It was so much fun sharing past and present portraits during the studio showcase!


I was inspired to share more about my past work. Each photo has a story, and this is something I want to share more.

I dedicate this page to this new feature, Photo Of The Week.


Each week I will feature one photo and share the story behind it - from my personal life, travels, and from professional and even workshop or classes I've taken as well. I love to keep learning.

Photo above from the day of inspiration: sharing more about a portrait during the Studio Showcase in March 2024. Big thanks to Brigit of Life As A Voyager Photography for documenting the experience!

Photo of the week: Jingle Dress 2019

Dancing with the ancestors


Sitting in the late September evening with my children, husband, Aunt and Uncle listening to the music of the Jingle Dress Dancers and drum, I felt so much gratitude and wonder. Gratitude for those who carry on the traditions, and wonder at the artistry of it all. The regalia, each one a work of art. The music and rhythm of the dancers each one embody so much beauty too.


As members of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, our history is like many. Relocation, grief, perseverance, traditions, and the leadership of our Chiefs and elders keep our culture alive today. When I was sitting there in 2019, I contemplated how much we do not know. What stories did my Grandfather tell? What do I remember? 


In honor of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women week, I wanted to share this photograph I took there that evening. As we sat listening and learning, I wondered how to photograph what I wanted to represent the women of our tribe and others. I chose to do a motion blur technique with a slow shutter on the camera. It felt right to reflect the echo of what these women carry from the ancestors to present day.


When we hear about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, it can feel confusing. Why are Indigenous Women going missing and murdered at a higher rate than any other? What can we do about it?


Here in Washington state, we rank among the highest in the nation as of 2022 in terms of numbers of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.


One resource for learning more here locally is through the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence , and participating in the national week of action through National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.


What can I do? I can share and support those who are doing the work to help. I can also share what I am learning too. 


I wish to honor these women who carry on the Jingle Dress Dance on the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma’s Pow-wow grounds.

March 2023: Portrait of Jackson, the model, during the WPPI conference.

Always Learning


When I attended the WPPI Conference this past March, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew there would be hundreds of photographers gathering to learn and explore new gear in Vegas. I saw the many, many workshops, speakers and classes available. And, I didn't know exactly what I would learn, but I signed up for things that I knew I needed to grow my business.


One of the best parts was the Photographer's Playground where they had models, backgrounds, lighting and mentors ready! This one spot here with Jackson is one I visited the first day. He was dressed in what I would call Prom attire: a velvet suit, with some sparkly, shiny background. The next day, I found him dressed in this with an artful backdrop, and I knew it was time for more practice. This look was more aligned with the style of what I'd find photographing High School Seniors in Seattle. And, he was super easy-going, and full of ideas for poses!


I came away impressed and inspired by some of his poses for more of a casual and fashion feel to them like this one. But what I like is that these colors of the jacket and the background really help his hair color and eyes to shine. It has a cinematic mood, which I don't often explore with my clients, but now I can offer it as a style with a different lighting set up. That's why I chose this for my photo of the week, it really showcases my love of life long learning.

Spring 2015: Motherhood for the Tree Woman Project

Motherhood


This week's portrait comes from my first big ambitious portrait project, The Tree Women Project. Our friend Kaylani was pregnant with her youngest, and she was such a wonderful person to model. As a photographer herself, she immediately got the vision. And she had such a perfect spot picked out in a little park in Kent that I had not visited before.


What I loved about her portrait was how she embodies the beauty of Pregnancy in a grove of trees during spring, which in their own way are emerging with new life too in the form of fresh green leaves.


To me, this portrait is such a powerful reminder that nurturing and growth are a powerful part of our journey. My photography and editing skills today are further than they were then, but still, the depth of meaning from this portrait still resonates deeply. And, I'm reminded of my own pregnancies. They are not easy for many of us, but they stretch us and grow us in ways we could not imagine.


Creating is like this too. For some it comes easier than others. The process is as unique as the person, and the results make us all richer.