Pretty Hiking Engagement Session

30 minutes from the nearest grocery store, 15 minutes from the nearest gas station, and about three quarters of a mile down a dirt road in unincorporated Snohomish, Washington lies a modest house on 19 acres named Camp Awesome. The first week of July, most of my mom’s side of the family descended on Camp Awesome for a week of fun, games, and, yes, photos!

There was badminton, archery, shooting, corn hole, water skiing, tubing, karaoke, relay races (ok, just ONE relay race, and I almost died!), and of course fireworks for the 4th of July! In between barbeque dinners and rounds of croquet, I managed to squeeze in two mini photo shoots with my aunts and uncles.

This was such a special trip for us, because we don’t get to see that side of the family much since we live on the other side of California from most of them, and two whole states away from my parents. So as soon as we booked the trip, I knew I had to bring our camera gear with us!

Lisa and Jeremy have been together for years now, but they recently got ENGAGED, and this was such a great way to help them celebrate their engagement (especially since we haven’t seen them since Jeremy popped the question!). We all took a walk together on the hiking trails that loop around Camp Awesome, and took pictures while picking salmonberries and listening to the two Jeremys repeat their “Excuse me, Jeremy” – “Oh no, pardon me, Jeremy” bit for the thousandth time. (Ok, it actually was kind of funny, if I’m being honest!)

Lisa and Jeremy, thank you so much for letting us help you celebrate your engagement, and for so many fun memories on our trip! Watching you two with each other, it’s clear to see how well you compliment each other in the best ways. And even more incredible is watching how you both care for each other’s child as much as you do your own! Jordan and Brooke are so incredibly lucky to have you – and that you found each other! Lisa, you’re smart, strong, and so selfless. Jeremy, you are sweet, thoughtful, and loving. We hope that your love and the family you are building together just grows stronger and stronger with each passing year! Congratulations, you guys! We are so happy for you!



Little Treasures Photo Shoot

Sometimes photo shoots with little kids don’t go quite as planned. When kids are resisting getting “nice” pictures taken, it is sometimes better to let go of the need to “control” the photo shoot. Now, I’m not saying let the children run buck wild and allow the photo shoot to go to hell in a handbasket! No, no, no.

Instead, I give the child just a little bit of control, and take some candid shots to get them warmed up and willing to work with me. By investing in the child’s interests and wants, and letting them know their needs are going to be met by me, they are then much more likely to comply with my requests for posed pictures later in the session.

I start by talking directly to the child. I ask them what they want to be doing right now, and if it’s a reasonable request, I try my best to comply. If it isn’t, I empathize, explain why that particular request can’t happen (or is unreasonable), and then suggest something else instead.

This photo shoot is a perfect example of how that happened, and how it led to some beautiful shots of the child, as well as some really fun and cute candid shots too.

Grama (pictured) came to visit, and wanted some photos of the family before she went back home. Now, Charlotte had some very different ideas for this outing. I talked to her, and she told me she didn’t want to take photos – she wanted to go swimming. Considering it was cold, overcast, and about half an hour before dinnertime, swimming was out of the question. I explained to her that we only had a little while to go for a walk and take some photos before dinnertime, and after dinner, Grama was going back to California, so this was our last chance to get some photos. Then, I asked her if she wanted to look for some pretty rocks with Grama before she left. Charlotte was thrilled with the idea!

By letting Charlotte have some control during the photo shoot, I was able to find some balance in the shoot between getting some fun candid shots of Charlotte and her Grama, and when I asked her to pose nicely, she was more than willing to comply! By meeting her halfway, and letting her know that her needs and desires were going to be respected, she was willing to meet me halfway and get some of those beautiful posed shots Grama wanted.