Dream

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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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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The De-Cluttering of Busy

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Lately, I've read a plethora of articles on the art of being busy, and they all ring true.  Busy has become a broad term for "don't bother me" or our self proclaimed idea that if we're busy, we must be successful.  On the contrary.  Being busy means there is room for organization; rooting what doesn't work, and seeding the will to spend quality family and down time.  I can say this first hand because I just spent the past year in "busy."  At first I thought it was amazing, I must be doing something right if I'm booking so many sessions!  A year later, enter the de-cluttering of busy.  Getting a lot of work is great, creating beautiful art is surely great.  Doing all of that while doing what you love - bonus great!  Overworking yourself to the point of injury, stress, and migraines?  Not so great - so what can we do with our busy schedules and hectic calendars?

I admit, this was challenging - I've never been organizational in the sense that things are tidy and in order.  I just learned to work hard, adapt, and it worked for me.  Until I had a kid.  My son just started Kindergarten.  I thought I was prepared, hey he'd been in Preschool for the past few years.  I thought I wouldn't be one of those emotional mom's, tearing up at the bus-stop, getting goosebumps as I drop him off at school, triple-checking his face to make sure there's no toothpaste or milk before he's sent off to play with other kids and, you know - learn stuff.  Boy was I wrong!  Those moments as the bus pulls away, you turn yourself around and make that seemingly long walk home, alone, as all your heartstrings trail behind you - it's heartbreaking.  Picture this - you're carefree and young, you have your life going for you, opportunities boundless.  We age, we mature, we have kids.  We learn to love someone else more than we love ourselves, more than we love life itself.  We nurture and raise them, giving up a plethora of things and spending all our spare time with them.  Then one day, they are gone.  Sure... it's not like he's gone off to college or anything - but that day will come.

What I have learned the past three weeks, is to embrace the routine.  Yes... the routine is golden.  My kid forces me to be a better person every day, and I love it.  Through this routine I've adopted a few new quirky traits, like sticking to working only a specific amount of time each night.  Setting aside designated down time.  Writing, when I feel inspired.  Heck, I foundtime today to blog.  All in all - I think that the business of our time gets caught up in the plan making and the dreaming and the what-if's.  And while some plans are necessary, I've really turned my gears to focus on the work itself, and give a little extra room for reading, movies, long drives, and camping.  Because as much as we need to follow the schedule we lay out in our pretty calendars, we need to focus on ourselves as well.

I'm gradually cleansing my schedule, sending it on a diet so that my life can feel more enriched.  A year ago I took the leap to full-time photographer - and it's been an amazing journey.  The weddings I have been a part of, the success I've created for myself.  I couldn't be more grateful.  The year to come I'm going to work smarter, and play harder.  I feel more creative, and my family, my home, and my body are thanking me.

From a recent trip to the coast:

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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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Libero

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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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.

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.

Central Cascade Nostalgia

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Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a sucker for a good hike!  Last Summer a friend and I took an invigorating wander in the Central Cascades of Washington, and while I was aware of the spectacular upper falls, which I have visited numerous times, we were bound for the lake at the end of this 7.2 mile trail.  We were surprisingly met with, what I can only describe as, one of the most serene visions I have experienced in my lifetime.

The granite slabs around these lower falls were just flourishing!  These photos really do not do justice to the spectacular beauty that surrounded us that day:

These falls were so refreshing to stand underneath, especially on the hike out on such a humid afternoon!  Images like this, that play with the sun, always remind me of the yesteryears of my childhood summers spent beneath the peek-a-boo shade of the trees in the front yard.