Posts Tagged environmental Portrait

A Day at The Beach – Family Vacation on Kauai

Waaaay back at the end of February, my family and I, along with two other families, met up on the island of Kauai. We had sun, rain, and everything in between over our week’s vacation. The kids learned how to boogie board, and I practiced my sun tanning skills. These images are from our trip.

We hit the beach even when the sky was grey. Telling the kids, “You’ll be wet, or you’ll be wet.” when they questioned why we were going to the beach when it was raining.  As you can see, they caught on quickly and we were prepared with our umbrellas to keep towels dry. We got a super awesome day of sunshine at Tunnels Beach. It took some serious work (not pictured) to wheel our wagon through the sand full of gear for 5 kids and 5 adults to the sweet spot. But it was totally worth it – and a good excuse of a work out to eat extra Doritos and sip a beer once we settled in. The house we rented was within a quick walk into Hanalei. So we made sure to take a few strolls into town. Early morning wanders led us to coffee, mid day for shopping, and afternoon walks for shave ice!
And we were also a quick walk to the beach. We made several spur of the moment, and not really prepared (no swim suits!) trips to the water for sand castle making.  When the rain was too heavy for even the roosters to crow (and oh my goodness did they crow!), we had a sweet house that fit us all. The kids played a few fierce games of monopoly and soaked up a bit of screen time after all the sand and sun. It was so wonderful to be back on the island where my husband and I spent our honeymoon 15 years ago. We even hit up a couple of places that we had been drooling over since that last trip. Don’t pass up the ahi nori wrap at the Mermaids if you are there.

It was so good to have some of my best friends and the kiddos with us for the adventure. It already seems like a life time ago already, so I am glad to have these photos to remind me of all the fun!Keep chasing that light, Vanessa

PS this post is a part of a blog circle. I would love if you hop on over to Staci’s blog to see what beauty she has to share with you this month.

Five on Five – February 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 seeing what February was like over here.I did two really fun sessions last month. One was a family session with an adorable family. We traveled out to the summer camp where they met as camp counselors. It was really fun to have them take me around camp and photograph them with there little dude. I love when clients pick locations with such special meaning.The other session I did is for a new blog article I am writing for Experience Tacoma. The article is called, Take Five. This is such a fun chance for me to get to know more people and places in the community and a great excuse to pull out my camera.I had the great honor of sitting for the amazing Catherine Just and her “Breathing Camera” (that’s what I call this 4×5 beauty). Catherine has been traveling all over the world for her Capturing Breath on Film project, if you have a chance to participate it is an incredible experience. One I am still processing and watching unfold in my own life. It is part portrait session, part prayer, part magic. And finally, a little film photography of my own… I have been continuing on with my 365 Rectangles project, I love this black and white shot I took of my husband and his birthday cake.

Keep chasing that light my friends!


Hello Cupcake | Tacoma, Washington

A couple of weeks ago, I was having a rough day. I tossed my camera was in my purse and tossed told my coworker to get in the car- We were going to get cupcakes. When you are the intern, you do what you are told. When you are an intern and there are cupcakes involved, you most definitely do what you are told. Thank you to Alexa for being my hand model, a listening ear, and for taking me to the juice bar down the street for the much healthier lunch option of kale-cucumber-apple- ginger juice so we could wash down our salted caramel chocolate cupcake with some sanity. It’s all a balancing act, don’t judge me. And besides, life is uncertain, you should probably eat dessert first..2015-11-19_0003FIP_HelloCupcake (12 of 37)2015-11-19_00022015-11-19_0001FIP_HelloCupcake (4 of 37)Oh, and if you keep an eye out on the new site, Tacoma Local’s Guide, you might just see some familiar work… check it out!

Keep chasing that light, Vanessa

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

Environmental Portraiture | Tacoma, Washington – It’s a Giveaway!

12pmAs I sit with my photography and identify the type of work that moves me to create, I find there is a common thread and theme to so many of my images. No matter what I am photographing (a wedding, a family) I see details and storis.

I love the details.

horse fenceIt is the parts that make up the whole of a scene.  The letters that combine to be words, and words that join to be sentences, only in the photographic form. It might be little things that are everyday, and perhaps non-traditionally beautiful, but I see them and how they make up the puzzle of a story. You may have read my goal list for 2015 a few weeks ago and read my final goal of “Photograph 5 creatives and their spaces”. I asked around in a few of the photographer communities I am a part of and came to learn that most often this type of work is called, Environmental Portraiture.  A big fancy name for the photos I love to take, who knew?

HiRes_FIP_Ebay (5 of 214)My word for 2015 is “immersion”. I have decided to sink myself deep into the kind of work I want to be doing more of. To surround myself with other creatives and people in my community. I will have lived in Tacoma, WA for a year in March and although I have met some incredible friends, I know there are so many more of you out there doing amazing things. Environmental Portraiture will allow me to meet, and become a part of this city and the local community.

OffTractOneYear_FIP (14 of 160)You might be scratching your head and asking,

That’s all fine and dandy, but what does this term mean?

I take self portraits, can’t I set up my tripod and take these photos of myself? 

Why would I hire Vanessa to do these for me and what the heck would I used a set of Environmental Portraits for? 

FIP (1 of 1)-5

I will photograph the details that bring the artist to life. I will see and capture the things we don’t see when we admire a piece of art hanging in a gallery, read a poem in a book, or savor an amazing bite of food. I will capture the environment that the ceramic mug you are drinking your tea from was hand thrown on a spinning wheel, and the bits and pieces that inspire a painter to paint that hang on her wall. I will tell the story of the artist as well as the tools that are the breath and heartbeat of what made the work come to life. I will photograph you in your studio, your hands at work, your feet at rest. And I will help you tell the story of where it all comes from. This is a chance for you to build an incredible “about” page and give yourself a much more meaningful head shot.


Environmental Portrait (or EP for short) Sessions are 2-3hours long and take place where the creativity happens. I will join you in your studio, home, kitchen, or favorite coffee shop and see how the magic unfolds around you as you work.  The beautiful details of creating, this is what I want to photograph for you.

When we are done, I will get to work culling and editing the best images and set up an online gallery for you to choose 10-20 photos. I will deliver these images to you in high resolution and web ready form for use on  your website/blog/social media or tangible media such as business cards or brochures.

molly painting If you are one of the first 5 people to booked by April 1st, the shoot and 10-20 images will be FREE to you. (This package is of an $800 value, so get hopping!).
If you are an artist/a creator of any kind, contact me. This is the work I love to do and feel I was meant to do.

Know someone who might be interested? Share this post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with friends who might be interested.

*The giveaway is limited to a creative living in the Tacoma/Seattle, WA area (I am willing to travel to Portland, OR as well), unless someone is going to pay my plane ticket to blow this PNW Popsicle stand so I can come and visit you, which I would not turn down…

Leave me a comment or drop me a note via the contact page and let’s talk.

**As of 1/22/2014, Only 3 more free session slots are available.

259:365, on the table