Thanksgiving 2015

While baking my mom’s crescent rolls Thanksgiving morning, gathering the Pumpkin Somethin’ and the supplemental stuffing I had made the night before, I was scrolling through a photography forum I {very much} enjoy, and the thread was about who was being asked to bring their camera to Thanksgiving dinner, with many flat out refusing, some sighing that it was expected, and a few who wouldn’t dream of not bringing the “big” camera and documenting the day. While I am conscious of not being all up in everyone’s face during the day, I am solidly in the camp that packed a bag and did a little insisting. Mainly, I can never have enough photographs, but also – last Thanksgiving I packed the camera and took some group shots, pictures of the kids and some of the food, but did not get pushy enough to do individual family groups as I had intended (Thanksgiving at my dad’s includes in-laws, outlaws, exes, siblings, steps and pretty much anyone we can squish into the tables). Turns out, my stepmother had a mini stroke that day. She is fine, but it was my last Thanksgiving with my mom, and then my dad had a stroke in February. Around the table, we have lost mothers, fathers, aunts, grandmas and grandpas, have other family members that could not come due to illness or distance. I am so grateful for the ones who were there in person and in spirit, but what I wouldn’t give for some from last year, with my mom and her wife, my sister and my niece, me with my mom and sister. So it was fairly dark, the images are not perfect, pretty noisy, “not my best work”, but I am so pleased to have them. The love is there and it is real. Bring your camera, your cell phone, your iPad. Please don’t turn away from a picture because you don’t look your best (note my daughter with a crazy barrette in her messy hair, food on her face and a thrift store dress – perfection), or are too busy stirring the beans or want to lose 10 lbs. Be present in pictures. Grab someone you love, make a goofy face. Just be there.

Thank you so much Dad & Donna for having the whole crew, whole crew for including me and mine, Marianne for all the planning and organizing, ALL the fabulous women who cooked and baked, Gordon for crossing the pond, John for frying the turkeys, Jake for lending your voice, Marianne for getting my picture with my dad and the great turkey hat dessert with the kiddos. STEPHANIE. Love you all. Oh, and the first couple of images are from our Snoopy inspired Thanksgiving breakfast of popcorn, toast and candy. What? It’s TRADITION.












Family, Thanksgiving, Kitsap Photographer, #bepresentinphotos, #familylove, 2015, Amazing Grace


Sibling Surprise!


Last Easter I sneakily met up with these three darlings along the Port Orchard waterfront, to create the images for a Mother’s Day surprise. I love these three and their momma – it was so fun to have them together, as it was the youngest’s Senior year, and all the little chicks are leaving the nest. I knew this would be EXACTLY the thing their momma would like the best. We were so lucky the weather held out and their mom did not have complete apoplexy about all three of them being late for church! I have been a huge proponent of making images with and of your children (two or four legged), but even more so since my own mother passed. I cannot have any more photographs of/with her, but I can make darn sure my kids get them with me, and yours get them with you. It’s important. Have them made. Print them. #BePresentInPictures


This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Daniel, Kaitlyn and Alyssa are so much fun, and beautiful from the inside out!









Port Orchard Waterfront, Family Photography, Kitsap County Photographer, Sibling Pictures, South Kitsap High School, Waterfront Photo Session, High School Senior Pictures, Kitsap County Portrait Photographer, Port Orchard Marina

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.
















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


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).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.



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

Confidence given, confidence returned…Kitsap County Photographer ~ Four Foot Photography

I attended MeRa Koh and husband Brian Tausend’s Confidence Workshop at the Hotel Murano in 2011, in the midst of the biggest ice storm2014-03-17_0007

 (not my favorite picture, but it had been two very long, emotional days!)

 we’ve had in the PNW in 15 years, and believe wholeheartedly they will achieve whatever they set out to accomplish! MeRa moved seemingly insurmountable airline mountains to get back to Tacoma in time for the workshop, which had women coming from all around the country. She started a fantastically successful wedding photography business, then moved into teaching photography skills to other women (hence the “Confidence” workshops were born!), and was featured on the Nate Berkus show among others. You may have seen MeRa at a photography trade show, on Disney or Nate Berkus, and she is a local Tacoma girl! She and Brian and their children have a dream to create a family travel show (read more about it here) and they have 6 more days to reach their fundraising goal – help out a little or a lot if you can, and watch for their new TV show, and you will see me sporting my headbands this fall (in lieu of a haircut or two, but I’m all about pursuing your dream!)…I still need to work on my confidence in some areas, but not so much in shooting, and I feel this workshop was a huge jumping off point for me. I will forever be grateful for the friendships made, technical skills learned, confidence gained and ideas gathered in this two day period. It was also the beginning of my love of lifestyle photography, which I now emphasize more than strict portrait photography. Here are a few of my favorite images from that Confidence workshop, the ones of my kids are some of my all-time favorites, and are canvases on my own walls:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


MeRa and Brian, thank you for the confidence you have given me, I give you back the same – I know your dreams will come true, and become new, brighter, bigger dreams. Bon voyage!!








MeRa Koh, Confidence Workshop, Kitsap County Photographer, Lifestyle Photographer, Mary Eklund, Four Foot Photography, Kids and Families, Kickstarter Campaign, Nate Berkus, Disney Channel

Candle light

This week’s lighting challenge was not as technically difficult as some, just meant to get us thinking outside the box. Candle light photos of course would be great for WEDDINGS, ENGAGEMENTS, BIRTHDAY PARTIES…since none of those was on my radar for March, I thought I would do a project with my boy, who got a new set of Legos from his Auntie Jessi this week. They are Avengers – Captain America on the motorcycle, Ironman in midair, Loki launching missives from the boat, Redface in the vehicle, and some other ugly dudes (I thought I was doing well to have paid that much attention). We had some fun!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.









Kitsap County Photographer, Lifestyle Family Photographer, Mary Eklund, Four Foot Photography, Kids and Families, Photography Awesomesauce Winter Lighting Challenge, Candle light, Kitsap Wedding Photographer, Pet Photographer, Real Estate Photos, 2014

SKWLL Vandals – Port Orchard Child and Family Photographer

I feel like my son won the coach lottery this year – his basketball team just finished up their season, and it was a great one!

The lighting challenge this week was dragging the shutter – using a slow shutter speed and second curtain sync on the flash to show motion. This is often used at a wedding reception, but since I didn’t have one of those handy, I thought it would be fun to try at a basketball game.











Kitsap County Photographer, Sports Photography, Child and Family Photographer, Port Orchard Photographer, Photography Awesomesauce Winter Lighting Challenge

Winter Lighting Challenge – Catchlights

Catchlights are the little reflection of light in the eye that give spirit to a photograph, bringing it to life. This is especially true for pet photography. Animals have such dark eyes, it is very important to capture the light and avoid the dreaded “shark” or “dead” eye. For this week’s challenge (easy peasy, right?), I thought I would photograph the kids and the dogs together – yeah, no. Not gonna happen. So then I thought I would do each of my babies – two footed, four footed and finned (ok, I don’t really think of the fish as one of my babies, but I have managed to keep him alive for 14 months now!). Well it seems NO ONE was in a cooperative mood, so what I got was kind of silly, but I love them all the same.

I think perhaps Batfish was the most cooperative…

Port Orchard Photographer, Mary Eklund, Kitsap County Photographer, Kids and Pets, Winter Lighting Challenge, Cat Photos, Dog Photos, Lifestyle Photography, Gig Harbor Family Photographer, 2014

Winter Lighting Challenge – Spotlight

This week’s winter lighting challenge was shooting in the dark with a spotlight – super cool! I used a flashlight app on my phone, and had a story book concept – unfortunately my daughter has a bit of a cold, so we only had a few minutes, but it was fun to play with the spotlight for some extra drama. She has enough of a sense of humor still to give me the crazy eyes – wait for it…The “boom boy” holding the spotlight was my son, best photography assistant ever! I give you “Red Riding Hood and The Big, Bad Wolf”:


This slideshow requires JavaScript.




Four Foot Photography, Mary Eklund, Kitsap County Photographer, Photography Awesomesauce Winter Lighting Challenge, Port Orchard Photographer, Children’s Portraiture, Red Riding Hood, Spotlight, 2014