ENGAGEMENTS

A SUMMERY PNW ENGAGEMENT SESSION

If you ask me, summer is hands-down  the best time of year in the Seattle. The days are long, golden hour seems to last forever, and mostly, it's finally just warm and not raining.  What better time to trek around Discovery Park for these guys' engagement session? Add in their ridiculously cute goldendoodle (are you sensing a theme here? bring alllll the dogs to your wedding / engagement shoot with me) and it was a heck of a summer's eve.

photographed on Kodak Portra 160 film

A LOOK BACK AT 2016 - PART TWO

Can't believe we're already coming up on the end of 2017. 2016 was such a full year with so many amazing clients and moments, and 2017 has proven to be no different. As I start to sift through the thousands of images and *attempt* to put together a recap post from this last season, and since there are no rules in photography or blogging, I thought it's never too late to share my Part Two post from my 2016 season in the meantime (because ok maybe I sort of got too busy to post this Part Two ages ago). It's still so crazy to me I'm approaching my 11th year now in this industry, and every time I get to tell couple's wedding stories I feel refreshed and inspired.

As 2017 season wraps up, my highlight this year was my wife and I finding out, in May, that we were pregnant with our first son, due this next month (January). We are breathlessly waiting and preparing for his arrival, which makes this holiday season that much more exciting. We're in full baby prepping mode over here, and can't wait to start off 2018 being parents. We *think* Bodie will be the best big puppy brother too. He'll just have to learn to share a little of our attention. ;)

All our love and appreciation,

- Ryan & Emily

A LOOK BACK AT 2016

Twenty sixteen. What a year. Depending who you talk to, you'd probably get a wide spectrum of views on exactly what kind of year it was. I think that's one of the things I love both about what I do, and about doing these year-end retrospective posts. What better way to find and focus on the positive, than looking through a year's worth of weddings, elopements, engagements, families ... all the things that end up really defining what our lives are about. 

I delivered in the neighborhood of 50,000 finished photos this year (which kind of explains why I'm doing two parts to this post... how can I narrow all that down to one short post? Not happening) and if there's one thing that really stood out to me, it's the importance of community and connection. Those two things have this amazing ability to transcend, heal, and grow our families, lives, and relationships. I got to see huge tight-knit families, families who'd experienced loss, families that had been divided, rejoined, healed, people whose families were woven by choice and not birth, people who became family solely for each other... and of course family of the four-legged canine variety (prob the cutest kind of family, if you ask me.)

It's been amazing to continuely witness the way our love and connections defy labels and boxes, and matters all the more because of that.

I'm heading into my 10th year in this crazy photography career/life, and each year that ticks by feels like a blessing to be surrounded by love and commitment and amazing humans doing a thousand small/ huge / subtle / loud / monumental / heartfelt things for each other.

Can't thank each of you enough for allowing me into your lives to tell a sliver of your story, it's an honor I don't take for granted. You're the best, I appreciate you.

NOW SHOWING IN GLORIOUS WIDESCREEN

“While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.”  - Dorothea Lange

If I can get a little bit lofty, ponderous, philosophical for a second - which I think artists are totally allowed to do, right? - this quote does an incredible job of leaning towards what I love about photography. It isn't just about the literal scene in front of you. It can go so much further than that. Many of my favorite photos (my own, and from others) are beloved because they delve into the emotions and aesthetics of what's in the frame; letting the viewer's mind wander past the obvious and explore the experience of that image.

That's something I've been trying to create and find in my own work a lot lately. Showing some of my work in this panoramic format has been a super fun way to explore that. I think our eyes get so accustomed to the normal aspect ratios in our phones and "real" cameras, that moving to a panoramic format helps us escape the more literal view of the image. Ideally I think the superwide panoramic formats lend themselves to a more cinematic feel (probably because, you know, they actually are cinematic aspect ratios, ha) which encourages looking at the images as more than just an overt record of an event.

Anyway - I could ramble more, but really I just wanted to share a bit of an experiment in something different. As photographers, seeing things in a constantly different, new, and varied way is critical to keeping our work fresh and our minds free from burnout. Here's to finding inspiration in new places, and making photographs that see more than the immediately visible.

SNOWY MOUNTAIN ENGAGEMENT SESSION IN THE PNW

It's always a funny thing, meeting people for the first time. Like Forrest Gump and his proverbial box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. Fortunately for me, I seem to get to work with a lot of relaxed, kind, and generally just awesome people. These two take that to another level, especially with the story of how they met, fell in love long-distance, and decided to spend their lives together. Emily and I had so much fun cruising around the woods and mountains with Chris and Claire, right from the get-go. Turns out it's also hilariously good fun watching Texans play in the snow (even if it's a little colder than expected.)

Super grateful we got to spend some time with these legends!

Photographed on Kodak Portra medium format film, and Leica digital. 

LOOKING BACKWARDS // 2015 IN REVIEW

It's still freaking me out a bit that 2015 is over. Now it's 2016, but last year felt like it went by in about 10 minutes. With the craziness of the holidays over now, we're almost into the time of year when we can catch our breath, sit, reflect and remember. 

Reflecting and remembering everything that took place this year leaves me feeling immensely, whole-heartedly grateful. For the places we saw, the moments we witnessed, and the people who let us into their lives in large and small - but always important - ways. 

With early morning flights and ferry sailings, sleepy trains and sleepless hotels; this year took us from the beaches of Mexico to the incredible landscapes of New Zealand, to the history-filled chateaus of southern France, and all over the coastline, rivers, and mountains of Washington, Oregon, California and Montana. This planet is stunning, and we were overjoyed to see so much of it. 

I'd need about ten pairs of hands to count all the weddings, elopements, engagement sessions and portrait sessions I photographed this year. After all that I'm ready for a breather. But I feel so lucky to have had that many people invest in what I do, and that seriously energizes me. So, maybe I'm ready for a breather, but how about just like a quick 30 minutes in the car while we head to the mountains for another shoot?

For all the years I've been doing this, being a wedding photographer is something I cherish, and I feel honestly blessed to be able to do it. While it's not always as glamorous as it may seem, all the days spent editing and emailing and doing admin work in front of a screen are so worth it when it means I get to photograph and bear witness to these storylines in peoples' lives. To make new friends out of new "clients." Maybe it's me getting older (jk I don't age anymore) but the emotional value and weight of giving someone an heirloom to love and share for decades to come has become even more near and dear to me. Life is amazing and short and long and beautiful and deserves to be remembered and reminisced over, again and again.

To quote the surfer Mickey Smith (watch his short film here, you'll be glad you did), "...this is a present worth remembering. For fires of happiness or waves of gratitude... for everything that brought us to that point in life, to that moment in time; to do something worth remembering with a photograph... I feel genuinely lucky to hand-on-heart say I love what I do."

So, to every couple, family, human, that trusted me and allowed me to do this, or simply (but not merely) encouraged and supported us, thank you. It means more to me than you know - it's not just a transaction to me, it goes far beyond that. I'm happy that I had the chance to meet you and yours. You're the best and I hope we get to hang out again.

Can't wait to dive into this next year.

Here are, in no particular order, some photos I loved from this year. It was painful to narrow down 35,000+ photos into a (not terribly) concise 200-ish. Have a drink and a bite and enjoy. 

A SUMMER ENGAGEMENT SESSION ON MT. RAINIER

Summer came early this year in the Pacific Northwest... one of the best parts of that was getting to see the wildflowers explode in swaths of color across the alpine meadows. Kayla and Jonathan and I spent a pretty amazing evening in nature wandering around Mt. Rainier. A pretty perfect way to enjoy that sunset!

Photographed near Seattle on Kodak film, processed by Alpine Film Lab

A LOOK BACK AT 2014

2014. Whoa. It's February and I feel like I'm still catching my breath from this last year. This has been by far our busiest, craziest year yet, which feels like - and is - a huge blessing. This spring my wife Emily joined me full time, helping making everything run smoothly. To everyone who commissioned us this year, thank you. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of some of the most momentous and long-planned days and moments of your lives. I know it's probably a cliche, but I honestly don't care - it's such an honor to get to do what I love.

I didn't want this post to be a "Best of 2014" or a "2014 Favorites" type of thing. Although these photos are some of my best, and some of my favorites. It was impossible to work every shoot into this post, or every photo I love - because I love them all and I kinda get attached. Just too many photos. Going through the tens of thousands of images we made was a joy, it was fun to take a step back, breath, and relive everything we created this year. It also made me realize that posting every photo I wanted to would make an internet-breakingly big post. Ain't nobody got time for that. So what this post is, is a small (haha) slice of the moments and portraits at some of the weddings, engagement and boudoir sessions that we photographed. Little pieces that meant something to me.

Look out for full blog posts of a bunch of these sessions in the coming months.