A Day In The Life

I think I love lifestyle sessions, and this one was especially touching. These three kids were so gentle and kind. When a dejected neighbor kid (there were quite a few waiting very patiently to play) asked why they were getting their pictures taken, I loved hearing their response that they would be gifts for people they loved.

Just look how they dote on their little sister. Whenever she’d get hurt or upset they would swoop in with kisses, hugs and sweet words to cheer her up.

They were so excited to show me their coolest toys, their favorite books, or their nicest drawings, making sure I photo documented each one. These images will make amazing photo books for loved ones, and I hope they enjoy looking back when they are older, to remember a day in the life of their childhood home.

 

Family and friends feel free to share these images while I put the finishing touches on their gallery 🙂

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Senior in Seattle

Please enjoy this photographic tour with Natalie in Seattle. This mother-daughter duo was so much fun, and my son played hookie from his half day to join us. We hit so many great locations and saw areas of the city I’ve never been to before. This session blog reads a bit like a travel guide, so if you are a Seattle fan, you might enjoy it. If you aren’t a Seattle fan you’ve never been here, because this city is awe-some in every way.natalie-4

First stop, Kerry Park, for the most famous view of the city skyline. Even on an overcast weekday morning we still were vying with a crowd of photographing visitors for a little space along the wall to snap a few shots. Kerry Park is the most incredible neighborhood to take a stroll through, with beautiful homes and tree-lined streets. We went for a walk and snapped a couple shots before moving downtown.

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“Eagle” by Alexander Calder is a prominent sculpture in Olympic Sculpture Park. Do you see it? This sculpture, like a few others we stopped at, should be viewed from a specific angle to see what the artist was envisioning. Since we were here to photograph Natalie, and not the sculpture itself, we just enjoyed it for its bold red color that precisely matched her shade of lipstick. And this ^^ botched attempt at a forced perspective shot.

natalie-11natalie-12natalie-13natalie-14natalie-16natalie-17natalie-18Love and Loss by Roy McMakin was one of Natalie’s favorites, for it’s creative message and functionality. From the right vantage point it creatively spells “Love & Loss” using benches and a live tree. For a portrait photographer, it’s a nightmare. I couldn’t capture that vantage point without a step ladder. We did find this cute little boardwalk though, and managed to get in the iconic space needle in the background.

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And here, on our way to our next location, we enjoyed a stroll along the waterfront which is sort of  a great mixture of earthquake disaster area waiting to happen, and an amazing area to bike, walk and look at scenery.natalie-21natalie-22

The Old Spaghetti Factory is a Portland Based chain and iconic restaurant along the Seattle waterfront that has been in this location since 1970. Peeking in the windows on our walk, it looks like a date night dream come true. Unfortunately, this will be one of the last photos of it as “The Old Spaghetti Factory” because they have sold the property. The building is protected as a historical landmark and will remain in this location, though it’s use (and name) will change.

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The Bell Harbor Marina is Seattle’s only downtown recreational marina, and was full of beautiful yachts, even in November (as a Michigan native the seasonal differences are still wow-worthy to me). These images are also the only ones we got with Seattle’s Great Wheel on Pier 57. This giant Ferris Wheel only opened a few years ago, but it’s a fun focal point along this lovely city waterfront.natalie-27natalie-28

These stairs led us up to a shopping and foodie’s paradise. So. Many. Smells. It was at about this point that my eight year old assistant started talking incessantly about finding a “dinner place.” We stopped for the twinkle lights and the Seattle signboard and then continued on our way.

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Enter Pike Place Market- Seattle’s first farmer’s market. It was designed to eliminate the price gouging from crooked wholesalers in the 1890s, and provide fresh produce to a city in desperate need of these items. Today, Pike Place Market remains Seattle’s neighborhood marketplace, the center of fresh, locally produced and high quality foods, goods and handcrafted products. Come and watch them throw the fish– we did.

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And you can’t do Seattle without Starbucks. Unless you are from Seattle and then maybe you are one of those *other coffee place* people. But today we are team Starbucks and had to stop for a delicious drink with whip cream and a straw (for photographic purposes, of course).natalie-34natalie-40natalie-41And you know I couldn’t sit and work on this set without googling “Banksy” (see the sign accidentally hidden under my watermark) to make sure it wasn’t something horribly inappropriate. So, turns out he’s a renown British graffiti artist. Check him out- a really fun read with lots of unique imagery.

And yes, these are my favorites so I posted quite a few poses here.

natalie-42natalie-43natalie-44natalie-45natalie-47natalie-48And you know you were waiting for it…. the Market Theater “Gum Wall” in Post Alley. The Gum Wall was actually cleaned one year ago (November 2015), for the first time in 20 years. Can you tell? People came together to start re-gumming it right away. Look what we can accomplish when we work together toward a shared goal!

natalie-50Either my lovely model is not a bubble blower, or she just had a really lame piece of gum, but it was completely hilarious to watch her try to get a good one.

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And if you know Seattle really well, you might get this last one. We had to stop for a sip at the first-ever- Starbucks. We certainly didn’t buy our coffees here, the line was out the door and down the sidewalk. I have to wonder if the coffee tastes any different than from the one down a block. But I love to see people out having fun in this lively and social scene.

We had a great day out snapping pictures– thanks ladies. Your senior session, and all sessions really, are more than just a collection of nice images, they are memories captured. I hope that you both will remember this as a great mother-daughter day spent enjoying the city. Family and friends feel free to share these watermarked images while I finish up your full gallery!

Waiting to Meet You, Beautiful Baby…

I have to say, this beautiful mother-daughter duo really stole the show at the local state park that night. What an amazing session with two great ladies. Evelin really put a lot of thought this session– hair, makeup, and carefully planned outfits on a budget; in short, she was every photographer’s dream. She also really helped me with some creative poses that I am so in love with. For a new photographer starting out, she was a great help.  These are images I will be very proud to have in my portfolio. I cannot wait to meet her new arrival. Friends and family feel free to share these watermarked images while I finish up her complete gallery!evelinwm-22evelinwm-2evelinwm-3evelinwm-11evelinwm-12evelinwm-14evelinwm-16evelinwm-18evelinwm-27evelinwm-28evelinwm-29evelinwm-30evelinwm-32evelinwm-33evelinwm-34evelinwm-35evelinwm-36evelinwm-39evelinwm-41evelinwm-43evelinwm-46evelinwm-47evelinwm-48evelinwm-49evelinwm-50evelinwm-51evelinwm-52evelinwm-53evelinwm-56evelinwm-57evelinwm-58evelinwm-59evelinwm-60evelinwm-61evelinwm-64evelinwm-65evelinwm-66

Sunset at Green Acres

With the holidays around the corner this family requested a session at Green Acres Christmas Tree farm, which is really much more than just trees— it’s a beautiful property adorned with pretty Christmas trees, a barn, and a pond. It is owned by a very friendly family who welcomed us warmly; they were happy to share their little slice of heaven.

I think that a photo session is more than a collection of nice images, it is also a memory captured; and because it is also photo, it is a day you will never forget. This family really embraced that, and we had such a nice evening. As kids get older photo sessions become more of a challenge. That one year session is a real treat— your little model is mobile but you are still faster and able to catch the action. This guy is just over a year, but still willing to give me those great smiles. I got a kick out of Dad, and how every time I turned around he was sneaking a kiss for Mom without even being told to for a pose. They really were a family full of love!

Please enjoy a few of my favorite images from their session and feel free to share with family or friends while I put the finishing touches on their full gallery.

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Tiffany’s Session- 9/29/16

I had a great morning in Tacoma with this beautiful graduating senior and her bestie, Kaitlyn (who I am happy to report is becoming a Spare Room Studio “regular”)! I love the best friend shots– everyone should be so fortunate to have such a special bond.

We were all very impressed with the scenery at Defiance Park. I cannot wait to shoot at this location again! I’ve included a few highlights from her session- enjoy!

 

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Newborn Goals

Miss Penelope Sage is the first newborn I’ve had the pleasure of working with. She was beautiful and precious. I haven’t spent any amount of time with a baby since my own daughter was one, and I’d forgotten just how tiny and perfect they are.

For a photographer a newborn is a great challenge- they don’t listen to any posing advice and only perform when they are asleep. Penelope was a newborn who was very alert and interested in everything around her; consequently, we didn’t get a lot of “keepers” in our first session. We rescheduled for a couple days later and tried again. This time “Penny” was much sleepier and still so adorable. We did get some nice shots, but I learned a lot about the challenges of newborn photography, and I have some lofty goals to get my newborn images where I want them.

Below I’ve listed some obstacles from this first newborn session that I will be working to overcome:

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One: Babies poop– a lot! Naked photos pose a great risk to anyone holding the infant! During this shot mom found herself with a lap full of baby poop that was partially negated by the use of strategically placed puppy pee pads. Plan to get a little messy–and try not to flinch when it happens, even if it is on your favorite fur prop. Everything is washable. If it isn’t, don’t buy it. Newborn props and blankets need to be washed after every single session. If it comes in contact with the baby, it must be clean!

 

 

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Two: Wraps are HARD. All those photos of cozy little bundles of baby goodness are taken by SKILLED PROFESSIONALS. Miss Penelope just wanted to kick those legs, and stretch out. I have read that newborns are supposed to be curly. Penny prefers to be strong and long. I remember that my own babies did too. Doing a good wrap will be a long term goal for me!

 

 

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Three: No one thinks about Modesty until it’s time to edit. I spent far too long trying to photoshop a blanket over exposed baby parts. This image was from my first session. I finally decided to throw in the towel and invite Penny back for a second round of photos– this time paying more attention to tiny details.

 

 

 

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Four: Creamy smooth complexions. It’s not natural for a baby to be creamy and smooth. With nursing and the business of just being born, it’s nearly impossible. Babies are, by default, a little red and usually have some baby acne and flaky skin. So photoshop is a lot trickier (that’s one reason why newborn sessions are a bit pricier than, say, a senior who had the courtesy to go to Macy’s for make-up on the way over.) Getting that “natural” coloring and creamy complexion on a baby takes a lot of skill. I am humbled by the project and recognize that I have such a long way to go. Even with a remarkably unblemished baby like Penny I found myself struggling with the lightroom adjustments for a long time, and never feeling completely satisfied.

 

 

 

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Five: Posing is really important. With proper arrangement this could have been a cute shot. Instead, you see a moderately distressed and uncomfortable little subject. I snapped this at the end thinking I might get lucky. I wish I would have taken the time to get her comfortable, let her nurse, and try again. Advice to myself: Don’t even click the shutter until you’re happy with the pose. If it’s not a perfect picture, what’s the point? Allow more time for newborn sessions, work through poses faster when they are asleep (I found that I was always afraid to move her when she was sleeping– which slows things down, for sure), and plan nursing breaks frequently.

 

So with these (and a few other) changes in mind, I am anxious to meet my next little baby. I just know I am going to find my groove. It’s just going to take some practice! The good news: I price accordingly. Newborns will continue to be priced at a heavily discounted  rate until I feel I am delivering a quality image.

 

Below you’ll find a few more images from the session. In the future I hope to provide a lot more “keepers.” I’m excited to check back in a year and see how my photography has progressed– hopefully I’ll do it right after Penny’s one year milestone session!

 

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Kaitlyn’s Senior Portrait Session

I am going to take a break on writing for this entry and let these images speak for themselves. Kaitlyn was my first senior session, and such a pleasure to work with. She’s so very down to earth, friendly, and photogenic. If you are a photographer feel free to browse these poses– I think they all turned out beautifully. Enjoy! If you are a senior, this is the time to schedule to make sure you get your images into the yearbook. My prices are very competitive. Be sure to check out the website http://www.spareroomphotography.com for rates and details 🙂

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