Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kelly & Bobby!

Ooh this is SUCH a sneak peek because this wedding was from just this past weekend!

Kelly & Bobby are lively, funny, and have a ton of great friends and family. Who could ask for more?

They were SO lively in fact, there are a couple of images I captured of their wedding party that are best kept off the

And when it was time to shoot the bride with the groomsmen, they all knew what concept would be the funniest to them...

But Kelly is one of those type of women who fits right in with the boys. Don't let that picture above fool ya!
Lastly, we have a sweet close-up of a quiet moment...
But laughs and hilarity were never far away...

Congratulations you two! I have no doubt you will have a fantastic marriage and I wish you the best of luck!

My Mom In Her Wedding Dress & Father's Day!

Father's Day was extra busy this year! I feel like I should share all the ways my husband is an amazing father, but June 15 was also my parents' 40th wedding anniversary! My mom asked for a photoshoot and I was thrilled to oblige...

They went to a studio before the wedding day to get these formals. Isn't it funny how things evolve over time? Are you ready for this? My dad is standing on a block because my mom is 6' but dad only 5'10''! Can you believe they did that back then?

This was a difficult shot to duplicate because, #1, I don't have a set remotely close to what they had for their wedding picture and #2, she wanted their heads and posture as close as possible to the original, but after minutes of "no mom, turn your head EVEN more" it became apparent that we just weren't going to get it PERFECTLY identical...

But I love this shot of dad is an awesome dad and is a doting grandpa to his 3 grandchildren...he didn't mind at all dressing up for our shoot on Father's Day!

How could I resist doing "my thing" once I finished all the shots that SHE wanted?! I didn't, and we got this beautiful "swoosh" shot.

And mom made a cake and used the cake topper from my wedding 10 years ago (I didn't even know she kept it) to recreate a little cake cutting!

And again, I couldn't resist posing my mom on my red chaise...

It was fun to have them in the studio and mom had a great time in her dress again. Shoot, maybe I should do a trash the dress for my 10 year anniversary in October, except that I had it preserved and it would be a shame to break it out of it's find out it doesn't fit! lol

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Denise & Chris' Engagement

Denise & Chris will be getting married this fall at Laurel Creek Manor , one of the most beautiful venues around with a brides room that is to die for.

We shot their engagement photos at Tacoma's Union Station, after we (okay, just Chris) heard a marathon was going at our first choice, Pt. Defiance.

But I'm really loving what we came up with here...

Sometimes you have to initiate action into a shoot when there isn't any. That can be done any number of ways, and it can take some practice before you learn what style of communication works for you. You can jokingly suggest they swing each other around, you can outright ask them to do that, you can ask if THEY would like to do a shot with more movement. Everyone is different when they are being photographed, and the experience of working with you is every bit as important as how the photos turn out. In the picture above, I talked up how "cool this looks from here, and how it'd be neat if you guys could just, like, yawanna pick her up and spin her??" Creativity doesn't always sound smooth...your mind is trying to get to one place, your mouth is having to work with the other side of your brain and when you are really flowing, you have idea after idea coming to mind and they are all great and you find yourself in the lovely position of having to choose what you FEEL like doing first. Your mouth comes last in terms of energy used when it's competing against feelings and creative ideas...

We had a good time shooting and we are going to have so much fun when the wedding day arrives. An engagement shoot is such a great opportunity to get familiar with what looks good. It's not that you're learning any new behaviors (why change?) but that you learn that you have certain aspects of your expression that stand out and should be showcased. And lots of times, the most complicated advice is to just have fun and don't worry. When you have fun, it's impossible for me not to capture that. Sometimes brides and fiances tend to "hold back" when their hubbies are trying to be goofy in front of the camera. As many times as you've heard the joke, humor him and just LAUGH and call him a dork and get in a play fight that ends with a hug and a kiss...and I'll get completely different pictures of you two than if you "hold back and give 'the look' " to him! lol Not that I don't know where you're coming from, just that you don't need an album full of "I was holding my breath" pictures, stiff and too aware of the camera...

To see their slideshow, click here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stay Tuned, my Friends...

The next posts will feature Denise & Chris' engagement shoot and a special Father's Day post! Father's Day, June 15, was my parents' 40th wedding anniversary! I brought them into the studio for a shoot, including my mom in her wedding dress (yes, still fits after 40 years! Can you believe that?!)

Eldri & Jerry, June 7, 2008

This is Eldri & Jerry. They are so sweet and gentle, I love this first shot of Eldri snuggled up to her very tall husband (6'8'')!

One of the tricks I learned about photographing couples who have height discrepancies is to sit them down and even use a pillow or two to get them close and cuddily.

The forecast was predicting rain and I'm so glad it stayed overcast so we could go outside and get these natural light portraits.

What struck me most were how proud Eldri & Jerry's dad's were. Jerry's dad was his best man (a trend I'm seeing more of these days) and I have so many shots of Eldri's dad looking proud, gazing adoringly, kissing her forehead as they danced, and grasping her hand one last time as they left the building for their vintage Rolls Royce.

It was a wonderfully smooth wedding day that was filled with all the best memories and moments you could ever wish for. It was an absolute pleasure to spend the day with these loving families! You can check out their entire wedding slideshow here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Me Ra does it again....I'll now unveil for you 122.jpg

If you haven't heard of Me Ra Koh, stop now and go check out her blog. She is a pro photographer, mom, and woman of great strength and vulnerability. I'm super lucky to know her personally.

Anywho, she just posted about her Sonoma Workshop and if I could figure out how to link to a specific post, I would. Still working on understanding what to paste where, etc. :)

I've always felt that having your portrait taken is a very psychological experience. Read my post on "My Approach to Photography" to get the whole rundown. Me Ra talked about the image that she has always wanted to have, of her and her husband. She described having lots of images of them smiling and goofing off, but she had always wanted a serious one that showed the connection they have. Her post struck SUCH a nerve with me...I had wanted that same type of shot of me and my husband and I had the same insecurities about having a shot like that..I worried that I wouldn't look "pretty". Well luckily, I got that shot inadvertantly last summer. I had my husband shoot some portraits of me for my website. I chose him because I feel the most comfortable in front of him. Trust is a huge issue in really letting go and showing what's on the inside. After we got some good shots but before I handed him back his beer and sent him on his way back to his shop, I grabbed this shot. When I saw it, it stopped me dead in my tracks. "This is US." I thought. It was so us, so stripped down, so genuine. I couldn't stop looking at it. I didn't really share it with anybody, but enlarged it and put it on the wall in the bedroom. It wasn't for anybody else to see but us. When Me Ra did this post, though, I thought, "Oh no. She's talking about OUR shot. I just HAVE to blog about this!!!" lol So without further ado, I'm ready to share my most favorite portrait of my husband and I:

See, he's the intuitive one...which is why I love how his eyes are closed and he looks as if he doesn't have a care in the world. He's the one with the calmness. Me on the other hand, well it's just so fitting that mine are open and I'm not SMILING. I'm watching. This is the shot I want my kids to look at when they are adults...this is the "US" that isn't leaving for work or making another sandwich or folding clothes or even playing around with them. I love my time alone with him because we've had the most amazing conversations since we were 17-years-old. This is the "US" that has those conversations.

I'm normally a pretty private person in my non-photography life, I like my quiet time, my space to think, but sometimes it's worth taking some of that and making it public. I have always had such compassion for portrait clients, senior clients, etc. I feel their nervousness because I feel the same way. I take them through the session in a goofy but caring way so that I can capture them in a way that nobody else could before. I mean, that's totally my goal. :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

I'm not a crier, I'm not a crier, I'm not a crier!

Today I brought my camera to document Gwen's last day of preschool. This officially signifies the start of a new era, The Kids Are Officially All School Age and no more little ones at home half the day. I look forward to all the time but a place in my heart still aches for her being away from me so long!

I love these two shots I took of her this morning. Oh and as you can see she's totally in the toothless stage! Can't help but love grabbing shots of that! Question: Do you have kids whose hair starts getting immediately messy the moment you're done brushing it? My son is easy to keep groomed, but my daughter seems to look like she just got done doing 10 cartwheels! lol

But before school, we've got 3 months of summer with lots of full days and twice the activities I usually have going on in a day! It's going to be an awesome summer! We love kite flying, badminton, making forts in the yard, playing baseball, disc golf, bocce ball, horseshoes, and swinging in the hammock, ahhh. I know it's always as close as a day or two away, even if it's raining outside like it is now!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

4x4 Engagement Session!

Every once in a while, a wedding couple comes along with a really cool hobby. For Vanessa and Anthony, they are big-time 4x4 enthusiasts and how could I say no when they suggested an engagement shoot at the ORV park during an event!
It was one of the most crazy lighting conditions, because it was super sunny and I loved the location under the tree canopy which added a lovely green cast spotty sunrays....not...but I worked around that. It reminded me that the reason I think wedding photography is about the hardest photography I know of. As a wedding photographer, you don't get to choose the location of the wedding, the time of year, the time of day, the weather, or the people you're photographing! You are under a time constraint, and if things go array and you end up with only 15 minutes to take amazing bride/groom shots, you've got to do it! I absolutely LOVE that and get a huge thrill out of the pressure. If you are a photographer, I encourage you to find out what kinds of shoots and subjects you love, and which you don't. We don't have to shoot everything under the sun professionally (for your own enjoyment, go for it!), and really shouldn't. Do your best, give everything a try, but discover where you fit best and feel greatest. That's going to give you the happiest clients and happiest YOU!

Newborn shoot!!

I have something WONDERFUL to tell you! This is sweet little Vienna, who I'm getting to shoot each month for her first year! It's my Baby Month-to-Month plan, little advertised since I only schedule a handful of children's portraits throughout the year. I also photographed Vienna's cousin Gavin each month for his first year last year,I'm totally going to have to post one shot from each month so you can watch how he grew up! But look forward to watching little Vienna grow here on the blog!

Glamorous photographers and Dewey and Hal

This is photog Misty looking GORGEOUS at my studio May 22nd....

That night I welcomed photographers Misty, Jessy, and Dewey to the studio for a fancy evening featuring my "money guy", Hal!

Hal has been our family's Financial Planner for a few years now. He has a lot of letters after his name (CFS, LUTCF), which means to me that he must know his stuff. But my favorite thing about Hal is that he reminds me of my brother John. I appreciate that so much because talking about finances brings up a range of emotions for lots of people, and having a really cool, smart financial planner to help you figure out where your want to go in life and how to get there faster is about as awesome as it can get. I don't want some stiff & stodgy guy looking down his nose at me when I talk about personal money decisions, you know? That was old school financial planning. I told Hal I felt like "Financial Planner" was a little boring of a title and doesn't fit him...maybe the industry needs a slick new title. I suggested something like " lifestyle planner" or "profit jockey" lol.
If you like money and haven't ever talked to a financial planner, you HAVE to! Unless you are a financial planning genius yourself, you really will learn a lot. Life is getting expensive so now is the time to understand what small changes you can make now that will make a BIG impact in your financial life later (and now)! Very few people I know take the step to call/email a guy like Hal and ask questions. The people that do, however, are THAT much more ahead of the rest when it comes to feeling good about the direction their financial life is headed. It's totally FREE.

See how happy I am?! lol It's because I have a financial plan! Well, and because Jessy is so good at giving encouraging comments when she shoots you!

Dewey came too! I think Misty and Jessy got shots of him :) This one I took in April!
Jessy looked absolutely ravishing...we had a great time shooting each other all glamorous and talking shop with Hal...but after Hal left, we were looking through some photography books and got the idea to try some glamorous shots...Okay first off, when you see the Vanity Fair shots of a group of up and coming actors, they are way harder to duplicate than you might think...

But it sure was fun!! Thanks Dewey for shooting us ladies trying to be models!
Oh! And I almost forgot I was going to post one of my favorite shots of Hal from his family's shoot earlier this year! In this shot, he'd just tickled his daughter. Isn't she a cutie??!!