Category Pacific North West

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.
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,


Lolo + Bear | Seattle Portrait Photography

LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (200 of 200)Remember this spring when I put out a call for small businesses and creatives in the Pacific Northwest? I asked, and you all are amazing and set me off with some really fantastic leads for Environmental Portrait (EP) candidates. If I could do EP sessions every day, I would be thrilled. I love the photographic mix of portraits and the details of the “making” (and in this particular case, the eating of the end product). Plus, I get to make some amazing new friends in the process.  When my dear friend connected me with the lovely crew of Lolo & Bear, I was thrilled. I mean these four are darn good looking, hysterical, and they make a mean snack. LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (19 of 200)Lolo & Bear rolls out some amazing goodies. To quote directly from their website,

“In our family, we’re big fans of snack breaks. We love second breakfast, happy hour, and all the other in-between times. But we wanted a snack we could feel good about eating, one without weird ingredients. That’s why our clusters are made with heritage grains, authentic flavors, and only whole real stuff.”

They set the goal to create a unique, specialty snack and they are winning. I really liked all four flavors of their clusters, but my favorite has to be the Blueberry, Vanilla, Thyme.
LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (38 of 200)Meet Rosie. She doesn’t help in the kitchen, but she did try to herd me while I was photographing her humans. It was almost as endearing as her Elvis impersonation.
LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (42 of 200) LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (55 of 200) LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (70 of 200)
LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (119 of 200)LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (125 of 200)And now, a little bit of the editable goodness that goes into Lolo & Bear…
LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (153 of 200) LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (155 of 200) LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (157 of 200) LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (179 of 200) LoloBear_WebReady_FIP (185 of 200)Before I close this post, I need to give a huge thank you to not only the L&B crew for spending an afternoon with me, but to the beautiful and generous Deb Achak (go see her work, it’s stunning) for welcoming us ALL into her amazing West Seattle home for these photos. Words can’t express how grateful I am for new friendships and solidifying existing ones via my photography.

Do you have a creative business? Do you need images for your social media campaign or real stock images of you, your work, and your workspace? That is what Environmental Portraiture is all about.  Drop me a note and let’s get you and your business photographed!

Keep chasing that light, Vanessa

Photo Lady Friends

I have been debating if I want to share these images and thoughts here. These photos and this weekend of photography was specifically for me. There was no client involved, wasn’t hired to be there. I could pick up my camera or not. I could use my iPhone or my polaroid camera, or not. I could just sit and soak up the conversations happening around me and listen to the wind (which, by the way, holds secrets if you listen closely enough). I could speak and have space held for my words and reminded that I am okay and worthy. PhotoLadyFriends_FIP (1 of 38)

The point of the trip was to refuel, to reconnect and to re-imagine all that I am and all that I can be (as an artist, as a mother, as a wife, as a friend).  Part of me wants to hold these moments and images close and not share. Because so much of what was shared is hard to explain, but then again maybe my photos can do the talking for me like they do so many other times. These women have traveled an amazing journey with me for several years via the magic of the internet. And now they are powerful forces in my world. I am honored to call them friends.

Find your tribe. Love them hard.- Danielle LaPorte

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Port Townsend Wedding

At the end of last summer, I was asked by the talented Sarah Postma to join her in photographing a wedding. I was thrilled. Sarah is a talent and to have her ask me to work along side her is an honor.  The drive to Port Townsend, Washington was beautiful. What a sweet little city.

I filled up on coffee and some lunch, then headed up to the house where everyone was getting ready for the big day. I don’t use the word, “big” lightly here. This wedding was one of the most amazing, heartfelt, emotional, and love FILLED I have ever been a part of. These women, their love- it was pure and true. Seeing the tears of joy, the laughter – even 6 months later I can’t help but get a full heart looking at these images.  Thank you again to Sarah for having me second shoot with you last summer, let’s do it again soon!

Now, I bring you the amazing wedding of Kirstin & Patricia!

p1163831562-6PatriciaKirstenWedding_0789p1163815951-6PatriciaKirstenWedding_0373PatriciaKirstenWedding_1189PatriciaKirstenWedding_0366PatriciaKirstenWedding_0957p1163844237-6PatriciaKirstenWedding_1138p1163892973-6PatriciaKirstenWedding_1244Keep chasing that light, Vanessa


Troy and Jessica | Seattle Engagement Session

Oh wow, I have had the pleasure of photographing in some pretty amazing places. Last weekend I was able to add a new and pretty fantastic spot to my list. Originally, Jessica contacted me and mentioned cherry blossoms. Now, don’t get me wrong- those blossoms are incredible and they are everywhere this time of year. But then, she sent me a text saying, “What about Safeco Field?”. I probably squealed and did a happy dance of some sort or another, probably. Um, YES!JandT_Engage_Web (3 of 130)Saturday was warm and beautiful in Seattle, hardly a cloud could be found. It was 10:30am and the streets around the baseball stadium already buzzing with fans. I met Helen, our lovely tour guide and then in walked Jessica and Troy. The two of them a tad frazzled from the Seattle traffic (guys, what is UP with the traffic in this city?). We took a few deep breathes and the elevator up to the stadium.
JandT_Engage_Web (18 of 130)One thing I absolutely love about my job is I get to see couples in love. These two are SO in love. we toured around and then were let onto the field. We were allowed to get down in the dugout and play in the stands. What a beautiful day for an engagement session.
JandT_Engage_Web (90 of 130)Fun fact: Did you know they have radiant heated soil in the stadium? I don’t know if they really call it that or not but there are pipes running warm water to keep the green at an even and warm temperature all year long.
Yes_JandT_Engage_Web (39 of 130) Yes_JandT_Engage_Web (85 of 130)Jessica and Troy, thank you again for business, for your trust, and for being so darn adorable in your love for each other! Congratulations on your engagement, I can’t wait to see where your adventure leads you together.
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Keep chasing that light, Vanessa

The Mann Family | Tacoma Family Photography

I have share with you all the fun I had during the Made To Create weekend  in three other blog posts (you can see them all here). But I haven’t gotten to the adorable families I was introduced to. Today, I am sharing my favorites of the Mann family. They were adorable and had me at knitted hats, big grins and lots of splashing in the Tacoma puddles.  Here, take a look!

2015-04-17_00022015-04-17_0003FIP (1 of 1)-4 FIP (1 of 2)Too cute, right!? Thanks again to this sweet crew for modeling during Made To Create.

Keep chasing that light, Vanessa

I’d a Baked Cake | Tacoma Food Photography

One of the things I really enjoy about my work as a photographer is that I get to meet other creatives. They might be photographers, or they might be an artist in a totally different medium, like Emily. She is an amazing baker. Mixing flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and butter to make the most delicious edible work of art. What a treat! I had so much fun with this lifestyle session. If you are one of my Environmental Portrait clients, this is another example of how I can help tell your story. By the way, I have one more of these sessions up for grabs, hurry though, you have to schedule your session by Wednesday, April 1st! For my brides out there, Emily makes amazing treats and also has a few gluten free recipes up her sleeve, the smaller of these two cakes was GF and DELISH! To find out more about Emily’s business and treats, go to

For my brides and event clients, Emily makes amazing treats and also has a few gluten free recipes up her sleeve, the smaller of these two cakes was GF and DELISH! To find out more about her business and offerings, go to Sweet Things by EH.

Ready to get a sugar rush? Okay, go!

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If I knew you were comin’ I’d’ve baked a cake
baked a cake, baked a cake
If I knew you were comin’ I’d’ve baked a cake
Howd-ya do, howd-ya do, howd-ya do FIP_SweetThings (18 of 65)FIP_SweetThings (30 of 65)FIP_SweetThings (20 of 65)FIP_SweetThings (22 of 65)2015-03-28_0004

Had you dropped me a letter
I’d a-hired a band
Grandest band in the land
Had you dropped me a letter
I’d a-hired a band
Spread the welcome mat for youFIP_SweetThings (14 of 65)FIP_SweetThings (28 of 65)2015-03-28_0010FIP_SweetThings (29 of 65)Oh, I don’t know where you came from
‘Cause I don’t know where you’ve been
But it really doesn’t matter
Grab a chair and fill your platter
And dig, dig, dig right in
2015-03-28_0003FIP_SweetThings (41 of 65)2015-03-28_0002If I knew you were comin’ I’d’ve baked a cake
Hired a band, goodness sake

2015-03-28_0007If I knew you were comin’ I’d’ve baked a cake
Howd-ya do, howd-ya do, howd-ya do2015-03-28_0006

Howd-ya do, howd-ya do, howd-ya do
Howd-ya do-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-oohFIP_SweetThings (55 of 65)2015-03-28_0008Emily, let’s get together again soon, you bake & I can shoot!

Keep chasing that light, Vanessa

Artists at Work || Tacoma Lifestyle Photography

If you have been following along for a little while, you know how much I love photographing artists at work. (see my post about Tina, and What is shoot Environmental Portraiture).  When a creative is ‘in it’ you can see the energy and feel it in the room. I love witnessing that process.  These images were taken while we were setting up for our session where I created the photos from my last post. These are a few of the behind the scenes of what else was happening in the room while 15 photographers collaborated and learned while shooting Lifestyle photography.

2015-03-19_0002FIP (10 of 10)2015-03-19_0001Here Candice is doing her thing, adding some whimsy and magic by adding sprigs of ivy to our model Danielle’s milkmaid braid.

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FIP (9 of 10)Here, photographer Mark French sets up the shot and captures Danielle with is Hasselblad. Mark, if you are reading this, I can’t wait to see what you got from the weekend! Please make sure to share with us.


Thank you again for all the fun and learning, Made to Create PNW
You can find more of Candice’s work here Ivy & Tweed and Mark’s work here.

Keep chasing that light, Vanessa