Monday, December 10, 2007

Life's "little" interruptions....

My apologies to those of you who have tried to reach us over the last few weeks. We've been dealing with a medical emergency in the family & have not been as available as usual. I'm plowing through mail and voice mail this week as things stabilize, and hope we'll be back to normal fairly soon!

If you need something urgently, please call rather than email. I'll get the message & get someone in contact with you as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience during this difficult time for our family. It's times like these that make the honor of attending your weddings that much more special in my heart--they're reminders of my own, and the joy we share in coming together with our families & friends for happy occasions. Be sure to hug your loved ones, often!


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Leftover Thanksgiving Musings

It's the middle of the night on your once in a lifetime vacation. You awaken to the most horrendous noise, the loud clanging of the lifeboat alarm. Crew are pounding on doors, evacuating the ship. Adrenaline surges through your veins at an incredible rate. You have mere seconds to grab & go. What do you take? Do you even know where it is? Passport, wallet, a few more layers of clothing as a shield against the incredible cold?

Two weeks ago, I was talking with a coworker about his upcoming vacation plans. A year ago, he booked a trip he'd wanted to go on for years, a cruise to Antarctica. As someone lucky enough to document life-changing events for others, of course the first thing I'm thinking of is photography, so we talked cameras...including backup plans for images when the cold kills your point & shoot. We talked about trying to pack for such a trip, how difficult it is to have enough layers and still pack light. And about trips like these, a once in a lifetime event, so unusual & sought after that you have to book them a year or more in advance.

Then the news yesterday. The boat that my coworker was on is now underwater off the Antarctic coast. Thankfully, everyone on board is safe & sound. I'm sure he'll have one hell of a story to share when he returns. And I have to wonder what he managed to save when the lifeboat alarm rang. I have to admit, I know I'd be thinking, Where are my memory cards???? Where's my camera????

I'm grateful this holiday for my coworker's safety, and hope for his sake he was able to bring more than just memories back from his adventure. And tempting though it is, I promise we won't decorate his office with a Titanic theme for his return. I'm thinking something tropical might be a bit more tasteful. :)

Postscript: if you have the chance to visit the Titanic exhibit, by all means go. I went when it was here in Seattle a few years ago. It's an incredibly powerful, emotionally wrenching display, and it's well worth attending.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Business update--new lab, proofing options, and packaging!

Just a couple of recent changes I wanted to let you know about:

First off, as some of you know, we've moved our gallery hosting and lab work to Pictage in the last month. This will make it MUCH easier for you & your event guests to order pictures quickly and efficiently, without having to contact me first! When your event is posted, Pictage will send you mail letting you know that your gallery is ready. Be sure to release your gallery to your family & friends so they can enjoy your pictures too!

Using Pictage will not change our guarantee in any way, shape, or form. All prints ordered through our site or included as part of your print credit are 100% guaranteed for quality--please contact me IMMEDIATELY if there are any issues, and I will get them resolved.

Second, we've changed our CD/DVD packaging! I'm very excited to show you our lovely new cases. Each case will be customized for your portrait session or wedding--designs may vary, but each will feature 3 or more pictures from your event: One each for the cover & back, and 1 or more inside.

The case below is shown both closed and open, and is lying on our new sloppy bordered proof prints--those of you who have proofs included in your packages are getting a sneak peek at how those look as well! Click on the images below to get a closer look.

We're pleased with these improvements to how we do business--but as always, your feedback is welcome!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

11/5/2007 - John & Amy's Wedding, Seymour Conservatory

Most people would wonder about the idea of a Monday wedding, but when a particular day is special to you, you'll do whatever it takes to hold your wedding on that day.

For John & Amy, who met online while gaming seven years ago, being married on this special Monday was so important, they even put up with having to make special arrangments for their venue on a day it was normally closed, wrestling with finding vendors who usually take Monday off, having the restaurant for their planned brunch suddenly close its doors....I'm sure they thought at times this would never come together. Instead, everything went perfectly, and Seattle produced a gloriously sunny day--something very very rare in November!

This was a wonderful joining of two souls who fell in love before they ever met "in person"--and that love showed through in every interaction they shared. Their families are some of the sweetest I've met this year, and both sides were clearly very happy to help make this day even more special for the bride & groom.

Make sure you check out their slideshow here to get a feel for their day! It takes a bit to load (don't try it on dialup!), but it's worth it. :)

The wonderful Salon Maison provided hair & makeup to the women of Amy's family. I've said it before & I'll say it again, they are hands down my favorite vendor! I've never seen a bride of theirs who wasn't absolutely stunning when they were done.

Amy's mother actually made her dress and matching cape. As someone who cannot sew, I was completely in awe!

The Seymour Conservatory is a gorgeous venue....I'm sorry to say I've lived here thirteen years & had no idea it existed. I love the things I learn in this business!

John's aunt was their celebrant, and conducted a beautiful ceremony. It's always great to have someone close to the couple officiate, I think it makes the event even more meaningful!

Amy's cousin is an incredible singer. Let me tell you, I was grateful at this point for autofocus, as I teared up along with everyone else. Oh, and she took credit for bringing the amazing weather with her (and her family) all the way from Tucson. So I'm grateful to her for that too. ;)

The toasts were some of the most touching I've witnessed, and the cake was simply beautiful. But you'll have to check out the slideshow to see those!

John & Amy--thanks again for letting me share in your day, and enjoy your time in Vegas!!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

11/5 -- John & Amy's Preview....

I promised a sneak peek to John & Amy, but there are so many to choose from that I'm having trouble making up my mind!

So here's just one, and y'all will have to come back and visit before the end of the week. I promise I'll have the full post & slideshow ready to go! :)

I think this shot really sums up just how in love these two are.....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Marta & Tom at the Sculpture Park, downtown Seattle

Yesterday was one of those rare sunny, warm fall days in the Puget Sound area. They've been especially unusual lately, with 10 more inches of rain than usual this year. Marta & I have been emailing every few days with weather reports, planning a spectacular engagement session for her & her fiance Tom. And FINALLY, the weather cooperated in the most amazing fashion! These two are so cute & so much fun together.

Marta & Tom--Steve & I really enjoyed working with you, and we can't wait for your wedding in July!

Limiting favorites from their session was tough, so I've included a slideshow you won't want to miss! As always, click on a photo to see the larger version.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I'm "IT"! Eight things about Victoria

If you spend any time at all on blogs, you'll find there's quite a few people playing "tag" right now, and the fabulous Katherine of Katherine Tolentino Photography just got me! The object of the game is to write up 8 things that other people don't know about you, and then "tag" other people. So here are mine.....

1. In the span of 2 years, I worked for Godiva Chocolatier, a mall photo studio, a down & feather bedding manufacturer, a business telephony contractor, and a diaper manufacturer. My view of the business world has been a bit skewed since then! I never thought I'd stay in a job longer than 2 years, but have been in the current one for over 7.
2. I flunked sewing in junior high school. Twice.
3. I'm a compulsive, native speed reader. I taught myself to read at age two & simply, literally, cannot stop. I'd rather read than do just about anything at all! Last night, I came home with six books from Barnes & Noble--three of them were finished by two AM this morning....of course, this just feeds my insomnia....
4. I stalk Ebay regularly for a pair of Swarovski crystal encrusted Stuart Weitzman heels I saw as a teenager. Someday they will be mine.
5. I've never broken a bone or spent a night in the hospital.
6. I've also never seen ET. Or virtually any other movie that characterizes my generation. I saw Star Wars for the first time about 10 years ago & still don't understand what the fuss is all about! On the other hand, I can watch Men in Black, Pirates of the Caribbean, Labyrinth, and A Fish Called Wanda over and over and over....
7. Nail polish doesn't stick to my nails for longer than about 30 minutes.
8. Every time I spend a Seahawks game knitting, we win the game. It even worked for the Colts last year. Unfortunately the phenomenon doesn't seem to work for the Mariners. :(

OK--here's my tags--y'all are IT & I want to see what you come up with!

Laurel McConnell (of course)
Shannon, our newly relocated Lucky Red Hen, who I definitely want to know more about!
Gerald & Airika Pope, one of the first local photographers to welcome me into the business
Kacy Cierley, who has the most darling new blog format!
Bill Cawley, whose photography always challenges me to new heights
Auey Santos of Photograffiti, whose blog made me miss my Bay Area hometown :(

Monday, September 3, 2007

Dresden & Rob--Second shooting with Laurel McConnell!

On September 1st, I had the pleasure of second shooting with the fabulous Laurel McConnell! Laurel has been documenting weddings for seven years now, and any chance I get to hang out with her is always both a blast & a learning experience. Lucky me, this was the first of back to back weekends shooting for Laurel's studio. :)

This week's couple, Dresden & Rob, are a wonderful couple from the South, whose wedding was held on private property on Whidbey Island. The views were spectacular, the families were the friendliest & most gracious I've met yet, and the site was amazingly diverse--tons of cute little "cabins", gorgeous antiques, and fun activities such as an oversized chess set!

Just a few favorites:

Rob's son Jules wasn't always happy about having to be dressed up--in fact, the shoes were off in about a minute flat, and the dress pants were swapped with jeans the minute the formals ended! It was awesome to see him interact with his dad though, and he was so darling when Dad coaxed out a smile.

My favorite quote of the day came from Dresden as we were setting up a shot.
Dresden: "Honey, you said I wouldn't feel any different, and you were wrong."
From Rob: "How do you feel?"
Dresden: "Better! Happier!"

That's how every bride should feel. And these two showed it in every interaction. There's just nothing I love to see more than a couple truly in love.

Their getaway was in a gorgeous old Packard convertable!

As always, many many thanks to Laurel for allowing me to tag along! Make sure you check out her blog--her photos of this day were SPECTACULAR (I know, I put together the slideshow & had the worst time narrowing down all the choices.) I'll edit this post with a direct link once she has it posted to her own.

And extra special thanks to my own husband, for allowing me to spend our anniversary shooting this wedding. As Dresden said, "Well, bless his little baby heart for letting you come spend today with us!"

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Natasha & Robert at Jardin Del Sol -- 8/10/2007

We had the honor of photographing Natasha & Robert's wedding at the marvelous Jardin del Sol in Snohomish on Friday! They are such a wonderful couple, so very in love, and their wedding had so many unique accents--
from Natasha's amazing custom-made red dress to Robert's full Scottish regalia reflecting his heritage.

Natasha & Robert--we had so much fun with you both! Thank you again for allowing us to participate in your special day. Steve & I wish you great joy in your lives together!

Ceremony Location: Jardin Del Sol
Celebrant: Shirley Peoples, Unity Church of Kent
Dress: One Wilde Knight (Not entirely work safe, he makes corsets for things other than weddings as well. But he definitely makes a stunning wedding dress!)
Catering: Twelve Baskets Catering
Cake: Mike's Amazing Cakes

I had the WORST time deciding what to post; when I pulled my favorites, there were over 40 of them! Even after paring them down, this one's long--enjoy!!!!! Wedding pictures are now posted on the main site under client galleries.

Click on the images below to see the larger size.

The dress was a gorgeous custom made corseted ball gown from One Wilde Knight. It was simply incredible--just look at that fabric!

Isn't she stunning?????

I love these two--two views of the same event. I was beyond the archway leading into the ceremony area as the couple exited--Steve was by the seating, watching from behind. Shirley was clearly so excited & happy for the couple she had just joined in marriage! And I love how they've only got eyes for each other. :)

Their families were so loving--and Robert's family came all the way from Australia to join them for this special day!

And my absolute favorite picture of all (I think...there's so many I loved!):

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Who ever knew there were so many Model A Fords still running?

We visited with my in-laws in Pendleton, Oregon over the weekend of July 28th. They were travelling with friends of theirs to a big gathering of Model A Fords that's held each year in a different part of the region. These cars range in condition from "Wow, that thing runs???" to "WOW--I'm not sure I'd let that beauty out on the road!" It was great seeing them again, and it was a lot of fun to see these amazing vehicles with their dedicated owners.

As always, click on a photo to see the larger view.

Reflections were the order of the day, and I got lots of practice with them....all that chrome!

We had lunch at the newly opened Hamley's Steakhouse. Hamley's is predominantly a leather working business with some AMAZING saddles being crafted there. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places & is just gorgeous. They were kind enough to allow me to shoot in there--I was a little surprised as so many times you're told no, either graciously or not so! This Tiffany lamp was in the entry; easily 4 feet across & absolutely stunning, I can't imagine the cost on one this spectacular.

And I took advantage of the location to get a portrait of my husband with his parents on this fabulous triple throne:

Then it was back to the cars. These people feel about their vintage transportation the way all my fellow photographers feel about their gear, and it shows. Most of these cars were beautifully restored and incredibly cared for.

And my favorite "personalization"!