It’s been a pleasure to get to know this beautiful senior the past couple months during her sessions. Not only is she beautiful, but she’s an active, fun, funny and energetic young lady is who embarking on her last year of high school. A senior at Orting High School, a cheerleader, a daughter, a friend, a sister, and a student – all make up Sammy, or Samantha…a free spirited individual who has been a blast to hang out during her sessions. These are from last week when we met before senior night, to capture some shot in her cheer uniform and then later than night during the season’s last football ball game for the school, which also honored all the seniors on the football team, cheer and dance squads. As you can see, Sammy makes my job easy!!

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Just last weekend I was in Chicago for a few days and thought I would share a peek at what I was lucky enough to see (and do) while there. A workshop with Audrey Woolard is what brought myself and a friend there. It was a wonderful workshop, focusing on shooting in full sun and working with some great “tweens” who were not only beautiful girls, but all very sweet and fun to get to know. On the first day of the workshop, we had gorgeous weather…about 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky…talk about a perfect fall day! The second day was even warmer! An added bonus on the second day was that it was the day of the Chicago Marathon, which is one of the six major world marathons…and the course took it RIGHT in front of the studio! How lucky were we…getting to see the VERY first group going by, including the handcyclers and then the first group of runners (with the top finishers being in that group!). Of course, we all had to take a few photos of the runners, who could pass up an opportunity like that, as well as a chance to cheer them all on! I traveled with a good friend, Connie, and we had a day on each end of the weekend to see some of the sights. I’ve been to Chicago before, but Connie had not, so it was fun to show her some of the highlights!

Chicago_0001Millennium ParkChicago_0002A friend mentioned something about popcorn…OMGoodness, if you ever go there, stop at Garrett’s and try their mix…it’s delicious and irresistible!!Chicago_0003Traffic and lots of skyscrapers…so much to see!Chicago_0008It was really impressive to see the well planned bike system they have in the downtown area!!Chicago_0007More fun and views at Millennium Park!Chicago_0004Navy Pier…it was under construction, so there was less to see than we’d hoped for.Chicago_0005The skyline view from Navy Pier was stunning!Chicago_0006A little fun with a photo looking over the Chicago River at night!

Chicago_0009Saturday morning…shooting in full sun, with Audrey explaining positioning, settings and more!
Chicago_0011One of our beautiful models…such a natural!Chicago_0010Another great model…we were lucky to have such fun girls to photograph!
Chicago_0012And the last of our models…she was a character, so pretty and a great sense of humor!!Chicago_0013These girls all rocked it during the workshop…:)Chicago_0014The wheelchair participants…very impressive and so intense! The top photo has the male winner, the one in the middle in the white shirt!Chicago_0015This is the first group of runners…they were amazing! The winner was Dickson Chumba of Kenya, who was in the back row in these photos, in the middle in the yellow shirt.Chicago_0016What determination all of the participants showed, it was really awe inspiring!Chicago_0017The front female runners, with Florence Kiplagatin, also from Kenya, in the front (in the red), being the top female finisher.Chicago_0018Some of our workshop participants watching the marathon runners.Chicago_0019Nighttime at Millennium Park at Cloud Gate, or “The Bean” as I call it!! 😉Chicago_0020Some fun at the Crown Fountains at the Millennium Park!Chicago_0021Chicago_0022The Art Institute of ChicagoChicago_0023Chicago Tribune TowerChicago_0024Under the Cloud Gate at Millennium ParkChicago_0025The beautiful and historical buildings in the downtown area are incredible…so amazing to see these buildings!Chicago_0026Oak Street Beach with Lake Michigan behind us.Chicago_0027Chicago_0028Chicago_0029View from the Willis Tower…103 floors up. The building is 108 floors tall and the second tallest building in the US.Chicago_0030Chicago_0031The W at City Center…our home during our visit in Chicago!Chicago_0032We had clear skies during the flight back home…with some great views!!Chicago_0033A gorgeous sunset welcomed us back to Seattle…it couldn’t have been any more perfect! A great trip, wonderful workshop and great memories!!

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Kudos to this delightful young lady as when we had her session it was one of those blasting 90 degree days here in the Puget Sound and she didn’t complain a single time! Ayrianna is not only a beautiful girl, but so very sweet, kind and caring and during her session, she was very relaxed and natural…it was just easy and fun to photograph her! As her mom calls this birthday…her “golden” birthday since it’s her last year of being in the single digits…it was touching to watch just how emotional her mom was watching her baby, who is turning into a lovely young lady…growing up before her very eyes! As any parent knows…watching your children grow up is a delight, but also a bit sad when you know that the little child who was so dependent and looked to you for everything is becoming more independent and doesn’t always need you. This family is a blast to hang out with…I’ve known them for a few years…and had the pleasure of photographing Aaron and Elizabeth’s wedding a couple years ago (such fun!!!) and they have gone from clients to friends, which is a true blessing with my job! So…as you will see, Ayrianna has a beautiful smile and eyes that sparkle and even more than that…she’s a strong and confident girl who I know will achieve whatever she puts her mind to in life!!

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE the connection that Ayrianna has with her dog, Willow…it’s precious and priceless…they both obviously adore each other!ayrianna_0009ayrianna_0010ayrianna_0011ayrianna_0012ayrianna_0013ayrianna_0014ayrianna_0015ayrianna_0016ayrianna_0017ayrianna_0018ayrianna_0019ayrianna_0020ayrianna_0021

~ GORGEOUS GIRL ~ayrianna_0022ayrianna_0023ayrianna_0024This beautiful little message that her parents wrote for her explains it all…ayrianna_0025ayrianna_0026ayrianna_0027

Ayrianna…you totally ROCK…and I know that you will be strong enough for whatever comes your ways in life…be true to yourself and faithful to those who love you!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AYRIANNA

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