engagement

Red Barn Studios Engagement Session

A Red Barn Studios Engagement Session

You know what I adore… like, seriously makes me over-the-top happy?  When I get referrals. Having a couple chose me as their wedding photographer because they love their friend’s or family member’s images means so much to me.  It’s like happiness and validation, and the warm fuzzies all wrapped up together!

I really strive to build a relationship with my couples. I want to know how your wedding planning is going. I want to help support you with vendor recommendations if you need them.  I want to help you develop your timeline, and hear all about your wedding photography wish list. And once the wedding is over - I still want to know when you’re moving to a new place, or taking an epic vacation.  And if, or when you start a family my heart will give a little tug, and I’ll usually pull up your wedding photos and relive that moment for a bit. Because I LOVE this job. I love creating wedding images that mean something special to the couples who trust me to document the beginning of their journey as a married couple.

Makenzi and James met me at the Red Barn Studios in Chehalis for their early morning engagement photos.  We chose an 8 am start time because the sun is less harsh than later in the day. Plus it left the whole rest of the day for these love birds to get some breakfast and enjoy their weekend together. There’s so much to love about this venue - but can we talk about the lighting upstairs in the barn...for just a moment, can you drink it all in?  Check out this romantic dip kiss in that light! Feeling proud of this image, I won’t lie to you. I just love how warm and open the space is.

As we moved around the property we talked to the chickens - okay so I talked to the chickens, we hung out with their umm, well fed, Aussie who is sweet as can be, and we took advantage of the apple trees, the dirt road, the pretty barn doors, and the quaint outbuildings (as well as the shade they provided - it’s been hot!).  

We mixed in a few close up shots with traditional lovey-dovey “kiss that girl like you mean it” poses.  There’s always a bit of nervousness and what-do-I-do-with-my-hands moments when you’ve never been professionally photographed before.  And you know what? That’s just fine. We chat, we joke around a bit, I help you with posing and give you some guidance - and before you know it you feel like a pro in front of the camera!  

James and Makenzi came prepared in proper country attire with their boots and plaids. Even when you’re not getting dressed up in formal wear for your session professional hair and makeup makes all the difference, and Makenzi’s gorgeous red hair is just perfection - she’s going to be a seriously beautiful bride at her late summer wedding next year.  When booking your own wedding or engagement session I would be happy to provide contact information for some amazing hair and makeup artists that I love to work with like Dawn from Seattle Bridal Hair. Taking that extra step really helps ensure that you’re feeling gorgeous and fierce for your engagement photo session.

M & J

A Traditional Twist to a Modern Wedding

Megan and Lupe have been sweethearts in the truest sense of the word for years. Their long awaited wedding was a modern, colorful, family affair with a side of traditional glamour.  When I met with Megan she asked me if I was comfortable shooting a large wedding party - little did I know she meant a wedding party of 31!

I knew I was up for the challenge, and I was so excited when I got the call from her that said I was the photographer who best fit their needs and I was hired.  I admit there may have been a little celebratory dance off in my kitchen that night. (okay so the secret is there’s a celebratory dance in my kitchen each time we book a wedding because I freaking LOVE what I do, and when a couple trusts us to photograph their wedding it gives me all the feels!)

Fast forward to the wedding day - I show up at the gorgeous church in Tacoma where they are having their wedding, and I’m thrilled to see such an open, modern space with amazing colored lights and clean lines.  Add in a gorgeous gazebo in the back for portraits and the sweetest first look with her dad, and it was just a winner of a wedding venue all around.

I’m especially fond of the gorgeous bridesmaid dresses that Megan chose - the dresses were flattering on everyone, even her cousin’s sweet baby bump! And can we talk about  the shimmery, fairytale perfect wedding dress she chose for herself? In some kind of magical material voodoo the bottom of her gown shimmered in the light as though there was a fine dusting of glitter all over the bottom half.  I have dress envy to this day! The dusty purple color the couple chose was carried throughout the wedding decor, and the dahlias and florals were a wonderful accent in their darker purple tones.

There were so many wonderful parts of this wedding celebration.  From the touching first look with Megan’s father, to the exchange of letters before they walk down the aisle - there was so much love to love.  It really was a perfect wedding!

After a beautiful Traditional Christian ceremony the couple took off for Pioneer Park Pavilion in Puyallup Washington.  While family was arriving we took some extra time, and got a few more romantic portraits in the park before their grand entrance - with an exuberant and rowdy greeting from all of their family and friends.

The couple included several traditional Samoan dances into their wedding reception, and Lupe - more commonly referred to as Junior - surprised Megan with the most amazing choreographed dance that he and his groomsmen secretly planned, practiced, and performed for her!  
After the traditional dances, the toasting, and cake cutting this large combined family danced the night away and took advantage of the photo booth and fun props we set up for the reception.  Overall this wedding was a wonderful combination of time honored Samoan traditions, a beautiful faith based Christian ceremony, and plain old F-U-N and playfulness. These two high school sweethearts gave everyone a wedding to remember. They combined all of the things that meant the most to them and made a grand exit by taking off into the night after a magical sparkler exit under the stars!

Josh & Lauren's PNW Engagement

Two Lovebirds & Two Engagement Sessions


Joshua and Lauren celebrated their wedding engagement with two separate photography sessions.  The first took place in downtown Tacoma, in the colorful urban area that surrounds the Wink Studio.  We love the variety of color and texture we can get just outside our door!

Starting out at Dorkey’s Arcade the couple enjoyed a few old school arcade games - after all the couple that plays together, stays together! It’s so fun to have a couple who chooses a unique location, indoor or out for their session.  This arcade is colorful and fun - it represents something that Joshua and Lauren both love, and his has a hip, old school vibe! From the arcade we hit a few of our favorite spots along Pacific Avenue and in Fireman’s Park - a little hidden gem that overlooks the Port of Tacoma.   I think Lauren’s sweater perfectly coordinates with the citrus colored door we discovered during their engagement session.

The second half of their photos were taken during Spring time.  We met at Mineral Lake Lodge, a rustic Bed & Breakfast located in the foothills of Mount Rainier, just outside of Elbe Washington.  The Bed & Breakfast offers intimate rooms, as well as teepees for overnight guests. The lush forested areas, and long grasses surrounded the Lodge were a beautiful landscape and background for a dynamic light filled photography session.

We created some really gorgeous, romantic photos when the sun was setting, and we made our way down to the river that slowly meanders past the Lodge.