Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sunshine with the Simmons Family ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

I recently had the opportunity to photograph the Simmons family- a lovely bunch with five beautiful and energetic children!  We decided on Fort Steilacoom Park for our session (which you may find familiar since I did the Hayman family's shoot there recently as well!).

What a beautiful and versatile location it is.  With the old farm buildings and the interestingly-shaped trees, we found plenty of natural props for the kids to play on and around.  This family has so much fun together, and so much love for each other, it was a privilege just to be there capturing the magic with my camera!  Scroll down and click on the individual photos to see for yourself.  The Simmons clan is definitely one big happy family!

This might be one of my all-time favorite photos.  Unorthodox posing, but truly a special shot!

Brothers photo!

You all know I am a sucker for the sweet Mom & Dad shot!

Sometimes at the end of a session, tickling is the best bet for a good smile!

Just in time for Father's Day- the Father & Sons shot!

See?  Aren't they just such an adorable group?  These little ones definitely don't lack any fun or love in their lives.  I'm so glad I had the chance to photograph them!

Until next time,
~ Kathryn

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Mini-Shoot with the Millers ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

It's hard to believe that the last time I did an official family portrait session for the Miller family was in 2015!  A lot has happened in their lives since then, and the photos below may give you a bit of a hint as to the most obvious change...

That's right- they had a baby boy!  That sweet and lively boy is now one year old, so we thought it would be the perfect time to photo-document this new season of their family life.  As is our custom, we went to Blueberry Park in Tacoma, which is beautiful all year round.  This time of year, the bushes are all in full blossom- with millions of little white flowers promising a fruitful summertime harvest of berries.  We also chose to do our session after dinner time, when the light was at its best- dreamy and yellow and bright.  

As I have become accustomed to with the Miller family, the session turned out beautifully.  The love they all have for each other was easy to see (and capture), and the new element of sibling interaction was fun to photograph as well.  Just scroll down through the photos below and see for yourself!  (Click on any individual photo to view it larger.)

Aren't those pictures just a breath of fresh air?  I don't know if it's the colors, the light, or the subjects, but these photos make me smile.  I hope they had the same effect on you!  

Until next time,
~ Kathryn

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Catching up with the Haymans ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

As I've said before, repeat clients are my favorite types of clients!  The Hayman family is a perfect example.  Back in the fall of 2011, they were the winners of my "free photo shoot giveaway," which they cashed in on the following spring.  Since that first photo session, I've done two newborn shoots and two family shoots for them, and each one has been more fun than the last.

About a month ago, they drove about 2.5 hours up to Tacoma to meet me for their most recent session- a mini family shoot at Fort Steilacoom Park. The weather was beautiful, the park was charming, and the Hayman girls were full of energy and smiles for me.  It was a perfect combination!  Scroll down to see a glimpse of our lovely afternoon in Steilacoom:

(As always you can click on an individual photo to see it larger.)

Ahh, the sweet love of sisters.  Intermittent, but precious!  ;)

These old barns at Fort Steilacoom make excellent backdrops!

Cherry blossoms make excellent props, don't they?

If you know the Haymans, you know how appropriate this photo is.  They are busy, but they're all in it together, and they're teaching their girls how to be healthy and active!

See?  Don't those photos just make you smile?  I can't wait to see how adorable the Haymans will be the next time I photograph them!  Thanks for looking, and have a great weekend!

~ Kathryn

Monday, April 3, 2017

My Outdoor/ Indoor shoot with the Medawars! ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

Before spring had even sprung this year, I had the opportunity to do a family shoot for my friends, the Medawars.  Though I didn't know it at the time, this session would go down in the history books of my photographic career as one of the most potentially disastrous, with (thankfully) a wonderful finished product. With high hopes, umbrellas, and wardrobe change options, we planned their session for a weekend day with a reasonable-looking weather forecast and hoped for the best.  As many of you know, I shoot outdoors for almost all types of sessions- even in winter.  I will admit that that's even a point of pride for me.  But on this particular day, my resolve (and theirs) was about to be tested.

The Medawars had to drive a decent way to get down to the Tacoma area, but when they arrived, the sun was shining and the only hint at what was to come was the persistently cold wind coming in from the Puget sound.  Undeterred, we loaded into the car and drove the quick 5-minute trip to Blueberry Park (one of my favorite locations year-round).  As we got out, I remember saying "Wow, it's getting colder, isn't it?"  About 30 seconds later, rain began to pelt down on us at a 45-degree angle.  I considered getting out the umbrellas that we'd planned to incorporate into the shoot, but the wind was too strong, so I left them.

As the Medawars' son climbed out of the car about a minute later and commented on the cold, we grown-ups tried to reassure him that once we got moving, we would hardly notice the bad weather.  It was about this time that the rain turned into snow, and then hail.  The changes in the weather were so fast and so detrimental to our cause that it was almost comical.  Almost, but not quite.  At that point, we all wanted to be done with the session (which is not so good when it hasn't even begun yet), so we walked through a small forested area to get to the clearing where we'd be doing most of our shoot.

As the junior verbal member of our expedition, the Medawar's son again stated the obvious fact that this weather was terrible.  I think it went something like, "Daddy!  It's TOOOOO COOOOOOLD!  I wanna go hooooome!"  I have to hand it to his Dad, though.  He put forward the best effort I've yet seen of turning a Pacific-Northwest "sleet-blizzard" into a hot day at the beach- all with the power of imagination.  Their son, bless his heart, was doing an amazing job of playing along.  He imagined the bitter cold was actually warmth, and the blustery wind was actually crashing waves.

But everyone has a breaking point.

Needless to say, I am amazed that we even got the two pictures we did (see below) before they, out of an understandable concern for their children's fingers and toes, asked me if we could just leave the park and try something indoors.  I wasn't about to argue with them.  Even my stubborn photographer's optimism was waning, and no Photoshop editing can turn a frozen and tear-stained grimace into a smile.  So, for the first time in the history of my photographic career, we stopped the session and went home.  To be honest, it felt so good getting back into the car.  We had been at the park for an admittedly miserable 10 minutes...

Once we had come to our senses and our eyes, noses, and fingers were thawing out on the drive home, I began to formulate plan B.  Though I haven't done it for a family shoot in years, I pulled out my backdrop stands and backdrops, along with my photo lights, and started setting up a portrait studio in my living room.  (The blessing, of course, was that the weather conditions in my living room were much more controlled than the craziness outside.)

The rest, as you can see below, turned out swimmingly.  We had warm, serene, and sweet family photos with happy children and parents, and not a single incidence of frostbite!  The real kicker was that about an hour later, the sun came out, the wind stopped, the sky was blue, and it looked like June outside.  All I could do was shake my head.  I guess the Medawars were meant to have a mostly-indoor session!  And considering how our shoot began, I was beyond grateful for the way it all turned out!  Take a look through the photos below and see for yourself.  It's *almost* like we planned it this way!  ;)

Look  at these two!  Quite the dynamic little duo.  :)

I just love that Mother-Daughter tenderness.

So there you have it, dear readers!  We started out with lemons and came out with lemonade.  Let's hope I never misjudge the bad-weather risk so completely again!  I want to extend a big thank you to the Medawar family for being so flexible and good-natured, and for being such an adorable family for me to photograph!

Until next time,
~ Kathryn

Saturday, February 18, 2017

STILL Keeping up with the Joneses ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

Last year, you may remember that I shared with you all a photo shoot I did waaaay out in Fort Collins, Colorado for my brother and his beautiful family.  Well, they must have liked my work, because they asked me to do another shoot for them!  And of course, I was eager to do it.  How could I resist another chance to photograph a beautiful family, whom I love, in a picturesque location- which also happens to be right in their backyard?

Because of the shortened days of winter, we started our session racing against the setting sun.  We did get some lovely shots while the sun was still above the horizon; in the first few photos you can see that golden sunlight just lighting up the whole sky.  And for the shots that took place after sunset, we caught the blues and pinks and purples that followed.  They made a really nice frame for my subjects!

All the locations you see in the photos are in a protected wilderness area right behind my brother's house, which means that I didn't have to worry about random structures or vehicles or roads ending up in the background of their photos.  We also didn't see any other humans along the entire route.  By the time the light ran out, we were almost frozen anyway, and their dog had decided to take off into a lake after some wildlife.  It was quite the exciting end to an otherwise peaceful photo session.  Amusingly, their dog ran right through the corner of the frame as I was taking some of the last shots, so we have photo proof of her misbehavior!

Cutest little nephew award!  :)

He did that "Mr. Cool" pose all by himself.  No prompting needed!

What a beautiful family!

Excellent choice on the leg, Sarah!  ;)

Here it is!  The moment she made that fateful choice to run into the lake, while her owners were yet unaware!

This was one of the best smiles of the session.  I believe his Daddy was asking him which flavor of ice cream he wanted when they got home.

We took the opportunity to do a little baby #2 announcement photo during our session, too!

I'll end with this adorable mother-and-son shot.  So sweet.  :)

Well, thanks for looking, everybody!  Stay tuned for more photos from my Colorado trip in a few weeks, and stay warm out there!

~ Kathryn

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Waiting for Baby: Yadon Maternity Shoot ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

Around Thanksgiving time, 2016, I had the unique opportunity to do three photo shoots in the span of one week- all while on vacation in Northern Colorado.  It may sound stressful, but really, it was a fun challenge.  One of those three shoots was a maternity mini session for the Yadon family- an adorable couple about to welcome their first child into the world.

Maternity shoots are always a good time, because we're all very clear about the reason for the excitement that's being documented.  Mom and Dad are feeling a lot of lovey feelings for each other, Mom is glowing, and there's an underlying anticipation that permeates every shot.  We all know that something amazing is going to happen in the next few weeks, but the details remain a mystery.  And I get to capture all of those feelings on "film!"  It's quite an honor.

On this particular day, it was bitterly cold (says this maritime climate gal) and the wind made our ears numb by about five minutes into the shoot.  Thankfully, my shutter finger still worked.  We chose a rustic little location called Jessup Farm and found a few well-positioned barn doors and brick walls to use as our backdrops.  The Yadons were great sports- going along with all my ideas and bringing changes of clothes, a few perfect little props, and willing (if frozen) smiles.  I could not have asked for more!

Scroll down and check out these two lovebirds at less than a month out from meeting their baby!  (Click on a photo to view it larger.)

By now, of course, their adorable baby girl has made her appearance!  If the love between her Mom and Dad in these photos is any indication, I'm going to say that she is one lucky little lady.  And hopefully, she'll be very well documented!

Stay tuned for more Colorado shoots!
~ Kathryn