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Ready for Israel {Auburn Maternity Photography}

They are so ready to meet their little boy! I am so glad we were able to squeak in these maternity portraits before baby Israel arrives in the next couple weeks.  Daizy and Jacob will be amazing parents and I know they've got families (and extended families) who just can't wait to get their hands on this baby and love him up.

Daizy looks so gorgeous and I'm so glad she'll have these images to be a reminder of this season of anticipation in their lives.  Now they have pictures done, his room is ready so Israel is welcome to come anytime!


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Loving Annabelle {Orting Newborn Photography}

Visiting a home with a new baby is such a treat. Seeing everyone circling around and adoring the newborn makes me marvel that little ones can be so fiercely loved  immediately.  Little Annabelle is a treasure and clearly has her big sisters, Lotte and LilyAnn smitten and parents in love. She was very easy and contented while I was there (yay for peaceful babies!!)

My approach to newborn sessions focuses on getting some closeups of newborn wonderfulness and of family cuddled up and  loving on the new person.  Annabelle's mom, Megan, had crocheted up some sweet goodies and it was so fun to take pictures with those special hats and cozy pods.  She even sent me out the door with hats and treats...what a blessing!


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Looking for Light and Location Class Images {Tacoma Photography Class}

When I started teaching photography classes four years ago, I began a photography growth group on facebook for photographers who had taken my classes to share images, ask questions, share articles, and support each other.  I also share photo recipes, techniques and have enjoyed the friendships and connections that have come out of it! A while back I asked for ideas for classes and a good deal of the feedback was from people who were wanting to learn more about successfully using different kinds of lighting and how to compose shots in different locations.

I loved that idea and the class was filled in a day which was an indicator that we were onto something that is so important to learn and actually do together! I've heard from so many, that it's in the practice of shooting and instruction together that they learn so much.

I woke up the morning of the class and heard it pouring buckets, though the weather charts the day before had looked like the rain would be done about 9:30. (Oh, Washington fickle weather!!)  To be honest, I felt a little sick but when everyone showed up with boots and umbrellas, cheerfully telling me if we could find light and locations on a day like that, they could do it anywhere...I was encouraged.

We started at a coffee shop where we drank up and talk for an hour about the concepts and then walked through Tacoma for three hours with our models, looking for light (front, light, side, backlight, dramatic) and finding locations that would allow our models to stay dry but also to incorporate composition techniques.  We had so much  fun and then topped it off with lunch at Indochine's.  

Here are some images of the day of our class. You can see what the weather was like in some shots but you can also see the yummy light we found to work with!  Thank you to Jessa and Kaia, and Andy and Katie for being so engaging and awesome.

Here's a list of upcoming classes.  Please let me know if you are interested in any of them.

Looking for Light and Location- February 27 (CLASS FULL)

Shooting in Manual- March 19 (Open for registration) More information HERE!

Photographing Your Life: First Steps with a D-SLR - April 2

Family Photography- May 14 (May 21 backup)

Golden Light Photography- June 4 (June 11 backup)

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Winter Photography Classes Open for Registration

Looking for Light and Locations Class

Saturday, February 27 from 9:00-1:00. Taught in Tacoma  $125.

 

 

All light is not created equal! We are going to  look for the light that will illuminate our subjects for the vision that we have.  We'll also be hunting down locations that add to the composition and visual interest to take portraits to the next level.

I'll be teaching this class in an urban environment with a wide span of options for shooting as well as in a natural environment at a local park.

In this class we will be covering:

  • how to find spaces with great light for subjects, even on days which can be grey and overcast.  Natural reflectors and open space are so important!
  • how to look for great places to compose shots with visual interest (framing, rule of thirds, symmetry, leading lines, negative space, using depth of field).
  • positioning and engaging with subjects in a variety of settings....no one wants to look awkward, starchy or super posed.

Aaaaaaaand, we'll stop for some good coffees during our morning together, my treat!  After all, we are in Washington and caffeine makes everything more fun!

For this class, I'd prefer that you are shooting in manual but if you are comfortably shooting in aperture priority, that will work as well.

To register for a seat, please contact me at cassandra@cassandrahamiltonphotography.com and once I add your name to my class list, I'll give you my address to send in your payment.  Thank you!

 

 

Shooting in Manual

Saturday, March 19  from 9:00-1:00. Taught in Auburn and Sumner  $150.

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 is exciting to see participants learn how to photograph in challenging environments to achieve their creative vision!

 

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 (varying shutter speeds).

  • 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.

To register for a seat, please contact me at cassandra@cassandrahamiltonphotography.com and once I add your name to my class list, I'll give you my address to send in your payment.  Thank you!

 

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Performing Gretl at the 5th!

Before auditions for the local school play last year, her big brother, Gavin, was talking to me and my daughter about his little kindergarten sister who said she wanted to be a main character.  We all laughed a little, knowing that the main roles were played by older students but also knowing that she had a huge personality.  She was a shining little character in Suessical and I was taking pictures of the school play, including these character shots.

Afterwards, her mom asked me about taking a couple head shots of her and her (also super talented!) brother for auditions at the 5th Ave. Theater.  They both went for several rounds of auditions and in the end Kendall was cast as Gretl in The Sound of Music.  

She's so charming and engaging that none of us were surprised and we were chomping at the bit to buy our tickets to see the show.  We went on the last day of Kendall's performances and saw several familiar faces in the crowd, including Mrs. Samuelson who was one of the directors for Suessical (and is pictured meeting Kendall at the bottom of the post).

I asked Kelsey if Kendall might have a few minutes to meet with me beforehand so we could do a few shots together.  We tried out some dramatic faces and took a couple pictures with her mom and Papa who's been doing a lot of the commuting with this chatty girl up to Seattle.

Then we LOVED watching her.  Her engaging character and gorgeous acting was so heartwarming and that perky tilt to her head made me smile.  Everyone that knows her is so proud! From school play to 5th Ave. is quite impressive!

I told Kendall that we were so excited to watch her act and sing and that we know she's so talented but there is something that is even more amazing about her....and that's how loving she is.  A few weeks ago, during the first grade performance at our school, Kendall was with her friends doing the holiday production.  While the others were singing away and doing hand motions, she was reaching for and beaming at her best friend, Avery, who has been bravely fighting cancer.  The love between the two made everyone cry who saw the performance and the pictures.

Talent is so good but a loving heart is the very best....and hers is big, big, big.

Kendall, you are teaching us all to dream a little bigger and to love a little more!

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Hamilton Highlights of the Christmas Season

Not going to lie....I was jumping up and down on the inside as I dropped the boys off in the carpool lane this morning!  Mama needs some quiet and to get Mt. Laundry under control. However, I feel so happy with our Christmas break and all the special things that we were able to do.  For us, Jesus is the center of the season and opportunities to give and be together are things that we cherish. Once again, Auntie Meghan made an advent calendar full of activities that we brainstormed together and we loved it.  Here are some of the highlights!

Choosing our Christmas tree at the Red Barn Tree Farm, decorating the tree, Journey to Bethlehem, shopping date with Ruby, baking, Theo's program, games and hot chocolate, church trip to Krispy Kreme with the children's ministry staff, Snowflake Lane date with Ben, Garden D'Lights, Christmas movies, baking mugs of chocolate cake, decorating ice cream cone trees, Papa's birthday dinner, Nana's birthday brunch and spa morning, our lifegroup party, telecaroling, Christmas Eve before service pictures and book unwrapping, Christmas Day, night hike and sledding in Vancouver, Pike Street with the kids, Sheraton Gingerbread Village, Tymen's date with Mom and Dad, sledding with lifegroup friends and taking the grandparents to The Sound of Music, their Christmas presents!

Whew! No wonder I'm loving the quiet. Pouring another coffee STAT.

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Photographing Your Life: First Steps with a D-SLR Winter 2016 Class Open

Saturday, January 16 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. You will not regret learning how to document your life and the people in it!

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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Sunshine at Last

After all these years, weather doesn't make me nervous.  If things get wet we can juggle days and times and if I have families that absolutely need to get photos done on a certain day, I have places that are covered which we can use.  Every year, though, it feels like I have one family that keeps getting pushed back multiple times for their session and it was this family for 2015.  I have to say, on the day we were able to get together, we had glorious light as a reward and misty fog rising off the water.  The girls were absolutely delightful, the happy puppy was a fun addition and the whole family was laid back and perfectly wonderful for me to photograph.

This was my last 2015 family session and I am booking for the new year.  This has been a wonderful year for me and I am so thankful for all the awesome people I get to photograph!


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Together for Thanksgiving {Auburn, WA Family Photography}

It's such a treat to photograph families that are together, especially around holiday time!  I had a great time with this fun crew this last weekend. They obviously have a good time together and rallied even in the cold.  At this time of year, days with this kind of gorgeous light are often pretty chilly.  Happy for me to photograph in the beautiful light, but just a bit more work for them to stay warm. The kids were awesome too...real troopers with awesome smiles.  

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Lara's Family

It was such a treat to meet up with Lara and her boys, who are our nephew's step mom and brothers.  They were in town visiting her parents and brother for Thanksgiving and I was delighted to take portraits of them all together.  The sun was shining and we literally laughed and laughed the whole time.  Usually it takes me a little while to break families out of "family picture mode" but they were messing around and having a good time right from the beginning. Pictures of family laughing together...what could be better!

At the end Lara and the boys popped over for hot chocolate and cookies with our family and we got a wonderful visit as a bonus.  What a blessing!  Thank you for making time for pictures and a chat, Lara!

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A Day in the Life of the Hamiltons 2015 {Thanksgiving Edition}

Since 2009 I've been photographing a day of our lives each year.  As I breeze through those books, it's amazing to me how much of our live changes year by year and yet there are the constants.  These are the details of our lives that we want to savor and remember.  

This year we had the treat of both sets of grandparents being with us.  My parents are never usually here for Thanksgiving as the Canadian holiday lands in October. We were shuffled around in bedrooms a bit with the boys camping in the office.  We did our usual slow morning of p.j.'s and the Macy's Day Parade, Papa smoked  the turkey and hung out with us but also played the saw and mandolin in the back yard and downed some cups of coffee.  We zipped to the park to bang out our Christmas card photos....always a job with moving targets!  Then we cooked and snacked and prayed and served up.  Jasper waved the drumstick in victory and took a bite out of it immediately so nobody else would lay claim to it!  Then we played Twister and Charades with our friends, talked about what we were thankful for and packed away the leftovers and started a stock. The night ended with the kids drawing names for the kid they will be making a Christmas present with as they partner with a buddy....plans are already being made!  The movie, "Elf" was our final time together before tired kids were put to bed and adults loafed around on couches. Glad to have captured the memories!


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Janelle and Her Guys {Tacoma Family Photography}

The more people I get to meet from our community, the more I love my community!  It turns out Owen and my Tymen are in the same grade level at our school.  I had a fantastic time with him and his brother, Zachary, and parents, Janelle and Kyle.  It was chilly out on our morning together and the boys were awesome sports.  Usually I let kids do a flying leap off the wall by the glass museum but it was so frosty and I didn't want to interrupt our session with a trip to the ER so they skated along the frost instead. I was so happy to have sunshine this past weekend after a soggy November.  Thanks for a fun morning, Janelle and Kyle! I think the laughing ones at the end are my favorites....gotta love that app that always works on boys....

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Family Pictures at the Spanish Steps {Tacoma Family Photography}

Here's a quick set of pictures of a wonderful family  in the sunshine (yay, it does indeed exist after all the rainy days we had in November!!) I always enjoy this family so much.  Sierra showed me her cute boots right away but it was all I could do to not hug her in that cozy fuzzy sweater that looked so happy!  Kaden was rocking a cool tie too. Thanks for a fun time together!

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Family of Seven Plus Two Dogs {Tacoma Family Photography}

It's no small feat to find a date and gather up seven people and two dogs (who had the most flexible schedules!) for family pictures.  Even with rainy weather predictions, we decided to go for it at one of my favorite locations where we can keep groups dry but also put them in great light.  Ebony and Eric and their crew of awesome kids rocked it and made it so fun....and we even got lucky and had some dry time too. We were able to use a gorgeous wall of fall colored leaves and when I went by that location three days later, most of the leaves were down so our timing was great!  We laughed, the kids were a.w.e.s.o.m.e. and the dogs even let us put them in pictures.  Thanks for a great time!

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Full Hands and Hearts {Auburn, WA Family Photography}

What a treat it was for me to see this family again!  I had the privilege of photographing the birth of Caden and Olivia last February.  Sian and Brant have navigated these first months amazingly and it was pretty clear to me that big brother, William, is thriving and feeling very loved, even with his whole world changing.  We managed to find a window of dry time, right before all these crazy fall storms stripped the red trees of the leaves and we even got a window of gorgeous light right at the end.  

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Winter Photography Classes

Here are the dates and details about my upcoming winter 2016 classes. This quieter time of year is a great time to learn how to use your camera better.   

If you would like to register for either 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.  Gift certificates are available if you'd like to give a class as a Christmas present.

PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR LIFE:

FIRST STEPS WITH A D-SLR.

Saturday, January 16 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. You will not regret learning how to document your life and the people in it!

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.

Looking for Light and Locations Class

Saturday, January 23 from 9:00-12:30. Taught in Tacoma  $125.

This class is currently full but I am considering adding another class in February if there is sufficient interest.  Email me if you would like to be contacted if I add this class.

I'm very excited to teach this new class! All light is not created equal! We are going to  look for the light that will illuminate our subjects for the vision that we have.  We'll also be hunting down locations that add to the composition and visual interest to take portraits to the next level.

I'll be teaching this class in an urban environment with a wide span of options for shooting as well as in a natural environment at a local park.

In this class we will be covering:

  • how to find spaces with great light for subjects, even on days which can be grey and overcast.  Natural reflectors and open space are so important!
  • how to look for great places to compose shots with visual interest (framing, rule of thirds, symmetry, leading lines, negative space, using depth of field).
  • positioning and engaging with subjects in a variety of settings....no one wants to look awkward, starchy or super posed.

Aaaaaaaand, we'll stop for some good coffees during our morning together, my treat!  After all, we are in Washington and caffeine makes everything more fun!

For this class, I'd prefer that you are shooting in manual but if you are comfortably shooting in aperture priority, that will work as well.

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Raelene's Senior Portraits

For the last couple years my daughter has been involved in the amazing school plays put on by our local elementary school.  It was where I met Sarah, who inspired and instructed her singers to shine.  Through the productions I met her husband and gorgeous daughters who are highly talented in theater (and a host of other things!) and who were helping behind the scenes to make the productions amazing. Sarah and Raelene have taken a couple of my classes and it's been so fun to get to know them better. I was delighted when Sarah asked if I would take Raelene's senior portraits.

Raelene is just stunning and shiny and engaging and warm. She was a delight to photograph at Ft. Steilacoom and just laughed when we showed up and the whole park was flooded with a track meet and parents who were jogging back and forth across fields.  We found quiet areas and had so much fun talking and shooting. She is so natural and I told her she could do a modeling/ posing class for me (and teach me a thing or two!).  She is so gorgeous but I feel like it's her heart that shines through so clearly.

Thank you for a FUN morning and  I hope you have a wonderful rest of your senior year, Raelene!

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Avery and Her Family

It was my privilege to do a very special family shoot with our friends who have been walking the very most difficult path. Their beautiful, creative, funny, loving daughter has been bravely fighting DIPG, a rare and devastating childhood cancer. They have walked with humble grace and honesty as they have shared their journey. The Huffman family has allowed us to walk alongside them, to support them in practical ways and to lift them in prayer to the One who loves their girl more than we could imagine.  We stand with them with all the love and support of our hearts. 

My hope and prayer for this family photo session was two fold. Though there are obviously physical changes and  limitations Avery has now that she didn't  just a few months ago, I wanted the focus to be on their love for each other as a family and for Avery's precious heart to shine through. Secondly, I wanted to honor the Lord in whom they have put their trust.  At the end of our time together, we handed out the colored sharpies for the kids to draw or write on a balloon. Avery wanted her mama to write that she was seven. Addison drew a picture. Cade honored his sister writing "Averystrong" and "BrAvery". My heart overflowed when I saw that Alex wrote Psalm 121:1-2. "I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of Heaven and Earth."  

We love you, Avery, Amanda, Brandon, Alex, Cade and Addison! (Also, big thanks to Hoppy Jumpy and Emma, the American Girl doll,  who made a family appearance too!)

To watch in HD, click the vimeo logo and choose HD.

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Our Sweet Theo is Five

He's funny and likes to joke around.

He cuddles and makes dinosaur sounds as he nuzzles into me in the morning.

He does chores like the big kids and hauls laundry up and down stairs for me.

He likes to be the leader when we take bike rides around the neighbourhood. 

He tells me he wants all the people in the world to come to his birthday party...except for the bad guys.

He loves to get new clothes and gets squeaky happy about new shirts and the fact that his new fleece has "fum holes " (thumb holes).

He'll lick as many bowls as I'll give him when we bake.

He loves to make people laugh and he has a laugh that makes everyone smile.

He will talk to strangers every where we go.

He's learning letters and sounds and exults when he gets a word in the Flip-A-Word books.

He's daddy's big boy and mama's baby.

He's the icing on the cake.

He's our gift from God, just like his name means and just like the Lord told me he would be when I was expecting him.

Happy birthday, Theo. We are so glad we get to love you every day. What would we do without you?

He and I popped out to do a few portraits the other evening. Love this boy's smile.

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