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Gorgeous Leavenworth, WA Mountain Wedding :: Kelly + Cortney

This wedding was one of my all time favorite events! It represented the best of all worlds: a really special couple (a great place to start when it comes to weddings), gorgeous details, a quaint feel, a great party, and a breathtaking location.

The wedding and reception were held at Mountain Home Lodge; and what a super comfortable place for the wedding party to hang out and get ready, while enjoying an amazing view (check out the panorama below). And as day turned to night it was the perfect place for friends and family to mingle, dance, relax, and soak in the beauty of the valley and the lodge property (not to mention the festivities of the day).

And the following morning, Kelly and Courtney hosted a most amazing spread (brunch/party) at the Sleeping Lady, which couldn’t have been more picturesque and the perfect ending to a fabulous celebratory weekend.

I hope you enjoy these images! They will hopefully inspire you to at minimum, schedule a mountain vacation!

Leavenworth Mountain Wedding
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wedding photography at Mountain Home Lodge in Leavenworth WA
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Sweet Cisse :: Pet Portraits :: Remembering Cisse

My clients recently had to say good-bye to their sweet Cisse. She was an “office-dog” and so myself, and many others were fortunate enough to meet Cisse and benefit from her sweet nature. I loved Cisse from the start, because she looked so similar to two of my childhood dogs, Sparky & Tippy (the sweetest little dogs ever).

I love this portrait that we created in West Seattle at the gorgeous Seattle Chinese Gardens at SSCC, which will soon hang in the office as a welcome remembrance for all the guests.

Seattle Pet Photography at the Chinese Gardens West Seattle

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Seattle Family Portraits :: Janet, Tim & Ellie at Home

I love all my family portrait clients. I really do. There is nothing more important in my life than family. And so I am always so honored when clients choose me to help celebrate and honor theirs!

But certain sessions really stand out and make a big emotional impact on me. This was one of those sessions. Janet was in my studio the Friday before we did her family session, and later she would learn (and then I would learn), that a good family friend passed away that day in an accident. As is always the case with losing loved ones in accidents – and I know, having lost my own baby sister in a tragic car accident – there is no way to prepare for such a loss, and the grieving process is hoisted upon you without warning, or choice, or grace.

If we had to search for a silver lining for any loss in life, especially of those that we love, it is to be reminded that what we have is today, right now. That’s it. We all know that we need to “live in the moment” and be in the moment, but nothing quite like tragedy delivers that message so powerfully. Not that Janet and her family are ones in need of being reminded of that message.

In addition to the recent tragedy in their lives, they have a deeper, more personal story that they live with every day of their lives: several years ago Tim was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Although I don’t know the ins and outs of their personal family journey over the past several years, I can relate strongly to the reality of living with the knowledge that a loved one is fighting a battle with cancer every day. (I lost my beautiful, amazing mom to cancer when I was 23). It clobbers you like a hammer – well, more like a train – when you first get the news. And though it is that thing you want to ignore, you really can’t. It is always there, even if your loved one is having a “good day,” you don’t know if they will  have a good day tomorrow, or how many days they have left. The reality is that THIS IS TRUE FOR ALL OF US. None of us know how long we have. And many of us, although we are perfectly healthy right this moment, may be gone far too soon due to accidents or other reasons, but for those living with illness, especially terminal illness, the weight of reality is heavier every day than for the rest of us.

And I felt this so very deeply with Janet, Tim and Ellie. Partly because on the outside they were all so beautiful and happy, and in my own opinion Tim looked nothing but strong and healthy and handsome. And yet the knowledge of his illness, and their recent family reminder about the shortness of life in losing their good family friend, just made the tenderness of their moments, and each image for me that much more meaningful. I became very emotional during the editing process and shed a few tears. And I worried a lot about whether I had done a sufficient job for them. I wanted so badly for all of them to love their images. {And creating portraits for a well established photographer is intimidating, to say the least!}

Anyhow, even these words I do not feel will do justice to sharing just how meaningful this session was for me. And I can’t possibly share all of the images that I loved from this session. But I think you will get a glimpse into the special connection between Tim and Janet, and the love between them all, that speaks to the joy, the depth, the pain, the worries, the commitment, the acceptance, and the love that has held them all throughout their journey as a family.

Seattle family portraiture by Heather Pearce Photography
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Gorgeous Custom Heirloom Framing Package :: Sample Framing Package

I have probably mentioned it before, but I believe we shouldn’t have anything in our homes that isn’t either functional or beautiful (i.e. brings us joy). It is a good rule of thumb when deciding how what to get rid of, for those occasional slimming down times (hello Value Village runs!) as well as when we are making decisions about home decoration — is it beautiful? Is it consistent with what we value? Does it bring us joy?

“The greatest gift we can give our families is the lasting knowledge that they are loved above everything else in our lives.”

Does your home decor agree? What could do more to honor or celebrate family than gorgeous family portraits beautifully displayed in our homes? I have numerous walls in my homes dedicated strictly to family portraiture, and nothing in my home brings me more joy than these walls {when it comes to art and decorations — of course the people themselves in my home bring me the most joy!!!}

That is why I was super excited to be asked to help a client design the beginnings of their custom portrait wall – and what a fabulous start! We did three sessions during Addy’s first year, and they were some of my very favorites. A baby changes so much during that time! It is always a period to be cherished and remembered.

Check out the mix of frames we selected for their rustic, eclectic and beautiful home.

Seattle photographer and portrait studio offers heirloom framing

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Get Hitched Give Hope has a new Guest Relations Manager!

I am excited to announce that I have recently accepted the position as Get Hitched Give Hope’s new Guest Relations Manager!

Get Hitched Give Hope (GHGH) is a fabulous charity, started by a group of big-hearted people involved in Seattle’s wedding industry. It began as a once per year major industry party and fundraiser and has evolved into a group of themed events throughout the year. GHGH has worked with a variety of other charities over the years, with a particular focus on helping people who are living with cancer (including Dream Foundation, and Young Survivors Coalition) and helping final wishes come true.

In previous years, I have attended the event, which is always a fabulous mix of vendors and individuals within the Seattle wedding industry, lots of potential brides and grooms (all of the donations, silent and live auction items are wedding services and products), great food and drinks and amazing decorations. It is always a visually stunning event, as you have some of the most creative minds around behind this organization. And it is always equal parts celebrating and tears. At last year’s event, we all got to witness several dreams being delivered by GHGH to beneficiaries receiving their final wishes. What amazing, difficult, and touching moments.

And this year, GHGH has asked me to be their new Guest Relations Manager — so from time to time you will see some updates here on my blog that will link you over to the GHGH website and blog for upcoming updates about this fabulous charity and a really great cause, especially as we get closer to some of 2014’s big events!

Super grateful to Kat Speyer and the crew at GHGH for asking  me to participate this year, and very happy to be on board!

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