Gabby - Cake Smash

Gabby-101.jpg

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...

Gabby 1 Collage
Gabby-105
Gabby-104
Gabby-103
Gabby-112
Gabby-111
Gabby-120
Gabby-127
Gabby-134
Gabby-129

Kenzie - 2016 Senior, Snow Mountain Ranch

Kenzie-low-res-113.jpg

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!!

Kenzie low-res-103
Kenzie low-res-104
Kenzie low-res-106
Kenzie low-res-101
Kenzie low-res-107
Kenzie low-res-108
Kenzie low-res-112
Kenzie low-res-111
Kenzie low-res-110
Kenzie low-res-114
Kenzie low-res-115
Kenzie low-res-116
Kenzie low-res-117
Kenzie low-res-118
Kenzie low-res-119
Kenzie low-res-121
Kenzie low-res-124

Cassie + Danny - Canterwood Golf & Country Club

Cassie-Danny-265.jpg

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!

Cassie + Danny-157
Cassie + Danny-158
Cassie + Danny-160
Cassie + Danny-184
Cassie + Danny-170
Cassie + Danny-214
Cassie + Danny-223
Cassie + Danny-225
Cassie + Danny-230
Cassie + Danny-237
Cassie + Danny-241
Cassie + Danny-251
Cassie + Danny-252
Cassie + Danny-266
Cassie + Danny-299
Cassie + Danny-302
Cassie + Danny-327
Cassie + Danny-368
Cassie + Danny-372
Cassie + Danny-378
Cassie + Danny-386
Cassie + Danny-436
Cassie + Danny-399
Cassie + Danny-409
Cassie + Danny-427
Cassie + Danny-473
Cassie + Danny-474
Cassie + Danny-517

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!

Brian + Kelsey Proposal
Brian + Kelsey Proposal
Brian + Kelsey Proposal
Brian + Kelsey Proposal
Brian + Kelsey Proposal
Brian + Kelsey Proposal
Brian + Kelsey Proposal
Brian + Kelsey Proposal
Brian + Kelsey Proposal
Brian + Kelsey Proposal

The Era of Tradition

Kasey-Brett-224.jpg

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:

The De-Cluttering of Busy

Custom-100.jpg

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:

Custom-104.jpg
Custom-102.jpg
Custom-103.jpg
Custom-101.jpg

Tempus Amisit

Volvebatur1.jpg

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 . . .

Secretorum
Farm - 103
Differentiam
Beaches - 100
Beaches - 103
Hoh - 100
Parum Vitae Mare-100