We all deserve to feel beautiful-

During her photo experience, she was a natural beauty in the street clothes she had selected just for her photo shoot. She changed into her softball uniform and swung her bat like a pro. Each pose and expression easily achieved with her electrifying smiles, her eyes sparkling, her personality bubbling.

Toward the end, we left her mom and grandmother at a picnic table in the shade as we went back into the woods. She gave me more expression, energy & if it were even possible, more enthusiasm. We laughed a lot. 

When she thought our session was about to wrap up, I pulled out her flower crown. (During our consultation and wardrobe follow-up messages, I found out her favorite colors & then I hand-made a crown to compliment her personality). It’s sometimes a gamble–a flower crown and a tulle skirt by surprise.

This client had given me her trust and allowed me to place the crown on her head, and just went for it. She transformed from the girl in street clothes, to the athlete ready to play ball to a princess in the woods. 

During her photo reveal where she saw her slide show and images for the first time, I know she felt special. She felt seen. She got a chance to see herself the way the world sees her.  Full of life. Beautiful. 


I heard she thought she wasn’t pretty
I heard she thought she didn’t fit in
She thought she was different.


We went to the woods
We breathed the air
Supported by the earth under our feet

We laughed
We created


She is beautiful
She is unique
She is strong

The experience

The photographs

I showed her how perfect she is
She celebrates



WAVphoto Chris VonDerLinn
‘the things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling’
~fabienne frederickson

I know a young man who has passion.
Passion in how he learns, the quantity of knowledge he has, his joy in sharing his gift with the world.

This young man is a drummer who was born with rhythm coursing through his veins and always a steady heartbeat, barely able to contain his drumming fingers…always at the dinner table, frequently on a drum set.

I know this drummer. I gave birth to him.

‘Passionate’ is the perfect description of his enthusiasm of all things percussion. As a barely two year old trying to configure a drum set using a coffee can, tape, paper plates & a barbecue skewer, frustration mounting as the high-hat cymbals wouldn’t open & close like he saw in a Beatles video.

Shortly after, a December holiday brought an entire drum set–and at his birthday party only 3 weeks later he shared his drumming passion with the world. Ok…maybe to most of his first grade class and all the neighbors.

What I admired about his performance was he didn’t know if he was a great drummer or an ok drummer. He just wanted to play. And he played along with the Beatles music and he started the party.

WAVphoto Chris VonDerLinn

So this passion continues and gets deeper (as does his song selection) over the years to include all genres of music. It’s a pleasure to watch the evolution of his style and skill as he proceeds through each phase. I am grateful that heavy-metal was relatively short lived and that jazz is in the heavy rotation.

When I see passion in a young person, it’s not forced. It’s an inner drive, strength, motivation. An athlete on the practice field before the team, the artist who has filled every page of the sketchbook before the semester begins, the mountain climber who has studied the map well before the hike. The drummer who is on the stage for every performance that involves music: the pit musical, the symphonic & orchestra concerts, the student showcase, marching band & jazz bands. And then playing through his selections for hours at a time on his set in the basement. Without applause. Drumming is the blood that keeps him alive.WAVphoto Chris VonDerLinn

Where does it come from? I’d like to take a little credit – for the 9 months I carried him I taught step aerobics to a perfect 8 count…

…but that doesn’t explain why, on one of the coldest days in winter, he packed up his set (breaking down drums, stands, cymbals, amps), loaded the pieces into his car – unloaded them at school, set up the drum set, rocked the stage for his Tri-M (music honor society) recital, then took the whole kit apart, in the car, home & back into the basement. It was well below zero degrees F. I know because I was ‘helping’ him get it packed into his car at the school, when everyone else was gone. The janitor was already cleaning the hallway outside the room. There was no applause, just frostbite. Frostbite and passion.


Live the magic
Have faith in simplicity
Always dare to dream.
(Posted at the Field of Dreams movie set, Iowa)

In a cornfield in the middle of the United States.
I had a magical experience there.

“People will come….they’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom”

I think everyone knows about the 25 year old movie ‘Field of Dreams’ starring Kevin Costner, a corn field and a famous line,
build it, he will come
Its a great story about baseball, passion & dreams.

I couldn’t fathom exactly why I went to Iowa. Except to watch magic unfold right before my eyes on a beautiful October day. We turned down yet another country road in between even more cornfields and quickly approached THE field, THE house with THE white picket fence, with THE red barn in the background. It was not a movie set that was removed when the movie wrapped. It’s a pristine baseball field, acres of corn stalks and magic in the air.

movie set  for Field of Dreams movie WAVphoto

movie set for Field of Dreams movie

“And they’ll walk out to the bleachers, sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon”

Field of Dreams, Iowa

Field of Dreams, Iowa

“…they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters”

My friend knew to bring a glove, ball and a bat and ran onto the field ready to throw & catch and run…kids again! There was no way to capture or translate what happened next. We took the obvious photos: walking out from the cornstalk rows – just like in the movie. I chatted with other visitors, a family from the east in town for a wedding–the grandparents, parents and a baseball playing young man – I offered to take a family photo. Afterward, they reluctantly returned to their car. A young couple with a toddler were sitting on the bleachers…waiting.
Enjoying the day. Just waiting.

With energetic enthusiasm, my friend encouraged the young couple onto the field. The gal jumped up excited to have been called up. Her face lit up as she connected the bat to the ball and watched it sail past second base. By her skill you could tell it wasn’t the first hit of her life. You would have thought she hit a grand slam in a major ball park – I could tell it felt like home to her. In the outfield she ran down all the balls that were hit…chased them at top speed, smiling the whole time. Alive. Happy. She moved gracefully, as if she fielded grounders every day. I learned from her husband that she dearly missed her college softball team and he said they had just moved to Iowa to start their new life with big dreams.

The wedding family had backed out of the dusty parking space and were summoned to play. A dreamer who loves the game of baseball, pulled the car right back into the parking space after hearing the yelling, “come back-we need more players!” The young man ran to home plate – thrilled to have a chance to bat. He asked his dad to take a video of him running the bases. He ran fast and free, hardly touching the ground knowing all eyes were following him. Grandpa? Yes, he savored each moment watching his son and grandson hitting, running, laughing– playing baseball. I could see the shine in his eyes.
The magic had taken over.

It was a beautiful October day in a cornfield in Iowa.

“It reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again…. people will come… people will most definitely come”

72WAVphoto self 1898

Live the magic~ have faith in simplicity~always dare to dream