Portraits at Squam~ Kathleen~ Thea Coughlin Photography


I have decided to include a little interview of sorts with the portraits I post from last years Squam Art Workshops.

Here is the first:

Me: Hi Kathleen! Thank you for being my first interview:) I remember seeing you in around the grounds and in the dining hall and being enamored with your beautiful face and hair.
Finally I got the nerve to ask you to let me take a few photographs of you. I hope I wasn't too forward.LOL.

Kathleen: Oh, wow. Thanks for the amazing compliments. I was also so intrigued by you! You were clearly MANIFESTING your dreams in such a big way - it was so inspiring!

Me: Thanks Kathleen! Being the event photographer for Squam last year WAS a manifestation of my dreams. Elizabeth has a way of assisting everyone she meets in doing just this. That is one of the main reasons why going to Squam is such an amazing gift to give ourselves. Can you share with us how you came to Squam last year ?

Kathleen: Well, my story is actually a little heavy. Squam was in the beginning of September, 2008. My husband had been in a serious car accident on June 4, 2008. By mid-August, we had been home from the hospital for a few weeks, and it was clear that he would have an amazing, complete recovery (which he has - sitting next to me, working on his computer right now!). This was amazing news, and gave me the space to completely fall apart! My mom saw the state I was in and so sweetly offered to send me somewhere for a few days to rejuvenate. I mulled it over and could not come up with much that felt at all inspiring, and then I remembered reading about Squam on Andrea's amazing blog (http://www.superherodesigns.com/journal/) and I knew that was IT. I went to the website, registered and just enjoyed the anticipation!

Me: Wow- that is pretty intense. I am happy to hear your husband is doing well. It sounds like your mom is very in tune with you and what you need. I am uber happy you ended up at Squam and I had a chance to meet you.

Me: Is there anything you would like to share with someone that may be thinking about going to Squam but feels a little intimidated?

Kathleen: Just go! Everyone I spoke to had been worried about seventh-grade-lunchroom-esque scenarios, and we all learned that we are grown ups and that stuff just doesn't happen any more! The woods, the lake, the people and the art were nourishing beyond my wildest dreams. I felt like myself for the first time in months. I am having a really hard time refraining from enumerating all the wonderful moments in effusive prose. Go make soulful art in the woods!

Me: I second that advice! Kathleen thank you for talking with me about all of this and allowing me to share your story and your photographs here on my blog.

Kathleen: Thanks for these images, your sweet, sparkling nature and for the chance to share, Thea! Cheers!



In addition to taking photographs of the loveliness of the workshops again this year, I will be offering 2 kinds of SQUAM LOVE photo sessions during the Fall Squam Art Worshops.

These sessions are being offered at GREATLY reduced prices due to my love for all things SQUAM especially the lovely lovely people I met and know I will meet more of this year:)

***** The sessions are available during scheduled free time on Thursday and Friday only.


One hour of fun giggle time one on one with me-in the beautiful surroundings of Squam lake. We will play and frolic while I capture you....beautiful you:) This includes 8 full resolution images from the session on a flash drive with a full written release-delivered to you by Monday October 12th.

FOR THE LOVE OF US.......$250

Perfect for you and a kindred spirit. An hour and a half where the three of us will let the sun shine on the bonds you share as well as what is beautiful about each of you as one part of the whole. This includes 2 copies of 10 full resolution images (approx- 4 of you together and 3 individual photographs of each of you) on flash drives with full written release-delivered to you by Monday October 12th.

Due to the limited availability for sessions-full payment is due at time of booking and is non refundable.


Beautiful moments

One of my beautiful and wise friends Christine sent me an excerpt from a book she loves called "A little more about me" by Pam Houston. As with every morsel of the love we share as friends, came words that spoke right to my heart.

The chapter she sent me was about redefining success....

One line from a section where the author is talking with a dear friend about the "successful" moments/events in her life, one in particular seemed to jump right off the page with arms outstretched...."each moment of conversation in the course of a day when I am able to do the one thing I most want to: speak from a place of courage and love instead of a place of insecurity and fear".

I just loved this. This truly is a success isn't it? Flip insecurity and fear the bird, and jump right into the joy that comes with being courageous and loving.

The past few days I spent some time trying to pick some pictures to go with my links for a new splash page. As I kept looking for the "perfect" photographs, I started to feel some insecurities because I couldn't pinpoint just 3 that I felt were my "best". For me so much of what I love about my photographs is the moment I shared with my subject when I captured it. But when looking at my photographs from a technical standpoint I felt a bit insecure that my technical skills are not where I think they should be.

So I decided to spend the day playing and having fun with some photographs I haven't had the time to edit. Photographs that really captured moments where my dream was clear, my heart was wide open and there was no fear or insecurity to be found.....one afternoon in particular jumped out at me, it was an afternoon this past fall.....where Denise, Kelly Rae, Mati and I climbed into my car and drove off to a winding dirt road Denise had scouted out for her shoot with Kelly and Mati. Denise and Kelly took off to the meadow across the street while Mati and I stayed on the road.

If I close my eyes I can feel the sun on my face as it danced through the leaves, I can hear the tinkle of Mati's giggles, see the sparkle in her eye, feel our energies bubbling and dancing around us as we connected and she allowed me in, to photograph a very special part of her soul. I felt pure joy in this perfect bunch of moments, on a quiet dirt road with a talented and gorgeous artist doing what I am passionately in love with doing-taking photographs.

Thank you Mati......for blessing me with your delightful spirit....

Here are some of the photographs I took that afternoon....


Important messages

I have been working a lot on how I am thinking lately. It means being responsible for my life and how I create things to be. I think it began with a reminder from friends about how impacting a vision board can be when practicing setting goals-envisioning them coming to fruition, keeping your eye on the prize so to speak.

I have been putting off photographing the vision boards and sharing them here because they are not "complete" yet. This is where I get caught up, in this law of attraction, filling in the details, imagining all that I really want. The whole be careful what you wish for resounds in my head. It must be my cautiousness (a trait I associate with being a Capricorn - with moon and rising in Virgo)

You see the law of attraction sort of frightens me. How silly is that? It frightens me because it really has seemed to work. If it could all be as easy as creating a parking spot.LOL.

Yesterday Albany had a St. Patricks day parade. There is very limited parking downtown as it is, but even more so when there is an event. So we planned on meeting our group of friends near the park so we could have a picnic and let the kids play a bit before the parade. I decided I would start secretizing a parking spot-right near the park. I imagined how psyched I would be-I brought up the feeling of accomplishment, excitement and giddiness-smiled and did my little dance in the car. Since my lovely husband tends to be nervous about city driving and parking, I dropped him and the boy off and drove around dancing in my seat as if I just found a spot. I drove around 3 blocks and there right in front of me -right along the park-was a spot. Folks pretty damn amazing. I mean almost anyone would say there were no spots. About a half hour later my friend called my cell saying tehy were driving around looking for a spot. I told her to drop off her kids and husband and I hopped in the car with her and we started dancing around saying-look at that spot!!!!. We drove the same 3 blocks I had and what do you know out strolls a guy-right to his car-that was 2 spots ahead of where I parked!!!!!

It feels silly to write out, but you should give it a try sometime. If you are going somewhere that is usually crowded - as you leave your house start to imagine getting exactly what you want when you arrive there-and feel the happiness and joy of getting it.

It was a nice da yesterday for us here in the NE. It was 45-50 and sunny. It has been a while since we have gathered with our group of friends. We all have 3-4 yr olds that all started preschool this year. The different schedules threw us all off our routine of getting together. It felt so nice to be outside, with people we adore, laughing and playing. I love that I am not the only one in the group that just can't get enough of how well our children play together or how much we all get along....we ended up gathering at one of our friends homes, bbq'ing, playing and talking until it was past bedtime for the kids.

Now I must add in here that this law of attraction-isn't something I practice all day everyday. I fall off the wagon so to speak, and often.LOL. I have had a wonky few days.....feeling a bit tense about waiting for some news, a bit discouraged that my weight didn't drop off after a few days of creative thinking, PMS, and muscle aches that sometimes I take as a sign of me being out of shape rather than a reminder that I am taking action on changing by exercising regularly.

But all of that is OK. Just being mindful of what I am thinking allows me to see reminders that bring me back to thinking the thoughts I want to be thinking. It doesn't make me perfect-it makes me aware that it requires daily, momentary choices on my part. It is my life to create.

This morning I got an email with this reminder:
The cumulative effect of our little decisions makes a HUGE difference. In The Magic of Thinking Big, Schwartz tells a great little story to magnify his point. He says, imagine what would happen if, every morning before driving to work you took a scoop of gravel and threw into the car's "crankcase." (For those who aren't mechanics, that's part of your engine! :). What would happen? Well, he says, "That fine engine would soon be a mess, unable to do what you want it to do."
Same with our brains. When we throw negative thoughts in it every morning (and mid-day and night and...) guess what? We fall apart. The alternative? Take every opportunity to make good deposits. We need to think of all the things we've done that we're proud of—from the award we won in college or early in our career or whatever. Think about all those things for which we're grateful—from our health to our past successes to the fact that we're alive. We need to overload our brains with good thoughts.

Then when I went to make coffee a light colored spider came scurrying out from behind the coffee canister, and dropped down off the counter (I am not scared of spiders unless they are crawling on me). I was careful to make sure he wasn't close enough to land on me. After sitting down at the table a few minutes later, I looked to my right and there was a spider-just like the first one I saw. My first thought: now what is this spider trying to tell me? My second thought: it couldn't really be the same one, could it? Maybe the kitchen is full of them? I glanced around and then told myself I was being ridiculous. After looking up the symbolism I think there was a message to be gotten.
The Spider is an ancient symbol of mystery, power and growth.
We take our first lesson from the ancient symbol of the Spider by contemplating its web.
Just as the Spider weaves a web, so too must we weave our own lives. The Spider symbol meaning here serves as a reminder that our choices construct our lives. When the Spider appears to us, it is a message to be mindful of the choices we are making - and ask ourselves:
How are my choices affecting my life?
How can my choices improve my life?
How are my choices affecting others in my life?
Not only do Spiders and their webs draw attention to our life choices, they also give us an overview of how we can manipulate our thinking in order to construct the life we wish to live.

And just in case I am not the last one to learn this fabulous news-I thought I would share it here. Smile! Polaroid is saved!



I am learning to appreciate the importance of resting. To me right now-this means stopping all work activities and thinking after 5pm on days where I don't have a viewing session.

Last night I went to a Pilates class-even though my shoulder is still tender.

It was the first time I attended a class at this gym. It is the gym my husband and son use for tennis/working out. I have been thinking about joining - especially since they have a great great child care room and yoga and pilates is included in the membership!

The instructor was fabulous. She does voice guided style class, and walks around and helps correct your form. I am absolutely amazed with the difference I slight straightening here or chin tucking there can make. The lights were low and I was present in my body. It felt so nurturing to be doing something where I was really focusing and loving my body. I was sold. Today I am joining, and Thursday I will go to yoga:)

Oh and my shoulder feels ok. Although I felt like I got great exercise for my muscles it felt like just enough, instead of too much. It also helped me break the work thought cycle, and when I got home I felt relaxed, clear and found it easy to have a cup of chai and not snack. All good things in my book.


I was just looking through Denise's flickr photographs and came across this photo she took of me about this time last year.

I think staring at this photo each day could do wonders for my self esteem:)

Denise thank you for making me see my own beauty. It is such a gift.

I did make 2 vision boards, and promise I will photograph and post them soon:)


Do you notice the bird in the middle dancing? I am dancing around to Kate Nash right now-even though my shoulder is killing me (no idea why). Can't believe some of you want to see the vision board. I will post a pic tomorrow.


Sooooooo tired.....giggle

Today was my little guys birthday. Four years old. Wow.

He is sweet, loving, kind, sensitive.....I just adore him.

The winner of the drawing from the other night, is Jacqueline!

The meaning I pulled was: Raven is believed by some to be the bringer of light, truth and goodness. Their intelligence and ingenuity, an ability to use cunning – and association with light, illumination, truth and goodness is what attracts me to this bird.

So Jacqueline email me your choice from my crow photo series and your address and it will be off in the mail to you:)

I am loving these give aways:)

The next one will be drawn on Sat night. Leave a post or email me to be entered. I will randomly draw a meaning and then send you the photograph that goes with it.

Ok I am off to create a vision board. Will share more tomorrow. Night night.


Guest Photographer

My son has started to take photographs with my old canon power shot. I have been enjoying what he is capturing. Here are two photographs he took this week.

Me at the kitchen table one morning. As you can see we use a lot of cups around here:)My husband juggling.


Last night my son chose the winner for my daily give away. And the winner is.......Meg from More to Me !
The item that I pulled from my hat was this one:
10x10 photo

It represents being aware (coffee) of what makes you happy (papaya is sweet and exotic and makes me think of the warm sun on my back as I ran the streets of Pune India while visiting as a child.) Hopefully this image will do for you as it does for me- reminding you to take notice of what makes you happy today.
I will do another drawing tomorrow night at 7pm......to enter, email me with your name and address. It will be the only way I can know where to send the prize if you are a winner.