Thursday, August 27, 2009

mr. kool

I had been living in Seattle for a few months, and although I was happy to be home I was in the midst of a depression. The man I had moved up here to be with, and who was pretty much my only friend in the city besides Casey, had decided that he didn't want to be with me. We tried to make a friendship work, but it just wasn't happening. I was heartbroken and missed my friends in LA more and more each day. Out of desperation to find a friend I made my way over to Craigslist's strictly platonic section. Let me tell you, 99.9% of those guys are NOT looking for something platonic. I was on the verge of giving up when I got an e-mail from Mr. Kool.


We e-mailed back and forth a couple times, but I wasn't feeling it and told him that I was really just looking for someone to make me laugh and that I don't think I want to be friends, but thanks. I expected some sort of angry response back or not even to hear from him again, but a few minutes later he sent me an e-mail with a joke which made me crack up laughing. Thus began the friendship of Mr. Kool and Ms. Davis.

Since I've known him he's moved from Florida to Seattle, back to Florida, back to Seattle, married a beautiful girl and now he's moving to Panama! Like I told him last night, I didn't get to see him as often as I would have liked but it gave me comfort to know he was in the same city. I'm going to miss him, but it'll be great to come visit him down there! At the very least, my Wii character will have a blast in Boca Del Toro.

Thanks Mr. Kool :) 

Dodgeball on Tuesday!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

my favorites

Now that the formalities have died down and I'm home and quiet and alone for the first time in a few weeks, I wanted to share my favorite photos from the weekend. The other posts were to share in the memories with my family, but if I wanted to show someone the photos I was really most proud of, these would be it.

over there

This one may be because I love all of them so much, but I think this shot is great. This whole weekend was a lesson on shooting people and I think it helped that I adored my subjects. I really hope that I've captured their different personalities so well that the casual observer would notice it. If not...oh well, I like it!

zach stephie levi

I love these moments. I took a lot of pictures from the sidelines while other people were taking posed shots, and it would make for great moments like this one.

up the elevator

Lauren was the only one of the cousins who wanted to go up in the Space Needle, and believe me we tried our hardest to get the others up there. Originally it was just going to be me and Lauren, but as George walked us over to the booth to pay, a little bummed that Blake and Jolie couldn't get over their fear, I said "You should just come with us." And I'm so glad he did! I loved the look of wonder on her face as we went up the elevator and you can tell that George was glad to share the moment with his daughter.

smart jolie

I can't stop looking at this one, I love it so much.

lauren squishes the needle

The girls had the idea of squishing the needle and we had a blast putting them into the right position. Lauren was so adorable, her face reflected perfectly in the sculpture behind her. I just love this shot. I guess I'm going to say I love everyone of them, but that's what this post is all about!

lauren in black hole sun

She has such amazing character that I didn't even notice until I saw the pictures of her. She really shines. I can't wait to see the woman she grows up to be.

wet willy

I was across the room and saw Jolie about to poke the tall one. He saw me at the last minute and scrunched up his face, he haaaates the camera. But I loooooove the resulting shot! It's these unscripted moments that really make me love being a photographer.

jolie and lucas

I had a hard time picking between this one and another one, but in the end I decided I loved this moment. He was playing around with the kids on the lawn and when they all stopped, it was the kids who were out of breath. He was so great with them, but how could he not be. I have the best cousins ever!

levi

The lighting, the look, the lens, the cousin...whatever it was, this shot turned out awesome. I keep coming back to it because it's so great. He's an excellent subject and a great kid. He really surprised me.

mother of the bride watches

I feel like every wedding photographer should shoot a close family member's wedding at least once. Each shot felt so intimate. I look at this one and I can feel the emotions just bleeding out of it. Aesthetically it's not that great of a shot, but then again it conveys the emotion of the moment...so maybe it is.

father and daughter

I just love the way he's looking at her. They were both in tears the entire dance.

ATTACK

The lighting...oooh the lighting. So great!

c and g

I think this maybe in the top 5 of my favorite pictures I've ever taken. I can't think of a better one to finish this post off with.

I learned a lot about photographing people over the last few days, about what they like, about how they fear the camera, how most of them really just want to be captured beautifully but they don't trust the person on the other end. Mostly, I was so glad that every time I showed my Aunt a picture I had taken, she immediately teared up. It made me feel like I was able to capture people at their best, and that's all I was looking to do.

Please let me know how you like them. I'm aching for feedback and ways to improve.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Stephanie's Wedding Weekend

I've divided up the pictures from this wonderful four day weekend and to make things easier I figured I'd just make one post for everyone!

The entire collection of photos can be found here.

The bbq at Stephie and Judah's house Thursday night can be found here.

The trip to the Space Needle with Cousin, Jolie, Lauren, Blakey, George and Carolyn can be found here.

The trip with Cousin, Jolie, Lauren and Blakey to Black Hole Sun can be found here.

A tribute to my adorable boyfriend who hates having his picture taken but looked so freakin' cute with Jolie I just couldn't help taking their photos and posting them here.

My point of view of the actual wedding day can be found here.

My thank you to George and Carolyn can be found here, along with their pictures that are oooh so cute!

And lastly a few snapshots from the day of the wedding can be found here.

Thank you again to everyone. What a great few days. I'm still buzzing with happy!

snapshots

I had a few photos that artistically weren't that great, but I wanted to add them to the blog and flickr for the family to see. I named this post snapshots, as that's exactly what these are!

levi and aunt shirley

Aunt Shirley and my cousin Levi

mother of the bride

Aunt Shirley's hair was so beautiful!

gm gp bud nancy

Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Bud and his wife Nancy.

grandparents with couple

Grandma and Grandpa with Stephie and Judah.

lauren stephie jolie

Lauren, Stephie and Jolie. Yay cousins!

grandma and grandpa

Grandma and Grandpa with Grandma's mountain.

shirley and elaine

Aunt Shirley with her best friend from high school, Elaine. I was sitting in the dinning area before the wedding and Elaine walked by me and asked if I was George's wife. I said "no, I'm his neice" and she went "wow! you're Stacy, Peg's daughter! I knew you when you were tiny!". Strangely enough, that's actually the first time I've ever heard that in my adult life. It was kinda cool!

last look

This was the last look photo. The evening was winding down and we were all exhausted. Aunt Shirley wanted a quick photo with the family so I snapped it with my flash, and I was surprised it turned out pretty well!

And that's it folks! I may still go through a few of them, and I have the color versions of many of the black and white shots if anyone would like them.

Thank you to Stephanie for a beautiful wedding, to my Aunt Shirley and Tod for putting together such a lovely event, for Grandma and Grandpa along with George, Carolyn and the kids for coming up to our fair city and to Judah's family who were so kind. I welcome you to our family!

George and Carolyn

c and g

When I was 25 I was laid off from my job in Seattle. I left my office for the last time at 9:30 am and by noon that day I had already negotiated out of my apartment lease, rented a truck, canceled all my utilities and was ready to move. I called my Uncle George in California and said "Hey, I just got laid off. Can I come stay with you for a little while?"

That little while turned into months and never have I learned as much as I did while living with this amazing couple. Their three children, my cousins Jolie, Lauren and Blake, are the most amazingly smart and well adjusted children I've ever known. Their relationship is what gives me hope that marriages really do work.

g and c

Like any couple they've been through a lot, however it seems as though each situation only gives them more strength. After all these years of marriage they still look at each other with so much love. I will share one fun little embarrassing story: One morning while staying with them I was watching tv, kinda scrunched down in the couch so I wasn't really noticeable. I heard them talking behind me in the kitchen and Carolyn mentioned to George something about their activities in the bedroom the evening before. I popped my head up to see them kissing and Carolyn giggling, and when they realized I had heard them her face turned as red as her hair! I loved it, and although it was a silly moment it showed me that a marriage doesn't have to be the end of romance. They shattered a lot of misconceptions I had of two people sharing their lives together. I can't thank them enough.

a kiss

I am so grateful to these two people. They helped me to grow up, they both listen to me when I need someone to talk to, they both support me when I'm down, they both trust me with their children, and they both love me unconditionally. And not because they have to :-)

Thank you George and Carolyn, I love you!

the wedding

What a weekend!

You can find the entire set here, and I'm adding new ones every day. I took around 200 photos, so there are a lot to go through. I think the other photographers took around 800, and then Carolyn took quite a few with her Canon and Mamiya so I'm sure this wedding is pretty well documented. I'm only going to add the few that I really liked here and hopefully I'll have a couple follow up posts with more. Editing these pictures was so much fun!!

the cake

Of course I had to grab a shot of the cake with my nifty fifty. That little lens came in handy so many times that I actually just ended up leaving it on. The cake was so yummy and I kept stealing bites from my cousins and the tall one. It's fat free if it's off someone else's fork, right?

laughing

Stephie's colors were brown and this lovely green color. The bridesmaids held gerber daisies and this one couldn't stop smiling! She was glowing, and I later found out why: she's 4 months pregnant!

levi

My cousin Levi. See how awesome my lens is? I loooove this shot. The lighting, his red hair, his personality! Just great. I can't wait to hang out with him at DMB.

mother of the bride watches

Aunt Shirley was in tears all day. She was so overwhelmed with love and happiness it was literally flowing out of her. I've never seen the family so happy. Everyone had a smile, laughter was constant and spirits were so high that nothing could damper it. Really, it was a perfect day.

first kiss

The ceremony lasted approximately 20 minutes (apparently the time is debatable) and was very lovely. They did a traditional Catholic wedding complete with the pouring of the sand and communion. I'll admit, I got a little teary but luckily I had my camera to block the sentimentality.

father and daughter

We moved inside to the dining area that had taken two days to decorate, and they did a lovely job. The dances commenced and I was able to grab this shot of Stephie and her dad Lane. I may re-do this one, but it's such a lovely moment I really wanted to add it to the post.

ATTACK

Not only did they have a DJ but a Mariachi band also came in to play during dinner. Judah's grandpa loved it and had the biggest smile on his face. Such a cute little old man. I wish I had a few shots of him. The time came for the cake and what luck, the lighting was awesome and Judah's shirt was acting like a reflector and lit up Stephi's face just perfect! I love this shot.

cheers

The groomsmen were all given giant beer steins as their wedding gifts and they were filled constantly through out the evening, however that didn't stop the tequila shots!

i caught it

When the time came I grudgingly stood with the other single ladies, Jolie and Lauren strategically placed in front of me, a bridesmaid next to me who was reassured that the toss was designated for her. I watched as Stephie turned her back and sent the bouquet flying...directly at me. There was no way to let it go, it would drop to the floor. I reached out and caught it, and I'm sure the look on my face was priceless. But truth be told, I secretly smiled inside. Not that I want it right now, but I'd like to one day have someone to spend the rest of my life with.

hall family

We went outside to capture the entire Hall family, except for Zach and my mother.I don't know how it would have been if either one of them had come, maybe it would have been great...we'll never know. My Uncle Bud and his wife Nancy also left early so we didn't get them in the shot, but this crew had a great time. I've never seen my family so happy, so loving, so funny! I'll never forget this day.

...to be continued.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

the tall one

A quick word about the tall one, my boyfriend...Lucas.

I started writing about how attentive he was, how quick he was to hold me up whenever my emotions started to get to me, how he looked at me with those big brown eyes during songs that he knew would make me cry and repeatedly said "I like you" knowing that at any moment my big blue eyes would spill over with tears, how much my family adored him, how great he was with my cousins and how wonderful I really feel he is. Sometimes I wish he didn't read my blog so I could say the things I know he's not ready to hear yet, but he does...so instead I'll just show pictures :)

lucas and jolie

wet willy

Have I mentioned how much he hates having his picture taken? Between me and Carolyn he is well documented now, without middle finger even :)

jolie and lucas

I love this shot. I loooooove it!!!

lucas grabs jolie

Thank you for being so great, I can't tell you how much I appreciated you being there and meeting my family, for being strong for me when I just couldn't and for always making me smile. I couldn't have asked for a better friend to share this very special moment with me and now I can't wait to do it all again next weekend!! Friends, wedding, family...LA!!

...to be continued.

black hole sun

I woke up around 9 in the morning and wandered out into the living room to see if the kids were up. Lauren and Jolie had slept in the old sleeping bags that the tall one had left at my place and sometime during the night Jolie had stolen the covers from Lauren. I came out to check on them around 3 am to find a cold Lauren curled up in a ball, no covers to be seen, while Jolie slept as warm as can be. I had to find another blanket for Lauren, and of course neither of them woke up during the search. The night before I had been instructed that they had to shower and have their nails clipped. They took turns playing Wii and showering, I filled in for the missing player until all were clean. Jolie was able to clip her own nails, but I had to do Lauren's as she's a little clumsy when it comes to the nail clippers.

jolie in black hole sun

After waking them up they Wii'ed a little more while I did my hair and got dressed. We were all starving so I texted the tall one to meet us at Glo's around 11 and we dressed quickly and headed over to Volunteer Park.

lauren in black hole sun

I had asked the kids if they knew what the song "Black Hole Sun" was and they immediately started singing it, which I knew meant I just had to take them over to the sculpture in the park.

blakey in black hole sun

Blake and Jolie both play instruments, drums and guitar respectively, and they love metal. George has been playing heavy metal to these kids since they were tiny babies so bands like Rush, Metallica and Ozzy top their favorite lists. It's pretty cool how much they are into music and they played me a sampling of their favorites on the drive into the city.

cousins and black hole sun

lauren squishes the needle

jolie holding the needle

We headed over to Glo's to meet the tall one for pancakes, then we all piled in to my car to meet the family in Orting, where Stephie's wedding was taking place.

...to be continued!

space needle

Friday morning I met my family down at Glaziers as Carolyn's Mamiya had jammed while she was down in Oregon and I suggested the best camera shop in town to help her. After they fixed the problem we headed over to the Seattle Center.

up the elevator

George and I tried to talk Blake and Jolie into going up in the Space Needle, but in the end only Lauren wanted to join us. Carolyn stayed with Blake and Jolie and Lauren, George and I went up to the top.

lauren at the top

Lauren loooved it at the top and we wandered around the observation deck a few times, pausing to check out the ferries, pointing out the different neighborhoods and watching the seaplanes take off and land.

running from the water

After coming down and finding the rest of the family, we headed over to the fountain to watch the water and listen to music. I took the girls down into the fountain and we had fun running in and out of the water, trying to touch the actual fountain before we got soaked.

smart jolie

Jolie and I made it out with only our feet wet, but Lauren was soaked! It made for nice cool hugs later, as the weather was pretty warm and if you squeezed Lauren she would make you feel a bit more cool :)

carolyn the photog

Carolyn had a great set up, which included her Canon and Mamiya, and it was great to have another photographer with me. I love just shooting randomly and I'm sure between the two of us we got soooo many shots. I can't wait to hang out with her next week down in LA and show her some little photography tricks!

the fam and the needle

I don't think words can express how great it was to have my family up here, to be able to show them my home, my neighborhood, my city. I'm still at a loss for words because the love I felt from them was so overwhelming.

After heading over to Stephie's rehearsal dinner I picked up the kids from Aversano's in Sumner, where they were having dinner with their parents. It was amazing to me that the restaurant was still there. I remember eating pizza there when I was in high school! We headed back to my place where they stayed the night, and we played Wii into the wii (tee hee) hours of the morning.