2013 In Review

2013 In Review

2013 was a crazy year. It started with our trip to Germany, where we spent three weeks exploring Munich, Dachau, the Reingau, Bonn, Berlin, & Hamburg. While I didn’t take any photos of cake, trust me, I ate plenty. Once we were back, it was time for weddings! My wedding season started in March last year & ended in October. With tons of portrait sessions and a cross-state move in the middle.

I’ll be posting a little review/my thoughts on my first bridal show later this week and a 2013 business recap next week. [Summary: it was overwhelming but great, and I learned a lot. From both.] If you’ve found your way here after visiting my booth at the show, hi! I talked to so many wonderful ladies and gentlemen, so if you didn’t sign up for the email, but want more info on my bridal show special offer (or signed up and didn’t get the email), send me an email through the contact link above and I’ll get you all sorted out.

And now, the photos! I tried to go through all my photos from this year on my harddrive and pick out my favorites, but it was too hard. So I quickly went through my upload archive for the blog and grabbed them that way. This way I can recap my 2013 before the first month of 2014 is done. And yes, there are a couple I did pull from a portfolio update I did that haven’t been blogged. Next week! Without further ado, the best of 2013.

Cataldo-Mission-wedding-002Berlin Tempelhof Airport FieldUniversity-Chicago-wedding-008Hamburg Germany in WinterCamden-Ranch-wedding-bridal-shoot-20Mazama-Winthrop-wedding-007Fall Spokane Wedding PhotographyThomas Heinrich Peterson Seattle WADachau Camp MuseumCountry Barn Wedding PhotographyKolner Domvolunteer-park-5Destination Wedding PhotographyChicago Boat TourPortland Oregon Portrait PhotographySeattle Wedding PhotographyVilla Vashon WeddingsVashon Island Wedding PhotographySpokane Portrait PhotographyJewish Wedding PhotographyPortland Portrait PhotographyGasworks Park Maternity PhotographyYakima Valley Wedding PhotographyMazama Ranch House Wedding PhotographySeattle Portrait PhotographyJewish Memorial BerlinBridal-Show--slideshow-066Columbia Basin Wedding PhotographyCasual Portrait PhotographerCasual Western Wedding PhotographyEpic Dance Party WeddingsMotorcycle Engagement PhotosWahluke Soccer PhotographyUniversity-Chicago-wedding-006Dachau Camp MuseumEastside Gallery - Berlin WallVilla Vashon Wedding PhotographyColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia River VantageMunich neighborhoods snow


Family History, The Ballard Locks — Seattle, WA

Family History, The Ballard Locks — Seattle, WA

I’m in a strange place right now. This retail job I picked up, it’s driving me crazy. Besides the full load of work I do for the photography (which, at this time of year is less photo-taking and more business-maintaining), and the 20-30+ hours at the retail gig, we’re also house hunting. That doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the job. It’s been a learning experience and I’m gleaning whatever I can from this, as well as working with some pretty fantastic people. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t counting the days until I head out. I miss making my own schedule, having time to read a book. Being my own boss.

Back when we went to Seattle in October, I conned H into driving us all the way out to Ballard on Monday morning before we left. We were driving against traffic, so it wasn’t even that bad. I love the locks, for more than one reason. First, because they’re fascinating. Because it’s fun to watch the ships come through the locks. Heading out to sea, coming back in to port. Second, because I feel connected to the locks. If you’ve ever visited the locks and walked all the way across, you might have seen the plaque below. It’s in honor of my great-great-great grandfather (my dad’s mom’s grandpa), Thomas Heinrich Peterson. He was one of the first shipbuilders in the Seattle area, and his shipyard was at Salmon Bay (which is long gone) and he lived in Ballard around the turn of the century. We have a model of one of his ships in my parents’ living room, but we didn’t know about the plaque until recently.

As we look at houses, ones old enough that my great-great-great grandfather could have lived there, I’m reminded that the past is just as important as the present and the future. That we need to remember the little things. This plaque doesn’t tell you that he almost died in a shipwreck once, or that he wrote very long run-on sentences with little-to-no punctuation, or that he had five children, or that his wife outlived him by many, many, years. But it’s there. A testament to a life well lived, to a man who left his mark on Seattle’s history.

Seattle AlkiBallard Locks SeattleThomas Heinrich Peterson Seattle WABallard Locks SeattleBallard Locks SeattleBallard Locks SeattleBallard Locks SeattleBallard Locks SeattleBallard Locks Seattle

Merry Christmas everyone. I’ll hopefully post again before 2014 arrives, but if not, I’ll be back with more in January!

Rafting the Deschutes — Maupin, OR

Rafting the Deschutes — Maupin, OR

In August, we escaped for a weekend away with my family to Eastern Oregon. We drove down to Maupin, and spent a couple days in the area, rafting the Deschutes River and visiting Hood River. We ate lots of good food and soaked up the sunshine. The trip was far too short, and I’m already scheming about when we’ll fit it in next year. On our way home, we swung by the Columbia Gorge Discovery Museum just outside the Dalles. The first two photos are from our raft trip, taken with the little waterproof camera. The rest are from the museum, which I’d totally visit again. The museum caught my eye when we drove down to Maupin,so we stopped on our way back. They have some great displays of early native American work, along with a cool interactive exhibit hall depicting early life on the Columbia.

Side note(s): we rafted the Deschutes with Imperial Rafting Company. It’s the second time we’ve rafted the Deschutes (the first time was in 2006), and both times, I’ve loved the service and people at IRC. We also stayed at their hotel and the location can’t be beat. Also, if you’re in Hood River at breakfast time, I highly recommend Egg River Cafe. It’s busy, but good. Neither company has any idea I’m saying nice things about them, but I had to say them all the same.

Rafting the DeschutesRafting the DeschutesColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge Museum

Looking for the Light

Looking for the Light

You guys.

We spent three years in the Seattle area. And shortly after we arrived, I realized I was going to have trouble adapting. It was the light. Gone were the clear blue skies that seemed to go on forever. It was all trees. Lots of gray and rain.

But now, now I’m back in the light. And it calls to me.

We used to drive over the pass — to my parent’s home, to Spokane — and when we’d get to a point, between Easton and Thorp, I’d always tell H to look at the light. I don’t think he understood what I was talking about. Even in the rain, Eastern Washington’s light is different. And in the winter? When it snows and then the sun comes out? So bright it blinds you? That’s something I missed. Blue skies, white powder, flying down the mountains. Oh, yes. That light is right.

It’s soft and elegant. It’s warm and clear. And it’s so right.

Even now, on a crisp fall day, as the leaves are just starting to turn (and I cannot wait for crisp fall leaves), it’s clear and bright.

Yes, I miss Seattle. But this light? Oh this light. I’ve been looking for the light for three years.

It’s good to be home.

Camden Ranch Wedding Photography
Methow Valley Wedding Photography

Top photo: from a shoot I did at the beautiful Camden Ranch in Elk, WA for Applebrides. 10 minutes before that photo, it was pouring. Bottom: Alaine & Dan‘s gorgeous Mazama wedding. I can’t wait to share more from both shoots!

On the Road Again

On the Road Again

I’m leaving town again this weekend, right after publishing this baby. Thankful for the friends who take care of my cat and apartment. The number of weekends we’re home during the next two months is less than the weekends we’re away right now. Between work and family and H’s triathlon’s, we’ve been busy. Here, there, everywhere. It’s not such a bad thing. The photos below are from a couple weeks ago, when we went to visit my family in Mattawa, and H ran a triathlon in Ellensburg. We’re going to be traveling around the state and country during the next few weeks. At the end, there’s a list of three weekends when I have time. Time to meet up for coffee, time to for a shoot, time to just…be. Let’s meet up.Eastern Washington photographyEastern Washington photographyColumbia River PhotographyColumbia River VantageEllensburg Triathlon Budu RacingEastern Washington photography

WDS 2013: Letting Go

WDS 2013: Letting Go

Champagne Toast WDS 2013

(c) Armosa Studios

Earlier this month, I watched Tess Vigeland get up on stage and say that she left her dream job at NPR because she had “too much self respect to stay.” And I choked up, because I understood. I saw Chase Jarvis expound on the importance of creativity, of artistry, and how there is a lack of it in our culture. And my heart ached, because I know that school system too well. I watch Steve Schalchlin played the piano, singing songs he wrote after almost dying of AIDS. And I cried. Because life is about living every moment to the fullest.

Last year, WDS made me realize that I wanted to be a photographer. Full time. Not as a hobby. And I knew I wanted to do it in Spokane. So, here I was a year later, working at a photographer and moving to Spokane. Check and check. And I watched Tess say that she quit her job. That people asked her “what’s next?” and she didn’t know. Because when you’ve accomplished those goals, what’s left? And I felt her words echo in my heart. Saying things I couldn’t have verbalized.

Last year, WDS sparked something in me. And I took that something and ran with it, straight into my business. This year, I was expecting the same, but it never came. I thought, what if I have no other business goals? I do, and I know that I do. Because I want to do more with my business. And I know that. But those are little goals. What is my next big goal?  What if I don’t have any more goals? Obviously, the lack of sleep was turning me into a drama queen. So I asked myself, what did I learn this year?

Moments matter.

When I think back on WDS 2013, the difference is that it’s more about the people, and less about the message. Last year, I met so many wonderful people, but didn’t really keep in touch. And even though those people sparked so much change in my life, I didn’t feel like was holding myself to those goals because no one in my everyday life knew about them. This year, my goal is to keep in touch. To create and grow those relationships. To be fully present in my life, living every moment. Not holding back.

As I danced Bollywood with 3,000 people and sang along to Journey with 1,000 others, I realized that my life is beautiful and wonderful. It is remarkable. And I can’t keep wishing for something else, I need to live the life I have. Don’t wish for a different life, find a way to make your own life amazing.

PS – You can read the transcript of Tess Vigeland’s talk here.