Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bon Voyage to the Coutures! ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

This family portrait session was bittersweet for me.  The Couture Family, as you may recall, has been a regular fixture of my blog since 2011, when they moved to Tacoma.  I still remember meeting Toni as we sat in the church nursery with our babies, and finding out that she and her husband were looking for a photographer.  Someone else in the room piped up, "Kathryn's a photographer!" and the rest, as they say, is history.  From our first session way back in the late summer of that year, I knew that this was going to be a special relationship.  Because of that photo shoot, I had the opportunity to get to know the Coutures when they were still just putting down roots in the community.  Toni and I became good friends, and our families became friends, too!

Over the years, I was honored to do maternity photos for them, Christmas photos each fall, and a sweet at-home family shoot when their youngest made his debut.  But as fun as it has been to be their family photographer while they were here, it was even better to be their friend.  They are such a lovely family, so full of life and love and exuberance.  The love, and fun, and silliness you see in the photos below is perfectly descriptive of their family, and it's all genuine.  For those of you reading this from the East Coast, I hope you're enjoying your time with these wonderful folks, because Washington is certainly missing them!

Parents, don't you just love it when you can have a romantic moment with your spouse while your children leap around you tossing flower petals and behaving like little angels?  Well, all I can say is...  I have photographic evidence here that it's happened!  ;)

Ah, what a handsome couple!

This photo is proof that sometimes the laughing photos are better than the smiling ones!

I think I had my camera set to "capture personality" on this one.

If I recall correctly, this was her reaction when asked if she was excited to go to Disneyland...

It was so hard choosing the best of these dancing photos.  These girls know how to move!

These last two photos happened right after this little guy handed his sister a flower to help cheer her up.  What a sweet sibling bond!

So, the Coutures are pretty great, am I right?  Here's hoping they find themselves back in Tacoma and back in front my lens someday!

~ Kathryn

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sunny Session with the Fishers ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

When it comes to photo shoots with very young children, it's a pretty rare occasion that a little tyke will stay happy for the entire hour (or two hour) long session.  In fact, I am trying now to recall if it's ever happened before...

Well, that all changed this past August when I spent the afternoon with the Fisher Family at Charlotte's Blueberry Park down here in Tacoma.  The day was beautiful, bursting with sunshine, and their little boy, Jack, had a sunny disposition to match.  According to his parents, this is how he is pretty much all the time (genetic jackpot!).  As you can imagine, this only made my job easier, and our shoot went swimmingly, and pretty quickly.

We wandered through a little orchard area with dappled sunlight and low trees, then spent a little bit of time picking blueberries in the main area of the park.  Perhaps the built-in snacks helped with the great moods?  Either way, I have nothing to complain about, and only wonderful things to say about Jack and his parents.  It was a joy to photograph them, and the love they share as a family was evident in every photo.  I can't ask for better than that!

I love props with a story.  This chair was given to me by my neighbor.  It was her husband's chair as a boy- handmade in 1911!

True love!  This one melts my heart.

I love using books as props- especially the classics!

Jack was enamored with this old basin.  He wanted to stay in it long after I was done with this pose.  Then he wanted to drag it around behind him and keep his stuffed friend in it.  It was so funny!

That expression!  He's going to be a heart-breaker, and a comedian, probably.  ;)

I love capturing those moments of spontaneous, goofy interaction between parents and their kids.  Parents don't get to see themselves doing that, so it's a great image to preserve.

This one is so sweet.  I think Jack's Daddy was either nuzzling or sniffing his head back there.  ;)

Father/ Son blueberry time.  This is one blessed little guy!

Well, I hope you enjoyed perusing these adorable photos as much as I enjoyed staring at them for the past week while editing them!  ;)  Stay tuned for another cute family shoot in the next two weeks...

~ Kathryn

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Pitroff Portraits! ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

As far as repeat clients are concerned, I consider myself pretty blessed.  Many of my friends trust me to take their portraits, and many of my clients become my friends.  I have known the Pitroff family for about 7 years now, and I've had the pleasure of doing their first maternity photos, newborn photos for their first child, and a family session when they were expecting their 2nd.  This time around, as you might be able to tell, their 3rd baby was within days of arriving, and their shoot hummed with the love and mutual anticipation that was fitting for that season of their lives.

Speaking of seasons (even though it's now fall), we did this session while it was still summertime: warm, bright, and relaxed, with bright bursts of blinding sunshine to boot!  The light was fun to work with, and the Pitroffs were dressed with appropriately bright, fashionable attire, which worked out quite nicely.

Their son, Elias, was very compliant, goofy, and happy (woohoo!), while their daughter, Evelyn, was not having the easiest day.  To be honest, this predicament is so normal that I am more surprised when all the children in a family are cheerful and in good moods for our photo shoot.  Most often, one or all of the kids in a family are "off," and the photos still turn out just fine.  I always say, the camera doesn't know what was going on before the shutter went off, and it has no idea if the smile it captured was surrounded by 20 minutes of frowning.  I love how cameras have that ability!  I also love how older siblings have the ability to draw their younger siblings out of a funk, which happened several times on this particular day.  For a perfect example of this, take note of the adorable shots of Elias peeking through the screen door at his sister.  It was so precious!

At the end of the day, we left Bothell Landing (which is an excellent location- I highly recommend it) with worn-out children (them) and memory card full of gold (me).  I came away with so many winners that it was hard to narrow them down!  Thankfully, this is a problem I love to have.  :)

This one almost has a "secret garden" kind of feel to it.

Mother and son.  So sweet!
Doesn't every woman want her husband to look at her this way?  
The sunlight blasting through this gazebo/ bell tower was gorgeous!

This is the tickle tactic in action.  I don't know whether she was crying or laughing in this one, but it looks good regardless!

I was so glad to get some sweet smiles out of Evelyn.  She is such a cutie!

I love how much Sara (the Mama) laughs.  What joy!

The kids were having quite a fun game of peek-a-boo with this screen door, and it was pure magic for photos.  I was glad to be in the right place at the right time!

Ah, what a wonderful family.  I just love 'em!  Don't you?  :)  Stay tuned for the next couple of years and I'm sure you'll see more of them, with more little cuties running around, too!  

~ Kathryn

Saturday, October 4, 2014

My Beautiful Beach Session with the Turners ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

Friends, it would appear that one of my favorite photo shoots of all time may have a new rival... and ironically, it features the very same couple!  The Turners also happen to hold a very special title when it comes to this blog- for the most popular post (ever), and it's certainly well-deserved.  I don't want to repeat myself too much (you should really go back and read the post from their first session with me), but Brandon and Heather are some of my favorite people.  My husband and I have been friends with them for over 10 years now, and my respect for them and their marriage only grows as the years go by.  From a purely superficial perspective, they are also really adorable together and a whole lot of fun to be around.

It should come as no surprise, then, that our photo shoot out on the Pacific Coast was a family affair.  My husband managed our two young children while my camera and I fawned over our dear friends, the Turners.  With a location like that, the hardest choice I had to make was "Do I pose these two lovebirds in front of the iron-stained cliffs with windblown trees, in the midst of a field of wild grasses, or frolicking in the surf at dusk?"  Yup, tough decisions.  I simply had to choose option "D" and do them all.  :)

The last two parts of our shoot were more spontaneous.  Once the main part of our session was done, we gathered around the campfire my husband had made and started roasting marshmallows.  We were planning to do this anyway, as a precursor to our fire-grilled dinner, but it turned out that Brandon and Heather were just too cute roasting marshmallows squished onto their short little log bench, sooo... out came my camera again.  Brandon proceeded to burn a few marshmallows (I have photographic proof), and his wife's long-suffering looks were priceless.  As usual, many of my favorite photos from this shoot were the unplanned ones.

Finally, you may notice a new element in this photo shoot- one I have never included in a portrait session before:  Fireworks.  Yup.  Professional-quality, big, loud, beautiful, close, FIREWORKS.  Folks, I wish I could say that I planned it that way, or that I had the guts to walk over to the people on the beach who were putting on the show to ask them for specifically-timed explosions.  But this is yet another example of the value of being in the right place, at the right time, with a camera.  So we took full advantage of this blessed photo-op coincidence and had the Turners stand back from the fire, in front of the fireworks, and just keep kissing while I waited for that subtle hissing sound that hinted at the explosion to come.  They probably stood there kissing intermittently for about 20 minutes.  (I know, what a drag, right?)  And at the end of the night, I got to leave with a full memory card and a lot of wonderful memories with some wonderful people.  I'm pretty sure that qualifies this session as a win-win-win.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed seeing the Turners again.  Now go out and make some fireworks of your own!

~ Kathryn