The Manley Family

An Eatonville Family Session

I am blessed to be able to call this wonderful family my neighbor as well as my friend. Our youngest daughters are cohorts and slumber party buddies. When I found out that they hadn’t had family photos in years I knew if was high time we got together in town for a fun mini session!

The Manley Family decided to keep it casual and true to who they are with cozy flannels and jeans. While it’s fun to dress up now and then, I think it’s incredibly important to be authentic to who you are as a family when choosing your wardrobe for your photo session.

I knew just the right location for their session. We stayed close to home and headed to one of my favorite little parks in Eatonville. Smallwood boasts a sweet little kid’s fishing pond, a simple bridge, walking trails, and open fields. It’s a great spot for a family photography session. As the sun started to set we caught some of last rays of Autumn light before winter truly hit us here in the Pacific Northwest.

As I’ve said before, I love the in between moments during a family photography session. The jokes and laughter, the genuine smiles and hugs. I think those images say so much about who you are as a family. We got a nice mix of posed and unposed images for this fun family session.

Ruby

Flashback Friday - A Retro 1970’s Session

For today’s Flashback Friday I’m super stoked to share Ruby’s vintage 1970’s styled session. Ruby provided the clothing, authentic 1970’s pieces she has lovingly curated from Ebay, Etsy, and various vintage markets. I provided the vintage 1960’s camera and a few of the fun accessories. Together, we created something super cool and retro!

Ruby’s gorgeous coloring was set off perfectly by the warm, rosy pallet she chose for her wardrobe. The leather jacket and bell bottom pants are just fun - and getting to incorporate one of my favorite vintage cameras was a big bonus!

We chose Freeway Park, located in the heart of downtown Seattle for this session. The multiple levels, open fountain, textured concrete, and urban feel were perfect for the aesthetic we were going for. We wanted to find a location that didn’t scream 2017 - instead it looks like Ruby could have stepped back in time and she really was having her photos taken in 1975. This is honestly one of my favorite locations to shoot at. It seems there’s always a cool new corner to discover, and the various levels are always eye catching.

I’m really hoping that I get the opportunity to shoot more styled session with vintage clothing from various eras. I can just see an amazing 80’s session… big hair and jelly shoes anyone?

Flashback Friday

Chelsea’s Alder Lake Maternity Session

For today’s Flashback Friday I am showcasing one of my favorite Maternity sessions from August 2017. Chelsea is such a pretty and vibrant momma to be, and her personality totally shined during her session. We decided to stick close to home, and headed out to one of my favorite hidden little spots along Alder Lake, just outside of Eatonville Washington where we live.

We did a few photos in her regular clothing, with and without her spouse and kids, and then we did a few more in one of my maternity gowns. I have always loved how this session turned out, and I think it’s perfect for my first ever Flashback Friday post!

I’m just loving this warm summer light, and these darker tones. I think mixing in a casual outfit with the use of a special maternity gown gave Chelsea several options when choosing images to print and display in her home.

A Little Man's Gold & Black Cake Smash

James Turns One!

Our original plan for this little man’s cake smash was to do a blue, silver, and white color scheme - admittedly one of my favorites for little boys. I was crazy excited when his momma contacted me to let me know that she found this great cake smash outfit in gold and black instead.

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I just love metallic gold with black and white. Other than gold with navy blue it’s my favorite color scheme, and to date I’ve never had a chance to use it for a session. GAME ON!

With minimal decor we kept the focus on James and his super cute squishiness! Is that a word? Well it is now! I’m really loving how these turned out, even if James wasn’t thrilled with the whole cake experience. He humored me pretty well… but that big scary lady with the camera was not his favorite person for sure!

Hi & Welcome

All About Me - In case anyone was curious!

My photography journey started like many other peoples - with photos of my own family and most specifically my own children. Back in the early 2000’s I had four small kids at home and I joined the ever growing ranks of scrapbook enthusiasts. Jumping in with both feet I started submitting my pages to magazines and publications - being published several times. At one point I received an offer to join a creative team for a local craft store. One of the things I very quickly realized was that the better the quality of my photos the better the feedback I received on my projects.

I purchased a simple film camera and started teaching myself the basics of photography. I focused on capturing the little moments, and creating keepsakes for my children to document their day to day lives.  

With the increasing availability of digital cameras I became quite the photography enthusiast. I remember how excited I was for that first 6 megapixel digital Lumix with a killer zoom lens! I never had any goal or intention of making photography a career choice. I studied color theory and composition. I dabbled in all the newest techniques - like selective color and those amazing colored vignettes! Oh boy!

As my kids got older I survived an ugly divorce and I became a single mom. Money became increasingly tight. One year I scraped together all of the extra money I had to purchase a small package of school photos for each of my four kids. I was so upset at the quality of them, devastated that I paid all of the money in my meger savings account to get photos of my kids that didn’t show one iota of their sweet personalities.

I decided that I could do better than that. I knew who my children were and I wanted to take photos of them myself that I could be proud to give my family and friends. I saved up fifty dollars to purchase a used Nikon from my local Facebook garage sale page.

Within a year I was actively shooting photographs on a daily basis. Friends and family were approaching me, asking me to photograph their own families and special events. At one point my best friend had a co-worker whose wedding photographer went MIA only weeks before their wedding. Like most situations in my life, I jumped in with both feet. After that first wedding...I was hooked.  

I’ve always been one to just take the risk. Do the thing. Put myself out there - and make something happen for myself. While most people do an internship, or assist a wedding photographer to learn the ropes - something I would highly suggest - I never had that opportunity. I took the jobs that were presented to me. I made opportunities when I couldn’t find them… and I slowly built a business learning as I went.  

My life was moving forward in so many amazing ways. I had met someone new, who came with a bonus...another daughter to love!  I had crawled my way from single parent poverty - living in a camper with my kids, to having a real house in an amazing little town. Shortly after that first wedding I decided to make another leap and start a photography business. Sashem Photography was born. I debated long and hard about using my name versus using something creative. SASHEM was a word I made up from the first letters of my children’s names: Samaria, Alaina, Shaelyn, Eliza, Madison.  

The second year I had been in business I shot 13 small weddings. Most were friends or family, or acquaintances of friends and family. These free and low cost weddings were where I really started to master my craft. I swiftly learned the flow of the wedding day, how to work with vendors, how to make the most of small spaces, and create images to be proud of in not so great locations. I started to develop the workflow for posing that I still use to this day. I spent every free moment taking online workshops, studying body mechanics, and photographing sessions to learn the ins and outs of my camera, lighting, and posing.  

I’m now several years into my photography career. I specialize in photographing couples and weddings. Additionally I photograph seniors and families. I enjoy taking a documentary approach to wedding photography, capturing the big and small moments of the wedding day as it unfolds. It’s very much like my early film days, photographing my children’s day to day lives.  

I’ve progressed past the selective coloring and the crazy colored vignettes - thank goodness, but many of those early skills I mastered stuck with me.  That desire to capture intimate moments stuck with me. This job gets into your blood. It’s like a high when you create an image that captures who a couple is at their core, when you can put them at ease, and they look in each other’s eyes and you get that magical moment - documented forever. I get to create tangible proof of people’s love and devotion - I’m not sure you can have a better job than that.  

Destoni

Class of 2019

Destoni and I hit Wapato Park in Tacoma Washington this winter for her senior portrait session. She did a great job and she’s just as sweet and spunky as can be. Destoni’s mom, aunt, and even her best friend tagged along, and we had the greatest time - even though it was pretty freaking cold out! She was a good sport and we were able to get so many great shots.

Looking for Lingerie?

Helloooo brides!  one of my most frequently asked questions is where to buy sexy and decently priced lingerie for bridal boudoir and honeymooning. Well, I have a few favorite online and retail locations to share with you to help you find just the right pieces for both your session, AND your special night! Ready to blow your partners socks off?

When in doubt, you can always start your search at the old faithful Victoria’s Secret.  They are the gold standard for ladies lingerie. But the following retailers have a fantastic selection, and you’ll have a great time exploring all the pretty, sexy pieces they have available, plus I mean who doesn’t love any and all online shopping.  Remember ladies, your bridal boudoir session doesn’t just need to include white or pastel colored lingerie. While it’s traditional and fun to make your session personal with your veil, garter, and wedding day lingerie, don’t be afraid to mix it up with something super sexy in your favorite colors and materials.  There are no rules against a bride doing her bridal boudoir session in leather and lace!

One of my favorite online retailers is Lingerie Diva .  With a wide variety of pieces from sweet to sultry, and free shipping on any order over $75, this is a great one stop shop for all your boudoir fashion needs.  

Adore Me is one of the best sources out there in my opinion.  Their holiday offerings are adorable, they have a nice variety of sizes and styles including plus sizes, and they also have a pretty killer referral deal!  View their products online at www.adoreme.com

As a curvy girl I’ve really come to love the style and selection sold at www.curvysense.com .  Boudoir doesn’t just have to be lingerie (not that they don’t have a great selection) but I love that there are sexy options for body suits, dresses, and other fashion forward pieces to incorporate into a session.

Don’t overlook fashion retailers such as H&M - located both online at www.hm.com as well as retail locations in many malls.  H&M carries a great selection of lingerie overall, but selection will vary from store to store.  They don’t have a lot of options for curvy girls but for sizes XS - L this is a wonderful place to find extremely reasonably priced lingerie pieces.

I have recently discovered Oh La La Cheri, an online retailer with a really wide variety of looks.  With sizes from XS - 4X there is something for everyone here.  Beautiful colors, and models of all body shapes and sizes make this website a delight to shop at.

Do you have a favorite retailer to recommend?  Be sure to share the love and a link in the comments below!  Now get shopping!

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A Point Defiance Family Session

Nicole and her sweet little family met me at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma for a quick family mini session. Her sweet girl will be turning one soon, and they wanted to celebrate with updated family photos before her first birthday party.

We absolutely lucked out with the weather. With days of rain leading up to the session date we were both stalking the weather channel keeping an eye on the weather. Lucky for us the rain held off and we got to make the best of our cool Pacific Northwest winter… we even managed a little weak sunshine to cheer us up!

The only issue we really had was miss wiggles, Abigail kept managing to kick off just one of her cute little baby boots! That darn thing just didn’t want to stay on for anything! But she made up for it with sweet baby smiles!

Mom and Dad sure love this little bundle of joy, and it’s not hard to see why. She’s just a tiny little firecracker full of energy and smiles for her momma and daddy

Landon's Fall Mini Session

Landon has been in front of my camera three tines now, and each time he’s been funnier and more lively. He’s a kid with a big heart and a big imagination. Just check out that amazing scarf! It’s so fun! And don’t even get me started on the epic dance moves! He tried his best to teach me how to Floss… it’s just not happening! I’ll just have to be envious of his skills in that department.

Another Eatonville local… woot woot, I just love photographing people from my home town!! Landon and his momma met me at my favorite little local kids fishing pond for a fast and fabulous mini session.

The only hard part about photographing Landon, is that I can’t choose which images I like the best! He’s kinda, sorta, awesome like that!

Fort Steilacoom Family of Three

Aki, Miles and Vincent are near and dear to my heart. Aki was my children’t child care provider for years. She’s been there for several of our youngest children - and we all just love her to pieces. When she met Miles it was a match made in heaven…and together, they started a family.

Vincent arrived 9 weeks before he was due, and I had the pleasure of photographing him in the NICU though a program called Capturing Hopes. After his newborn NICU session I photographed Vincent when he left the hospital, on his due date, and every month for the first year of his life!

We now get together a couple times per year for updated family photos - and it couldn’t make me happier to see him changing more and more each time we are together. He’s talking and sharing, and developing the funniest little personality!

We decided to mix things up this time and head out to the historic barns at Fort Steilacoom park. It was a bright and sunny autumn day - which can present some challenges, but I just love how bold and vibrant a sunny photo session looks when I’m done with my editing.

My theory is to let toddlers be themselves. Let them run, play, sit in the leaves. Let them say no and turn away if they want to… follow their lead. I promise you, where they lead you on their own is SO much better than whatever happens when you try to force them to sit still and look at the camera. Organic happiness and laughter are where it’s at!