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The Birth of Avellana Jolie.

When I started shooting weddings, it was a revelation. Having been married myself, to a man I consider to be my soul mate, having struggle through high times and low times, through sickness and in health, through our own baggage and the complexities we add to each other, weddings are about more than a day to me. It’s about the promise of things to come. That the person you care about most in the world will always have your back, and you will always have theirs. To know what that truly means makes me a passionate photographer of peoples weddings.

And now, after 9 months of pregnancy, 86 hours of labor, and one very beautiful 9.5 lb baby later, to call photographing a birth a revelation feels an understatement. (btw if you are pregnant and due in april, Birth Photography is 1/2 off ;)) I’m very thankful to have made a new friend upon moving here to California, in Courtney and Erin (erinheartscourt.com). Courtney was about a month behind me in her pregnancy, and we made a deal on our first lady date that we would trade birth photography. Little did she know what she was in for on my end – but she was there to photograph the most intense part of our journey – in all it’s incredible, . As for her, she was (thankfully, as I regained my strength) 2 weeks overdue despite her efforts to evict the little one. She started her induction that morning, and progressed slowly and erratically. I got a text from Erin – they just broke her water, she’s at 4cm. Here I am, thinking it will be hours before they needed us, planning to go to dinner in Pasadena and wait for their call. I texted back something about heading out in an hour or two. The next text I got back said only, 7cm. Yipes! So Huz, Uma and I jumped in the car and raced to Pasadena – 40 minutes away. 8cm. I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to make it, and I think they might have thought the same. I jumped out of the car and left Huz to strap Uma to his chest, and raced to their room. She was at a 9 last time they checked and was feeling ready to push. One hour later from when I walked into the door, this little half Court and half Erin came into the world, purple and bloody, and a girl (they kept it a surprise!). Avellana. Avi. So amazing.

To be there with Courtney and Erin was so amazing. We haven’t known each other long, but to have been there for each other during these incredible times, to have photographed each other in these, the most passionately difficult and amazing experiences of our lives is a bond that I’ll always cherish. I’m so grateful Courtney’s given me the go ahead to share these images with you. They are my favorites. I can’t wait to get Uma and Avi together for their first lady date!

the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.

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Oh my gosh, I’m crying! Punam, I ended up on your site because were doing beauty for Leah at the Ace tomorrow and then here Im seeing the birth of Courtney’s and Erin new baby girl! These pictures are amazing. Small world and Im glad to have stumbled across you and your work!

Oh my goodness, where have I been?! I don’t know how I could’ve missed this. What an incredibly beautiful experience and what touching photos. The cry is my favourite-you really feel it.
Congratulations E+C & to you too Punam, for being very brilliant.

So intense… in the most wonderful way possible.

Courtney

LOVE!!! Thank you for capturing the most amazing moment in our lives. With your 86 hour labor and my freakishly long pregnancy and short labor our girls are the yin and the yang to each other, destined to be best friends. Love you!! I am so happy you moved to Cali :)

Beautiful moments captured Punam :).

mountains. feet.

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Watching a person’s brain grow right before your eyes is an incredible thing. Some of us remind ourselves as often as we can that life is a wonderous thing, but to actually see this new little human really WONDER at things is… well… wonderful! I’m watching her learn so much, but really, she’s teaching me a lot about life.

I had this moment, when I was 18 years old. I has spent the summer after high school in a drama program in Oxford, England. I was the youngest person in the program – never had I taken a sip of alcohol, kissed a boy (a straight one anyway – oh the adventures of being a theatre kid!), or really, looked up from the life in front of me to see much beyond my very nose. Something changed in me those 7 weeks in England, maybe it was being free from an oppressive home for the first time in my life (woo hoo! I could wear spaghetti strap tees! I had a cell phone! I was wholly UNSUPERVISED!), but something made me look. Up. It was like suddenly the sky burst open at the seams and I was swimming in the world. THE WORLD! Clouds and shards of sunlight and kind gestures from strangers, trees and birds and food and mountains all came careening toward me as if I had never lived! They say that when you fall in love, colors are more vivid, music more sweet, that you stop and smell the roses more. Well, I was falling in love with life. The veil of teenage I-know-everything and angst was lifted in a blast of freedom and I felt more alive than ever.

I returned home at the end of that summer. One day, I walked to the end of the drive way to get the mail, and I realized, after living here my whole life THAT I WAS SURROUNDED BY MOUNTAINS! WHAT??! I looked all around me, and thought, where did all these mountains come from!?! I stood at the end of the driveway, dumbfounded, for about an hour. I know. Ridiculous. I told this story to my Huz and his reaction was, your brain is strange. But that’s life when you live in a tunnel. Which honestly, I have the tendency to do.

That tendency doesn’t have to decide my fate. And I was reminded by that today, when this little half me/half Husbone looked down and discovered her feet. She just stared down at them, watching her toes flex and curl, for 30 minutes – a looooooong time when the span of your life stretches over a mere 7 weeks. You see, they had always been there, but she was too preoccupied with other things, like eating a lot, and growing her brain. I certainly don’t have the excuses that she does, but she doesn’t live in a tunnel. She lives in the wide open world, and I’m leaving my tunnel to join her there.

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I so enjoy these little glimpses into your life, Punam. Your daughter is going to treasure these entries of yours as she grows.

So beautiful! My wife and I just had our daughter a month ago…they are so precious aren’t they? Congratulations!

I’m sure you know this already, but she is just so heart-meltingly gorgeous. Thanks for sharing, and for the reminder to stop and look around with wonder once and awhile. Much love.

fascinating stories! both the mountains and the feet. i love how you saw these parallels.

alicia

Absolutely, amazingly well said … and those photos (perhaps unsurprisingly) seem to tell the story in a way your words (awesome as they are) just can’t. Long and short: I just ate this whole story right up. Thanks for sharing.

valerie

Its funny. The way she is holding her left hand in pic one. She will probably continue to hold her hands like that as she gets older. I noticed a pic of me holding my hands in ways as an infant about her age… and I still hold my hands the same way today. So fascinating. Ay how… thats what these pics reminded me of. Myself. (jokes)

1/2 off all April shoots! Woo hoo!

Can you believe it’s April?? Where does the time go? And WHERE does it go when you have a baby to care for! Having to feed this little munchkin every two hours, and watching her get bigger and more interactive which each day that passes, is making time blaze by like it never has before! I mean, TAXES are due this month – what?? I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

I’m enjoying the resurgence of my mobility, and honestly I’m getting ancy. I want to take my camera and explore the world again. I want to get back to work, but there isn’t anything on the Calendar until almost May, per our usual schedule.

So! To celebrate my regained strength, and taxes :), and my new baby girl!, and also, the return of Husbone, Punam Bean Photography is offering ALL SHOOTS booked for the month of April 2012 BY APRIL 15TH 2012, half off! So if you’ve been wanting to book a family session, a last minute wedding, an engagement session, a boudoir session, or anything else you could dream up, now is the time! Here are the details:

-You MUST book and confirm your session by April 15th 2012

– The session must occur in the month of April 2012

– The session must take place within 100 miles of Los Angeles, California

– This promotion is based on availability – so book quick to be sure you get the date you want!

– This promotion applies to sessions and digital image delivery ONLY, NOT products or packages that contain products (like albums, prints, etc.)

So! Go on and click the contact link in the menu above and let’s get this party started!

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Life in California: At home with Uma

Life at the office these days:

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Yesterday eve, my dear and wonderful Husbone departed for the Road. It’s always hard, that first time of the year that he packs his bags and his instruments, after having been by his side for the past 4 months. It’s the longest stretch I can remember, never having to worry about saying good bye, never having to worry if he’s safe, wherever he is. And now we have a daughter, and I think this time it might have been harder on him than me. It’s always hard being the one to leave, at least Uma and I have each other. But we are all best friends, we three, and it doesn’t feel quite the same with just two. Though I don’t mind having the sweet babe all to myself.

And so today, I thought we should embark upon our first outing together – just us two. What an adventure! We went to Target, and then we went to pick up the mail. Plus I have a two door Yaris, and we don’t have a stroller – just the Ergo baby carrier. Despite our obstacles, she was a peach. But when we got home I discovered a poop explosion in her pants! Ack! I rushed her to the bath – also the first bath she’s taken by herself and not in our arms. She was NOT. HAPPY. I don’t think she’s ever been so angry in her life. O! To be 5 weeks old! To have the biggest problem in your life be your disdain for solo bath time! How I love this little nugget and all of her problems. I nursed her back to a happy and calm state at my first chance.

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Back to work!

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Jennifer Jones

I completely understand how you and little Uma feel with the man of the house gone. My husband also works out of town. Every ohter week he leaves for work and it has always been hard on me and my daughter, but last year when we had our son Drake it seemed so much harder. He hates being away from the babies, and it was so hard to be without him and to still be the happy mommy my kids are used to having. But we muddle through, and I’m glad to see you have too. And your daughter is beautiful.

Maren

That picture of your “office” with the napping sweetie, laptop and kindle is pretty much the most adorable thing, ever. Talk about a snapshot of modern day motherhood.

welcome to the world of pooplosions! they only get bigger from here on out. Uma is adorable and enjoy the time just the two of you – it’s special and rewarding (and draining) in its own way. she’s gorgeous!

Life in California: The Air Show (aka doing things outside in January)

Though the transition to the American State of my childhood home has been far from easy, and superbly humbling, I couldn’t be more thankful for so many things. First off the weather.  And thank goodness for the weather, as my recovery from childbirth has been longer than anyone suspected. I’m still mostly bed ridden at three weeks, but happily the weather has been nice, or I think I may have lost it some time ago from all this immobility. Or maybe not. I’ve spend a LOT of time mothering this little one from the crook of my arm, nestled in our bed. We are best friends, Uma and I. I only part with her to go to the bathroom, and otherwise, we are together at least 23 hours a day. and in that 24th hour I miss her so terribly I can barely breathe.

And so it was January, and with a nearly ripe baby in my belly, and the man I love handsomely lounging beside me on a Saturday afternoon in the backyard of my childhood home where we are currently residing temporarily (and thank goodness for that too – there’s nothing like having your mom around when you become a mom – though I admit I’ve been selfish with the babe and haven’t brought her out to socialize much). Old planes passed over us in formation on this gorgeous hazy and cloudless day, WWII planes and the like. This piqued our interest. By this point in my pregnancy, before I knew that I was carrying an almost 10 pound child in my guts, I was easily tired and achy. We decided to see what was going on down at the Cable airport. An air show, in January! O! You crazy Californians. I love you.

Shot with a Canon AE-1, Ilford 3200. :)

A few days later, on a GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME stroll around the neighborhood. It worked!

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beautiful words, beautiful you. :)