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

 

Sarah & Graff // Photos and Party // Seattle Wedding Photographer

They were married last winter with just immediate family as their guests.  Simplicity at its finest.  No big, fancy wedding.  Just the two of them and their families.

Cut to this summer when they decided to share their love and celebrate with ALL their friends and family.  The priorities:  photos and a party.  

I got you, guys.  I got you.

A big shout out to Sarah and Graff's family for being so welcoming and kind.  A two hour cocktail hour followed by tons of dancing was so fun with them goofing around with me.  I honestly had the best time.  Fun couples and fun families.  I'm - in - to - it.  Weddings are the best.

Ohme // Bad Ass in all the Right Ways // Seattle Editorial Photographer

Oh Em Gee.  Women coming together to create unique, beautiful imagery together.  That's my jam and what I love doing most.

In case you haven't heard, Mia Stephenson of Ohme Shop is the coolest. She has recently dropped all things to focus 100% on her jewelry business and I just want to applause the hell out of that because it takes guts and ambition.  She's killing it and I'm so happy for her.

The way she and I met is quite the meet cute.  I was having dinner with some friends and Mia happened to be our server.  Being a jewelry lover myself, I noticed the most amazing necklace she was wearing and asked her where she got it.  She told me she made it and I was blown away.  I gave her my business card and a few weeks later she wanted to discuss the possibility of working together.  

Well...we did and it was fucking awesome.  

I listened to what Mia's vision was and what she wanted out of the shoot and helped fine tune things so everything was super solid.  I can't say it enough.  Working with people who trust me, like my style and identify with who I am always produces the best work.  I'm so proud of us and what all these ladies did that day.  

<< THE TEAM >>

Photography // Me, myself and I

Jewelry // Ohme Shop

Makeup // Krystal Strifert

Model //  Adria GarciaKim Selling

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

Chelsea Abril // A Love Story // Hawaii Lifestyle Photographer

A mutual friend of ours introduced us just a few months ago (thank you Alex!) and it was literally love at first sight.  We clicked instantly and knew we would be long time friends.  We've been inseparable ever since and it's been one of the many gifts I've been given here in Seattle in just a short amount of time.

We've become so close in fact, that she invited me to shoot a wedding with her in Hawaii where she spends half her time (other half in Seattle).  I bought a ticket immediately and flew off to meet her in Maui.  

// There was no way I was going to leave that island though without shooting this gorgeous woman amongst the water where she grew up.  

A princess born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii who has not only stolen my heart, but also every person that sees her walk by.  That face, that body.  Girl, stop it (jay k, don't stop).

Cheers to friendship and finding soulmates of all calibers no matter where you are in the world. Chelsea Abril, everyone.

Rachel & Gregory Engaged // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

Gregory.  What a gem.  He found me and told me his whole plan on proposing to Rachel.  From his very first email I knew we were going to have the best time together.

Fly in from Nashville >> Propose on the Ferris Wheel >> Surprise her with an engagement session >> Have the best weekend ever.

I saw them walking towards me with open arms, so excited for their shoot.  They were fully equipped with a bottle of bourbon to celebrate and calm their nerves.  My people.  We laughed our butts off, took bourbon breaks, had numerous dance parties and got to know each other.  It was seriously so freaking fun.  The best people find me.

** Shout out to Gregory who made it a point to tell me why he chose me.  Usually it's the ladies who do this so I was blown away by him and his kindness.  He not only loved my work, but also my about page.  He could tell who I was right away - goofy, funny and sarcastic.  All his favorite things. **

Gregory and Rachel, I'm so grateful the stars aligned and brought us together.  You guys are the absolute best.  

Andrew & Kirstin // Seattle Engagement Photographer

I sat there with a book in my hands pretending to read on the bench Andrew and I had discussed over Skype.  Every 10 seconds or so I would look around to see if they were coming my way.  The suspense was killing me, as most proposals I shoot do.  It was cold that morning and I had made the mistake of wearing sandals,  ripped jeans and a tank top.  I was freezing.  It didn't matter though.  I was going to make this happen, chattering teeth and all.

Suddenly, I saw them.  Andrew and Kirstin, walking hand in hand looking so happy.  I smiled knowing Kirstin was about to be even happier.  He spotted me and walked up to the water right in front of my bench just like we planned.  I pulled my long lens out from under my bag and let everything unfold naturally. 

We spent about 35 minutes together laughing and taking photos together before they went to meet up with their friends and family.  They told me about their story and how they had only met about 6 months ago.  "When you know, you know, Liz."  Two brave souls who took a risk on each other and let go.  My heros.  I'm so happy I could capture such a specific, special moment in their lives.  Proposals are the best.  Love is the best.  

// I know.  I'm a mushy, sappy, hopeless romantic.  It's fine.  Everything's fine. xo

* Shoot for Flytographer

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 :)

The Coolest Thing I've Ever Done // Kissing at Santa Maria del Fiore

OK.  So. The story I'm about to tell you happened a year ago and honestly, I never intended to post this on the interwebs.  I didn't want it to scream "look at me! look at me! Attention! Attention!"  HOWEVER, after much consideration, I decided it's such a fun story and if it can inspire someone out there to be fearless and live a little, why not?  So, you know what? I'm doing it.  The time I kissed a stranger at Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy.  Here we go.

My friend Jackie and I had been traveling in Italy for about three days.  We had just hopped off a train from Rome to Florence the night before, not the least bit tired from our adventures together.  We pride ourselves on being the perfect travel partners.  We give each other space, we're easy going and zero control freaks about what to see next or what kind of agenda should be had every day (the only priorities are espresso, wine, food, repeat).  We let the wind take us and we easily meet people so it really is a match made in heaven.  Anyway, I digress.

On this particular day we decided that we wanted to see the infamous Duomo and The David.  We also decided that I needed to ask a local Italian man to kiss me.  Yes.  That is correct.  It was decided that I would ask a local Italian man to kiss me.  We would go about our day, enjoying all the wine, all the food and any spontaneous kisses that came my way...

We stopped for espressos and saw the Duomo in all its glory.  We waited in line to see Mr. David and agreed it was worth the wait (It's amazing.  Don't miss it if you're ever in Florence).  We stopped for lunch, a glass of wine and talked to a group of people traveling from Dublin while we we were at it.  We payed the bill and wanted to make our way to a rooftop view so the journey continued.  We turned a corner and found ourselves in the middle of a piazza and realized we needed to ask for directions.  Suddenly, the crowd parted (do you like the dramatic affect I'm building here?) and there he was.  An Italian man straight out of Vogue magazine sitting on his ricksha looking our way.  Jackie and I looked at each other and quickly mumbled, "he's the one."

We walked up to him and asked him for directions.  He wasn't having any of that though and tried to convince us to pay for a tour.  Jackie gave me a look and then backed away slowly, camera ready in hand because she was not about to let this go down without proof.  She's good like that.  Now it was just me and him.  Standing in a VERY public place.  This was it.  I turned to him and said the following, "Listen, I have this goal, which is I need to kiss an Italian guy before the day is over."  His eyebrows went straight up.  "And I was wondering if you would want to be that guy?"

His eyebrows went up even more.  He then lowered his sunglasses and said in a very thick Italian accent, "like...on the lips?" HAHA I'll never forget that. "Yes, is that ok?" I asked.  He adjusts his sunglasses once again while blurting out, "well yeah!" He pulled me in, brought his face close to mine and all of a sudden I hear Jackie yell, "yeah Liiiizzzzz!!!!" and then this happened....

Goooood times.  After what seemed 10 minutes, we came up for air and then just stood there for a minute in silence (not the awkward kind.  The good kind).  Jackie came back to gather my weak in the knees self so I thanked him for his delightful, sexy kisses and disappeared into the crowd of people (not before looking behind me a few times).   It's hands down the coolest thing I've ever done.  I'm laughing as I write this because it's also something straight out of a romantic comedy, which is ridiculous in the best way.

I guess the point of me telling you this story is a) it's my favorite story (ha) and b) to inspire you next time you're somewhere far away from home to do something outside of your comfort zone.  I hope you run faster towards new experiences.  I hope you say yes to things you usually say no to and I hope you walk away from that week or two weeks, or three, with a new fire inside of you.  I hope you return home from your travels not just rested or rejuvenated, but different.  I always look at traveling as a chance to get closer to the person I want to be, but more importantly, I look at travel as a way to KEEP my childish sense of self. I.E the story where I once kissed a stranger in the middle of Florence. 

The last five photos are courtesy of my daring, hilarious, beautiful, free spirited friend, Jackie.  We all need friends who encourage mischievous, wild, fun behavior, such as kissing boys in far away lands.  Jax, You are my own personal little gift in life and I'll cherish you always.

Christy & Jess // Ten years

It blows my mind when I meet people my age who have been together for ten years. I love getting to know them and their story.  Learning about their kids, how they met, how they wanted to do something special to mark this new chapter in their lives.  

// We walked around the neighborhood and did just that.  

A few favorites of Christy and Jesse.  Happy anniversary you two :)