Friday, December 28, 2007

Bobby & Courtney | engaged

Traipsing around downtown Portland is something I LOVE to do :) I love to explore and more importantly I love to show people around my home. I am ALWAYS begging people to come visit me just so I can show all my favorite spots. When Bobby and Courtney asked me where we wanted to shoot, I knew I wanted to shoot downtown for its culture, atmosphere, and just plain awesomeness. Since they would only be in town a few days we met up on Christmas Eve and went on our own lil' adventure. Poor Courtney had to walk all around in heels! I, on the other hand, have learned that I don't wear heels to shoots anymore. lol :)

Since it was Christmas Eve, there was a jolly spirit in the air and everyone was friendly... even though it was raining on and off. Courtney's parents tagged along and were the BEST assistants! Between them holding umbrellas over my head and keeping my peppermint tea warm, I felt like a superstar! haha. Thanks guys!

The church was leaking steam! made for fun pics.

I knew Bobby through College and WAAAAAY back when, he and two other guys took my two best friends and I to the senior banquet thingy-ma-jig. They dressed up like complete dorks and serenaded us one night in the dining hall as a way of asking us to the banquet. I give MAJOR props to guys who arent afraid to make a fool of themselves. Anyway, of course we said yes... who wouldnt?!
So, then a few weeks before the event, they dropped off a CD with images of what they would wear to the banquet. I have rarely laughed so hard in my life. I swore that I would break these out on their wedding days.... here is me holding true to my promise ;)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fear of the Unknown

I spent nearly 5 hours at the bookstore today. Its my cerebral playground... I walk in and simply get lost amidst the myriad of stories. I didn't INTEND to spend five hours there but when I looked at my watch I just laughed at how quickly the time passed.

Anyway... I read a short story that really made me think...

"A criminal committed a crime (because hey, thats what criminals do...right?) anyway, he was sent to the king for punishment. The king told him he had a choice, he could be hung by a rope or take the punishment behind the big dark scary steel door. The criminal quickly decided on the rope. The king chuckled to himself and said... "nearly everyone always chooses the rope." As the noose was being slipped on him, the criminal asked... "Out of curiosity, what's behind that door? Obviously I wont tell anyone" he said, pointing to the noose around his neck. The king paused and answered... "Freedom, but it seems most people are so afraid of the unknown, that they immediately take the rope..."

Is there anything in your life that is holding you back out of fear of the unknown? For that criminal, as far as he could see, he was gonna die either way so he chose the safe route. BUT look at what would have happened if he had chosen the unknown? Sure, it could have been a big hairy beast, but what a cooler way to die rather than a boring ol' noose! right?! (its all a matter of perspective my friends!)

As I evaluate my life, my business, & my goals in preparation for the new year, I am challenged to take even more risks!! I actually get a thrill off risks and crazy adventures....but I find that some I am too fearful to take. As I evaluate those risks, I realize they are based on fear... fear of failing, fear of getting hurt, fear of _________(fill in the blank).
Sooo... my challenge to you (and to me) is to not be motivated by fear of the unknown but to passionately and wholeheartedly say "I want to see what's behind door number 2 please, Bob!!"

What 'fear of the unknowns' are holding YOU back from the potential to live an amazing life... or to go to that next level in your business.. or whatever else you can imagine?!


Monday, December 24, 2007


Oh my HEAVENS! What an adventure!!!

So yesterday, my brother and I took the 3 hour drive up to Seattle to photograph a surprise proposal on top of the Space Needle.
Chad had it alllll planned out.....My instructions were to walk by (Andrea had no idea what I looked like) and 'drop' a piece of a paper on the ground. He bends down to pick it up and it contained a poem and song that he would then recite/sing to her before getting down on one knee... My brother and I would then be waiting in the wings to start shooting!
easy enough, right?



We arrive at the space needle 45 min before Chad and Andrea were supposed to be there to scout locations and test lighting. Standing outside, the winds were so strong that we could barely hold our cameras still. THEN they decided to SHUT DOWN the observation deck because of 60mph winds!
OH CRAP... what are we gonna do??!

Chad and Andrea were still at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Seattle so I texted him to stall while I tried to figure something out. I called 411 and got the # of the Hilton Concierge to ask if they had an observation deck on top of the building.

They suggested calling the Hyatt... 411 again....Hyatt Concierge Paul answers and he regrets to inform me that they also do not have an observation deck. After explaining our dilemma, I asked him if he had any ideas of who to call next. He replied that he had an idea but he would have to call in a personal favor.
The phone rings 5 minutes later and Paul has obtained permission for us to use an observation deck on top of a condo tower in downtown Seattle. He gave us address and name of the security guard on duty and we took off.

Once we arrived at the Cristalla we met Ken, the Concierge on duty, and he escorted us to the top. THE VIEW WAS INCREDIBLE!!! Way better than the Space Needle in our opinion. We texted Chad and the new plans were in motion...The only problem was the deck had NO LIGHTS and Chad had asked that we didn't use flash. UH-OH.
Have no fear... Ken TO THE RESCUE AGAIN!
He proceeded to take me down underground to the maintenance shed and we obtained 2 shop lights and extension cords.
He even gave us a vendor card to get up and down the elevators. wow. what a guy.

Anyway, the deck had a fireplace where we decided to set everything up... So I scaled the side of the wall and put one of the lights on top of the overhang.... it lit the fireplace area enough where we could focus and VOILA!

My brother and I stood on the opposite side of the deck with hoods on pretending to be looking at the view... as soon as we heard chad singing we went all ninja style into the bushes and she said YES! :)

we shot a few quick shots afterwards...

I didnt realize how much of a HIGH I get off of creative problem solving... man, that was fun!
Congrats Chad and Andrea! Thanks for the adventure and a great story!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lookin' back...

WOW! It has been a looooooong year. And, to be completely real and honest.... It was truly one of the toughest years.
Despite the battles, it has been an amazing year all the same. As I sat and looked through my year of pictures, I realized what made all the trials and tribulations so bearable.... it was the people. My friends, family, photo community... all ya'all!
We arent meant to live life in isolation, but together.... So THANK YOU to each and every one of you who I have had the pleasure of meeting or developing an existing friendship with. You have all had an impact on my life and for that I am so grateful!

Soooo, I pulled 100 pics of the past year that not only give an overview of the year but show all the fantastic community I have been surrounded with. I love ya all!!

***CLICK HERE for Slideshow***

(ps) If you weren't in it, its probablly 'cause I don't have pics of us together... If you send me some, I will plug them in! :)
(pps)One thing I learned after meandering through pictures.... I hung out with Amber Holritz and Egan A LOT! Good thing they are both great friends!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I have been meandering through my images from the past year in preparation for the updated website, and I came across all these signs from my summer travels between Barbados, Cabo, & Cancun. I figured they deserved some blog lovin' :)


This was painted on a white wall.... I think I am gonna print it for my closet! lol

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Countdown Begins!

Coming at the beginning of the year I will be launching a new updated site! Its been almost a year and it's time for new fresh ideas... I cant wait to show you all! :)

[note: to all potential clients, you have until Dec 31st to take advantage of '07 pricing.... The offer expires with that New Years kiss however ;)...]

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New England | Love & Passion

I spent the last week in New Haven CT with my dear friends Justin & Mary Marantz. If I could sum up the trip in two words, they would most definitely be.... love & passion. It truly was a magical experience!

LOVE: Watching those two crazy love birds made my heart smile. They are so in love with eachother and its contagious. On their first date, there was 'no chemistry' but for some reason they gave it another shot.. and the rest is history! Observing their connection and relationship was such an awesome experience.
Then at a coffee shop one night, I saw a really old couple sharing hot chocolate together... I saw the way they looked at eachother and couldnt help but smile. So, of course I had to talk to them...'cause that's how I roll. haha.
With huge grins, they exclaimed that they celebrated their 60th anniversary that day and were more in love than ever before. The blushing bride proceeded to share some words of wisdom and then they strolled out hand in hand. Young and Old couples alike... all I saw was this deep in-explainable love. Good thing I am a wedding photographer 'eh? ;)

PASSION: That is for a different post (wink wink) but surrounding myself with passionate individuals is something I try to do always. I am so blessed to know so many incredible people! Friends who are passionate not only about photography but life, people... charity. Aw man, I am so pumped right now! There are so many exciting opportunities coming up next year... just wait for the awesomeness!

Here are a few fun pics.... Justin, Mary, and Steve DePino! (yes, that is ice cream in the snow!)

A little signage that deserved some attention

The beautiful town of Mystic, CT

Skull & Bones Society of Yale. Apparently President Bush and Senator Kerry were members of this 'secret society'. Notice the blacked out windows?? lol.

The two crazy love birds themselves

OK and one last thing.... we played Rockband for like 3 hours the other night and have incriminating video to prove it. Unfortunately, after seeing this video, our dreams of starting a rock-band were crushed. 'DEKTOL' rest in peace.

Thank You Justin and Mary for sharing some New England magic.... not only with your love, but with your lives, hearts, kindness and home. You two truly are a joy to know!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

New England in the Snow

We are running out the door but check out beautiful New England in the snow!! :)

More pics to come! :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Snake Shoot 2007 | the photographers

So after the snake shoot the other day, we got a quick shot together.
your truly, Kathy Carlisle, & Shannon Sewell

Major props to Shannon... she was not too happy to be within two feet of the snakes let alone holding it! That took guts and she was a super trooper. And again, thanks to Kathy for the studio, the shoot, EVERYTHING! I heart these ladies.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Play Date

Remember when you were a kid and you would go knock on your friend's door to ask if so-n-so could come out to play? As an adult, it still feels like we do the same thing..... yet instead of Mrs.Mom, our permission givers are our day planners. Sometimes it is so hard to just get together to play, 'eh?

I LOVE to play.... it's central to my sanity! Today I get to go play in Connecticut! My dear friends the Marantzs have invited me to come play with them for a few days, so off I go... (of course we will do a little work too since we are all entrepenuers, but given the company, I am sure even that will be play!)

Take time out and go ask if someone can "come out to play"... afterall, life is all about relationships anyway. :)


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cobra Commander

CAUTION: if you are afraid of slithery reptiles.... close thine eyes.

Given the weather in the northwest, we are often forced to shoot INSIDE, so, thanks to Kathy, I have had the awesome opportunity to play around in a studio. You may remember her kids from a few posts down.... This time, however, we not only had an awesome model but we had a snake handler who brought out all their snakes!


I was so excited for this shoot because I've always been fascinated by snakes. I even got to hold them inbetween outfit changes and speak Parseltongue to them. (ok, so maybe I didnt speak parseltongue...)
Anyway, I think there were 9 in all but my favorite was named Satan. He is the black snake in the first shot. Beautiful markings 'eh?
Before the shoot, I was holding the 8ftr around my neck and since I was warm, she began to squeeeeeeze... rather tightly. She wasnt trying to hurt me but it was an interesting experience to say the least :)

fun times.

Here are a few of my favorite shots.... :)

Thank You Kathy for this awesome opportunity!!! Check out her blog as well as Shannon's for more pics!

Kristin DeVries | Fashion Designer pt 2

I shot Kristin a while back and we did a few different outfits... here is part deux!

Kristin is such a beautiful soul and we had a blast!!!

Off to go see Xmas lights with the guys....


Friday, December 7, 2007

Evolution of Wedding photography

So dad and I were having one of those life talks today and since we got all nostalgic and sentimental, he went up to the attic and dug up some old pictures.
Check out this photo.... taken in the early 70's. Wedding photography has come a long way, 'eh?

I think I should start offering this to my clients....

hahahahaha... yeah no. sorry.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Decorating

Ok, so Christmas is my holiday... you don't mess with Shyla and Christmas.
Decorating at our house is like a four day event. We teased my mom that when we built our house, we'd have to add an extra room just for Christmas Decorations. haha.

I just love the spirit at Christmas... I love peppermint zebra hot chocolates... I love Christmas Music and I love snow! perfect season if you ask me.
But on top of all that is the family activities and it starts with putting up lights/decorations.
We had a ton of fun this year :)...

um, didnt you know that extension cords make great jump ropes?

Our friend Jerry did the really high stuff because he has better medical insurance than we do! lol.

Marky Mark stuck to the ground and was the director!

With the upcoming election year, we decided to show our harmonious support of both major parties.......
well, not really. I actually just thought it was funny we have one red and one blue

Is it 'normal' have a christmas tree in our kitchen? haha. The tree on the right is my penguin tree comprised off all the penguin ornaments I have collected since I was young.

We did it! and no one got hurt! :)

Here's to a wonderful Christmas season.... Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Food for 1 Week

Whoa... check this out.
Its amazing how much money we spend on food each week. The following pics give you an idea of how much we spend versus other cultures. It also give you an idea how much it costs to feed a family in an underdeveloped country for a week and how even a little bit in giving can go a LONG way :)

Food for 1 week

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Carlisle Kids

Yesterday was heaven. pure heaven.
Ever since I met Kathy Carlisle it's been a great love affair. She is one of those rare souls who ask the deep questions and challenge you to rethink everything you believe. I have wonderful friends in my life but few who will actually sit down and hash out the deep life questions that form who we are. Character. Love. Religion. Passion. LIFE.
Our hang-sessions are like soul food. I never want to be stubborn in my ways and always challenegd to keep an open mind and she helps me acheive that!
So first I met Kathy and then I met her hottie husband Jake! He was Kailee's crush over at BluDomain in early 2007 and I can totally see why. BUT Ive never been one to focus on looks for we all know they fade.... if you see the way he treats his wife and family and his character, you would be inspired.
BUT THEN... I met her kids. The three most beautiful children ever, I fell in love with them months ago. When I got to her house yesterday and was greeted with a "run and jump hug" from her youngest, that just sealed the love in my heart.
Since I met them, I have been DYING to shoot them....can you see why?

I was so giddy the whole shoot!




One more of Jamie

Shannon Sewell's little girl Emma

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