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LAR-KIN. FREE RANGE MOTHER, FARMERS LOVER, THAT FRIEND, SERIAL HOBBYIST, DOCUMENTARIAN, SUGAR ADDICT, TENACIOUS BLACK THUMB GARDENER, RESENTFULLY EMPATHIC, COLLECTOR OF WORDS, SALTY DOMINICAN, OCCASIONAL ANARCHIST, DEEPLY HUMAN.

 

I have many descriptors and have been called a lot of names but “mama” is my favorite. My 3 sons are the reason photographs mean anything to me. The reason anything means anything. Their faces on paper remind me in concrete terms that time is cruel. It pushes forward, changing and aging everyone and everything. A photograph isn’t light reacting with chemicals on paper. It’s a door that spills you out into a day when your dad was still sleeping in his favorite chair. The moment your baby was hurling her first cry into the waiting air. It holds the space for that last time you were together and the final words you heard leave their lips. They conjure up the smell of baby powder and cherry cough drops that clung to your grandmother; the texture of all the hands and skin you can’t touch in this reality anymore. They are the most important thing next to the people in them. They are incontrovertible evidence that we love and we are loved.

I HAVE NEVER FELT LOVE LIKE THIS

 

Indescribable, painful, perfect love.

 

We are all monsters in love.

 

Marriage is never having to suffer alone.

The most cliche story in the book- a love that started when I was 15.  We raised each other, morphing in and out of all the different people we’ve been in the last 17 years, separately but together. I think I’ve always known him and will continue to be born to love him, in all the easy and hard ways, for every life I live. The irony of this whole thing is I never had a wedding.We married in a hospice home in front of a most beloved grandpa, our oldest son, just a little boy, standing beside us. Grandpa died two weeks later. My husband is a 5th generation wheat farmer and our house stands where his ancestors did 160 years ago. I walk the same footpaths as his great great great grandmother. Farming is something I never saw myself involved in, and yet life always gets the last life. I spend my summers working side by side with my husband and oldest son to get the harvest done, between traveling for my own work. My farmer and I are always make it work. His skin is clay stained and hardened from manual work but there is nothing more beautiful to me than the dirt on his face and the roughness of his palms. Sometimes he’s stupid/infuriating/bullheaded but then again so am I.

LEGACY IS EVERYTHING.
This dirt runs in our veins.

I enjoy snark and a perfectly placed bad word as much as the next person. I love anything that reminds me of my impermanence as it offers renewed appreciation of this life. Wet earth in the spring is how I think heaven smells and I love Slipknot just as much as Joni Mitchell. If the musics not somber, I’m not happy.

Photography should be an empathetic pursuit.A symbiosis of souls where we understand we cannot create something honest without each other. I want to know you in all the good and bad ways you love each other.

WHEN ITS ALL GOLD AND WHEN ITS ALL SHIT. I WANT TO WALK BESIDE YOU. WALK WITH YOU. ALL TOGETHER NOW.

I know what it is to be so furiously angry that you can’t stand the sight of their face,  just as I understand the knowing of another soul so intimately that their hurt is your hurt.That your soul isn’t truly yours because you want to share all of it with someone else.

THIS LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL AND COMPLICATED AND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS SHOULD BE A REFLECTION OF THE UNIQUE WAY YOU FALL TOGETHER AND FALL APART.

Let’s be real human beings. I like people to close their eyes, not to look at me unless I ask. Quiet moments, under the sheets, meowing like cats.Fingers making knots in hair, lips parted. Closeness. Comfort, intimacy and honesty above all things. Don’t worry about how you look, where to put your hands. Don’t spend days stressing about clothes or locations. Relax and be loved, as you are.  I set the scene, and you take the ride. All you need to do is trust. Your truth is my goal. 

THIS IS ABOUT LEGACY. MINE AND YOURS. I DOCUMENT WEDDINGS WITH YOUR FUTURE GRANDBABIES IN MIND.
Who are we, if not the summation of everyone we've loved, and the ones who've loved us?

I BUST MY ASS FOR ALL OF MY COUPLES BECAUSE I GENUINELY CARE ABOUT THEM.

I always cry when the groom has his first dance with his mother as a married man, because I am his mother and he is all of my sons.

 

I hug my couples hard at the end of the night and feel like I’m losing something when its time to go because I genuinely love them as humans. I want you to know that I will take care of you. Feel it in your bones.

LIFE IS SO PAINFULLY SHORT

One day we wake up and the people we love the most are gone.

My own family photos on this page by: Brooke Johnson Photography

Photographs keep them with us forever. This is always something I have in my mind as I’m working or photographing the people in my life.  They are mine. I want to remember them this way forever. I want to remember the mess of my house, sticky reaching fingers, the look my love gives me when he’s doing something not because he wants to, but because it makes me happy. These are the things that make me who I am. Who are you? What can I show you that you haven’t yet realized?

I DON'T WANT YOU TO CHANGE FOR ME.
I want you to be who you are, in all your glorious imperfection.

Laurken is the type of person that can walk into any room and make every single person in it feel like a fucking rock star. She captures moments that you don’t even know exist until you see the pictures. She makes magic and is generous enough with her talent that she always make you feel like it was your idea. . Through the wedding process, Laurken became a lifelong friend. We will absolutely be traveling as far as it takes to get photographed by her again. She is the greatest photographer that has ever lived, and you can do nothing to change our minds. The Harry Houdini of head shots. The Janet Jackson of JPGs. The Walt Whitman of white balance. The best.

The moment I found Laurken, I knew I wanted her to document our wedding. We settled the details, but as time went on we realized we wanted our big day a little bit smaller. She was very accommodating and understanding, and tackled the huge task of a courthouse wedding in a way I couldn't even imagine being possible, and with an attitude that matched. We had gotten to know each other in our engagement shoot, and in that short amount of time my husband and I grew so comfortable in front of her camera. It really shines on the photos from our wedding day. She captured such raw emotions from all that were involved. But most importantly through our journey with her, she reminded us how to stop and love again. To scoop each other up in your arms and just "cradle the crap outta that baby" as Laurken would say. The fact that we had such a small wedding means that we tell the story of that day a lot to the family and friends that couldn't be there, without these pictures I don't think I would be able to explain how beautiful our wedding was.

I would seriously give her the night sky. Laurken is everything when it comes to photography, talent, compassion, friendship, and will only add to the most precious moments of your life. She's no stranger- she keeps it real- which is something that we felt we needed in a photographer for our engagement and wedding shots. You'll see yourself in the photographs she takes because they're real, they're love, & they're you.

We were so busy enjoying our guests that the night flew by, and when it was over we noticed that we forgot to experience a lot of the meticulously planned details. And this my friends is where we made the best decision one can make; meet Laurken Kendall. Not only did her pictures capture details of our wedding day that we weren’t able to see, recall or even experience, but they are forever captured in the most beautiful, elegant, organic photos which we proudly have for the rest of time. Laurken was able to immerse herself in our wedding and chronicle our friends, families and the love we share for one another in pictures which are beautifully shot and tell stories of great depth and soul.

Laurken created not only memories but art that I’ll forever cherish to tell our love story. She made my husband and I comfortable to just be us in front of the camera. She goes above and beyond to not only be your photographer but also calm your nerves and make you and your partner feel so special. These images are priceless to me. Highly recommend! I hope she will be taking our families photos for years to come!

Love Notes from
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Love Notes from
Payton & Brian
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Tori+Nate
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Sam+Eric
Love Notes from
Bekah+Dave
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I WILL GIVE YOU

A Piece of Myself

and preserve a piece of you

Get to know

WHO I AM

I’M LAURKEN AND I WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING REAL.

LET’S CREATE SOMETHING THAT COULD NEVER BELONG TO ANYONE ELSE BUT YOU.

HERE’S MY PROMISE

I WILL GIVE YOU

TRUTH.

BE EXACTLY WHO YOUR ARE AND I WILL DO THE REST.

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