Lauren and Brad’s Seattle, Washington wedding ceremony and reception.Read More
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!
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.
An 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. We 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.
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!
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,
Huge shout out to all the amazing vendors that I got to work with:
Hair and Makeup: Salon Maison
Florals: Thatch Floral
Location & Catering: Zoe Restaurant
Yesterday, like so many others, I marched. I could have gone north to Seattle and joined the 120-130K that showed up there (WAY TO GO SEATTLE!!), but I decided to go south. I headed to the state’s capitol of Olympia where I marched with 10,000+ other people. I got lost in a see of pink hats and rain jackets and it was powerful and beautiful.
Here is what I was a part of….
I sang, I walked, I wore my pussy hat, and a t-shirt with an image of Princess Leia and the words, “A woman’s place is in the resistance”. I watched as people helped one another pin buttons, make last minute signs, locate a lost friend. I read sign after sign after amazing sing that made me laugh, made me think, and made my heart fill with hope. I am NOT alone in this fight- I am far from alone!
And now I wondering (and maybe you are too), NOW WHAT??
We MARCHED, we showed up. And that is super duper awesome sauce, but yesterday was just the BEGINNING.
It was the warm up. It was the first step in our metaphorical couch to 5K (more like couch to infinity and beyond) and I am not quite sure what my training plan needs to be. How are we going to continue to flex our peaceful muscles and show that we are NOT going to be QUIET. it’s time to, as J-Lo says, “LET’S GET LOUD”!
I have been doing some research and happen to have an amazing band of woman on line who have been passing along links and ideas and plans. I thought I would share them with you if you are also in search of your, Now What? If you have links and ideas to share on how to carry the momentum and the energy forward, I ask you to share with me (us) here in the comments!! Ready? here ya go….
- Keep showing up (again, and again, and again, and again) – Gang, if you are a local Tacoma or Seattle person you probably know about the “Sonics Guy”. Kris is THE biggest Seattle Sonics fan you have ever met and he has been sporting his Sonics gear, carrying a sign and BELIEVING in his cause (to bring home the Sonics) for a very long time. I loved his open letter yesterday that he posted on twitter. While the movement we are in might not have a uniform (other than our pussy hats) that we can wear everyday, what Kris says is important, “KEEP SHOWING UP”!
- Take Action – if you aren’t sure how, here ya go.
- Get involved – here is a good page for that and so is this one
- Gather – get together with others. Create art, create good food. Create good conversation and a local action plan – if you can’t find what you are looking for in your community, this is YOUR answer! YOU need to make what you need, fill that gap!
Keep chasing that light and – FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!
I didn’t really pull together any “best ofs” this year, I didn’t do a year in review. Heck, I haven’t even blogged my final wedding or the four family sessions I have done since November. But, I am not missing the regularly scheduled five on five blog that I do each month. (and maybe, just maybe I will find some words to share about all those amazing clients I have had in the past couple of months while I am out here writing!)
Here’s the deal – 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!
The kids were invited to a friend’s birthday party at the very cool shop called, Tinkertopia. It’s arguably one of my favorite shops in town and it’s super fun that they have “tinker” parties for the kids to build and create with all recycled or up-cycled items. I love all the creations hanging and displayed around the store. I spent my birthday weekend in Seattle. I was thrilled to have good friends up from Reno and we had a really fun time. If you have ever been to Pike Market, there is a very good chance you have seen and heard this piano player, Jonny Hahn. He rolls that piano up and down the hill every time he plays. I am not going to lie, hearing him play brought me to tears. I don’t really know what it was- but the pure dedication to doing something that he loves for almost three decades- it’s tear worthy. (and if you would like to learn a little bit more about him, this is a good listen) A self portrait on the morning of my birthday. (I swear I was happy, I was just tired and also coming down with a cold – that I still have, ug) Christmas day with my crew. My mom got the kids metal detectors so they could treasure hunt, but these four are my treasure- no detector needed! Finally, this little monkey. He turned one last month and since I have been documenting him since before he was earth-side, It was pretty special to snap a set of photos of him as he hit this one year mark. I love this one showing so much personality and not much regard for that fantastic red balloon.
And there you have it- my December in a nutshell. Hope you all are off to a beautiful start to 2017. Make sure you hit up Adriana’s and then on to the other ladies to see what their final month of the year looked like.
Keep chasing that light, Vanessa
I am over on the Viewfinders today sharing about my experience and biggest take aways from Click Away 2016. I would love if you joined me over there today, it was worth every penny.
Keep Chasing the light,
It’s funny how the world works. When you move out of state, one of the last things you expect is to have clients that sorta kinda actually know you… With Lydia and Aaron, the degrees of separation are very few. They are also recent transplants from Nevada/California to Washington and have some Reno roots!
I met up with Lydia and Aaron for our first stop in Seattle’s Pioneer Square where we wandered around, sharing the bricked alleys with the under ground tour goers. These two instantly had me cracking up laughing and comparing our Reno friend list – turns out they both used to work with, and are friends with my sister in-law, how crazy is that?
Connecting the dots of friendship is so much fun. Once we had enough of downtown, we made our way to the trees of the Seattle Arboretum. The colors are just starting to change up there and it was a perfect mix of green, red, and yellow.
Lydia and Aaron, I am thrilled you hired me to document your big day!! I am looking forward to seeing you again in November!
Keep chasing that light, Vanessa
P.S. a HUGE thank you to my fellow photographer and friend back in Reno, Jessi LeMay for connecting us.
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).
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,
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 !
A few weeks ago I received an inquiry in my inbox saying, “Hi Vanessa, we are getting ready to relocate out of state next month, but are hoping to squeeze in a family session before we leave Seattle.” We quickly compared calendars, and we found a Sunday afternoon that worked for us. I love the Seattle Arboretum for family sessions, so much to explore and an added bonus for a warm day, shade! A huge thank you to Thayer and Hayley for hiring me to mark this chapter of their lives; wishing you all the best on your move east!
We counted acorns, looked for Team Oomie Zoomie (way better than Pokemon!). I shared my instax-mini and the wonders of instant film with the kids, and then (when she refused to give me smile) I dared this little red head to a stink-eye contest… she totally nailed.
How adorable are these kiddos? Mom and dad are gorgeous too, no?And when the fussy starts (and you know the session is coming to an end) I have everyone join in and make crazy faces!
Keep chasing that light!
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. 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.
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.
And now, a little bit of the editable goodness that goes into Lolo & Bear…
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