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

Emily Rehm in New York City // New York Lifestyle Photographer

Instagram has brought me such wonderful people and Emily is no exception. We clicked right away and one day decided to just have a facetime call to finally talk “face to face.” That was it and soon after I happened to be going to New York.

Naturally, we met up and we had the best time together. Drinks on a rooftop, sweaty walks through the lower east side, bonding over our California roots and creating fun, artistic work together. It was the best and I’ll always time stamp that trip as the beginning of my 2018 summer. One of the best summers of my life.

Emily, you are amazing. Thank you for showing me around your neighborhood and I can’t wait till you come play with me in Seattle!!! Cali girls gotta stick together, ya know? xo


Alex // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

Once upon a time,

Two ladies met on Instagram.  They exchanged messages and comments about their love of music, dancing and photography.  They fancied the idea of hanging out in Seattle together and sharing stores over whiskey.  

One day, many days later, those messages and comments turned into in-person conversations.  They shared whiskey at the beach and giggled about how it seemed they had known each other for years.  They began to share playlists and help each other in business and well, in life.  They found themselves dancing on a hill that begins with the word Capital and to this day are known to work out of a bar until its well past happy hour.

They are a safe space for one another and work hard on protecting that space.  This so called space is filled with encouragement, inspiration and laughter.  

Oh, Alex.  I often tell her it's like she is a piece of my soul manifested into a human.  I mean, that sounds so dramatic, but it's also just so true.  She made the last year of my life so special and I'm so thankful I found her.  Find your people, don't let go.

Maya & Max // An Anniversary // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

She found me and wrote me this beautiful email:

"Before my husband and I ever met, we both had separate dreams about finding each other - describing exact traits both physical and emotional that the other possessed. It's bizarre and sounds completely insane. But we've never met or loved anyone who knew exactly what we are thinking, the exact moment we're thinking it except each other. We were set up by loved ones who thought we would be perfect together. They were right. 

I've never fiercely loved anyone as much as my husband. We've both experienced so much loss in our lives but truly uphold the sanctity of our love."

// I think I responded with, "omg where have you been all my life?" and two months later we made it happen.

\\ A little note //

Something I really loved about Maya and Max was that they knew they wanted something outdoorsy, but wanted to incorporate my style and my use of shadows and light.  When you're choosing your photographer, keep that in mind.  Choose them not only because you LIKE them and mesh with them (very important - duh), but also THEIR style.  Throughout the whole shoot they kept saying "we trust you," every time I told them to do things that maybe felt awkward.  Trust your photographer, let go, have a good time and I promise you, you'll love your photos.

xo

 

Kim from New York // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

One of the things I love so much about photographing people is the constant opportunity to meet new people.  You never know who is going to find you, seek you out for photos and quickly become someone you'll never forget.

Kim from New York.  She was coming to Seattle for work and wanted to make time for a shoot with me.  She was ready to document where she is right now in life and all I have to say is, YES. It's like she read the mission statement in my mind, agreed whole heartedly and then got on a plane.   

From the second she got out of her Uber, she was making me laugh non stop.  We of course got a drink afterwards and it's been text after text ever since.  

// Kim, you are the shit.  Can't wait to see you in New York one day.  xo

The Beautiful Mundane // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

I’ve always been in love with love.  My friends and family find it to be my most endearing quality and probably my most annoying quality.  Haha, I’m ok with that.  It’s who I am and I’m proud to be such a lover.  Don’t get it twisted though.  I may be a romantic, but I’m realistic too.  I guess that’s what this post is all about.  Running towards love, but staying realistic and knowing the difference.

Life is weird.  You grow up thinking that when the time is right you will meet that special person with little to no effort. You think you’ll just be buying your morning coffee one day and you’ll drop a quarter on the ground and as you bend down to pick it up, there he (or she) is helping you pick up that quarter. You’ll look into each other’s eyes and feel “the spark” and suddenly all your plans for the day are cancelled.  You’ll end up sitting down to sip your coffees and get to know each other and at the end of the day he’ll walk you home and kiss you good night. Fast forward 5 years later, you’re blissfully married living the American dream.

You know what that is?  That's some bullshit.  

I mean, who made up this story???  Where does this come from???? It’s ridiculous and that’s saying a lot coming from a hopeless romantic. I was walking home one day and was thinking about this whole concept and how exhausting dating can be.  It dawned on me that maybe that’s why it’s so exhausting.  Maybe we are just so conditioned to think that everything needs to be exciting and adventurous and sexy and new for it to be good.  Again I ask, who decided this???  Where does this idea come from??  That isn’t real life and to be honest, I find that whole concept boring. 

// Yes, I want passion. 

// Yes, I want the kind of love that I can’t get enough of and yes I want adventure.

// But I want love to evolve too. 

I think that’s what society has forgotten to mention and I feel like it’s time we wake up and talk about it.  We need to stop thinking that it’s a negative thing the minute a relationship slows down a bit because you know what?  That’s when things get really good if we would just let it.

I was telling a friend the other day how grateful I am for these past four years of single hood.  I’ve learned a thing or two; things I would have never learned if I would have stayed in my last serious relationship.  I’ve met such beautiful, smart, creative, gentle, caring guys, but there is always something holding them back.  Women are no acceptation.  They are equally held back by moving forward with someone.  I know there are a lot of reasons why people stay guarded and stunted in fearI’ve had my share of putting up walls, but I want to break free of that. 

I want us to let go.  I want us to let someone into our hearts so deeply it hurts I want us to look forward to the adventure that happens after the honeymoon stage.  I want things like simply waking up next to someone every day, sitting in silence together, doing laundry together and knowing each other so well it’s almost annoying, to be good things. 

I want us to run towards the beautiful mundane in relationships and steer clear of the fear that prevents us from even getting there. Let’s give ourselves the chance to experience how beautiful that can be rather than thinking it will be a time to feel trapped, bored and time to move on.

Quite frankly, I find it exhausting holding back all the time.  I rather get my heart broken again and again than run away from possibilities.  A friend once asked me how I do it.  How do I keep going after one heartbreak after another.  I told her because it’s always worth it and that’s just the truth.  I preach a lot about being fearless, but what is fearlessness anyway?  It’s having the ability to fight through the fear.  It’s about being smarter than your fear and not staying stagnant because it’s just easier that way.  Getting what you want out of life isn’t just having a positive attitude.  It’s about doing something with that positivity. 

// What if things do work out? 

// What if you gave this relationship a chance instead of running away from it because you want to be “free.” 

// What if you accepted the fact that when you’re with the right person, you never feel trapped?  You only feel a new sense of freedom. So yeah, please believe I’m going to go on that first date.  

Pain is something we shy away from because who the hell wants to be in pain anyway?  I understand, but I challenge this notion because what the hell are we doing then?  Yes, we can just go in and out of casual flings/relationships never getting hurt, but again, I find this to be so boring.  You want exciting?  You want an adventure?  You want newness?  Let go.  Let someone in and dive into the unknown.  Yes, you run the risk of things being amazing one minute and the next you realize this person isn’t for you or worse yet, they realize that about you and you’re left destroyed for months (been there so many times).  But you know what?  It's always worth it because the alternative means never trying and what a waste that would be.

Let's look forward to the quiet, simple moments in life just as much as the loud and bold times.  Let’s be strong and brave together.   

Photography + Art Direction + Styling // That would be me.

Models // Michael Leach & Angelene Little.  They brought their Vogue faces and killed it.  I'm obsessed.  

Hair & Makeup // The wonderful and beautiful Alanda Kay - Thank you for being so awesome girl!  Loved everything you did :)

BFFs in Seattle

Best friends, Judianne and Kathleen.  Traveling from Canada and wanting someone to take a moment to let them breath, have a good time and have photos to take with them.  They asked me if I would be that person and I'm not mad about it.  

// Seattle as their backdrop and them as the show.  I'm into it.

Shoot for Flytographer

Friends in the City // Seattle

A friend of mine visited me just three weeks after I moved to Seattle (separation anxiety is real kids). One night I suggested we find a rooftop and enjoy a glass of champagne, because well, I'm always full of great ideas. As we walked to our destination I had this idea of shooting a group of friends doing exactly what we were doing.  A walk to a rooftop.

Two weeks later, the opportunity came my way.