Photo sessions to reopen during COVID — Tacoma Family Photographer

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted us all and I truly hope this message finds you healthy and secure. I know how hard it is to be home with kids, working, homeschooling, house chores and projects all while trying to nurture our mental and physical health.

We all have a strong desire to get back to the new normal slowly and safely. I anticipate that I can start photographing families soon. And by soon, I mean June 1st!

THE OFFICIAL WORD IS THAT PHOTOGRAPHERS CAN START OPERATING AGAIN ONCE WE ENTER PHASE 2 OF THE WASHINGTON REOPEN PLAN!

If you have already booked a session between June 1st-September 1st you can assume that we won’t need to reschedule. I highly encourage those of you that love fall sessions to consider taking a summer spot just in case the virus spikes again in September. My annual Holiday Tree Minis will likely be scheduled for late summer/early fall. I’ll be sending out a newsletter to all my VIPs for first pick at time slots then posting to my Facebook and Instagram.

Only you know how much family portraits mean to you. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture your photos this year. The best part? Your holiday photos will be done wayyyyy ahead of time!

SAFETY WILL BE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY! HERE IS WHAT WE PLAN TO DO TO MAKE SURE YOUR FAMILY STAYS HEALTHY:

I will be wearing a mask to all outdoor Family Photography Sessions. For Newborn Sessions, I’ll wear a mask and gloves.

If I or ANYONE in my household has been sick in any way within a two-week span of your session date, I’ll contact you to reschedule. I ask that you do the same. I promise to make room for all rescheduling needs.

I will practice extreme hygiene and minimize touching you and your family during the session.

I will use longer focal length lenses so we can stay six feet away as much as possible which will still allow us to capture images that seem like we are closer.

I will schedule one photo session a day.

Family Photography is an investment in your family. It is an absolute privilege to be able to capture your family and I don’t take that privilege lightly ESPECIALLY after this crisis. This global experience has really shined a light on what matters: our loved ones. And after that, maybe toilet paper.


 

Motherhood — Tacoma Lifestyle Family Photographer

Motherhood is so much more than I ever imagined it to be. It’s exhausting, exasperating, exciting, wild. It makes me laugh and cry, often at the same time. Some days it’s too much for my brain, heart, and body to handle and I want to take it all back. But I know I’d miss my kids too much and I’d miss being their mom. Their laugher, creativity, brilliance, hugs, love, and even their arguing gets me through even my hardest days, especially in quarantine. Despite how frustrated I get when I’ve been asked for a snack for the 523rd time in a single day, I enjoy being a momma.

Happy mother’s day to the moms of one and to moms of many, to moms who have lost children, to children who have lost their moms, to those with strained relationships, and to those who want to be a mom. Happy mother’s day to grandmas and aunties and extra and bonus moms, mama bears, fur moms, mamas, mimis, gigis, and nanas. You are strong, you are special, you are loved.


 

 

Picking a location – PNW Photographer

UPDATED 5/28/20 to add more locations and additional photos to show favorite spots!


Locations can be a part of your portrait story, not just a pretty backdrop. I like to give you the option to choose where we have your portrait session for a few reasons:

  • You’re comfortable where you are and it shows in your photographs.
  • You recall and create meaningful memories with each person in your family in a space that you’ve been to before.
  • You know where things are, how to get there, and what to do!

But if you don’t have a preference on a location and you’d rather I decide or if you’re from out of town, I’ve compiled a brief list of locations around Tacoma with photos and descriptions to help you decide where you want to tell your story. Keep in mind that we are not limited to these locations! I’m willing and able to shoot anywhere! The only thing that may limit us is admission, fees or photography permits such as conservatories or private gardens.

Point Defiance Park, Tacoma

Perfect in any season. The changing colors of autumn leaves by the pond make a beautiful backdrop. So many Tacoma families have fond memories of watching the ducks and walking the paths of Point Defiance Park. In the spring and summertime, the blooming roses and arches give an intimate feel. Even in the wintertime, the bare, twisty branches in the rose garden can offer a dark and mysterious vibe.

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Discovery Park, Seattle

While quite a trek from Tacoma, Discovery Park in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle is one of my favorite locations to shoot. It faces the west, giving us the much desired golden and blue hour dreamy feel. This park has it all: forest, beach, tall grass, buildings painted butter yellow, and even a lighthouse with a trail access. If you don’t mind walking, this is 534 acre park is a gorgeous choice.

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Chambers Bay Park & Beach, University Place

One of the most interesting parks near Tacoma is Chambers Bay. Formerly a sand and gravel quarry, the park’s large skeletal concrete structures separate the park from the golf course and line a trail leading to the bridge and a beach below.

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Swan Creek Park, Tacoma

Hidden where Pioneer Way and Waller Road meet in Tacoma, Swan Creek Park is a quiet little swimming hole surrounded by trees. You might want to bring a towel because shoes are bound to come off. There are trails and little bridges to explore as well.

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Wright Park, Tacoma (conservatory + fee)

Like Point Defiance, Wright Park is gorgeous in all seasons. The yellow leaves of the ginkgo tree brighten up the park even on the darkest days. The conservatory fee is only $25/30 minutes which is so worth paying (it’s for a good cause, too!) if you love plants and need an indoor location. The 27-acre arboretum has lots of beautiful spots to sit and enjoy being with your family.

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Downtown Tacoma/Urban/City

(Opera Alley, steps of UW, glass bridge & museum, former “Graffiti Garages”)

Tacoma’s downtown area is so unique and interesting. Urban sessions aren’t just for individuals. Documentary sessions or even Lifestyle sessions can take place in the city. If nature is not your thing, let’s explore the town!

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Home & Neighborhood

There’s no place like home. You know your family best and where they would feel most comfortable. I love just sitting on your front porch or hanging out in bed.

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Ft. Steilacoom Park, Lakewood

Fort Steilacoom Park has so much to offer with the old barns, winding trails through the trees, a lake view, and tall grass. I recently took a family there to watch the sun come up over Mt. Rainier and it was spectacular! The best times at this park are early mornings or late evenings.

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Wild Hearts Farm (+fee)

A local family designed their property specifically for photographers and clients. With options like tire swings and wooden swings, an old truck, a vintage trailer, gardens with ever changing flowers and a natural light, rain free dome, they’ve made endless possibilities.

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Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Stores, Libraries

Do you have a favorite restaurant? Have you ever wanted to document your every day life shopping at Target or Costco? It takes a little more planning and permission from the manager, but these sessions are often so much more relaxed and personal.

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Want to go on an adventure? There are places I’ve always wanted to take my sessions. Do you have ideas?

Ferries

Gig Harbor Gondola

Mountain Trails

Waterfalls

Carnivals/Fairs

Orchards

Central Washington/Columbia River/Vantage

DuCharme Birth & Newborn (new baby package, pt 2) – Tacoma Birth & Newborn Photographer

 

With Mother’s Day nearing, I’d love to share an amazing experience I had last year photographing a birth and the beginning of motherhood for a fierce and beautiful woman.


WARNING!
The images below show a woman in labor and giving birth via cesarean section. The images show a bit of nudity and may be too graphic for those sensitive to blood and the realness of birth.


 

My friend Megan had planned her annual girls weekend at Moses Lake mid-July 2017. It also happened to be when Katie and Keith’s baby was due. That whole week leading up to Sunshine Trip 2017 and the DuCharme’s baby’s birth I had been checking in with Katie to see how she was doing. No baby. Braxton Hicks contractions. Crap!

So when it was the day before I was supposed to leave for Moses Lake, I was sitting by my phone like a girl in an 80’s movie. Only I was waiting for a pregnant lady to call. Around 5pm I got a text from Katie. She’s heading to the hospital. I call Joey to ask if he can come home early to take care of our girls and then I make my way to St. Joseph’s in Tacoma.

When I got there, Katie was in the bathroom with Keith and her nurse. She was having a contraction. The contraction slowed and we greeted each other. Katie was cheerful but focused. Another contraction. Breathe. Moan. Breathe.

She had the best support system with Keith, her mom, her doula, and her nurses. They helped her onto the birthing ball and then to the bed.

An hour or so went by and her body was getting tired. Katie requested an epidural to get some relief and rest. Contractions continue, but the mother can get a little more comfortable. She was so strong and serene and understanding.

Another 45 minutes passed. Katie, who is a midwife herself, studied her own CTG (cardiotocograph). The surgeon came in the room and Katie looked at Keith. It meant only one thing. Tears flooded their eyes. Katie took a deep breath in, “Okay, I’m ready.” She knew what needed to happen.

Keith and I suited up in super flattering surgical coveralls and caps while Katie was prepped for her cesarean.

Katie requested a clear sheet so she could see the baby as she gave birth – another testament to her courage to be able to watch what was happening to her body. The surgeons worked quickly and we welcomed Roman Scott Thomas to Earth at 10:15pm on July 14th, 2017.

Katie reminded me just how spectacular our mom bodies are with her endless strength and unfaltering spirit. Happy Mother’s Day, my dears!

Blessings to the DuCharmes!

 

Oh, and I made it to Moses Lake for my girls weekend!

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DuCharme Maternity Session (new baby package, pt 1) – Tacoma Maternity Photographer

Katie and Keith hired me for their maternity portraits and newborn session. I’ve been interested in birth photography and I’ve never shot one before so I asked them if they would let me photograph the labor and birth as well. Katie emphatically said yes! I was thrilled when they agreed to let me practice and to use the images in my portfolio. This maternity session is part one in a three part series of the DuCharmes and their new baby.


I know so many strong, smart, beautiful women. And these women, when they are pregnant, their power is magnified. Katie proves that.

I’ve known Katie since high school and we’ve reconnected on Facebook, as you do these days, right? She is a certified nurse midwife at Madigan Hospital. Her husband Keith is a UW electrical engineering student. When we had our session last June, we were hoping for sunshine, but Washington weather gave us rain instead. Not only did Katie and Keith stand out in the rain with me, they were willing to dip their feet in the cold creek! I love it when my families are up for adventure!