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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Downtown Cowans ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

When my faithful friends and frequent clients, the Cowan family, wanted to do a mini photo session this past fall, all of the usual locations went through my mind.  As many of you are probably aware, I usually do photo shoots in natural locations, so when their oldest daughter suggested that we do their session in downtown Tacoma, I was really excited for the change of scenery!

We started outdoors at the beautiful white Spanish Steps, then walked up to Opera Alley, which I had never actually been to before (shame, shame!).  The brick buildings and colorful doors and windows gave us many more options than we could even have chosen.  The low-light photos you'll see below were taken in the B Sharp Coffee House, in their original back rooms.  What a score that was!

I am definitely going to need to go back Downtown in the future for another shoot, and hopefully discover even more hidden gems like these!  But for now, scroll down and take a look at the lovely Cowan family, in all their hip, downtowny coolness.  ;)




Sisters!  I do love these girls.  :)

This was Opera Alley.  Such beautiful geometric architectural elements!

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't laughing as I took these shots.


A noisy photo with my ISO cranked super high... but sometimes the emotion of a shot compensates for technical details.

These siblings crack me up!  They're a very serious bunch, as you can plainly see...

And on that note, I will bid you all a fond goodnight!  Thanks for looking, and a BIG thank you to Breah for all of her on-the-spot posing and location ideas!

~ Kathryn 

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Millers at Blueberry Park (back and better than ever!) ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

After my last session AND the session before that with the Miller family, I would not have thought I'd ever be able to take more enchanting, lovely, genuinely beautiful photos of them.  (This is just as much a reflection of their love for each other and easygoing personalities as it is of my skills as a photographer.)  They are simply so wonderful to photograph, and we've had such gorgeous locations, that I just didn't think the previous shoots could be topped.  Until...

Last month, these dear friends of mine met up with my camera and I at one of my favorite locations- Blueberry Park, in Tacoma.  At this time of year, the park (comprised of 5 acres of huge blueberry bushes) is aflame with red, orange, and yellow leaves.  It was also perhaps the sunniest day I've seen there, and the combination of these two factors made for a truly vibrant photo shoot.  During the middle of our session, I recall saying to them, "You know, usually, I enhance colors a little bit in the editing process, but I think I may have to actually tone these colors down so they're not distracting!"

The only thing more captivating than the colors that afternoon was the obvious love and tenderness shared by this family.  I am honored to know them not only as clients, but as longtime friends, and I think that familiarity really shows.  I always hope for families to feel comfortable and unencumbered around me (which is difficult when a camera is around, I know!).  But the Millers are a family who really does seem to forget the camera is there and just interact totally naturally with each other.  I am honored that they trust me enough to be real around me (and my camera), and I know they benefit just as much as I do from the result!

Take a look through some of the highlights of our session below and you'll see what I mean.  (It doesn't hurt that by now the Millers have a keen sense of what to wear and what props to bring along- those books, the doll, the splashes of red in their outfits against the fall leaves- oh my!)  Beautiful!

I always love the parents-in-background shot.  This is how it is, am I right?!

This was a shot I almost left out.  But each time I passed it, the movement and the light in her hair just captured me.  Our kids are so often moving, running, playing.  I'm so grateful that cameras can stop time.

Last minute wardrobe change,  I approve!


Brains and beauty.  This girl is a double-threat!  ;)

When the artsy detail-shot presents itself, I go for it!

These two!  Just stunning.  

This little lady started tiring out before we grown-ups did.  But her sweet tiredness made for some really adorable shots.

This photo is one of my all-time favorites.  There's nothing like the stoic American cowboy tenderly holding his little girl.

One of the last photos we took, and a beautiful parting shot.  This photo looked basically like this straight out of camera.  Talk about some amazing light!

See what I mean?  I just can't wait to see what the future holds for this enchanting family and their future photo shoots!

See you next time!
~ Kathryn

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Take Pictures of Boring, Important, Quiet Stuff ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

Hey Folks,

I don't usually write personal blog posts, but I was compelled not only to write this down, but to share it.  I am a typically private person, so it's a little weird for me to post even the most tasteful breastfeeding portrait.  That being said, I thought it was worth it to encourage other parents out there to take photos of themselves interacting with their children in the mundane moments- the ones you don't often think about in one season of life, but miss terribly in another season.

Last night was the first night in my baby girl's 5 months of life that I didn't go in and nurse her in the middle of the night before I slipped off to bed.  (We call this the "dream feed" because babies usually sleep right through it.)  Over the past few weeks, when I would go into her room in those wee hours, she would get more and more squirmy, irritable, and seemingly annoyed at the interruption in her sleep.  So, two weeks ago, I asked my husband to come down there with me and take photos of me nursing our daughter, so I could remember those sweet times later, once they were behind us.  I am SO, SO, SO, glad that I thought to do that.

When, two nights ago, my daughter woke up entirely and began looking around during the "dream feed," I knew those times were officially over.  I came upstairs after laying her down and told my husband, "Well, I think that was the last nighttime feeding."  It would appear that (barring sickness, or teething, or nightmares) I was right.  I am a person who really likes having my nights to myself, so I was surprised at how sad I felt about the end of that little era.  Most of the time, when we have "lasts" with our children, we don't realize it until afterward.  That's why I consider myself so blessed to have the photos that you'll see below.  I was so busy moving on to the next thing, the next phase, etc. with my older children, that I didn't really savor these quiet, mundane moments with them.  People savor and remember moments in all kinds of ways- journaling, keeping mementos, scrapbooking, and more.  But my way of capturing moments and seasons is (as you might guess) to take photos of them.

I am so grateful to my husband for being willing to take these photos for me and for our daughter.  I know I will treasure them for years to come.  And for all those nights that I wished I didn't have to interrupt whatever I was doing to go downstairs and nurse this little baby- I am glad for the glimmer of foresight I got that one night two weeks ago, to document this mundane, quiet, boring, sweet, beautiful, dreamy ritual we called the dream feed.  I hope that (whatever that ritual is for you) you can go out and do the same!


She makes me smile!

I love to kiss my babies' fingers.  <3 td="">



I love this view.  My husband looked pretty silly standing tall behind me, arms outstretched, to catch it.  :)

Thanks for reading my possibly sappy thoughts and looking at Junie's and my sweet nursing portraits, everyone.  Now, go capture some memories of your own!

~ Kathryn

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Chaz at Chambers Bay ~ Tacoma Senior Photographer

Last month, I had the privilege of meeting and working with Chaz, a senior who was hoping for senior photos that looked good and matched his laid-back style- nothing too fancy.  Despite the fact that when his Mom first called me, I made the mistake of talking to her while chopping vegetables, and I ended up chopping my thumb instead, we booked our session for a beautiful clear day in October.  Apparently that little incident didn't deter her.  (I like clients who don't scare too easily- ha!)

We chose one of my all-time favorite locations, Chambers Bay in University Place, and the weather was lovely!  It was a little brisk, but the sky and the sun were perfect.  Chaz has a great sense of style and was a good sport, enduring all my crazy ideas for photos, including standing atop a really large stump on the beach.

Scroll down and take a look for yourself!

He's ready for his modeling career, right?  Can't beat the industrial-cool look of 70 year-old concrete against a snazzy shirt and sweater.

Chaz has a great natural smile, which I really appreciated!

The sunlight over this grassy hill was just beautiful.

We ventured down to the waterfront for some shots, too.  Lot's of interesting driftwood to choose from for framing.


Skipping rocks.  Doesn't matter if you're 18 months or 18 years, it still makes for a fun photo!

This was one of my crazy ideas.  But he pulled it off so well!



Well, thanks for looking, everybody!  I was glad to meet and work with Chaz, and now you've met him (sort of), too!  He's definitely got great things ahead of him, and I hope he and his family treasure these portraits long after he's graduated!

~ Kathryn

Monday, November 9, 2015

Raining Blessings, Pouring Blessings ~ Tacoma Family & Newborn Photographer

As I drove down the freeway to photograph this lovely family in their home, and the clouds grew darker and darker, I was grateful that most of our session was set to be shot indoors.  Rain is usually the enemy of a photo shoot.  But sometimes, it forces more creativity and provides a touch of extra personality to the photos.  And in the Pacific Northwest, it's really just a fact of life.  It should have come as no surprise to me, then, that the rain ended up featuring nicely in our shoot.  From rain puddles and wet umbrellas to post-rain sun breaks and a saturated landscape, the weather left its own special mark on our morning, and I'm glad that it did!

My session with this family of five was part newborn shoot, part family shoot, so we started indoors with the newest member of the family, sweet little Ezra.  He was a great baby, and gave me a good mix of awake and asleep shots- even letting me arrange him in this vintage blue nightcase (which I'd been eager to use in a newborn session for months!).  By the time he needed a bit of a break, the timing was perfect for some shots of him being comforted by his Krista and Nicholas (a.k.a. Mommy and Daddy).  I always love these photos, because they are candid, but utterly predictable when photographing newborns, and they capture the essence of life in those early, hazy days.

As strange as it may sound, arranging group photos with the whole family is easier with a new baby in the picture (pun intended).  Babies are a sweet and interesting focal point- not just for the camera, but for siblings and Mom and Dad, too!  When Ezra's two big brothers got a little squirmy, all I had to do was ask them to look at their new baby brother, or give him a kiss, and they gave me pure photographic gold.  (Scroll down and you'll see what I mean!)

The last part of our session was spent outdoors with Dad and the two older boys, Judah and Gideon.  The rain had let up, and the sun was breaking through.  I've noticed the sun always seems brightest right after a hard rain- probably because it's reflecting on all the puddles and droplets that have just been left everywhere.  The same was true on this day, as we walked down a little nature trail near their house.  The boys were full of energy and adorable smiles, and were very willing to follow my instructions to pick up sticks and leaves, and jump in puddles (of course!).

Take a look through the photos below and meet this beautiful family, on this beautiful rainy day!  (Oh, and be sure to click on the photos to see them larger in a slideshow!)

Look at those sweet baby feet, held just so...

The vintage night case!  My little old neighbor lady would be pleased, I think.  ;)



Baby fingers!  I love baby-landscapes.  :)



I love capturing these Mom & Dad "couple" moments.

Cheer up little man, you're in good hands.

See what I mean about that gorgeous light?


One of my faves.  So full of wonder!

Who could resist?

Brothers.  They look so proud!

A little candid shot.  What a blessed Mama to have such sweet boys!

Everybody loves a baby!  :)


Aren't they wonderful?  And just think of all the fun this family has coming up, with three wonderful boys to love and raise.  Keep up the good work, you guys!  Thanks for looking, and stay tuned for more lovely sessions coming up!

~ Kathryn

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fall Family Session at Nisqually ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

I always love it when I get the opportunity to drive down to the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge for a photo shoot.  It happens about once a year, and this beautiful location (complete with forest, boardwalk, wide open fields, huge old farm buildings, and water) never disappoints.  When Nathan and Deb asked me to photograph them and their adorable daughter, Sierra in a location with trees, some fall color, and maybe an old barn- Nisqually fit the bill!

We had a lovely time walking around, chatting, taking photos, and trying to keep Sierra from eating dandelions.  I really do love my job, and I am reminded of that every time I get the opportunity to photograph families just doing what they do best- loving each other, sharing inside jokes, playing, laughing.  It's a huge honor to be "let in" on that private world that families usually keep reserved just for each other- to be able to jump right into it with them for an hour or two and capture those moments on camera.

You'll notice in the photos below that one overriding element in our session was sunshine!  If I'm remembering correctly, this shoot was surrounded by rainy, gray days- but the sun came out for us during this shoot, and it made everything glow.  In fact, this is the sunniest I've ever seen it at Nisqually, so take a good look- it's not like this very often!



This was a silly one, but it was too fun to leave out.  Sierra really liked my sunglasses.  :)

Old and Young: Those barns, built in 1932, are 83 years old.  Sierra, on the other end of the spectrum, was not quite one year in this photo.


Love that sweet little look on her face as Mommy and Daddy look on...

I'm a big fan of the Mommy and Daddy alone shot.  

This is one of my favorites.  I love capturing those sweet little moments!

Navigating the difference between smelling the dandelion, and eating it.  :)

Dandelions are magical.  Babies are magical.  It's a winning combination!  

The very last shot of our session.  That sunshine just doesn't quit!

Well, I sure hope you enjoyed perusing these highlights from our shoot as much as I enjoyed choosing them!  As always, I am honored to take photos for families that will be treasured for years to come- not because of my skills or abilities, but because of the love that is evident in every single shot.

~ Kathryn