Category Pacific North West

Five on Five – Januarys 2017

On the fifth day of each month, I get together with a group of talented female photographers. We each share our five favorite images from the previous month.
It’s a blog circle!
Make sure to follow the link and head over to Adriana’s blog when you are done here.

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January was a roller coaster. But there have been a few constants in my every day that I not only am loving, but looking to as a way to keep my mind at ease. One has nothing to do with photography. I have been getting up every morning and practicing yoga or meditating for 10-30 minutes. I found an app called Cody and it’s been a game changer – I should stop right there and say I have no affiliation with this app, other than it has been a key in helping me solidify a daily practice. Something that has eluded me ever since I stepped on  my mat 12 years ago. The other constant has everything to do with photography. I decided to take on a 365 this year (again) but this year I would use my Fuji Instax-mini 90 to do the job. A challenge, a test in patience and in failing so I can learn and strengthen my composition skills and better understand the limits of this little camera. I thought I would share five of my favorite images so far from this series. If you want to see the whole body of work so far, and follow along as it unfolds, check out @365_rectangles on Instagram.


Playing with lower light. I love that this looks like a double exposure and that you can see the transition from being serious to silly.
The world is your playground. Taken during a day out exploring down town Tacoma with friends. 
Date night. Our friend Nick pulls beers at a favorite haunt. 
Morning on the Foss Waterway. Sometimes, I am late to work because it’s just too pretty outside to go indoors. This was one of those mornings. 
Hilltop neighborhood in Tacoma. This is next door to my favorite Pho spot. I have loved this signage since the first time I drove along this street (and oh how I wish this place was still open so I could drop off my rolls of film!)

 

Keep chasing that light, Vanessa

Lydia & Aaron – A Seattle Wedding Day

The day started quiet and rainy, fairly typical for November in Seattle. There was fog hugging the Seattle skyline as I drove into the city from Tacoma. When I arrived Lydia and Aaron’s condo, there was soft even light streaming in through the windows. While scouting a spot to take detail photos upstairs, I woke their old cat who gave me a grouchy meow. As the knocks on the door began, the house started to fill with the excitement and love of dear friends and family. Girlfriends gathered in the kitchen, Lydia’s mom popped champagne, and they all toasted the day as the bride emerged from getting her hair and makeup done. As Lydia slipped into her dress and shoes, and finally her grandmother’s mink stole, there were oohs and ahhhs, giggles and tears. I love this part of the wedding day. The intimate bonding and the support as the couple readies for the walk down the isle.
lydiaaaronwebready_fip-4-of-622_stompedlydiaaaronwebready_fip-10-of-622lydiaaaronwebready_fip-17-of-622lydiaaaronwebready_fip-11-of-622_stompedlydiaaaronwebready_fip-26-of-622_stompedlydiaaaronwebready_fip-22-of-622_stomped lydiaaaronwebready_fip-58-of-622_stompedlydiaaaronwebready_fip-59-of-622_stompedlydiaaaronwebready_fip-38-of-622_stompedlydiaaaronwebready_fip-68-of-622_stompedlydiaaaronwebready_fip-74-of-622_stompedlydiaaaronwebready_fip-72-of-622_stompedlydiaaaronwebready_fip-76-of-622lydiaaaronwebready_fip-82-of-622lydiaaaronwebready_fip-90-of-622lydiaaaronwebready_fip-88-of-622lydiaaaronwebready_fip-91-of-622An umbrella was found, a ride was called and a meeting point declared. I found Aaron and his family at the King Street Station in downtown Seattle waiting for me in the old high back benches of the depot. We shot a few groom photos and we prepared for the first look. The fog had turned to light rain. The King Street Station has gone under some gorgeous restoration recently and the station is worth a stop and wander. lydiaaaronwebready_fip-137-of-622_stompedlydiaaaronwebready_fip-141-of-622lydiaaaronwebready_fip-142-of-622lydiaaaronwebready_fip-143-of-622lydiaaaronwebready_fip-144-of-622lydiaaaronwebready_fip-145-of-622lydiaaaronwebready_fip-153-of-622We piled back into the cars and got a cup of coffee to warm us up as we headed to the venue for the day- Zoe Event is an intimate restaurant/bar event space located in the Capital Hill District. The staff is amazing, and the food delicious. There were plenty of little details for me to capture as staff set up and we waited for guests to  arrive. Lydia’s mother grew several containers of succulents for the occasion, and (lucky me), Lydia had hired one of the most talented floral designers in the city. I loved getting to watch Sara Jane of THATCH work her magic.  lydiaaaronwebready_fip-277-of-622_stompedlydiaaaronwebready_fip-427-of-622_stompedlydiaaaronwebready_fip-285-of-622_stomped

From there things got to be a bit of a blur… Guests arrived, drinks were poured, the room filled with laughter and hugs and music. The vows were short and sweet (and included a reading from the book, I Like You.)

I like you because
I don’t know why but
Everything that happens
Is nicer with you

I can’t remember when I didn’t like you

They signed their paper work to make it official in a little upstairs room, and took a few minutes alone together  before heading downstairs for the party. Meanwhile, their guests were fed amazing appetizers and drinks downstairs. 
The toasts were full of funny stories and teasing, as many are. But there was also a thread of admiration for the couple and all their hard work and determination to fulfill goals and make a difference. The first dance was sweet and then, silly and filled the room as the party got underway!FocusInPhotography (2 of 3)FocusInPhotography (3 of 3)

Lydia and Aaron, I loved that we have ties to Reno, but have found a home in the Pacific Northwest. I love how you two laugh and make each other smile. Thank you for including me in your day. Thank you for trusting me to document this new beginning.  It was truly an honor to be a witness.

Wishing you both a long and happy life together,

Vanessa

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Huge shout out to all the amazing vendors that I got to work with:

Hair and Makeup: Salon Maison

Florals: Thatch Floral

DJ: Magnolia Rhapsody

Location & Catering: Zoe Restaurant

And so, We Marched

Yesterday, like so many others, I marched. I could have gone north to Seattle and joined the 120-130K that showed up there (WAY TO GO SEATTLE!!), but I decided to go south. I headed to the state’s capitol of Olympia where I marched with 10,000+ other people. I got lost in a see of pink hats and rain jackets and it was powerful and beautiful.

Here is what I was a part of…. 
I sang, I walked, I wore my pussy hat, and a t-shirt with an image of Princess Leia and the words, “A woman’s place is in the resistance”. I watched as people helped one another pin buttons, make last minute signs, locate a lost friend. I read sign after sign after amazing sing that made me laugh, made me think, and made my heart fill with hope. I am NOT alone in this fight- I am far from alone!

And now I wondering (and maybe you are too), NOW WHAT??

We MARCHED, we showed up. And that is super duper awesome sauce, but yesterday was just the BEGINNING.

It was the warm up. It was the first step in our metaphorical couch to 5K (more like couch to infinity and beyond) and I am not quite sure what my training plan needs to be. How are we going to continue to flex our peaceful muscles and show that we are NOT going to be QUIET. it’s time to, as J-Lo says, “LET’S GET LOUD”!

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I have been doing some research and happen to have an amazing band of woman on line who have been passing along links and ideas and plans. I thought I would share them with you if you are also in search of your, Now What? If you have links and ideas to share on how to carry the momentum and the energy forward, I ask you to share with me (us) here in the comments!! Ready? here ya go….

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  • Keep showing up (again, and again, and again, and again) – Gang, if you are a local Tacoma or Seattle person you probably know about the “Sonics Guy”. Kris is THE biggest Seattle Sonics fan you have ever met and he has been sporting his Sonics gear, carrying a sign and BELIEVING in his cause (to bring home the Sonics) for a very long time. I loved his open letter yesterday that he posted on twitter. While the movement we are in might not have a uniform (other than our pussy hats) that we can wear everyday, what Kris says is important, “KEEP SHOWING UP”!
  • Take Action – if you aren’t sure how, here ya go.
  • Get involved – here is a good page for that and so is this one
  • Gather – get together with others. Create art, create good food. Create good conversation and a local action plan – if you can’t find what you are looking for in your community, this is YOUR answer! YOU need to make what you need, fill that gap!

Keep chasing that light and – FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!

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

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

Get Out There – Exploring Washington

It’s strange to be ‘new’ to an area. Even with my third summer coming to a close in the Pacific Northwest, I still feel new here.. 20160814-IMG_9961There seems to be so many places I never “had time” to explored while living in the Reno-Tahoe area, (and, I got out A LOT during my 30+ years of living there). Now that I am in Washington, I have a new list growing of places and spots. Some are ‘secret’ and secluded, others not so much.  20160814-IMG_9933Over the weekend I was able to mark one of the not so secret and fairly iconic Tacoma/Seattle hikes off the list. 20160814-IMG_9965Join me over on the Viewfinders  blog to see more of the trail to Rattlesnake Ledge.

Keep Chasing that light,

Vanessa

Photo Lady Friends – Bend, Oregon

20160421-IMG_8596 I have friends who can turn a campsite into a retreat.
20160421-IMG_8598 Who can turn a mason jar into a cocktail shaker.20160422-IMG_8609 Who can spin a walk into an epic adventure (complete with a handsome woodsman).20160422-IMG_8623 20160422-IMG_8635  I have friends who create magic and make me believe in things that can not be seen, but can truly be felt. 20160422-IMG_8638I have friends who can cook and story tell all while making me laugh so hard I nearly pee my pants. 20160422-IMG_8654I hope you have friends like this too….
PS I am over on the Viewfinders blog today sharing a few more of the portraits I shot during this magical weekend away in Bend, Oregon. Join me over there today, won’t you?!

Long Weekend – Olympic National Park

Although my family and I recently celebrated our second year of living in Washington, we haven’t explored very much of this beautiful state that we now call home. Talking with friends and co-workers, we kept hearing about the Olympic Peninsula. We decided we really did need to get over there and check it our for ourselves.
UntitledAfter a bit of research, my husband discovered a campground, complete with hot springs and hiking. This sounded great to me! And that was how our first camp trip of 2016 happened. Even though I didn’t take my camera into the hot springs area (it felt too invasive of the other patrons privacy, and I just didn’t want to worry about it getting wet), I did have my cameras out for the other highlights of the weekend.
UntitledOne of the best parts of the weekend was the zero cell service in the Sol Duc Valley. Not being able to have the instant gratification of my iPhone and posting photos to Instagram was so very good for me. I put my phone away and I pulled out my Canon, a disposable camera, and my brand new toy- the Fuji Instax Mini 90. I had a blast testing out the light and the settings on this little point and shoot gem.

Here are a few of my favorites with the new camera: pastries from a pit-stop in Poulsbo, WA. This place is drooooool worthy and going to be a go to any time we head to the Peninsula! And a shot of my husband, in full “Camp Boss” mode.
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HimIt felt really great to pick up the dSLR, and I am really happy with these family photos from the weekend.
20160415-IMG_8510Campfires, slug hunting, and reading about the story of Sol Duc hot springs.
20160416-IMG_8544 Putting his parkour training to use and exploring around the camp ground. 20160415-IMG_8521 A serious case of the giggles. 20160416-IMG_8557 More shenanigans, I guess all that fresh air makes us silly. She was a Ogg from the planet Ogg. UntitledAn iPhone snap taken while on the trail during my solo run, aptly named “Lover’s Loop”.
20160417-IMG_8566 20160417-IMG_8575 And finally, hiking in to Sol Duc Falls trail with my crew. The water was so powerful, loud and strong.20160417-IMG_8584 20160417-IMG_8593All in all, we enjoyed the camping, but decided next time we would probably make Sol Duc a day trip and not stay an entire weekend at the site. The hike to the falls was beautiful and a perfect length for the kids. I could see us doing a day hike ending in a good soak in the end.  This trip has me looking forward to the camping season this summer!! If you have any good spots for us to check out here in Washington, leave me a note in the comments!

Keep chasing that light,

Vanessa