Posts Tagged Portrait Photography

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-

Language of Summer | From the Archives

Summer time stretches out in front of us with waves and wishes. Backyard, air conditioning , picnics, weddings, sun screen, beaches, camping, and adventure all become part of our summer time vernacular. The following words are from a few summers past, but they still hold true this time of year. Enjoy.Summer, you are leaving me… almost gone, but I am not done tasting you yet.

I know you are going, because the evenings are more watermelon juice drips then perspiration. I can feel it in the morning air as I stir awake, you smell different this time of year, not so sticky, yet sweet.

I can see it in the gentle way you hold the velvet brown mountain silhouette. The soft, sky touch that can only be yours.

The dark comes earlier, the blue mix with peaches that hang heavy  in the tree, ripe and ready and in the blushing of the leaves in the strong sycamore that shushes in the exhale.

I still have a few things left for you, summer. Summer don’t fall too quickly away…

Keep chasing the light my friends, Vanessa Simpson

——

This post was originally written and photographed by me for the Mortal Muses collaborative blog, and part of a new series I am calling, From the Archives. Source: Language of Summer | Mortal Muses

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

______________

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 – 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 –
untitled-1993

airportantics_web-10-of-12FocusInPhotography (395 of 414)
And O-boy
FocusInPhotography (397 of 414)airportantics_web-2-of-12
FocusInPhotography (399 of 414)

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