Thursday, January 31, 2008

What About Curtis??????

There's this mystery chasm right after christmas but before January wherein, you don't expect to book portrait clients, but sometimes you do! This is the chasm that Curtis' shoot fell into, and I am excited to show you what I took.
This was a very cool shoot, as Curtis needed headshots, but not just any headshots, actor-type headshots because Curtis is a playwright and involved in several levels of theatre-ness. Moody and brooding headshots, headshots with character...this is what we came up with:


Take a look at some of my favorite pics of this little sweetie! Her mom brought her in for her 1 year portraits and I'm so glad, she was so comfortable and talkative, and her mom was GREAT and was up for anything! And I've never seen a 1 year old whistle, until I saw Ashlyn. I have noticed that most children are either more verbal or more physical at this age. My kids were late walkers and early talkers, my friend Leasa's son was a late talker, but barreling towards furniture and climbing, doing flips, etc. Ashlyn is so observant, she watches people talk and duplicates the sounds and intonation in the most astonishing way. In my old life, I was a medical transcriptionist, and so basically, my job was to "hear" for a living. I love accents and I could really tell that the nonsense sentences that Ashlyn shared were distinctily different than standard 1 year old talking I'd heard before. It almost sounded like actual sentences because the syllables were pronounced so clearly, although being 1, all mixed together. Totally fascinating to me....! Thanks for finding me you guys!

Twenties party!

I got to go over and shoot at a twenty's themed costume party across the mountains about a week ago. It was for my brother's wife's sister, also known as my sister-in-law's sister, Amy. Check out my favorite shots, including the one with me and my brother! br>
a href="">

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My new favorite image

This is my bride, Tia, from her beautiful January wedding. It's my new favorite image! This is a great example of why I do unlimited hours with most of my wedding packages; it allows me to capture awesome preparation moments like this one! I love how calm she looks and the feeling of precision that is conveyed.

Studio fun with Misty

Fellow photog Misty came down to the studio on Sunday and we played with the lights and talked about different techniques. I can't wait to do it again soon. This is Misty, the model. To read her blog, check it out at and when I learn to do a link, I'll link it!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tia & Josh's Wedding!

January 5, 2008-Ruston Way, Tacoma!

I so looked forward to this wedding. Tia & Josh are quite the adorable couple with tons of personality and happen to be a blast to shoot! Can you believe this winter weather? Puuu-LEEZE! For all of you ladies out there with a wedding in your future, consider all four seasons! I wouldn't have believed it either unless I had taken the photos myself...which I did! I'm totally sold on January sunshine!

Winter Weddings Revealed

I wanted to show you my favorite shots from this past New Year's Eve Wedding I shot of Crystal and Scott. First off, did you have any idea how beautiful the weather can be in January?? I was surprised that shooting in sunshine was the situation of the day, and not rain or snow!

January hours filled with sunshine are rare things indeed...

But there are some great creative opportunities in the darkness and the amber glow from ambient light. I love the illusion of "poof" in the train of her dress!!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Tips for Great Family Portraits

What I am about to say might shock you. Are you sitting down? Good! One of my least favorite types of shoots is....the family portrait. Why, you ask? Don't I love families? (yes!!), shouldn't everyone have a family portrait? (yes!!) Then why don't I LOVE them? Here's why:

Because family portraits are usually a little stressful for the clients and not that fun. Even if you've got a great photographer, your family members' anticipation of going to go get photographed is usually met with excitement, nervousness, and might require bribbing, and lots of cajoling (coaxing), and deal making. Okay. Now that you've got dad dressed and in the car, let's talk about the kids! Wasn't that funny? You probably assumed I was talking about...oh, well let's get back to my point. The point is, that there's a lot of what I call "competing energy" coming from various members of the family, and thinking of your own family, I bet you can already predict who is going to feel which way.

My job is to do my best to get your attention, smile at you (it's simple but I think lots of photographers might forget to do this), and be really encouraging. This helps calm everyones energy and get them trusting me. Oh, and my job is also to get a good shot, too!

One of the biggest things you can do to make a great LOOKING portrait is DRESS in the SAME color, with no stripes or patterns to distract the eye! I read somewhere that the idea in wearing the same color, is that it makes you appear as if you BELONG together, and though it takes some preparation and maybe a stop at the store, it IS the single most impactful factor that you have 100% control over.

Now, on to the little things:

Sometimes I wish all of the family members could meet me first and I could show them some of the neat places and portraits I can get of them. Most of the time I only talk with Mom, who books the appointment. Getting a family portrait done CAN be fun. I wish I had a magic wand that could take all of the worry from family portrait subjects so that they felt comfortable enough to goof off in some of the shots. The best I can do is let most families know that it's OKAY to laugh and mess around! No, you are not wasting my time! No, you are not being impolite! What you ARE doing by going ahead and laughing at whoever is the HAM in the family, is relaxing and letting your guard down, showing me what your family is REALLY like (that's my favorite part!), and capturing some fun moments, too.

Here is a great example of a family taking great shots and having fun doing it! We did this shoot in the studio last week:

Now, if ANY of you have a porch as great as that, I think you are pretty much required to own a big beautiful porch shot. I drive by their house all the time, so one of the requirements for their family shoot was that we go back and grab the porch shot that I've been imagining there when I drive by....

Friday, January 4, 2008


I'm excited to show you all a collection of some of my FAVORITE images from 2007. Another great thing about the end of the year for me is getting to go through all of my client folders to compile my favorite shots of the year for the Julie Watts Photo Christmas card! Here are just a few of those:

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

My Dad Was a Brave Soldier

I'm currently in love with this shot taken two weeks ago. Dad was deployed for 15 months in Iraq and returned in September. Can you imagine the power of being away so long, and then to be HOME, cradling your baby daughter in your arms, in full military dress? His little baby has no idea of the sacrifice her family has made, but I have no doubt that when she looks at this image as an adult, it will become a treasure to her. Having a part in making this moment "caught" is one of the reasons I LOVE what I do....