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Golden Light and the Best Smiles

One of my favorite things about my photography classes is getting to meet such wonderful people through them! Heather has been to two of my classes and is signed up for my Golden Light Class in a few weeks.  What a treat it was to do a golden light mini session with her family! One of my mini session nights got stormy so I'm glad we were able to reschedule and follow the last hour of light, all the way to  when the warm sun dipped right down at sunset.

Scarlett and Sawyer were an absolute delight.  Kids with personality are my favorite and they were pure fun!  I think the warmth of the sun is the perfect setting for the love that they all have together.  The last one of Heather cuddled up with her sweeties, is one we did just as we were losing the light and it makes my heart so happy. It's so good to get mamas who are behind the camera most of the time, in front of the camera with their kids!

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Craig and Anna's Crew in the Sunshine

They are a family that loves big and loves well. They are humble and freely laugh and share about what they are learning in this journey of raising a family but for all of us that are in their wide circle, we are thankful for their commitment and example. The value they extend to each other and their kids is evident.  Ben and I are so thankful for Craig and Anna's friendship and have been enormously blessed by their faith, generosity and warmth.

I had the best evening with them and their five kids the other night! It was so refreshing to laugh and play around and have fun together.  Easy peasy group to photograph.

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Pigtails and Sparkly Shoes

I always am happy to include grandparents in family pictures and was so pleased to have Eric's parents and Carlin's mom jump into some pictures with them and the girls the other night.  I can tell they are all pretty crazy about these little ladies.  I remember taking pictures of Amorin when she had the sprouty pigtail on the top of her head and now it's Lochlan that has that look. 

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Golden Mini Session as We Chased Lincoln

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll say it again: I just love photographing families through the years and watching their kids grow!  Sweet Luke was about Lincoln's age the first time I photographed their family several years ago.  Now he's the big, steady brother while his little brother is the two-year-old, running like a crazy preschooler away from the lady with the camera!  Good thing he's got parents that know how to play along and tackle him down.  Thank you for a fun golden mini session, friends!

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Forty Years of Loving {Anniversary Portraits}

Truly, it was an absolute pleasure to photograph this amazing family, in honor of George and Rita's 40th anniversary this year.  I hear that that the one thing they wanted was for all their family to be together so they flew in along with one of the sisters' family for a fun weekend.  It was a joy to capture their affection. These cousins are crazy about each other and when I did their individual portraits, they told me what they loved about each other, which is why they are all beaming.  I have known Dayla and Doreen through my photography classes and had the opportunity to photograph Dayla's family last fall. I've known how highly they value their relationships and it was evident throughout our time together that they all feel the same way.  There is a rich blessing in George and Rita's family because of what they have sown into each other, their children and grandchildren for the last 40 years.  Thank you for letting me be a part of such a special time!

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Sundresses and Sunshine

I had a great time with Amelia and Annalise the other night. I've been known to encourage a little silliness and these sisters played right along.  Seems they know how to have a good time.  There were  many lovely spots on their property to take pictures and I so enjoyed being with their family! I also love the sundresses.  Give me some happy girls in sundresses on a summer evening and I'm a happy girl myself.

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Playing in the Sun {Golden Light Mini Session}

I knew we were in for a good time when we met and Angela introduced her son to me and told him that this was "the lady that we're going to play with."  My favorite pictures are ones where we are playing together to get the interactions and expressions that are real with littles.  Angela is also a wonderful local photographer (though frankly, she could be a model herself) and we have some mutual friends.  I loved photographing their family in the golden light which was as warm as their relationships.   So thankful! 


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Stephanie, Tim and Their Girls- Summer Mini Session

Our school is pretty much packed full of fantastic teachers and staff. Stephanie is one of the teachers and though I've not had children in her class yet (insert crossed fingers), she's one of those magnetic people that has a smile like sunshine.  Not surprisingly, she has a wonderful little family and I was so happy to do a mini session with them.  Zoe and Ava were absolutely lovely and  easy to engage with.  Thank you for coming out for a family update!

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Summer Mini Session with Shana, Adam and Zeb

It's always amazing to me how fast little babies grow. I've been watching Zeb grow on facebook since our session last fall and he's so much bigger but still the same gentle, sweet natured baby. was good to catch up with Shana and Adam as we did their portraits. They are a great couple and so in love with their boy, and nothing makes me happier than taking portraits of people who are in love with each other.  Well, that and great light and great weather and a pretty location.  Win, win, all the way around!


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At the Marina

I really enjoyed my evening with this family at the Des Moines marina last weekend. It was busy there but we found lots of little areas to shoot and we walked and hung out right into sunset.  Jack and Jude are awesome brothers and I really loved chatting with them as we hung out and when Jude told me at the end that he wanted to go with me, it warmed my heart.  Makes me happy to make new little friends. Thanks, Michelle and Kris, for a great time!

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Fall Photography Classes Open for Registration

Here are the details about my fall classes. I absolutely love teaching others to document their lives and grow in their photography skills both creatively and technically. I've taught over twenty classes now! Your big, fancy camera is a hundred times more valuable when you know how to use it to take the images you want.

 If you would like to register for any of these classes, please contact me at cassandra@cassandrahamiltonphotography.com. I'll put you on my list and tell you where to mail in your class fee.  These will be the only classes that I'll teach this fall as it is my busy season.  Class sizes are limited.

Golden Hour Class

Saturday, September 12 from 4:00-7:30 (backup- Saturday, September 19). $125.

I'm really excited to be able to squeeze in another of these classes this year.

Golden light is absolutely gorgeous to shoot in and is a favorite of photographers for good reason but it can be tricky. 

In this class we'll be covering:

  • challenges of shooting in golden light like inaccurately exposed images, positioning of people, finding spots that work well.  
  • the benefits of the golden hour: warmth, back lighting, dimension.
  • we'll shoot together for an hour in a gorgeous location using several spots to play with the light. With our models I'll talk about positioning, interaction and lighting techniques.
  • we'll go over my post processing techniques for golden hour photos in color and black and white. Clean editing can make quite a dramatic image.

I think you'll get the most out of this class if you are shooting in manual.

 

 

 

Shooting in Manual Class

Saturday, September 19 from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. $150. Auburn, WA.

This class is for those who have a working knowledge of the components of exposure and who are shooting in aperture priority, or manual and want to learn how to take total control of their camera. It's the follow up to my first class, Photographing Your Life: First Steps with a D-SLR.  For the first hour I work through the concepts with a teaching slideshow and then we have  three hours of shooting together. Prime lens required.

We cover and practice:

  • shooting in challenging situations that are difficult to do in any other mode: low lighting, high contrast, backlighting,  moving objects at high speeds, everything in focus except for movement.

  • finding the “sweet spot” of optimal exposure to achieve your creative vision.

  • working with a model so I can talk through lighting, positioning, interacting, spacing, composition.

 

PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR LIFE:

FIRST STEPS WITH A D-SLR.

Saturday, September 26 from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. $125. Auburn, WA

This intro class is for people who want to learn how to use their cameras and most come in either shooting in auto or dabbling in other modes.

We cover:

  • how to use natural and available lighting for the best look, especially including indoor light which can be tricky.

  • how to capture genuine emotion and connections with portraiture by interacting with your subject (I have some fun tricks I’ll tell you about…nobody wants cheese!).

  • things to keep in mind when composing a shot with visual interest and balance.

  • storytelling and  details to include in your daily life.

  • the technical aspects of your camera and learn how to shoot in the different modes beyond auto.

  • the components that go into creating proper exposure and how to adjust them in a variety of settings.

  • the practical experience of shooting together with what we’ve learned and I will send you out with a sound knowledge of how to use aperture priority.

 

 

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At Home with Lego, Kitties and Babies

When I am driving to their sessions, I feel like I do when I've been looking forward to a good visit with friends.  I adore this family and love seeing them each year since the twins were on the way. We've photographed them all over and I was thrilled when Jen suggested taking photos as home as Sam wanted pictures with his lego and Ellie wanted some with Ernie and Smudges, the cats.  It so warmed my heart to photograph them through the house and see pictures from past years up all over (great big hug for a photographer!!).  We did take photos with legos, cats, baby dolls, books and with Nana and Auntie who were there for tacos before I came.  We played and visited at the house and then went for a walk. We played Simon Says and then hung out at the local school playground.  They are the most laid back family, except for Sam, who has ants in his pants (but I sure dig a boy who's got some energy!).  Ellie's smile and the way she laughs made me grin the whole time I was working on their pictures. From Sam's sticker covered bed to Ellie's cuddle space with the kitties, I hope these pictures will always remind them of this fun season.

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Food, Friends and Photos!

We had our friends over the other night for dinner....actually it turned out to be a feast when Susanne rolled up her sleeves and whipped up a lovely cherry German cake and Brent made a big berry crisp.  The kids loaded up their potatoes at the potato bar that we put together and they all played together while we chatted.  After dinner, we hopped out to catch some pictures of them together....so fun and so easy.  These kids are so engaging and a piece of cake to photograph.  Yay for friends and food and pictures!

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My Golden Girl

My golden girl is 

growing

shining

maturing

igniting

glowing

changing

lighting up my world.

Ruby came with me when I did a couple mini sessions last week.  At the end we shot a few of her into the sunset. I'm so glad she came along.

On the way home, I told her that I think she is really lovely and that it's her beautiful heart that truly shines through.


She responded with this quote:
“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” Roald Dahl.


Right on...makes my mama heart so happy

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Golden Light Minis with Pink and Smiling Girls

These friends have a special place in my heart.  These little ladies are so warm and sugary that it makes me feel like I get to play when I have the chance to photograph them.  They met me for a golden hour mini session and I love the warmth as a backdrop for the love they have in their sweet family.

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Golden Light Mini Session with a Stephanie and Will and Their Boys

Give me some great light and a wonderful family and I am in heaven.  I so enjoyed my time with this family.  I know how crazy life with three boys can be and these guys were amazing!  We played and laughed and kept things moving along  because that's how we have to roll with boys.  I loved William's tongue in cheek humor, Oliver's big laughs and Sebastian's giggles as he was tossed around.  

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Lots of Girliness {Bonney Lake Family Photography}

I was really looking forward to meeting up with their family again after the fun we had LAST YEAR. These girls are charming and the littles keep us running and we do a lot of laughing which end up being a recipe for my favorite family photos which always involve a little bit of crazy and a lot of love.  Merry and Markus are awesome as they laugh and encourage and play and appropriately bribe!

Thank you for a very fun morning and the opportunity to photograph your delightful family.


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Around the Campfire

We haven't camped in a couple of summers.  It was a lot of fun, but when I found Tymen licking his fruit rollup hands as he was coming out of the camping potties, I knew we needed to grow up a little more for my own camping sanity.

We had a great time away this past week!  We drove up to Kalaloch and were blissfully happy at the beach in the beautiful light.  The kids worked hard at building and digging and it was fun seeing them crash through the waves.  We had a wee visit with Kate Densmore and her family.  It was talking to her as she did our "Day in the Life" in April which twigged our interest in heading to that neck of the woods.  We roasted marshmallows, the kids build fires with Ben, and I got to preside over the campfire popcorn popper which I've had since I was little and had to get the knack of again! The kids were ecstatic to help with everything and having Auntie Meghan there made it all the sweeter.


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Fourth of July Happiness

This was the third year that we've done the fourth with friends from our lifegroup (small group from church!).  We started out the day a little slowly as we're all trying to slog through this unseasonable heat but it didn't take the kids long before they were biking around the loop, digging in bags of chips with friends and blowing off the water bottle rocket.  We had a groaning table of really good food, plenty of bbq everything and did a little family flag waving. As the sun went down we dashed up to the hill for a last minute patriotic silhouette and then headed back to our house.  I'd been concerned about the family fireworks show with the dry grass and had asked Ben for just sparklers. Welllllll, there were a few more things involved but the dad-pyros were cautious and had soaked down the front lawn and had buckets of water ready to go if needed.  It was a fun day! Makes me happy to see our kids growing up with friends like these.

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Sisters in the Sunshine

I was delighted when wee Harper swung open the door and chirped in her two year old voice that she was "Elsa"!  Her big sister, Hadley, was right behind her and let me know that Frozen was her thing. I had a great evening with these gorgeous sisters, who had the prettiest blue eyes, and are obviously crazy about each other.  Taking pictures in the evening sunshine was so fun and I think I was smiling and laughing the whole time.  What a lovely family!

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