It’s always incredibly special when I get to photograph members of my family. So when my cousin, Emily, told me she was engaged I was OVERJOYED for her, and then she asked if I would document their love story, I was THRILLED. I didn’t get to meet her fiance, Adam, until their engagement shoot, as they are both living in Utah, going to school at BYU. But let me tell you, it didn’t take more then 2 seconds to like him and realize the depth of love they have for one another. Instantly I was so excited that he was going to be a part of our family. He humored me and told me his hilarious story of how he proposed to Emily:
The scattered easter eggs on the ground crack me up.
I proposed to Emily on Easter. Em is pretty hard to surprise, but my family had made plans to go to Easter brunch at Sundance (Robert Redford’s mountain resort in Utah) early in the year so I hoped she wouldn’t be too suspicious. I had my parents prepare an Easter basket that morning and hide the ring in one of the eggs. My little sister Kelly works at Sundance and had to work that morning, so when we got there I had my parents say that the basket was for Kelly as a consolation for her having to work on Easter. While we ate, I had our friends Brandon and Jenna find and secure a good isolated spot to propose. When we finished eating (the food was amazing, by the way) I told Kelly to take us on a tour of Sundance, since she works there and knows it well (this is when Emily really started to get suspicious). Carrying her basket, she took us to the spot where Brandon and Jenna were hiding in the trees with a camera – it was a pretty little bridge over the river. As we got to the bridge Kelly said something about needing to go back to work for a minute because she left something, then gave me the basket and left. I suggested we eat Kelly’s candy, which was a dead giveaway considering that we had just gorged ourselves at a buffet. I grabbed the egg, opened it up, and couldn’t find the ring… I frantically searched the basket and eggs started falling out and breaking open. I started to panic as I thought I may have dropped the ring in the river! By this point Kelly ha turned around and Brandon and Jenna had come out and were taking pictures and getting my panic on film… Emily was standing there knowing exactly what was going on but not sure if she should help me or what. Finally Kelly came up, took the egg and showed me the ring and I quickly grabbed it and dropped to one knee before I embarrassed myself any further I popped the question, and despite my clumsiness Em said yes! I couldn’t have been happier. She’s the love of my life and I can’t picture myself without her.
I am so grateful to have the honor to photograph Emily and Adam’s wedding this summer! Their engagement shoot at the fair was a blast and really showcased how much fun they have together!
Emily and Adam, I LOVE you guys!!!!!
I loved Leah and Glenn from the second I met them. I mean, they’re huggers for goodness sakes. We met at a neat local Seattle brewery and as I got to know them, I realized THEY ARE AMAZING PEOPLE. Leah is a naturopath and Glenn, an acupuncturist (seriously, is that not the coolest thing ever?). They are tying the knot after being together for 11 years. Their story is so wonderful and I love nothing more then hearing a groom’s version of his marriage proposal…
Leah and I have always enjoyed the outdoors. So when it came to arranging a setting for our engagement weekend I wanted to include the most beautiful area in Washington, Mt Rainier National Park. I planned a weekend for the two of us to get away and do a little hiking and relaxing. I found a special cabin that was tucked away in the woods and constructed from stone and lumber from the land. This cabin proved to be the perfect place for us to stay after our days on the mountain. After a romantic evening the previous day, we took a short drive up to Paradise at the National Park. The weather was less than pleasant when we arrived, with the first heavy rains of the season, so we spent some time inside the lodge with hopes of it improving. When it became evident that the rainfall was not letting up, we donned our rain gear, packed some snacks and started our hike. There may have been a little encouragement on my end that the rain wouldn’t be too bad. As we began our hike up, we were blown away by the beauty of the fall colors mixed with the grey and wet skies. There was not a soul in sight, just the surrounding beauty. As we continued onward, we became water logged but it didn’t ruin the mood, we just laughed it off and continued up. As Leah headed up the trail, I began to nervously fumble through my backpack to find the ring. Trying not to look too suspicious, I pulled out the camera and took a picture of her. As we came to a scenic outlook which was mostly gray skies, we snapped a few pictures of each other. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to propose to her to be honest. I never figured it out, typical Glenn style (not good with decisions). I wanted it to be perfect for the woman who I’ve loved for over a decade. I couldn’t kneel down since the ring was put back in the backpack. So I had to maneuver her towards a boulder that was near us. I sat down and asked her to sit on my lap, which was the driest surface around. I still had to figure out how to get the ring out without her wondering what I was rummaging through the bag for. Luckily, she asked me for the camera! Perfect! As she was gazing off into the distance, I pulled out the ring box instead and handed it to her as we sat there snuggled together…the only two people on the mountain. And the rest is history.
Their engagement session at a rainy Pike Place Market was full of so much fun, love, and even a bit of salsa dancing. The second they got in front of my camera you could tell the many years having been together made them so comfortable in their own skin, so comfortable in their love. It was effortless. It was truly a pleasure to witness and capture. I can’t wait for their beautiful garden wedding this summer!
I’m not going to lie. I LOVE my birthday. I don’t care about being one year older. Wait. Let me rephrase that. I DIDN’T care about being one year older… until I found my second grey hair this last week and then I cared a little. Today I am officially 29 years old and with the realization that I will be in my ’20′s’ for 364 more days, I thought I would hop on over to Google and do some ever-important research of the important life things that are essential to do before you turn 30. Here is a sampling of what I came up with…
1. Jump out of a plane
2. Go to Vegas
3. Swim with Great White Sharks
4. Try your dream job (<– DONE!)
5. Understand Kanye West (not even kidding, this came up)
6. Get in crazy nasty shape
7. Go to most continents
8. Climb a mountain
9. Drive your dream car (I’m amused that it says DRIVE, not BUY)
10. Write a book
SO, it’s looking this next year is going to be pretty awesome! Aaaaaand maybe a little busy. I mean with all that traveling and moutain climbing I’ll be doing. And who knows how time consuming it’s going to be to understand Kanye.
AND IN CELEBRATION OF MY BIRTHDAY, I’M ANNOUNCING THE WINNER FOR A FREE SHOOT!! I also decided to throw in professional hair and makeup because I’m just that excited about it! I used Random.org, imported the list of all who entered, and winner that was chosen iiiiiiiiiiiissss:
I’m so excited Abby!!! Facebook or email me and we will get it all set up!! I can’t wait!!
Justin called me last year as he was planning his proposal to his girlfriend, Kailey. He wanted me to photograph the moment so we met over coffee to figure out a plan. Listening to his version of their story and watching how he lit up and couldn’t stop smiling talking about her warmed my heart, inspired me, and truly excited me to witness this incredible moment. It was an incredible day (and hiding in the bushes with a long lens on was SO awesomely fun). This is Justin’s version of the story:
I had the ring for a couple months, and had tried to plan the proposal a few times before it actually happened. After months of planning, coordinating with the photographer, and a few things that almost ruined the big surprise, the day had finally arrived. The sun was shining, and Point Defiance Park was our morning destination. As far as Kailey knew, we were just stopping by to take a walk through the park before heading up to Seattle for the day. I was constantly texting the photographer to make sure everything was in place. We had walked all through the park and once we got to the rose garden, I turned around and wrapped my arms around her. My heart was racing faster than Ricky Carmichael at Washougal. I was trying hard to be smooth, but I knew she could tell I was nervous. A few reassuring words later, I was down on my knee. The little speech I had prepared in my head went out the window as I was looking up at her with the blue sky in the background. I asked her to marry me. It was an amazing, incredible, unbelievable feeling. And the best part about it, she said yes.
Kailey and Justin’s story began in 2005 when they were both juniors in high school. It was their first day of science class and they noticed each other right away. Since Kailey is normally shy, it surprised her friends when she walked up to Justin and introduced herself. Kailey and Justin decided to be partners for a project and spent their first afternoon together collecting potato bugs. A few days later Justin came to school with a pink rose and asked Kailey to be his girlfriend in front of all of their friends. They had a lot of fun together in the months that followed but eventually decided to just be friends. They remained very close and still spent a lot of time together. Eventually they grew apart and lost touch. After graduating high school Justin moved to Arizona, and Kailey stayed in Gig Harbor.
Three years later, Kailey found Justin on facebook. It was quite a surprise since they hadn’t talked or seen each other for so many years. Justin was just about to move from Arizona to Austin, Texas. He invited Kailey to come visit him, and since they were both single and newly 21, Kailey thought it was a great idea. Her friends thought she was crazy for flying alone to another state to see a guy she hadn’t seen for 3 years, but she thought it would be great to get to see an old friend and a new place at the same time. On May 8th 2010, after a few months of non-stop phone calls and text messages, Kailey flew to Austin, Texas. They were both so nervous and did not know what to expect, but the second they saw each other all their fears went away. They spent the next four days exploring Austin, laughing, partying, and enjoying each other’s company. It only took four days for them to realize that they didn’t want to lose each other again.
The rest of that year, they took turns flying back and fourth from Austin to Seattle every month or two, and spent all the time in between trips on the phone. On August 21st 2010, during one of Justin’s visits, he asked Kailey to be his girlfriend (again) at Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. And finally, after months of planning, Justin had saved enough money to move back to Washington. On January 14th 2011, Kailey flew to Austin and together with the U-Haul, they made the four day road trip back to Gig Harbor. And they knew then that they would never have to say goodbye to each other again.
A little bit about their engagement session: One thing that has been important to Kailey in their entire wedding planning process was to make things meaningful. The diamond in her engagement ring is from her Grandmother’s engagement ring, their wedding venue actually sits on land that actually used to belong to Kailey’s Great-Grandfather. So when Kailey brought up the idea of doing pictures at their family farm that her Mom now lives at, I was in heaven.
Thank you Kailey and Justin for choosing me to be your wedding photographer! I can’t wait until September!!!!
If you love somebody, let them go. If they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were…
Throughout my life, friends have come and gone. Some due to distance,some just being in different places in life, some due to fallouts. But for the first time in forever, I am surrounded by a circle of powerful people. And not powerful in the sense of status, but powerful in their abilities as a human. They are people who love me. People who lift me. People who push me. People who catch me when I fall. I never realized before the importance of having this. The power in knowing that whatever may happen in life, you have these people.
What would we all have the strength to accomplish if we were all empowered by love? If we were never afraid to fail because we knew, deep down, regardless of what happened, we had people in our lives who loved us. People who fought for us when we felt weak. What if we all had people we could go to on a bad day and they wouldn’t just listen but they would offer to punch someone in the face for you (kidding. well… kind of) Some of these people entered my life in 6th grade, some let me cry on their shoulder the first time my heart was broken, some I met last month. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we surround ourselves with people who believe in us. Thankfully, it’s only taken me <ahem> 29 years to figure this out. Go find your people. I sure as heck have found mine. And I can’t wait to find more.
Many people deserved to be in the collage and I was only able to track down photos of these people. But I love you all. Truly. I’m so grateful to have you in my life.