June 14, 2013
March 28, 2013
Eastlake High School Senior Baseball Players
So fun to photograph these young men as they start out their final year of Eastlake High School baseball. All the seniors got together for group and individual photos. A few of the moms who were there talked about how “just yesterday they were in Little League”. Ironically, following this shoot, I headed off to my son’s first game of his last Little League season.
March 28, 2013
Last night I went to a beautiful Soulumination dinner to celebrate all the good that is done through this amazing organization. It was held to honor the photographers who donate our time and talent to capturing images for the Soul families to treasure.
As photographers, we come into VERY intimate moments (often in the final hours of life). We can witness unimaginable grief and yet the families are so gracious and appreciative to have us there to document their family. It is hard to come into these moments, be so moved and feel so much a part of it, and then leave. Soulumination follows up with the images/gifts to the family. Often I feel heartbroken and wish I could reach out to the families but as the photographer, we can’t.
One Soul family came to share their Soulumination experience. They brought all the photos, framed images, memory books, bracelets, etc. They shared the emotions they had during the session and after. What moved me so much was when the father spoke of his baby girl. He was holding a gorgeous photo of he and his daughter and said, “I don’t feel my daughter when I visit her grave site, I don’t feel her when I look at her headstone, I FEEL her when I look at this image.” I, of course, broke into tears.
He held up a handmade trifold album. It is small enough to hold 6 or so wallet size images. He told us that each of their surviving children received one of these albums with images of them individually with their sister and family images. One book in particular was tattered and obviously had been held regularly. It was the big brother’s book. He carries it with him almost constantly so he can see his sister whenever he wants.
Some of the images given are wallet size laminated photos. This proud father (a Seattle firefighter) brought his helmet to show us that he placed one of these images inside his helmet. This way, he has it with him when he has to draw upon his own strength to get him through rough days at work. Similar to our Soul jobs, he faces difficult scenes and tragedy in his work too.
I guess I wanted to share all this to remind you of what an amazing organization Soulumination is and the way it touches lives on many levels. You may not be able to be a photographer but there are things you can do to help. Visit www.soulumination.org to see how you can volunteer your time to help create these gifts that are given to parents and kids so they can remember their precious loved ones.
March 6, 2013
Class of 2014….it is time to schedule your senior photo shoot!
Summer is just around the corner. Be sure to book your Senior Photo Session soon.
January 25, 2013
Winter Wedding Bliss….The Four Seasons Seattle
You never know what you are going to get for weather in Seattle in January. But somebody must be living right….because Kelsey Strand and Mark Kincaid were blessed with a perfect day for a January wedding at The Four Seasons in Seattle. The morning of their wedding the sky looked a bit dark and I was worried that the rain would be fierce. But as I drove across the 520 bridge I saw that the threat of rain was quickly disappearing.
Kelsey has exquisite taste and every time I turned around there was something else magnificent to photograph. When I arrived and saw these Jimmy Choo shoes and her gorgeous dress, I could barely wait get my gear unloaded. I was eager to get to work capturing the beauty of the day.
Marcella’s la Boutique helped Kelsey find the perfect Lazaro dress. A ballerina for the past 22 years, nothing suited her better than this dress with layers and layers of tulle. The crystal and flowered belt on the dress was amazing. I loved the feather accent on her bouquet by Ring Around the Rose Florist. It added just the right touch of graceful femininity.
Four Seasons Hotel was the site for both the ceremony and reception. Located just a block from Pike Place market in downtown Seattle, the photo opportunities are limitless.
And of course, you can’t visit Pike Place without a photo by the famous pig.
I used some fun lighting at the Pike Place Gum Wall to create the illusion of it being night time. We had quite a crowd standing by watching but Kelsey and Mark didn’t seem to mind. They had no problem at all snuggling up and kissing for this shot.
Now this is a good group of friends and family….it was barely above freezing with temperatures in the mid-thirties and yet not one person complained about being cold.
The new Seattle Ferris Wheel on the pier made for a fun backdrop in our photos as the sun set and the clouds darkened.
Waiting for the wedding can make for a long day for little ones. But Kelsey’s nieces found entertainment people watching on the street below.
With this ring……
During the ceremony I caught this moment of Kelsey’s mom and dad. They look so proud.
Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Mark Kincaid!
As guests enjoyed cocktail hour, the ceremony site was transformed into this gorgeous reception room.
Kelsey and her dad Greg share a very special moment on the dance floor.
If you want a great party DJ Scott Dulin is your man. He always gets the crowd moving.
As I drove home from Kelsey and Mark’s wedding the skies opened up and dumped rain so hard that my windshield wipers were on high. I just smiled and thought how fortunate we were to get a beautiful day to photograph outside in January.
January 11, 2013
Everytime I photograph a ballerina I am amazed at the grace and beauty that these dainty young ladies possess. Yet they are so strong. How they can lift their bodies in the air so effortlessly is beyond me.
December 17, 2012
A Merry Little Santa….
Okay, seriously….how cute is this? I’m crazy busy trying to wrap up photos promised before the holiday….but I had to post this photo. This would even put the Grinch in the holiday spirit.
November 8, 2012
Help Cure Calvin Bracelets
So proud of my daughter and her friends for choosing such a special family for their leadership semester project. Read the post below from Tricia Bertsch’s Caring Bridge Page about her journey with Calvin and help ”Cure Calvin” if you can.
Written By Tricia Bertsch - Mother of Calvin
Our photographer, Kelly Chandler, has become a good friend to our family. She began taking our family pictures when Caiden was a baby and has continued to be on our journey with each child. When Calvin was born sick she continued on our journey and it was during this time she told us she is part of an amazing organization, Soulumination, which celebrates the lives of children and parents facing life-threatening conditions by providing professional photographs of these special individuals and their families free of charge. While we have never had her take pictures of Calvin in-patient we decided next time he is admitted we will allow her to as these pictures, these images, are important to capture and help tell his incredibly story.
A few weeks ago Kelly called and told me her daughter Brooke, in middle school, decided her leadership semester project would be to raise awareness for Mitochondrial Disease and use the funds raised to help with our medical expenses. They are selling bright green bracelets for $3.00 but would will accept additonal donations. When Kelly told me about Brooke’s desire to help I was brought to tears yet I was not surprised by her kindness, empathy, and compassion as she is her mother’s daughter.
Today has been another hard day for our sweet boy. His fever remains (up to 100.7) and there is nothing I can do to knock it out. Dr. O’Neill told us today if it reaches 101 at any time (per his usual protocol) or if the heavy antibiotics do not work once we hit the 48 hour mark (tonight) he will need to be admitted to Children’s. My heart tells me there is something more going on than this “infection” and my instincts tell me he will wake up tomorrow with the same fever he’s been battling off and on for weeks but my head wants me to believe he will shake it and this will become a distant memory.
We are waiting for the referral to hit for the hematology/oncology clinic. We hope they can provide us some much needed answers into his bruising and fevers without needed to be admitted but if this fever doesn’t go away we will need to do it while he’s in-patient.
Tonight, when I thought I might break, I got a post on Facebook with a picture of the Help Cure Calvin bracelets. I was brought to tears by the empathy and compassion our family has been shown once again. This was just the reminder I needed that Calvin’s journey has a purpose. While our sweet boy puts up his own fight there are incredible young ladies out there who want to spread the word about a disease that affects not only him but countless other children we have grown to know and love. Our family will receive our box of green (Calvin’s favorite color) bracelets on Friday and we will wear them in honor of him and his courageous fight. It will serve as a reminder to him that he is not alone on his journey and he is making a difference – one bracelet at a time.
If you would like to buy a Help Cure Calvin bracelet please send your donation to:
PO Box 698 Kirkland, WA 98083-0698
Checks can be made out to Kelly Chandler. Please note how many bracelets you would like and be sure to include your return address. They will present our family with the final donation total at the end of their semester project in January. They will also be selling them at their school and at various sporting events.
July 27, 2012
Peter & Katrina - Monterey California Wedding
Meet Peter and Katrina - two of the most fun people ever. Katrina was a bridesmaid in a wedding I photographed a few years ago. When she and Peter got engaged, they contacted me to see if they could fly me to California to photograph their wedding. I always love to shoot in new locations and to travel, so I was excited to have the opportunity. Knowing how fun Katrina was as a bridesmaid, I could only imagine what we were up for on her big day. They flew up to Seattle and when I met Peter and heard the details of their day, I knew it was going to be an event not to be believed.
Every detail of Katrina and Peter’s day was exquisite. From the custom made hanger for her wedding dress to the Christian Louboutin Cinderella shoes.
My assistant Christiana and I arrived on Thursday to scout out the area. Katrina picked us up and we spent a fabulous day together finding little treasured spots to offer tons of diversity in our photos. Katrina was willing to give me whatever time I wanted on the day of the wedding for photos (can we say dream bride). We started in Spreckles, a small town outside of Monterey, California. It was literally like a throwback to Smalltown, USA…complete with the vintage Coke sign painted on the side of the corner grocery store.
Katrina and her father had always talked about fixing up a 57 Chevy together. He surprised Katrina in February with this beautiful 57 Chevy Bel Air. It was the perfect ride for the wedding day photos.
Despite living in California…..You won’t meet bigger WSU Cougar fans that Katrina and her family. Pete is a graduate from San Luis Obispo but he is an honorary Coug and he loves coming up to Seattle to cheer on the Cougs and the annual Coug/Husky football game.
Look at how happy Peter looks. Such a fantastic guy!
Across from the corner store was this lettuce field….who knew they grew the Artisan lettuce in rows to cut, wash and bag on site. I loved the colorful lines it created in the background.
One little treasure we found when scouting out the area was this old abandoned chapel. We literally had to climb over a chain link fence that was partially knocked over to get to it. Don’t worry, we stepped on the fence to hold it down for Katrina so she wouldn’t catch her dress. I loved that Katrina and Peter were willing to do whatever I wanted to get the interesting and fun shots that I have envisioned.
Notice how the graffiti says “St. Peter”. How ironic is that? I’d say it was right on target with that one. Peter is wonderful and totally adores his bride.
Katrina has a bit of a shoe fetish. She wore three different pairs during the wedding. Some crystal flip flops, her red boots and finally the Louboutin Crystal Cinderella Stilettos. Oh and for bridesmaids gifts, how about taking her girls shopping in Vegas on a bachelorette party and buying each girl their choice of black Christian Louboutin shoes.
You can’t get married in Monterey without a visit to the beach and to the Fisherman’s Wharf.
Katrina and Peter’s favorite place to go for World Famous Chowder….Old Fisherman’s Grotto. Yes, those are chowder shots.
On to the wedding. Now when I mentioned earlier that the details were exquisite, I wasn’t kidding. Peter is a pilot and proposed to Katrina after their first solo flight together in a private plane. Peter told Katrina that since she trusted him enough to fly with him, would she trust him for the rest of her life and marry him. Every detail of their day was in someway connected to airplanes. Save the date cards were printed on old airplane tear tickets. Party favors were small bags of peanuts with mini bottles of Crown Royal like you get on an airplane and they were displayed in vintage suitcases. And best of all, the wedding was in a private airplane hanger with 5 vintage airplanes on display. Lynn and his daughter drove down the taxiway in the 57 Chevy arriving at the ceremony just in time for the hangar doors to open and the guests to get a first glimpse of the blushing bride.
Paper airplanes were tucked into the back of each guest’s chair imprinted “When the newlyweds walk you way…gently toss and yell hoorah!”
I had a conversation with Katrina’s father early during our visit. He carries these stones in his pocket everywhere he goes. They signify special times in his life and memories that make him smile. The day of the rehearsal dinner I stumbled across a store that had this “unity” rock and I simply couldn’t pass it by. I bought it to give to Lynn to signify the day his little girl got married.
The food at this wedding was nothing short of amazing. The perimeter of the tarmac was lined with food trucks. Babaloo’s Cuban Cuisine, Mansmith’s Barbecue, Tacos Pachero, The Pizza Gypse Woodfired Pizza. YUM!
Their dancing was a entertainment at it’s finest. Katrina and Peter had a choreographed dance that was nothing short of spectacular.
Their dance was followed by a father/daughter dance that featured 7 snips of songs and a routine that made me laugh so hard I cried.
As a surprise for Peter, Katrina had a grooms cake made by Marina Sousa from Just Cake. It was an exact replica of the plane he proposed to Katrina in (shown behind in this photo).
Thank you Peter and Katrina for an amazing 4 days! You treated Christiana and I like family and we loved being there to capture your events with photos to cherish.
A big thanks to Karissa Paxton of Coastside Couture for helping coordinate the wedding and keeping things running smoothly the day of the wedding.
July 8, 2012
And then there were FOUR!!
You may have seen this amazing story of Brian and Misty Baker in the news. Best friend, Amber Pluckebaum agreed to be a gestational surrogate for Misty. In a surprise, both women ended up carrying twins and ironically delivered just 36 hours apart. Now Brian and Misty have 4 beautiful newborns and I got the privilege of photographing them. See their complete story from the LA Times .