Category Family Photography

October Fave 5 on 5

This month we (the other fabulous ladies in this blog ring) decided to mix up our five on five post. We wanted to shake up what we have been doing just a bit. So we picked the color red as our theme and are each sharing where we found pops of the color throughout October.

When you are done here, make sure to click over to Adriana’s blog- she has such a great eye for color, I know she’s got something lovely going!

Red … I found the color in the clothes and accessories that my clients chose for mini-session portraits.

And look at those autumn reds in this senior portrait session! Fall in Tacoma sure is gorgeous (and holy moly do I get good looking people for clients or what?!)

Keep chasing that light,

Vanessa

Language of Summer | From the Archives

Summer time stretches out in front of us with waves and wishes. Backyard, air conditioning , picnics, weddings, sun screen, beaches, camping, and adventure all become part of our summer time vernacular. The following words are from a few summers past, but they still hold true this time of year. Enjoy.Summer, you are leaving me… almost gone, but I am not done tasting you yet.

I know you are going, because the evenings are more watermelon juice drips then perspiration. I can feel it in the morning air as I stir awake, you smell different this time of year, not so sticky, yet sweet.

I can see it in the gentle way you hold the velvet brown mountain silhouette. The soft, sky touch that can only be yours.

The dark comes earlier, the blue mix with peaches that hang heavy  in the tree, ripe and ready and in the blushing of the leaves in the strong sycamore that shushes in the exhale.

I still have a few things left for you, summer. Summer don’t fall too quickly away…

Keep chasing the light my friends, Vanessa Simpson

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This post was originally written and photographed by me for the Mortal Muses collaborative blog, and part of a new series I am calling, From the Archives. Source: Language of Summer | Mortal Muses

Living With The Camera – Inspiration | From the Archives

This post was originally written and photographed by me for the Mortal Muses blog nearly three and a half years ago and part of a new series of posts I am calling, “From the Archives”. 

Source: Mortal Muses

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At the library I spotted a book on display, “Dorothea Lange – Grab a Hunk of Lightning“. I quickly picked it up and added it to the pile of children’s books that the kids had handed me, and we headed to the desk to checkout our goodies.  When we returned home, each of us plopped down in the small apartment living room that we are calling home right now, and dove right into our new reads.  I have really been wanting to understand what makes a beautiful and provoking portrait lately and this book was just the thing to get my head spinning. I want my craft to really speak to my audience and tell stories in a way that I know words can not.  I know my work is no where near what Dorothea was doing in her career, but by studying her images, the way she framed and used the light, I can begin to create a more powerful frame. 

I believe in living with the camera, and not using the camera. Suddenly, if you are working a lot, it takes over and then you see meaning in everything. You don’t have to push for it. That’s what I mean by the visual life. Very rare. – Dorothea Lange, KQED San Francisco Audio Recording 1964-65

The kids and I have been spending a lot of time together, and that means they are most readily available subjects. My son is now in a half day kindergarten and so we have all morning to get out and explore our new city. Luckily, they will humor me by being my models.  Well, most of the time anyway.  And if one won’t hold still for the shutter, the other usually will. These images are examples of what I have been getting.  I am purposefully processing these in black and white instead of color. Perhaps that is in part to looking through all of the Dorthea Lange images that have been floating through my mind, but I also get a totally different impact when the color is gone.  Stripping down the image to the whites, grays, and blacks seems to let their eyes and expressions do the work, rather than the colors happening around them.  Do you find that to be true as well?

Keep chasing the light – Vanessa

Afternoon at Chambers Bay – Tacoma Family Photography

FocusInPhotography (390 of 414)It was a Saturday and the kids were getting restless with the afternoon, and to be honest, so were the adults. Plus, the sun was out – and you really can’t pass up the sunshine in late October/early November. That’s when my husband suggested we take out the rockets that he and O had built a few months back. We all loaded into the car and headed to beautiful Chambers Bay. Chambers Bay Family PhotographyFocusInPhotography (410 of 414)The girl and I played and spun and ran around in the grass while the boys got things set up for the launch. We ran the dog around and twirled in the afternoon sun. FocusInPhotography (392 of 414)FocusInPhotography (411 of 414)
Chambers Bay Family Photography
FocusInPhotography (401 of 414)Chambers Bay Family PhotographyChambers Bay Family Photography Chambers Bay Family PhotographyWe had a couple of dud launches, and then a few really awesome ones! (Click on the next image to see a video of the landing, forgive my poor video taking skills! this one ends so perfectly!)
UntitledChambers Bay Family PhotographyWhat a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

Keep chasing that light, Vanessa

Five on Five – October 2106

On the fifth day of each month a group of photographers shares their favorite photos from the previous month. It’s a blog circle! Make sure to follow the link over to Adriana’s October post when you are done here. I still can’t believe we have been doing this for four years. These woman keep me shooting and posting regularly and it’s a treat to see what each of them were up to every month.  I attended Click Away 2016 in Seattle last month and was inspired to start picking up the camera for me again. I realized I had almost stopped taking images of the kids unless it was with my cell phone (no shame, there is a cell phone image in here or two) I realized I wasn’t practicing and that’s no good at all. The kids have been amazing this month in humoring my requests and allowing me to stick the lens in their faces regularly. As a result, I have gotten a few portraits that I am absolutely in love with.

Fifi –
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And O-boy
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And the two of them together…
Oregon Coast Family

It’s felt really wonderful to give myself permission to have the camera in  my hand for me again. And I truly believe that the more I pick up the camera for me, the better I will be for my clients. And that’s a win-win all around!

Now head on over to Adriana’s blog and see what October looked like for her.

Keep chasing that light, Vanessa

A Boy, a Book and a Cat – Tacoma Family Photography


Can you believe that golden glow? It was cool out the other evening, but the setting sun drew us out to the backyard for a little last minute sunshine therapy before dinner. He didn’t want to put down his book, but agreed to join me.obookworm-3-of-14Someone else thought it was nice that we were outside, too. Hey kid, whatchya reading?
obookworm-5-of-14Harry who? Maybe if his name was Fuzzy I’d sit awhile.obookworm-12-of-14obookworm-7-of-14 Ooooh… wait, this book corner is good for a face rub, isn’t it? obookworm-11-of-14obookworm-9-of-14obookworm-10-of-14What’s that over there? Ahhh, the dog is outside now too? I’m going to go chase her. Have fun reading about Fuzzy, er I mean Harry.obookworm-13-of-14

Keep chasing that light, Vanessa

Front Yard Pumpkin Patch – Tacoma Family Photography

In the spring, my husband worked really hard and built four big garden boxes for the front yard. He brought in yards of soil, and set up drip sprinklers so we wouldn’t have to think much about keeping the plants refreshed. Then, he recruited the kids who happily had a blast planting our garden – we had had so much zucchini (I have gallon bags frozen in the freezer for winter cooking), a ton of tomatoes (cherry, pear and early girls), cucumbers, beans, raspberries, and even a of couple watermelons!

But the favorite of the harrest around here is always the pumpkins. The vines grow and cover the hill in our front yard with their big green leaves. We get really excited when we spot the first golf ball sized pumpkind at the base of the yellow flowers and then, we keep an eye out as they get bigger and bigger. Making it a game as we pull in and out of the drive way through out the summer months.

When the days start to get shorter and the fog starts to fill the air. When the rain comes down a little more frequently and heavier – we know it’s time to cut the big orange orbs off the vine.  This year we ended up with a dozen of these beauties. All shapes and sizes. We filled the wagon and then walked it around the neighborhood to share with the other kids on the block. It’s a really fun tradition and something my kids get a huge kick out of each October. Who needs to go to a farm when you  have the pumpkin patch right out the front door?!pumpkinharvest2016-2-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-7-of-25Our cat, Ruben loves when we are out in the yard. Purring and chatting his meowing chat as we work. pumpkinharvest2016-24-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-3-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-4-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-5-of-25Sharing the harvest and decorating fun with Jojo (her grandma) back in Reno via Face-time. Isn’t technology so cool?pumpkinharvest2016-8-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-9-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-17-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-12-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-14-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-10-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-15-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-11-of-25 pumpkinharvest2016-22-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-18-of-25pumpkinharvest2016-20-of-25 pumpkinharvest2016-21-of-25

How about you? Do you grow your own or do you make a day of going to the pumpkin oatch each year? Either way, these little traditions help us mark the change of seasons and make for some really fun memories.

Here’s to a great Halloween, happy haunting everyone !

Keep chasing that light, Vanessa

Airport Antics – Family Photography at SeaTac Airport

So there we were, stuck at the airport as we waited for our delayed flight. It was rainy and the kids were getting a bit rummy. There is a point as a mom that you just say, what could it really hurt? and just let them turn the place into a playground. And, in an effort to not go a little crazy yourself, the camera comes out of the bag. It’s a win-win, really. airportantics-6-of-7airportantics_web-2-of-12 airportantics-3-of-7airportantics_web-1-of-12airportantics-1-of-7I love the drips on the window behind her. The style she has – those cat pants, I want a pair, and I love that she pairs glitter with stripes. And how can I not totally dig the window light on his face? Yeah, we got a few looks from other airport goers, but trust me- if this was the only ruckus they were causing, I’m totally cool with it.
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Keep chasing that light, Vanessa