It was such a beautiful day in October when I did this shoot! I wasn’t sure what kind of weather to expect this fall, but there were surprisingly many more sunny days that I thought. I had a great time working with Jeyyonce and got to learn a little more about her ambitions and dreams for the future. While she’s finishing her last year in high school, she’s already getting a jump start on college courses! After she gets her AA, she plans on pursuing a Bachelor’s in social work and then a career in it, just like her mom. She was such a sweetheart and I can tell she’s gonna go far! Best of luck in your senior year Jeyyonce!
In another round of mini sessions, I had the privilege to photograph Rachel and her sweet family of four! Earlier in the day, it was chilly and overcast, but after 3 sessions in, the sun decided to peek through at the perfect time. We got some pretty filtered rim light through the beautiful forest and I’d say got some adorable shots! Hoping to get some more shoots in before the weather is chronically overcast!
God has shown up in so many ways this year, I just feel so grateful all the time! One big blessing has been this neighborhood that we moved to. Growing up in California, I lived in the same house for over 23 years and sadly, hardly knew my neighbors. Something I definitely made an effort to change once I moved out on my own, yet it felt so forced. No friendships ever blossomed beyond the friendly hellos passing to the laundry room! Moving up to Tehaleh in Washington has been such a different experience. It’s not an exaggeration when I say meeting Stacie Wallace changed everything and has meant more to me than she probably knows! My next door neighborhood turned amazing friend! She’s extended more invites than I can count to many playdates, walks and girls hang outs all within the neighborhood. There are so many young families and wonderful moms who live here who have welcomed me with open arms. Stacie has been the ring leader and kind soul who always thinks of me when there’s a get-together. It’s been a unique experience to actually have neighbors as friends and I’m so glad it came at a time when I really needed it. Stacie’s family is SO sweet as well and we had a great mini session just minutes from our house. Here are some of my favorites below!
When we decided to move to Washington while I was seven months pregnant, I really had no idea what my photography business had in store. I didn’t think I’d be shooting much of anything this year, let alone book a wedding, but God had some other plans for me! I remember the week before I was due, I got an unexpected call from a guy in California looking to book a wedding photographer. My head was in a completely different world preparing for a baby, but I figured I’d call back and talk out the details. I’m so glad I did! Justin and Veronica had heard about me through one of my favorite venues, Willow Heights Mansion, and they were bummed to hear I had moved away. At first I was sure they’d want to find a local photographer and would say their thank you and move on, but they pursued me and I was beyond flattered! With a baby on the way and wedding booked for October, I was feeling really excited.
Fast-forward a few months and the day had arrived. It was a beautiful, sunny day in California and it couldn’t have been any better. It felt so good to be back at Willow Heights and work with an amazing team, as always! Justin looked dapper in his suit and Veronica was stunning in her Allure wedding dress. Being a firefighter, Justin had pulled some strings (after 3 months of phone calls!) and got an awesome vintage firetruck from the 20s to come to the mansion. It was so fun to use as a prop for some photos! The whole day went by so fast and before I knew it, it was time to pack up! It was a wonderful trip back home and now I have some more awesome photos from Willow Heights Mansion to share!
What a JOY it is to capture memories for those closest to me! My sister Marissa is expecting her first child this November and I’m not sure I could be any happier for her! I first found out she was pregnant literally just days before I gave birth to my own baby. So technically I can say we were pregnant together (for at least a couple weeks)! This has been a wonderful season of life for me as I’ve entered motherhood and I’m so excited that we get to do it together now. Not to mention how great it’ll be for our babies to be close in age. Now she just needs to move to Washington so they can grow up together!
On my recent visit to New Jersey for the baby shower, we had not just one, but two shoots planned. I was happy to venture out with her and Tony for both! Our first session we stuck with the natural, wooded feel and despite the overcast day, Marissa was still glowing. The next day, we woke up early for a sunrise beach shoot and even though the sun was tucked away behind a layer of clouds, she was still radiant! It was a fun morning and she wasn’t afraid to end the shoot in the waves. Made for some beautiful shots! I’m counting the weeks until their baby boy is here. Stay tuned for those newborn shots!
Two words for Makenna: Natural beauty. Upon meeting her at Seattle Central Library, she seemed a bit shy and perhaps apprehensive, but within seconds of me lifting my eye to the camera, she blossomed! She was like a carefree model with tousled hair, flawless skin and dark blue eyes. In between shots she seemed unsure of herself so I kept trying to reassure her she was rocking it!
To reflect her interest in studying political science, she chose the beautiful 11-story glass and steel library in busy downtown Seattle. The diamond architecture, pops of color throughout each floor and atrium windows gave the perfect vibe for the urban look Makenna was going for. I had a great time exploring the library with her and getting some fun and relaxed shots. It was definitely a cool place to shoot and somewhere I’d be happy to shoot at again!
Oh, new baby bliss! Being that this is my first newborn shoot since giving birth to my own little one in March, I can relate to the new parent feelings so much more! The sleep deprivation mixed with the adrenaline of visitors. The awe and wonder of all your baby's tiny features. And of course the overwhelming amount of love you have for a human that you literally just met! Janna and Liam are feeling these things and more with little two-week-old Juniper Nelle. It was such a joy to see my friends and meet their new addition. I was all too eager to take some newborn photos for them and capture this short period of time where Juniper is this tiny! Because as a mom myself now, I know the cliche, "They grow so fast," is so TRUE! Babies really do change so quickly in their first year, which is why I think it's so important to document each stage as they develop. I know without a doubt Janna and Liam are going to be amazing, loving and supportive parents. Juniper is a lucky girl!
What a treat it was to meet up with the Barker family in Bonney Lake and photograph their sweet Amelia! Just a day after her official one year birthday, we shot some adorable pictures of her nestled in the beautiful Tehaleh neighborhood. After getting to know Megan and her husband Kenton through our life group at church, I was so excited when Megan asked me to do these photos for them! Their family has been wonderful to get to know and I'm so glad to call them friends! They have such sweet girls too and they looked so cute in their new dresses and hair bows. Megan completed the pictures with her pretty coral pink dress and matching flower garland in her hair! I'm really enjoying these one year old shoots and am excited to do more in the future. Here are some of my favorites below!
I'm baaaack! Maternity leave has been wonderful with my daughter and I'm loving being her mommy, but I'm finally back in the saddle (or more precisely, behind the camera)! It's been a big change to move from the Bay Area California up to Bonney Lake, Washington and then another big change becoming a parent. I thought this was going to be all too overwhelming, but God has been a faithful provider! The biggest thing I was leaving behind in California was my community of dear friends. It hasn't been easy to be away from them, especially since none of them have even met my daughter yet, but this move has also been a testament to how God carries me every. single. day! He knew what I needed when I got here and has been more than gracious to pave the way for me to meet new friends!
After having my baby girl, I knew I wanted to get involved in mom groups to meet new people in the same stage of life as me. It couldn't have been more perfect to find a church not far from us in Sumner that had exactly that: a mom group that welcomed me with open arms! That's where I met sweet Sarah and her adorable kids! It's been so fun getting to know her over the past couple months and seeing her little boy grow. Now, with his one year birthday in just a few days, it was perfect timing for me to start shooting again. We set up this mini shoot in the beautiful community of Tehaleh. Luckily, the weather was just perfect and we caught some of that pretty golden light that I love! I was so happy during this shoot and it was a good reminder of how much I enjoy my job!
Ahh, love is in the air! Did you know that Valentine's Day is the 2nd most popular day to get engaged? And the 6th most popular day is actually the day before Valentine's Day (ya know, for those guys who want more of the surprise element)! With V-Day just behind us, I can imagine there are a lot more engaged couples now than there were at the beginning of the week! With that said, lots of brides-to-be I know are already getting down to research for wedding planning. I figured in the midst of engagement season, this post would be helpful for those couples as they prep for not only the big day, but their engagement shoot as well!
Engagement shoots have become more and more popular as the years go by. And there's good reason for it...they are fun and super helpful for the wedding day! There's many reasons why I eventually decided to include an engagement shoot in all of my wedding collections, starting with the fact that it's such a great way for all of us to get to know each other better! Your wedding is a monumental day and I'm going to be with you for a huge part of it, which is why building a relationship with you is important to me. I like to be seen as more than just a transactional photographer and more like someone who feels like a friend! Engagement shoots give us the opportunity to chat, connect and build on that friendship.
Furthermore, they are great practice for you! Time after time, I hear couples tell me they are bad at taking pictures or they feel awkward in front of the camera. One, that's totally normal to feel that way since none of my couples are professional models! But two, it's even more of a reason for us to work on it and break down those walls. No one wants to be uncomfortable and camera shy on their wedding day, so the engagement is the perfect way to get out those jitters. You get to see how I work, practice some poses and by the end, you'll really see it's not half as bad as you may have thought. You spend the majority of the shoot looking into the eyes of your soon to be spouse and stealing some kisses and hugs throughout... pretty easy, right? When all is said and done, I hope the photos you get from the shoot bring you that much more confidence in hiring me as your wedding photographer and make you look forward to the wedding day even more!
Ok, now that I've convinced you that you should do an engagement session, let's talk logistics. One of the first things I ask my couples is for input on where they'd like to do their shoot. Many need some help figuring it out, and that's totally fine! I can bring some suggestions to the table to get the conversation rolling. But even if it's just a specific look you want (i.e. golden fields, beach, forest) please let me know so I can help research. I do always love when a couple chooses a spot that is particularly sentimental to them. Maybe it's a place you love to take walks or it's where you had your first date. Even better, the spot that he proposed! Like Katie and Joey, they decided to take photos at the park where Joey popped the question and I must say, it was a beautiful spot overlooking the ocean. Or Christy and Vinay, who often took walks along the beach and wanted to include that in their engagement pictures!
If there's not a super sentimental location for you, no worries. A beautiful or iconic backdrop would be the next go to. Maybe you've never even been there before, but the photos will be gorgeous nevertheless!
The next step is usually figuring out what to wear. I suggest wearing something that gets you a little dressy, but not too far from your own style. Who doesn't love to get gussied up? Ladies, definitely consider getting your hair and makeup done for the shoot. If you have a makeup artist in mind for the wedding day, this is a perfect day to do a trial run with them. As for outfits, some couples like to get dressed up for part and then have a more casual look as well. Totally fine by me! We'll try to split the photo time half and half for each look. I suggest no more than two outfits though, as it does eat into the session every time you need to change. Now a word on prints and patterns... if you or your fiancè wears one, the other should be in a solid. Also, stay away from shirts with logos or words. This avoids distracting images and creates a simpler look overall. As for colors, go with the season or choose ones that show off your personality. Pinterest is always a fun place to go when needing some inspiration!
What to Expect
I love to schedule your session about 2 hours before the sun is supposed to set. If you know anything about my work, you may have noticed I'm a sucker for the soft, golden light that comes at the end of the day. So I always try to plan your shoot for that ideal window of time. Having said that, timing does still depend on location since some spots won't have access to the true sunset. If we are shooting somewhere with tall trees or buildings or even close to the bottom of a mountain, all these factors could block the sunset. This means we'll need to get started earlier in the day to make sure we can still catch those rays! Expect to be shooting about an hour and a half to 2 hours. If you have two spots in mind, make sure they are close enough to each other that traveling during the session won't take up too much of the shooting time. I want to give you as many images as possible! Some couples like to incorporate things they enjoy doing together, like Joanna and Ljay who brought along a cruiser bike as a fun prop. Others have included their dog, which is sweet, but keep in mind you may not want the pup in every picture. I always suggest bringing a friend to help watch the dog so you can get some alone shots together. A dog wrangler is also helpful for grabbing the dog's attention so they look at the camera when needed.
Lastly, remember to relax, laugh and have FUN! This is the time when we aren't held to a rigid schedule or need to get you to your reception pronto! When the two of you can let the camera fall into the background and just smile, giggle, and snuggle with each other, the shoot really can be a piece of cake. These are the best moments to capture...when I'm not overly directing or posing you and you can just enjoy each other's presence. Let your personalities shine through and enjoy the session. If you have any questions, always feel free to ask me before the shoot! You can also leave a comment below ;-)
For those of you who have been following along with my personal life, you know my husband and I are expecting a new addition to our family! Baby girl Tresko is coming...SOON! I'm currently 37 weeks along and for those of you who don't know pregnancy math very well, that means I'm THREE weeks away from my due date! It's an exciting, overwhelming, nerve-wrecking feeling to say the least.
While my career as a photographer has been an adventure and very fulfilling, I feel like my whole life has really been geared towards becoming a mom. Since I was young, it's the one thing I knew for sure that I wanted to be when I grew up. I have an amazing mom who was very involved growing up and has been a wonderful support for me to this day. I'd say that's one of the biggest reasons I've always known motherhood was a goal in life; because I wanted to be just like her. In all honestly as the due date approaches though, I'm a ball of mixed emotions. I blame hormones too, haha! So much to prepare for, yet everyone says you can never be 100% ready and I 100% believe that. There's just a lot of adjustments at once, including our move from California to Washington! I'm definitely missing the sunshine and warmer weather and of course my friends. Life has felt far from normal, but I know God has a plan for us here and with a baby on the way, I know life will be sweeter once she's in my arms!
Now for some photo fun! In preparation for baby girl's arrival, I couldn't NOT do a maternity shoot to document this time in our life. The wonderful Jessi from Jecka & Co. Photography was gracious enough to drive down from Livermore to the enchanting Nestldown for our maternity session. We made sure to get in our photo shoot before our big move. It was so awesome to be able to capture some of my own memories at Nestldown; the venue I've shot at countless times over the years. Using all film, Jessi delivered some gorgeous images to us and I'm super grateful!! Here are just a few of my favorites below :)
What a sweet family! Samantha and Nick were such a pleasure to work with and so photogenic. I think it helps that Samantha is a photographer herself! She knows what looks good in front of the camera ;-) And their darling baby girl stole the show. She had the cutest little boho outfit on, complete with little gold moccasins and headband. I just love how her wispy hair has grown into a tiny mohawk! Too cute! Even with just a mini session, I think we got a good variety in and lucked out with some sunshine on the coast.
It was so fun to reunite with Amanda and Dan again this year after last year's mini session I did with them. This fall held a whole new reason for a shoot though...the celebration of Amanda's pregnancy! I was so excited when the I got the email from Amanda telling me she was pregnant and looking to do a maternity shoot. She was on top of her game, contacting me well in advance! I swear, we picked this day months ago and got so lucky there was no rain or fog; just beautiful weather and golden light! Having recently moved out to Half Moon Bay, Amanda suggested we go out to the Ritz Carlton beach for her baby bump shots. It was a perfect backdrop for this shoot. Amanda looked radiant in her fit and flare, pink dress which showed off her adorable 35-week baby bump perfectly! We wrapped up the shoot with a few cutesy Christmas card worthy photos and called it a night as the sun set beyond the water. I'm so happy for Amanda and Dan and am looking forward to seeing pictures of their little girl soon!
Samantha & Guenther were such a sweet pair! My husband and I met them out at Crissy Field on a beautiful San Francisco day just a couple weeks back. They were so easy to chat with and also fun to relate to each other about being pregnant! They're expecting their first baby as well! It's a very special time and I'm happy they asked me to capture these memories for them as they await the birth of their son. I'm excited to see photos of their baby when he arrives in December!
I don't think I could have ended my wedding season this year on a better note! I know I always speak highly of my couples (and seriously it's not an exaggeration that I've been so blessed with awesome brides and grooms) but Katie and Joey go down as some of my favorite people to work with! Katie is a genuine sweetheart and is always so kind and Joey is super nice, not to mention hilarious. He's just such a character and the kind of person you naturally gravitate towards to make you laugh. Together as a pair, they are down right meant for each other and I was SO happy I was a part of their wedding day! I loved the colors they chose, with blue bridesmaids dresses and a deep red as a highlight. Sassy Diva Designs and Events nailed it with the luscious bouquets as well...they really popped! Some other things I loved:
- Katie's hair and makeup was stunning! Kudos to Heidi Johnson for the hair and Vanessa Concetti for the makeup at Sitting Pretty
- Joey's face during their first look was priceless
- YUMMY pizza for dinner by the talented Copper Top Ovens
- In lieu of a cake, these donut lovers had a donut bar courtesy of Psycho Donuts
- An epic dance party, complete with Joey lip syncing to Backstreet Boys!
Such a wonderful day and I have so many favorite photos to share. Scroll down to see how the day unfolded!
VENUE: Picchetti Winery
FLORIST: Sassy Diva Designs and Events
MAKEUP: Sitting Pretty
CATERER: Copper Top Ovens
BAKER: Psycho Donuts
VIDEOGRAPHER: Catch the Moment Production
DRESS DESIGNER: Maggie Sottero
ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHER: Jennifer Mihalyi
It's been such a joy to work with Jenna and Brad this year as they've prepared for their wedding day! Seriously, Jenna is a pure sweetheart and one of the easiest brides. She has such a carefree and positive attitude every time I've seen her, even on a packed wedding day! She was a beauty in her boho Dreamers and Lovers gown, complete with baby's breath in her hair. Brad look very dapper in his navy blue suit and eucalyptus boutonniere. Both so simple, yet very classy. They were something out of a magazine! I loved their ethereal decor with a teepee altar and bouquets filled with berries. Also my favorite, long and elegant eucalyptus table runners are always a win in my book! It all came together so well at the ever beautiful and lush Saratoga Springs. As the daylight faded into night, this wedding turned into a full on party! The night was full of energy, pumping music, and some awesome dance moves. If I wasn't working, I definitely would have joined in on the dance floor! It was a wonderful day through and through and I was so happy to be a part of it!!
It's that time of the year again! Family photo sessions are all the rage right now to get that perfect photo for the annual holiday card. I was happy to start the season off with one of my favorite families...the Browns! It's been so awesome to photograph them from engagement shoot to wedding and now to annual family photos with their sweet baby girl, Emma. With her 2nd birthday around the corner, she was all smiles! Quite the improvement from last year. I even got multiple hugs at the end of the shoot as we said good bye...d'aww! We really had fun during our shoot. It was natural, carefree and nothing felt forced, which are always the best of shoots. I sure hope we can keep these up as the years go on. Thanks Monica & Brian for trusting me with so many special memories in your life!
Anniversary shoots are not only a great gift idea, but a wonderful way to document your love over the years. It doesn’t end with the “i dos,” it starts with them! Beautiful wedding photos are to be cherished forever, but I love when couples decide to keep the magic going with a shoot celebrating how far they’ve come in their relationship. For Megan and Phillip, they are celebrating three years of dating and their first year of marriage! Everything is still fresh, new and exciting as they embark on all the firsts of married life. To celebrate, we decided to go to Crissy Field in San Francisco and grab some of that golden light as it dipped behind the Golden Gate Bridge. Megan wore a cute white dress and Phillip donned his signature bow tie (their wedding color nonetheless) and rocked it! I hardly had to pose them; I just captured their kisses and nuzzles and ultimately wanted to showcase their newlywed love. Happy Anniversary Megan and Phillip and cheers to many more!
Picchetti Open Preserve just has a way of never disappointing me! Granted, you do have to get the timing of the light just right because the "sunset" is really just the sun going behind the hills nearly an hour before actual sunset! For Kristine and Lance's engagement shoot, I think we nailed it with the timing. I also think they nailed it with the posing! Smiles, cuddles and lots of hugs throughout the shoot always make for sweet, sentimental photos. This Hawaiian couple, though currently residing in California, are naturally having a destination wedding in none other than their home island, Oahu. Bummed I won't be shooting their gorgeous wedding, but excited I got to work with them during this special season in their lives. Wishing you both nothing but the best!!
If you're looking for a gorgeous Redwood wedding venue that won't break the bank... look no further than Sanborn County Park! This unsuspecting park can be transformed into the perfect wedding venue with the help of friends, family and a talented event designer. The farm tables with eucalyptus runners were simply beautiful and the red and shimmery gold accents throughout the wedding added an elegant touch. Not to mention, Alex looked stunning in her lacy gown with an illusion neckline and my favorite: buttons down the back! She looked so good and rocked those Kate Spade glittery gold Keds!
No detail was left untouched. Eugene put his crafty skills to work, making tons of the signage throughout the venue and also the bar counter itself. All the details were laid out and the florals looked amazing my Eugene's sweet Aunt Lisa. The ceremony beneath the towering Redwoods was lovely and the reception was full of energy. Alex and her father showed off their dancing skills with a choreographed father/daughter dance, then the bride and groom were treated to a performance from traditional Mexican dancers, and to finish off the day, Cookies N Cream food truck pulled up to serve up some delicious ice cream sandwiches! If this wasn't a fun wedding, I don't know what is. It was awesome to be a part of it and capture all the details and emotions from the day. Wishing Alex and Eugene (and Buster their adorable golden retriever son) a happy, and long life together!