Photography

Gabby - Cake Smash

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Over the summer I had the pleasure of capturing Gabby's 1st birthday and cake smash!

Gabby's mom and I connected on Pinterest to create the perfect look and coordinating colors with her hand-made tutu, and I couldn't be more thrilled with the results!  I created a backdrop out of lace and ribbon, and the cake made by Gabby's mom was stunning!

We took advantage of the wonderful weather we had this summer and split the session up between the yard and indoors, capturing different looks and utilizing bubbles for fun!  They had the perfect living room with wonderful hard wood floors and lots of natural light, making the perfect setting for her cake smash.

While Gabby didn't care much for the cake (as 1yo's often don't!), she was curious and showed off her big personality!  Not only did the pictures come out great, but this family was a delight to work with and we had a lot of fun!!

Check out these adorable pictures below from Gabby's 1st birthday session and cake smash...

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Kenzie - 2016 Senior, Snow Mountain Ranch

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Nothing is more memorable than your Senior year of high-school, and what better way to commemorate those memories than through timeless photographs to look back on with family for years to come.

Kenzie, who is a 2016 West Valley High School grad, reached out to me with a specific location in mind, wanting that lovely sun-kissed light to glow in her photographs.  With the Washington fires this year, I was a little concerned for the haze, and excited to find a short open window in Yakima with the smoke off to each horizon.

We had so much fun walking around the beautiful trails at Snow Mountain Ranch, and it was easy to capture Kenzie's fun, energetic, and carefree personality - her smile shines through in every photograph, which the light can only compliment!

Here are some of my favorite highlights from Kenzie's session - thanks again for allowing me to capture your stunning photos!!

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Cassie + Danny - Canterwood Golf & Country Club

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Cassie and Danny are probably the most down to earth couple I've ever had the pleasure to work with.  Their wedding day was simple and elegant, and guests fun and vibrant!The best thing about weddings is that everyone gathers from so many different areas to celebrate, and this couldn't have been more true for this couple - you could feel the support and love that surrounds them just by being in the room.

The earthy tones and natural touches throughout their entire wedding day did not go unnoticed; from the natural wood ring boxes, Birkenstocks worn by the Bride and sister/Maid of Honor, to the blood stone necklace made for the bride on her wedding day - which is said to have grounding energies, among traits.

Here are some highlights from Cassie and Danny's wedding day - thanks again for allowing me to be a part of your special day!

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Kelsey + Brian Proposal - Seattle, WA

I love capturing candid emotion, and nothing's better than watching two people in love share their excitement at the start of their journey together.

This Spring I had the honor of capturing Brian's surprise proposal to Kelsey.  Brian had it all planned out, and contacted me to meet at Kerry Park overlooking the Seattle skyline.

Taking their two dogs for a walk, Kelsey was completely unsuspecting as Brian asked for a quick photo-op and dropped to one knee to propose.  Of course she said Yes - they are planning their wedding in Hawai'i next Spring!

Here's a few highlights from the proposal; you can feel the love and excitement they share.  Thanks for allowing me to document such a special moment in your lives!

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The Era of Tradition

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Marriage.  To have and to hold, for rich or poor, until death, do us part.  Ties, which no matter our destiny, cannot be unbroken; and for some, were destined in planning from conception.  When you look into the history of marriage, you find a mirage of facts which essentially bonds a man and woman together in entity, which at one point in time was a necessity.  Gentlemen were considered wealthy, rich in homestead and proper in mannerisms.  Women to be well rounded and more importantly, respectful.  Handsome rewards were given to the newlyweds, for without it there would be no sanctity.  Over time (thankfully), this disillusion has become obsolete.

Today, as a culture we realize that it is not necessary to marry, that we may survive on our own (despite society teaching us success in life is finding a partner and "settling down").  Marriage, in turn, has over time become a symbolism of love - for those of us who are so lucky to find such comopanionship.  This past year I've had the opportunity to gimps into the modern day meaning of marriage, what it is to say "I do," and the honor to witness heartfelt vows which decades of the 19th century and earlier, rarely knew a thing about.

So if marriage is about proclaiming our love for one another in a timeless bond, why such the formality?  Albeit "tradition," the beauty of it is that while essentially marriage is a certificate filed with the state, simply stating you'll file your tax return together, and all properties shared - the wedding has become a celebration of life and love - as it should beAs photographers, we trudge through ceremony and reception after ceremony and reception and many awe at what a fun job it must be to mingle among the giddy.  But for me, it is truly a wonderful blessing, in contrast to decades of arranged marriages or marriages for survival, that we can today witness such love and vows, shedding tears of heartfelt moments between two people, click after click.

It is an overwhelming feeling during each ceremony, as I think about how each and every one of the beings that are near and dear to this couple's heart are gathered together for one purpose and special occasion; and that is to celebrate this couple and their love for one another.  How amazing to be surrounded by such love and support!  And how lucky I am to get to be a part of that, documenting these fleeting moments which hold up so much value, likely from generation to generation - a true witness of love and testimony to one another.  How lucky are we that no longer are we married into families and arranged relationships with a prize to be handed over once the deal is sealed.  But to fall in love with someone we want to spend the rest of our lives with, and create a promise - in front of all our family and friends. It's so wonderful to witness this kind of romance, time and time again - an honor I cannot express well enough through words.

I was asked recently, what it is that I love photographing the most.  My initial instinct was to say landscape as all my spare time is spent outdoors, surrounded in Washington's beauty.  But then I realized, as much time as I spend outdoors and in the wild, do I rarely press the camera to my squishy nose, and capture those moments.  Instead, I'm living, breathing, feeling, pondering.  It took me by surprise when I found myself needing to think this one through.

They say to watch what a photographer photographs, as it is what they fear losing the most.  This thought lead me on a journey through scenes alongside passing moments of childhood, travel, waterfalls, seascapes, summits, and valleys, my son when he was an infant and for a time seeing life through his lens for the first time.  Feeling trapped in my travels and limited in my abilities to experience such beauty again, this is what I predominantly photographed for a very long time.  So I would frantically photograph every snapshot I could, to remember those moments and later surround myself in its beauty when I could otherwise not experience it.

Over time this gradually changed, the images piled up on my hard drives, which later turned to external hard drives, and in more recent days, cell phones which every two years fall by the way-side.  We all know this story too well.  As the fleeting seconds of my growing toddler grew, life became busy and there was a period of time where I didn't pick up my camera at all.  In the thick of it - living, experiencing, feeling; or in retrospect, perhaps not feeling and not wanting to photograph in an attempt to forget the things I was going through.

And then one day, I fell in love with lovely moments, profound moments.  Moments of passion and personality.  Laughter and secret glances.  Whispers in ears and giggles. Editorial after editorial flooded magazines, news feeds, commercials... I found these moments, in poems and artwork, music and photographs.  Something inside me switched on... and it was like I had found the locket to the key I was carrying all along.  Something clicked and it's never been the same since.

The wedding day is so grand, and it blossoms, just like a flower, from beginning to finish.  A celebration of love and life.  And loving life! 

And so it is... I photograph couples in love, families in love, and people in love with life.  I do so because I never want to forget what it's like to feel that passion, that vibrancy, and adoration.  That  it's possible to find love and to hold onto that and honor it, forever.  To find it within yourself, in another person, in another being.  Boundless, within itself.

Marriage is an active choice that we make every single day.  The bond we choose not to break, not to harm; but to love, foster, comfort, protect, and nourish for all time.  Some days are more challenging than others - this is true to the relationships we carry in regards to ourselves, and with others.  But in the end, we want what's best.  And when we are surrounded with such support and love from our friends and family around us, the ceremony is the truest symbolic reminder of everyone who is rooting for us as well.

And so, while you plan your wedding and worry about "traditions" or not being very "traditional," remember - today's tradition is Love.  All the other formalities and superstition, from fragrant flowers to cover unpleasant scents, to the garter toss, are just that if they are without meaning.  The last thing you want to remember from your wedding day is going through a bunch of formalities for the sake of tradition; your wedding day is a celebration of your love, it should reflect your personalities, and what is meaningful to commemorate your love for one another.  So, if you stick to tradition - plan the moments and activities with reasoning of love, as that is why everyone gathers to celebrate.  If you have love in your heart, you've done done right; let's celebrate and toast to That.

Traditions and their origins:

Tempus Amisit

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I'm so excited to be back in the swing of things - it has been far too long since I last shared here.  I am grateful and humbled, always in awe, at the way things turn out, work out; nearly a year, and so much has happened in the months that have gone by.  In a nutshell, I couldn't feel more excited, and lucky to have the ability to be living what I am passionate about, now on a daily basis.  I've dreamed about this since I was a little girl; and now I'm doing the impossible!  2015 weddings are booking up, and I am so excited to start spending some time and care into some wedding-material posts in the upcoming weeks!  I've been stocking up on some great links and tips for all of my bride-to-be's, and can't wait to share them all!

In other news, 2015 is all about organization for me - and what this translates to is freeing up more space and time in my life to do more, live more, and experience more.  As adults, I believe that we should all strive to evolve and become better versions of ourselvesIn my journey shedding away the excess layers that have been holding me down, I am now finding time for more walks, bike rides, road trips, camping trips, and am planning my first extended backpacking trip!  I'm excited to share the creative visions I capture, and plan to share them in detail here, as well as turn them into works of art and decorative pieces for the home.  In the more frequent posts to come, you'll be pleased to find a mixture of session stories - from families, to newborns, children, and seniors - engagement pieces and weddings, landscape and art, helpful links and information, as I open up and share personal thoughts, insights, and stories.

To kick things off, the following is a series of more images I've taken over the last year . . .

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I was lucky enough to spend a day at the tulip festival up in Skagit county last month, and capture these shots as the sun was setting.  Spring has arrived early this year in Western Washington, and I couldn't be more ecstatic about it! I hope that you enjoy these pictures as much as I do . . .

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Sub Occasum Solis

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This sweet outgoing couple gave me the opportunity to photograph them last night, their silhouettes like statues set before the array of colors displayed at sundown.

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Rock the Shot - Seaside

My little guy L O V E S the beach! This is my submission to April's Rock the Shot photo challenge.

I just love his posture as he plays in the surf coming in over Seaside, OR.

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Ancient Impressions

After tucking my son into bed, exhausted and winding down for sleep myself, I begin to sit down at the computer.  Breaking from the silence I suddenly hear, "Roar!  Roar!  Goodnight!" in his gruffest dino voice, as he snuggles down.  I'm rolling in laughter at the spontaneity that has overcome him, while he continues giggling in this dino voice.

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Ironically, as I attempted to work into the night, I stumbled accross a dinosaur, which I wrestled in my sleep-deprived state, to plug my printer in.  Laughter, ensuing the pause . . . as parents, we all know that one day all this will be gone and our days of going about our business, will just be that.  The little interruptions soaking delight into every corner of my day, will be gone in the blink of an eye.  Life happens just way to fast.  This dinosaur stalling my work with his grip on my reality, became the signaling of days that are no longer.

If I could photograph every moment and forever look back on a keepsake timeline of our lives here.. the little details that I never want to forget - I would.  Rather, I console myself in being ever more present today, and it allows me to smile even though I know that one day that's exactly what this will all be, but memories.  Precious memories.

For now, just being present in the details that remind me that little feet once roamed these spaces, while lest losing sight on the bigger picture and finding balance in preserving those moments with my little, is a true gift - one which I do not take for granted.  We are in the midst of creating memories that will last an eternity, rather than consuming our time trying to press mark the day in chronological order.  Today I found a dino.  And for that, I am thankful.

The Little Things

In my search for simplicity I have learned to just let go.  It seems simple, no?  That's an understatement - which may be the key as to why so many of get sucked into this game of life.  In my experience along this journey, I have found that just letting go creates this push and pull within myself... a swirling vortex of confusion.  Duality.  While my journey may be sloppy and messy, it has been necessary none the less; the reward, becoming always present and noticing the little things in my new found time.

The little things, like nature.  We become so cumbersome in our day to day business and happenings that we don't really slow down to smell the roses.  Such a cliche, but oh so true!  Noticing the changing light on the buildings as we pass them by, the birds expanding and contracting shapes in the sky.  In a blink of an eye, there were pink blossoms on the trees, and today they are a brilliant green.  It feels like just yesterday I was noticing the small details in the cracks of ice, the frost tipped leafs and nettles, nestled in the grove of bark.  The frost has since melted, and brought life to spring.  Crisp air, the smell of fresh mowed grass, the cool rain pouring rainbows in the sky against sun rays.  Before, I was so busy just being busy that I passed these details by without even a notion.  I felt life sipping away from me at a velocity I had no reasoning with.

By slowing down, it allows me to breathe deeper, think clearer, and free up space for the little things.  Walking the dog turned from a tedious task that was disrupting my work flow to a welcomed break.  Going to bed feels like a retreat rather than signaling all the lose ends of the day to clutter my dream space.  Waking in the morning is a time of gratitude as I welcome the day, rather than overwhelming anxiety over the to do lists in my head.

We must give ourselves allowances in a time where we are on the internet searching for new ways to organize, and for the next gadget on the market that will surely "simplify your life!" . . . while we live in an age of convenience, it can become us - and overwhelmingly so.  It is a token of relief when we can allow ourselves the time to take it all in and really experience what we have and where we are at.  These moments won't last forever, and I want to allow myself the opportunity to hang on to the memories when they are gone.

I've started a garden with my son.  Yes, shocking - me!  Known for my lack of a green thumb, it currently consists of . . . drum roll please: Spinach.  Yes, that's right.  One. Pot. Of. Spinach. The little things.  Starting a garden (yes, I'm really going with "garden" here) really makes you stop and slow down.  There is something special about planting a seed in the dirt, watering it, and watching it sprout and blossom as it comes to fruition.  Like little children, we nourish our seedlings, and watch them grow into little people.

Just as the spinach, I've been watching my little boy grow.  In a matter of weeks his language has developed to another level.  At three this may not seem as exciting as a milestone; but it's special none the less.  He's asking questions about all kinds of things - and some of his questions make me really think before finding an answer.

It's in these moments where I wonder, how it is that we came to a place to hold so much experience - the experience to wonder like a child, and to find the answers in science and mathematics, becoming common knowledge.  It is fascinating, really.  Life, in general.  The questions he poses, where I may have given a simple answer in my exhaustion after work in the car on the way home from preschool, I now think about the knowledge I'm really feeding him and begin to wonder what it is that ignites that imagination.  I want to cherish those moments, that wonder.

The little things.  Caught up in work and schedules, appointments and meetings, internet searches and reading, cooking and cleaning, planning... to the very last little detail so that nothing can run astray from our expectations.  It's easy to lose sight of the little things that matter most.  The messy.  The tedious.  Even the ugly.  There's beauty in everything when you take the time to really pay attention.

Along this journey I've learned that part of letting go means to just. say. no.  Setting  boundaries that become your mantra.  Little steps I've taken to get here... working closer to home allows me to spend less time in traffic and on the road.  My shift pushed a little later allows me to really enjoy the morning and keep to my natural time, because I'm truly that night owl, no matter how hard I try to fight it.  Embracing challenges rather than fighting them; acceptance is key and sticking to personal priorities - allowing the rest to slide.  My house might be a mess, but it's also a sign that it's been well lived in.  My eyes are no longer heavy with sleep, my body thanking me as I take the time to remember to sit a little taller and breathe a little deeper.  Meditating at least once  a day, retreating to my place of serenity allowing me to balance my emotions and frustrations - we all have them.

At the end of the day, it's these little things that matter most.  Nourishing our body, mind, and soul leads to a healthier life, and a sense of fulfillment; rather than chasing a boundless goal.

Taking time to slow down and smell the roses has allowed me to see all the little things that has since, been the highlight of each and every day.  And as long as there's sight on these little matters, life feels enriched and sometimes enchanted.

They say that we photograph most, what we are afraid of losing.  And for me.. it's the little things.

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We all can't help but pine for warmer weather and clear skies.  This past year here in the PNW, while there was a large accumulation of rain on the days we did see it, we have been lucky to have dryer weather and clearer skies.

In the nostalgia of a season that is nearing, I love learning new techniques and couldn't wait to try this out last summer.  I donated both of these photographs to the Art for Oso auction in support of raising funds to donate towards the families effected by the #OsoSlide.

These shots excite me, as I think about all the actives that are just around the corner.  This year I have been experimenting with freelensing and cannot wait to share those in the upcoming weeks!

If you are interested in contributing towards the families effected by the slide, you too can help through a second auction which begins at 7pm Friday, April 4th, 2014. Visit the Art for Oso Auction 2 Gallery and feel free to like, share, and bid on any of the photographs that have been donated by the many photographers who have joined together to form this fundraiser.

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Montem Ardere

As the sun was setting last Summer, I captured this shot of Mt. Rainier.  I'm extremely drawn to exploring this area; this highway is only open about 1/4 of the year due to road and weather conditions, so each year it holds something different and unique as the snow melts, revealing its new wonders each visit. I'm looking forward to what this year holds . . .

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Offering Ten Free Sessions

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While I'm still in the beginning phases of my photography business and rounding out my portfolio, I am currently offering ten free sessions!  Contact me for details and to schedule!  

Timeless Getaway

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This really enjoyable weekend with my little family captured an essence that remains timeless in my memory and my heart. These photographs are not only precious to me, but also was a step forward in my work and accomplishments on a professional and personal level.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do ..

Oregon Coast

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I've always preferred the sunrise over sunset, but it is a rare occasion that I am out early enough to enjoy it.  Sometimes I wonder if my natural clock is set in the tropics of the Pacific; I spent ten days in Kailua on Oahu, loving each moment.  This was before my son was born, in 2009 - so I, naturally, planned to fulfill a dream and get up early one morning to watch the sun rise on the East coast.

It wasn't too difficult rolling out of bed at four am (being sure to check for roaches first, of course), as I'd been up at six am each morning - on vacation.  Being nine am here on the mainland, I felt like a Goddess there on the island - being able to rise so early with a bounce in my step (prior to an ounce of caffeine) was enlightening and challenged me to fill the day with as many adventures as possible.  It also, made me feel like a hundred years old; as while I was rising at six am - I was also crashing around eight - nine pm!

On this particular morning, I woke and crept out to head down duck lane (true story) in the dark; warm salty pacific breeze gently hissed through the palm trees planted between the lanes in the road.  This and the lull of my flips shuffling against the pavement, became an unforgettable lullaby under that silent starry night.

At the end of duck lane, the sky began to glow as I turned down a sandy path of overgrown flowers scaling the walls on either side of me.  I headed for the East coast somewhere in Kailua, relaxed on an unknown beach, and just as majestically as I had imagined it, gracefully watched the earth rotate, greeting the dawn, with Oahu by Menomena playing in my ear buds.

As those rays pierced across the surf, I became enchanted with the surfers out on the waves.  They left just as quickly as I had spotted them; what a beautiful lifestyle, I can only imagine - to say at your eight am shift while in your business suite, that you already went surfing at dawn...

I gathered my things and headed back after a short time; promising that from that minute forth, I would live my life with purpose and ever fulfilling direction - taking one look back upon the graceful glow against the water, I snapped this shot (with my low pixel, point and shoot, early 2000's model no-name brand camera) - blinded to how it actually would turn out.

And to this, I share a gimps in to one of my most savored memories of this lifetime.

Bene Velle

I took this shot a few nights ago in Kirkland and is entered in a photo contest at SCCA.

I titled it Bene Velle meaning Wishing Well, as the iconic symbolism provokes my deep emotions for the patients, caregivers, and loved ones, treated at SCCA, and those in my own personal life who have succumb to the disease of Cancer.

Effugere Die

I was standing before Seattle as our sphere was turning its face against the transitioning colors over our evolving sky, and this single thought occurred to me; how lovely it was to be apart, but one, with it all - with our feet planted firmly amongst the dirt.

As I looked over the water, glowing sky lanterns taking flight from the hill nearby - I thought, how lovely it is to have an escape from the epicenter of chaos; oh how perception so easily changes with such minor perspective adjustments.

Spring is in the Air

With spring in full bloom, I ventured out to the marsh's of Lake Washington and around Seattle, and snapped some delicate shots that hold a dear spot in my heart.  I love how the light transcends through these photographs, and blushes in the champagne essence giving off that luster of Spring.

Fluffy Tufts

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I spent a day at the end of September after photographing my first wedding, taking my time driving from Eastern Washington back to Seattle, stopping at some of my favorite pastimes along the way.

One of my favorite spots in Washington happens to be a spot among the Pacific Crest Trail, where I spotted these fluffy guys basking in the sunset of the most picturesque evening.

It was so peaceful walking and meditating amongst these tufts, listening to the breeze.. and on the opposite sides of this crest, a great ravine, and a lake before Mt. Rainier {pictures to come in later posts}.

I am looking forward to returning this Summer for some backpacking trips.  This field of tufts was such a welcoming surprise, I can't wait to see what's beyond the bend of the trail during my next visit.