Los Angeles Editorial Photographer

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

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

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


Ethereal Spring // Seattle Editorial Photographer

I was thinking the other day about how much I avoid shooting in nature. 

// I mean, I love nature. 

// It's beautiful. 

// It smells good. 

// I like surrounding myself in it. 

I don't however, shoot in it often, typically enjoy editing images I've shot in it or feel regularly inspired by it.  So, in an effort to constantly be challenging myself and stepping out of my comfort zone, I decided it was time I conceptualized a shoot solely based on Spring, greenery and the way it feels to be laying out under the sun in the middle of the afternoon.  Just you, your love and the smell of April enveloping your senses.

I also wanted this shoot to be a twist on engagement sessions.  All you engaged couples out there, this one's for you.  Always remember that your photos don't have to be the norm.  They don't have to look like engagement photos.  They don't have to stick to the wedding industry standards, which can often feel very formulaic and overdone.  

>> Your photos can be different, they can tell a story, they can be colorful, they can be editorial without you being a professional model (yes, this is possible. Call me.) and they can be anti engagement photo-esque.  They can be whatever the hell you want them to be because the photos you ultimately go home with are about YOU and the art you created with your photographer. <<

These 40 something photos were created with you in mind, my little lovers, but remember that you don't need to be engaged to invest in a shoot like this or be represented by LA Models.  Everyone deserves to have themselves documented by someone who wants to give you images that scream anything but basic, cheezy shit. It's also important to remember that you're going to have the best time, laugh A LOT, and question why you didn't do this sooner.  That's a promise.

Thank you to the team that helped me make this little story come to life.  This industry has introduced me to such talented people who embrace my loud shooting style and childish sense of wonder.  Thank you, thank you :)

Photography > Elizabeth Zuluaga // HUMA > Oliver Villafuerte for Oliver Beauty // Styling > Elise Muetterties // Models > Leslie Carvitto and Josh Gracia

Talitha Bullock // Seattle Editorial Photographer

So much of what I shoot is done outdoors.  I am highly inspired by the city, natural light, street fashion and human interaction.  However, something I've always loved doing is bringing someone into my home and photographing them without any distractions.  It's just us, light and my camera.  I'm not worried about the technicalities or mechanics of photography (I never really am).  I'm just focused on who they are and that's it.  Because when I see you, I see you. 

Talitha, thank you for coming into my space and being vulnerable with me.  You allowed me to capture you just the way I see you.  A gentle, beautiful ethereal soul.  Love you, girl.

It's Been a Year // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

Last week on Valentine's Day was my one year anniversary living in Seattle.  One year since I got on a plane with my carry on suitcase filled with camera gear, the one trench coat I owned and my sweet parents who insisted on helping me move to my new loft.  I stayed quiet about it because I wanted to feel it first.  I wanted to privately bask in all the memories 2017 brought me.  I thought about how I would blog about it and decided that instead of showcasing street photography of Seattle, I would share some of my favorite personal photos taken on my iphone last year.  Some are grainy and low quality, but I kind of love that.  It's real and imperfect, just like my life.

 

* The first two photos were taken days before the move.  My best friends came to help me pack and it will always be a time I look back on with a full heart.  

I'll never forget a few days before I left L.A I had a shoot in Santa Monica.  The sun was shining, it was 75 degrees and strangely more beautiful than usual.  It was the kind of day people were talking about.  Even my Uber driver had something to say about it. We drove in silence and enjoyed the breeze coming in from the windows.  I hoped she didn't see the tears rolling down my face as I thought about how these sunny, warm days were soon to be limited.  I teared up again on the way home, but tried to enjoy the ride nonetheless. I memorized how the wind made the palm trees sway and how the sun peeked through the leaves making me squint.

I came home, continued to pack and a few days later it was time.  I said goodbye to all my friends, my beloved apartment, sent a million texts to everyone I care about and just like that, touched down in Seattle. My mom hugged me as tears rolled down my face.  I felt nervous, anxious, worried and yet, excited, free and motivated.  It's surreal feeling so many things at once, but I knew it was where I needed to be. 

My parents and I spent the first week getting me settled and walking around downtown together.  We put up shelves, I made them dinner and I thought how very soon I would be making dinner for just myself.  I only knew a few people and had no idea if I would see them often or if I would meet new friends soon (I would and I did).  I started counting down the days until my friends in L.A would come visit me because I already missed them terribly.  I giggle looking back at those early days because almost all of them have now come up to visit.  

As I think about all the things I accomplished last year with my business, I feel such pride.  It's my baby and I protect it with everything I have.  I'm also happy to report that my time here has allowed me to come back to myself without distractions.  I was lost and searching for something and I finally figured some things out.  I've relished in the little things like seeing the leaves change for the first time in my life.  I moved into a workspace/livespace environment like I always wanted.  It's a place I hold shoots, study light, host friends and where I hide from the world when I need to recharge.  It's funny how an extrovert like me still needs a lot of alone time.

There have been really stressful days full of questions and uncertainty, but I pushed through all that and embraced everything that came my way.  I've worked harder than I ever have in my life, I've met some amazing friends and explored a new city that I'm still getting to know.  I've learned that I'm stronger and more resilient than ever before.  Most of all, I'm braver than I ever gave myself credit for and that's something I want to bestow upon everyone I love.

// Be brave, learn to trust yourself and go with your gut.  Things still scare me and I still worry about a lot of things, but the difference is now I do the things that scare me despite the fear.  I feel free and I'll always work hard to keep that sense of peace within myself. 

So, what's next?  I have some ideas, but I think I'll let them marinate for a little while.  For now, I'm going to enjoy where I am at this very moment and stop fighting the urge to eat the pint of ice cream that's in my freezer.

I also just want to say thank you.  There are so many of you that have been following along on this crazy journey.  So much has happened and I'm thankful to have had you with me.  To my people in Seattle, I don't even know what to say to you.  You are my lifeline here and there is NO way I could have had the year I had without you.  You made it fun, you made is safe, you made it special, you made it home.  I'll cherish you always.

Moorea Seal // Seattle Editorial Photographer

Sometimes when I take meetings with new clients, may it be couples or brands, they ask me how I got started in photography.  What was my first inspiration?  The answer is storytelling through fashion meets emotion.  I really think that's the best way to put it?

I always loved dressing up my friends and taking them somewhere in the city and bringing the images in my head onto my camera.  I think that's why I love working with brands so much.  It's an opportunity for me to bring that first love and first instincts to life over and over again.

// Moorea Seal thank you for creating such amazing pieces and consistently bringing together local artists into one place.  Seattle is so lucky to have you.

// THE TEAM \\

Photography >> Elizabeth Zuluaga

Jewelry >> Moorea Seal

HMUA >> Oliver Beauty

Styling >> Claudia Brady

Model >> Emilee West

Something New // Seattle Editorial Photographer

There are days when I'm tired and feel worn down and not really feeling like creating anything new.  It's these days when I know that I need to push myself and do exactly that.  Walk down unfamiliar streets, use light in a different way, use angles that I shy away from often.  Make something new. 

// Styling by yours truly, Alejandra Aguirre and Chelsea Abril  // Modeling by the beautiful Emily Forsberg

 

Vulnerability // Let's Grow a Pair

Ive been thinking a lot about vulnerability lately. How it can propel us forward, how it can show the person we love our true selves, the rawness of our hearts, the honesty we've been hiding out of fear.  It can bring us everything we've always wanted if we just let it.  Why are we so afraid to let go? 

When you're dating and meeting different kinds of people it's interesting what you learn.  What has stuck out to me the most is how AFRAID people are to let you in at the risk of getting hurt. They keep their distance, they show just enough affection to keep you close, but not too close.  They share their secrets with you, but don't include you in future plans (because, you know, just in case). They want to see you all the time, but don't express how they really feel about you.  I mean, the sky might cave in on us and then what would we do?

Subsequently, you begin to build walls brick by brick, covering up your excitement. That excitement quickly turns into anxiety and inevitably, you are in this constant state of panic. You're suddenly confused all the time, questioning if it's your fault. You begin to hesitate holding their hand for fear you might scare them away.  You look at them adoringly, but would NEVER tell them what you really think (because naturally, they will run for the hills).  Before you know it you're the one who's terrified of letting anyone in.  It's good times all around.

I used to be the kind of person who wore her heart on her sleeve. I used to be raw with emotion and trusted myself. I never used to hesitate telling someone I loved them or that I felt disrespected or that I needed more from them. I never feared putting myself out there.  

I've got to be honest. I liked myself better when I was a bleeding heart kind of person. I wasn't worried about getting hurt. I knew if that happened at least it was real. At least I tried something. At least I was true to myself. Somewhere along the way that changed.  I started building those walls.

I want to find the younger Liz again.  I want us all to be the kind of people who are honest about love and consequences be damned.  I want us to shed the "what ifs."  I want us to stop hesitating and just grow a pair.  What if we just gave in?  What if we just let ourselves fall?  What if we embraced what is right in front of us?  What if we were fearless in love?

WHAT IF WE WERE VULNERABLE?

What are YOUR thoughts?  Comment below? Email? Whatever. Let's give in and do the unthinkable.  Let's be real.

Models // Christiana Bueno &

Hair & Makeup // Valerie Garcia