Baby Theo

It was an absolute pleasure to photograph 7-day-old Theo and his sweet family. I gushed the entire time about how precious and perfect he was (of course) but I also found myself wanting to gush about how gorgeous his momma was as well.  As a maternity, newborn, and family photographer I often get to take pictures for women interacting with the people they love the most. Through my lens I get a glimpse of the love they have for those around them, and that love makes them radiant.

I see the most pure beauty in the women I work with, and it is my hope that they are able to see that beauty in themselves as they look at the memories we capture together. The love they have for their families shines through their eyes, smiles, and laughs, and it is absolutely captivating.

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Bell Maternity

The focus of this maternity shoot was supposed to be Jen's beautiful baby bump, but in my opinion, little Olivia stole the show. She was so cute and patient and did a great job toughing it out in the cold while we snapped a few photos on the beach. After a while she decided she was done having her picture taken and came around to help me out behind the camera. It was adorable to watch her direct her parents, telling them when to smile and say cheese.

It was my pleasure to wrap up my maternity leave and launch into the new year with this sweet family. I can't wait to work with them again soon to celebrate their little baby boy's arrival.

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Valente Family

I did a chilly shoot at Discovery Park this weekend. My hands were freezing as I clicked away, and I couldn't stop thinking about my last shoot at Discovery Park on a beautiful sunny day in October. Please disregard my last post about wanting more snow, I am ready for sunshine and spring in Seattle! I had a wonderful time playing with this sweet family in the sun, and even though the shoot was months ago I still can't get over little Owen's adorable expressions and piercing eyes. He is such a cutie!

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I'm back - let's celebrate with a deal!

At the beginning of the month I intended to write a post about coming back from maternity leave and announcing a discount in Q1. Then I blinked and the month had flown by...which seems to be the normal rate at which time passes now that I'm juggling two kids. Anyway. All that to say I'm back from maternity leave and excited about the year ahead.

I'm really looking forward to getting back to work (since it stretches my brain in ways that caring for two kids definitely does not...) so I'm offering a $50 discount to all clients who book photo shoots in Q1 2014. I am looking forward to hearing from and working with you soon!

You don't have to wait for a sunny day to take beautiful photos. Let's take advantage of Seattle's gorgeous gray skies and soft light in Q1!

Lost in Shoreline

I have no shame in admitting I'm directionally challenged and rely heavily on Siri to get me to my photo shoots (what did people do before the iPhone?!). But sometimes Siri steers me wrong. On my way to this shoot at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, Siri led me deep into the woods near some deserted golf course on the edge of an exclusive gated community complete with a security guard. Fortunately the security guard pointed me in the right direction, and after winding through the backroads of Shoreline I eventually made it to the shoot only a few minutes after my family arrived. We had a great time playing on the beach and playground, and I look forward to shooting there again. And next time I'll know where I'm headed and will keep Siri in line!

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First fall family mini sessions

I have been wanting to try a day of mini sessions for a while, and this fall I finally bit the bullet and set up my first day of fall family mini sessions. And after setting the date and booking the sessions I panicked about the weather until the morning of the shoots... Luckily we were blessed with a beautiful (dry!) gray Seattle day. They shoots were 20 minutes each and the pace felt a little crazy but it kept things moving. Looking back, it seemed like the right amount of time to get a few good shots and a couple of different poses and backgrounds before the kids started getting antsy.

I think mini sessions are a great time for families to get updated photos without the time and financial commitment of a full photo shoot. I'm looking forward to doing several mini shoot days next year including ones highlighting Seattle's beautiful cherry blossoms and fall foliage.

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Norah came to the park to visit me between two sessions and she was thrilled to see her friend Molly. The two of them are so sweet together and it has been so fun to watch their relationship grow. Norah absolutely adores Molly and I think this picture captures their little relationship beautifully. This hug happened right after they saw each other across the park and ran screaming toward one another. What sweeties.

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Brandt maternity

Today's the day - the one I have had circled on my calendar and emblazoned on my mind since that pregnancy test showed two little lines in late February - today's my due date. I was induced ten days after my due date with Norah, so I don't expect to go into labor any time soon, unfortunately. I'm trying to stay positive and patient and enjoy the bumps and rolls in my giant belly (while it's still cute!) and the last few days alone with Norah as we anticipate the arrival of her baby sister.

It seems appropriate to feature another beautiful bump on the blog since I have baby bumps on my mind today. This sweet family is adding another baby boy to their family sometime in December. We got lucky with a beautiful sunny day at the beginning of October and had a great time playing in the grass and on the beach at Discovery Park.

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Sweet baby Cecily

With my due date quickly approaching I have newborns on my brain. I got to meet sweet little Cecily earlier this summer when she was just five days new, and I spent the entire shoot gushing about how gorgeous she was. I loved watching Cecily's new parents interact with her. They were so gentle and attentive and they barely took their eyes off of her during the shoot. I don't blame them, she is a beauty.

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Maternity leave

I popped my last two clients' disks in the mail yesterday, and I actually had some time to start editing a backlog of personal photos. It's officially official, I'm on maternity leave! I'm planning to continue to blog a bit and will try to answer email inquiries in a timely fashion while on leave, but I expect to have a sweet baby girl in my arms almost constantly for the next few months, so my ability (and desire) to be on the computer will be limited.

I have loved meeting and working with all of my clients this year, and I am looking forward to getting back in the game and capturing more sweet moments for your families in 2014.

Only a few more weeks before Norah's favorite seat is gone!

A little out of the ordinary

Sometimes family photo shoots can start to look a little familiar. There are a bunch of standard poses that are easy to fall back on when shooting parents with their kids, but sometimes those photos look just like that - standard. This photo shoot was anything but standard.

Whenever I work with parents and their children I ask them to play together the same way they play together at home. I was a little surprised when my clients heard that and then immediately picked up their kids and flipped them over. The kids were delighted and some of the best photos we got were of them upside down, running around, and riding on their parents' backs.

It was so fun to chase this sweet family around the park and capture some of their authentic moments.

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Puppy love

People in Seattle really love their dogs, so it should come as no surprise that clients often want them included in their family photos. When my lovely neighbors booked a photo shoot with their two Shiba Inu pups I was a little nervous. Yuki and Kuma are great dogs but I usually see them excited and playing and I wasn't sure if they would hold still for the camera. Good thing we had plenty of beautiful summer light so I could ratchet up my shutter speed! The dogs were actually perfectly behaved and I was able to capture a good mix of puppy chaos and puppy love during the shoot.

 

 

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A week at the beach

A 70th birthday is a big deal and cause for much celebration. This sweet family marked the momentous occasion by spending a week together in a vacation home on the beach and participating in a giant family photo shoot. It is always fun to work with a large group because the people who aren't being photographed are often right behind me dancing, making faces, and cracking jokes to get the ones in front of the camera to give me authentic smiles. This family was no exception and they provided a lot of laughs as they danced, crab walked, imaginary stand up paddle boarded, etc. to get everyone smiling and participating in the shoot.

It was a great time and I hope they all look back on these photos and remember a wonderful week spent together at the beach.

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Fall family mini sessions

Fall is a perfect time for updated family photos since the weather and foliage around Seattle are usually stunning, and holiday card season is just around the corner. I am excited to announce I will be offering a limited number of mini sessions on Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 29. Mini session is $85 and includes:

  •     20 minute photo shoot at a specified location
  •     10 digitally enhanced images
  •     Access to an online photo gallery with high-quality print options

Mini sessions are a little different than regular sessions as they are for immediate family members only. Location information will be confirmed a week prior to the session date, and the sessions will be rescheduled in the event of heavy rain.

Space is limited, so book right away to ensure you secure a session!

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Runnin and jumpin and runnin and jumpin

Sweet Natalie turned two a few weeks ago and we marked the occasion with a photo shoot at Greenlake. She was a ball of energy the entire time, and could only be slowed down for a minute with snacks. At one point during the shoot she was racing around the grass saying "I'm runnin and jumpin and runnin and jumpin and runnin and jumpin." It was a challenge to keep up with all her runnin and jumpin but she certainly made the shoot a lot of fun. Toward the end of the shoot we decided to put some of that energy to good use on the playground. As soon as she was on the swing she changed her tune from runnin and jumpin to shrieks of "blastoff!" and "higher higher, daddy!"

Hopefully the photos of this sweet family in motion provide an accurate reminder of what their life was like with two-year-old Natalie.

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Five days old

I had the pleasure of photographing this sweet bundle when she was just five days old. I always marvel at newborns, no matter how many I see I just can't get over how perfect and tiny they are. I still can't believe I'm going to be gushing about my own newborn again soon. This shoot included Baby Elise's 22-month-old sister and it felt like I was running all over the park trying to keep up with her. It was fun to see this family's dynamic since our girls will be the same distance apart, and it felt like a mini preview of what our life might be like in November.

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Dogs in the park

I am always a little hesitant to photograph families with their dogs. This is funny since photographing toddlers and newborns has its own set of variables, but I still find them easier to work with than puppies. There are some tricks that work pretty consistently with kids, like tickling. While this usually results in a smiling giggly toddler, it does not produce the same result with dogs... Kim, Andy, and their two adorable golden doodles are moving and they wanted a few photos of the four of them in their beloved city to help bring their Seattle memories to their new spot. A grey or rainy day might have proved to be a more accurate memory of Seattle, but we were lucky to shoot on a beautiful sunny evening with the skyline shining in all its glory.

I was happily surprised at how well the shoot went and I even love the photos of both dogs tugging on their leashes in opposite directions, adding a little chaos to the scene. Seems like an accurate representation of a trip to the park with two dogs, right?!

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Thirty three and a third

I love large families. There is something so magical about the energy between all of the people and personalities involved, and as a photographer it is my pleasure to observe their interactions, quirks, inside jokes, etc, and try to capture the essence of those moments together. This sweet family is usually spread out all over the United States, but one weekend last month they found themselves in the same place at the same time and opted to celebrate with a family photo shoot. There were several reasons to celebrate (including a fairly recent wedding and a grad school graduation) but the main focus was the parent's thirty three and a third year wedding anniversary.

It was such a joy to photograph this group, and for the first time my cheeks hurt afterward from smiling and laughing so much during a shoot.  As you can imagine, it's usually the other way around!

I hope this family cherishes these images for at least another thirty three and a third years.

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Chaos at the Locks

I'm guessing that anyone with two or more small children will not be surprised to hear that a photo shoot with a family of four (two of whom were less than three years old) can be pretty chaotic. Baby Aubrey had just learned to walk and was intent on cruising around as fast as she could go. Luke was up and down, but happy to sit still as long as he had a snack, or bubbles, or a twig to play with. We met on a sunny morning at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard and spent the next two hours chasing Aubrey, changing clothes and diapers, making trips to the bathroom, and trying to get both kids looking in the one direction at the same time.

I was able to capture a few sweet moments for this family, including one where Luke went in for a sloppy kiss with his mom with his tongue hanging out of his mouth. I was also able to get a glimpse of what life may be like with two young kids, and holy cow it looks a little crazy.

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Laughter and tears

I met Penny, Posey, and their sweet mother Judy at Greenlake on a sunny Sunday morning. It was an absolute pleasure to work with these women, and I’m struggling with the words to express how much this shoot impacted me. They were so loving and tender with each other, and it was wonderful to see and be able to capture some of their special moments together. Judy's granddaughter joined us for a few minutes and it was so sweet to see her snuggle right into her grandma. She found the perfect cuddle spot and planted herself there. It seemed like the wind and the chill in the air (that had been bothering her minutes before) ceased to exist to her as she sat in her grandma's arms.

As I edited these photos I was moved to both laughter and tears - laughter as I saw the expressions and attitudes so clearly written on Judy’s face, and tears as I saw the emotional moments between a mother and her daughters.

I hope someday my daughter and I share a love as palpable as theirs.

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Baby Andrew

I met Andrew's sweet family about a month ago for their maternity session, and I was so excited to hear the happy news in early June that Andrew had arrived. I always forget how little and perfect newborns are, and I was in total awe of four-day-old Andrew during his newborn shoot. I couldn't stop gushing about his little hands and feet and I just about died when I caught a glimpse of his smile.

It was so sweet to watch the new family of four interact together, and I especially loved watching Chet with his little brother. I was so impressed by his gentleness with Andrew. Chet did have a few rough moments during the shoot, but it was nothing that couldn't be solved by a few pieces of chocolate with his dad.

It was so neat to capture a few early moments for this new family of four. I am looking forward to watching them continue to grow together.

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