Alayna Erhart // A Goddess // Seattle Branding Photographer

She came into my life looking for answers, looking for guidance, looking for connection.  I let her in with open arms without realizing I needed her too.  It was meant to be, we were meant to be and I tell her that on a daily basis.  

// Since our first meeting she has quickly blossomed into such an incredible boss babe and videographerFun fact: she filmed the mini documentary about me!  She also filmed the promo video for PAUSE (the workshop I'm teaching in October).  She inspires me and I'm beyond grateful for her company, her friendship and her laugh.  She's killin it and I'm just a happy, proud mama bear :)  

Alayna, I can't wait to see these new branding images up on your website and well, everywhere.  Thank you for trusting me with your vision.  You're the best and I love you. 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.

Tiarra Sorte // Sayulita Editorial Photographer

Tiarra Sorte.  I could sit here and write out bullet points on all the things I love about her, but we could be here until next month....or longer.  Instead, I give you a brief description of why she is so important to me and photos that showcase her radiant beauty.  

She came into my life when I needed her the most.  Good ol' Instagram brought us together (yes, that actually does happen) and our long distance friendship began.  Our text chain goes back two years now and it's still going strong.  We talk almost every day, counseling each other on the ways of the photography industry, ingredients for salads (she makes amazing salads fyi) and new things that are inspiring us.  

// When our friendship was new I thought how interesting it was that someone who is a bit quiet, shy and introverted is also so outspoken, laughs loudly (I'm obsessed with her laugh) and so goofy.  She tells me being around people who are extroverted brings those qualities out in her and I've always loved that.  I realized we balance each other out; a recipe for a beautiful dynamic.

Surrounding yourself with people who challenge you, inspire you and make you pause for admiration is everything and that's what Tiarra is for me.  Her effortless way of managing her business, her family of six and her relationships astound me.  I want be just like her when I grow up and honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if every single person she knows feels the same way.

// Love you, girl.  Thank you for allowing me to photograph you the way I always imagined. \\ 

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

 

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.

Elizabeth Zuluaga and Andria Lindquist // A Love Story // 2017 Roundup

Well here we are, aren't we?  It's 2018 and already the middle of January.  How though?  I don't know about you, but I'm loving this year already and feeling really great about how things are shaping up.

BUT what I want to talk about today is 2017.  The year that changed my life, the year I grew as an artist more than ever and the year I became closer to my friend Andria Lindquist not only in business, but in life.  

// I realized in second shooting all these weddings with her, shooting weddings under her (aka Liz for Andria) and shooting my own weddings (Elizabeth Zuluaga), our work relationship might be a bit confusing so I wanted to take a moment to explain all that (plus share some of my favorite images I shot while by her side).

Three years ago, Andria was looking for an associate.  She wanted someone she could soley send weddings to that she couldn't do herself due to availability and preferably someone who had a similar style to hers.  More than that though she wanted to find someone she could trust and understood what it meant to handle clients she would be handing over.

It took me almost two weeks to reach out to her because I lived in L.A. and she wanted to find someone local to Seattle.  I got over myself though and decided i had nothing to lose.  I emailed her what we have now dubbed "the love letter," and she emailed me back within a couple days.  My favorite part of this story is discovering that when Andria opened my email she was sitting in the parking lot of Trader Joe's and knew I was the one.

I couldn't believe it and from that day forward, we chose to invest in each other while also running our own businesses.  Yes, that's right.  I am Andria's associate, but I also still have my own business and my own weddings The difference is that if it is a referral from Andria, I shoot it under the Andria Lindquist brand (aka Liz for Andria).  I manage the wedding from beginning to end, which means I take care of my couples, shoot and edit everything myself.  Also, yes, I did this for two years while still living in L.A., which meant I flew to Seattle on a monthly basis to shoot weddings while shooting my own Elizabeth Zuluaga weddings in Socal.  It was a wild time to say the least.  Like, how did I live?

Fast forward to the beginning of last year, I made the decision to move to Seattle.  I moved for many reasons, but one of them was so I could be more local and stop flying back and forth so much.  However, I still shoot weddings in L.A and always will :)  It was the best thing I ever did and it allowed me to foster my relationship with Andria.  I shot almost every one of her weddings with her in 2017 and it was the most fun.  We got to learn each other so much faster, better and laugh soooo much.  Now we laugh because we miss each other when we're shooting solo as we've gotten so used to shooting side by side.  I just text her the next day and we make plans to hang with her daughter and catch up.  It's a win, win if you ask me.

So now you know our story.  Our love story, ha.  I also hope you loved this little roundup of my favorite images and hopefully have a better understanding of how we work together.  It used to feel surreal to have her in my life in this capacity after admiring her work for so long, but now she's just Andria and that feels even better.  She took a chance on me and I'll forever be grateful.

P.S Andria, never forget how I drove your car around the city while you pumped in the back seat or how I held your breast milk while you got situated in the car.  #friendship

The end.