Selecting the images for this post, all I could think was that I just LOVE them SO very much!!  William and Juan Carlos got married last spring in Birmingham Alabama and it was a party we will NEVER forget.  Like, legit… NEVER FORGET!  I knew from the very first Facetime meeting we had (they currently live in Texas, so we had all of our meetings on Facetime) that we would be forever friends.  They were handsome and charming and had some grand plans for an elaborate celebration – but seriously the way they talked about their family and their friends, the way they treated each other –  I just knew they are good people and I wanted to know them always!

So, let me tell you a little bit about this adventure filled weekend, we flew into Birmingham, Alabama (in my head… it’s always with a sweet southern drawl) and met a wonderful taxi driver who took us on a very interesting tour and told us of how it was growing up there (he was in his late 70’s and had a LOT of stories!) he dropped us off at the Grand Bohemian hotel, where we were greeted with glasses of champagne and a gift bag of local snacks. (THANK YOU!!)  We freshened up and hopped in a shuttle to the pre-rehearsal dinner where we had BBQ and met the families and best friends – everyone talked about the food and we just couldn’t get over it!! Seriously – we were snapping photos of the bread, the grills and the hilarious signs!!  We ended at the Good People’s brewery and by the end of the night were hugging everyone – William & JC… your family and your friends are WONDERFUL, just like YOU!

Day two was even better than day one, we cruised around town with the handsome couple checking out cool neighborhoods, seeing such amazing streets, churches and views – we chose to do the portraits the day before because it was HUMID and no one is used to that! My FAAAAVORITE part (besides hanging with the boys) we got to go to the Whistle Stop Cafe and have lunch, with sweet tea and FRIED GREEN TOMATOES!!  I don’t even CARE if you think I’m a nerd… I was GEEKING OUT! HA! Don’t worry, the train is now required to go SLOW, like 5 miles per hour, we waited and waited for the train – but it took too long.  🙂

 

After the portrait session, we went back to the hotel to freshen up and then off to the rehearsal dinner where we got to see and thank and hug Vani & Nathan!!  The sweetest couple who recommended us to Juan Carlos & William and we cannot thank them enough!! THANK YOU!!

The big day is here, a relaxing morning with mimosas and brunch before we start to get ready to PARTY – and just WAIT until you see these party photos… because these folks KNOW how to throw down!  Live band, delicious food…. SO MANY DESSERTS and a LOT of booze!! I’m going to let the photos mostly talk for the wedding day, but I have to mention what a sweet sweet ceremony it was.  So many sniffles from the crowd, and the love between William and JC, seriously – relationship goals right there!

The After Party… Yup, after several hours of dancing to a live band, I would say MOST of the wedding party met at the bar in the hotel, they played pool, talked and kept going until the wee hours!  Thanks again JC & William for a ROCKSTAR weekend, Chris and I had a BLAST with you and hope you love your photos ALWAYS!

(photo below credited to a nice semi-sober guest who wanted us to have a photo of us at the end of the evening, it’s semi in focus and we love it!)

Dream Wedding Team

Venue & Caterer – Grand Bohemian // Planner – M.Elizabeth Events and Something Blue // Rehearsal Dinner – Avo & Dram // Band – // Florist – // Photographers – Barbie Hull & Chris Varnes Photography

 

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Annie + Michael got MARRIED at the Lake Union Cafe in Seattle this December and we all had the MOST fun!  – The day was FREEZING and SantaCon was happening all around us, it was perfect! There were sweet details, beautiful people and DELICIOUS food – who could ask for anything more??  Oh, before I forget to mention it… Michael and Annie are seriously PERFECT for each other! Combined they have the most hilarious sense of humor, are good sports for all of the funny photos and they are planning a wonderful life together.  If they can handle planning a wedding while remodeling the home they are living in, they can handle ANYTHING life has to offer!

Here are a few of my favorite images of the day, hope you love them as much as I do!

 

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Dress – I Do Bridal // Venue – Lake Union Cafe // Ring – West Coast Diamond & Gem // DJ – SG Mobile DJ // Flowers/Caterer/Cake/Coordinator – Lake Union Cafe // Photographer – Barbie Hull Photography

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Hi friends & family!

It’s been SO long since I’ve shared what’s happening over here – not because there isn’t anything going on…. because there is TOO MUCH HAPPENING!!! (inserting long list here of beautiful home remodels, vacations, engagements, proposals, hilarious cats, weddings galore, new businesses, new head-shots, new best friends!!) There are SO many amazing things to celebrate every day and I feel PARALYZED by it, scared I’ll share the wrong thing… or worse, the most perfect thing in the wrong way. Do you know what I mean?

Also, there is too much sadness happening all around that it makes me feel awful sharing only happy things (the loss of family members once so close, friendships torn, pets passing, businesses closing, politics, having to fight for basic human rights, conflicts ew.) – but who REALLY wants to share the sad/bad??  DEFINITELY not me.  But I also don’t want to build a false reality front over here and for anyone to think I live only a happy life.  AAAAAAAHHHH I’ve become social media BLOCKED. And I don’t want that anymore. HELP!  (no, really – if you have some sound advice, I’d love to hear it!)

There are plenty of posts like this on the web, FB, Insta and everywhere of people sharing their struggles.  The answer seems to be taking  break from FB or removing certain apps from their phone – seems reasonable.  Refreshing, restarting, re-calibrating …. I don’t know just taking a break, clearing minds and focusing on what is important and then fingers crossed – the rest will fall into place??  Or, what comes next?  You take a break, and come back stronger and more creative than ever?  I keep trying to do this – but my hands just will not let me.  Instead – I feel like I need to bring it back to the basics.  Blog more, share more, and just try to not be afraid of doing it right… just doing it. No matter what, there will always be regrets – nothing is perfect and there are always things you wish you could’ve done better or tried harder.  Hmmm… this feels like a good time for a quote.  Anyone have one??

Perfect example… I just spent 20 minutes looking for a quote – texted a few friends for inspiration and was distracted. Dangit.  I found a quote, put it in here… came back and re-read it a few minutes later and had to delete it.  Dumb! Thankfully my long time pal Nicole, who loves quotes more than the average human came up with this one –

To do not or to do, there is no try. – Yoda

So, 2018…. Do it.  (by it, I mean blog all of the things).  So here goes, wish me luck and hopefully there will be at LEAST 24 more posts between this one and my happy 2019 Post!

 

 

 

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Last year,  these two adorable Alaskans got engaged in Seattle!!  Well now they’re back and ready to get started planning, here for just a week they’re going to choose a venue and plan their big city wedding!  I have to say Anthony & Gianna are superstars for getting up super early so we could have the whole city to ourselves!  We started at Kerry Park and headed over to Gasworks where our session lasted more than two hours because we couldn’t stop chatting about all of the fun things and at the end… I really didn’t want them to go, Anthony and Gianna are the sweetest and I cannot WAIT for their wedding next summer!  Here are a few sneak peeks for you to enjoy!

 

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Meet Adam, Laura & Murphy, the SWEETEST family!  Tomorrow (June 10th) Laura & Adam will be getting MARRIED (THE BEST!) they debated bringing Murphy along but ultimately decided that he’d prefer to stay in the comfort of his own home.  So instead, we decided to do a mini session this week at their home with Murphy and immediately realized it was the best choice.  Murphy goes BONKERS at the sound of the camera shutter!  We couldn’t stop laughing and there were SO many outtakes (that I had to leave in of course)!!

 

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Last week I was lucky enough to photograph Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market!  #DREAMJOB!!  The images taken that day will be used in an eight page spread of the Seattle Times (be on the lookout, let me know if you see it first!!) telling the story of the market from the inside.

Not many people know how the market works, like…. did you know that every single morning (since the BEGINNING of time) before the market opens, all of the vendors gather around and a bell is rung (sometimes by a celebrity) then using the seniority method, they choose the spot where they’ll set up for the day. NEAT! I had a good time chatting with the artists about this method, and their experience being there and they all had such great stories.  You should really take some time to go down there and chat people up, you won’t regret it and will definitely leave with some fun stories to share!! 

Throughout the day we walked through many parts of the market doing portrait of the business and shop owners as well as a few of the market performing artists and vendors.  We enjoyed the magazine stands, the atrium visiting a bird that meows, the neighborhood Sasquatch and enjoyed a little fruit filled cup of delicious yogurt.  We chatted with designers, photographed buildings, artists and some musicians – we heard stories of parents and grandparents traveling to America starting a new life and building successful businesses to pass down through generations.  The heritage here is much more than entertaining, it’s amazing!!

This first shot is one of my favorite angles of the market (I really have a lot of favorites here today, lookout!).  The skyline has changed a LOT over the last eighteen years  I’ve been here  enjoying it and it is fun to look back and compare, it’s even under construction right now!  A little then and now type of thing, I can’t wait to see what it looks like in 2037!

This view (below) is a little more well known, it’s been photographed millions of times over a hundred years and the only thing that seems to change is the fashion of clothes, cars and updated signs!  Love love love! 

Rachel the PIG!!!  Everyone loves having their photo with her, but did you know that she is a REAL piggy bank?? Yuuuup!  Born in 1986, she has saved over $200,000!  Way to go RACHEL!!

Look closely at this view above, you can see the mural of Waxie Moon on the side of the building – what an amazing performer!! If you haven’t seen him, you really should!!  The mural was commissioned by the Pink Door created by Anna-Lisa Notter, a very talented lady! 

Below is the arcade, the place where the market artists gather each morning, you can see the bell and the list they choose their locations from. It is an old and great way of doing things! Keeping tradition alive. 

Pike Place Market has been one of my favorite places to visit and explore since the day I moved here in 1999!  Every time a friend visits town, or a client chooses to do a destination portrait with a tour of downtown – we either start or end here.  It’s an amazing place to shop, eat, drink, be inspired, get lost and the best part is no matter how many times you visit the market you’ll ALWAYS find something new. A new floor downstairs and around the corner (seriously, so many floors!).  No, wait!  The BEST part is how beautiful and photogenic and perfectly imperfect!!  There are millions of smells, items and food and people from all over the world and don’t forget the street performers!

The rule of the market is that no chains are allowed…. UNLESS your first store started there!  Like everyone’s favorite – Starbucks, Sur la Tablé, Ellenos just to name a few.  I could probably tell you for days all of the stories I’ve heard about when the market began and how the families would stick together to get through the tough times, and WHY it’s called the “sanitary” market… but really I wouldn’t do the best job AND I know that people don’t come to my blog to read….it’s all about the PHOTOS!!  So, if you are interested in learning all (or at least some) of the fun stories you should really check out the Savor Seattle Food Tour and snack while you learn! It’s wonderful!

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The Oscars night was MEMORABLE to say the least… that ending?! SO EXCITING!!  This is my 2nd annual Rhein Haus Oscars Shindig and I really wouldn’t want to spend it any other way!!  We all got dolled up, ate pretzels and wieners, we played games while we watched the Oscars and performances and won prizes then at the end voted BEST DRESSED!!  Bottom line? It was neat!

The party was sponsored by Rhein Haus on Capitol Hill, organized and emceed by Rebecca duRivage-Jacobs and Jason Cotnoir of Shindig Events!!

Here are a few of my favorite photos, CAN’T wait for next year and for all the Mamas and the Papas…. kiddos are welcome!

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Engagement sessions are fun and can be anywhere, but one thing I love to do is do a tour of a neighborhood or area that is special to the couple.  Twenty years from now it will be so fun to look back and see how young and good-looking you were, but also see the neighborhood of where you met, lived and fell in love!  These two love-birds live in Fremont, so we toured our neighborhood!  Starting at the Skansonia (a boat on Lake Union that Blaine’s Grandfather BUILT!!!! NO WAY, RIGHT?!) heading over to Gasworks and onto the Fremont Bridge… that’s a lot of places… so of course we had to head to everyone’s favorite place for happy hour oysters, the Ballard Annex!   Check out Colleen and Blaine’s engagement session in the center of the universe,  Fremont, Washington!

 

 

 

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