Sunday, May 31

Cara and Jeremy: Three Years Later

On a beautiful spring day in Puyallup, Scott met up with 2006 wedding clients Cara and Jeremy for an at-home portrait shoot with their 8-month-old boy Jack. Jack was still napping when Scott arrived, which made possible this hilariously groggy shot of him in the first seconds of waking up.

We started the session in Jack's room, both to get shots of Cara getting him ready and to give him a chance to warm up to the camera. Not that he needed it! Jack was in great spirits from the start.

A boy and his favorite ball — too cute! That ball had a big label that we were able to seamlessly Photoshop out.

The living room couch was the scene of many fun little moments that are so fun to shoot. These are a few of my favorite shots, all of them unposed and taken while goofing around in the relaxed, low-key manner that defines a Wallflower portrait session.

With the sun and the tulips both out in full force, we headed outside for the second half of the portrait session. Bright, direct sun is actually pretty challenging lighting for photography. Here's a little photo tip: Even though it may seem paradoxical, when your subjects are out in bright sun, you need to flash more than when you're in the shade. That's because lighting is even in the shade. In the sun, you get both brightly lit foreheads and noses and shadowy eye sockets, and the flash helps to balance the lighting out. See the results for yourself below.

Once the session was over, Jack got a well-deserved snack, which was worth one last shot.

It was great seeing Cara and Jeremy again, and meeting Jack for the first time — he's a real cutie!

Thursday, May 28

Test-Driving a Wedding Photographer

Most of our engagement portrait sessions are with clients who have already booked Wallflower for their weddings. That wasn't the case with the session we recently completed for Kerah and Moi, who fell in love with the photos we took of Kerah's friend Helen and her fiance Chris last fall. While their wedding plans and budget are still up in the air, Kerah and Moi decided our portraits were a must-have!

This brings up an interesting idea: Booking an engagement portrait session with a photographer you're thinking about booking for your wedding to see how much you like the photos that photographer takes, and how much you like working with him or her (or them, in our case). It's certainly an interesting approach to selecting a wedding photographer, if you're having trouble deciding!

We had a great time meeting and working with Kerah and Moi as we took them on our favorite circuit through Point Defiance Park, starting with the Japanese Garden that was just starting to awaken from winter.

Then it was on to Owen Beach, where Kerah had the great concept of drawing a trail of hearts in the sand leading up to her and Moi.

And then we ended up at the rusty train cars and railroad tracks. Can you name any other park that has such a diverse and unique collection of cool portrait spots?! It's easy to see why both we and our clients have such a love for Pt. D.

Kerah and Moi didn't receive the big discount on engagement portraits that we offer our wedding clients. But, if they do end up booking us for their wedding — and we'd sure love it if they do — we'd be happy to take that same discount off their wedding package.

And we'll offer this same deal to anyone else who might want to follow their lead. Taking an up-close-and-personal sneak peek at a photographer's work can give you the confidence to invest in him/her/them to handle the most important photography of your lives.

UPDATE 7/13/09: Kerah and Moi just booked us for their wedding!

Friday, May 22

A Wedding-Day Tour of Historic Tacoma

Those of you who pass through Tacoma on I-5 with any regularity have surely spotted a beautiful brick church with a tall steeple near the freeway. Well, that's Holy Rosary Church, and we finally got a chance to see what's inside when photographing the wedding of Stephanie and Levi. It's gorgeous! Granted, we've been in lots of beautiful old churches, but what made this one unique is the vibrant blue paint that coats the walls and arching ceiling. See for yourself:

Levi's son Brannigan played an important role in the wedding, of course. Here he's about to usher some guests to their seats. Meanwhile, one of the flowergirls can't believe her eyes ...

Stephanie and Levi are a rather unique couple; last year they were our guinea pigs — let's call them pioneers — of our then-new Grit City portrait tour, which covers some of Tacoma's seen-better-days treasures. You can see 20 photos from that tour in the Engagement gallery of the Portrait section of the Wallflower website. After taking the family and wedding party portraits at the church, we revisited one of our favorite Grit City stops, the old, abandoned Elks Temple and Spanish Steps, for some truly unique bride and groom portraits. (By the way, we purchased that cool umbrella for rainy-day weddings from Seattle's Bella Umbrella, who also rents them.)

Then we headed off to the reception at the historic Landmark Convention Center, whose huge marquee congratulated our newlyweds by name.

Stephanie and Levi rented the roof garden ballroom, which we think is the best of the ballrooms at the Landmark, in large part because of the big outdoor patio. The kids (and smokers) loved it, and check out that view!

After the excellent buffet dinner, toasts, cake cutting, and bouquet toss, once the dancing had really gotten going, Stephanie's parents (big-time Ohio State fans) brought out a surprise gift for the couple: buckeye necklaces! Then they all sang shouted the Ohio State fight song, which also involves the forming of OHIO arm-letters a la YMCA.

Congrats Stephanie and Levi!

Tuesday, May 19

Announcing Caleb Roy Schoeggl!

Today is the day that our first child was due to be born. So you can imagine our surprise when, on a sunny Sunday 16 days ago, Caleb decided to make his grand entrance! We're thankful he didn't come a day earlier, when Scott was shooting a wedding in Seattle!

Caleb was born on May 3 at 8:00 p.m. on the dot, weighing 7 lbs 4 oz and measuring 19.5 inches long. The whole process went quite well — Laura did the whole thing without any meds or interventions! — and now we have a happy little boy. The photo above was taken when he was four days old, while we shot the rest on his two-week milestone.

What does this mean for Wallflower? Well, don't expect any big changes! We've got babysitters all lined up and will continue to photograph together at every wedding throughout the year. While we settle in to family life, we may not be quite as quick as usual in responding to phone calls and emails, but we are still "on duty" and in the office. Our devotion to quality remains the same, so our summer clients may have to wait just a smidge longer for their photos. We're sending out our sincere thanks in advance for your patience!

Regular followers of our blog have surely noticed that we've been slacking lately. We've actually been working hard taking great photos, and we plan to catch our blog up with our recent shoots and news over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!