Category archives: Personal

Travel AdventuresSoggy LondonLondon, United Kingdom

I’ve not been shooting much professional work lately and a personal project is on hold until the season with the sun ticks over so I thought I’d share some clicks from a recent trip to London. The trip was more work than play with a highlight being QPR at Loftus Road vs. Man City right before my naked eyes. Walking the Thames at night proved to be consistently rewarding too despite near-freezing temps.

The purpose of my visit kept me near Soho, Leicester Square, and Covent Garden so these frames are primarily from there. There were excursions to Islington, Brick Lane, Edgware Road, Portobello Road, Shepherd’s Bush, and Knightsbridge for good measure.

The best food I ate the entire time I was there came from none other than Jamie Oliver via his Jamie’s Italian bistro concept. The typical food I ate there whilst on the go was from Pret I’m ashamed to say. The espresso was exquisite no matter where I had it.

All frames were made on a toy Lomo LC-A+ wide angle film camera with Kodak Portra 400 developed by North Coast Photographic in Carlsbad, CA. It was my first trip and I enjoyed it immensely with the only regret being that I had little time for exploring. Next time.


The Big IslandHawaii Travel Photography

A few weeks ago my family and I headed to the Big Island of Hawaii to get a little break from the miserable Seattle weather and take in the lovely wedding of the lovelier Julie Harmsen and handsome Andy Fitts.  She’s an incredible Seattle wedding photographer, he’s a professional musician performing with David Bazan.

We stayed up in the paniolo country of Waimea/Kamuela, not far from Anna Ranch – The site of Julie and Andy’s wedding and the location of a lovely little cottage we found on VRBO belonging to renown local artist Mary Spears.

We rented a convertible red mustang per my daughters request and set out to have a great week, explore as much of the island as we could, knock out some serious frames on film and celebrate Julie + Andy’s wedding.  Mission accomplished!
A mother and daughter from Seattle stand on the tarmac in front of an Alaska Airlines jet at Kona International Airport.

Waimea, or Kamuela as the locals refer to it, was full of misty mountain views and a lovely farmers market that we hit immediately upon arrival.
Pasture land and farmers market Hawaiian travel photography around Waimea/Kamuela on the Big Island.Hawaiian travel photography scenes at Huli Sue's Barbecue and Grill in Waimea/Kamuela on the Big Island.

The next day we hit Hapuna Beach for some fun in the sun.
Hawaiian travel photography of beach elements and characters at Hapuna Beach on the Big Island.

Hawaiian travel photography scenes of mai tai's, kayaks, and palm trees from the Mauna Lani Beach Club on the Big Island

After the beach we headed up the Akoni Pule Highway to check out the town of Hawi and hit the famed Bamboo Restaurant.  Our first stop was to hit the Da Fish Wagon for some seared Ahi tuna cooked to order.  We headed to the end of the road past Kapa’au to take in the majesty of the Pololu Valley as well.
Hawaiian travel photography scenes from the Akoni Pule Highway of Da Fish Lunch Wagon to past Hawi and Kapa'au to the end of the road at Polulu Valley and Lookout.

We were lucky enough to  score access to the Mauna Lani Beach Club and had amazing times snorkeling in the calm waters of Mauna Lani Bay.  Mai tai’s?  Check.  Crab on dad’s belly?  Check.  Sea turtle sighting?  Check!
Hawaiian travel photography of beach scenes at the Mauna Lani Beach Club and Mauna Lani Bay.

Andy and Julie invited everyone down to Kona for a dinner at the Kona Brewing Company.  We arrived a little early to check out the scene and get some shave ice.  Yee-um.
Hawaiian travel photography in Kona of Scandinavian Shave Ice

The day before the wedding we headed back up the Akoni Pule Highway so Ella could work with Kapa’au artist Peter Antrim Kowalke on recommendation from Mary Spears.  He toured us around his property while showing us all of the unique plants and fruits that grow there before Sash and I headed back to Hawi to hit up Sushi Rock for some yums.  In Seattle tempura is often used to provide crunch and texture in a roll… In Hawi it’s done with macadamia nuts.  Yes, please and thank you.

Ella produced an elaborate mixed media painting that couldn’t be rolled and had to be shipped flat.  They also worked Peter’s pottery wheel and made a 3 foot tall pot featuring glass and beads that to glaze, fire and ship is going to be nearly $500.  The cost of sending Ella to a private, 3 hour art class – Priceless.  The cost of getting her work home?  Wallet crushing.
Hawaiian travel photography of artist Peter Antrim Kowalke, his Art In Sight studio, sushi from Sushi Rock in Hawi, statue of King Kamehameha and Mokuaikaua Church.

The Kohala Mountain Road from Hawi back down to Kamuela is gorgeous:  Mountain vistas, more grazing cattle than I’ve ever seen in my life, and cool climate mountain cactus.  Take your time… This thing is winds dangerously with some pretty gnarly hairpin turns.
Hawaii travel photography of cows, mountains and cactus along the Kohala Mountain Road.

Back to “our” beach… Mauna Lani Beach Club, where all is right in the world and a mai tai is only a few feet away.
Hawaiian travel photography of tropical flowers, birds of paradise and Mauna Lani Beach Club elements including floatation rings, basking sea turtles, surfboards and a basket made of palm.

Wedding day!  I just took a few snaps of some of the details and my family.  Who’s the cute brunette with the long hair?  That would be my friend and amazing Seattle wedding photographer Kristen Tourtillotte.  To see the splendor that was Julie + Andy’s wedding, check out the Hawaii Destination Wedding by Sarah Rhoads Photographers feature on Style Me Pretty or head to Chris and Sarah’s blog to check out their Julie and Andy Hawaiian Wedding post for even more visual greatness.
Hawaiian travel photography scenes from Anna Ranch in Waimea/Kamuela of an old wagon wheel, pinwheel and wedding attendees.

Splurge alert:  We treated Ella to Dolphin Quest at the Waikoloa Village Hilton Hotel.  Swimming with dolphins, yo.
Hawaiian travel photography scenes from Dolphin Quest at the Waikaloa Village Hilton Hotel on the Big Island.

Our last night on the island was capped off with some L&L Barbecue back in Kamuela.  We tried a little bit of everything and this is about as down home as it gets, but first… Some poshness at the Fairmont Orchid for sunset cocktails and appetizers.
Hawaiian travel photography scenes of hillsides, palms and tropical elements from the Fairmont Orchid Hotel at Waikoloa on the Big Island.

Film and my exploration of it… I’ve mentioned it several times before on previous posts such as: Jenny + Juan Engagement Photography on Film, Kelsey + Mackenzie’s Pacific Northwest Engagement Photography on Film, Our Family Camping trip at Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island and Seattle Family Portrait Session on Film.

I’m loving it while facing the challenges of manually focusing, learning different film stock characteristics and the exposure techniques that produce the best results on each. There’s still a long road ahead, but I’m game.

Are you interested in learning more about film? There is a guy named Jonathan Canlas that should be your first stop – Whether admiring his work via his blog, attending one of his FIND (Film is Not Dead) workshops, reading his tireless answers on Formspring, or reading is comprehensive FIND Guide, you will quickly realize getting a film camera and hitting the ground running is pretty dang easy.


Ella's 1st Camping TripSan Juan Island CampingSan Juan Island, WA

This Memorial Day week we rented a Dodge Journey and headed to the San Juan Islands to take in some kayaking off of Lopez Island before settling in at the Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island for Ella’s 1st camping trip.  I brought my digital Nikon, but as I mentioned in the previous post where I am beginning to Explore Film, I brought along my Hasselblad 500 c/m and Contax 645 with the intent of shooting 90% or more of the trip with those.  Mission accomplished.

Our trip really began with a ferry from Anacortes, WA to Lopez Island.  I LOVE FERRIES.  A recent Port Gamble Engagement Session might have been one of my favorites ever simply due to the fact that I was able to ride the ferry and make some frames.  Did I mention that I love ferries?
Images from a Washington state ferry en route to Lopez IslandImage from a Washington state ferry en route to Lopez Island and Center ChurchShark Reef ParkShark Reef Park

After exploring the quaint and pastoral island for a bit, we headed over to Spencer Spit State Park and headed out for a guided kayak tour around Frost Island.  It was Ella’s 2nd time in a kayak and her first in the open waters of Puget Sound.  She loved it!  We were out there for 2.5 hours and worked up an appetite that could only be sated at the very divey, but altogether great Galley Restaurant and Lounge.  Time to ferry to San Juan Island.
Spencer Spit State Park kayaking on Lopez IslandSeattle wedding photographer Kip Beelman and wifeKayaking around Frost Island off of Lopez Island and Spencer Spit State ParkKayaking around Frost Island off of Lopez Island and Spencer Spit State ParkKayaking around Frost Island off of Lopez Island and Spencer Spit State ParkThe Galley Restaurant and Lounge on Lopez IslandDecor in The Galley Restaurant and Lounge on Lopez Island and a 5 year old girl on a Washing state ferryMother and daughter on a Washington state ferry headed to Friday Harbor from Lopez IslandMt. Baker viewed from a Washington stage ferryDodge Journey lined up at the Lopez Island ferry

The last time I was on San Juan Island was for the Roche Harbor Wedding of Wendy and Brett and it had been far too long.  After our big day on Lopez, we arrived quite late in the black of night and were all very tired.  As the two tents we had packed both belonged to Sasha’s father and I’d never set them up before, Sash made the great executive decision of booking us into a luxurious canvas tent in the glamping portion of the property.  Win.
Glamping at the Lakedale Resort on San Juan IslandGlamping at the Lakedale Resort on San Juan IslandGlamping at the Lakedale Resort on San Juan IslandGlamping at the Lakedale Resort on San Juan IslandGlamping at the Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island

In the morning we packed out of the glamping tents and moved down the trail to what would be our ripstop nylon encased shelter for the next two nights.  The question still remained as to whether Ella would be keen or capable of making it through the night in her own tent.  Wait and see.  But before nightfall, we had an action-packed day consisting of a rowboat trip around one of the 3 lakes, a tie-dye t-shirt making activity, renting a Duffy 16 electric boat out of Friday Harbor for a jaunt around Brown Island and a camp-cooked meal consisting of some Thai whiskey and Coke (a favorite from our honeymoon in Thailand) to start and culminating in s’mores roasted over a roaring campfire.
Territorial views of Lakedale Resort on San Juan IslandBoating at Lakedale Resort on San Juan IslandA Papst Blue Ribbon at Lakedale Resort on San Juan IslandTerritorial views of the lodge at Lakedale Resort on San Juan IslandTerritorial views of Lakedale Resort on San Juan IslandCamping at Lakedale Resort on San Juan IslandThe marina at Friday Harbor on San Juan IslandBrown Island from Friday Harbor on San Juan IslandCruising on a Duffy 16 electric boat in Friday Harbor off of San Juan IslandDuff 16 electric boat in Friday HarborMekhong whiskey and red wine at Lakedale Resort on San Juan IslandCampfire at Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island

To avoid the incessant threat of aggressive bees before things began to warm up, our plan was to quickly get on the road to explore the island. Here are a few morning scenes around camp:
Camping scense at Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island Camping scense at Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island Camping scense at Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island

The morning before we’d run into a girl named Lucy and her family staying at Lakedale for their 2nd consecutive summer whilst visiting from L.A.  Besides being a super-sweet cutie, Lucy and Ella share the EXACT SAME birthday.  Figure that.
Camping scense at Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island in the glampground Camping scense at Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island in the glampground Camping scense at Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island in the glampground

Whilst out adventuring, we stopped at the San Juan Vineyards along the road for a quick taste.  One of the blends they featured was called Mona Vie, named for the camel grazing across the street.
Mona the camel near San Juan Vineyards on San Juan Island

We next turned our attention to visiting the Horse Shu Ranch for a little giddy up.  Ella’s horse was named Cowboy and turned out to be a sweet little horse for a nice half hour trek around the pastures and through the woods.
Territorial forest views near the Horse Shu Ranch Horse Shu Ranch Horse Shu Ranch Horse rides at the Horse Shu Ranch Horse rides at the Horse Shu Ranch

Then it was time to head back to town for a final rendez-vous with Lucy before we all headed our separate ways.  But before then, it was ice cream from the Friday Harbor Ice Cream Company.Ice Cream from the Friday Harbor Ice Cream Company in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island Treats from the Sweet Retreat in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island Treats from the Sweet Retreat in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island Leaving a clean camp and a dead fire at the the Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island

We had a blast and can’t recommend Lakedale enough… They’ve got family cabins, a lodge, 2 Airstream trailers to rent, tent camping, RV camping and glamping in giant, well-appointed canvas tents – Something for everyone.  Add to that the daily activities for kids, the three lakes for swimming and boating and you’ve got yourself a winner.  And another tidbit of information… Ella slept through the night in the tent without incident both nights.  Based on that and all the fun we had, we plan to return next year for sure!


Chile Travel Photography

Back in March my family and I headed to Chile for a little over 10 days to rendez-vous with some of our best friends that met us from Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was amazing. We started in Santiago:

¿Dónde está la cabeza?

After acclimating to the fantastic city, we headed out to the coast where we made a private residence in Con Con our home base. Trips up and down the coast included stops in posh Viña del Mar, gritty Valparaiso, transient Renaca and our little slice of heaven, Zapallar.

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than the song of fools.

The incomparable Zapallar. This place was like a mix of Carmel, CA and Vernazza, Italy. The only other people in town were the housekeepers and gardeners in the hillsides. We were parked at Restaurant Cesar for hours and hours enjoying Sauvignon Blanc, machas a la parmesana and giant bowls of cleaned crab for $9. This beach is one of the top 5 spots I’ve visited on earth.

Headed to the Maipo Valley to meet our host, Maria Christina Fuentes of Haras de Pirque for some wine tasting. Haras de Pirque is one of the “string of pearls” owned by Chateau Ste. Michelle, my wife’s employer. It is a working thoroughbred stud farm and amazing winery. Carménère y Cabernet oh my!

Maria Christina took us to a rustic country institution called La Vaquita Echá where we were treated to a lovely lunch featuring an amazing indoor parrilla and some traditional Chilean dancing known as Cueca.

The view from Cerro San Cristobal back in Santiago.

Chile is a fantastic country full of beautiful people that we plan to revisit as soon as possible. It’s full of so much diversity and beauty that we’re really only scratched the surface.

You may want to see the Viña Del Mar Lookbook session, Valparaiso Engagement session or the Santiago Engagement session done while there.

Thanks for looking!