It's no secret Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places on the planet. Last month I went down to visit my in-laws for a week and give them some time to hang out with their only grandchild, and while I was in the area I decided to see if I could rustle up a couple who would want to model for a session so I could get some new images for my portfolio, and Jamie and Jacob popped into my inbox!
We met up for a drink at Joshua Tree saloon and then headed into the park to romp around on rocks at Sunset. I'm so glad I got the chance to connect with these two, I had so much fun shooting with them and I'm jonesin' for more desert shoots now!
Earlier this month when I was back in Tacoma for, oh, a little over 24 hours, I took full advantage of getting to be back "home" by spending a whole day shooting. My first session of the day was a morning in-home engagement session with these two amazing people who I also get to shoot in a few months at their wedding! Amy and Eric are the best and it was so much fun getting to spend a relaxed morning hanging out with them and their pup, Marty, laughing and having a grand old time making some magic in the camera.
One of my favorite things about in-home sessions is that it not only captures the people, but the place. Back when my husband and I were engaged we had just rented our first home together and we didn't even have the keys yet when we did our engagement photos, but we drove over there anyway and got a few shots of us hanging on the front porch. That house was tiny and freezing cold and after living there for a year I was so thrilled to move, but I love that we have photos of us at that house, our very first place together. Amy and Eric are making a wonderful home together in this lovely little Tacoma bungalow, so it was super special to be able to create images for them that they can look back on for the rest of their lives, remembering this time in their lives as they're beginning the journey of building a life, and a home, together.
These two celebrated their 1 year anniversary today, which seems like the perfect excuse to post their cozy, sexy in-home love session from earlier this month! I love how relaxed in-home sessions are, and it's so special being able to capture people in their element, commemorating a specific time and place in their lives. Last November my husband and I did an in-home photo session and those photos are some of my all time favorites. In the year since we did that session we got pregnant and moved out of our Tacoma home up to Alaska, so having those photos to look back on and remember that time in our lives before things changed, in our very first owned home, in the city we got married in, is super special. While I love taking photos in grand places with epic vistas, some times the most important places are those most familiar and comfortable.
When your couple suggests shooting at a ghost town and a shipwreck on the Puget Sound? Yeah, I guess that's sorta cool. I already knew Bethany and Tyler were cool because I'd shot some portraits of them a couple years ago after they won a session with me, so I was thrilled that I got to do another session with them after they got engaged!
Bethany loves sea creatures, so when she showed me the tentacle ring that Tyler got her (you can find the artist here), I fell in love. The deep, blue stone went perfectly against the blue interior of a barnacled mussel shell, and I think this has taken the spot as my new favorite ring shot. But, I mean, it's hard to lose when you have an octopus ring.
These two are, surprise surprise, getting married at the Point Defiance Aquarium in November, so expect even more sea creature goodness from these two on their big day!!
Bridal Veil falls is a pretty perfect name for a place to do engagement photos, right? This was an extra special shoot for me. This fella right here? He's my little bro. And that's his almost-wife! We'd been planning on doing a shoot with the two of them for what feels like years, but after he proposed in January, it became the perfect excuse to finally pull the trigger. They live in the Portland area, so I actually did this shoot on my way down to our very first Wildbride Retreat on the Oregon Coast! We stopped in Portland for the night to stay with my other brother, Ben, and do some last minute frantic trips to Home Depot for the Brave. So Matt and Lauren drove over and we hit up Bridal Veil falls.
These crazy cats graduate from college next weekend and last weekend Matt had his film featured in the college film festival where he was nominated for an audio production award. I watched him pull like four all-nighters (actual all-nighters, not I-stayed-up-till-3-then-went-to-bed) finalizing the audio on the film and I can't even believe how much work goes into every tiny aspect of audio on a film. But I digress.
They're getting married in June, where I will also be photographing their wedding and doing some floral design for her bouquets! It's going to be a super fun weekend, I can't wait!
Back in January I met up with Karisa and her man Ryan up at Snoqualmie falls for their engagement session! We explored the falls and climbed on rocks and fallen logs, laughed a lot, and spent a lovely afternoon getting to know each other. After playing around the river and woods we headed to a field where we could get a great view of Mount Si in the background at sunset. It being January we were prepared for the typical northwest winter weather, but we were graced with one of the most beautiful days in all of January! These two tie the knot in a little over a month and I can't wait to capture their big day!
2015 was a big year! I focused a ton on shooting as much as I could, did so many fun styled shoots and got to photograph even more beautiful weddings. Putting together my annual favorite-images-of-the-past-year post is always hard because there's always so many images I want to share. Here's just a few of my absolute faves from 2015. Thanks to all my amazing couples who chose to let me capture their love and their special day, it was such an honor to work with every one of you!
Proposing to your lady on vacation at Rattlesnake Lake, under the ruse of doing a regular couple's photo shoot so you have a professional to capture your big moment? This guy is a keeper. Danté and Cherée were up in Seattle from Savannah Georgia visiting family and Danté had planned on proposing to his girlfriend of five years just a day after New Year's. On short notice he hit me up and asked if I'd be willing to get in on it and photograph the proposal, while we were pretending to do a regular ol' photo shoot and I was so in.
He originally wanted to propose at the peak of Rattlesnake Ridge, but, alas, the hike up was so slippery and icy from all the snow and hikers polishing it clean we couldn't make it to the top, so instead he popped up on a boulder along the trail and proposed to his love! While the hike was a disappointing bust, as soon as he fell down on one knee and pulled out her ring, all the stress from trying to hike the trail immediately dissipated into pure joy. Such an incredible moment to be a part of!
After the proposal, we walked around Rattlesnake lake for some post-engagement photos and were bathed in some stunning late-afternoon Pacific Northwest light.
Congrats, Danté and Cherée! Thanks so much for letting me capture such a meaningful moment in your lives!
Yesterday was our 4 year wedding anniversary and Dan wanted to pick what we did. He decided we should go thrifting for outfits and then go do a fun photo shoot, since we don't have a lot of photos together. We went to Snoqualmie Falls, which neither of us had been to before, and the day was drizzly, grey, and perfectly Pacific Northwest. This past year of marriage has been wonderful and we've sort of hit a stride and we both feel really awesome about where we are both as individuals and as a team. I can't wait to see what we create together in the coming year!
A couple weeks ago I met up with Jay and Kyle in Elbe, WA for their adventure engagement session! I'll be heading up to my motherland, Alaska, to shoot their wedding next summer, so it was fun to be able to meet up with them before then! We met up on the "banks" of Alder Lake, which was almost completely dry after this last summer's drought. Alder Lake is a man-made lake, so much of the lake bed has tree stumps from when the trees were cut to form the lake, but with the lake empty you can walk around the lake bed and around all the huge stumps! It's such an interesting landscape that's usually hidden, so we took advantage of it and got some photos on the stumps.
After that we headed up for a hike to High Rock Lookout. Jay brought some gorgeous outfits and we had a great time getting to know each other as we trudged up to the peak! It was pretty windy and chilly but we managed, and luckily the clouds weren't too low so we got some amazing views of Mount Rainier and the surrounding range. I can't wait to shoot their Alaskan wedding next summer!
Last summer I did this hike with some friends and my husband. It was late June, but the entire peak was totally socked in and visibility was so low you could hardly see 10 feet in front of you, which made the sheer cliffs at the top of this hike pretty freaky. Still, it was incredibly stunning and I knew I wanted to go back some day and do a photo shoot there. A couple weeks ago I got to go up with Kristina + Craig and do this killer session with them!
She had a super cute shorter dress for hiking in, which turned out perfectly because even though it was October, we were all sweating like crazy from the hike! It's not a very long hike, but it's all uphill. Luckily we stopped along the way and took photos in the gorgeous woods that you hike through to get to the top.
At the top, Kristina changed into an amazing sheer gown that really brought the drama. It moved beautifully in the breeze and the beading on the front was insane. I had no idea that Mount Rainier was right there because last time I hiked this we couldn't see anything! It was so bizarre to turn the corner and see this huge mountain right there! It was a very pleasant surprise indeed.
Thanks for believing in my crazy ideas, Kristina + Craig. I'm so thrilled with how this shoot turned out!
If the weather holds I'm doing another shoot at this location in a couple weeks, I can't wait!
Hey lovely folks! Need some new photos for your Christmas card, to replace the old prints on your wall, or to remind your family what you look like? Or just to have some non-selfie photos of yourselves? Well, get out your sweaters and flannel! This year I'm offering a few fall couples sessions right here in Tacoma! Mini Sessions are a great way to snag some beautiful professional photos if you're on a budget! Book your session now before they get booked up, and tag a friend who needs new photos!
Here are the deets:
Shoot dates are: October 24 + 25 and November 6 + 7
Brass tacks: Couples Session is $200 | 20 min shoot | 10 high res digital images
Prints, holiday cards, and additional digital images available for purchase
To book, email: email@example.com
Only a few sessions are available on each day so book soon!
Session fee must be paid in full to be booked and is non-refundable once time and date. If you'd like to include littles, a family session is just an additional $25!
My husband and I got married 2.5 months after he proposed, so we didn't have an engagement party. A couple years later we had bought a house and finally had a fun space to have a party, so we decided to throw a big party to welcome a good friend who had just moved to town, but I think that this party, which was a totally DIY affair, is definitely great inspiration for a low key, yet fancy, DIY engagement party!
We had lots of wine, plus some bubbly, so I decided it'd be great to do a mimosa bar. We had cans of the bubbly, so if people wanted just bubs they could grab a can. The full bottles were set up next to the juice for mimosas, and we had guava, mango, and the standard OJ as options, plus some raspberries to toss in for good measure. And, of course, cute straws and sparkly swizzle sticks. The mimosa bar was a huge hit. I mixed guava and mango juice for my mimosa. I could probably drink a hundred of them, but I didn't. Because responsibility. The light wines were perfect for summer evening. I think Sofia Rosé is my new favorite summer wine, but I also love the crispness of the Riesling and Chardonnay. On a hot day I almost want to chug a chilled wine, but that's not lady-like... it's just so refreshing! The little mini Sofia cans are so much fun and were the perfect outdoor party beverage. Even the most macho, bearded dudes thought they were fun. Because they are. So fun. They come with little extend-o bendy straws. I can't believe no one else makes these because it's brilliant. I think they'd be perfect for a Bachelorette party, ladies night/sleepover, bridal shower... okay really I think they're perfect for most anything.
We made all of the food, except for the cupcakes, which were from Corina (who did my wedding cake and cupcakes!). The menu included a cheese plate with lots of yummy cheeses and fruits, caprese quinoa stuffed mushrooms with balsamic reduction, strawberry honey brie crostinis, antipasto skewers, zucchini rolls, and macarons! It took quite a few hours to prep everything, but we did it all that afternoon! Add some farmers market flowers and you're good to go!
At the beginning of May I met up with Adam and Candace at Rattlesnake Lake for their engagement shoot. This time of year it's a little hit and miss when it comes to weather, and so scheduling outdoor shoots months in advance can be stressful, hoping for good weather when the shoot day comes around. We ended up with an absolutely perfect day, which was great, but for anyone who knows rattlesnake recreation area, that means it's totally packed, but we managed just fine. I actually love doing hikes for engagement shoots because it gives me lots of time to get to know the couple, which is really nice and helps ease the awkwardness of getting photos taken. Candace and Adam were awesome and we had a ton of fun hiking up and chatting about the wedding, how they met, and life in general. We were talking about the hike, and about my last time going up to the ridge, which was for Jackson + Jessica's engagement shoot last summer. As we're talking and hiking, I looked up the trail and saw a girl with pink hair and I was like, "Is that... Lauren?!?"who's my little brother's girlfriend. And then I notice the rest of the group: Lauren, Matthew (my brother), Jackson + Jessica, and their two good friends, Melissa and Corey, who just got engaged! Lauren, who is also a photographer, was shooting Melissa and Corey's engagement photos at Rattlesnake Ridge and were all on their way down, and the funny part is, Matthew and Lauren live in Portland, so not only was it crazy to see them there since they don't even live anywhere nearby, but Candace, Adam, and I were just talking about Jackson + Jessica's Rattlesnake Ridge photo shoot... and then there they are! It was one of the weirdest things that's ever happened to me, and most definitely the weirdest thing that's happened on a photo shoot!
These two are seriously a blast. I'm so excited to shoot their wedding this summer. I had so much fun shooting these images. They're getting married out at a ranch lodge near a river, which is, like, so totally dreamy, am I right? It's going to be magical. Usually I try to edit these engagement shoot posts down to like 15 images, but I loved so many of them, so start scrolling!
A couple weekends ago I met up with these two lovebirds up in Seattle for a fun evening ferry ride for their engagement shoot! We ended up with an absolutely gorgeous day, which made the ride so much fun. We hopped on the Bainbridge ferry for a round trip ride and on our way over we lucked out and the entire upper car deck was totally empty! We took full advantage and frolicked around the empty space until the ferry workers kicked us out when we arrived at Bainbridge. It turned out to be the perfect spot for photos because the top deck was packed with people (because of the beautiful weather) and it was crazy windy up there! Looking windswept is romantic, but not so much looking like you're in wind tunnel. Abby and Ricky are getting married this August and I can't wait to shoot their wedding!
A couple weekends ago I had the pleasure of getting to photograph these lovely folks for their engagement photos! Jackson and Jessica are actually getting married in just four short weeks and I'll be shooting their wedding down in Oregon as well, which I'm super stoked about. I was really excited for this shoot because I had mentioned wanting to do a more outdoorsy shoot and they totally jumped at the idea. We picked a hike that had an amazing view at the summit, Rattlesnake Ridge, and met up out at the trailhead in the evening to make the hike. None of us had ever hiked Rattlesnake Ridge before, so it was fun getting to not only make some amazing photos for them, but also get to go on an amazing hike in the process! I would love to do more hike shoots. It's combining two of my favorite activities, so what could be better? The hike turned out to be the perfect time to chat about wedding details and catch up, too!
The hike itself was pretty easy, two miles in, two miles out. It's a very popular hike and the lake below also draws a crowd, especially during the summer, so it was pretty busy. When we got to the lookout at the ridge we actually had to wait a good ten minutes to be able to shoot at the spot we wanted to because there was a group of high school kids there with a bong and a veritable cornucopia of munchies taking in the scenery. Luckily they didn't linger too long and we were able to do our shoot.
The next few months are going to be a whirlwind of photo shoots and weddings. I have three weddings within about a month, plus a bunch of portrait and family sessions, so I'll be shooting up a storm. It'll be good. Keep me busy. Tomorrow I'll be shooting Tacoma's craft beer and blues festival, Brew Five Three, here in town, which should be a blast. Great music and great local brews? Sounds like a recipe for awesome.
In other news, I'm not thrilled with how everyone is talking about fall's immanent arrival. Also, the back to school stuff can go away please. Don't remind me that the fall is coming! I'm sure once all the fun holiday stuff starts getting into full swing I'll be ready for it, but I'm just so in love with how many hours of sunlight there are and how much I can get done before it starts getting dark. We did this shoot around 7 pm and in just a couple months it will have been dark for hours by that time. I sure do love these summer days that drag on till well into the evenings. I wish I could do like five more shoots like this before the summer evenings are gone till next year.
I totally forgot to post these! After sharing their engagement photos I realized I'd never posted the proposal photos! Bryan wanted to propose at the coffee shop where they had their first date, so while we waited for Rachel to show up, I hid in the back for the "signal." It was pretty exciting to be there for the big event, and I made sure to bring my Instax Mini so I could snap an instant photo for them to take home.
It was basically monsooning outside, but we decided to brave the rain for a couple seconds to grab some victory shots in front of the Anthem sign!
In just a couple days these two tie the knot! I shot some couple portraits of them in 2012 and Bryan hired me to shoot the actual proposal in October! We met at Anthem in downtown Tacoma, which was perfect because their first date was at the Anthem in Puyallup and that's where Bryan proposed. Keeping things in the Anthem family here. I'm excited to go to the wedding on Saturday and see these two all gussied up! My husband Dan is actually one of Bryan's groomsmen, so it'll be fun to see him standing up there during the ceremony. Unfortunately (for me) these two are moving to Portland after the wedding. We keep losing friends to Oregon! But I'm excited for their next chapter in life!
Last weekend I took a jaunt up to Ballard to hang out with Molly & Daniel for their engagement shoot! I've been friends with Molly since college so it was such a pleasure to be able to shoot her engagement photos! I'm shooting their wedding in May and I can't wait! They're getting married on a vintage Seattle ferry boat. How awesome is that?! We spent the afternoon hanging out around Ballard, visiting the Ballard Farmers Market, getting coffee, watching the boats go through the locks, and getting fish and chips! It was a super fun laid back shoot, just like Molly & Daniel.