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Category Archives: Travel

Big Island + Big Nature = Hawaiian Dream

It’s my goal to start posting more personal and travel photography on our blog along with images from recent sessions. So here are some images of the lovely scenery during our trip to Hawaii last July to go along with the recent posts from the KICKASS wedding we were there to photograph.

I’ll start with the beautiful Hawaii High Country, add some snapshots of the Mauna Lani Bay grounds and nearby coastline, and finally, leave you with photos from our epic 12-hour adventure circumnavigating the island in our Mustang convertibles all the way down one side, to Akaka Falls and Volcanoes National Park (where there sadly was no active lava to see) and back up the other side! Enjoy!

High country on HawaiiHawaii flowers Bird of Paradise and OrchidsHawaii fishermen by the Mauna Lani Bay hotelMauna Lani Bay saltwater pond trees with succulent rootsMauna Lani Bay salt water fish ponds and palm treesBig Island house in Hawaii near shave ice stand and orange housecat on hot pavementFresh Hawaii fruit on the big island: bananas on the branch and pineapples for saleAkaka falls and surrounding forest on HawaiiHawaiian Bamboo near Akaka FallsHawaii native plants near Akaka fallsSulfur steam vents in Volcanoes National Park on HawaiiHawaii pheasant with red headVolcanoes National Park in HawaiiDead wood on a tree in Volcanoes National ParkVolcanoes National Park Big Island Hawaii Photography

We even had the camera turned on us by Christen at Akaka falls, where she snapped this photo of Justin and I enjoying the cool spray. Thanks, Christen, you’re the pro now!

Persimmon Images Seattle Wedding Photographers Kat and Justin Speyer in Hawaii to photograph a Mauna Lani Bay destination wedding

This is the third and final post in our series from Christen + Leigh’s epic Hawaii destination wedding with karaoke craziness and Mauna Lani Bay sea turtle Independence Day. We hope all the gorgeous Hawaii imagery has kept you warm!

Japan | The Home Where my Heart Is

My flight to Japan leaves in a few hours, and I’m about to get on my bus, so I thought I’d share a few shots from my last trip to Japan this August. This time I’ll be spending a little while in Tokyo (where I have an engagement session!) and volunteering in Ishinomaki helping with the repairs post-tsunami. I’ll be back November 9. email hidden; JavaScript is required if you need anything in the meanwhile.

Travelogue | Jackson, Wyoming

Late last summer, we spent a week in a miraculously large vacation home outside Jackson, Wyoming. We were diverted to Jackson after plans for our yearly trip to Glacier National Park fell through at the last minute… but rather than pine for the great outdoors, we packed up our car and made the 15-hour drive out to Grand Teton National Park. We cycled and hiked, drank fine wine and listened to elk bugle in our back yard. Now is a perfect time to revisit… Enjoy a few photos from the trip.

Riding the path between the house and Grand Teton Park in Jackson, WY

Cyclist at Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, WyomingJenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming

Lone tree in field, Jackson, Wyoming

Fossilized creature in stone along the path to Death Canyon in Jackson WyomingDetail of antler arch in central Jackson Hole, Wyoming

A pond near the Amangani Hotel in Jackson, Wyoming

Cowboy hats in a shop in Jackson, Wyoming

A field of light and shadow in Grand Teton National ForestJustin hiking to the top of Taylor Peak in Grand Teton National Forest

A dandelion growing in a field in Grand Teton National Forest

Cattle in a field outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Evening light over a valley in Jackson, WyomingRiver Bed at Sunset in Jackson, Wyoming

Large leg bone found in a river bed in Jackson, Wyoming

Travelogue | Viva Las Vegas!

After almost three weeks on the road, I’m back home in Seattle and settling in to the last day of my first week as a full-time photographer. Ever since I started this business last year, I’ve been looking forward to this moment. Let me tell you… it feels every bit as good as I imagined! I’m so proud to have built something this special and close to my heart with my own two hands and excited to see how the coming years will play out.

Vegas was a complete whirlwind. I think in the week I spent there, I probably had 4 hours total of “down time” in addition to each meager night’s sleep. It was my first time in Sin City, and I think I made the most of every second… it was worth the two days of recovery time required when I got home.

Thursday through Sunday, the Bees took Vegas by “swarm.”  Thirty-five past and current Wedding Bee bloggers crashed at the Mirage for three days of partying, gambling, and shows. We played Wolverton and Wheel of Fortune nickle slots in the casinos and befriended group of gentlemen from Cypress and Istanbul there to play semi-pro tournaments for $300,000. There were dinners, brunches, and a reader meet-up at every type of Vegas eatery. We went to Chippendales and Cirque du Soleil the same night. Several of us tore through four bottles of Grey Goose in a VIP booth at club Lavo, dancing on platforms until we shut the place down at 4AM. It was raucous, authentic Vegas and I alternately loved and was horrified by every minute of it.

The New York New York is a hodgepodge cityscape of Empire State landmarks

The newer parts of the Las Vegas strip are dominated by ultra-modern architecture

Wedding BeeWedding Bee

The Bees flew home Sunday and the WPPI conference started that night. Another intense four days of attending classes covering every facet of photography imaginable, walking the trade show floor to find my favorite vendors, listening to seasoned speakers share their experiences,and  meeting friends and colleagues from far and wide. Of course, even a conference in Vegas can’t be without its share of epic parties. Airhorns and Lasers rocked my world, even if it was nearly a fiasco. (I lost– and later recovered– my wallet… and don’t get me started on the amount of time we spent running around aimlessly that night.) The ShootQ/Pictage/KISS party at Studio 54 was INsanely awesome. And though I didn’t make it to the SmugMug Slumber Party, I hear it was a riot…enough so that the suite got shut down for noise complaints!

Atlas shoulders the world above the escalators at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, where the 2010 WPPI conference took placeThe mini Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas doesn

A ceiling fixture inside Harrah

The Venetian fountains almost resemble the real thing with creative enough photography and a bit of black and white

My brain is so full of information and my hard drive so full of photos, that it’ll take me a bit to make heads or tails of it all. WPPI was, without a doubt, worth the investment and probably the most educational and socially valuable experience off my career thus far. I came away with a wealth of information about branding & marketing, off-camera lighting, wedding day workflow, portrait techniques, pricing metrics, album design, boudoir poses and studio decoration, and… uh, LOTS more.

What finally came to life for me, the beating heart at the center of it all, is how to truly stand out from the crowd by providing the very best for the incredible people who choose me to help tell their story. On the one hand, WPPI helped me figure out exactly how to offer new and unique photography sessions, indelible service,  the highest-quality printed products. On the other hand, it taught me how to do all this while honoring my commitment to be true to myself to my business: to let my love, passion, and self shine though my photography; to be selective about the work I do and who I do it for, finding clients who are the best fit and likely to be long-time friends; and, above all, having fun, sharing joy, and creating memories to last a lifetime.

There will be lots of changes coming in the next two weeks… a new website, new photo sessions, new pricing, and lots more. Stay tuned!

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