Kimberlee Dray - A Violinist in the City // Seattle Branding Photographer

An amazing violinist who sucks you in the second she starts playing. She has an abundance of followers and a reputation for being the charismatic green case girl who is silly, incredibly talented and so smart. For so long she relied on her iPhone to showcase all the things happening in her world, but she felt it was finally time to invest and take things a step further.

// I’m so happy she found me and wanted to play in the city. Specific in her needs (no cheesy violin pics on a beach somewhere - dear Lord no.) she envisioned elegant, emotional images, full of interesting light and shadows.

Welllll I think we accomplished all of that and more. It thrills me to help not only other small businesses, but ARTISTS who come to me to help elevate their brand. I just want to keep that going.

Enjoy some of my favorites of Kimberlee Dray in the city.

Makeup and hair by Rachel Ramsey

Old Hollywood Engagement // Taylor & Matt in a Clock Tower

Once upon a time,

There lived a warm, kind, ambitious, creative couple who did things a little differently than others. They owned two business, including an art gallery downtown and lived to make their dreams come true. They had a vision for their life and worked hard to keep it alive. Together since their youth, they’ve built an exciting, adventurous life full of artistic expression and love.

It was only a matter of time before a ring materialized and a new chapter began. They came to me with gusto and hope that I would be willing to make yet another vision of theirs come to life. A conceptualized engagement session that encapsulated their essence and all the things they enjoy. Fashion, romance, vintage elements, the city. They were meant for each other and they were meant for me. My artist heart exploded and gave them everything I had that day.

Taylor & Matt. Celebrating their engagement in a clock tower.

The End.

With love,

Liz

Zula at the Pali Hotel // Seattle Editorial Photographer

Lately I’ve realized how much I’ve been drawn to slower living and it inspired me to do a shoot that showcased that kind of vibe. A woman in her happy place. Her home, perhaps? Amongst her favorite things, her favorite chair, her favorite dress.I saw her and knew she was the one.

The Pali Hotel was good to me and well, what can I say about this girl. Zula the GREAT, everyone.

Makeup by the lovely Sarah Ren

Changing Focus // Commercial Work // Los Angeles Commercial Photographer

Hello you little lovers. I’m so glad you’re here because it is today that I want to tell you a little story on why next year in 2019 I will be focused primarily in commercial work. I will still be shooting weddings, but in a much smaller capacity (only taking on 10 weddings to be exact) and being extra intentional of the ones I take on. I’m so excited for this new chapter and so, I thought it would be nice to give you a little background on why I came to this decision as well as include some of my favorite editorial images I shot the last couple of years. Thanks for being here :)

When I first started shooting I had all these dreams of being a commercial photographer.  I imagined my work up in galleries, I would be known for my love of series (if you follow me on Instagram, now you know where my love of ongoing stories such as the wig series, walks home, morning bangs, etc. comes from) and I would consistently work with publications and brands who believed in me and I in them. 

Despite these hopes and dreams, I realized early on that the world of commercial photography isn’t as user friendly as the wedding industry and I found myself being drawn to weddings more and more.  I found my inspirations and my idols and learned a lot from them as far as how I could shoot weddings in my own way. 

I didn’t have to be the pinnacle of Pinterest vibes with my images.  I didn’t have to love mason jars.  I didn’t have to love the color pink.  I didn’t have to be the traditional wedding photographer and I could shoot with an editorial edge.  I could embrace shadows and lines and steer clear of what was expected and just be true to who I am as an artist.  How refreshing.  And so, my journey began in the wedding industry and I have LOVED every minute of it.

I really focused my energies into working with clients that fed my soul and my relationships with them has been one of the most amazing things in my business. I’ve gotten to travel as far as Italy and my business has even brought me to a new city I now call home. The past five years have been life changing to say the least.

>> During this time however, there has always been a small ache in my heart for the kind of work I always imagined myself doing full time. Commercial work.

I have slipped editorial projects and conceptualized shoots for brands into my schedule as much as possible in the past few years, but it never feels like enough and I’m always yearning for more.

I’ve put a lot of thought into this, lost sleep over it and ultimately have realized I need to make some changes in my business, focusing more on where my love of photography began and being true to my heart. It’s going to be hard and scary, but I’m currently putting things in place for next year to help me navigate this slightly foreign industry. I just know it’s what I need to do.

Taking only a very limited amount of weddings next year makes me really excited because that just means I can give my 2019 couples even more undivided attention. I won’t need to balance as much and I can really lay the ground work for what’s in store.

// I want my LA roots to come through my images stronger than ever. 

// I want sunshine and palm trees and my love for the ocean and friendly faces on the street back into my images. 

// I want to tell stories through imagery and I want to tell the stories of the brands I work with.

I can’t wait to continue this journey I’m on and keep filling you in on all that is my life and business. I have a really good feeling for 2019 :)

Cheers xo

Rustic Farm Wedding in Montana // Leigh & Jake

I had always wanted to go to Montana.  I imagined wild horses, colorful trees, open fields.  When Leigh and Jake happened to me I was like, oh.  I was waiting for them.  This is the time.

The warmest of people who treated me like family from day one.  Their sense of humor is my favorite and the way they never stop laughing together.  The way it should be.  

Leigh and Jake.

A very special thanks to my wonderful friend, Tiarra Sorte, for braving the cold with me and making me laugh the entire night.  What a gem. What a woman. xo

Intimate Elopement at Volunteer Park Conservatory // Agnes & Rob

// The more I shoot weddings, the more I want them to be small, off the beaten path, driven by sentimentality.

When the guest list is small enough to fit in my bedroom I get really excited. It’s not to say that large weddings aren’t as special. There is just something really incredible about there only being 10 faces in a room, on the beach, or in this case, a conservatory in north Capital Hill.

Agnes and I met when I first moved here to Seattle at a networking event and we connected right away. She taught me about SEO (ugh - bless you Agnes) and I made her laugh. We didn’t see each other for months after that (maybe even a year?) and then one day I got an email from her, a fellow photographer herself, that she wanted me to shoot her elopement in late summer.

UMMMM What? OK. You got it girl. And so, one beautiful afternoon (after stressing out in traffic because South Lake Union is seriously trying to be the end to us all), I captured her and Rob saying their vows to each other in front of their close family and friends. It was quiet, yet full of laughter, it was tender, it was everything.

Agnes and Rob // Married at Volunteer Park Conservatory. Enjoy :)

Another Year Younger // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

To celebrate all the ups and downs this year has brought me (yes, the downs should be celebrated too) here are some of my favorite personal photos I keep close to my heart. Sharing my work is one of my joys in life, but sharing my life with you also give me such happiness. So, here is my imperfect, crazy, weird, zesty life in photos as well as some thoughts :)

Wow, it’s my second birthday I’m celebrating here in Seattle and omg how things have changed since last year. I think of my life in months (freelancers, do you do the same?) so when I look back to the first six months of this year I remember how difficult they were for me.

// Stressful, uncertain, unbalanced.

It’s a strange experience entering your second year in a new city, which was surprising to me considering how all of 2017 was so exciting and wonderful. However, the beginning of the year brought me so many questions and I felt the all too familiar feeling of, “why isn’t everything going exactly the way I want it to?” It’s ok though. Such is life and starting at the end of June I found the clarity I was seeking and then some.

When I say my year began with a lot of questions and uncertainty, I mean it. Maybe it’s my ambitious nature, but I have really high expectations for myself and when I am not meeting my goals at the exact time I want them to be met I am really hard on myself. I have so many dreams and so many things I want to do with my life and often times I overwhelm myself with this insane list. I’m sure some of you can relate. I’m getting better though and have come a long way on giving myself grace.

When I was young (I’m still young. I’m so young. I’m the youngest) I had trouble making quality friends. I would befriend anyone who was friendly. As I got older I realized that should not be the only criteria for friendship and that I needed to be MUCH more selective on who I chose to include in my life.

Friendship is a privilege and should be treated as such. Respect it.

I realized friends should be an escape from life. They should lift you up, make you forget your troubles (not create it), celebrate you and ACCEPT you for exactly who you are. That’s probably been the biggest gift (aside from one other thing…more of that in a minute). I thought moving away from the life I had built in L.A was going to be SO lonely at first, but it wasn’t. I found the most wonderful people to call my own, but most of all, they brought ME in so effortlessly, so willingly, so lovingly. I never take them for granted and realize that they are the most important part of my journey here.

Speaking of finding important people. Let’s talk about finding love for a minute (heeeeyyy). For the sake of keeping some things private in my life, I won’t go into TOO many details, but one of the most wonderful things that has happened to me this year is finding the guy of my dreams. I know, that’s bold. It actually feels a little strange saying that out loud. Man of my dreams? What? I don’t know. It still feels surreal. I have been on my own for a really long time and while a lot of that time was spent growing, learning, having fun, traveling, moving to a new city, making dinner for friends, building a business, it was also difficult. Let’s not pretend single life is all rainbows and sunshine, k? It’s an amazing part of life and I will always look back on those years so fondly, but I will also never forget the hard days. Each time I watched my friends fall in love, get married, start their families a little piece of me hurt. I often wondered if I would ever find someone.

Despite that pain, I always focused on being the best version of myself I could be. To be the best friend I could be, to learn as much about running a business as possible and most importantly, never settling for anything less than I deserved no matter how hard things became. Remember this blog post?

I’m proud for having stayed true to who I am and never compromising what I wanted in someone. I always knew I would find him when the time was right so I just kept pushing forward. What I didn’t realize was that he was also looking for me and that he would find ME.

Friends used to tell me that one day someone would love me for exactly who I am. He would find my boisterous personality refreshing and my weird obsession for earlobes cute and strangely charming. He would think my outlook on life is inspiring and would only want to get closer. I used to close my eyes tightly and squeeze their hands with appreciation for seeing all those things in me. Now I close my eyes tightly with a smile because they were right.

After taking care of myself for so long it’s a bit odd having someone else take care of me for a change, but I love it. I’m learning how to receive all this love and it’s a process I’m enjoying so much.

// I don’t want to say I feel lucky because I don’t really believe in luck. Luck implies you had nothing to do with it and that’s just not the case. I believe in creating opportunities for yourself. I believe in making things happen and that’s what this past year has been. A year of scratching things off my travel bucket list, growing as an artist, becoming even more comfortable with who I am and finding love in the most beautiful human.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sticking around. So many of you have been along for this journey over the past five years and I appreciate it so very much. Some of you have even become clients, which is incredible and just proves to me that I’m doing something right.

Cheers :)











Classic Downtown Seattle Wedding at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel // Taylor & Caton

I have always been a fan of the classics.  Frank Sinatra, old vintage architecture and black tie events.  Since the day I met Taylor and Caton I knew their wedding was going to be all the things I love, but with an edge and a bit of swagger.  I also knew their reception was going to be THE MOST.  Like jumping off a plane in Vegas and hitting the hottest club, the most.

// I. Was. Right.

Not only was it gorgeous and a dream to shoot, it was full of LIFE.  They were incredibly intentional of who they included in their day and made sure to show their appreciation to everyone ALL day, including me.  

Taylor and Caton.  Married at the classic Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

Photography: Elizabeth Zuluaga

Planning and Design: Sinclair and Moore

Stationary: Libby Tipton

Video: Justin Figeroa

DJ: Matthew Gonlund

Furniture Rentals: CORT

Venue: Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Brittani Smith // Talent and a Half // Chicago Lifestyle Photographer

// My favorite thing is to plan a trip just for fun and as a result being able to squeeze in a shoot for a past client who not only values you, but believes in what you are about and what you are doing artistically.

The day I met her in my Hollywood neighborhood three years ago I knew that charismatic attitude and insane face was going to be so fun to shoot. Her husband is also A GEM so that was just a ridiculously fun day. Now here we are, in another city, still connected and creating another set of memories.

Walking around Wicker Park, catching up and creating some fresh new images for soon to be website was the cherry on top to my Chicago weekend.

The Bungalow Seattle // Seattle Brand Photographer

Picture a couple in love, wanting to be free from all their obligations and responsibilities for just one weekend. The do their research and stumble upon a bungalow tucked away in the heart of Wallingford, Washington.

>> A rare gem designed to take you in, shelter you from the outside world and wrap you in comfort.

Christine Sanders owns this amazing home and dedicates so much of her time to creating a space of beauty for perfect strangers. The story behind why she does it is powerful so when we came together for this project I knew I had to get it right. Scroll down to see the video my very talented friend Alayna created!

// When I look through these images I feel really proud. This shoot solidified for me how much I love working with brands, small businesses, entrepreneurs. I want to keep it going and continue to take on brands that I believe in and who are trying to do things to change the world.

The Team

Brand >> Brand >> The Bungalow Seattle

Photography >> Yours Truly

Video >> Alayna Erhart

Models >> Andria Liann and Marcus Fontenot