I shot this session back in August and I’m just getting around to putting it up. Sarah and Josh were traveling back to Utah after a PNW adventure and we decided to meet at La Push beach outside of Forks, WA (where Twilight is still definitely a thing), a place I had never been. Its an eight hour drive to the Washington coast from where I live and I packed my two youngest boys and my sister into the car and we made the trek. If I can take my kids to shoots with me, especially to any place that I can count as a vacation or experience, they’re coming. Thats been my policy since day one. When my youngest son (who’s now 15 months) was young enough, I would put him in the backpack and shoot couples while Wiley, my second son, played around behind me (the oldest boy Kolten is his Dads sidekick). All that ended when baby decided he hated being confined to anything at anytime, and I had to start dragging a sitter/sister with me to shoots to make sure he didn’t eat more rocks than he should.
Shout out to my younger sister Lauren (my mom clearly ran out of creative juice after naming me) for her babysitting skills. Here they are at this shoot.
Anyway, Josh and Sarah let me play and the images make me happy.
Also, if you’re a photog, this set was edited with presets by Brooke Johnson of Blush by B photography (on IG @braillegold). Click here to visit her site.
This story makes me very happy. We shot this on a super cloudy day (the sun shone out for a quick minute at the very end) and I love the depth it gives the photos. There is a reason why I always push for in home when it comes to families and thats because the home is the heart. A lot of people have this mindset that their house is “not cute” and so immediately dismiss the idea when I bring it up but they are missing the point. It’s not about throw pillows and subway tiles.
The home is the heart of the family.
The circles are ran around mom in her outdated kitchen. The floors are scuffed and scratched from playtime. The furniture is creased and stained from naps with dad and markers missing paper. The mess is the mark of lives created from love. It is beautiful.
I recently photographed a 10 year old girl in her bedroom. I asked her to show me her room and her mom said ” she’s my messy one and didn’t care if you saw it this way” and that made me smile. I’m the messy one too. She marched me through the door with her name stamped in colored paper on the front and showed me her life in various stages of forgotten and crumpled. She flopped back on her unmade bed, every square inch of the floor covered with the things she wears and plays with, and I took her photo in that place. Her place.
Your home may not be perfect in your eyes, but it holds your life and its walls contain your truth, and I love when you let me in.
Here is yet ANOTHER Instagram couple. I don’t know how I end up with these seriously perfect-for-me people, but it keeps happening over and over. They treat me like a human and not like a business, and that is probably why I want to go above and beyond for all of them. I hadn’t met Carlie and Seth until the day of their wedding and once I laid eyes on her freaking face in person I almost died.
WHY DOES SHE GET TO WAKE UP LIKE THAT?
Heres the thing. This entire and I mean ENTIRE wedding season has brought me nothing but model status humans. I don’t know where they’re coming from or what they’re doing out there, I just know that I am somehow the donkey that gets to stand next to them for the entirety of the day while they look more beautiful than they ever have before (see photo for donkey and Goddess).
And not only are they beautiful, but they are so caring. They open their arms and their wedding day to me, they treat me like family and I take them out for cocktails whenever I’m in their city next. We share secrets and inside jokes like old friends. I love my couples and am so thankful that they are brought into my life. They are laid back, down for whatever and beautiful from their inners to their outers. Carlie and Seth. Literally love the shit out of you two.
Enjoy their beautiful Seattle wedding.
Florals: Studio 3 Floral
Venue: The Corson Building
Now that fall is here I wanted to remind everyone that it was once summer and you could comfortably go outside in what are essentially jean underwear. This is not a complaint on my part. Summer is my least favorite of all the seasons. I do not like the heat whatsoever. I like to have my body covered from the crown of my dry shampooed head to my long skinny skele-toes. Bring on all the pumpkin spice and wool socks, this girl is a basic bitch.
Heather and Chris are yet another of those couples that found me on the Instagram app. They were about to leave the PNW so Heather could go work for a hospital in LA. They pulled up with their canoe (that had flown off the trailer on the way over) and a bag of clothes. They sipped a little vodka while I picked the looks and we went for it.
The amazing thing about Instagram is that, in the way I use it, I am able to connect with people like me. My couples and I bond almost instantly, every single time. We laugh and hug and play, we acknowledge how silly and stupid the process can be and we end up parting with friendship and a few good inside jokes.
I always say that I’m not a business, I am a human looking for other humans that want me to tell their story, my way. My clients do not constrict me to a Pinterest list of photos and shots they want. They let me tell their story, at my pace, in my way, but with their permission. We work together and achieve amazing things.
On the banks of the lake, Heather and Chris made their photo story come to life and I soaked it all in.
Adore you two souls.
Liya is a Russian princess with the most incredible mermaid hair in the world (and she wants to cut it and I vote no and will start a petition soon) and Igor ( FREAKING IGOR IS THE BEST NAME FOR A DUDE EVER) wears leather driving gloves to steer to his ultra cool European whatsit that I want to own. This session actually only occurred because Morgan of In Frames Photography invited me to come shoot a wedding with her in Seattle (which I didn’t get to do because life) and I stalked Liya online and asked her to come play at Snoqualmie Falls with us.
Heres the thing about Snoqualmie Falls: you cannot actually get to it without risking life and limb. They have absolute made it no easy task to get down to the actual falls.
After some frustration, we ended up settling for the river shoreline. And then of course the car, which was not in the original plan. As soon as we saw them pull up in it we knew it was on though.
Anyway, here is some shots I took from their session. I hope you’re picking up what I’m putting out.
I drove with my sister and my youngest son the four hours to Seattle for this amazing wedding (styled by the incredible Kaleb Norman James), checking in to a hotel two blocks from Pike Place Market. This was one of those weddings where I spent time running between the wedding events and my own hotel room to breast feed my youngest, Bowie. I want to always remember that, as he’s older now and those days are sadly over.
I first officially saw Molly’s face a week before her wedding over FaceTime but when I met her in person I was absolutely floored by how friggen gorgeous she was. Perfect beauty mark placement and the prettiest smile are just cherries on top of a beautiful soul. The speeches at this wedding went on and on, because there are just that many people that love Molly. Oh and Andrew, lest we forget. Andrew is a twin and he and his brother (and also his youngest brother) had me cracking up all night long. The speeches from the two brothers were the funniest I have ever heard at a wedding, and I have heard some doozies in my day.
I have been so fortunate to be chosen by clients that I get along really well with. All of my clients (literally all) include me in every aspect of their day, they take such good care of me the entire time I’m with them, I can totally be myself with them and often times they ask me to stay after and hang out when I’m doing shooting (which I’m old so night night).
I don’t know how this keeps happening but fingers crossed it doesn’t stop.
Here is a preview of their day. I struggle with blogging weddings because I find it difficult to tell the story in full without posting 400 photos, but I did my best and you can let me know if I suck.
So here it is, my favorite photos and some of the highlights of Molly and Andrews Seattle wedding.
Congratulations you guys and thank you for the honor. <3 L
Oh my my my. I adore these two people. I was incredibly excited when Nicole and Ammon invited me to Utah to shoot an in-home couples session for their wedding anniversary. My husband tagged along and we decided to spend our two downs in Vegas and drive to Utah to shoot these two. I decided I want a “vintage” Vegas experience and picked a landmark hotel, The Paris. Without going in to too much detail, I will just say I will NOT be doing that ever again. I didn’t even gamble and my husband got into it with a dude in an Olaf costume, so needless to say, The Strip was a big fat bust. Thank goodness I had something to do that I actually like. Cody (husband) and I drove down to St. George, Utah and were amazed at the contrast of landscape in the Arizona desert as compared to what we are used to in the PNW. I’ve never seen bare mountains in my entire life and decided to dub Arizona “Naked Montana” because I imagine thats what Montana looks like if you strip it down. Such a beautiful place and I hope to spend more time shooting in the desert in the future.
At any rate, Cody is lurking in the edges of all these photos. Heres an outtake of him channeling his inner Ragnar Lothbrook (my favorite TV character currently since Sons of Anarchy went away..insert cry face emoji).
Nicole and Ammon were so cute, so in love, and so down for whatever. My favorite kind of people to work with. Here’s their story.
(PS Their love video got 35,000 views on Instagram (click to check out ))
Thanks you two <3
In May, I went to Cape Kiwanda on the Oregon coast and I never wanted to leave. I am a constant victim of Instagram wanderlust and this is one of the places that always gives me gaga eyes when it pops up on a photographers feed. Shooting there was a dream. I met Darcy and Joey in the parking lot of a beach where my second son Wiley (pictured below from that day)and I were eating blue popsicles.
The day was not what I expected, as usual. It ended up being really cloudy and foggy when I had pictured a rich and warm sunset. I dressed myself and my kids in our summer best that day because I’m not that bright and decided that since it was 80 in Portland where we were staying, it must be 80 at Cape Kiwanda as well. We all ended up freezing our asses off in 50 degree weather but spent the day playing in the sand and eating snow cones nonetheless. This couples session was my first in Oregon and also marked my first time on the Oregon coast. Darcy gave me the old “good luck, we’re SO awkward” line right off the bat and immediately contradicted herself the second we started shooting. The chemistry is undeniable, even in front of a stranger with a camera, and I have found that the more ridiculous people feel, the better the photos because they laugh and fidget the entire time. Joey had me laughing along the way, and the three of us spent a couple hours climbing rocks, chasing crashing waves and rolling in the sand.
I am so grateful to you two for this experience and I cannot wait to document your wedding next summer.
You two <3
More couples photos coming in hot. Jo and I met on Instagram. I feel like every blog post includes this sentence, but it hass become something of a pattern in my life. Jo and I have an instafriendship situation, not only because we met on IG but because we clicked right off the bat. She is a successful photographer in her own right, and came with her curly-haired boyfriend, Matt, all the way from Arkansas for a taste of the great PNW. I met them in Vantage (with two kids in tow) on my way back from where I was working in the San Juan islands and we played in some sand, irritated some truck drivers and took a dip (Them, not me. That’s a hard pass) in the ice cold Columbia river. These two were down for absolutely anything and I had the best time watching them interact with each other. I had Wiley, my second son (who also has an amazing mop of curls) with us and Jo and I decided that Matt was what Wiley will look like in the future so we made them take a picture together (which I wanted to post but can’t find now. Sad.) When I was editing these photos, Wiley was sitting on my lap and pointed to Matt with a “hey mama. I member him. That guy has curwy haiw wike me. We played at the sand dunes.” The little dude remembers all apparently.
So anyway, aside from making a lasting impression on my spawn, Jo and Matt made me feel very free to create what I wanted and went with every little whim of mine, including standing on the side of the freeway, making out while getting honked at by truck drivers. Every girls dream.
I adore you two. You know this. Thank you endlessly for asking me to do this with you. <3
Check out their love film:
And now their (many many) photos:
Safety first, then teamwork.
Lauren and Max invited me into their beautiful apartment on a rainy (surprise) Seattle morning to document their first home before they move. I got a $43 parking ticket in the garage underneath their building because a lady would not buy me a parking pass on her card in exchange for a $10 bill (she would have doubled her money) after I left my wallet in the hotel room and the machine wouldn’t take cash. If it were me and anyone asked me to do that, I would gladly, and I’m still mad at her and she can STILL kiss it. I spent the walk up to their building muttering to myselfunder my breath and cursing the woman with many parking tickets in the future.
We spent the morning running around their apartment, laughing as Max serenaded his woman with some female pop singers newest hit and talking about how they would miss the Pony Club next door where the parties were raging everyday Sunday as the gay men in the area danced the night away to DJ Kitty Glitter (Actual name). I love Seattle so much.
I thank you so much Lauren and Max for inviting me into your home for this lovely experience. I had the best time with you guys.
Remember, safety first then teamwork.