



I went on another solo photo walk around downtown after we were done at the lake.  First stop was a local park where I found this gorgeous flower blowing in the wind.  I am pretty sure I used my macro lens to take this photo and I’m also pretty sure that this was the only macro photo I took the entire trip so it’s anyone’s guess why I carried around that lens for 10 days.  Lesson learned and I plan to travel lighter next time.


I later found some fall colors in an alley next to my hotel.  This sign warns bikers to ride carefully (at their own risk) because the city does not maintain these particular streets during the winter months.


On my way to meet my friends for an afternoon concert, I walked through the university area again, this time to capture a photo of the café where we spent every morning of the trip hanging out, eating pastries and drinking espresso.  Right next to this café was an emblem in the cobblestones that states that this university was founded in 1457 by the Archduke Albrecht IV.



The Freiburg Cathedral (Münster) was started in 1200 and was officially finished in 1230.  It stands tall in the heart of the city and rings its bells daily every hour on the hour.  The beautiful stained glass windows inside the church are all over and add some cheer to the very cold, stone interior.  We sat and listened to a concert here that featured a choir of children and local orchestra.  It was about two hours long and although the music was very beautiful, I found myself nodding off to sleep several times, still not adjusted to the local time.  The acoustics in a building of this size are fabulous!



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Freiburg: Day 2 (Part 3)

April 3, 2014 by kimeree13

The weekends in Germany are usually set aside to spend quality time with family and friends and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.  On this particular Sunday in October, the weather was absolutely gorgeous so I met my good friends and we did just that!  I met Francesco and Irene for coffee downtown and then we set out to visit our old university and dorm area together.  First stop was a walk through campus.  I did not take any classes in KG II (below), but it made for a perfect photo op and showed a great view of the Theater Freiburg building through the windows.  I cannot even count how many times I walked past this particular building as as student.  My tram stopped right next to it each morning to let me out *just* in time for my classes.


As we walked through campus, Francesco (or Checco, as I call him), got a call from one of his three little girls on the phone.  Photo op!  I started clicking away and was lucky to catch some of his classic Checco expressions that I happen to love (and miss) so much!  All smiles, this guy.  He is a typical jovial Italian, full of life, and has a really infectious personality.  It is not possible to hang out with him and not have any fun! This second picture of him is what I will call his “eh?” face.  I’ll post some more photos I took of him and his wife, Irene, in my post next week.

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While living in Freiburg, I spent most of my free time with Francesco, Katie (American) and Giulia (Italian) when we weren’t in class.  Checco taught me how to cook some great pasta the “Italian way” and we spent many afternoons and evenings eating, singing and hanging out.  I have a photo in front of this very university statue of Homer with all of my friends so it was only fitting that on this trip I sat in the same spot to take a photo.  This may be one of the only photos taken of me my whole trip, in fact!


Next to this statue is the KG IV building, again, not a building I had classes in, but I wanted to capture its classic arches and iron work.  Right across the street from this building was the Mensa (cafeteria) where I enjoyed many cheap (yummy?) student meals with my friends.



After our walk through campus on this particular Sunday, we hopped on a street tram and drove out to our old dorm area on Sundgauallee (my address for over a year) called the Studentensiedlung (or StuSie for short).  This particular area had about 10+ student dorm buildings.  Some were high rises that had several floors and an elevator and some were shorter with only two levels and a set of stairs.  Each level in each of these buildings, short or tall, had about six single rooms and shared a bathroom, shower and common area that had a kitchen and dining/living area with a TV and table.


Two of my good friends at the time, Katie and Giulia, lived in this tall high rise shown below.  I, however, lived the majority of my year abroad in a small, two-level building, number 48, with some Germans, a sweet French woman and a really spirited Irish lady.  My building was right near the local lake, called Seepark (and the focus of my next blog), and a gas station.  Why do I mention the gas station?  Well, most German stores are closed on Sundays and holidays, so this was the only place I could get any type of food in a pinch, so it was a very convenient place to live!



We did not have cell phones in 1999 so this photo is an ode to what once was, back in the day, when we still communicated by landline.  The same style of phones that we used when we lived there were oddly still here and hanging up on the walls in the lobby of one of the high rises.  I wonder if this one still gets used? Seeing it still hanging here brought back lots of memories of the days when I had much more time on my hands to actually talk on the phone.  I remember spending so much time talking on the phone with my friends in the StuSie about our plans for the weekend or when we would be getting together next.  I did study, some, but life was so much simpler, more carefree back then for sure!  What great memories!


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Freiburg: Day 2 (Part 2)

March 28, 2014 by kimeree13

Yeah!  It’s time for another update!  As I mentioned in my last blog, one of my main objectives on this solo trip was to take lots of photos and push myself creatively.  I was really serious about getting the best shots I could get, which meant waking up pretty early to take pictures, even when I was severely jet-lagged!  I was out and about pretty much every morning of my trip before 7:00 am to capture the best parts of the city in the best light possible.  Below are a few examples from my first morning walk around downtown Freiburg.  The most unique part about this particular morning walk was that literally no one was out this early, so I got some great unobstructed photos.  On the photo below left, you can see the empty Baechle, which are usually filled and flowing with cool water throughout all the streets of the city.  They are fun to jump over and even splash around in the warmer months!  I went to Germany in October, so the water was already drained out at this point in preparation for the icy winter months quickly approaching.  I was lucky enough to find one little Baechle with just a hint of water still left in it that also happened to give the most interesting reflection of the building behind me.

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My first mission on this particularly quiet Sunday morning was to find and photograph a beautifully vine-draped street called Konvikstrasse (below right).  The stores were still brightly lit up from the previous evening and the sun was not quite all the way up yet, so it still felt a little like that magical twilight time at night.

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After walking down Konvikstrasse, I turned back toward the center of the city and saw some remnants of some the local kids’ weekend activities.  This turned upside down beer keg just couldn’t quite make it into the trash can (Abfaelle) it was perched upon.



One thing about Germany that I have always found interesting is the antique signage on the outside of most of the quaint little mom and pop stores or family-run restaurants.  You just don’t see this sort of thing in the USA very often and here, they were on the facades of all the old buildings in town, giving the pedestrian a little clue about what might be inside.


This particular morning walk probably took me about two hours in length and I ended up walking back to that very same bridge I featured in my last blog.  I spent so many mornings and evenings on this very bridge waiting for my ride home on the tram (Strassenbahn).  As you can see on the clock displayed below, it was close to 9:00 am and almost time to meet my friends for a chat over thick Italian espresso and delicious German pastries.


The grounds of the Herz-Jesu Kirche (church) was just a few steps away from the train station and very close to my hotel.  The morning light and all the fall colors in this spot were absolutely breathtaking!  I found a place on the fence in these church grounds where someone mistakenly left parts of their bike for someone else to find.



I have seen several shots of this particular church from this exact spot and thought I’d try my hand at recreating it.  At the very end of the bridge, you can almost make out the same statue standing in the middle of all the golden leaves from my photo above.  My next post will feature the trip down memory lane I took with my two Italian friends!


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Freiburg: Day 1 (Part 1)

March 18, 2014 by kimeree13

Okay, friends, this blog post is long over due.  Really long overdue!  Last year is now just a blur to me!  We moved at the beginning of the year and then welcomed our newest little guy, Colton, in the fall.  Needless to say, I have put this off for way too long, but I still have a huge desire to blog about my solo trip to Germany.  Yep, the very one that happened a little more than a year ago now.  Yes, we’re talking 2012 folks.  Will you come on my journey with me as a relive some of my favorite moments from my trip?  I hope so!  I am going to challenge myself to do one update a week over the next few months until I’ve shared all my favorite photos and details from the trip!

So, a little back story on why I decided to travel to Europe alone.  I lived in Germany about 10 years ago as part of my college experience and lived and worked over there for almost two years.  I fell in love with the culture, food and people and have been returning every few years because Germany really is home to me as well as many places in the USA.  I am an introvert, so the idea of having lots of time to myself was really appealing and I also wanted the opportunity to connect with friends and places I have missed so much!

Thanks to my awesome mother-in-law and husband, my two boys were well taken care of while I was gone for 10 days!  Greg, my husband, dropped me off at DIA on a Friday evening (10/19/12) and I started the first leg of my trip with an overnight flight from Denver to Reykjavik, Iceland.  I then took an early morning flight to Frankfurt from Rejkavik and then hopped a ride on a speedy ICE train directly to Freiburg.


Freiburg was the first stop of my trip and was meant to be a reunion of sorts with some of my friends from Italy, who I will talk about in an upcoming post.  In college, I lived in Freiburg a full academic school year and attended the Universitaet Freiburg where I studied Germany literature. Freiburg is situated in the black forest in the lower southwest portion of Germany.  It is an hour from Basel, Switzerland and an hour from the border of France.  When I arrived in mid-October, the weather was cooler, but still warm enough to walk comfortably around with a light jacket and scarf.  Right near my quaint little pensione (Hotel Barbara) in downtown Freiburg, there was a small park I walked through on my way to meet my friends for dinner.  I loved the light coming through the grape leaves in these photos.

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One of my favorite memories from this trip was the “photo gold” moments I caught as I walked past the train station downtown.  Once the students are done with classes for the day, they climb up to the top of the bridge, high above where the trains come into the station, and hang out with their friends until it gets dark.  It’s the “new” hang out spot I guess (we didn’t hang out there when I went to school).  I saw a cute couple snuggled together enjoying their little meal and kisses. I saw young kids just chilling and doing silly kid stuff together.  I saw a man perched up on the top of the bridge listening to music and watching the sun set over the city, seemingly lost in thought.  These were magical moments for me because what I was experiencing was slightly out of the ordinary, rare and beautiful all at the same time.  One thing I love about German culture is that they do quality time with their friends really well.  I guess this is a new way to do just that!  What a cool tradition!




As I was walking through the downtown, the sun was starting to set.  I strolled through the main square called “Bertoldsbrunnen” (man on horse statue below) on my way to the Freiburg Cathedral and my dinner with Francesco and Irene at Hotel Oberkirchs (a great place to eat if you ever find yourself in Freiburg, by the way).


One of the thing I wanted to do most while I was on this trip was take the time to capture the details and spend time photographing the little things I overlooked while I lived here.  This photo journey was also an attempt to push me creatively and “see” Germany in a new and different way as a photographer.


After a really special and talkative dinner with my friends, I walked into the university part of the city to take photos at one of my favorite university buildings, KG I.  Here the words on the top say, “Die Wahrheit Wird Euch Frei Machen.” The truth will set you free. More to come from my adventures in Freiburg next week!


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September 28, 2013 by kimeree13

As most of you know by now, we will be expecting our third child pretty much any day now!  My due date is only a few days away and we can’t wait to find out if our baby is a boy or a girl!  Any guesses?  Your guess is as good as mine!

I just finished my last photo shoot a week ago and all of my edits for client photo sessions are officially done as of yesterday!  As a quick update, I’ll be taking about three months off to spend with our baby, but will start taking photos again after the holidays sometime in January.  I will, of course, be posting photos of my own little cutie and can’t wait to share his/her newborn images with you!

I know from prior experience that I will have less time to devote to projects and things on my “to do list” in the upcoming weeks, so I have been working diligently to make some needed changes to my website and overall marketing.  I updated the colors and logo on my web page as well as posted several new photos to the online galleries.  Maybe an image from your session made the cut!

Over the past year or so, I have narrowed my photography scope and have recently decided to strictly concentrate on maternity, newborn, kid and family sessions.  I may still take on other types of shoots as they come up (engagements, weddings, seniors, etc), but most of the work you will be seeing on my Facebook page, blog and website galleries will all center around pregnancy, babies, kids and families.  Please take a look around at my updated website and let me know what you think!

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One Year Makes a Difference

by kimeree13

There are a few projects I have been working on really diligently so that I can be more hands on with my infant in a few weeks.  One of those was aimed at looking through all my images from the past few years and picking the best ones to post in my website galleries.  I have to say that as I culled through all my work,  I was amazed how much I have changed as a photographer!  I am using less black and white now and definitely concentrating on creating beautiful images with bright or true-to-life colors.  Previously, I added more yellow in my photos for a “dramatic effect” and now I like to accurately represent the environment in which the photos were taken.  Look at an example of the difference in my work from 2012 and 2013.

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It’s also amazing what a difference a year can make in the year of a child! I recently took photos again for the Baca family and was loved to see how much their little daughter, Gia, had grown and changed in year!  Not only does she look older, but she’s got shorter hair and is also wearing some super cute, stylish glasses!  It is always such an honor to be asked to photograph families year after year and continue our relationship together!

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Photo Mommy

by kimeree13

Over the last year, I’ve made more and more connections with other moms that also take photos and it’s been so refreshing!  One of those wonderful people is my friend, Mary.  She and I have actually been friends for years, but it was only recently, with my newest pregnancy, did we get the opportunity to start spending more and more time together.  We’ve had a few coffee dates to talk about my upcoming birth photos (she’s in charge of those!) and of course anything else photo- , kid- or even husband-related.  The refreshing part is having a friend who just gets the things you struggle with or loves the same thing you love!

I recently did a session with Mary and her family and was so pleased when she wanted to do something a little more urban.  I think that is more of my “thing” lately!  As much as I love outdoor settings for photos, it is also important to mix it up and challenge me to do something different!  We went to downtown Boulder and walked (and played!) around the alleys and streets behind the Pearl Street Mall.  As any photo mommy knows, photos with your little ones are priceless.  We just don’t get in front of the camera enough!





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Baby Bump

August 18, 2013 by kimeree13

Stephanie emailed me a few months ago about taking maternity photos for her and mentioned that her due date is October 9th, which happens to be only one day after my own!  I was so excited to meet another expectant mommy and we ended up having so much fun gabbing the entire session about pregnancy and all the things we have to look forward to in the next few months!

This sweet couple met at Kansas State, got married, and are now expecting their first child together.  I found out during our session that they are also not going to find out the gender of their baby (like us) and we will be delivering at the same hospital.  Pretty neat, huh?  How funny would that be if we ended up delivering at the same time?  We will see!

Stephanie was an absolute natural in front of the camera and took some very stunning photos!  She was 30 weeks along at the time of the photos and really has the pregnancy glow all around her! Congrats, Stephanie and Ross, I’m excited to meet your little one very soon!








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