What a year, WHAT A YEAR! Can you believe 2020 is almost over (finally!)? This season was so crazy with masking up, wiping down, keeping apart. I can’t believe we successfully completed five days of socially distanced mini-sessions in October and November! That’s over 60 families for minis ALONE. I can’t thank you enough for booking your session with me, for being supportive, and for being beautiful and kind humans. You are truly the best. Below are some of my favorites from Day One of my Holiday Tree Farm Mini-Sessions.
If you missed out on this year’s Fall, Halloween, or Holiday minis, I hope you book next year! Make sure you’re on my VIP List so you’ll have FIRST access to sign-ups, giveaways, and discounts. A Better Than School Portraits day is in the works for February 20th and Motherhood Minis will be announced mid-winter. I can’t wait!
I hope you have a wonderful, joyous weekend and a Happy Happy Happy New Year!
All my lovin’,
Today marks Sara and Daniel’s one-year wedding anniversary! We had such a great time at their intimate, beachside wedding last year. I’ve been photographing weddings for over 16 years (and I’ll be celebrating my own 9th wedding anniversary next month!), but it still always amazes me how much goes into planning even the smallest details to make the day special and beautiful. I love it.
Small, intimate weddings are my favorite. As a photographer, I can focus on you and your partner and all of the fine details while you can focus on each other and your closest friends and family.
Sara was able to change into a short cocktail dress for the reception which made dancing with her family and new husband a lot easier!
If you’re in the process of planning a small wedding, I would love to chat with you about your plans and your dreams of how you want your day documented.
I photographed Paris’ sister a few years ago for her senior portraits so when it was Paris’ turn, I was beyond thrilled. Their family is super sweet and I’m so grateful that they came back for both girls’ senior portraits!
We started at the Wright Park Conservatory and then popped down to Tacoma’s 6th Ave District. Paris wanted murals or graffiti and 6th Ave did not disappoint. One of my favorites is @rickylovespainting‘s “RAD” mural.
Congratulations on your graduation, Paris! I hope your final year in high school was both exciting and memorable. 💙
If you have a Senior Class of 2021 or are a senior graduating next year, don’t wait to get your portraits done this summer! September is the ideal time to book your session. Get them taken before school starts and you’ll have your pictures ready for yearbook and announcements. Email me today! email@example.com
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 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.
It’s their 1-year anniversary, so I figured it was only fitting to share Ciana and Chris’ rainy day elopement!
I’ve known Ciana for many years. I believe we met through Megan one night at someone’s party… in some apartment… where all I remember is that they were drinking terrible beer. Anyway, those details don’t matter! I don’t see Ciana very often except for when we’re celebrating something or hanging out with Megan. (I’ve met A LOT of people through Megan!)
About a year ago, Ciana emailed me saying she was engaged to her long-time friend Chris and they were planning an elopement at Kubota Gardens in Seattle. I knew it was going to be simple, laid back, and colorful. I wasn’t wrong! She showed up in a red swing dress and petticoat with polka dot tights. How freaking adorable!
We were slightly bummed that the weather decided to rain on us, but it didn’t spoil Ciana or Chris’ moods. They just wanted to get married already!
About 20 of their closest family and friends huddled under the shelter as they said their vows. The ceremony lasted 15-minutes and had everyone in tears by the end. The tiny reception consisted of cupcakes from Cupcake Royale, sparkling cider, and kids running around and through the trails. It couldn’t have been more perfect for them.
I hope Ciana and Chris have a wonderful one year anniversary today!
Right now is the time when we need family and connection the most but with sessions being postponed and gatherings canceled, my job as a photographer has halted. I’ve been trying to figure out how I can still create those connections by blogging and sharing photos from previous sessions. Then this one popped into my head. I hope it warms your heart and gives you joy!
Earlier this year I documented the adoption hearing of a little boy at the King County Courthouse in Downtown Seattle. Originally from the Philippines, Alex’s* biological parents knew that he would have a better life and more opportunities if he lived here in the US. Maura and Lewis*, Alex’s wonderful adoptive parents, are relatives which makes the bond that much more special.
Family came as far as New Jersey and Maryland to support and celebrate. There were some nerves in the hallway while they waited to be called to see the judge. Nerves only because this moment has been anticipated for a while and Maura wanted everything to go smoothly. Their lawyer, wearing a bright pink blazer, eased the anxieties saying that now they are at this point, there’s nothing to block them from getting Alex. All they need is to take a pledge and receive the judge’s signature. Simple.
Alex and his cousins enjoyed looking out the huge windows at the tall buildings and the people in the street below. Watching Alex smile and play “photographer” with a friend’s phone gave Maura encouragement and she was able to put her worries aside.
Finally, it was their turn and the family filed into the courtroom. With tears streaming down their faces and hands raised, Maura and Lewis pledged a commitment to love and protect Alex, to respect and encourage him, and to give him the best life that they hoped to give. And on that sunny day in January, Alex officially became their son.
*Names have been changed.
Did you know that Seattle is a top destination for elopements? I didn’t until just recently!
Khloe (whose Chinese name is Fung Ha) reached out to me in May last year by email. She and her fiance Vincent are from Hong Kong and were planning on having their ceremony at the Downtown Seattle Courthouse in September. It seemed odd at first, but after a few more weeks of emailing back and forth, I agreed. Khloe had to make a few changes to the location and date because of trouble getting the marriage certificate. Finally, the date was set for September 22nd and the ceremony would take place on the observation deck of the Smith Tower.
I met the couple for the first time in Occidental Park on that rainy September Sunday for their formal portraits. We were able to communicate quite well despite speaking different languages. It was a lot of me directing using my hands.
Once we were done with the cold, wet weather, we walked the few short blocks to the Smith Tower for a few more formal portraits in the lobby. The Tower still maintains a few “golden carriage” elevators that take patrons up the building. One of them was open just for tours and I asked the couple to sneak inside for a quick kiss.
We eventually reached the 35th floor where a table was reserved for them by the window. Originally called The Chinese Room, the Smith Tower’s Observatory Bar still has the Wishing Chair. It was a gift from the Last Empress of China and there is a legend that if a single woman sits in the chair, she will be married within the year. Khloe sat in the chair and was married within minutes!
When the officiant arrived, we stepped outside tucked in a small corner of the observation deck. Khloe and Vincent said their vows to each other overlooking downtown and Elliot Bay. The rain never let up and Khloe and Vincent never stopped smiling.
Vincent’s Chinese name is Ling Hon.
In honor of Pride Month! 🏳️🌈
You know how you just know you’ve met some super fun people within the first 2 minutes? That’s Kris and Arie. We had our session one gorgeous morning at Wright Park in Tacoma. They told me stories of how they first met each other and how their wedding on the Vashon Ferry went completely wrong and half of the people didn’t make it on the boat including their officiant. Which then inspired to Kris becoming ordained on her phone at a wedding just in case someone’s officiant fails to show at a friend’s wedding.
Sometimes you have these expectations of how things are going to be, but they often don’t go as planned. Kris and Arie shrug and go with the flow. (I had to do that too when a dog peed on my blanket in the middle of our session!)
We strolled through the sun-dappled park and grabbed a cup of coffee at Anthem. It was so chill. I felt like I was hanging out with some new friends!
Happy Pride, Kris and Arie! And Happy Pride to all folks celebrating this month! You are loved!
As a reminder: I do not accept or endorse any type of racism, sexism, religious discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, or any other form of discrimination. Also, I am body positive! My business and home is a safe place and I will love and accept you as long as your ideals do not discriminate against others.