North to the Future

One of the questions you hear more than any other, as a senior in college is, “So, what are you doing after graduation?” and I can finally, with confidence, tell you all that I know what I am doing after college!

I AM MOVING TO ALASKA!

Yep. You heard me. Alaska.

I am glad to announce, that my mother has accepted a position to be a pastor in Anchorage, and so we have decided to all move up there as a family, myself included. So, after I graduate on the 27th of May, we will be packing my apartment back up and….. driving back to Montana. You didn’t think I would leave without saying goodbye to one of the only homes I have ever know, did you?

Yes. That is the truth of it. While I have lived in Oregon for the past four years, Montana truly is the only real home I have ever known. When I say that leaving Montana is going to be hard, I cannot really fathom yet what that means. Of course, by moving away, that in no way means I am never coming back. The Big Sky Country will absolutely always hold a place in my heart. But now, it is time for a new adventure in America’s Last Frontier.

If you wish to make plans to shoot with me before I leave Montana, know that I would LOVE to do that. Please email me at john@jsanderphotography.com, or message me on any of my social media*. I will be around for most of the summer, but time is limited, so schedule early!

*all social media links at the bottom of the page

Creative & In Love

I feel that an introduction is in order – Hello to the fans of J. Sander Photography and anyone else who may find their way here, my name is Kenna Allison. I am an artist based in Butte Montana who at the moment specializes in visual arts (Photography, Mixed Media, ect…). I co-own Krowned Clothing Co. with my boyfriend Kal. If you have been following John for some time now on any social platform I am sure you have run into our work from time to time.

John and I met my Freshman year of high school in our Montana History class, little did we know we would still be great friends 6 years later.  John has been a continuous supporter of Kal and I’s work and is always there to cheer us on. For that we owe him great love and gratitude.

Today is Valentine’s Day, and while mostly overrated I do find joy in celebrating it anyways- is there really any bad excuse to celebrate love?  Kal and I will be celebrating our fourth Valentines together this year, and it has me thinking a lot about what we have been through and the lessons learned. Being with someone who you share the same passions with is a special and very rare bond. There really isn’t much Kal and I do not do together, and for the last 4 years we have always been by each other’s side. I met Kal when I was 16 and he was a 19 year old college student who reached out to me about taking photos for his clothing company Krowned. As a budding photographer at the time I jumped at the opportunity but had absolutely no idea to the extent of what this partnership would blossom into at the time. We clicked instantly and after a few months of working together became inseparable. Today we live together in our dream first apartment with our cat Kouteh in what at times feels like a fantasy land of opportunity and bliss. Chasing our dreams side by side, creating the world we want to live in everyday.

Finding someone who you feel is your twin flame at such a young age and running wild with them, having your whole life ahead of you and dreams to be fulfilled may seem like a fairy tale. However, it takes much more work than what can be seen on the surface. It’s conflict in interest when working on a creative project. It’s struggling to hold each other up at times when dealing with your own mental war and theirs at the same time. It’s pain and sacrifice.

“Behind every beautiful thing there’s some kind of pain.”
Bob Dylan

 

Through the hardships at the end of the day the good will always outweigh the bad. We learn and we live. Fall down and get back up again.  Being creatives in love will always have its shadow aspects, but with dedication they are bonds that can never be broken.

 

My top ten lessons on being creative and in love:

 

  1. Communication is the key to understanding.  Understand, empathize, forgive, repeat.
  2.    Have solutions, not problems.
  3.    Finding balance in life will give you harmony
  4.    Practicing self care together is essential. Know each others needs. Take space when necessary.
  5.    Always be able to admit when you are wrong.
  6.    Honor each other.
  7.    Trust is found in action.
  8.   Tell your story together through your art and it will always be authentic.
  9.    Change is inevitable, embrace it.
  10.   Hold each other to a standard that accepts giving up is not an option.

Today, focus on love. Radiate it from your being and set the intention of continuing to radiate that same love everyday for the rest of your life. Practice self-care and remember that loving yourself is always first. If you too are in a relationship (especially a creative duo), get out of your comfort zone with your feelings. Tap into your creative abilities fueled by love, the best work tends to come from these places.

P.S. Never give up on what you are passionate about. Ever.

Happy Valentines Day,

Kenna

Kal & Kenna

 

Check out Kenna + Kal’s work here:

Instagram:

@kennaallison
@thekrownedking
@krownedkrew

 

Mackenzie Leggitt

Mackenzie Leggitt
[Blog Post Soundtrack: Marian Hill’s album ‘Sway]

I had shot with Mackenzie once before, but this time I had a brand new camera & I was itching to try it out. We had a lot of the shoot planned, but it was so much fun to shoot that we just decided to keep going. That is where this story begins.

We had been shooting for hours, but we didn’t feel like stopping. Plus there was one more outfit in the backseat & one more place we had wanted to shoot at, so why stop now? So we drove back through Uptown Butte, past Walkerville & continued until we were almost at Moulton Reservoir. On the drive up we were wracking our brains for ideas on how we were going to pull off this next part of the session. How were we going to connect that dress with these surroundings? We were no closer to an answer when we found a good place to stop. So we got out of the car & continued up the road aways, & started shooting. Within five minutes we had both hit our stride. Before another five minutes had passed, we knew what we were doing. We were telling a story. Now all we had to figure out was where this story was leading us.

Even after we concluded that part of the shoot, we continued to debate as to the specifics of the story we had just captured. We boiled it down to this: The young woman in the shots was on her way to a date with her man at nice restaraunt, when all of the sudden… her car broke down. Thankfully she had her phone on her (as all good Generation Z people do) & she was able to call her boyfriend for help.

Admittedly, this story isn’t the next Harry Potter, but hey, what is?
So tell me, do you see the same story we did, or do you believe something else happened here? Leave a Comment below & let me know!

For more pictures from this shoot, visit the J. Sander Photography Facebook Page at facebook.com/jsanderphotography.

~ John