Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sanctuary!!!! {David & Thuy's reception}

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of photographing David and Thuy's wedding reception at the Sanctuary at Admiral in West Seattle. David met Thuy in Vietnam while there on business. After an uncountable number of phone calls, letters, and visits Thuy finally made her way to the States where they were married in February.

Sunday they had a beautiful reception for friends and family to come and celebrate their union and to snap some photos for Thuy's family back home. It was a wonderful evening of toasts, fabulous food, laughter, and Thuy chasing her new nephew around the reception hall. It was tough to tell who was enjoying it more. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cabo Conclusion!

Too many photos, just not enough time! Sorry for the delay on day three. I have several other blogable items in the can right now and I have got to get going on things!! So, here we go!

Sunday morning I met with Dale & Katherine for a few final beach photos before they headed off to their honeymoon resort. Our efforts were nearly thwarted by the unpredictable tide (way to be quick with the rings, Dale! - and thanks again Katherine, for grabbing my camera bag!) but we managed to snap a few shots before trouble hit.

15 minutes later, we said our final good-byes and I was officially on vacation for 24 hours. Woohoo! I met with Neely & Christine on the beach for an eclectic breakfast and much needed coffee before hitching a water taxi ride out to Playa del Amor (Lover's Beach).

In these photos you'll see Lover's Beach, The Arch & Divorce Beach- all members of the rocky outcropping bordering Cabo on the Sea of Cortez.

The boat ride to the island was much less dramatic than catching the ride back to the mainland. I can think of no better way to describe our pick up than that of an At-Sea Rescue. (I wish I had a photo to share, however I have no doubt I would no longer have a camera if I'd tried such a feat.)

OK, OK, ...wrapping it up...

Finally deposited safely on the mainland- and accosted by beach vendors- the fabulous Neely treated the three of us to beautiful silver bracelets using the last of her pesos. We headed back to the hotel, Neely & Christine freshened up in my room, and I saw them off to the airport via the hotel shuttle. The rest of my evening was again spent in my hotel room working on photos. I left the next morning after an hour by the pool. Monday in Cabo was a bit muggy and I wasn't terribly upset about having to leave.

I touched down in Seattle to darkness, rain and chill. Good to be home. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Día de la boda feliz Mackinnon!

Mexico Day Two: Wedding Day

Saturday morning I awoke to the melody of various birds, wind, and water. It was so peaceful and such a wonderful way to begin what was to be a wonderful day. It was only later that these calming noises would be eclipsed by the "UNO! DOS! TRES!..." of the water aerobics instructor barking orders to her elderly minions in the pool below me.

My morning was spent bouncing back and forth between the beach, the spa, and the boys rooms getting photos of everyone and everything in the midst of "getting ready" mode. The most educational part of my trip was spent in the spa with Katherine and Liz (her maid of honor) while our bride was having her hair done. The stylist did not speak any English, so we spent a good amount of time learning words like suave, desorganizado, torcedura, and cabello. Nearly two hours later- with the help of my iphone dictionary, the spa's receptionist, and step-by-step photos Katherine had taken during the "dry-run" here in Seattle- her hair was done and looked amazing.

Hair done, I was off to Dale's room to snap a few pics of the guys hanging out before the Big Dance. A few toasts, some ring pics, and one mandatory vodka-cran later I was off to Katherine's room to capture the bride donning her gorgeous wedding gown. No doubt, she looked amazing. (Dale didn't look too bad himself in his slick Tommy Bahama sport coat and slacks.)

The ceremony was elegant, short, and sweet. There were a few laughs when the officiant had Dale repeat "...for richer or poorer..." and then "... for richer or richer..." And because of the heat, neither of their rings slid right on each other's fingers, but that was all part of the fun.

Cocktail hour and family photos were followed by a fabulous buffet of fish, fresh fruit, salad, rice, beef, and a super tasty spicy shrimp pate. After which came heartfelt toasts, cake cutting, and first dances. Even the DJ was great. Some seriously creative dancing (Matt & Derek I'm talking to you) followed as everyone else joined in the dance party, which lasted deep into the evening.

The night growing late, and the moist air consuming everything in its path, Katherine & Dale said their good-byes and retired to their suite. Others were off to continue the party at a local bar, but I was exhausted and knew I had lots of work to do. After two trips to the front desk to reactivate my room's keycard and one long awkward walk back to my room with the maintenance guy to unlock my door, I finally settled in for some Advil, uploading, and some much needed sleep.

Adios mi amigos! Day three is coming up soon!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Felicidades Katherine Y Dale!!! {Dia Uno}

Last Friday I had the great opportunity to hop on a flight to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for the wedding of Katherine Fountain and Dale Mackinnon. Let me first tell you that they are an amazing couple, suited for each other in every way and quite awe-inspiring in the way they care for each other.

I touched down in Los Cabos a little after 2pm and after plenty of baggage checks (don't ever fly with a bunch of lenses if you want to breeze through security...) I made it to my shuttle and then to the resort, the Pueblo Bonito Rose, around 4:30pm.

My room was wonderful, with terra cotta tiled floors and a beautiful balcony over looking the huge pool located in the center of the U-shaped resort grounds. We all met up on the beach at 6pm for the rehearsal and then whisked off to La Fonda restaurant for dinner. The food was, of course, amazing.

After dinner we were off to The No Where Bar on the marina for cervesas, dancing, and crazy photo ops of our fabulous wedding party (I'll save a little dignity to some by refraining from posting those...)

After the bar it was back to my room for downloading and editing before slipping soundly into peaceful AC-induced slumber. Stay tuned for Day Two (wedding day!!) coming up next.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Congrats Molly!

I know that many of you are eagerly anticipating photos from Katherine & Dale's wedding in Mexico. Well, they're coming. First I want to share with you some photos from a senior portrait shoot I had this afternoon.

Since neither of us are into traditional studio pics, we decided to find a cool place outside for our shoot. So, 16 hours after touching back down on a rainy Seattle tarmac, I set out this afternoon to meet up with Molly, her friend Mikey, their pup Anakin, and a troll under a bridge. We were then fortunate enough to stumble upon a house for sale with some awesome graffiti before heading off to wait for the Interurban. As far as I'm concerned, that's really all you need for a great Seattle shoot.

Congrats on your upcoming graduation Molly!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Second Verse, Same as the First!

Yesterday you met Chorus, today I'd like to introduce you to the reason she's such a goofy, fun, vibrant little girl- her parents, Katie & Brian. As I mentioned, my main purpose for our shoot Saturday was to capture some nice maternity photos of the family before their son is born. Katie even had local henna artist Jada-Moon write on all of their hands as well as her belly to document the occasion.

Since it was raining, I assumed all our shooting would have to take place indoors and expected the shoot to only last about a hour. Little did I know that the whole family (especially Chorus) would be more than happy to don umbrellas and brave the drizzle. The result? Some amazing images and nearly three hours of shooting while having way too much fun in the process.

Well, enough of my yapping. Meet the Gilstraps ~