Jake * Snohomish High School Class of 2015 * Senior Portraits * Four Foot Photography

THIS guy. I love him. That is all.

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Ha! Well of COURSE that is not all. Y’all are silly if you believed that. This is Jake, my handsome, talented and sweet nephew. I have loved him since before he was born, so it was really my great honor to be asked to photograph his Senior Portraits (or maybe I forcefully volunteered…). The day we hit Indianola beach, we had Jake’s Aunt Marianne with us – she is an accomplished portrait artist herself, the first person to hold Jake when he was born, and the kind of funny that makes for a super good time. I know I had fun, and Jake was most tolerant of the zany aunties. Jake is kind and intelligent, and sings like an angel – a very macho angel, but still, it is beautiful. Can’t wait to see where you take it from here, buddy. Mad love, Auntie Mary.

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Kitsap County Photographer, Senior Pictures, High School Senior Portraits, Port Orchard Photographer, Indianola, Snohomish High School Senior, Class of 2015, Beach Session, Kitsap Portrait Photographer, Children and Family Photographer

Animal Krackers 2014 ~ Kitsap Humane Society Fundraiser ~ Kitsap County Pet Photographer

Last Saturday, October 4th, it was my privilege to photograph Kitsap Humane Society‘s annual fundraising auction, Animal Krackers at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton. This was my 3rd year photographing the event, and as always, I was amazed at the cadre of people who come together to volunteer their time, talent and treasure to support the important work of Kitsap Humane Society. It was so fun to see so many of my clients and friends involved as both volunteers, staff and attendees – thank you all! The generosity of donations, time and bids well, blows my mind. And the logistics of putting on this caliber of event floors me! Brady Hammrich and the Stokes Auction crew alone are worth the price of admission. What a spectacular, fun way for Kitsap County animal lovers to come together and raise funds to continually improve the lives of animals in Kitsap County. In addition to the live auction, there was an extensive silent auction, wine pull, golden ticket and even a few adoptables on hand. I know for sure Gayle (the little grey poodle) has already been adopted. Thanks so much, and now I look forward to photographing the calendar pages that were auctioned off for the 2015 calendar – stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitsap County Photographer, Bremerton Wedding and Events, Kitsap Conference Center, Kitsap Humane Society, Animal Krackers, Fundraiser, Auction, Benefit

Kitsap Humane Society Adoptables * Four Foot Photography * Kitsap County Pet Photographer

I had a great morning at Kitsap Humane Society yesterday and met so many cuties! It was Feline Friday, so mainly cats, but some great dogs as well. Just walking through the kennels I saw some spectacular, sweet doggehs and hope to get back soon to photograph them. Here are some favorite shots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Foot Photography, Kitsap County Pet Photographer, Mary Eklund, Kitsap Humane Society, Adoptable Animals, Pet Portraits, Port Orchard Photographer, Kitsap County Photographer

PAWS of Bainbridge Spotlight on Community Hero Pets * Kitsap County Photographer * Four Foot Photography

I was thrilled to be asked to photograph the PAWS of Bainbridge Spotlight on Community Hero Pets annual fundraising dinner and auction. This year the Hero Pet honors went to Fenway Bark, who works as a therapy dog at Ronald McDonald House; Miss Bean, a PAWS adoptee who alerted the family when her person slipped into a coma; Chevy, a St Bernard who died in a house fire, attempting to get a houseguest to safety. Heroes for Pets awards went to Robert Pregulman, founder of Seattle DogSpot, whose consistent and persistent reporting on the neglect at the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks finally shut it down. At the time of this blog post, I believe there are just 11 dogs from the sanctuary still looking for their forever homes. Also honored as Heroes for Pets were EMTs Caitlyn Burbank and Casey Jo Clifton, who rescued 10 poodles from a house fire in Raymond, WA. They came dressed for the awards (great shoes, ladies!), but gamely donned their gear for a picture – such fun! Don’t miss the Queen of Kibble or the King of Kitty Litter!

Thanks so much to everyone who planned and executed the event so well; those who donated the fantastic auction items; the fun-loving, generous attendees; volunteers; caterers; musician; servers; auctioneer Cole Medina; tech crew; bid recorders; my assistant who was paid with pizza and wine afterwards at The Tree House (which was superb and I highly recommend!); and Manor House on Bainbridge. If you would like to purchase prints from the event, please contact me at info@FourFootPhotography.com or through my website, www.FourFootPhotography.com – proceeds benefit PAWS of Bainbridge Island.

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Four Foot Photography, Kitsap County Photographer, Volunteer Work, Bainbridge Island, Manor House Venue, Events Photography, 2014, PAWS of Bainbridge Community Hero Pets, Fundraiser, Pet Photographer, Mary Eklund, Bainbridge Island Photographer, Port Orchard Photographer, Wedding Photographer, Kingston, Poulsbo, Indianola, Silverdale, Bremerton, Gig Harbor, Giving Back

Sun Flare – Winter Lighting Challenge Week 22

Here it is, the last week of the winter lighting challenge, and I am so excited to be able to say I completed each week, within the time frame allotted. I am maybe more proud of that getting it done than of the images created, but I really love some of them. And the lessons learned! Huge! Pushed outside my (natural light during the golden hour) comfort zone, this old (ish) dog learned some new skills (tricks are for kids). Lighting is really everything in photography, so feeling confidant using sources other than natural light is invaluable and, it turns out, fun!

This week’s challenge was sun flare – the sort of lens refraction that used to be considered a mistake, and has been wildly popular the last few years. At first I stayed very far away from sun flare, as with anything trendy that dates my work. Over time I have warmed to it – while I still object to an entire session heavy with sun flare, I became intrigued by the challenge and like the variety it can add. I thought it would be a BIG challenge this week, as we were expecting rain all week, but this morning I woke up to lovely sunshine (now gone), and tried to make the best of it. Here are some I took today and some examples from a wedding I photographed last May, a pet photography session, a few high school senior portrait sessions, real estate photography and a family session.  Flare on, sun, flare on.

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Four Foot Photography, Mary Eklund, Kitsap County Photographer, Lifestyle Photography, Real Estate Photography, Portrait Photography, High School Senior Portraits, Family Photography, Wedding Photographer, Sun Flare, Winter Lighting Challenge, Port Orchard, Gig Harbor, Bremerton, Silverdale, Kingston, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Belfair

Winter Lighting Challenge – video light

This week’s lighting challenge was to use a video light – my models grow weary of my lens, and were not buying into my concept of the shoot, but the video light looks a LOT like a light saber, so I had plenty of volunteers to assist, even if they were not terribly cooperative!

The last image, “A “Boy” and His “Dog”” is done in natural light, so you can see the difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Port Orchard Photographer, Kids and Families, Natural Light Portraiture, Video Light, Lifestyle Photography, Four Foot Photography

 

No Fooling Here! Kitsap County Photographer ~ Four Foot Photography

I super love love any time I get to spend photographing adoptable animals at Kitsap Humane Society, and this past Tuesday (April 1) was no exception. It was a beautiful day and I met so many delightful dogs, cats, bunnies and guinea pigs (and one little piggie who took one look at me and went into his plastic hut – not that there’s anything wrong with that!). I am in awe of the great work that is being done caring for, working with, and rehoming these beautiful little souls.

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Kitsap Pet Photographer, 2014, Adoptables, Kitsap Humane Society, Rescue, Kitsap County Photographer, Dogs, Cats, Port Orchard Photographer

Studio Work at Cindy’s Grooming Styles – Kitsap County Photographer ~ Four Foot Photography

This week I was delighted to be asked by a middle school student if she could job shadow me. The specific day was Friday, my plan was to edit and work on taxes – a realistic view of my workday, but not something I thought would be too exciting for a 13 year old! The weather did not allow for outdoor shooting, but Miss S’s mom happens to own Cindy’s Grooming Styles, which has a large area for doggie daycare (and some beautiful wall art by Four Foot Photography)! We have talked about doing some limited edition sessions in the shop for Cindy’s clientele, so this was a great opportunity to do a dry run. Without much time to put out a model call, I decided to work with my own four foots – unfortunately, my wingnut Bichon was still several weeks from his next grooming appointment, and I really haven’t worked with our rescue pug that much. To that end, Cindy agreed to work Fabio in to get him camera ready, and I thought I would set up my mobile backdrop and bring Gladys along for a realistic study on how it can be to work with an animal who doesn’t have much experience at posing or isn’t particularly trained (Gladys is quite deaf). We had a lovely day – Ms. S is a bright, eager learner, Cindy did a beautiful job on Fabio, and Gladys was a pleasant surprise. Over the past several years I have been looking for the words to explain how the process of having your pet (or family) photographed can be very validating to the strong connection people have with their pets (and each other) – and also it is so FUN! The shared experience brings an emotional element to the images that is reinforced every time you look at those photographs. This was first called to my attention by the fabulous Stephanie Wright, whose rats I photographed my first year in business (Click here to see the images). She told me later that the evening after the photoshoot she just couldn’t put her girls down, seeing them through the camera’s eye she fell completely in love and just sat and cuddled them. This was the best compliment, and after photographing Gladys Friday, I got a taste of my own medicine. We loved her right away, stinkiness and quirks and all, but I am now SO IN LOVE with her adorable little head tilt! Here are my babies!

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I genuinely prefer to shoot in more of a lifestyle format and natural light, but this really got my studio juices flowing! Miss S had an opportunity to photograph as well, I will add some of her shots in the next few days (I REALLY have to get my taxes done!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Foot Photography, Mary Eklund, Pet Photographer, Kitsap County Pet Photographer, Dog Photos, Cindy’s Grooming Styles, Port Orchard Photographer, Pets and People, Portrait Studio, Bichon, Pug

FFP Tribute to Sneaky the Wonder Cat – Kitsap County Photographer ~ Four Foot Photography

You love your animals. All of them. Their quirks, their paws, their cold noses, their slobber, their smell, their attitude, the way they walk. Every pet you have ever had (and some of you have had a lot!) lives in your heart, I know that. You always wish you had more time with them, but there’s one who was special. Your heart dog, your soul mate. They might have been gone for years, or it is the rescue you brought home last week, your puppy or your 8 year old cat, but they just get you, there is a connection, a deeper understanding. This post is a tribute to Sneaky, Dr Monica Wlodarchak’s best friend, her love, her confidante, advisor, keeper of secrets. She had to say goodbye to 19 year old Sneaky last week, and while she has other pets and has cared for so many others through Tender Touch Animal Hospital , Poulsbo Animal Clinic, and as an emergency vet, my heart breaks for her. Is it inevitable? Yes. Does that make it any easier? Not at all. I covet your prayers and positive ju-ju for her to get through the next few weeks.

 

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If you click on the Tender Touch Animal Hospital link above, you can read Sneaky’s biography, and get a glimpse into his life with Dr Monica, from a tiny, abandoned kitten, to big cat on campus, to vet companion. 19 years of devotion. I first met Sneaky in the summer of 2011, while photographing the staff for their employee portraits – he lived up to his name! Dr Monica does have some beautiful artwork from that session to validate her years of memories, and I hope that is a small comfort. Many people tell me they are afraid they will forget the details of their furry companions, but I can tell you from experience I still remember each of my pets’ smell, their fur, their favorite things, although I last said goodbye in 2006. I saw Sneaky most recently at the Tender Touch Open House in September (the images with the blue sweater!), and watched in amazement as Dr Monica flipped him over and nonchalantly did a blood draw from his jugular mid sentence. He was really just there for her, hanging on to provide the love and companionship she needed. Sneaky was a one of a kind wonder cat, and to say he will be missed, well, it just isn’t enough. Love you little guy, rest well.

Sneaky, Cat Photos, Tender Touch Animal Hospital, Dr Monica Wlodarchak, Four Foot Photography, Tribute Session, Kitsap County Pet Photographer, Employee Photos, Mary Eklund, Kingston, Poulsbo, Port Orchard Photographer,

Holman Family Reunion – Kitsap County Photographer ~ Four Foot Photography

This was one of my all time favorite family sessions, such a fun, vibrant, loving group, about to embark on a family reunion vacation. The session was booked by one of my favorite people,  Claire Kingsbury, and introduced me to her family of origin, EACH OF WHOM, individually, is filled to overflowing with life and love – put them all together in the same backyard, and the hilarity and affection explode in waves of joy. Think I am laying it on thick? Meet them, and you will know this is a great understatement! Three of the children married, two about to embark on their LDS missions, one still at home and two grandchildren. They were so real and connected, it was a dream to photograph them – I felt I could have stood in the middle of the yard and just spun around clicking wildly, and the images would have been amazing (I did put more into it than that, and the results I hope speak for themselves).

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 The Holmans had a  “Four Foot Photography Christmas,” so each household has their choice of artwork or photobook memory, we did Christmas cards, accordian books, layflat albums, float wraps, playing cards, prints and canvases.

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Feedback from the fabulous Mrs. Holman (This message made me so happy!):

“I just wanted to let you know that we got our package with our stuff and oh my goodness, we are over the top thrilled! Thank you so much, especially for the little extras you tucked in there, that was awfully kind of you. I have to say, those accordion books are my absolute favorite, they are so perfect for each of those kids, it is like you grew up with them (she is being overly kind, I am old enough to be their mother). They are going to love them and I can’t wait for the kids to see them. Have a Merry Christmas and we’ll be talking to you again.

 

This is an excerpt from Connor’s letter home to his sister (with permission), telling how he uses his accordion book in his ministry in Africa. I love this so much, I am changing my name to Megan.

Connor letter

 

If you are planning a family reunion, I highly recommend planning a reunion photo session, I will be adding it to my session options for sure. Whether you hire a photographer at your destination, or appoint Uncle Bob, not only is it important to document your family, the process is emotive in and of itself (I have talked about this before – I feel strongly that creating the images is as important as having the images, from rats to dogs and their people to weddings to extended families!). The Holmans will always have these images to recollect and validate their relationships and remind them of the fabulous memories they made on the vacation they left for when we wrapped the session.

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I have officially applied for weird aunty status, I love these people so much!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Reunion Photography, Kitsap County Photographer, Mary Eklund, Four Foot Photography, Kingston, Family Photographer, 2013, Extended Family Photo, Family Portraits, Kingston Photographer, Poulsbo Photographer, Port Orchard Photographer, Family Love