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Sneak Peek – Roxana and Batur’s elopement wedding at Alki Point

On Monday afternoon I had the great good fortune to be the photographer at the elopement wedding ceremony of Roxana and Batur.  The wedding took place on a beach on Alki Point, a location where I have photographed several other couple’s weddings as well as numerous engagement sessions.

We lucked out with great weather, the tail end of an unusually nice streak of weather that lasted over a week.  After the ceremony we had fun taking more photos along the beach, and then we drove to Kerry Park for another photo session that would give us an entirely different look for some of their wedding day photos.

As usual, I’m only posting one photo now but more will follow soon.  With all of the weddings and engagements I’ve been shooting recently I’m going to be posting a lot of photos very soon!

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Sneak Peek Engagement – Yoshimi and Jacob at Gas Works Park

A couple of weeks ago I met up with Yoshimi and Jacob at Gas Works Park for an engagement photo session.  It was a gorgeous spring day, and because we were fairly close to the University of Washington and the cherry trees there were at the peak of their blooms we made a side trip there after we finished at Gas Works.

I’ll have a lot more photos from this session up very soon, so please check back in a couple of days to see the pictures!

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Springtime Engagement Photo Session at Bellevue Botanical Garden

A couple of weeks ago I met up with Elaina, Trip and Elaina’s son Jonathan for an engagement photo session at the Bellevue Botanical Garden.  As all who live in the Seattle are know all too well, it has been a rather damp and cool spring.  I was concerned that we might have to reschedule our session, which had been planned a couple of months earlier, but the day of the shoot turned out to be dry if not sunny.

The Botanical Garden is a wonderful location for photos at pretty much any time of the year.  Neither Elaina or Trip had even been there before, so I had a chance to take them on a bit of a tour as we walked and looked for good backdrops for our photos.  We were still a bit early for most spring blossoms, but some early blooming cherry trees gave us a bit of color.

The nice thing about the Botanical Garden is that regardless of the time of year there are always plenty of good places for photos.  What usually happens is that we run out of time before we have a chance to fully explore all of the possible locations.  Knowing this to be the case I tried to push our pace a bit so we’d be able to get photos with as many different backdrops as possible.

We made our way along the paths past waterfalls and ponds, taking photos whenever we spotted a good spot, finally reaching the suspension bridge that is located at the farthest end of the Garden.  This is my favorite place for photos in the Garden, simply because it is great for photos no matter what time of the year it is.  I had scheduled the session so the sun would be in the right part of the sky to make photos on the bridge as nice as possible, and even though we did not have any real look at the sun the light was still almost perfect for our photos.

As we walked back to the parking lot we talked a bit about the plans for Elaina and Trip’s wedding, which will take place next fall.  Unfortunately it will be held on the east coast, and it would not be practical for me to make the trip to be their photographer.  Too bad, I really enjoyed our time together and would have loved working with them again.

OK, now you can check out a small sample of the photos from our time at the Garden.  I hope that you like them!

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Sneak Peek- Lindsay and Pal’s elopement wedding at the Seattle Courthouse

Time for a Sneak Peek photo from the Good Friday elopement wedding of Lindsay and Pal (pronounced “Paul”) at the Seattle Courthouse.  A rather wet day, but the Seattle Courthouse is a great place for a wedding regardless of the weather.  After the ceremony I took Lindsay, Pal and their group to the rooftop balcony of the Courthouse building for a few photos.  On a sunny day the view here is spectacular, and even on a rainy day is it pretty special!  An umbrella helped keep the new husband and wife dry while we got some good shots.

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Seattle Courthouse Elopement Wedding, plus Gas Works Park

I recently was fortunate to be the photographer at the wedding of Mandy and James.  This was an elopement wedding at the Seattle Courthouse, held on a Thursday afternoon.  Unlike many of the Corthouse weddings that I photograph, both Mandy and James had several family members in attendance.  For Mandy this took some doing, since she is from Germany and her family had to make a rather long trip to be there for her wedding.

Whenever I first talk with a couple who is getting married at the Seattle Courthouse I try to give them some advice that will help make their experience at the Courthouse go better.  Perhaps the most important thing that I tell them is to arrive at the Courthouse early; being there an hour early is a very good idea!  The procedure at the Courthouse is “first come, first served”, and if there are a lot of other couples who want to get married on the same day in front of you in line, it is very possible that you will not see a judge and get married for well over an hour once the judges are available to perform ceremonies.

James and Mandy had consequently made plans to arrive at the Courthouse before 4PM (the earliest that ceremonies are performed is 4:30PM) so they would be at or near the front of the line.  But as often happens, things did not go as planned!  The Uber that was supposed to pick up James and his mother never showed up, and by the time they had found another ride and made it to the Courthouse it was past 4:30 and there was quite a line of other couples in front of them.

We took advantage of the wait to take photos in the hallway outside the courtrooms.  This is actually a pretty nice area, and usually has very nice natural light for photos.  We also did some family group photos.  You’ll see a selection of these photo below.

It took awhile, but finally a judge was available.  Her name was Anita Crawford-Willis, and she is a wonderful officiant.  I have worked with her numerous times in the past and always enjoy her wedding ceremonies.  Judge Willis-Crawford asked if Mandy and James would like to get married outdoors or indoors.  It was a very nice Spring afternoon, and they opted for outdoors.  These ceremonies are held on the rooftop balcony of the Courthouse, which offers a great view of the Olympic range and south Seattle.  On a clear day Mt Rainier is also visible, but we were not lucky enough to see the mountain that day.

The ceremony was attended by

Ric Myles – James’ father
Alex Myles – James’ sister
Gavin Fulton – Alex’ fiancé
Tamara ChomenkoDeCouteau – James’ mother
Matt DeCouteau –  James’ and Alex’s step father
Wolfgang Meier – Mandy’s father
Petra Meier – Mandy’s mother
Wolfgang Meier – Mandy’s brother

After the ceremony was concluded we all made the short drive to Gas Works Park, on Lake Union.  At this point it was a bit after 6PM, and we were enjoying a very pleasant spring evening.  We began by having the entire group walk across the park to Lake Union, where we took family photos.  Once that was finished I took James and Mandy to some of my favorite photo locations in the park.  We had a good time and got some great photos!

Now you can finally check out some of the photos from the day.  I hope that you enjoy them!

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Sneak Peek – Elaina and Trip’s Engagement Photos at the Bellevue Botanical Garden

Here is a Sneak Peek photo from my recent engagement photo session with Elaina and Trip, at the Bellevue Botanical Garden.  In the middle of a lot of very strange spring weather we managed to hit a good day, and had a wonderful session at the Garden.  Sorry to only let you see one photo at this time, but I promise that I will have a more complete blog posting (with a lot more photos) online very soon!

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Engagement Photo Session with a How To Train Your Dragon Theme

Last fall I received an email from Dorothy.  She and her not-yet fiance Matthew had found me on the Offbeat Bride website, and liked my work.  She was interested in arranging for some “couple’s photos” to be taken the following spring and wanted to see about reserving a date with me for a session.  They had a really cool idea in mind for their shoot; they were BIG fans of the How To Train Your Dragon movies, and wanted to create a session with the feel of some of the scenes from the first movie, where Hiccup and Ariel are in the woods with Toothless.  And if you don’t understand the reference to those characters you have clearly not seen the movie, and need to do so ASAP because it is one of the best series of animated movies ever.  Yes, it’s true, I am also a very big fan of these movies.

After discussing the upcoming HTTYD #3 movie that was due to be released slightly before the planned photo session, we agreed to set aside the date with the understanding that if the weather did not cooperate (a fairly likely occurrence in Seattle) we would reschedule until we did get good conditions.

About a month later I heard from Dorothy again.  She and Matthew were no longer “maybe getting married someday”, they were now officially engaged and actively planning their wedding.  And they wanted me to be their photographer.  After going over the wedding plans (which won’t take place until December 2019) we talked a bit more about what was now a real engagement photo session, and some of the ideas that she and Matthew had for the photos.  They really liked the idea of having me somehow incorporate some dragons into the photos, specifically some of the dragons that appear in the HTTYD movies.  I thought it sounded like a great but was not sure where I might be able to locate usable photos of the correct dragons.  This was not a problem as Dorothy had already located some good possibilities and was actively searching for more.

The Photo Session in the Forest

It seemed like forever, but the day for the photo shoot finally arrived.  I had been somewhat nervously watching the weather forecast for the week before the scheduled date; less than a week out it was looking like we’d be in the middle of a rainstorm the day of the session!  But as the date got closer the forecast began to change, and when the day arrived it was actually quite nice; warm temps for late March and even a bit of sunshine.

We met at the parking lot at McCollum Pioneer Park in Everett and got ready for our “photo hike” through the forest.  Matthew had managed to find/create a vest that looked a lot like one worn by Hiccup in one of the movies, and Dorothy had a very cool black dress with a kind of cape/veil that almost looked liked wings when she extended her arms.  The long awaited HTTYD #3 had come out a couple weeks earlier and Matthew and Dorothy had already seen it (though I hadn’t yet), and we talked a bit about the movie.  But not too much since I didn’t want them to spoil it for me.

The park was beautiful!  Dorothy and Matthew had explored it pretty carefully and had lots of ideas for place they wanted to take photos.  I love it when I get input like that!  We made our way on a loop trail through the park, and I’m afraid that I got a bit carried away and we spent almost twice as long as planned.  But that’s OK, because we got a lot of great photos!

Now you can scroll down and see the session.  At the very end I have a few of the photos I created using the dragon renders that Dorothy found.  I hope that you like the photos!

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Sneak Peek – Mandy and James Elope at the Seattle Courthouse

Here is a Sneak Peek look at the wonderful elopement wedding that I photographed yesterday of Mandy and James at the Seattle Courthouse.  Pretty good story behind the elopement as well as how Mandy and James first met.  But you’re going to have to wait until I have a chance to edit more of the photos from the day and write a better blog posting before you get to hear their story.  Sorry to make you wait, but lots of photos to edit first!

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Sneak Peek – Forest Engagement Photo Session

I recently had a fantastic engagement photo session with Dorothy and Matthew, deep in the forest at McCollum Pioneer Park in Everett.  Dorothy and Matthew are huge fans of the How To Train Your Dragon movies (as am I!), and wanted to duplicate some of the feelings of Hiccup and Ariel’s scenes in the forest in the movies.  Matthew even had a great vest that was very reminiscent of the vest that Hiccup wears.

Of course, to really do this right we need to add some dragons!  Dorothy found some good renders that I was able to clip and work into some of the photos, just for fun!  But you’re going to have a wait a few days for my full posting to get to see those photos, so check back soon!

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Tamara & Joseph Elope at the Seattle Courthouse

I was contacted by Tamara back in the beginning of February.  She and her fiance Joseph were planning to do an elopement wedding in the Seattle area, and she wanted to know if I’d be interested in working with them on their wedding photos.  They were considering going to some really cool spots for an elopement, such as Mt Rainier or Ruby Beach.  But both of those locations are 2-3 hours from Seattle, and in early March (when they wanted to have their wedding) Mt Rainier would be covered under a LOT of snow.

We corresponded several times by email and finally set up a phone call.  The upshot was that they decided that they were still going to be married in Seattle, but rather than having to drag an officiant out to the coast (or to some other location) they would have an elopement ceremony at the Seattle Courthouse, and do a separate trip afterwards to someplace in the area that would be cool to visit.

More emails followed, and I explained to them how the wedding procedure works at the Seattle Courthouse so they’d have a shot at being at the front of the line on their chosen wedding day.  We met for the first time outside the clerk’s office at the courthouse about 30 minutes before a judge would be free to perform their ceremony.

Photos at the Courthouse

Since we had a little time to kill I suggested that we visit the rooftop of the courthouse building, which has a wonderful balcony and a great view for photos.  While we took photos we had a chance to get to know each other a bit.  I was fascinated to learn that Tamara is from Toronto, and Joseph from near Miami.  Better yet, they met while both were in Medelin, Colombia.  Tamara was teaching English, and Joseph was there on business; and they met through Tinder!  LOL!  Talk about a low probability meeting!

After getting some photos on the balcony (some of which you’ll see below) we moved back down to the hallway outside the clerk’s office and took some more pictures.

The Wedding Ceremony

Finally Tamara and Joseph were called to meet with the judge who would perform their ceremony.  Even though it was a Monday, there were a surprising number of couples waiting to get married at the Courthouse that day, so many of the usual “wedding rooms” were in use.  We lucked out and got to use the Jury Selection Room for the ceremony; this is the largest of the available spaces at the Courthouse and is usually saved for larger groups.  Fantastic views out of the huger floor to ceiling windows, as you’ll see in the photos.

The ceremony was simple but very nice, and a short time later Tamara and Joseph were officially married!

Now you can finally take some time and look at the photos below. Unless you cheated and skipped ahead already!

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