Sun part 1 | An Education

“Summertime and the livin’ is easy”…well, actually it’s been crazy busy, but it’s the 1st Wednesday of the month and we’re excited to share about sun!

With the beautiful summer weather we’ve been getting we decided to write about how to tackle those super sunny days and still get a great portrait, no extra equipment necessary (for part 1)!

When we lived in California we were struck with a huge challenge…it’s sunny every day. Really, it is. Which is amazing for enjoying the outdoors, sitting outside for lunch, and all sorts of sports, but not fantastic for photos. In the beginning we thought we were geniuses just putting everyone’s back to the sun, which can work, but isn’t the best light to be found on someone’s face unless there is a reflective surface bouncing the light back on your subject. There are some cool effects with putting someone’s back to the sun and adding a reflector or catching sun rays in the shot however! Through lots of practice and education we’ve learned a few tricks for taking photos in the sunshine, hence, today’s education post is about finding great light on a sunny day.

We headed outside at 5pm, with really strong sunlight and no clouds to show you what it looks like if we were to face the sun (Marissa is squinting and has a terrible nose shadow) or turning halfway from it (Erik’s face has a huge contrast with black on one side and really light tones on the other). Not pretty.

So we headed into some open shade…

Open shade means that our subject is shaded, but above their head you can still see the sky, which is our favorite types of shady spots.

When we’re in the shade we want our clients to face the light, not put their back to it. Below you can see Marissa’s back is to the sun (she’s pointing to it up and behind her on the left). This gives her a lot of shadows under her eyes, nose, and neck and isn’t very flattering.

In the next shot we switched spots and Marissa is now facing the light with Erik’s back to the sun. The light is hitting her face now and the shadows are much less pronounced, which is way more flattering. If we had added a reflector it would give her even more light and flatter her face much more (stay tuned another month for how we like to use these).

There are exceptions to every rule. Sometimes, like in the shot below, it can look cool to have some sun! We just always think about the purpose for our photo and what we’re trying to accomplish with the light and look before we take the shot.

A real life sunny example below…

Angela & Josh were married on a beautiful sunny day a few weeks ago. It was about 3pm (high sun) when we photographed the groomsmen so we literally found the only piece of open shade on the property that also faced the light for the shot below.

Then we broke the rules and got this sweet contrasted shot!

Later, with the sun still bright we found a shaded field and had Angela face the sun for this shot, which gave her hardly any shadows and flattered her beautifully.

 Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next month, part 2 in dealing with a sunny day (with added equipment!).

Lesson Learned: Get out of the sun and find some open shade.

Stay cool, Erik & Marissa

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Confessional | Comfort Food Solves Everything

…well, not everything, but you know, it helps.

It seems unfathomable, but it’s true, we’ve moved apartments AGAIN. Two days ago we took count and realized that we’ve actually moved 7 times in 6 years, which seems ridiculous, we know. The best part of our recent move is two-fold, we met amazing people who moved and saved us from lugging our enormous mattress down 3 flights of stairs (plus we only moved 2 miles this time!) and we decided that comfort food solves everything…soreness, headache, stress, tension, claustrophobia, moving pains…you name it. The only tiny problem with that is we don’t eat the typical comfort food anymore!

If you’ve been reading up on us you know that we’ve been eating Paleo for over a year now (Paleo Blueberry post if you missed it) and are continuously looking for ways to be even better Paleo eaters (minus the 1 day a week we eat out and treat ourselves to some new Seattle cuisine). The amazing thing is that there are more and more ways to eat comfort food minus the dairy & gluten and to even make it Paleo! In the midst of packing last week we made 2 delicious treats to keep us going with 2 of our favorite ingredients- bacon & chocolate.

We have to give a huge shout out to Diane Sanfilippo (one of our favorite Paleo cookbook authors) who wrote Practical Paleo (a must have if you’re wanting to cook Paleo) and who’s recipes we tried below.

bacon-wrapped pecan dates

dried dates, pecan halves, bacon

Pre-heat oven to 425. Cut dates in half and discard the pits. Place pecan halves where the pit had been. Slice bacon in half so you have approximately 4 inch long pieces. Wrap one piece of bacon around each pecan-stuffed date and secure with a toothpick. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes.

flourless mocha-bacon brownies

4 ounces dark chocolate, melted & cooled

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted & cooled

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

3 eggs

1/2 cup + 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder

2 T strong coffee

2 T fine coffee grinds

2 slices baked bacon, chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Combine melted dark chocolate, melted butter or oil, syrup, and eggs. Sift in cocoa powder, whisking evenly. Add coffee and grinds and stir until well combined. Oil 9×9 pan (we used coconut oil) or use parchment paper and fill with brownie batter. Top batter with chopped bacon pieces and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Dust with sifted cocoa powder.

On our wish list is another book called Paleo Comfort Foods, let us know if you’ve tried any recipes from it! If you’re in Seattle a mouthwatering bakery you should try is called nuflours, found at local farmers markets. Seriously their stuff tastes just as good, if not better, than treats with gluten and dairy, it’s crazy.

Have fun cooking and remember, when you’re moving and strung-out maybe all you need is some chocolate or bacon.

~Erik & Marissa


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Gabrielle & Jorn – Wedding | Lord Hill Farms

 Gabrielle & Jörn have already had a journey that spans the Atlantic Ocean and back! While in Germany working abroad Gabby did the last thing she expected to do there…she fell in love. After meeting Jörn they both knew they were meant for each other and couldn’t possibly part to live on different continents happily. Thus Jörn trekked to Seattle where the two were married in a service prior to their big celebration this summer. To make this day even more special Jörn’s parents brought them family crest German-style rings that are traditionally worn on the right hand. This turned out to be a perfect way to exchange rings during their ceremony since they already have wedding bands! Gabby and her father exchanged bright smiles as they walked down the aisle and Jörn and his mother enjoyed a teary embrace before the grand entrance of his bride. To celebrate, German beer was passed around the reception as guests enjoyed five flavors of cake. This celebration was another spectacular moment of their journey together with countless more to go!

The Details

Ceremony & Reception- Lord Hill Farms

Florist- Barbara’s Floral

Cake- The People’s Cake

Hair- Salon Tii Gavo

Dress- Pearls and Lace

And the cutest-kid-dancer-EVER award goes to…this guy!

Congratulations! May your travels and journey together always be filled with love. ~Erik & Marissa

Lisa Henry - awwwwwweeeesome! Love the images. Very beautiful. Great job guys!

Katrin von Kehler - So schöne Fotos passen zu so einem schönen Paar und zu so einer wunderbaren Hochzeit!!!

Erin Moore - Beautiful!

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Angela & Josh – Wedding | Shilshole Bay Beach Club

Angela & Josh had a wedding that will go down in our history for most emotional wedding yet! There was laughter, smiles, surprise, and lots (we mean tons) of happy tears. These two had a lot to be emotional about, they were both marrying the love of their life! We couldn’t have been happier to be a part of this duo’s day, it was absolutely beautiful. Angela spent countless hours planning all the decorations and making a lot of them by hand. Her brother , Brandon, made desserts for their elaborate (and delicious) dessert table and the whole family pitched in to make sure everything was ready on the big day! (We heard Josh was tying bows earlier in the week too.) Josh impressed us by speaking from the heart for his vows, not even a single notecard, and had his new bride smiling and crying at the same time. Angela looked spectacular in her long cathedral veil and Josh couldn’t have been happier to say they were married after they walked down the aisle as husband and wife. Their family and friends were equally as joyous as many toasts went around the room giving advice, telling stories, and ultimately pouring love into the new couples special day. Thank you for letting us have a glimpse into the beautiful life you will now share together and congratulations!

The Details

Cermony & Reception- Shilshole Bay Beach Club

Florist- Safeway (Kelsey Erickon)

Cake- The Sweet Side

Hair & Makeup- KLS Makeup Artistry

Dress- New Beginning Bridal by Mori Lee

Bridesmaid Dresses- Express

Suits- Macy’s & JoS. A. Banks

Angela’s daughter, Kayleanna, sure loves to break out in dance, music or no music!

Congratulations Josh & Angela! You are such a beautiful couple and we wish you a beautiful life together. ~Erik & Marissa

Lisa Henry - GREAT pictures Erik & Marissa! Love them all. The black and white reception pictures are wonderful and the detail pictures are awesome. Beautiful couple. Great shoes and flowers and the dress is awesome.

Jessica Flammini Gaddy - Such pretty pictures!

Cindi Riess - Beautiful pictures! Beautiful wedding!

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Julie & Danny – Engaged | South Lake Union

Julie & Danny make a beautiful couple. In just an hour we saw how they made each other happy, comforted and calm. PLUS they both have dimples and blue eyes, how awesome! They showed up super relaxed and happy to their engagement session…we liked them instantly just for this! Seriously, another couple that is so easy to be around. (We think we’re the luckiest photographers ever!) We walked around South Lake Union to get some urban shots before heading to the waterfront and exploring the park around MOHAI. These two literally did everything we asked with a smile on their face, even dancing (sorry guys)! We’re even more pumped for your wedding this winter!

How cool is it that they both have a wine named after them?

Thanks for being such a great couple you two! ~Erik & Marissa

Kim Miles - I think I’m the happiest mother-of-the-groom ever. These pictures are as wonderful as Danny and Julie are together!

Lisa Henry - wonderful shots!

Karen Goff - Wonderful couple!

Deborah Rael-Buckley - Love the pictures of the soon-to-be-weds! Great photography. Love especially the nose to nose and the second to the last one, but they are all great!

Shirlee Shelley - Awe! This was a great Engagement Album! Love that idea! People just usually have pictures of the Wedding…love the Engagement Album concept!
Happy Engagement Danny and Julie!

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