A beautiful, stormy day elopement out at American Camp on San Juan Island.
San Juan Island wedding featuring a guest appearance made by the local killer whales.
On May 6th, 2017, I photographed one of my favorite San Juan Island Weddings. Early that year I had met Lauren and Micah for the first time for their rainy day engagement photos at Deception Pass. They were some of the easiest people to photograph, and so obviously madly in love with one another.
I love heading back home to San Juan for weddings. I met Lauren at Island Inn (at 123 West) where she was getting ready. This place has many memories for myself, as I actually use to work here back in high school! As always, the place was perfect, and gave me a beautiful backdrop to work with as Lauren got ready with her family. Ferah Uri with Beauty by Furi did her makeup magic, while Shawna with Island Roots did a beautiful job with Lauren's hair.
In the background, the Washington State Ferries came in while the sun broke through the clouds.
While Lauren readied herself, Micah was near by in the Friday Harbor Yacht Club getting ready with his friends, before driving out in the shuttle bus to await his bride at Lime Kiln State Park.
Lauren followed after, and arrived at Lime Kiln to receive her incredible floral piece created by Erin with Camas Design (who also did all the florals for this wedding). Lauren, escorted by her father and Micah's sister, made her way down the Madrona lined path towards the lighthouse, and the loving arms of her very soon to be husband.
Beautiful live music added to the sounds of the waves hitting the shores, as Oliver Strasser played acoustic guitar. The moment Lauren appeared, and began walking down the path, Micah was tearing up. The joy and excitement was palpable. Through tears and joyous laughter, they vowed their lives to one another, sealed with a kiss.
After the ceremony, it was time for a tour of the island lighthouses! First, we went up in the Lime Kiln Lighthouse. Then, out to Cattle Point for a few photos!
After this, it was time to head back to the Yacht Club for the fantastic reception coordinated by Becki Day and delicious food created and catered by Deb Nolan. These two danced their night away with their loved ones.
A collaborative styled shoot featuring Bellingham Wedding Vendors, and featuring images taken by Kestrel Bailey Photography.
Introducing baby Teegan! Teegan is only about two weeks old at this point. She is the first human baby for Teela and Megan, but has two fur siblings who I am sure she will hang all over as soon as possible. It was an honor to come hang out with Megan and Teela only a week after Teegan was born. Teegan was pretty cooperative as well; opened her eyes part way through and just stared down the camera best she could.
Welcome to the world, little T!
Even though we hadn't met before, I have been coordinating plans to meet Lauren and Micah for several months. With their island wedding swiftly approaching in May, it was time for an engagement session to get to know one another. We decided to meet at Deception Pass State Park, a great meeting up point as they left the island and I headed to it before a big snow storm hit.
We met, and I explained my casual style briefly. I saw relief flood both of their faces when I talked about wanting to have fun exploring together, and finding more natural poses while having a good time. And boy did we ever have a blast!
These two were such a joy to hang out with. We were all laughs, smiles, and also in a state of wonder as we explored the cliffs around Deception State Park. It was the perfect moody weather to bring out the blue/green color in the pass, with mist hanging in the trees around us.
I am so excited for Lauren and Micah's wedding in May. Thank you for such a fantastic adventure!
Two children, one teenage, a handful of animals, and a couple madly in love. Cue the Bailey family (and one of my awesome brothers).
Stacey and Ben have now been together 7 years as of today. This family has been blended together with much love, care, fun, and handwork. Each year this family chooses many travels and adventures to embark on together; one of these adventures being Lyralu, the adorable little red-coated toddler showing off that spunky personality in these photos. Another, being the travel bus that this family lives on during travels.
Welcome to a huge part of my family, and heart :)
Part two- The Bainbridge Island Ferry Commute
Commence a few of my favorite photos ever, as we braved the cold of the ferry ride to take photos in the wind. Having grown up on an island where a ferry commute was normative, the Washington State Ferries have always had a romantic nostalgia to me. I grew up dreaming of photo sessions on ferries, and now have had the opportunities to do several. For Rainier and Amelia, this particular commute has exponential value.
After a day spent exploring Bainbridge Island, Rainier proposed to Amelia on the way back. The Seattle skyline in view, he asked her if she would mind spending their lives together. On this windy day, we documented the love these two share on their second Bainbridge commute. These are some of my favorite moments I have had the honor of documenting. I am tremendously excited to photograph their wedding and day they seal their commitment to spending their lives together! Thank you for allowing me to document such monumental and beautiful moments in your lives.
Ships brought us all together.
On a ship in Greece, I met one of Rainier's best friends from the small towns of Ontario, Canada. Two years later, Eric contacted me to say he would be in the PNW next summer for a friend's wedding. Jokingly, I asked if they needed a photographer..
Turns out they did! I met Amelia downtown Seattle to chat with her about options. We then planned a day of adventuring around various locations that Amelia wanted to show her Canadian beau when he arrived.
For Amelia and Rainier, it was on a ship missions program that brought them to almost 17 different countries in two years. These two are a dynamic mixture that together, created some of my favorite pictures I have ever taken. So many images were taken on this blustery day that in fact, there are two parts to this series!
I had yet to meet T before showing up at 7:30 am to their country, island home. They were still getting their daughter ready for the photo-shoot, so we drank coffee and talked about island life. There's something special shared between local islanders, regardless if you may be technically "strangers." After getting Sequoia on board for photos, we headed out to explore the property. Sequoia had an assortment of secret places she ran to show us, starting with her "hiking trail" up the hill side. First she went up with her grandmother, followed shortly by T and J. We marveled at spiders in the grass, the chickens on the farm, and the garden spaces. All the while, this family was overjoyed just to be with one another. It was beautiful to witness and document the synergy between this family unit, and how they all responded to the needs of the other.
Thank you for the opportunity to document the love between you all!
Nate and Quinn asked me if I would partner with another friend, Alex Tande, to document their wedding day sometime last year. I remember feeling a sense of honor, and excitement. Nate and Quinn are some of the most chill, artistic, and loving people I've had the pleasure to be around. They deeply love one another, and the community that they share. I knew this wedding would be a privilege to be a part of; and it was. In fact it exceeded any expectations I may have had.
Nate and Quinn have been a part of one another's lives for a long time now, which made their wedding all the more of a celebration of a love that already has existed and they are committed to continuing.
The day was very relaxed, but every detail was beautifully orchestrated, and intentional. I think that shows a wonderful compromise between the characters of the two of them.
Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your community and the celebration of your love for one another. It was a gift to be a part of documenting.
Also, just a shout out to Tande, who was an awesome photographer to shoot with. This was his first wedding, but that didn't come across in how committed he was to providing the best images that he could. Well done, friend!
Beth and I have grown up adventuring together. Her, and her sisters, are family to me. This little one is Blair, who is now just one year old. The two of them together is magic; Beth loves her daughter with incredible tenderness and patience. Blair, a happy-go-lucky child, quietly observes everything around her with keen eyes, chortling frequently enough to make ones' heart melt.
It's strange to see someone I've known since I was born, have a child of their own. It's beautiful, but still strange. I think the strangeness comes in how subtly the events that seemed colossal from a distant, younger, perspective, blend into every day life. There is upheaval in the first initial realizations of what will be happen to us and around us, but soon they become a part of us.
Seeing Beth become a mother is one of those kinds of events. It is beautiful and amazing to see how gracefully motherhood came to her. It is something she learns as she goes, something she could have never done until she now is doing it. And she is the best mother that Blair could ever have.
I had the honor of documented Yera's first birthday party. I arrived at Kate's house to a yard decorated with handcrafted flags, a small teepee, and blankets all over the yard for folks to lounge. The day was full of love and laughter as friends came to celebrate life with one another.
This day caused me to reflect on the importance of community in our lives. Seeing Yera celebrated by family and friends alike, spoke into a vibrant future in which this child would be surrounded by the support and love she needs to thrive. The day wasn't planned to the tee, to cater to just "entertaining" the children. Instead, the adults and children mingled alike, everybody grabbing chalk to draw or chasing bubbles around the yard. There was en effortless air of peace and joy that settled over us as we were focused on sharing time and memories with one another. I am excited to see how this community continues to grow and shape one another as a collective whole, and as individuals.
A few days after Luther was introduced to his new world, he was also introduced to my camera. We did two days of photos, since babies have a hard time with being set down for photoshoots. He'll learn in time, we suppose.
I've never taken newborn photos before, and sometimes regard newborns with a sense of distant respect- "You're adorable, good job being born, good luck to your parents." I like them, but Luther won my heart. It wasn't anything special that he did, it was watching the devotion and love of Michael and Rachel with him... as well as one another. They adore him. They cater to his every need. Luther is unable to fend for himself; unable to communicate exactly what he needs- so Rachel and Michael spend their days learning to respond to best care for their child. He changes each and every day, I'm sure even down to the minute. Yet they still adapt. I could see the depth of such love that I'm sure only parents can truly understand.
In that, their love for one another carried a newfound depth as well. I've photographed them at their wedding, their maternity shoot, family events, and now, with their first child.
The love between them only grows the more they realize what the other is capable of, as well as their growing dependency and trust in one another.
Oh Luther, what love you've entered into!