Hollywood meets SODO at Multicultural Wedding

I had the pleasure of photographing Quisha and Kellie Galloway's wedding earlier this summer. Their ceremony and reception were held at WithinSODOOne of the brides, Kellie, totally had the old Hollywood glamour look down, with her hair curled in cascading waves, and lips painted a siren red. She looked like an updated version of Elizabeth Taylor crossed with Jane Russell. She told her bride, who was wearing a dapper vest and bow tie, "This is our movie."

WithinSODO's roof deck provided a cool space for pre-wedding photos with a view of the Seattle skyline. Elements from various cultures were incorporated, with the couple jumping the broom at the end of their ceremony and doing the dollar dance at the reception. Throughout it all, Quisha and Kellie were radiant, and their happiness is clearly obvious in these photos.   

Quisha and Kellie, enjoying a moment to themselves before their wedding in Seattle's WithinSODO. 

Quisha and Kellie, enjoying a moment to themselves before their wedding in Seattle's WithinSODO. 

With her perfect red lips and raven hair, this bride reminded me of classic screen star Elizabeth Taylor. 

With her perfect red lips and raven hair, this bride reminded me of classic screen star Elizabeth Taylor. 

Relaxing before the ceremony.

Relaxing before the ceremony.

This velvet lounge was a great complement to the couple's old Hollywood glamour.

This velvet lounge was a great complement to the couple's old Hollywood glamour.

A hug before they jumped the broom and made it all official!

A hug before they jumped the broom and made it all official!

Cute flower girl

Cute flower girl

Awesome rose patterns on bride's gown

Awesome rose patterns on bride's gown

Rose patterns on the cupcakes mirrored the pattern on the bridal gown.

Rose patterns on the cupcakes mirrored the pattern on the bridal gown.

Wedding guest and mother of the flowergirl.

Wedding guest and mother of the flowergirl.

Heels, tattoos, and lace = gorgeous

Heels, tattoos, and lace = gorgeous

This cute couple had great dance moves.

This cute couple had great dance moves.

The music wasn't even playing when they broke out into a dance.

The music wasn't even playing when they broke out into a dance.

Say yes to burgers at your wedding! Served during the cocktail hour.

Say yes to burgers at your wedding! Served during the cocktail hour.

Tattooed bridesmaid looking lovely and chic.

Tattooed bridesmaid looking lovely and chic.

Dollar dance!

Dollar dance!

Games at the wedding reception kept children happy.

Games at the wedding reception kept children happy.

Love is love

Love is love



Location Spotlight: Bell Harbor Marina - Pier 66 and the Seattle Waterfront

People often ask where is a good location to take photos in Seattle. Where ever there is a good balance of light, shade, and texture, is the answer. I've taken some amazing photos inside my little 300 square foot living room.  But if you want interesting backgrounds or scenery, here's one of my favorite spots in Seattle: The waterfront starting from The Bell Harbor Marina on 2203 Alaskan Way down to the Seattle Great Wheel. This is less than a half-mile stretch (0.4 miles to be exact) and it provides lots of great details for memorable photos. 

The Bell Harbor International Conference Center can be rented for weddings and other private events, and it's a spectacular venue.  If you want the best of what Seattle has to offer in terms of water, city and mountain vistas, this is it.  If you're not having a wedding, but just want some cool portraits, the marina offers many wide-open, public spaces.  

The Mosaic Wall by the Conference Center provides a colorful background.

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The Rooftop of the Conference Center is public.  It's a great place to get portraits with the city's skyscrapers.

The long staircase near the Bell Harbor International Conference Center is a good spot for photos too. Just be careful walking in your heels!

The walkway along the marina is great for photos with boats. At the time of this shoot, an old Spanish ship was moored for several days. The ship is not there now, but other vessels come and go through the harbor.

The boardwalk on the Seattle waterfront provides interesting texture and great scenes of boats.

The yellow chairs at Pier 66. From Bell Harbor, walk south and you'll find this awesome pier, with several bright yellow chairs. Surprisingly, this pier is often empty for a nearly private photo session. Sometimes, a cruise ship will be docked nearby. 

The Seattle Big Wheel - I have yet to ride this thing, but I've taken hundreds of photos of it! These dapper men are lawyers from Washington Bike Law. Looking at all the photos on this post, I'm mesmerized by what Seattle has to offer. We're surrounded by so much water and natural beauty. It's the perfect combination of city and nature, and I'm so grateful to be living and working here.




Congrats to Jina & Brian!

I had the pleasure of capturing Jina and Brian's wedding yesterday at the Monte Cristo Ballroom. It was a gorgeous event in white and fuchsia, with sincere speeches and vows, a tech-savvy iPad-toting minister, and lots of dancing!  My friend Timothy Aguero was the second photographer. He's an amazing artist, a master at capturing quick movements and getting people to look their best. Ryan Graves from Seattle Wedding Videography was the videographer. He was great at directing people to do fun things, like having Brian and his best man act out a scene from Romeo and Juliet (see below).  

I always like to produce at least top 10 moments within a day or two of a wedding so that brides and grooms can share them immediately with their friends and family. This wedding was so fabulous that I ended up with three times as many top moments.  Here is a sneak peek of my favorites.

It's a new day! The first day of the rest of your lives!

It's a new day! The first day of the rest of your lives!

Groom's ring. 

Groom's ring. 

Bride's engagement ring.

Bride's engagement ring.

Getting fitted into the dress.

Getting fitted into the dress.

"I don't know how to wear a tie."

"I don't know how to wear a tie."

The veil.

The veil.

I love you, Bro. This shot was choreographed by Ryan from Seattle Wedding Video.

I love you, Bro. This shot was choreographed by Ryan from Seattle Wedding Video.

Sisters, best friends.

Sisters, best friends.

That eye! She's as perfect as a white rose.

That eye! She's as perfect as a white rose.

The kids! Soooo cute!!  

The kids! Soooo cute!!  

The iPad minister. "I have the Bible app."

The iPad minister. "I have the Bible app."

Taking one last look before walking down the aisle!

Taking one last look before walking down the aisle!

Ruby red shoes. Click three times to be married.

Ruby red shoes. Click three times to be married.

The entrance. This shot makes my heart stop. Photo by Timothy Aguero.

The entrance. This shot makes my heart stop. Photo by Timothy Aguero.

Praying. "Marriage is a covenant." 

Praying. "Marriage is a covenant." 

Family! Photo by Timothy Aguero.

Family! Photo by Timothy Aguero.

Friends forever!

Friends forever!

Such a lovely group of ladies! I love candid moments like this that happen in between the posed shots.

Such a lovely group of ladies! I love candid moments like this that happen in between the posed shots.

Two families now one.

Two families now one.

I love this guy's hat and tie.  He doesn't realize that he's not in Miami, but that's perfectly fine!

I love this guy's hat and tie.  He doesn't realize that he's not in Miami, but that's perfectly fine!

Getting goofy with props! Photo by Timothy Aguero.

Getting goofy with props! Photo by Timothy Aguero.

Cupcakes! Don't tell my thighs but I might have eaten two of these during the reception. 

Cupcakes! Don't tell my thighs but I might have eaten two of these during the reception. 

A bevy of ladies wearing cupcake colors.

A bevy of ladies wearing cupcake colors.

This lovely guest was from Oahu. I love how her lipstick was perfectly matched to the decor!

This lovely guest was from Oahu. I love how her lipstick was perfectly matched to the decor!

Everybody dance! 

Everybody dance! 

We mean everybody! I love this zoom burst effect achieved by spinning the zoom ring while snapping the shutter. Photo by Tim Aguero.

We mean everybody! I love this zoom burst effect achieved by spinning the zoom ring while snapping the shutter. Photo by Tim Aguero.

The beautiful couple!

The beautiful couple!


 



Couples Engagement Photos with Dogs

Saying "I do" to someone often means making a commitment to someone's pet as well. With Seattle having more dogs than children (approximately 25% of Seattle households have canines, vs. 20% with kids), I often get requests from couples who want their photos taken with their furry friends.  

Dogs make the photo shoots a bit longer and more challenging.  Most of the time, animals just want to do their own thing. I've found that it's good to bring treats along for the dogs, to encourage them to look toward the camera.  But when we get the picture right, it's worth the extra effort!  




The meaning of Valentine's Day

Someone asked me recently if I care about Valentine's Day. Of course, I care about Valentine's Day. A lot of people dismiss it as a contrived, manufactured holiday, but one could say that about other holidays: Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Veteran's Day. People don't necessarily honor the origins or the true meanings of those holidays, but Valentine's Day is something that you can acknowledge sincerely. It's a time to express love for your partner, your parents, your friends, your kids. Maybe it's the wedding photographer in me, but I think it's really nice to have a day dedicated to love.  As Leo Tolstoy said, "Everything I understand, I understand only because I love."

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My 10 Best Bridesmaids Photos

The bride may be the star of the wedding -- along with her handsome groom -- but bridesmaids play a very important role, from helping the bride get dressed to running last-minute errands to getting the party started on the dance floor.  Below are some of my favorite bridesmaids' photos from weddings I covered recently.

How many bridesmaids can you fit under one umbrella?  These ladies braved the drizzly Seattle weather during an outdoor wedding in the winter! Photo taken by my associate photographer Ed Hanes during the wedding of Cassidy and Justin Rush at Kerry Park, Seattle.

Up-Do, I Do.  I love the loose knots on these bridesmaids' up-dos.  Their blue dresses contrast nicely with the bright yellow flowers.  

Applause, applause for these lovely bridesmaids. This photo and the one above were taken at the wedding of Crystal Martin and Austin Shelton at Kelley Farm in Bonney Lake, Washington.

Stopping to smell the flowers, this pretty bridesmaid caught the eye of my associate photographer, Robert Wade, during the wedding of Misty and Brian Detlor at Sunset Park in Ballard.

Hopefully, she doesn't always bend over backwards for her man, but this limber -- and brave -- bridesmaid showed off her gravity-defying flexibility, on stiletto heels, no less. Photo taken at the Ronald-Ford wedding at Kerry Park in Seattle.

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Although Indian weddings do not have the tradition of bridesmaids, close friends often keep a bride company during her last few hours as a singleton.  

Bejeweled - The bridesmaids attach long chains of gold jewelry onto the bride's arms before the wedding. The above two photos were taken at the wedding of Padmini and Nitin Jain at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. 

She was the flower girl, not a bridesmaid, but she was just as helpful as any of her older counterparts during the wedding of A'Dailya and Bryce Bontemps.  

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest bridesmaid of them all?  Sometimes you just need a full body view of yourself, as these ladies did before the reception of Annie Fejes and Norm Meckling in downtown Seattle.

This bridesmaid was sitting pretty post-ceremony, after the champagne was uncorked. Photo taken during the wedding of Courtney Hull and Sean Sussex at the Glendale Country Club in Bellevue, Washington. 

SAM Lights at Olympic Sculpture Park

The Seattle Art Museum hosted a huge community party at the Olympic Sculpture Park last week. I had the pleasure of being one of the official photographers, along with my talented colleague Robert Wade. Even though it was raining, thousands of people showed up to enjoy the festive lights, music and art.  

It was a festive, beautiful night as the Seattle Art Museum lit up the Olympic Sculpture Park with paper lanterns.

It was a festive, beautiful night as the Seattle Art Museum lit up the Olympic Sculpture Park with paper lanterns.

The rain didn't keep thousands of Seattleites away!

The rain didn't keep thousands of Seattleites away!

Art-making inside the Paccar Pavilion.

Art-making inside the Paccar Pavilion.

Playing with shadow puppets.

Playing with shadow puppets.

Banging the neon drum.

Banging the neon drum.

The D20 Brass Band plays nerd-funk music from video games, movies, and television and whips it up into a funky groove reminiscent of old school classics.

The D20 Brass Band plays nerd-funk music from video games, movies, and television and whips it up into a funky groove reminiscent of old school classics.

This duo gets the award for sporting the cutest rain gear in town.

This duo gets the award for sporting the cutest rain gear in town.

These ladies were more colorful than a Xmas tree!

These ladies were more colorful than a Xmas tree!

Singer Lydia Ramsey belting out a tune. Her songs convey the wildness of the Northwest and are steeped in the fingerpick-guitar rudiments of folk music. 

Singer Lydia Ramsey belting out a tune. Her songs convey the wildness of the Northwest and are steeped in the fingerpick-guitar rudiments of folk music. 

Procession through the Olympic Sculpture Park.

Procession through the Olympic Sculpture Park.

The Paccar Pavilion looked even more spectacular than usual with the lively crowds and glowing lights. 

The Paccar Pavilion looked even more spectacular than usual with the lively crowds and glowing lights. 



Belltown First Friday Wineshare

Each month, people gather together for the Belltown First Friday Wineshare. This event happens every first Friday of the month in the lounge of a condo or apartment building.  All you need to bring is a bottle of wine, a glass for yourself and another for a guest.  The event is sponsored by the Belltown Insurance Group, and each month, there's a different sponsor who helps provide appetizers.  Don't live in Belltown?  It's alright; we get friends coming in regularly from Fremont and Capitol Hill, and this month, we got a special visitor all the way from Hurley, Mississippi! 

Here are some photos from November's party, which was held at the Arthouse Apartments. Click here to see the complete set of pictures.

Bring a bottle of wine to share with old friends and new. 

Bring a bottle of wine to share with old friends and new. 

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This girl was wearing the coolest armor ring. 

This girl was wearing the coolest armor ring. 

Fashion blogger John Lee Bell (far left) was visiting all the way from Mississippi!

Fashion blogger John Lee Bell (far left) was visiting all the way from Mississippi!

After more than a decade in the suburbs, Sue moved to Belltown two years ago and now lives near the water. She said she loves the neighborhood, and being able to walk to her office in downtown.

After more than a decade in the suburbs, Sue moved to Belltown two years ago and now lives near the water. She said she loves the neighborhood, and being able to walk to her office in downtown.

"They say that love is forever. Your forever is all I need." I used the Cross Process 3 in Lightroom for this photo to get this blue-ish color. To see the original, go here.

"They say that love is forever. Your forever is all I need." I used the Cross Process 3 in Lightroom for this photo to get this blue-ish color. To see the original, go here.

One of our handsome regulars, Terique. 

One of our handsome regulars, Terique. 

This was the first time I met these guys. Hopefully they'll come again next month!

This was the first time I met these guys. Hopefully they'll come again next month!

These lovebirds met earlier that night. Just kidding.

These lovebirds met earlier that night. Just kidding.

Justin, the founder of the Belltown First Friday Wineshare. For the complete set of photos, click here.

Justin, the founder of the Belltown First Friday Wineshare. For the complete set of photos, click here.

Justin started this event over a year ago, after moving to Seattle from Oklahoma. Thanks to him, the BFFWS has grown into a vibrant community event that allows many local businesses and residents to connect with one another.  Like us on Facebook to find out about future events.

Finally, if you enjoyed these photos, please take a moment to like my work on Facebook: facebook.com/greencitypix.  Thanks, and hope to see you at next month's wineshare!

Happy 1st Birthday to Sebastian!

This little guy is turning one today (October 24).  We did an autumn-themed photo shoot with his parents at the Seattle Center, where the trees were filled with brilliant orange and red leaves.  

Sebastian was very energetic and crawling very quickly.

Sebastian was very energetic and crawling very quickly.

He kept his parents running after him.

He kept his parents running after him.

Mom Allison caught him, and raised him up toward the trees, which made him very happy.

Mom Allison caught him, and raised him up toward the trees, which made him very happy.

He liked being hoisted up by his dad too.

He liked being hoisted up by his dad too.

We got him to sit down for a moment with this cupcake.

We got him to sit down for a moment with this cupcake.

Sebastian was really curious about the candle. But don't worry, he didn't burn himself.  When he reached out for the flame, his mom said that he was definitely his dad's son.

Sebastian was really curious about the candle. But don't worry, he didn't burn himself.  When he reached out for the flame, his mom said that he was definitely his dad's son.

Sebastian and dad Cosmin.

Sebastian and dad Cosmin.

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to you!

 

Kwanchai Vodka Birthday Party

Designer Jonathan Mathews celebrated his birthday last week in fabulous style, launching his own brand of vodka the same night. The party was held at his Lake-Union facing Kwanchai office, which has a giant bird cage-like structure that held crowds of beautiful people.

Designer Jonathan Mathews of Kwanchai 

Designer Jonathan Mathews of Kwanchai 

Gorgeous friends in the cage..

Gorgeous friends in the cage..

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Served at the bar was Kwanchai's own brand of vodka.

Served at the bar was Kwanchai's own brand of vodka.