Last night's stylized session was a dream come true! A few months ago my wildly talented photographer friend Kim (of The Big Day) and I were catching up at Whibey Coffee, and a vision of collaborating on a Roman inspired wedding shoot began to evolve. We imagined the rocky cliffs of Rosario Beach and a beautiful bride in a gorgeous flowing gown standing upon the rocks at sunset...
Talk about the epitome of the PNW at its finest! Usually the turquoise waters surrounding our island are in the distant background of photos, but for this maritime wedding, it set the scene for one of the most unique ceremonies I've photographed. Tiffany and Jon celebrated their I-do's surrounded by their closest family and friends on a whale watching tour boat docked out of Anacortes. For about 3 hours we cruised the open waters, passing bald eagles and various densely forested islands I didn't even know existed, until we came to a stop to watch an orca pod breaching and tail slapping in the distance and eventually coming right alongside the boat.
I get teary at weddings....it's just what I do. The pure joy, the heightened emotions, the candid moments...So who knew I'd also be turning on the water works at a graduation celebration?! Photographing Columbia College's graduating class of 2017 at NAS Whidbey Island was such a moving experience. I loved hearing the students' personal stories of what their degree meant to them, watching the ceremony unfold, and documenting the pride and sense of accomplishment on not only their faces, but also on the faces of their loved ones.
Taylor & Caleb's PNW engagement session was the first time I actually was able to meet this darling couple in person. I had spoken to Taylor a few months ago on the phone as she was out of state, planning a wedding back in Arkansas while engaged to a handsome fella stationed here at NAS Whidbey Island. Engagement photos were scheduled during her recent visit to the island, and I totally hit the jackpot with a couple who not only were so natural and photogenic in front of the camera, but who were also up for an adventure of exploring Fort Ebey in less than ideal weather.
Twin sessions will always have a special place in my heart, for obvious reasons of course...and so when Katy reached out about taking some family photos with her boy / girl twins while her mother and grandmother were in state visiting, I was so excited. #1) It gave me a chance to talk "mom of multiple" life, #2) I got another excuse to see her little ones. (The last time I saw them was at their newborn session, and my, have they grown!) and #3) I always love getting outside and exploring with my camera.
Last night's time behind the camera made me happy...and for so many reasons. First off, it's beginning to feel like summer here on Whidbey. I know, I know....we're just hitting spring now, but last night the sun was out, the breeze was just right, and the air was just cool enough to enjoy the warmth of a bonfire. Being surrounded by the beauty of the PNW is therapeutic enough by itself, but paired with a day like yesterday....ahh, heaven.
There are 3 top reasons I love being a photographer. 1) Telling stories through images, 2) meeting awesome new people, and 3) exploring different places that I probably wouldn't discover on my own. Ysabel & Brett's engagement shoot was no exception! After a beautiful rugged Saturday down at a Deception Pass engagement session, I was looking forward to a totally contrasting urban look at downtown Seattle.
I feel like Deception Pass State Park is the epitome of PNW livin'. Beautiful, rugged and amazing. Saturday started off as a dreary day, but as we approached sunset, Mother Nature sure brought her A-Game for Ashley and André's engagement session!
This island...seriously. Been here 8 months now and I still can't get over it. On the same afternoon, I get to go from forest, to beaches, to fields with mountains in the distance....what?! So when Claire said that she and her husband-to-be wanted to do engagement photos at Fort Ebey, (one of my favorite spots!) I knew it was going to be a good day!
People kept saying it was going to snow all week, and I kind of wrote it off with a "sure, we'll get a tiny dusting that will melt by 10:00 am, no biggie..." attitude. So imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to a beautiful winter scene instead of the dirty slush that I had predicted.
February is for romantics, and we can't wait to tell your love story. Get in touch before Valentine's Day to schedule your engagement session, and receive a complimentary beautiful linen photo album of your images.
So I'm definitely aging myself, but I remember the days when senior photos consisted of going to a previously assigned dark studio, choosing from a variety of watercoloresque backdrops, and draping a black cloak over your shoulders (or opting for the letterman jacket) while slightly tilting your head to the side. That was your yearbook photo. That was it.
Ok, I loved this session so much. I first met Katie when I photographed her wife's Navy homecoming in the fall. It was such a special moment when Kate got off the plane and finally was reunited with her wife. Fast forward a few months, as these two are getting ready to say goodbye to Oak Harbor for their next station across the country.
Guys, it's a small, small world. We moved to Whidbey Island from Oklahoma this past summer, and part of the "settling in" process has been finding great people to help out with our twins while Kristopher is away and I have a session or other obligation. And I'm gonna be honest...finding someone you trust with your kiddos is no easy thing!
I thought I loved a Whidbey Island sunset...until I got up early enough to photograph a Whidbey Island sunrise! Holy moly! I first met Liz when I shot some bridal stylized portraits for her back in the fall. She's was so fun to work with, so I was really looking forward to meeting her husband and two pups for a family session.
Ok, I'll just say it....I LOVE lifestyle sessions. They're so intimate and real - a perfect little glimpse into every day life. I originally met with this darling family at NAS Whidbey to do some photos on the flight line to commemorate their time stationed at Whidbey Island before heading back home all the way to Australia.
Whether I'm doing a shoot down at Deception Pass, spending time on base or grabbing coffee downtown, I always find myself pausing to watch the jets soar when I hear them screaming through the sky.
It's October...in Washington State...and I had to kill a good 25 minutes with this couple because there was actually too much sun....whaaaattt? I try to time these things out pretty well to give pictures that unbeatable "sunsety" glow, while making sure we have plenty of time to shoot.
From the second I arrived in Oak Harbor, I was dying to get out and explore the stunning landscapes that the Island has to offer. Coming from Oklahoma where everything is landlocked and flat, to being surrounded by mountains, trees, and ocean was a photographic dream come true...so I was beyond excited when I connected with newlywed Liz who was interested in bridal portraits on the coast.
Ok ya'll, you're about to get a twin overload...but this is our first fall in the Pacific Northwest, and it's gorgeous. Like breathtakingly so. I've been really making a better effort at bringing my "big camera" out to take pictures of our adventures, rather than relying on the oh so convenient iphone.
Guys. This is my kind of family. It was a week of rain here on Whidbey Island; sloshy, wet and dreary. But instead of rescheduling, these guys put on their rain boots and headed outside with a smile.
Ever since moving to Whidbey Island this summer and seeing the coastline in Coupeville, I've been so inspired to get out there with my camera and shoot. The vibrant blue waters, the green fields and romantic sunset...it reminds me so much of the west coast of Ireland which is one of my favorite places in the world.
The Thulis and Hodges go back, wayyyyy back to the good ol' days in Enid, Oklahoma at Vance Air Force Base. We were young back then...just a couple of kids brought to The Heartland for flight school. And those who have been to Enid know that there's just not a ton going on there.
One of the realities of military life is facing separation for a period of time from loved ones. And it's tough. So after almost 7 months apart, it was bound be a happy reunion when VP-40 came home! Katie and her wife are dual military, and when she asked me to photograph their homecoming, I couldn't wait.