Posts Tagged Pacific Northwest

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

Find the Light | From The Archives

More often than not when traveling,  I am the one in the passenger seat. It’s not that I don’t like to drive, it’s just that the people I travel with tend to like to be behind the wheel more then I do.  This is a good thing since I would rather be soaking in the sights as the world slips past my window. I can take photos and not have to manage my camera and the steering wheel while on a road trip.  These images were taken on the way home from my Portland adventure.

I knew I wanted to share this set of photos here, but wasn’t sure what  I was going to talk about. I looked up a few books in search of quotes, but nothing was fitting with my mood. I realize all of the images are a little dark, but each has a glimmer of light shinning in the distance or flare bursting through the edges.  As I know many of my fellow American readers might be heading out on the road today to meet up with family and friends for Thanksgiving tomorrow I thought I would use the dark and light as a metaphor.
I know that this holiday (and the season in general) can either be extremely exciting or extremely stressful.  As you help in the kitchen with parents, siblings or dear friends, watch football with rowdy cousins, nieces and nephews, and then once you finally sit down around the table together; I would like to encourage you to use your photographic skills of finding the light in the everyday to find the bright spot in each of the people you are surrounded by.  Sometimes our personal and internal roads are dark, but we all have a spot in us that glows from within, or right out of our edges.  Some share the glow inside easily with those around them, while others find it much more difficult. So go on, find the light and have a wonderful and THANKfilled day tomorrow.
This post was originally written and photographed by me for the Mortal Muses photography blog, and part of a new series called, From the Archives. You can find the original post here: Find the Light | Mortal Muses

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

September 2017 – Five on Five

Whoa! has it really, truly been since May that I did a Five on Five post? I guess that is what happens when you travel for almost a month straight during the summer, and then jump right back into life when you return. I am so glad that the lovely ladies who participate in this blog circle are jumping back into the fun and the rhythm of posting monthly. I know I have so much to share from our summer (and I might shamelessly post Jamaica vacation pictures when it gets really cold, damp, and dark here in the PNW) so stay tuned… And because I have taken so many months off with this, I am sharing more than the usual five images, I can’t help myself!

September is a really special month around our house. It’s a month when we have two birthdays in three days (yes, the kids are almost two years apart to the day, it’s nutty with celebration!). It’s the start of a new school year, and when the light and the energy of the summer start to wind down. The air gets crisp and the light turns golden and pink. I love summer, but autumn really has a huge piece of my heart.

 

The kids started school, 1st and 4th grade… 

We went to the Oregon Coast and camped at Cannon Beach for the first time. (we fell in love with the area and my Goonie heart was so happy). And because I am excited to share these galleries soon…  a few images of client work. I photographed a wedding in Seattle and senior portraits in downtown Tacoma.  I think I might have a thing for lines in my work lately because I was so drawn to these shapes on both days…It was a great month for personal and client work! Now head on over to see what Adriana has had cooking this summer…

Keep chasing that light,

Vanessa-

Make Portraits – Self/Love Market

You know what’s fun? Well besides hanging out having a picnic in perfect PNW weather at Point Defiance Park this afternoon? It’s logging in to Facebook and Instagram to see portraits that I made on Friday night being posted and used for profile photos!
I was one of the vendors at a Handmade PNW Market event called, “Self Love Market”. It featured female entrepreneurs and invited women to join us for an evening of shopping, networking and mingling.At first I wasn’t sure if I should really be there (hello gremlins of “I’m not hip enough”, “I’m not a very good networker, this stresses me out”, you can go away now). I didn’t have a set up and was having a hard time figuring out where to locate myself. Inside was too cramped and small, and out back wasn’t really where the flow of traffic was headed. But, that’s where I decided to land and am glad I followed my instinct, because look at that lighting that mama nature threw around for me!As the evening moved on, the light got prettier, and ladies started to wander out the back door to find me. I found a two spots that I liked the background of, and had such a fun time photographing each one of the women or groups of women who braved getting in front of my lens.This morning when I received this amazing note back from one of the ladies in response to getting her images, I knew I had made the right decision to be at the market,

“Thank you SO MUCH for these.

I’ve never had head shots or any kind of portraits professionally taken before. I had a tough week this past week, and wasn’t totally sure that I wanted to go to that self love market. The fact that I had no makeup or hair done other than the red lipstick I put on at the market, would make me not want to get a photo taken. I’m so glad I did because you made me feel special in that moment. Thank you so much for that.”

It is my hope that anyone and everyone who steps in front of my lens feels special and seen. 

Thank you to all of you who came out to the event and for everyone who helped make it such a special evening.

Event Details:

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 – 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!

Vanessa

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