"Capturing Life"

Portraits

Mike + Marnie

Family (1 of 1)-4It was a very wet Saturday in early November for the wedding of Mike and Marnie.  Not to be deterred, Marnie insisted upon still doing some of their photos in the rain and I’m oh so glad she did.  _SKS8958

The venue, Olson Mansion, in Maple Valley, Wa., provided the perfect backdrop for their wedding and they also provided perfect umbrella’s to use as well.  Rustic barn type exterior for the wedding venue and beautiful old mansion for the gathering location of the bridal party and family created two very unique places for photos as well._SKS9319_SKS9226_SKS8729_SKS8762

Marnie and Mike first met in January of 2014 at World of Beer.  Marnie was working on an essay for a Foreign Language scholarship when Mike and a few friends sat next to her.  One of the guys Mike was with noticed Marnie’s University of Washington sweatshirt and struck up a conversation.  They ended up all talking about music and sports while getting acquainted and, at the end of the evening, Mike asked her for her phone number.  On the way to their vehicles, Marnie say’s she just might have reminded Mike to make sure and call her.  He did and their lives together began.DSC_0148

Marnie says she knew the proposal was coming because they had talked about marriage and knew this was where they were headed.  She had the venue booked before he even proposed but it didn’t take long for him to make it all official._SKS9424 _SKS9408

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Photo Credit: Cindi Scappini

Their wedding was what Marnie described as “Vintage Glamour” mixed with a little rustic.  _SKS9931 _SKS9928_SKS9857

Their families are both warm and inviting and seemed to really enjoy the day together.  Marnie and Mike were both so relaxed all day and made working together with them a joy.DSC_0117_SKS9848_SKS8476 _SKS8466-Edit _SKS8444 _SKS8435

Mike and Marnie, may you have many wonderful years ahead to enjoy each others friendship and love.  Thank you for allowing us to document your day and thank you for not allowing the rain to dampen your joy and fun.

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Josh and Kayla

Josh & Kayla

Saturday was the beautiful wedding of Josh & Kayla.  What a joy to be part of such wonderful events as weddings.  It’s even more of a joy to be part of a wedding when you know the couple personally!

Kayla’s mom and I have been friends for many years.  I’ve seen Kayla grow and mature into the beautiful young woman she is today and what a wonderful thing it is to see her meet and marry the man of her dreams.

Kayla and Josh first met when Kayla’s cousin was dating Josh.  About 9 months after her cousin and Josh parted ways, Josh and Kayla began texting each other.  With approval from her cousin, the relationship blossomed and grew and eventually they realized God was bringing them together and they were headed for marriage.

Josh was able to surprise Kayla with the proposal and, in spite of his aversion to high places, took her to a beautiful place called Deception Pass on Whidbey Island.  He dropped to one knee and asked her to be his for life.  She was surprised but, of course, said “YES!”

Kayla loves that Josh is protective of her and has a gentle heart.  When Kayla shared about her beloved Grandma Gail’s passing, Josh shed tears alongside Kayla, showing her how much he cared about the things that matter to her.  Josh loves Kayla’s huge heart that she freely shares with those around her.  He loves her unconditional love given to others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh and Kayla, it was an immense joy and honor to photograph your special day.  My prayer for you is that you will always remember the freshness of your early days together and that, as you walk through the seasons of marriage and life, you will put God first in your marriage and that you will choose to love even when you may not feel like it.

Congratulations to you both!


Caleb & Megan

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Today was the wedding day for beautiful Megan and handsome Caleb.  Oh, my, what an amazing couple they are.  I’ve known Megan for a number of years and she has blessed my heart immensely over the years.  Sweet, adorable, tender hearted are all words that describe her.  Caleb is new on the scene for me but I can tell he’s a perfect match for Megan.

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Meeting at Barclay College in the Midwest, Caleb and Megan did not have the immediate “THIS IS IT!!!” feeling.  Instead, their love grew out of friendship and blossomed into “you’re the one!”.  As Caleb says, “I think it was more of a gradual thing.  There could be a lot of little points and things she did to confirm that she was the one  Letters or adventures, her willingness to be herself around me and just the way she would laugh and humm and sing.  It was a process, but I know she is the one!”

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Megan says the thing she most loves about Caleb is that  he listens to her, always encourages her in her relationship with Christ, and he is a goofball but knows how to make her feel special.   Caleb says that what he loves most about Megan is that she loves Jesus and she loves music.  Put those two together and it’s a pretty awesome combination!

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Caleb and Megan, thank you for allowing me to part of your very special day.  I am always honored to be asked to take wedding portraits and it is was a blessing to take yours today.  May God always bless your relationship and may you both grow in your love for Him and for each other!

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One Special Engagement Session

This past month has been an incredible time in our family.  Our future daughter in law (or, I should say “Daughter in Love” because we all love her so much!) has been visiting from Toronto.  While we spent a week last fall in Toronto meeting her and her family, it just wasn’t long enough to really get to know her.  She was here for a couple weeks this past Christmas but, again, it wasn’t long enough with all the commitments we had during the Holidays.

This visit we were able to spend some great quality time with her.  We went camping, golfing, did 4th of July fireworks, had lots of BBQ’s, and watched she and our son laugh together and enjoy each others company.  It was delightful! It is also delightful that I will finally have a daughter.  I LOVE my boys fully and completely but I always wished for a daughter as well so I’m overjoyed that there will be another “girl” in the family AND that she is such a perfect fit.

When Austin and Felma asked me if I would take engagement photos for them, I was thrilled!  We carved time out this past weekend and spent a couple of hours working on the portraits.

They met 7 years ago playing a game online.  Since they were so young, it was not possible for them to meet in person and so they communicated for 3 years until they were old enough to take the next step.  When Austin turned 18, he purchased an airline ticket and headed for  Toronto, spending Christmas that year with Felma and her family.  They knew even then that their future included being together.

Originally from the Philippines, Felma has lived in Dubai and now in Toronto, Canada.  When she came to visit this past Christmas it was a typical Pacific Northwest Winter complete with mostly rainy days.  I’m certain she thought it would never be sunny and warm here so we were delighted to share our warm summer sunshine and beautiful scenic views that come in the summer.  At least she knows it can be warm and sunny and not always rainy.

They have plans to marry the summer or fall of 2014.  It’s a long ways off for two people who are in love and desire to be able to share their lives and be together.  School and job search responsibilities come first with the hope that they will truly be ready for the next step in their lives by next summer.

In the meantime, they will continue to deal with the distance between them and make the most of every moment they have been able to spend together in person.   Having had a long distance relationship myself with my husband (although not nearly as far apart as Austin and Felma are), I understand a little of how hard it is;  I also understand the character building and rewards that comes from waiting for God’s best in our lives instead of settling for something less than best.  They have chosen to use this time wisely by not only finishing school but also working on strengthening their relationship via some pre-marriage studies which will help to equip them for marriage in the future.

As a mom, I’m very proud of them for their willingness to wait, to try and do things the right way and get their lives set a little bit before taking the step of marriage.  I’m also proud of them for their teachable hearts when it comes to building their relationship and for the mutual respect they have for each others families.

I can’t wait until the day they are able to say “I DO!”.  It will be one glorious day for the two of them!

 


Commercial Photography

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A few years ago, my sons drum instructor, Kit Mills, came to me and inquired about having some portrait work done for his website and business applications.  I had just entered the world of lighting and didn’t have any experience with that sort of thing.  Because I am a “can do” type person, I agreed to give it a try.  It was one of the most nerve-wracking yet exhilarating assignments I have taken on.

We met in our local town and ended up at our train station.  I’m sure it was a little odd to see someone setting up a drumset on the train platform and a couple of trains even came zipping through while we were setting up.  It was a wild few moments hanging on to the equipment so that it didn’t get blown away by the draft created from the rail cars.

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After the train station we found an indoor location and did some indoor portraits.  Because I was new to flash photography, I only had a speedlight, light stand, and umbrella.  I raised the speedlight up high overhead and aimed it down, hoping to light Kit and all his drums.  The results amazed me.  While they were not technically perfect by any means, I learned a lot and we ended up with some very cool shots.

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Last summer, I had another opportunity to take some group photos and head shots of some of the agents for a local insurance agency, Leslie Tripp State Farm Insurance Agency.  Again, there was a lot of new territory with this being the first time I worked at getting head shots for business applications.  We set up shop at a local school, using their brick wall as a backdrop.  It was a mixed bag of results, and, once again, I learned much by taking this on.  All of the photos were usable but that does not equate someone being satisfied with the end results.  I learned that while a photo may be technically sound, that does not mean that someone will be pleased with the poses I might choose for them or the angle I choose to photograph them from.   We did end up with some fun group shots in a beautiful red car that worked perfectly for their company Facebook page.

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More recently, I had the wonderful pleasure of photographing a young woman, Leanna Crawford, who recently went to Nashville to record 4 original songs which she has written.  She has a new Amazon.com album for sale and also has entered a local contest (link to one of her songs) to be the opening act for a Jars of Clay concert in August.  She is part of the final 3 people being voted on this week to win the contest.

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I had been given her rough mixes of the 4 songs so that I could listen to them and try and get a vision for photos that would work with the songs.  We had several ideas and, in the end, only had time to work on a few of them.  The end results were some photos taken in their horse pasture and in the old part of our local city.   Taking the base photos and working on making composites from them created some great final results.  I was able to apply what I’d learned about lighting, photoshop, and telling a story through photos to achieve results that will hopefully provide her with some publicity photos as she launches her music career.

Leanna wanted a light, airy feel to some of the photos.  A composite of 3 photos used to create this end result.

Leanna wanted a light, airy feel to some of the photos. A composite of 3 photos used to create this end result.

There are times when I realize that I’m in way over my head, when I wonder how I’ll ever be able to pull off an assignment.  It may overwhelm me momentarily, I may panic inside and lose any creative thought I’d had prior to showing up on location and I will probably feel that momentary panic again when I first view the photos during post processing.  In the end, however, I am always glad I chose to step out, to take on things that are over my head, to take the risk of failure with the hopes that I’ll actually be able to give my clients what it is they’re hoping for.


Spring Snow, Parties, and Sunsets

Spring has arrived here in the Pacific Northwest, albeit with a dash of snow one morning and gorgeous warm sunsets the next evening.  That’s the nature of nature here in the springtime and it’s one of the reasons why we have the most gorgeous blooms of crocuses, daffodils, and tulips.

The morning it snowed I only went outside in it so that I could take a few photos of the flowering buds with the icy snow on them.  There has to be a compelling reason to walk out the door in 33 degree weather; taking pictures was compelling enough to get me out the door.   Fortunately the snow was a limited event and was gone by the afternoon.

The night after the big snowfall, our homeschool co-op hosted a “Princess Bride” party for the teen’s.  It was a great event complete with a photobooth, games, prizes, snacks and, of course, the movie “Princess Bride”.  Inconceivable!!!  The kids had a great time, as did we adults who were supposed to be acting as mature leaders for our youth.

We even had the “Brute Squad” who were keeping an eye on the every move of the gang, although I think they were outwitted a time or two by those crafty youths.  Inconceivable!

Another springtime party we’ve come to enjoy is that of celebrating the birth of Olivia.  This was her 3rd birthday and she just keeps getting more and more adorable.  We’ve been so blessed to be included in the birthday celebrations and other special events each year since she arrived in our friends’ home as a foster-adopt baby 3 years ago.  She’s coming into her own these days and is just too fun for words.  Her mom asked me to grab my camera and run over to take some quick photos one day when the sun was out, the temperatures were warm and it felt like an acceptable day to do an outdoor photoshoot.  The results were so many adorable photos I could not decide which were my favorites…..so, I gave almost all of them to her mom to decide.  Here’s a few of my favorites.

   

And, my personal favorite that every mother dreads her beautiful princess daughter doing………(you can tell I have all boys if I think this is cute)

At the end of these springtime days, there are the occasional glorious sunsets.  A couple of the evenings so far have been warm enough to walk along the beach and enjoy the sunset.  Austin, my eldest son, and I drove to one of our local beaches one evening and took photos, walked along the beach, skipped rocks and enjoyed the sunset.  It was glorious and one of those moments I have learned to treasure as my kids are nearing the ages of leaving home to live on their own.  Words cannot express the joy I find in these times with my boys.

Cama Beach State Park Cabins, Camano Island, Washington.

I hope you find a way to bask in every moment of every day.