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Seattle Wedding Photographer

Seattle Wedding Photographer
One of the first weddings I shot was for Ariesa and Mike. Their lovely outdoor wedding was a dream come true for a newbie photographer. Back then digital was brand new and it was common for photographers to shoot film and scan the film to adjust images in this new program "Photoshop."

One of the first weddings I shot was for Ariesa and Mike. Their lovely outdoor wedding was a dream come true for a newbie photographer. Back then digital was brand new and it was common for photographers to shoot film and scan the film to adjust images in this new program “Photoshop.”

I started my career as a Seattle wedding photographer in 1999. Today I wanted to take a look back at my 15 year career in the wedding photography business. I thought it would be fun to share images and stories that have made me the professional wedding photographer (and Seattle resident) I am today.

After weeks of playing with a new reflector, I finally figured out how to use it during Matt and Sandy's wedding. It was during this wedding I learned that a noon wedding in Utah, in July was probably the worst possible lighting conditions available.

It was during Matt and Sandy’s wedding I learned that Utah in July at noon will provide the worst possible lighting conditions ever. Good thing I knew how to use a 5-1 reflector. Too bad I hadn’t discovered graduated filers so I could use a wider open F-stop! (Wow that was nerdy.)

The very first wedding I brought a camera to was my cousins. I wasn’t the hired photographer, heck I was 14, but I remember thinking her early 90′s hair, antique lace covered dress, and large puffy sleeves were the most beautiful things on earth. To keep me occupied my dad let me use his all manual Minolta. It had a 35mm lens SLR which my older brother had used when he took a photography class in high school. I prowled the wedding with what I assumed was ninja proficiency and photographed all evening. It wasn’t until a few hours had passed that I wondered why I hadn’t run out of film yet. That’s when I opened the camera’s back to discovered I hadn’t loaded the film correctly. It never advanced and I hadn’t captured a single frame.

Fast forward through college ( I went to the Art Institute of Seattle and studied commercial photography). In 2001 I had a few weddings under my belt at this time. I had photographed a green card wedding, Star Wars themed wedding held in the middle of the woods (yes costumes were involved, and no, I don’t have photos of this anymore) and several small budget weddings. I felt pretty good when I’d make $300 even though that barely covered the cost of my film and developing.

Rachel and Aaron were one of my favorite clients of 2006. Today this happy couple has two adorable children. Rachel is a wedding planner (lovebugwed.com) and Aaron's a contractor. Their family has grown to include two adorable kids who I also love to photograph.

Rachel and Aaron were one of my favorite clients of 2006.  Rachel is a wedding planner (lovebugwed.com) and Aaron’s a contractor. Their family has grown to include two adorable kids who I also love to photograph.

Just as I started to build a decent client base and portfolio, I decided to marry my high school sweetheart. But wedding bliss came with a price, he was in college in Utah. So I moved myself and my business to the Midwest.

The next two and a half years I wored to perfect the art of LDS (or Mormon) weddings. These are pretty easy weddings to be fair. Each bride and groom wants great portraits outside the amazingly beautiful temple they were married in and then a few

family portraits. Receptions and getting ready photos were optional.  Most of my clients were booking elaborate portrait sessions, really. This is where I learned how to run a business and a family while my husband finished college at BYU.  I photographed 30-40 weddings a year, had two kids, and paid for his tuition. It was a busy time, but it was great practice. I learned  a TON about lighting in bad conditions, working with large groups, and how to manage time. By 2006 our little family returned to Seattle,  and I was prepared to take my business and my work to the next level.

Between 2007 and 2012 I photographed weddings non-stop, had another baby, and went from a portrait photographer to more of an editorial inspired photographer. I came to love the art of story telling and began to incorporate that into my work.

Back breaking work went into restoring this vintage ride. Together Dan and his dad crafted a true piece of automotive glory, just in time to prominently feature it in photos with Dan's groomsmen.

Back breaking work went into restoring this vintage ride. Together Dan and his dad crafted a true piece of automotive glory, just in time to prominently feature it in photos with Dan’s groomsmen.

Then in 2010 when my work load became too demanding for one person, I hired and trained my youngest sister Terice. Together we photographed 100+ weddings, and ate way too much cake.

Megan and Steven took their 2010 wedding to the newly opened Olympic Sculpture Park. Now a favorite for weddings and photo sessions alike, this park made a perfect backdrop for this  sophisticated wedding.

Megan and Steven took their 2010 wedding to the newly opened Olympic Sculpture Park. Now a favorite for weddings and photo sessions alike, this park made a perfect backdrop for this sophisticated wedding.

Additionally by 2010 I was well established in the area and running a retail portrait studio as well. Many of my wedding photography client’s had become parents and I found myself photographing their adorable babies. It was easy for me to relate, because photographing my own children had become my favorite past time.

In 2012 my business went under a reorganization and became IJ Photo. Sadly Terice moved to Spokane but is doing well with her family and 1.5 kids. By the way, if you’re looking for a photographer is Spokane I have a great recommendation for you!

2013 to present has been filled with press for my studio. My work was featured in several wedding blogs, fashion magazines, and additional publications are scheduled for later this year! Here are links if you’d like to check out these blogs and online magazines.

(Note Bri Seeley’s collections have been seen on the Bachelor for the past two seasons and her work is gracing red carpets of Hollywood as we speak!)

 

Tania and Kirian are Seattle residents with a love of travel. Their New Orleans wedding was an artful blend of color and cultural fusion. Images from their wedding will be published on "Two Bright Lights" and "My Big Fat Indian Wedding" later this year.

Tania and Kirian are Seattle residents with a love of travel. Their New Orleans wedding was an artful blend of color and cultural fusion. Images from their wedding will be published on “Two Bright Lights” and “My Big Fat Indian Wedding” later this year.

But more than the publications I’ve been featured in, I’m humbled by the overwhelming number of referrals I’ve received over the last year. It says a lot when a bride says to a friend, “You should check out my wedding photographer!” I want to thank all of the couples and their families that have made my career thus far a rewarding experience. I’m looking forward to many more years behind the camera and all of the wonderful stories that brings.

Below you’ll find some of my favorite images organized by year.  Due to lack of storage space and foresight, I do not have all of the images from my earliest days available. However the following chronology shows images since we moved back to Seattle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2007

This image was one of my first published piece. Back in 2007 it was on the cover of NW Wedding Guide. Thank you Chantel and Shawn for helping me get the ball rolling on my client base when we moved back to Seattle!

Eventhough this is one of my older images, I like to keep it in my portfolio because of it's candid nature. Moments before walking down the isle Freddie asked his father to lay hands on him and pray. Together with his closest friends and family his father pronounced a blessing on his son that was deeply personal. I love the unity and faith it represents and felt blessed to capture this image.

2008

Also from Kelly and Brian's wedding, this detail was the bridesmaids inventive way of keeping their boots clean and flowers safe. The wedding had a country/chic flair and all of the women had cowboy boots on under their dresses.

Kelly and Brian’s wedding was a perfect blend of chic and country. This detail was the bridesmaids inventive way of keeping their boots clean and flowers safe from the muddy patches in the garden.

One of my first destination wedding was Wenatchee, Wa. Cami made a beautiful bride bathed in sunlight  standing on the hill over looking the valley. This image was shot just a few minutes before her sunset ceremony.

 

2009

In 2009 I was pregnant with my third child. Even though I was 8 months pregnant I couldn't resist photographing this adorable couple. For this image I was actually laying on the stairs below the bridesmaides and bride. I'm sure the sight of me resembled a beached whale, but the image was worth the embarrassment.

In 2009 I was pregnant with my third child. Even though I was 8 months pregnant I couldn’t resist photographing this adorable couple. For this image I was actually laying on the stairs below the bridesmaids and bride. I’m sure the sight of me resembled a beached whale, but the image was worth the embarrassment.

Brittany and Ryan brought the joy of the islands to Seattle with their Hawaiin themed garden wedding. I loved how they used tropical flowers everywhere to pull the theme together.

Brittany and Ryan brought the joy of the islands to Seattle with their Hawaiian themed garden wedding. I loved how they used tropical flowers everywhere to pull the theme together.

 

2010

Feburary is not peak wedding season, but Christina and Corbin were blessed with a unseasonable warm and dry day for their red and white wedding.

February is not peak wedding season, but Christina and Corbin were blessed with a unseasonable warm and dry day for their red and white wedding.

I have the luck of photographing Jackie's wedding after her older sister Chantel recommended me. I photographed her sister back in 2007. Referrals as such a wonderful complement! I am always so pleased when my clients trust me with their friends and families as well as their own memories.

I had the luck of photographing Jackie’s wedding after her older sister Chantal recommended me. I photographed her sister back in 2007. Referrals as such a wonderful complement! I am always so pleased when my clients trust me with their friends and families as well as their own memories.

2011

HDR images became REALLY popular in 2011. I an not one for fads, but I couldn't help myself and this image from Lisa and Christopher's wedding was a great time to try out something new. It was the first and last time I've done HDR portraits.

HDR images became REALLY popular in 2011. I an not one for fads, but I couldn’t help myself and this image from Lisa and Christopher’s wedding was my way of trying out something new. It was the first and last time I’ve done HDR portraits.

A "first look" is a great opportunity for a bride and groom to take a few quiet moments together in what is otherwise a very hectic day. Right before Rachelle came up the stairs, I captured this image of Mena trying to calm his nerves by taking in the view of the Puget Sound.

A “first look” is a great opportunity for a bride and groom to take a few quiet moments together in what is otherwise a very hectic day. Right before Rachelle came up the stairs, I captured this image of Mena trying to calm his nerves by taking in the view of the Puget Sound.

 

2013

After a year off from weddings due to health concerns I was ready to work in 2013! In addition to doing many weddings I also created styled wedding shoots like this one for Angela and Cole. This real life couple helped me turn my vision of a autumn wedding into a reality.

After a year off from weddings due to health concerns I was ready to work in 2013! In addition to doing many weddings,  I also created styled wedding shoots like this one for Angela and Cole. This real life couple helped me turn my vision of a autumn wedding into a reality.

I met Breanne while she was modeling Bri Seeley's clothing line for an issue of Mode Magazine. As we talked she told me about her fiance' Graham. I was honored when just a few weeks later Breanne and I were meeting for lunch to plan her wedding photos.

I met Breanne while she was modeling Bri Seeley’s clothing line for an issue of Mode Magazine. As we talked she told me about her fiance’ Graham. I was honored when just a few weeks later Breanne and I were meeting for lunch to plan her wedding photos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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