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Montana Family Photos - Seattle and Montana Family Photographer

WARNING- this blog post has way too many photos and it’s about to have way too many words.

I visit my family in Montana every year over the fourth of July. They live in Arlee, Montana and over the fourth they have a yearly rodeo and pow wow. Although the rodeo makes me both excited and very uncomfortable at the same time, the pow wow speaks to my soul.

My family is great, but this little girl (pictured in way too many photos below)is my little soul mate. She is my mother’s sister’s sons daughter. AKA my cousins kiddo, and she calls me “Auntie Dee” Her little brother is maybe one of the cutest little boys I have ever seen in my life. Sorry about the lack of photos of the little guy, but he was a little young to take on these little adventures that Ahri and I went on. I love being with and photographing these kids so much. This year I will be photographing a wedding while I’m in Montana.

Ahrianna and I connected with our love for animals this year. When watching the rodeo, we squeezed hands when the horses fell or the cows were roped- or when the bulls or horses had something tied around them to make them kick. She asked me questions about how come the bulls are kicking? why would they tie a rope around them to hurt them”? She is the sweetest thing.

The last photograph in this blog is hard to look at. The horse was ok, but we were not. I did not know I got that photo until later that night. I took the shot and dropped the camera to gasp in terror that the horse landed so badly.

I decided to blog this trip so that I can compare my new photographs of the family when I get to Montana next month. I cannot wait to see how she has grown.

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What to do if your toddler doesn't behave at a family session - Seattle Family Photographer

A lot of parents get very nervous about this topic, and rightfully so. But don’t worry! I got you!

The little ones just might have their own agenda that day- and we are there to try and shape that as best we can for an hour or so. So we roll with it.

This little gal is Vera. She is very spirited and wonderful. She was perfectly listening to me at the beginning of our shoot for the first oh, five minutes. And then she just went rogue! It was awesome… running wild, talking to trees, not wanting anything to do with our plan. We just had to get creative, work a little harder, pull out some tricks, maybe a few bribes along the way. (hint: ice cream)

This post is just so all of you parents know that your child doesn’t have to sit and pose for an hour or more during our session. We take breaks between those posed family photos to go hog wild out in nature. If they need a snack we take a break. Time and time again I have left a session like this, my hair all wild from crawling on the ground or playing in the bushes, filthy jeans, and I will think “what just happened did I get that?”

EVERY single time so much good happens. So we can relax, we can stay calm, use bribes and do our best. But if the kids go rouge- don’t worry I will follow! I can get rogue too.

I delivered 138 photos of this session to this amazing family. WE CAPTURED HER SONS FIRST CRAWL!

This session was nothing short of amazing and with a wild child in the mix. Bring it on, I love it.

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Alki Beach and Hamilton Viewpoint Park Family Session - Seattle Family Photographer

We started shooting early on Alki Beach. I asked if it was okay to break the session up and head to a tiny little viewpoint West Seattle park just up the road. The beach is pretty bright for shooting if your not there for sunrise or sunset. This way the family session had both the lovely beach and the more woodsy feels that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. West Seattle is full of location ideas like this, just ask! Lincoln Park and Lowman Beach are an example of two spots just a minute from each other, and add variety to your family session.

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In Home Newborn Session Normandy Park Seattle

I am in awe of childbirth. I don’t think it’s just because I don’t have kids myself, I think it’s because it is nothing short of freakin amazing. I am so grateful when I am asked to come into someones home and capture this feeling. The feelings of utter happiness, bliss, excitement, fear, and exhaustion. The realest shit you will ever feel.

These family portraits are a gift of love, a gift to your future self- and your future children. And my jaw drops a little at the thought that I get to do this as a passion ( I won’t call it a job)

Congratulations to Lacey, Eric, little Lincoln and Marley the kitty on your newest addition to your family, baby Zane. He is nothing short of a miracle.

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Mother Daughter Session, Mother's Day Lincoln Park West Seattle

It was really hard to choose the images for this post. I truly loved everything about this mother daughter family photo session at Lincoln Park in West Seattle.

Erin is a single mamma (Insert crowd cheering) She plays music and also founded Mode Music and Performing Arts Mode offers year round private and group music lessons to both kids and adults. So yeah, I love her. She works so hard a a single mom, I’m so glad she rewarded herself with this portrait session.

Right away it was obvious to me the special bond between this mother and daughter, and I set out to capture the love. And she told me to get weird! YAY! It did not hurt that their pooch Camille was also an amazing addition to this photo shoot.

I recommended they get their dresses from Joyfolie and to my delight they did! All of the planets aligned and Erin decided to make this a family tradition every year.

I already am looking forward to next year.

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And we ended with a little smoke bomb and an outfit change! LOVE!

And we ended with a little smoke bomb and an outfit change! LOVE!

Why you need ALL of the photographs made at your family portrait session. Because your family is a ART.

I was recently talking to an mom who was interested in having a family photo session. After she wrapped her head the price tag (she told me that it’s totally worth it) she said she does not need more than a few family photographs, and definitely does not need 70-100 images to sort through, too overwhelming. I can see how this would seem so you guys, but it is not the case.

I thought about this for a minute. I know the answer to this because of shooting mini sessions. Every photographer stresses about mini sessions because we always end up shoot more than the 20- 30 minutes. And if the family don’t buy all of the photos- IT KILLS us to just toss them. So we either are sad and throw them away never to be appreciated by anyone, or we give them away at a price that we are not proud of. We end up rushing and only getting the posed shots.

WHY do I need so many? Because you just might love those family portraits later. Imagine you will look back at your 35 year old face when your 80, you won’t be so bummed on your imperfections then.

Because what your kids don’t know how appreciate now - they certainly will later. These are also for them and their kids.

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Your family is a piece of art. Why? Because your the only one like you. There is none other.

Because often the magic happens deeper into the hour session, or at the very end.

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Shooting with multiple kids - Seattle Family Photographer

How do you do it moms and dads? All I can say is that I am IMPRESSED by you and you need to know that you amazing for the work you do.

These are the thoughts that I left this family session thinking. Your day includes (but is not limited to) patience, perseverance, love, hard work, sleepless nights, respect. You work so hard. You deserve beautiful images to preserve this time in your life, no matter how exhausted you feel. Your kids will enjoy these photographs. Your grandchildren will enjoy these photographs. EMBRACE the chaos. Your family is a piece of art, there is not another like you out there.

Now how do we make your family session FUN and not more work for you? First of all, let go. Take a deep breath. Let me be in charge of posing you. If your toddler acts up, we just take a break and you deal with it as you normally would. Trust that you will get beautiful family photos, you are here in this beautiful chaos. You’ve emailed, looked for family photographers, trusted and choose one, bought new outfits, got your hair done, now let’s enjoy this moment, and let go of all of the stress.

Trust me, and breath… we got this!

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Seattle Boutique Style Pre- School Portraits

Once a year, I bust out my little-people-studio kit and head to Bella Mente Pre School and childcare.

I look forward to seeing how much the kiddos have changed and grown, or if they recognize me from doing some of their family photos. I love their silly faces, the outfits they sometimes put together themselves, and just watching them be kids. I love the grumpy faces and the look in their eyes. Here is a preview of this years Pre School photo shoot.

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