Posts Tagged Lifestyle Photography

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.

A day in the life – 12 in 12

We are shaking things up again, for the new year. We tossed around ideas of a new photo project and decided on a monthly “Day in the Life”. Twelve images in roughly twelve hours. Who is this “we” I speak about? It’s the amazing group of women that I participate in a blog circle with. So when you are done here on my post, click on over to Small Roots to see what one of her days looked like.

I have to say that I had a hard time getting going on this prompt. I have done these type of challenges before, but couldn’t seem to get going. I was overthinking things and feeling like the darkness of the winter in the Pacific Northwest was not helping me out in my efforts. What I did have on my side is a new camera that I have been learning how to use and the fact that I started off with a really fantastic image on my first go, sometimes (most times), its’ the getting started that is the most difficult.

Ready to see how a typical day unfolds for me?5:20am I am up with the dog and the cat. They get let out to do their business, I start the coffee and unroll my mat to practice yoga.  6:20am I remember the full moon and step out in the blue hour to see it’s beautiful bright face.7:20am Showered, and dressed. I say goodbye and head out the car. The fog is burning off, blurring the edges of the tree branches and tops. 7:35am My commute is short, a quick up and over the hill. I love the downhill view as I make my way to cross the Foss Waterway and over to the tide flats.8:15am The fog has lifted and the golden light dances off the buildings uptown and across the waterway to my office. I don’t know if I will ever get tired of this every changing view…

9:30am Meetings and note taking. 11:45pm I return emails, document projects I am working on, answer questions and mentor my team.

2:30pm The day has flown by, I get my coworkers to go out for a walk with me to clear my head and get some fresh air. It isn’t raining, so it time to soak up some sunshine! (apparently I have a thing about power lines, but gang, the sky is showing it’s pretty blue and I have to document it!)4:30pm When I come out of the office for the day, I smile as the the paper mill stacks pump out cotton candy into the evening sky. I could watch that magic at this time of night for a very long time if it lasted. 5:45pm Taco night. The cheese is grated, lettuce chopped and the turkey has been browned. 6:20pm Diner is over and the evening antics have begun.  7:45pm She’s practicing and working hard on her reading, but it’s time to wrap things up for bed time. 8:30pm Kids are in bed and it’s time to turn off the phone, sip on my tea, snuggle into bed, and back into my book.

It was a busy but beautiful day. Having the sun out was helpful, but the fog also added so much to my early morning start, photographically. I tried to not let one bad image stop me in the path for the rest of the day. I looked for little details, slices of light. I am still learning my new camera (it’s a Fuji x100f mirrorless, and I love it!).

Keep chasing that light,

Vanessa

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

Five on Five – November 2106


On the fifth day of each month, I get together (virtual – maybe one day we all will be in one spot!) with a group of photographers. We each share our five favorite images from the previous month.

It’s a blog circle!

Make sure to follow the link at the bottom of this post, and head over to Adriana’s blog next!

……..

Whoa, November was packed to the gills. Travel, travel and more travel. I had so much fun last month, but am so happy to be home with my crew (and sleeping in my own bed! Staci, you aren’t the only one on this sentiment!)

So, where WAS I last month?
I was shooting a wedding in Seattle (I promise to blog this sweet wedding soon! stay tuned) Here’s a fun moment of a couple of the guests in the photo booth during the reception.untitled-3478

I was teaching yoga to photographers! (and taking photography classes album side my students) at the first ever Firefly Institute Camp.

You guys, this camp was so incredible. Hillary did an astounding job pulling this dream of hers together and wooo-eee, did she ever.Seattle Food Photography and StylingThe tiny details she put into every bit of camp. The food (the FOOD) at Westerbeke Ranch. BUT most importantly, the woman she gathered for this 5 day even were beyond wonderful.

Talent, humor, wit.

More humor, knowledge and a deep desire to share what each woman knew with the others. All of the instructors  and attendees truly made this camp worth every penny. (I have some words a brewing that deserve there own post, so yeah- stay tuned for that too)untitled-3874I was back ‘home’ in Reno, Nevada where we celebrated two birthdays (including a 70th), and thanksgiving. My mom’s icebox cake is everyone’s favorite this time of year… untitled-4651I squeezed in a set of mini-sessions (also due to hit the blog in the next few days/weeks). I love that I got to work with a handful of my Reno-Tahoe people while back in Nevada. This little in between moment stole my heart. untitled-4503So much to be grateful for right now, so very much. Click over to Adriana’s blog to see what her November looked like.

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

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

Rebecca & Taylor – Seattle Engagement Session

It’s engagement season! So many new shinny rings and glowing couples to feature lately. It’s all sorts of wonderful in my book.

I met up with Rebecca and Taylor during a photography conference last weekend. These two not only braved the rain, but 25 photographers aiming their cameras at them as they snuggled, jumped, laughed, and splashed their way through Seattle (all I could think about as we clicked our shutters was Lady Gaga’s song, Paparazzi… and yes, I really do have a running soundtrack in my head as I photograph clients).

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Rebecca and Taylor- your love is tangible. It was so fun to meet you both and capture these sweet moments of you.

Congratulations again on your engagement!

Keep chasing that light,

Vanessa

P.S. Thank you to Anita Martin Photography for teaching us about how you work with your couples, and to all the instructors, speakers, vendors, and people working hard behind the sense at this year’s Click Away !

Into the Light – March’s 5 on 5

I am not sure what it was about March, but it kicked my butt. I was drained. Maybe it was the day after day of dark and grey skies or the fact that my entire house had been fighting off the sickies. Maybe it was just the cracking open of one season into another or the two eclipses that we experienced during the month.
Whatever it was, March felt like a literal march. But then the sun started to shine again, the blues sky staying out longer and longer. The shifting of an hour on our clocks and then bursting open of flowers everywhere. Things began to feel so much lighter and more free. And now, here we are in April. As I look back at last month, I realized how much beauty was happening despite the depletion. And to prove it, here are my five favorite images from March. When you are finished here, click on over to Adriana’s blog and see what her month looked like.

Drowning in a sea of Saturday
Drowning in a sea of Saturday
Easter Snacks
Easter Snacks
Siblings
Siblings
From the sunroof
Sunroof Scenes
Golden hour on the cherry tree
Golden hour

Keep chasing the light and the beauty, Vanessa