Seattle Pride 2016

All the colors of the rainbow today at Seattle Pride Parade!  As always, it was an outpouring of love, acceptance, and so much joy.  The LGBTQ community and thousands of supporters were there to CELEBRATE!  Here are a few of my favorite photos from the day – from drag queens to corporate sponsors to spectators to a cute family that gracefully allowed me to snap photos over their heads – I love them all.  Enjoy!

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Seattle Pride 2016

Getting Close: The magic of the wide-angle

Last week I was watching a video of a photographer, Mel DiGiacomo, that caught my attention and inspired me to do a blog post on b&w photos taken up-close with a wide-lens.  He was talking about the magic behind those photos – the life that you can capture when you’re up-close and personal with your short little lens. . . and it got me thinking.

I don’t think that they are the photos that I’m talking about are the ones that catch your eye the first time through.  I do think, though, that they are the ones that you see as you are flipping through the set on a rainy day and you think, “Wow!  I love that photo!  I never saw that one before.”

We love them because they tend to capture people’s personalities . . . to capture them with a different perspective, but a perspective that we love.  We love them because they are close, moving, drawing us in to that person or those people as if we were sitting at a table with them, laughing and enjoying life, or talking over something serious.  It evokes emotion.

So, with that in mind I have put together a collection of some of those photos that I love.  For those of you that own these photos or are the subject of the photo, maybe it will be the first time you’re really seeing them, or maybe they are the ones that you have fallen in love with.  More than anything, I hope they evoke some emotion, that they are the ones you sit back in your chair and stare at for awhile.

Salvadorean woman, laughing, holding toddler in the doorway
My friend, Karla, holding my namesake, Amy, in Regalo de Dios, El Salvador.
Two women dancing, one of them pregnant, dressed in traditional Ethiopian wedding attire.
Two aunties dancing, waiting for the bride.
Bride and groom dancing at the wedding reception.  Taken down low, wide angle lens.
Bride and groom starting things off at the reception for this Habesha wedding.
Groom with "I survived a Habesha Wedding" t-shirt on, dancing with his bride.
Bride and groom dancing away the evening, ring bearer on his phone.
Five older, Ethiopian women dancing at the reception, mother of the bride in the middle.
Traditional Ethiopian dance at a Habesha wedding. The mother of the bride in the middle.
Many playing tuba walking through the woods.
Leading the procession out of the wedding in the woods.
Kids sliding towards the camera on the hardwood floor at a wedding reception.
Kids sliding towards the camera on the hardwood floor at a wedding reception.
Littlest girl in the family trying to slide on the hardwood floor.
Littlest girl in the family trying to slide on the hardwood floor.
Little boy standing against a metal door holding up five fingers.
The cutest ring bearer. He was 5.
Bride in her wedding dress getting ready to see her groom.
Bride holding her necklace just before going up to see her groom for the first time.
Bride in the front seat of the car looking back at the groom in the backseat.
On the way to family photos after the first look and a few quiet moments together.
Several women around a table, toasting the bride, who is standing. Mojitos.
Toast to the bride at Mojitos after a fun night of Zumba!
Two women helping the bride button up her wedding dress while she looks in a mirror across the room.
Up close with the mother of the bride, and sister-in-law, getting the bride ready.
Bride looking down at her wedding dress, sitting on vintage couch.
The bride, just before the first look.
Bride facing her maid of honor, smiling, getting dressed for the wedding.
Bride and maid of honor getting ready for the wedding!
Bride sitting on the bed while her maid of honor puts her shoes on her, flower girl sitting on the floor next to her doing the same.
Everyone getting their shoes on.
Bridesmaid with her hair down, dancing.  Another bridesmaid is behind her dancing at the table.
Bridesmaids having fun the morning of the wedding!
Little boy on a swing, swinging towards the camera.
Swinging for the camera.
Two members of the bridal party coming out of a human tunnel during a traditional dance.
Coming through the tunnel at a Southwest wedding.
Three women up close at a birthday party.
Three friends celebrating my birthday up close.
Little girl with blonde curly hair with a huge smile on her face.
I can’t handle all of the joy in this smile.
Bride and groom descending stairs, bubbles in the air, at Fremont Abbey.
Bubbles trailing behind the bride and groom on their way out.
Grandma sitting at a table in a very cluttered dining room.
My sweet, sweet grandma on the first day that I got my 10-22mm.
Man and woman in a car, both with sunglasses on being coy.
Does this kind of cool need a caption?
A man and a woman sitting on a porch with a German Shepherd sitting in between them.
They could be the cutest couple you ever saw, with the coolest dog ever.
Little girl, coloring at a table.
Margarita coloring.
Little girl, up close, smiling with huge, beautiful eyes.
Amy Jill.
Three Sudanese kids sitting on the floor.
The baby is worried about what that little boy is going to do next.
German Shepherd and French Bulldog facing off over a ball.
You shall not pass. Even for your ball.
Little girl on a folding chair, peaking through the back at the camera.
You have to keep yourself entertained.
Little boy looking straight into the camera, eyes wide, with a sucker in his mouth.
This is what happens when you eat 30 suckers.
Getting Close: The magic of the wide-angle

A Musical Extravaganza in the Woods: Sierra and Ivan got married!

I am trying to catch up on weddings that I have done over the past year or so with this new blog so I’m going to work forward from some time ago. . .

Ivan and Sierra are two of the most energetic, creative, talented people I know.  I’m convinced they found each other because they eventually wore out any other possible partners!  These two put together all of their creative talents (and those of many of their friends) to throw a beautiful wedding in the woods at the base of Mt. Rainier a little over two years ago.  It was an all day, late into the night affair at Wellspring Spa at Mt. Rainier and fun was had by all.  There was a band or a musical number to quench almost every musical taste, desserts by the dozens, and a bride and groom dressed to the nines in their totally unique wedding apparel.  Even as a second shooter at this wedding there were lots of great photos to share!

Ivan and his mother beginning the walk down the "aisle". The groom in his vintage suit and top hat waiting to begin the wedding in the shadow of Mt. Rainier.AW_SierraandIvan_Wedding_MtRainier_20120908_005AW_SierraandIvan_Wedding_MtRainier_20120908_019 AW_SierraandIvan_Wedding_MtRainier_20120908_015AW_SierraandIvan_Wedding_MtRainier_20120908_017 AW_SierraandIvan_Wedding_MtRainier_20120908_020

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A Musical Extravaganza in the Woods: Sierra and Ivan got married!

Good Food, Will Travel

For my first real blog post, I thought that I would highlight a vendor that I worked alongside this last December at the winter wedding of Emily and Ryan Kindell in Longview, WA – Emerald City Cakes & Chocolates, run by a very nice couple, Paul and Stephanie Staley.  More to come in a later post about Emily and Ryan . . . this post is all about the food.

Chauffeurs full of chicken, cheesy potatoes, green beans and carrots, and rice laid out on the buffet.
A buffet of goodness . . .

Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE good food.  At weddings I am working and working hard.  Even though all of the families are extremely kind and inviting, always wanting us to eat, a meal usually looks more like shoving a piece of bread in my mouth while I’m changing a camera lens, or Jill and I playing tag team with a plate and an empty seat somewhere.  At Emily and Ryan’s wedding however, things were a little more relaxed.  Not only did I get a chance to talk to the caterers before we started, I had plenty of time to photograph the main meal and they made sure that I sat down and ate at dinner time.  I am so glad that they did!

We had all come down from Seattle and Tacoma, so there was a little bit of travel involved with this wedding.  Paul and Stephanie and their crew were there early getting things prepped.  There wasn’t one minute of stress about whether they were going to show up, if they were getting things out of the kitchen, etc.  They were on it and they were nice while they were at it.  They worked the entire night out of a kitchen that was attached to the reception hall and I never heard them or their crew once.  Apparently at Emerald City Cakes & Chocolates they run drills about how to serve multi-course meals as silently as mice.

Honestly, I missed the first course of tray passed hors d’oeuvres, and after having the main meal, I did regret that.  The main meal was a really nice, manageable spread of hot (often not on a buffet), bread, salad, rice, green beans, cheesy potatoes, the most marvelous chicken I’ve had in a long time, and hands-down, the BEST prime rib I have ever eaten.

Bread, salad and chauffeurs laid out by Emerald City Cakes & Chocolates.
The spread.

The bread and salad were pretty standard, but both fresh and tasty.  The rice was fluffy and flavorful.  The green beans, usually mush on a buffet, still had a bit of crunch, which I loved, and they actually tasted like nice, fresh green beans.  The cheesy potatoes. . .come on.  Apparently, aside from cooking the meanest prime rib you’ve ever had, Paul also has a knack for choosing cheeses.  These cheesy potatoes were liked a kicked up version of scalloped potatoes with this amazing sage cheese throughout the dish.  I wish I had a plateful now.

Crisp green beans and carrots in the chauffeur.
Cooked, but still crisp, green beans and carrots.
Cheesy potatoes in the middle - that browned cheesy topping is only holding in more goodness.
Cheesy potatoes in the middle – that browned cheesy topping is only holding in more goodness.

The chicken dish – I’m hoping that one of them will comment on this post and tell us all what that was . . . something with wine and something delicious.  That’s all I can say.

And for the kicker – the prime rib.  It was amazing.  I find prime rib, typically, to be flavorless, tough, and just all around not that great.  Even though I love fine cuts of meat, I usually pass this one up for something else.  This one though, was awesome.  It was seasoned perfectly, it had been rested so it was still had the juices inside instead of running all over the cutting board, it was cooked to medium rare, with a bit of pink in the middle still . . . it was fantastic.  I wanted the whole thing.  Unfortunately, they pay me to take photos, not to eat.

Hand sliced prime rib . . . the BEST.
Hand carved prime rib . . . the BEST.
Paul meticulously preparing desserts.
Paul meticulously at work preparing desserts.
Beautiful berry dessert bites.
Beautiful berry dessert bites.
Berry cobbler that I missed out on.
Berry cobbler that I missed out on.

I think that people that provide good service, great food, and are nice to everyone – from other vendors to the bride and groom – should get a big shout out.  So, this is my shout out to Emerald City Cakes & Chocolates and Paul and Stephanie!  They were awesome, their servers were friendly, their food was really good, and I enjoyed working with them.  I hope we get to do more events together in the future . . . and I hope they have prime rib on the menu.

Emerald City Cakes & Chocolates does full service catering for any occasion.  Paul and Stephanie Staley, 425.445.1970/425.974.0470. E: emeraldcitycakes@live.com W: http://www.emeraldcitycakesandchocolates.com

Good Food, Will Travel