Crystal Garcia Photography bio picture
  • Welcome to my blog!

    Hi my name is Crystal Garcia and I am new to Bellingham, Washington from Southern Oregon! I am about to give birth to my third beautiful baby (at home this time!) and I am excited that you are here. I pursue mothering, promote family-centered communities, and view my photography as a way to remind myself (and you if you are here), how beautiful the things that are natural and real in life really are.
    I specialize in pregnancy portraits, on call birth photography (without the use of flash), newborn portraits in your home, plus child and family photography. You can find more of my work on Facebook here.

Columbia Neighborhood Friends

This past fall was a whirlwind in my life. We moved to Bellingham in June, Silas was born in August and then in September Josiah and Autumn started two new schools on two different schedules. Every morning we all got up with Silas who was just weeks old and Brian helped get the kids dressed and fed and then I would drive Josiah to school at 8:20am, drop Brian off at work at 8:30 and then go sit in carline with Autumn for her 8:45am drop off at Montessori. All the while Silas screamed because he hated the car, especially when we sat not moving at red lights and preschool carline. Then I would get home around 9am, go back out at 11:15am to sit in preschool pick up carline to pick up Autumn, then we went him and had to get back out at 2:50pm to park at Josiah’s school, unload us all, rain or shine and go up to the school building to pick up Josiah.

It was a mommy nightmare of driving, screaming infants, rain, ceaseless anxiety that I would forget someone in my newborn induced sleep deprivation..and lets not forget Silas could not establish a nap schedule.

One day I was looking down Autumn’s class list of contact info and noticed that a boy in her class lived close by us. I thought about calling the family right then and asking them if they were interested in carpooling, but my social anxiety had gotten worse the more tired I got and the longer I was isolated by the move and postpartum stage. So I didn’t. Then one day Autumn told me she saw a boy from her class at Josiah’s school at pick up time. It occurred to me that maybe this family from her school also had a sibling at Josiah’s school and I asked her preschool teacher that week. Finally I sent Amanda an email and she was so sweet to schedule a playdate right away and invite us to join the carpool they already had going. Turns out her older daughter is in the same grade as Josiah at Columbia Elementary!

Since then Autumn and her friend Elli have become best of friends with weekly playdates, Amanda has taught me to coupon and Josiah and Grace even enjoy getting all together with Autumn and Elli after school. There are no words to describe knowing another mama has your back and can pick up your child in an emergency or having a mom friend with a child that your child loves so much its almost easier to have them together than separate. It’s just pure sweetness.

Last week we hung out and walked all over the Columbia Neighborhood for some photography. It was so much fun and here are my favorites! Enjoy!

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Marriage on an anniversary

Last week was Spring Break in Bellingham so we drove down to Ashland where I had the honor of photographing my friend Sarah’s wedding, which fell on the 10th anniversary of she and her love, Rodney’s relationship together. I have photographed Rodney, Sarah, Naiya and Esmee several times before and was thrilled at the idea of capture this moment in their lives, in a place that is dear to me as well, and along side the love of my life, who was filming.
What I had not prepared myself for was the the beauty and realness of the exchange of wedding vows between two people who know- really know what they are saying.
Years ago I stopped booking weddings and began referring them out to other photographers. I was beginning to be on call to doula and photograph more births at the time, which was where my heart was and I could not be on call during weddings. I had no problem giving up wedding photography, mainly because I honestly found some of them pretty depressing. When I compared them with births, there was no doubt in my mind that money aside, birth was what I wanted to capture. I remember finally being able to put it into words one day, that with weddings, people can and often do pour a lot of time and money into a wedding to dress something up and make it pretty to impress people, even if what’s underneath, the relationship, is not very beautiful. At a birth, it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor or who your parents are, birth is raw and beautiful and emotional, regardless or where or with whom it takes place.
When I stood beside Rodney and Sarah as they looked into the faces of each other and their two daughters, and I listened to them express their deepest joys and sorrows and how they had been their for each other through two births, and all of life’s highs and lows that had brought them to this day and place-wow. I think it might have been the first time I had heard real live people who had been loving and holding each other through babies and moves and trials and great joys take a breath and  plan a time and place to stand up and verbalize their love and commitment so beautifully. I felt like I was watching a really good movie, only it was better, because it was real and I was there.
I have photographed lots of young men and women reciting vows, mostly traditional vows and sometimes ones they had written, but the older I get and longer I have been married the more I hear them and think, “Wow, they have no idea what they are committing to!”
So congratulations Rodney and Sarah for doing life together for 10 years and making a commitment to keep actively loving each other, even knowing full well the kind of scarifies that commitment may take. You two are an inspiration for being loving partners in parenting, working and creating your art together (by the way, I didn’t even get into how amazing wonderful and talented these people are!).
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Cynthia Randall - April 10, 2014 - 5:08 pm

This is lovely, both the photos and your comments on this beautiful family.

Byron Williams II - April 10, 2014 - 10:57 pm

Beautifully said Joyfully and Artfully shot! Hugs!