Archive for Portraits
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Jeff & Dustin are a really fun couple.  They’re getting married in the back yard of their new house, so wanted to do their engagement session in the new house.  I found out that Dustin is a bit of a YouTube celebrity and a friend of ours calls him “my favorite YouTube Beauty Guru”.  Check you his YouTube Channel – click HERE.

 

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We were dreading the weather forecast, it called for rain and was pouring on my way to meet them.  By the time we met it was down to a light drizzle and a few minutes into the shoot it stopped and we had some blue skies by the end.  This has happened a few times, we always head out in hopes of dodging our Pacific NW weather and more often than not we luck out.

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Kyle & Jamie had a very intimate wedding ceremony at Clearwater Resort & Casino in Poulsbo, WA with their best friends & family.  They love beer so much that rather than a blending of the sands ceremony during the wedding they made a Black & Tan for the couple and wedding party to share.  Once they were married there was a brunch followed by a tour of breweries in the Poulsbo area.  It was a first for us and a LOT of fun for everybody involved.

The Breweries:
Valholl Brewing
Sound Brewery
Bainbridge Island Brewing

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You do NOT need to lose 5 more pounds!

Sometimes we hear that a client is just trying to lose 5 pounds and they want to wait for photos.  Even (or especially!) super models greatly benefit from Photoshop.  Firstlight Photography has worked with clients long enough to realize the poses that work to accentuate your positives and those that help disguise anything that you might be self-conscious about.  We work with size 2 clients to size 28 clients and they all tap into their inner sexy.

boudoir 2Getting Prepared for a Boudoir Shoot

If you are after the full Diva pampering session we work with very talented hair and makeup artists.  We have a variety of before and after images to show the true artistry that comes along with this service.   Lipstick, gloss and fake eyelashes make for amazing images.  These are some of the most impactful things you could do to prepare for a shoot.

It Truly is in the Details…

• You will want your makeup to work with your wardrobe choices so it is good to determine a theme prior to the shoot (more on themes below).
• Arrive with your hair down and with little or no product so we can have the most flexibility during the shoot.
• Treating yourself to a mani / pedi is a great way to dress up your shoot.
• Be sure to keep your skin well hydrated by drinking plenty of water several days before the shoot.  Also make sure you are moisturizing your body in advance.
• If you are going to get a wax, we recommend giving yourself several days to allow for the redness to disappear.
• And, if you are sunburned we recommend rescheduling the session.  Wear that sunscreen!

boudoir 3Strike a Pose…or Two

To get yourself ready you should practice your sexy looks in the mirror for a few days.  It will really help ease your nerves the day of the shoot.  Own your sex goddess stature for the day.  You deserve it!  Again, it is ideal to bring a friend along.  It makes you more comfortable and they offer tons of support!

boudoir 8General Theme

Do you feel like being a 50’s pin up?  A 20’s inspired hottie?  Or maybe you just want your makeup done with a little more emphasis.  Picking a theme will help you figure out wardrobe and it will help us get the images you want – even if you weren’t sure at first. We are here to consult with you on ideas well before the shoot.Boudoir Combo Dress Up Time

First off, shoes are always an important factor!  Once you have a theme we can help you build around them.  You should bring clothing that makes you feel sexy and beautiful.  Bras, panties (cheeky and beyond), teddies, corsets, stockings, garters, tank tops, knee highs, sports jerseys, spouse uniform shirts, and a white men’s shirt are all great ideas.  Remember a pair of jeans, a pencil skirt, a fitted V neck tank and other items can be paired with undergarments to make a very sexy ensemble.  It is your comfort level and what is sexy to you and your partner.  In addition we come with our bag of tricks which include a wide variety of jewelry and a range of props for you to use.

Shoot Location

Some clients like to book a luxurious hotel room, a bed and breakfast or even outside in a secluded location for the shoot and others prefer to have an in home shoot.  And then there are the clients that love the urban decay / high fashion shoots.  The choice is up to you.  We have many location ideas so we will help determine what location is right for your shoot.boudoir 7En Route to the Shoot

We recommend that you wear something non-restrictive to the shoot location. Elastic garments can leave lines and redness.

What to Expect at Your Boudoir Session

First off we realize getting boudoir photos can seem intimidating but honestly our clients get over the jitters early on and end up having a blast.  Boudoir sessions are tasteful images that show off your inner sexy.  Since each client has her own comfort level and an idea of what = sexy we will work with you before your shoot to get an idea of what types of images you want captured.  Our sessions produce fun, sexy, flirty, vixen images and you are always in total control of the direction of your shoot.  Again, this is where a friend really comes in handy to help get you over the initial nerves.

Retouching

Boudoir offers so many options for editing.  We edit your images and post them on your secure password protected online gallery.  We will edit our favorite photos with a variety of techniques (black and white, black and white with a punch of color, retro etc).  In addition we offer skin softening, teeth whitening and a variety of other effects to make your pictures even more fabulous.

boudoir 4Privacy

Privacy is a concern due to the intimate nature of boudoir sessions. All boudoir images are kept in strict confidence and no images will be shown without permission from the client in writing.  We use only professional labs and album companies that safeguard the privacy of our clients’ images.

Other

If you have any other questions about what to bring or how to prepare for your session, please let us know. It is totally OK to bring too much. We can pick out the most flattering items once you arrive to your session.  We offer a 15% military discount on services.

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At Firstlight Photography we get invited to photograph amazing weddings, but this Valentine’s Day we experienced a first.  We felt like Charlie peeling back that golden ticket and gaining entrance to the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory.   Theo Chocolate was giving away a wedding to be set INSIDE the historic factory.  A pop-up elopement on Valentine’s Day – and we were able to photograph this one-of-a-kind wedding!

We got in touch with the Drew Zandonella-Stannard, the Marketing Manager at Theo Chocolate, and asked her just how this genius plot was developed.

Was this the first wedding at Theo? 
“We’ve had many proposals and a few weddings inside the factory, but this was the very first wedding giveaway we’ve done on Facebook especially for our fans. And it definitely was the first wedding to take place on Valentine’s Day and on our factory floor, no less!”

What was the inspiration for the Feb 14th wedding giveaway?
“At Theo, we believe in celebrating love in all its many forms. We wanted to do something different and fun for our social media fans on Valentine’s Day and thought that giving away an elopement inside of our chocolate factory with generous local partners like Firstlight PhotographyHotel 1000Terra Bella Flowers, and Westward restaurant would make for an amazing and unique experience.”

What stood out about the contest winners’ story?
“Each one of the couples who submitted their love stories to us were special.  It was extremely difficult to narrow it down to the final four!  In the end, our Facebook fans chose Brenda and Andrew.  It was such an honor to witness their commitment to each other as well as their love for their baby to be. Plus, the Seahawks jerseys they wore in their profile photo were a huge hit!”

Brenda, the beautiful bride, shared details of Andrew and her story and how she was able to secure a truly unique wedding.  

How did you learn about the Valentine’s giveaway?
“A friend of mine told us about the competition. Her mom had sent her the information.  Funny side note, she lives on the east coast – the power of social media and subscription lists.  I entered us and actually didn’t tell Andrew until we were selected!”

Your profile story garnered quite a following.  What did you do to rally the social media troops?
“We shared several times each day and sent messages to almost all of our facebook friends asking them to like and share. We had friends that took it upon themselves to do the same.”

What is the Andrew and Brenda story?  How did you two come to be?
“My fiancé and I met when we were in junior high. We were inseparable until senior year of high school when we parted ways as many young people do. I went to college, and he stayed around our hometown working. Four years passed and we both had been down some pretty broken paths filled with heartache. On July 4, 2009 we saw each other and all of those young love feelings came flooding back. We were again inseparable. Things moved pretty quickly for us and we ended up moving in together within a few months. We have spent the last (almost) six years rebuilding our relationship into the great thing that it is today.

We are that couple that doesn’t go a day without seeing each other.  We have two dogs, and a house and live in our hometown. Things have been great for us for a while. We have spent the last few years traveling being reunited. Last fall we found out we are pregnant with our first child – a boy! Our baby is due June 7, 2015.

We are so excited and basking in the fact that we have become so much closer already. Lucky for us, there’s more to come. While in Hawaii in December, Andrew proposed to me on the beach near a small lagoon. We were not sure when we would have a chance to have a wedding with a baby on the way, and were excited to win the Theo competition. We have always loved our story, but having the Theo Chocolate wedding makes it that much more unique and special. We are so thankful for the life that we have together.”

There were only a few days from being announced winner to saying your “I Do’s”  How did this play out for you? 
“On Friday of the competition, I took a risk and bought my wedding dress. It’s not returnable, but I figured that we planned to get married regardless of if we won the competition. Luckily, my dress was only $200. I am a planner. I can’t stand not having a plan. So, naturally, I planned everything out in my head as the competition was going on. If we win, this, this, this and, this needs to occur. Luckily, we didn’t have to do much because Theo took care of most everything!”

What will you remember the most from your wedding?
“I think what we will remember most from our wedding is the unique situation.  We have been hearing so much about it even a month later because people are just amazed at the situation.  It has, I hope, been a great advertising piece for Theo. I especially think this because we live in Kitsap County, so people do not know of all of the shops in Seattle.  We have an amazing wedding story, thanks to Theo. We were so grateful for the entire thing and were treated like royalty!”

The DETAILS

Dress & Shoes
The dress was purchased at Benita’s in Silverdale.  Since middle school Brenda has been shopping there for dance and pageant dresses.  Her dress had to fit over her pregnant belly so her sister and good friend met at Benita’s and the staff pulled five options.   Brenda knew at first sight which dress stood out.  She tried it on first because she fell in love with it immediately.  She did try on the other dresses, but went with the first dress of the day.

Jewelry
Brenda wore sparkling diamond hoops that were a Christmas gift from Andrew.  Her grandma asked her to incorporate a ring that belonged to her grandfather.  He found the stone in the mountains of Wyoming.  Brenda showcased the ring in the bow on the back of her dress.

She found her shoes at Benita’s and went with a sensible low heel since she was pregnant and wanted to be as comfortable as possible on her big day.

Flowers
Terra Bella Floral Design and Mercantile provided the wedding flowers.  Terra Bella Floral Design and Mercantile hosted a pop-up shop inside Theo Chocolate on Valentine’s Day.  Their selection of floral design is unique and artful.  They are a sustainable flower shop, sourcing local, organic and consciously grown flowers.

About Theo Chocolate
Theo Chocolate is proud to be the very first Organic, Fair Trade certified bean-to-bar chocolate maker in North America.  Since 2006, the company has been making mind-bendingly amazing chocolate.  Many people would be surprised to know that on a good day, they can make up to 55 THOUSAND chocolate bars at the Seattle factory!

Theo Chocolate has lots of exciting things brewing for the future, including exclusive tasting events, chocolate making classes, and special tours. Folks who are interested in keeping up with all of the latest happenings can follow @theochocolate on social media and check out the Events Page.

About Firstlight Photography
Firstlight Photography is a husband and wife team.  Kier and Mitzi spend their time doing work they both love.  Services provided include wedding photographyboudoir and pin up photography and corporate events.  The studio is located between Seattle and Tacoma with frequent travel throughout Washington, Oregon and California.  Call Firstlight Photography for a phone consultation or meet over coffee to talk about your photography needs.  Firstlight Photography works with each client to devise custom fit packages.  A 15% military discount is offered on all services.

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December 10, 2014
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Ready.  Set.  Book.
We know it isn’t even Christmas yet, but Firstlight Photography has scheduled four dates for specially prices boudoir sessions!  The dates are January 11, 17, 30 and 31st.

Packages start at $450 (a $200 discount) and include full hair & make-up, private online viewing of photos & 5 retouched 8×10’s with digital copies. We can also produce great books for special gifts.

But Wait!  I Need More Details…
We have some amazing venues and locations scouted out for your sessions. We are heading to Centralia, WA because it is chock full of diverse, historic and amazing locales. Can you say train depot? Pool tables? Brick exposure? Vintage goodness?

Why Should I Schedule Now?
Two words.  Valentine’s Day!  Get your photo session done and we will have your special V-Day gift ready for your special someone.

Please call us for your consultation.  We are ready to talk about your ideas and answer questions.  You can reach us at 253.335.7958.

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April 07, 2014
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Firstlight Photography is now booking senior portrait sessions!  We live in Puyallup, WA and do many sessions in the downtown core because there is the perfect balance of natural backgrounds and great city-scape backdrops.  Tacoma also offers great diversity.  What it will all boil down to is the look and feel that you and your senior are after.  We can travel to your city or specified destination for photos (think high school, Space Needle, Post Alley, Pike Place Market, etc).

We will work with you to make sure we get what you are looking for – after all, you only have your senior year once and these photos are a great way to document a very special time in life.  We will also help with wardrobe ideas.  You can get started by looking at our selection of ideas on Pinterest.

And, if you need a more formal headshot, we are fully equipped with a studio.

For $350 your senior will get the following:

  • Pre-shoot Consultation (where we work with you to plan your session’s details and chat about wardrobe, props, locations).
  • 2 Hour Shoot
  • $100 in  Print Credits
  • Private Online Gallery
  • Custom Mobile Gallery App

& For an additional $95 you get a DVD with all high resolution images.

Do you have a sophomore or junior? Firstlight Photography is accepting 2015 and 2016 senior reps now.

Contact us to learn how you might be able to get a free package for your senior rep!

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We met Jestina at the South Sound Wedding and Event Show at the Great Wolf Lodge earlier in the year.  When Jared and Jestina told us about their engagement shoot ideas we could not wait to work with these two!  How can you not adore this couple’s free spirit, sense of humor and show of love?

For their shoot we went to Riverbend Ranch in Tenino, WA.  Next year this will be the venue for this couple’s wedding.  It was great to get a sneak peek at this amazing venue – and it help set the stage for what they had planned.

As your wedding photographer Firstlight Photography will work with you to pick just the right location for your engagement shoot.  Many of our couples like to go to their venue for the shoot.  As the photographer it is a great opportunity to getting the lay of the land and we can talk with couples about specific locations for the day of the wedding photos.  As an engaged couple you get to see how your venue photographs.

If you have something else in mind we are your sounding board and work with you to cultivate your ideas.  Other locations that our couples like include downtown urban areas, an open field (we have our own vintage picnic basket and other fun elements), a graffiti wall, a meaningful to you place – you get the point…we’ll go just about anywhere!  We will work with you to plan out your vision.  Start looking around on Pinterest.  Create an inspiration board and share it with us.  check out our engagement ideas board while you are there!

Your engagement photos capture a very special time in your romance.  With a little planning we can help you suss out a vision and a plan of action.  As part of your wedding package, we will work with you to develop these into announcements / save the dates for your big day.

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Our friends at On the Go Bride are always putting out really informative content.  As wedding photographers and owners of Firstlight Photography we recognize we might be biased, but we thought their recent post about finding the right wedding photographer was brilliant.

Sadly, this story doesn’t have a happy ending but the message is clear.  You only have one shot at getting great wedding photos.  Do your homework and make it count.  Krisstin, owner of On the Go Bride (she is also an archaeologist which we find just way too cool), has laid out her dirty laundry in the form of some not so stellar photos of her wedding.

Blog Repost from On the Go Bride

This is an important topic not enough people touch upon. I’m sure you have heard stories. Do you have that one friend or relative who did not get the best service from their photographer? How about the person who spent a lot of money to end up with less than quality photos? Or worse, the friend that ended up with blurry photos or the photographer’s fingers showing in not one, but multiple photos. This happened to me. This happens to a lot of us. So how come more of us aren’t talking about it? Why aren’t we sharing our experiences to educate each other and help more couples on this topic? Well, that is exactly what I would like to do today. I want to share my experience and educate others on how to find a quality wedding photographer for their special day. Because when your day is over, the photos are what you will have left.

Let me start with my experience. Planning my wedding was my first introduction into the industry. I had no idea what to do or where to look. I was also an on-the-go bride who traveled a lot for work, so my “in town” time was limited. Logically my first stop was the wedding faire in town. Makes sense, right? One location, multiple vendors; I was sure to find everyone I was looking for or would ever need. Boy was I wrong. Here is a little secret I learned later. A lot of the great photographers don’t do wedding faires. Now that is not to say you can’t find amazing photographers at wedding faires. They are there. I’m just trying to encourage you to look outside the box as well. Don’t let the wedding faire become your be-all and end-all for local vendors.

I am not going to give the name of my photographer or all the details, just a few of the important ones. I did find my photographer at a wedding faire. The work displayed in their booth was gorgeous! I was drawn to the style. I liked the modern, fashion, magazine-ish flair. The style worked for me and my interest was piqued. I had heard all the warnings about having a family member take your wedding photos as well as going for the cheapest photographer. I had decided in the beginning I was willing to pay for quality. My wedding was in 2010 and I paid $3800 for a 6-hour package. By no means is that price at the highest end of the spectrum, but in my mind it was a fair amount to expect quality work. Without going into all the details of ignored emails, missed deadlines, and not producing everything that was paid for…I will just show you the end product. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? So here is a great example of what I got. The photo on the top is from the professional photographer we paid for. The photo on the bottom is from my husband’s uncle who has a nice camera. Now I don’t have a photographer’s eye, but I can tell you which image I think is better of the two. I was pretty bummed when 95% of my “professionally edited” images seemed dull and missing all the color.

The photos I received looked nothing like the work I had seen. It looked nothing like what I thought I would be getting. I started to question if the work I had seen was really this photographer’s work? I also started to question what I had missed and where I went wrong? Through this experience and educating myself I discovered what I should have done and the questions I should have asked. That is what I want to share with all of you today. There are a couple important topics I would like to address and I am also including a wonderful questionnaire you can print out and take with you when you interview your potential photographer.

Your Photographer’s Work

There are a couple key issues that really go together. The first is verifying the work you are shown is actually that of the photographer. So how do you verify work? This one can be a bit tricky. There are a couple ways you can go about this. When looking at a photographer’s work, you want to pay attention to the style of all the photos. Do they all match? Do they all appear to be from the same person? One way to check is by asking to have the contact information for a few of the couples whose pictures you like. If it is the photographer’s real work then they should be able to give you contact information. This also doubles as great references. What better way to find out about your future photographer than to ask couples for their likes and dislikes of the service they received? Another way to verify the work is to ask your photographer to see the entire collection of photos from a specific wedding photo you like. If this is the photographer’s real work, then they should have all the images.

This also leads us into our second key issue. You want to make sure your photographer can produce quality photos in all different settings. Your wedding day usually spans many hours. When you look at albums or see photographer’s work at a wedding faire, you are usually seeing the single best image from multiple weddings. The truth is everyone gets lucky. Every once in a while everyone takes a good picture. By asking to view all the photos of a single wedding you are able to see the quality of photos that photographer can produce for an entire event. It will also show you if the photographer can shoot just as well outside as they can inside. If you have an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception, these are important things to look at and good questions to ask.

Life Happens

There is no better way to say it…life happens. The important part is how your photographer handles the unexpected. What does your photographer do if a family member dies the day before your wedding? What if they go into labor or are in an accident? This is an important question to ask, and one that did not dawn on me until it had already happened. My photographer did not show up in their best form on my wedding day. The months preceding, they became almost non-existent. To this day (almost 2 years later) we still have not received everything we paid for and I doubt we will. I learned shortly after my wedding day that the photographer was in the process of getting a divorce. One that dealt with young children and I’m sure assets. I imagine that is not an easy thing to go through. Taking the chance that I don’t sound too selfish here… We never get our wedding day back. And that is how I honestly feel about the situation. We paid for a service we did not receive. I think on some level if the photographer knows they can’t be on their A-game the day of your wedding they should have a backup plan. Perhaps a few photographers they can contact to fill in for them?  

Trust Your Gut

The best thing you can do is trust your gut. I had a bad feeling about my photographer after the engagement session. (Side Note – this taught me the benefit of an engagement session is getting to know your photographer). When I voiced my concerns to my mother and suggested finding someone else, she talked me into staying with him. I can’t blame her; we had already put down a significant deposit. But sometimes moms do not know what is best. She wasn’t there for the engagement session and I was. I should have went with my gut feeling and I would have been much happier with the outcome. When you meet with your photographer, is it someone you can picture yourself hanging out with? Do they try to get to know you as a person or are they all about business? Do you feel confident that they will give you their best on their big day? I can’t stress this point enough…trust your gut.

Printable Photographer Questionnaire

This post includes some of the major lessons I learned about finding a wedding photographer during my wedding planning process. I wanted to share these with you and I hope they help others. I hope they help you to find your wedding photographer that you will be happy with, by making sure to ask the right questions. To go along with this post I want to provide a questionnaire I created to help you remember to ask some of these important questions. Just click on the pdf below, print it out, and take it with you to each photographer you interview. And remember…trust your gut!

NOTE:  Firstlight Photography also recommends that you make sure your photographer shoots all photos in RAW format.  This allows for the most flexibility during the editing process!

Be sure to visit On the Go Bride on Facebook.

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March 30, 2012
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We love Offbeat Bride and the clients it brings our way.  When we did our pre-shoot phone consult, Alyson had a major game plan.  There was no lack of ideas so we were pretty excited to get the show on the road.

We sensed the couple was going to be fantastic to photograph. We met Andy and Alyson at their Seattle/Georgetown engagement shoot.  Since they are getting hitched at the Central Cinema in Seattle, we started there and then whisked off to the Georgetown Ballroom.  Both are amazing venues.

We feel so lucky to get to work with the couple’s that choose us.  We have really focused on our niche and we aren’t turning back.  And, yes, that is a hint for an upcoming blog about defining your clients.  Just another reason we LOVE what we do.