Posted on April 24, 2017
Spring mini sessions were super fun this year! I met up with not one but TWO returning families this time around, BOTH having added to their family since the last time. Spring in the PNW can be unpredictable, at best, and this year has not been an exception. We’ve had record breaking consecutive rainy days, lack of sun and these make for very frustrated photographers. We just want cherry blossoms and sunshine and happy days again! This spring weather split the sessions to two different days but we got very lucky on both of them!
The Bouska family is moving across the country and wanted to commemorate their time here in Seattle with a final session here. Lucky for us the mountain was out and we had a great view from Magnuson Park! So we started there and wandered for a little bit with their amazing son and new-ish daughter! I’m excited to see how their family grows between now and the next time I see them in the midwest!
He’s become a super sweet big brother since I last saw him! I mean, look at him snuggle her!
And? Girlfriend was NOT having it. I love that her parents loved that crying photo as much as I do! 😉
I got to meet up with the Graters the following weekend. I’m so glad we ran into each other at the dog park a few weeks before and reconnected! I love seeing them and look forward to the next time already. Mama Grater asked if they could bring not only their dog, but their cat as well. And, well, that went about as entertaining as expected. So much hilarious fun, you guys. The rain tried to bear down on us at the end of their session, but we were already hiding under a tree taking advantage of the perfect light that had just smacked us right in the head.
She’s an amazing big sister! So helpful and loving!
Thanks again for returning you guys! Spring mini sessions were perfect and I loved seeing you!
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Posted on March 18, 2017
Brittiany and I hit it off at a Lularoe event several months back when my friend and I freaked out over little Liam’s cuteness. I started talking to her (as I’m prone to do…) and Kyle came along. I got to meet both of them and hear about their shared Navy careers, sweet Liam and their upcoming spring wedding in Oregon. They already had a wedding photographer but I was super glad they hadn’t had engagement photos yet. So they booked me in the parking lot and I got to start planning their Bothell engagement session! When couples have kids I encourage them to include their children in their session, as I’m a firm believer that families come in all varieties and no one gets excluded! This FAMILY is getting married this weekend and I wish them nothing but the best! For now, check out their Bothell session at Country Village, complete with kisses, silliness and tons of laughter!
And then because I encourage interaction rather than strongly posing my clients, I said to Kyle, “touch her face”…um…we all cracked up…but that last one? THAT’S the one we’re after. 😉
And this ‘pose’ was by request…I’m so glad she asked for it!
When BOTH of you are military, you’re more than a little, shall we say…competitive? I mean why wouldn’t we stop and have an arm wrestling match in the middle of a session? This kind of thing makes a session stand out and have a special place in my heart. This is real life, you guys!
Lest you think we had two full sessions, we didn’t. We seamlessly took family photos in between engagement photos at each of our favorite spots…Liam was so patient and sweet in his stroller and while I snuggled him! Baby snuggles are the best. Wait until you see his gummy smile, you guys!
Photos are exhausting. One gets hungry. Break time for Liam gave me an opportunity to grab a few photos for this family they’ll get to cherish later.
I’m so excited for you all this weekend and can’t wait to see your wedding photos! <3
See you soon, Brittiany, Kyle and Liam!
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Posted on March 8, 2017
I had a model call this January to enable myself to shoot outside my typical boudoir box. I wanted to show more empowered images, a deeper connection. I was tired of having this expectation of shooting only what is currently available in the boudoir market – which is great, don’t get me wrong – but I feel there’s an additional approach I can personally take. I’ve wanted to approach boudoir with a more intimate feel for awhile now but didn’t know if it would ‘work’, how it would flow, how I could get a combination of what my client is after and what feeds my soul; I was so worried about letting my client down, I didn’t want to risk it.
My clients think outside this same box, I’m finding, and I want to provide them a combination of the timeless images AND that which they’d come to me for. I knew this was possible, I just needed to have the freedom to shoot that without risking my clients’ disappointment. I thought if I did this as a model call I would have the luxury of being selfish without the self-imposed pressure of worrying about what my client was after specifically. What I didn’t expect was how much I would learn about my own work and about trusting myself the way my clients do. I didn’t realize just how much shooting an intimate session would give my client. I knew they invested so much trust and vulnerability in me, which I’ve never taken for granted, but didn’t realize how much this new approach would effect what they get from it as well as what I would.
Body positivity is something I want so badly to promote. So I am.
I want every client to walk away feeling empowered. They are.
I hope each one of you loves every image I show you. You do.
I’m eternally grateful for the trust my models, and my clients, put in me. I love the magic created in my mind and soul and in my camera when we are all free to be in the moment and shoot what we feel. Each person will get a different session for sure. And there’s amazing power and magic in that too.
I don’t typically bring “props” to an intimate boudoir session…but something in me said to grab this stack of records from my house on the way out the door. When we saw that Prince Purple Rain album we were both so incredibly happy. She’s got an old soul, this woman, and I love that we have so much in common. Plus? These last images are SUPER fun!
I appreciate so much how willing she was to share her story with me. This personal setting allows for vulnerability and a deeper connection. I hope all my clients feel this way when they leave their session. Upon seeing her preview images, KG texted me this: “I cried. I literally cried.”.
Upon seeing her gallery, “I’ve always hated how I look and my body and everything about myself. I can’t begin to articulate how this helped me.” Which, of course, made me cry.
But then I remembered she also sent me these…:”You make my breasts look incredible. I could stare into them for hours. You have a gift. A booby gift.” Followed by “Your name in my phone is ‘the teet whisperer’ now.” And I giggled SO HARD, you guys.
THIS. THIS is why I photograph intimate boudoir sessions. She walked away empowered. And that’s the goal, right?
Thank you to each and every one of you who trusts me in this way. My gratitude is larger than my vocabulary.
**NOTE: images used with permission from model; names are left out intentionally, please don’t use hers if you know her.
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Posted on February 28, 2017
I delivered the amazing photo image products M+D selected from their intimate couple session last night and heard it was their anniversary weekend as well! That is a perfect opportunity to kick me in the butt to blog their session, right? Photographing couples in intimate moments is something I’ve wanted to offer for some time now and am so glad M+D joined me in January for a marketing event. Being able to capture these images and create sensual, beautiful art for this couple is exactly what I’ve hoped to do for years.
*As with all boudy sessions, names are NOT included in these posts for privacy reasons so please don’t use them in the comments if you know this couple. I only share boudy session images with permission from clients. Not all boudy sessions are shown to the public so know you can book your intimate session with confidence as displaying them here and on social media is only by permission. You can definitely opt to keep your intimate photos private.
See you soon.
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Posted on February 19, 2017
We all know I love a good location. A location that MEANS something. When Ian and Annie booked their session and wanted to use their bookshop, I jumped at the opportunity. Because, duh. Books. A bookshop. THEIR bookshop. The Neverending Bookshop…best bookshop name ever, am I right? Plus? That baby.
(Pardon the fractured sentences. It’s the excitement to show you this session. We had to wait until after the holidays to show them off because they were the most perfect gift ever for family members. There’s no way I’m going to ruin that surprise.)
When I arrived for their session, this sweet guy needed a pick-me-up for all the magic we were about to create. I’m thrilled to have been able to capture some nursing photos for Annie. I’ve met many clients who wish they had these as the time passes so quickly in many cases.
I mean, that smile! We worked for it, and it was so worth it!
My favorite thing.
People who don’t take themselves too seriously and aren’t afraid to let their guard down. Thank you Annie and Ian for the real laughter at the bookshop.
Now that you’ve seen their family, hop on over to Main Street in Bothell to see their bookshop! Be sure to follow The Neverending Bookshop’s Facebook and Instagram as well. Small business support is HUGE for me and you’ll only see me promote businesses I believe in. Annie is superb at what she does…and now they are offering new AND used books. Join a book club…buy a book…stop in and say hi. Tell them Dana sent you. 😉
See you there!
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Posted on February 10, 2017
GUYS!! I promised you spring mini sessions this year and I am delivering! I’m super stoked to bring a new vibe and a location that offers SO many options! Fields, flowers, trees, walkways…even water! Let’s do this! You know the deal…first come, first served! 50% is due at booking to retain your slot!
Let’s do it! Click below to select your session time and book your spot!
Tell a friend, would you?
See you soon!
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Posted on January 25, 2017
If you’ve been around this blog before, or my facebook page, these faces are extremely familiar. Like me, you’ve had the honor of watching this family grow from a one child family to a doubly blessed one and move from Washington to Virginia and back again. I’ve been honored to photograph them for Gary’s navy deployment thru my work with OpLove, their extended family; I’ve second shoot Andrea’s sisters’ weddings (3 times with Heather at Holson Photography) and many other sessions. And now I get to congratulate them on this next chapter as Gary graduates from the Police Academy and moves from a Navy life to a Police life.
I love photographing this family every time.
Gary humors me still, every time, and is the best sport. Andrea giggles and laughs the entire time, unless she’s smooching Gary. Jakob has grown to not completely despise the camera (he only growls at me now and then) and Camille is even starting to smile at me once in a while. I love that their parents don’t have unrealistic expectations of their kids…if they aren’t looking at the camera, it’s ok. That’s the phase of life they are in. This approach definitely takes the pressure off me and allows me to capture their family exactly as they are, right here, right now.
Because we all know, the next time will be completely different. I love every second of it.
Why yes, that is a tiny person sized police uniform on Jakob. Complete with whistle.
It wouldn’t be a session with these two if there wasn’t some of this…ahem.
I know I’ll see you soon for another big moment!
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Posted on January 24, 2017
Lori contacted me a few weeks ago because her new company wanted headshots for each employee. She was NOT excited about needing to have her photo taken. She knew she wanted a professional to take care of her.
Lori isn’t unique in this anxiety. I’ve had many clients come to me with this sense of unease and ‘get it over with’. Honestly, these are some of my favorite moments in business. I get to hear about their fears and then lay them to rest. I pride myself in making sure they feel much better about this obligation when they leave, and when they see their final images, when all is said and done. Lori wasn’t unique in that either.
What Lori IS unique in? Her ability to illicit confidence in those trusting her with their business. I know this from personal experience as Lori and I used to work together in another life, before I became a full time photographer. I’m honored she contacted me, trusted me with her vulnerability.
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Posted on January 6, 2017
LoveFest blogs are by far the most involved and the most stressful for me to put together. I want so badly to do justice in words to the events and love I witness and sometimes, those words won’t flow. This is when I’m grateful I get to take photos. They are an extension of my heart and my eye. Kayla and Dane’s Anacortes wedding was nothing short of spectacular. It was simple and elegant, sweet and full of love. The storm clouds made a change of ceremony location imperative, but these two, and their loved ones, had no problem switching it up. The point wasn’t where on Hotel Bellwether’s property they said “I do”, but that they got to in front of their family and friends. I’m honored to have been counted among them.
Wedding planning is no small feat. Nor is it done alone. In addition to trusted family and friends, couples hire amazing vendors they hope will do justice to their vision. Here are the major vendors for Kayla and Dane’s Anacortes wedding:
Venue: Hotel Bellwether
Hair and Makeup: Zazen Salon and Spa
Music: Girl Meets Boy
Flowers: Ever After Events
Cake: Barb’s Pies and Pastry
Catering and beverage service: Hotel Bellwether
So now, with no further ado, grab a beverage, sit back and enjoy; there’s a lot to take in. I’ll do my best to put words to these images along the way.
Brothers, I tell ya. Some are just moved by a great groomsman gift. Cigars will do that to you, I suppose.
When he saw his daughter, the flowergirl, come thru the door dressed up, he GASPED. Audibly gasped. Followed by tears and telling her how beautiful she was, insisting on his own photo, immediately. My heart smiled as big as they both did.
And then the moms came in. They put flowers on and got theirs too. A sweet moment I don’t always get to be present for, the moms getting their flowers. I loved all of us crammed into that hotel room, pizza boxes lining the wall on the floor, the guys all clamoring for their turn in front of the mirror…Dane anxiously waiting to get his bride.
And then our ringbearer saw his mom, but didn’t see me wipe a tear after hearing him say to her “mom, you’re SO PRETTY” as he gazed up at her and she down at him.
Then I pulled myself together, took all these guys outside under the cover due to the storm that was directly on us at this point, the girls still getting ready for me to join them. Kayla and Dane chose NOT to have a first look so we shot the group photos where and when we could both before and after the ceremony. This timeline and laid back arrangement doesn’t work for all couples, but it certainly did for these two! No stress allowed. We went with the flow and it was glorious.
If you’ve had a LoveFest with me, you know I get you what you want (and I get what I want for you). We make it happen. So when the guys mentioned there was a wine cellar and then started to dismiss it…we sweet talked the bar into letting us crash that dark space below. And chaos and shenanigans ensued.
Alas, I had to leave those boys to their own devices and go see Dane’s bride. From the details in her dress, the gift from her groom, to her grandfather’s compass pin secured in her bouquet, a pre-WWI rose quartz heart sewn into the bodice of her dress, and a first look to not only her bridesmaids but a private one to each of her dads as well, Kayla didn’t miss a detail in the wedding planning. And there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
Just like with the guys, I took the girls outside. Excited guests arriving a bit earlier than planned meant we kept Kayla sequestered and she didn’t get to join us for this bit. Don’t worry! We grabbed more of her with her girls after the ceremony…but check out these ladies, rockin’ it!
Grab a refill and a tissue…it’s ceremony time!
The amazing and loving Don, officiated their ceremony, just after Kayla was escorted down the aisle with tear filled eyes by both her special guys. Don spoke of love being an action, not just a word; something you do, not something you say; meant to be felt not described. He spoke of trust, dedication and faith being needed in addition to love to make a marriage work.
Then Don did something I’ve not seen before. He said, “I’ve never met a father who was willing to give up his daughter, so instead I ask: do I have your blessing for this marriage?” Both Kayla’s Dad and Steve gave theirs and I cried again.
Then, at Kayla and Dane’s request, Bryson (the adorable and knowing-he-had-an-important-job-to-do ringbearer) passed the rings to her mom for a blessing, then she passed the rings to everyone else in the seats to do the same. The were guided to hold them, bless them and say a little wish over them before they were returned to Bryson to hand off.
After Kayla and Dane lit the candles and promises were made – promises to love and respect each other, to share their lives and dreams, build their home in a place of love, be companions to each other in successes and failures, happiness and sadness and always give each other unwavering support; above all, they were asked if they could always give each other freedom to be themselves – they were blessed in prayer.
Then FINALLY, Don let them kiss and announced them married! Everyone boogied down the aisle!
As always, I gave the new Mr. and Mrs. a few minutes to themselves, then we stepped into the frigid unseasonable wind and pending rain and took some epic (if fast) family and group portraits! Even though everyone was freezing, the wind was bananas and we all wanted to get to the cocktail party with the rest of the guests, everyone was SO cooperative and amazing and outgoing and gorgeous! They all still brought their personalities for sure! Wanna see?
Whew! That was a lot, right? So many great moments and faces and laughs! I loved every chaotic second of their group photos! We cut the delightful and delightED family and bridal party loose to go to the reception (same property, so EASY) and we brought in their fur babies! We then snagged a few amazing moments together before joining the party!
And? Her ‘something blue’? His navy tag sewn on her dress. Le sigh. I love LOVE.
As we headed over to the reception, we snagged these images we’d hoped to make time for! So, SO glad we were able to make these work. Some of my favorites from their day!
Across the courtyard in the rain and wind and into the reception we go! Announced and directly into their first dance, these two were wicked smart and had Rachel place food at their spots before they were done so they could eat when their guests ate! After everyone had their food we had some simple, sweet, funny toasts…as weddings do.
(A bride crying during the fist dance? It’ll get me every single time.)
Mother and son plus father and daughter dances…more waterworks from yours truly. Every wedding. No exceptions. I’m a mess during the father and daughter dance. She had two. Do the math on the tears.
Giving the couple a break, a chance to stretch their legs, and an opportunity to see their guests a bit closer is so helpful on a wedding day. They get a breather. They get to enjoy it! After all that hard work, I make sure when assisting in their timeline prep we build some down time in.
These guys really brought it for the kids at their wedding, they were NOT left out of the favor-getting. Busy bags! So good!!
Then…we let them eat CAKE! Wedding photographers’ favorite part. We are definitely in it for the cake. The love too; but the cake y’all.
Not all couples have a bouquet and garter toss these days. Dane and Kayla did though! And they struck the perfect balance between fun and tasteful! Even when the little guy jumped on Dane’s back, they just rolled with it. So hilarious.
Then of course, the music was still going so the kids and some others hit the floor to loosen up.
The weather cleared and a handful of the guests, including our couple, stepped outside for cigars. Super fun! Thank goodness for the break in the weather allowing them to connect with friends and family on the patio!
And, love? If a groomsman looks this dapper and his significant other is THIS cute and adorably pregnant, I can not be expected to pass them by. So this happened.
Everyone knows when it’s party time right? The shift happens. The djs drop the lights, the beat drops low and the booties start to shake! This epic team kept the party going and when I got ready to leave there was some serious karaoke getting kicked off. I didn’t want to go, but I had a sneak peek to work on.
Guest grabbed some goodies and signed the photo on their way in and out too! Great favors and thoughtful displays make me happy!
Mr. and Mrs. Holtmeyer, my heart to your hearts. The greatest of love and blessings and gratitude to you both. I can’t wait to see where this life takes you and how you support and love each other in it. Thanks for having me present to capture your amazing day. I love you both.
(And a special shout out to those who recommended me to Kayla and then assisted where needed throughout the day. M, I adore you.)
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Posted on December 20, 2016
If you live in the Pacific Northwest or have ever been lucky enough to visit, you know Fall is a special season here. Fall came a bit late this year and I was concerned we’d either get rained out (hello, PNW?) or we wouldn’t have the colors that scream “fall”. While the rain loomed over us for sure, I was reminded my clients are super rad and trust that I won’t let them look like drowned rats in the local fall weather.
I chose Legion as they have this amazing covered area with a giant fireplace. For safety, we didn’t build a fire, but it gave us that cozy feel nonetheless. Take a look at the fun we created on a chilly, rainy, fall PNW day.
I love that each session, while having consistencies, brings their own special moments, connections and intentions.
Kyna visted me again this year and I got to give her mom some sweet photos of her girl in her favorite beanie.
The Aborns returned to my camera after adding a sweet girl to their family! I loved seeing them and catching up!
Since the rain mostly dissipated for their mini session, the Aborns took to the leaves…watch for that wet leaf toss fail…we laughed SO hard! (No children were damaged in the making, I promise.)
Finally, I was beyond thrilled to photograph my sister with her amazing girls. I may be biased, but come on…when they bring their cute little boots and Starbucks cocoa, I’m over the moon.
I’m so grateful for my clients who trust me with their session locations and styling and keep coming back! Thanks, guys!
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