Seattle photo session location ideas

Seatac Botanical GardensI find myself emailing clients location ideas for photo sessions quite frequently. Now this email is right here on my blog for easy reference. Enjoy! Disclaimer: Each location will look different depending on the season. Sometimes foliage and blooms will be present, but perhaps not if it is the dead of a Seattle winter. Also times of day and weather will make a difference too so keep in mind that I will never be to completely recreate the look of any of these sessions. Each session is unique, but this is a nice list to get us started.

Seatac Botanical Gardens Yes, this place exists and has so many different backdrop locations. Truly beautiful.

Seattle Center / EMP Lots of fun, modern spots to shoot here.

Lincoln Park in West Seattle I have been able to find great portrait light at Lincoln Park. I'm a fan!

The Normandy Park Cove or Redondo Beach Judging by the amount of links from the Cove it is safe to say that yes, it is one of my favorite locations to shoot!

Highline High School The font of the school is amazing! All the brick and columns…. and if you went to Highline this could be cool (or not. ha ha.)

University of Washington Campus

A funky retro motel in Sodo I love the mint green color of this place.

The Sculpture Park This is another one of my favorite locations for all the variety and cool factor.

Funky place near 4th ave in Sodo I'm not sure I could find this place again (plus it did feel a bit dangerous on this session because we had to hop a fence!)

Pike Place Market / Post Alley

Volunteer Park

Ferry ride

OTHER IDEAS Gas Works Park, The Bay Pavilion, Georgetown, and of course the arboretum. A favorite park, a favorite coffee shop make for special locations. For the most special and enduring location of all, do not discount your house! Years from now you will appreciate capturing and documenting your family in your home.

And of course I'm always happy to travel to Hawaii, San Diego, Mexico, Lake Chelan, Seabrook, Europe, NYC... or Tacoma! I love to travel. Let's make it happen.

Single section focus points on the Nikon d600

I am happy to write that these Senior Photos of this sweet and gorgeous girl - and flowers - were taken with my new Nikon d600. I was planning on buying this camera "in the future" which means in the next ten years. But then my Nikon d700 went in the shop (and still isn't out) and my Nikon F100 was still in the shop and I needed a camera fast before foam started coming out of my mouth, or even worse, irate clients' mouths.

I'm not generally a super early adopter of new technology. I like to have others test the waters and report back before I jump in but this was a clear indication of why I needed another camera or at least a decent back up camera. So I bought. And then I spent my Friday night reading the manual cover to cover. After reading it I STILL couldn't figure out how to toggle through the focus points like I was doing on my d700. (Disclaimer: I should have prefaced this post with a high geek factor warning if you hadn't figured that out via the blog title already!)

I hit You Tube looking for how other people set up their Nikon d600s for this. Nada. I searched The Google for about two days! Then I finally found it on DPReview buried deep in a discussion thread.

It is really easy to set up your d600 for single selection focus points. Here's how:

1. On the front of your camera you find a switch with a button that says "AF/M". Hold that button.

2. Through the view finder you will see AF_ on the left side of the screen and the letter S or the word Auto. Auto is the default. Switch it to "S" using the front dial. Switch the "AFC" to "AFS" using the dial on the back of your camera.

3. Now you are ready to start toggling through the focus points using the "joystick" where the "OK" button is.

This is not the best "tutorial" as I have not included images of the camera or a You Tube video but I wanted to get the word out that, yes, you CAN singly select a focus point on the Nikon d600. I had almost given up hope for this feature and am happy to share. Now I'm going back to my late adopter of technology so other people can figure this stuff out and post it to the internet first!

Film Is Not Dead (FIND)

My husband said to me, "Isn't the fact that you're attending a workshop called 'Film Is Not Dead' mean that it film is dead?" Me, "NO!" I let my husband know that there has been a bit of a resurgence in film photography. Labs that were closing down are suddenly hiring again. Sure, it is not the same as fifteen years ago, or even ten years ago but people are discovering the quality can't be beat with digital.

And the biggest evangelist of this is Jonathan Canlas. Pictured below:

I am so so so so happy I signed up for his workshop! As soon as I signed up I was allowed access to the FIND Facebook group and the FIND forum. Wow, this alone was worth the price of the workshop. The group has formed an amazing world-wide community of awesome photographers posting 24/7.

Being in the forum gave me the courage to experiment with film before the workshop. I borrowed my friend's Leica M6 to experiment. After shooting with the Leica I wasn't sure film was for me. Focusing the range finder took some getting used to and I wasn't sure I was getting decent shots. For one roll I thought I was shooting color but oops, it was black and white! And when I finished a roll of film and didn't have any more frames I wanted to "chimp" through my images to delete the so-so ones to take more. I was a little spoiled by the instant gratification of digital. But then I saw the results (that I didn't have to Photoshop) and film is pretty appealing.

Here are a few samples of photos I took before the workshop with a Leica M6 using Fuji Neopan film: Fuji Neopan

Yes, I want a Leica now! (Full disclosure, being a FINDer opens a can of worms for new gear you are going to want. Not that there's not an insane list of gear I want for my digital stuff too. Gear crushing is the curse of every photographer.)

Being on the "thrifty" side I decided to buy a 35mm Nikon F100 (even though most folks shoot medium format) to capture some photos on film. I figured I could use my Nikon lenses I use on my D700 with the F100 and save myself some cash. I finally tested out my Nikon F100 at the workshop and sadly, the piece of crap I got off of eBay is not focusing correctly. It felt off but when I got the film back, I knew for sure. The ones that were in focus though... wow! I love the color. Here are a few samples from my piece of crap camera. Yes, a piece of crap camera took these:

Film is not dead workshop Seattle

Once again, no Photoshop people! (Disclosure #2: I have a love/hate relationship with Photoshop. I love what I can do with it. I hate it for the amount of time it sucks out of me.) Results like this without the post-processing is really luring me in.

I've been continuing to shoot digital in my sessions since the workshop, but as the year goes on I may add a film option for my sessions (once I get that F100 fixed, or bite the bullet for a medium format camera.) Regardless if I chose to continue shooting digitally or in film I will say that the Film Is Not Dead workshop was well worth my money. It has made me a better photographer regardless of the medium. The best part of the workshop was meeting the amazing people in FIND in person and the awesome Jonathan Canlas. Thank you Jon for coming to Seattle! You have a friend in Seattle for life.