Shandra and Tom

November 30, 2012

All I have to say about this one is….STEAM PUNK WEDDING!!!!!! So Much Fun!

Photo Booth!

Tagaris Winery

Their first look!

Of of the most fun weddings ever! Congratulations to a great, creative, sexy couple!


Sunny and Nate

October 30, 2012

I love road trip weddings. One of my favorite things in the world is getting up before sunrise, taking my coffee to go, bundling all my camera gear into my dark little car, and setting off to have an adventure. In the early morning with a long drive to to a strange destination I feel like the infinite possibility of the day are laying out ahead of me, winding with the road. I get all the time in the world to imagine what I’m going to find; to day dream about art and love and how cool it is that I get to photograph someone’s wedding. I get to explore random roadside cafes for breakfast and stop for pictures as much as I want. It never fails to give me a little thrill of independence.

Sunshine and Nate got married out on the Olympic Peninsula one foggy friday afternoon. I love the location; the drive through Olympia, Aberdeen, and the long road winding through the national forest. They got ready at the beautiful Lake Quinault Lodge.

Everyone was busy when I got there (early!) finishing up the final touches on the dress and doing hair and makeup.

When everything was finally done we drove out to a trail head and the whole wedding (all 13 of us) hiked out to a 1500 year old cedar tree where the ceremony was to be held.

The bride got dressed on-site and everyone stood or sat at the base of this fantastic tree. The ceremony was beautiful–intimate and inclusive. Everyone got to participate by reading a blessing for the couple. We even had some Friday hikers stop by and cheer.

Sunny and Nate were so cute and their family was so supportive. We got to play around with portraits and got a great shoot of everyone that was there.


At the end of the day the bride tossed her found objects bouquet, everyone toasted (the tree got some Holy water) and we all hiked back together to the lodge and to share a meal.

I love weddings that are creative and who’s location and ceremony are meaningful to the couple. I’ll love to go out to the Olympic Peninsula all the time! Congratulations my friends!


What you can expect from your portrait session

October 18, 2012

I hear the same questions from clients all the time. “What will the portrait shoot be like?” “Why do you schedule two hours? Does it really take that long?” “What can I expect?”. Or “I’m not really comfortable getting my photo taken” “I’m not photogenic”. Most people have not had a lot of experience with photo shoots before and the process can be a little intimidating, especially if you don’t look like a barbie doll. I love helping my clients navigate their portrait shoot and feel good bout themselves. I love to watch the process of a person opening up over the course of the shoot and often people tell me at the end of a shoot “actually, that was kind of fun!” (hearing that is one of my favorite parts of my job!)

I recently shot a really nice portrait session with the lovely Kristina and she gave me permission to use her shoot as an example of a personal portrait session; what goes on, what we do, how it feels, and what the photos look like. Personal portraits are distinct from professional portraits because for personal portraits people need to convey personality; show their enthusiasm, their real smile, their joie de vivre. Business head shots can take five minutes, but allowing someone to become comfortable with me and relax in front of the camera takesĀ  some time.

I always book two hours for a personal portrait session. I help with wardrobe decisions, location choices and talk about expectations ahead of time. I always shoot this kind of a portrait on location; either in my clients home or in a park or public location of our choice. Kristina and I went to the Olympic Sculpture Park for her shoot. You can see the wonderful varriety of backgrounds and photos we can get just by wandering around a four block square area.
I start by encouraging my clients to move around, to practice modeling, to try–just at the beginning–Not to smile and Not to look at the camera. The more a person is willing to move let go of their sense of awkwardness the more I have to work with. Freezing in place and trying desperately to smile is not an option with me šŸ™‚

I think its important to have a wide variety of photos from a shoot like this. I like getting photos of people not smiling or not looking at the camera just as much as I like smiling camera aware shots. I like full body shots in addition to tight crops with blurry backgrounds.

some of the photos can be creative and whimsical, editorial and playful, and I always try to encourage the person I’m photographing to be willing to play a little.

Kristina was very good at moving and modeling and because of that we got some really fun and unexpected creative photos of her.

toward the middle of the shoot people usually relax and I begin to get very natural smiles, unforced poses.

This shoot is a great example of an outdoor/on location portrait session. I can find backgrounds anywhere. I’m looking for light and depth. Photographing someone at their home is not necessarily going to show their house in detail, but will be a great unique and private place to shoot. You’d be surprised by what I can use as a background. I’m always finding great backgrounds by wandering around neighborhoods and the backgrounds I choose don’t always need to be perfect or big. Sometimes something just pops out in the middle of a shoot. I think this selection of photos does a good job of demonstrating what that looks like.Ā  This shoot is also a great example of a person being willing to play a little and the variety in photos that can create. The tenor of the shoots always vary from person to person; its not always appropriate to get sexy photos or youthful/playful photos, but the more someone is willing to give me the more I’ll be able to give them.


Kristin and Joe

October 12, 2012

I just love unique and non traditional weddings. Kristin and Joe didn’t want a big production, but photos were important to them. We spent two hours together wandering around South Lake Union, playing and taking pictures with their family. I love their chemistry and I love the way their photos came out.

They had a sweet little ceremony with their family surrounding them

then we went out for a walk and photos

and some smooching…


Happy Wedding Kristin and Joe!


Mayor’s Arts Awards 2012

August 21, 2012

Once again this summer has been a busy swirl of weddings, portraits in the sun, great photos of artists, babies, business people, and fabulous events. The month of July was almost totally devoted to one of my favorite jobs of the year. That’s right! Its time for the Mayor’s Arts Awards 2012! This year there were 10 award winners and the photos came out better than ever! To see photos from the last four years of Mayor’s Arts Awards, click here:
2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

For descriptions of this years awards winners and more information about the awards click here

I put a lot of work into planning fun and whimsical shoots for this year’s fun and whimsical winners and I had a fabulous time meeting all of these worthy organizations:

Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders


Olivier Wevers and Whim W’Him


Three Dollar Bill Cinema


Buster Simpson


Freehold Theatre


The Vera Project


Singing Feet of the Duwamish Tribe


KEXP radio


Seattle Arts and Lectures

Thanks to Greg StumpĀ for his quick work doing chalk board art


Notably absent is the mysterious Li HengDa, leader of an Asian performing arts theater and dance academy. Unfortunately Mr. Li HengDa was in China for the entire two months that I was scheduling and shooting, but we’ll get to meet him at the award ceremony August 31st.





February 1, 2012

Hello all my loyal blog followers! Its been a while since I last posted because I was away having adventures abroad, writing a travel blog, and practicing the exquisite discipline of travel photography. I just got back from a month in Israel.

views of Jerusalem

The Church of the Holy SepulchreĀ 

People in the market, old city of Jerusalem

The last week I was there I got to take a tour of Palestinian Bethlehem. It was breathtaking and heartbreaking.

“We can’t live so we are waiting for death”

Church of the Nativity


Jewish and Arabic Settlement housing

Graffiti in Bethlehem








Fall Family Photos

November 2, 2011

These came out extra cute!