Archive for July, 2008

I’m a girl that’s all about simple pleasures.  I sat down today to write this post and knew something was wrong.  I didn’t have my coffee next to me.  Now I’m not talking black coffee.  I may have said “simple” pleasures, but that doesn’t mean I’m not snobby in what I deem worthy of my palate. :o)  No, I’m talking about my white chocolate cappuccino.  I think my next blog is going to be all about that and how to make it.  Stay tuned…


Now for the subject at hand.  This last Mother’s Day I did a special offer for mom’s and their kiddos.  I reduced my price and set up shop in one of our local parks.  It was a fantastic time getting to capture the relationships and dynamics of each family. 

Each shoot was an adventure, but these two rascals were the most creative!  I had shots I knew I wanted, but I always want the kids (or adults) to have ownership over what we’re doing so I let the kids decide some posses also.  Let me tell you, they are hams!

Tiffany is an awesome Mom.  Her kids adore her!




Look out GQ!This is one of my favorites.  Who knew a cement circle could prove so useful!

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It’s an honor to be invited to take pictures of people’s most special moments.  And although I love each shoot, there is something so dear to me about taking pictures of my own family.  My cousins are starting families, and we’ve got a bundle of little girls running around each holiday.  This is Sam, she’s the second newest addition to the fam and yesterday was her 6 month birthday. 

She is the sweetest little thing, with a smile that lights up the room.  Mike and I adore spending time with her and her family, and always love the shots we get of her. 

My cousin picked up some blush pink roses for the shoot, and they made for an exciting prop.  Exciting in that Sam couldn’t wait to eat them, and we couldn’t wait to not let her.

No woman is complete without a proper hat

Here’s a girl that loves her daddy!

Thank you Chad and Julie for this wonderful opportunity!  I can’t wait to do it again!

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Skateboarding always makes me nervous.  Maybe I’ve seen too many guys eat cement, or maybe the thought of rushing to the ER makes me cringe.  Either way, I can’t deny that it’s cool.  The stuff those guys (and gals) can do is phenominal.  As long as they’re the ones doing it and not me, I guess I’m into it.

The other day I had the privelege to photograph one of these daredevils.  Meet Chandler.  He’s 13 and fearless.  Once I got over my mother bear “don’t kill yourself” mentality, I had a ton of fun grabbing shots of him in mid air.

This is one of my favorites.  I’ve completely over exposed the shot, while bumping up the blacks.  I then pushed the saturation up some, giving it that comic book effect. 


This is part of a move where Chan was in a handstand then jumped down onto his board. 

Got to have one for the ladies!


Here’s another pic where I messed with exposure and black levels


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I know I’ve said it before, but I absolutely love my shoots with babies!  They’re cute when they smile, they’re cute when they cry, they’re cute when they’re just sitting there!  This lil’ one was such a doll.  Any time her mom said her name, she got a huge grin on her face – you now there is love in that house.

The shoot took place in the nursery, and I was hoping to use natural light.  Being in Washington though, you don’t always get the best light (yeah, yeah, no rain jokes please…).  Some of the pics I had to use strobes, but half way through the shoot the sun hit the windows.  Natural light is so flattering and gives a pure look.  I love it!  Now, if we could just do something about more sunlight up here…

Any time I can, I like to grab things from around the kiddos room and put it in the picture with them.  There’s a couple of thoughts behind this.  One, it’s exciting for the child to look back and see that an object that once looked enormous beside them is now dwarfed by them.  It gives them ownership and excitement to be able to “track” their growth.  And two, it looks cool.  :o) 

It’s also always good to talk to the parents and find out what objects are important to them.  This blanket is a good example.  The day they found our they were pregnant, daddy went out and got this blanket for his daughter.  I love a proud dad!

Another shot in the nursery…

And a little more detail of the room…

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This weekend my dad was helping a friend build a railing for their deck, and he asked if we wanted to tag along.  I know, it sounds kinda weird but their friends live on the Puget Sound.  I mean, right on the Sound.  When the tide is in the sea water goes under their deck.  He thought we’d enjoy the weather and being able to take some pictures.  He was right.

Mike and I combed the beach.  An interesting array of life was spouted onto the shore.  Like a child hiding their treasure, the waves gently place shells, crabs and whatever else it’s hands have taken up in the oddest places.  This shell was in an old dock post.

Being by the water on such a glorious day gave me and Mike an itching to go kayaking.  Then we began dreaming of living in a place that we could walk out our back door and onto the water.  The problem, besides money :o), is that we’d love to walk out our back door to a lot of things.  Like a 10 acre pasture, or the mountains, or a quaint bistro (ok, that last one is just me, not Mike).  Mom grabbed a picture of us while we sat there.  I thought she did a great job!

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I’m always in wonder, pondering the thoughts of a child.  The most simple things amaze them, like the feel of a dry leaf or a crumpled piece of paper.  Yet they often do not see the bigger, “grander” things that we adults see.  Is it better that way?  What if I looked at each day with the same innocent amusement in the face of this child?  If I did, I probably wouldn’t have been so exasperated today at Costco with all the lines.  What does this have to do with photography?  Today, not much.  But as I was running errands I kept thinking about this picture and how peaceful she looks compared to the almost wrathful way I was leaving the store.  It’s time for me to enjoy the simple pleasures in my life and let go of the meaningless things that annoyed me this morning.  Tommorrow I’ll go back to photography, but I needed to remind myself to calm down and this was a nice way to do it.

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Our friends kids call me “aunt” and I absolutely love it.  I had never been a real aunt though, until a couple of months ago and I must say, it is very good.  My brother/sister-in-law had their first child, the most beautiful Paterson of them all to date (I’m hoping mine will at least be equal or greater on the “perfect” scale – sorry Jodi!).   And, arriving in perfect style, my neice was born on St. Patty’s day – our family’s namesake. 

Patty & Jodi gave me the amazing privilege of doing their family’s first photo shoot.  With such gorgeous subjects it’s hard to get a “bad” shot, but I thought I’d go through some of what I did to get the pictures I wanted.  Lighting was my top priority.  I love the look of natural light, so I wandered around the house looking for the window that would give my “subjects” the most attractive look.  Since I was shooting a one month old, I grabbed my husband and used him as my test subject to make sure I knew the exact location I wanted to use before trying to move the family around.

Once I found my location, I thought through the pictures I wanted and took as many as possible in one place.  Babies are great to work with, but you need to make sure you are quick at what you’re doing so that they don’t get worn out.

Taking a couple pics of the same shot was also important to me.  Since babies move suddenly and quickly, Mom and Dad may look perfect, but baby might have moved or visa versa.

The last small thing was to not be afraid to direct the shoot.  When you have a small baby, you want to make sure that they are held in a way that both the parents and the baby are close together.  The most natural way to sit together as a family doesn’t always translate well in a picture (ie people’s heads are too far apart, baby is too low in the picture, etc).  Don’t be afraid to move people around until you’ve got the look you are trying to achieve.

These tips are basic but incorporating them can help your next shoot be less stressful and produce the look you are going for.  Hope it helps!



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Friends make life wonderful.  Friends that live on different contenants than you make life, uh, lonely.  After college all of my best friends ended up moving to Europe.  I’ve been blessed to be able to visit them a couple of times, the beginning of this year being one of them.  My amazing husband found a way to send me for a visit, and for two weeks I got to hang out in some of my favorite places with some of my favorite people.

Ah, Paris.  Some have said it’s dirty and over rated.  Not this girl.  How can a city that is over a thousand years old, dripping with history and art, not draw you in?  My best friend and I stayed within 5 min of the Effiel Tower.  So this lovely view greeted us each morning and night.

Breakfast was my favorite meal.  Art, manifesting itself in pastries, is the best way to begin your day.  The open air market of Rue Cler was the haven of our relaxed start.  It is here that the Parisians in the district come to buy their daily bread, cheese, wine and flowers.  I would have never left if it were up to me.

Napoleon may not have been able to enjoy the Arch he commisioned to be built, but I sure did.  I loved how leaving the shutter open for a few seconds gave that awesome blur from the cars.  The Tower in the background is pretty fun too.


Notre Dame was most diffeniatly on our stop.  I had just finished Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame  and could barely wait to feast my eyes on the building that had been in my thoughts for so long.  The below picture is from the front of the church, looking at the Mary in Rose window.  Needless to say, my appetite was not disappointed.





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I’m old school.  Putting my thoughts up for anyone to read just feels, well, weird.  As long as I’ve put it off, I’ve realized it’s time to finally make the plunge.  You can only sit on the bench so long before you want to be put in.  So, here I am to say, “put me in coach!”.  You might think my grammar is poor, you could think my thoughts are shallow, but I guess I can be ok with that.

So why the plunge?  Here’s the short of it.  I’ve recently found myself in a job transition.  Photography has been a side hobby, but I’d like it to take center stage.  So, here goes nothin’…

To start I thought I’d put up a couple of my favorite pics from a recent shoot.  I’ve had the opportunity to photograph some brand new babies, and this little gem is just seven days old.  She was a doll for the shoot, as if she had been born a model.  Her parents did a dang good job as well!



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