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We Heart Sharlane | A Party on Feb 4th!

When I first decided to pursue a career as a photographer, I was worried about working in isolation. I thought being self-employed might mean animosity from other photographers and a lonely life in front of my computer. Now I know it’s anything but and I feel privileged to be part of a supportive community full of wonderful, exuberant, and creative people.

Recently, we’ve been called to action to help one of our own. Sharlane Chase, a woman who has contributed so much to the Seattle wedding industry, has just been diagnosed with cancer. A cancer diagnosis is scary, but even scarier when you’re self-employed and mother to an 8-year-old daughter.

I’ve borrowed the following from my friend, Barbie Hull:

Photo by MeRa Koh

“Sharlane is a mother, a photographer, and our friend.  This year began like a fairy tale, complete with a magical proposal from the man she loves.  Like so many fairy tales, this one turned dark as Sharlane was diagnosed with cancer even before the wedding planning could begin.  The diagnosis itself is scary enough, but so are the crushing costs associated.  This is our attempt to help our friend, who has helped so many herself.”

So, the supportive industry I mentioned above has come together and is doing what they we best – we’re throwing a party!!

Here is a website with more info – please tell everyone you know!  Let’s pack this party in support of Sharlane. There will be tons of awesome items up for auction at incredible prices, as well as food, drink, and a chance to shmooze with the most fun peeps in Seattle.

Here are the details:

  • WHAT: fundraising event for Sharlane
  • WHERE: Herban Feast at Sodo Park
  • WHEN: Feb 4th at 7pm
  • HOW: a silent auction of arts and services, along with an ongoing donation collection
  • WHY: because cancer sucks and we heart Sharlane.

Engagement Session Giveaway WINRARS!

Just as I finished announcing the New Year’s family photo giveaway, I started a new one over on Wedding Bee classifieds for three free engagement shoots. I love the ‘Bee community because it was SO immensely helpful to me during my wedding planning, and I’m really happy to be able to give back in some way.

I asked people to submit their vision for their ideal engagement shoot in the Seattle/Portland area… and I got so many great responses. It was really very difficult to choose just three from all the emails I got. I was sad to narrow it down, but I eventually had to. I couldn’t just let everyone else send me something for nothing, though! So, while the winners will receive a free engagement shoot (and image files), everyone else who entered will get $50 off an engagement or bridal session and a free disc of print-resolution images (normally $200).

Here are the three winners… Congrats!

Maggie Walker dreamed of an engagement shoot on the ferry between Seattle and Bainbridge Island, where she grew up, and at some of the iconic sites along both waterfronts.

Andrea Jung met her fiance in a Portland ultimate Frisbee league and being a self-described “shy bride,” would love a Frisbee-themed session in one of Portland’s great parks and some of the iconic neighborhoods nearby.

Kate Winne has a very special engagement ring custom-engraved with her and her fiance’s favorite things. She brainstormed a shoot around these things: Books (at the Seattle library), puppies (with a canine friends), pizza (a heart-shaped pie) and hops (with their home-brew equipment).

Other amazing ideas included vintage photos at the Vista House in the gorge and ethereal pictures near and in some of the gorge waterfalls; a session at some of Seattle’s most beautiful, natural spots; shooting at the downtown REI; pictures to commemorate a first date in downtown Portland (including smooching on the MAX!); a snow session during ski season; colorful photos in the Skagit valley tulip fields; and iconic Seattle shoots on the waterfront and beaches, at the Market, near the troll, under the Needle, at Gas Works Park, and more!

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time, energy, and courage to share your stories and ideas. I was so glad to hear from you.

Family Photo Giveaway Winners

Happy New Year!

It took a lot of work, and help from my friends, but I finally decided on the winner of my “Giving is Awesome” portrait session. Buuuuuut… because there were so many deserving families nominated, I also chose three runners up. Woohoo! OK, let’s start the announcing…

The Winner: 2-hour portrait session + $800 in goodies

THE MCGUFFEY FAMILY: Jessica and Jeremy live in Puyallup with their three-year-old son Connor. Connor was born with an extremely rare series of genetic disorders and is confined to a wheelchair. He has struggled his entire life, but recently he’s been suffering from increasingly severe seizures.

Connor’s dad, Jeremy, an officer in the army, was injured while deployed in Afghanistan. His stryker vehicle ran over an I.E.D., which completely pulverized both of his heels and caused severe lacerations to his legs. He will eventually re-learn to walk but is also wheelchair-bound for now.

In the face of everything, Jessica has been courageous and upbeat, and extremely supportive of her lovely family. They’ll receive the gift of a two-hour portrait session at a location of their choice as well as up to $800 in prints, albums, or canvasses.

Jessica was nominated by her sister, Mary, who lives in Texas. Mary, if ever we meet, you have a $250 credit toward a session or prints of your own. Thank you so much for caring so deeply about your sister and her family. And congratulations to all of you!

The Runners-Up: 1-hour portrait session + a framed triptych

THE KINDORF FAMILY: A series of medical problems has had Mr. Kindorf in and out of the hospital and upset the family’s finances. His wife and oldest son are working together to raise the other three Kindorf kids, the youngest of which has cystic fibrosis. They are struggling to stay afloat after a tough year in a tough economy but will stay strong no matter what.

Thank you to Mauvia for thinking of the Kindorfs. They are blessed to have you as a friend!

THE KARR FAMILY: Kathleen is a military wife who is raising a new baby while her husband is out to sea. Kat gave birth to little Kendall three days before her husband was deployed and has raised her on her own away from friends and family for the last seven months. Kathleen could only take a little maternity leave and is now working full time to support Kendall and pay her mortgage. At a recent well-child visit, Kendall was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and placed in a body cast, where she will spend the next six months. Kendall needs new everything to fit her cast, and probably has to look forward to many surgeries. Kathleen has had a trying and painful year, but she and Kendall have accomplished so much.

Thank you, Chastity, for nominating your sister-in-law. You rock!

THE HORAN FAMILY: Therese is a single mom who moved to Seattle from Sitka, Alaska to go through ARNP school. She has just graduated and is looking for a job in a very tough market. Despite mounting bills and student loans, Therese is a wonderfully supportive mother to her young daughter. She has always made sure that her daughter’s needs are first, even when she was working through school. They are a joy to watch together!

Justin, you’re an awesome classmate for suggesting Therese. I wish everyone were so considerate!

Each of the people who nominated a runner-up also receives a $50 credit that they can use either to schedule a personal photo session or to purchase prints for the family they’ve nominated. Y’all are awesome!

Holiday Photo Giveaway = All Done!

Images of icicles, snow on grasses, seed pods, and snowy berries by Seattle photographer Kat Speyer
Thank you to everyone who entered on behalf of their friends and families in need. It was very touching to read all of your entries and many brought tears to my eyes. I wish that I could help everyone in some way.

Now that the giveaway is closed, my trusted friends and I wil review your nominations and try our best to pick one deserving winner before the New Year.

Thank you again… I mean it! You’re all so awesome and it warms my heart.

K + J
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