Into Fall we go, Seattle! | Personal Work

So it’s about a week into Fall/Autumn and I’m at the tail end of the worst cold I’ve had in months and months, and it is seriously dumping buckets here in Seattle. Definitely a new season. Most people wouldn’t be surprised by that, given my location, but we just had one of the most consistently warm summers here on record (the grass was uncharacteristically brown everywhere) and it has been a shock to the system. Within a week here you can go from wearing flip-flops to wearing boots, and not be completely surprised.

And it’s just typical because today was the annual Clickinmoms photowalk and the scheduled route was along the waterfront, which is where you’d probably find the worst winds off the Puget Sound and probably a lot of wet tourists. Naturally they’ll all think this was the expected weather for here and every Seattlite will quickly tell them they just missed a glorious summer, and ‘no it’s not always like this.’

I’m not a complete wimp when it comes to the rain and cold, and yeah, yeah, I’ve heard all the ‘you must be used to it; it’s just like England’ remarks! Being from the South of England, I’d also say the same as the above about Seattle with regards to the weather. Even if you’re used to the rain and expect it, doesn’t mean you particularly like it or even own rain boots (although I don’t know why I don’t at this point!).

Given me being ill for several days and a storm hanging overhead, it’s probably unwise to walk around in the rain taking photos, so myself and another photog joined the girls at the end for food and drink. It is a reminder of the far fewer dry locations we have as photographers here in the Northwest, from about October to maybe May, so we have to get inventive. And of course, a bit wet. Finding locales with partial cover, great indoor window light, and carrying an umbrella for who I may be photographing, are some solutions. I have yet to work out how to attach an umbrella for myself onto a camera bag for hands-free snapping! The overcast sky here acts as a beautiful diffuser, giving even light, and we rarely get super frigid-cold weather here. I’m always happy and interested to hear of others’ suggestions for shooting locations here for any other time than the summer (anyone have something to share?).

I’m excited about taking photos when the leaves fall and around Halloween (my favorite holiday!) and am currently working on producing a video for the Nine Lives Gala coming up next weekend for Animal Talk Rescue. And I think I’ll be getting in some holiday sessions soon, and getting some cats decked out for Christmas pictures! Just because the sun is going to hide away for a while doesn’t mean we will stop the photography; as Ansel Adams once said –

“Bad weather makes for good photography.”

xo ~ K

The Seattle Wheel from outside and the sun out.

Roman’s view tonight, from the inside, looking out to a very rainy ferris wheel…



Sadness & Light in Seattle | Reflections

Over the last few weeks I’ve had quite a few reasons to count my blessings and to feel fortunate. I think many of you who have stumbled upon my post, are aware of the horrible shootings that happened in Seattle recently. I feel anguish for those who have lost people they love. I feel sadness that much of it happened in a neighborhood (and city) that I have spent years living in, one that holds many memories for me and I hold a fondness for. I feel angry that present gun laws and untreated mental illness create a perfect storm for such tragedies to happen so frequently. I feel frustration that this world is so cruel sometimes and I can’t fix it.

The blessings and fortune I speak of are about a few different things. My little boy and the man I love were at one of our favorite parks just 2 blocks away from the cafe that day; cops were everywhere as they were looking for the gunman. That’s too close, but I’m thankful they weren’t closer. A couple of days after that, my boy smacked the back of his head straight into a tree trunk while on a tree swing being pushed by his sister; he came crying into the house with blood streaming down the back of his shirt. I envisioned all kinds of brain injury scenarios during the painfully slow (Friday night rush hour) albeit short trip to the ER. But my boy just had an abrasion and left the hospital with a red popsicle…again, I’m thankful.

Then last Wednesday marked a seven-year anniversary of the passing of someone I loved deeply. So much that the depths of my grief for a long time after his death, which felt so dark and hopeless, made me imagine that nothing and no one would ever bring light into my life ever again. I eventually emerged from that darkest hole to find that I saw life in a whole new way afterwards, and if there’s anything to be thankful for despite losing a love like that, it’s that. And I do have both love and light in my life again.

I took these on June 6th (on that anniversary) and though the day started out grey and felt somber and lonely to me, the sun did come out and there were beautiful sights all around that evening. I hope Seattle will heal from these awful tragedies and that much is learned. I also wish for light and love to come in place of the darkness and loss; Seattle is a beautiful, resilient city full of amazing people, and to see the flowers that cover the sidewalk outside Cafe Racer (photo required, I know!), you can’t help but be moved by the love here.

Now that I have put all that out there to the blogosphere, I have gig and birthday party photos to edit!

xo ~ K

Each day of human life contains joy and anger, pain and pleasure, darkness and light, growth and decay.  Each moment is etched with nature’s grand design – do not try to deny or oppose the cosmic order of things.  ~Morihei Ueshiba

Does the caterpillar know she will be a beautiful butterfly one day?

Eyes of The Ape | Seattle Animal Photography 

Sitting through ‘Dumbo’ for the second time this weekend (Roman has decided it’s his favorite Disney flick for the moment), I was thinking a lot about circus and zoo animals and their various states of captivity. Instead of wrapping my thoughts around how depressing that topic can be for me, I thought I’d go back to this photo this evening for some therapeutic processing time. I find the big apes intriguing, and I can never resist taking a shot or two of them when I’m at the zoo. But I hate seeing them look so bored and listless, and so wish I was seeing them in their natural habitat but that will never happen for me. I don’t want my child to grow up in a world where gorillas and tigers and elephants (and all those animals that fill childhood literature and picture books) only exist in captivity in zoos…even with all their benefits of breeding programs and conservation awareness. That will be a very sad day for us all.

Anyway, I thought I’d go for my high contrast black and white edit version to share with you; it seems timeless and draws me in to that expressive and fascinating face. Since this is actually being written in the wee hours of the morning again, I must sign off; Folklife festival shenanigans at Seattle Center today. Have a safe
Memorial Day, all my (ape) friends!

xo ~ K

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. ~ Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe, letter to President Franklin Pierce

Learning about Lightroom, Scissors & Mud | Reflections

It never stops, does it? The learning, that is…

I learned quite a lot about the above said things over the last few weeks. I’ve got Lightroom 4 up and running on my computer and I’m finding out how best to streamline my photo editing and organizing. And I know I’ll continue to learn more about what LR4 can do for my photography ‘habit.’ I’ve also learned that little boys like mud. They really really really like mud. So much that you have to strip them down to their birthday suits in the ‘Tulip Town’ parking lot so they don’t get into the car like dirty muddy piglets. Side note: Roman was born in the Year of the Pig.

I’ve also learned that my 4 year-old should not be left in the living room with his craft scissors (aren’t they supposed to be blunt?) while his parents have a bit of a lie-in lest he starts cutting his hair off. Okay, maybe he did need a haircut and it will grow back, but now my boy has a ‘fade’ on one side of his head and the shortest hair he’s had since he was a baby (the lop-sided mullet he gave himself had to be fixed). I will now cross this experience off my parenting bucket list.

As usual, I am posting to my blog in the wee hours of the morning. I’m still a night-owl, even though I’m actually exhausted with a headache…but I must sleep. I have a lot of kitten and cat editing to do ‘tomorrow’ (adorable photos coming!). It’s also Mother’s Day here in the States; maybe my boy will let me sleep in bed a bit longer as a treat (and if I bribe him probably). And yes, I have hidden the scissors.

Happy Mama’s Day, everyone!!!

xo ~ K

Tulip Town

Proud Muddy Piglet