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Portrait Collections :: Frame Package Custom Design

Last year I added custom framing to my product offerings. {Go here for a quick view of my product offerings, including framing samples.}

And what I offer is not your run-of-the-mill custom framing. And it is not even remotely close to the frame packages that may be offered by other photographers who provide pre-packaged framing solutions. There are a lot of framing options out there, and frankly it can be overwhelming, and often is for people once they have their prints or artwork. One can spend weeks, even months, locating a framer, finally getting in to see one, learning about all the options and having to make on-the-spot decisions regarding frames, mats, upgrade options, etc. And during this process you may or may not be relying on advice from a framer (or simply technician working for the framer) who is not familiar with your home, your style, or your portraits.

This is where I come in.

My goal in offering CUSTOM HEIRLOOM FRAMING was to eliminate all the back-end delay — to help clients get beautiful prints and artwork featuring their loved ones up in their homes quickly and in the most gorgeous way possible. And to do it only in a way that preserves client images for generations to come (archival quality). I wanted to eliminate the frustration, delays, and straight-up hassle that goes along with carting large prints around in the back of your vehicle and making decisions about precious artwork in your home while entrusting the help of a stranger who may or may not be qualified to help you with such matters!

And it has been such a fabulous addition to what I do! I spent many, many, many hours researching mouldings and hand selecting framing options that I believe to be beautiful and appropriate for portraiture. I bought and read numerous books on framing. I then hired a framing consultant to give me individual instruction on archival quality framing methods. I wanted to know, beginning to end, how to do it the best way possible – so THAT is what I offer to my clients: exquisite heirloom framing to protect and encapsulate your gorgeous, unique memories for many, many years, if not generations to come.

Anyhow – long story short, custom designing unique portrait walls has now become one of the favorite parts of my business. And I just couldn’t help but share a recent selection of mouldings chosen for a recent client for whom we are designing a large custom family portrait wall – it is going to be fabulous!! Her home is a lovely, eclectic mix of rustic and modern, simple and stylish. And so we had to design a portrait wall to match the feel of her home. Check out her frame selection!

I can’t wait to get this project completed for her and delivered to her home!

custom portrait framing packages by Heather Pearce Photography
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A Day in the Life :: Toddler in Studio

The other day I realized it had been WAY TOO LONG since I’d really done a proper portrait of our little tornado. Life just has a way of getting busy sometimes, it’s true. But as a person and a mom who loves creating portraits, this realization made me really sad. Another thing to put on the list of “things to do better.”

As moms, isn’t that list quite long sometimes?! Thank goodness there is also the concept of forgiveness. And self-care. And other kinder, gentler thoughts. {Other things to go on the list of “things to do better”!}

To try to remedy the absence of portraiture of the little tornado, I tried to take as many pictures as I could in a day {while still feeding, changing, bathing, picking-up after and protecting from all kinds of havoc, said little tornado}.

Here are just a few glimpses of moments throughout a day in the life of our little tornado. You will see that he loves all things water, spending time in the bathroom, and is always a big, big help to mommy in the studio!

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Celebrating a New Year :: Jeanne & Gio :: Seattle Portrait Photography

I am so thrilled to introduce you to the lovely Jeanne, and her sidekick Gio {Giovanni}. Jeanne is a Seattle Periodontist who owns and runs her own practice. In recent years Jeanne has had her own share of difficulty, as we all do from time to time. And it is so very exciting to see her in this new year, looking and feeling FABULOUS.

I like to refer to the process as a “return to self.” And with Jeanne, we really wanted to make this portrait session a celebration of coming out the other side of that process with joy, with a renewed sense of hope and energy about life.

Jeanne and I had been planning this session for some time, and fortunately, we waited until the time was PERFECTLY RIGHT. And during all that planning time, I had developed a really concrete vision about some of the portraits I wanted to create with Jeanne and Gio. And so it was such a blast when I was finally able to drag all of my lighting and photography equipment to her home for this very special portrait session.

These images are just a handful of my favorite — there were so many wonderful portraits to choose from. But Jeanne ended up enjoying them so much we will be creating a collection for her home, will be using one for her business, and then using a handful of others as gifts to some very special people in her life who have shown support and love and friendship through the years. What a lovely gift for her to give! Portraits are such a loving and long-lasting gift to give to someone you care about. And for all of those in Jeanne’s life who really care about Jeanne, they are going to love the gift portraits they receive!

Jeanne is one of those people that overflows with energy and love and lots of color and dialogue, in addition to a long list of professional skills. And if you don’t watch out and become friends with her she will even regularly invite you over to kayak the lake with her and enjoy a wonderful home cooked meal {she is an amazing cook!} She is a very special woman. And I was so honored to be able to create these celebratory portraits for her.

High end Seattle Portraiture of a woman and her dog in a beautiful home

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Business Portraits :: Professional Headshots :: Seattle Attorneys

Congratulations to Marcus, the newest associate at Plauche Carr in downtown Seattle. I created Marcus’ headshot in December, and was jealous to learn that he was taking the whole month of December off as a transition between jobs. Then I learned that he is also a new daddy to {at the time} two 4-month old twins. Then I was a little less jealous! He deserves that month off, and hopefully got a little rest! {Not that I wouldn’t love the heck out of a pair of twins … it’s just that now that I have a toddler I just can’t conceive of actually having twins!}

But what exciting times in Marcus’ life!! Plauche Carr just announced his new position this month, so I am happy to follow suit with a big CONGRATULATIONS to the latest member of the Plauche Carr firm!

Seattle headshots, attorney bio portrait

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A Confession :: Portraits Make Me Feel Vulnerable

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{**Images in this post, of my hubby and me, by the lovely and talented Catherine Abegg.}

I’ve been learning a lot about vulnerability lately. It has been an important and life-changing journey, especially for someone as independent and thick-skulled as I am. And I had a recent experience that to my slight (okay, moderate!) shame and embarrassment, I realized I would have to share with you. On my quest to be more vulnerable, I think this could be a helpful step for me, and who knows, it might even help one or two of you – that is my hope, anyway.

Let me start by asking you this question: What experience do you have when you look upon portraits of yourself?

Can you sit with that for a moment including any thoughts that come to you in response to that question?

Can I share a secret with you? Even the question alone makes me very uncomfortable! And it embarrasses me to admit that: that even considering looking at portraits of myself makes me uncomfortable. I have often joked with clients and others that “there is a reason that I live on one side of the lens” – ONE REASON IS BECAUSE I LOVE TO CREATE PORTRAITS (!) Yes, yes, yes, that is a very real and very big reason. And yet, one other reason that I rarely admit to others – or even myself – is that it makes me feel extremely vulnerable to have my portrait created. There’s that word again: vulnerable.

And that recent realization {that portraits = vulnerability} is why I have to share with you a brief journey involving a recent portrait session, my confession as a portrait photographer on what it feels like to have portraits created, and why I am so in awe and in even greater appreciation of my clients who believe in and have the courage to celebrate their lives.

Backtracking just a bit, why is vulnerability important? For me personally, what happens when I’m not being vulnerable? Several things: I spend too much time just being too darn independent, doing too much in not enough time, working too hard on the “to-do” list by myself just for the temporary joy of crossing things off, because dammit I can do all of those things and I have never-ending energy (right, self?! Right!) so I just might as well do it all, be the mom, be the worker, clean the house, build the fences (including some around myself), and keep going going going all the live long day. Then, when I do take a moment to rest, it sometimes dawns on me that not everything had to be done, that it wasn’t all equally important, and that perhaps there might have been a casualty or two along the way: my health, the momentary joy my toddler takes in knowing his mom interacts when he asks her to, or the moment I missed to slow down and tell my husband just how very important he is to me … So you can see, there is a lot of room for improvement. And how do I get there? I believe it’s by being more vulnerable: admitting to myself and to the world, “okay! okay! maybe I CAN’T do it all {and stay sane}”, by inviting others in to help (hubby, friends, family), by just taking things off the list (it requires vulnerability and courage to say NO), and by admitting to myself what it is that I deeply deeply want – to feel connected to my sweetheart, to have time sometimes to just sit and be, rather than do-do-do, to make my health a bigger priority, to soak up the little joys that are oh-so-ordinary, etc, etc, etc.

Okay, now jumping forward again, back to portraits. Recently, my hubby and I had a portrait session. I was equally excited and terrified about this portrait session. I really, really wanted a chance for Phil and I to celebrate our relationship, our endurance, our highs amongst our lows, the reality of making a life with someone and choosing them over and over and over and over, each and every day — the beauty of it all (including the tears). I wanted us to have another marker of celebration (portraits). And yet, I felt squirmy and nervous and oddly uncomfortable in my own skin.

And smack in the middle of the session I realized – “it’s because I feel so vulnerable!” Here I am as a portrait photographer coaching clients through sessions, in a sense almost trying to talk them out of their own vulnerability by helping them move, helping them pose (without really feeling posed), focusing on the celebration of it all, the need for mile-markers, for proclamations to the world, etc etc – AND ALL THAT STUFF IS TRUE. But partly what I am realizing now through my recent experience is that THE BEAUTY IN A PORTRAIT COMES FROM BEING VULNERABLE. Vulnerability isn’t the thing to hide – it IS the thing!! It is the thing to rejoice!

Let me explain.

First, I have to confess my first real reaction to the portraits we received. And by doing this I am admittedly showing you my less-than-higher self. And also let me tell you that we fully enjoyed ourselves in our session, we laughed and joked and were silly and it was a blast AND I really really like the work of the photographer who created our images. And yet, I did what so many of us do to ourselves: “Oh, look at my nose in that picture! It looks like my Dad’s nose. I don’t like it. I mean I like it on my Dad, I just don’t like it on me.” “Oh! I was afraid of that. Look at my paunchy belly and the extra weight around my hips. Oh blah. I really need to get back to the gym.” “Wow, my eyes look tired. I look like, well, like a tired  mommy.” “These make me sad.” “My hair was so difficult that morning … and it shows. Absolutely no glamour going on here!” …

WOW. Can you believe that? I mean here I am admitting to you all that I started tearing myself apart in these portraits – what was meant to be a celebration of my and Phil’s love and here I was letting myself be … human. But, not the part of being human that I’m proud of — and as soon as it dawned on me what I was doing, I asked myself this one question:

What can I celebrate about these images? 

And you know what I got? As soon as I shifted my perspective and asked myself what I loved about the images, here’s what I felt:

“I love my long legs.” “I love the way my whole body is laughing in that image.” “I love the way Phil still can give me the giggles and make me feel slightly embarrassed and silly.” “I love the way I felt safe in this picture.” “I love how handsome my hubby is!” “I love how these images show a curvy, strong-bodied woman expressing joy.” (Yep, me! I can hold my toddler in one arm for 30 minutes and not bat an eye – I’m telling you, that is no small feat!) “I love the way my hubby is looking at me.” “I’m proud of those lines under my eyes showing that some life has happened. I can own that! I’ve worked hard for those.” {Seriously, I felt that!} “I love the peace that I feel in this image, leaning against Phil.” “I love the energy between us.” “I love that our photographer captured these amazing moments of joy between us.” “I love all this laughter.” “I’m so glad I let myself feel vulnerable.” Ooh! There it was.

Oh my gosh?! Can you believe that? Can you believe that I genuinely felt all those things in the same few minutes — I’m telling you that I did, and both sides of the same coin were very real. But I am so much happier and joyful about the second batch of expressions: the part where I choose to celebrate what really deserves celebrating by being vulnerable.

And now, I love these images. I seriously seriously love them. And I am so grateful that they represent one more way we have celebrated our togetherness – our very real journey of love and mistakes and two steps forward and the occasional step back, and yet choosing each other and our lives together every day. I am so very grateful. {And gosh darn it (!!) don’t I have one hot hubby!!!}

Plus, now I get to help my clients celebrate the beauty of being vulnerable – not of masking it: opening ourselves up to our beloveds, to the camera, to the deeper and more meaningful joys in our lives!

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