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

Where the (my) past meets the (my) present…

When worlds collide…without going into a ton of detail and outing my friend for the ah-MAZ-ing person she is, let me just say I have had the opportunity to help her get her parents’ home on the market, stage it and photograph it. It was so much fun! No that I am taking credit for it, but she has an offer just a week after listing it (helps that it is a beautiful home on the lake). See the listing here  If you don’t know, I spent MANY years working in a real estate office in my prior life, mainly in print and web advertising, but in the last few years had the opportunity to work on virtual tours and video tours, which is a large part of how I got back into photography. When the company I worked for was taken over by a larger company and the economy took a dive, I was working part time and primarily from home, and was deemed expendable (in a really abrupt, disrespectful manner, but hey, I am almost over it…). I started Four Foot Photography the year before, and really don’t know how I had time to do both! I always thought my rather extensive real estate experience and love of photography would be a good match, and this experience proves me right! I have added a real estate gallery to my website, and hope to pursue that avenue further! If you are a Realtor or know one….hint, hint…

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Real Estate Photography, Gig Harbor to Bainbridge Island, Mary Eklund, Four Foot Photography, Kitsap County Real Estate Photographer, Grays Harbor Real Estate Photographer, Port Orchard Photographer, Real Estate, HDR Photography, 2014, Homes for Sale

Woodland, WA Wedding ~ Chris and Liz…MARRIED! Kitsap County Photographer ~ Four Foot Photography

I had the singular pleasure of being asked to photograph the wedding of Christopher and Elizabeth at The Lewis River Golf Course, just outside of Woodland, WA, May 19, 2013. Gorgeous bride and groom, adorable children, beautiful venue, glorious day? Yes, please! The day dawned clear and bright and went off without a hitch. Liz had carefully created the decorations and everything was lovely, simple, and spoke to them as a couple, from the flowers to the new cowboy boots she wore under her elegant gown. Chris and Liz were surrounded by love, with his daughter and her son, their grandparents, parents, siblings, family and close friends in attendance. The ceremony in front of a stone fireplace perfectly suited them, reflecting their love of family and each other. A low key reception with good conversation, food and drink followed throughout the afternoon. I LOVE weddings, so to spend all day photographing happy, lovely people in a beautiful setting was spectacular! All too soon it was time to say goodbye, and off they went on a surprise honeymoon, to begin their life as Mr & Mrs Cowen. Congratulations!













Four Foot Photography, Mary Eklund, Wedding Photography, Lewis County Golf Course, Cowlitz County Weddings, Clark County Wedding Photography, Kitsap County Wedding Photographer

Reflector Light – Winter Lighting Challenge

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The challenge this week was to use a reflector in a portrait, something I rarely attempt when photographing animals (something about the giant, floppy, shiny thing can really freak them out!), and decided it would be preferable to have an assistant or at least a human subject! This week, however, I was helping my friend prepare to put her house on the market – I was running out of light today and neither of us wanted to pause long enough to get presentable, so I took some liberties with the “portrait” part of the assignment. I found these cuties to be willing and cheerful models, and will definitely be breaking out the reflector for future sessions!










Kitsap County Photographer, Mary Eklund, 2014, Port Orchard Photographer, Portrait Photography, Gig Harbor to Bainbridge Island, Child and Family Photographer, Real Estate Photography, Pet Photographer, Reflector Light, Winter Lighting Challenge

Juicy little baby…

Introducing Micah, sweet juicy little nugget. Micah was born in January, and we spent a lovely hour or two together, which I am fairly certain I enjoyed more than he did! He joins big brother Levi and spectacular parents Nathan and Jennifer.

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Four Foot Photography will be at Chinook Park in Ocean Shores Saturday, August 25, 9:30-3:30 in support of Woof-A-Thon, to raise money for North Beach PAWS to update the dog kennels. We will be offering mini sessions for $25 – for that $25 you will receive an 8×10 print in the mail and the opportunity to order additional prints/product from that shot from our ala carte menu (Christmas cards, canvas, acrylic, metals, float wraps, etc), and a $25 credit off the full session fee, should you choose to book a session at a later date. “Like” our Facebook page to see a gallery of images from the event! Hope to see you there!

Missing Aimee

It has been a crazy month! I have been neglectful in my posting – not only has it been crazy nutso around here with holidays, a never ending to do list, snow, company and paperwork, it seems so many friends are having hard times with health, relationships and loss I was hesitant to write about things that seem superfluous. To really get to where I am, I would encourage you to check out my friend Pat Rhoads’ blog, . I like to say that Pat and I ran cross country together in high school, when in fact, we started and finished running in the same places, but the rest of the time his dust had settled by the time I trotted by. I was so happy for him when we met up at our *ahem*-year reunion and I met his lovely wife and baby girl Rowan, who is just 6 months younger than my Hailey. Aimee was one of those people I instantly wanted to be friends with – we chatted a bit and I liked her even more. She was the me I hoped to be. Although I had good intentions, and followed Pat’s adventures on Facebook, I didn’t see Pat and Aimee again until this past summer at an all-school reunion in Ocean Shores. Seeing Aimee and Pat again was so fun for me – although I got a little of the “Honey, your weird high school friend I don’t know is stalking me” vibe… I just felt like I knew her. I told her, “I love my husband and have a great marriage, but YOU are making him look bad!” I explained how Pat never posted anything about her without prefacing her name with an adjective; “The Amazing Aimee Rhoads”, “The Beautiful Aimee Rhoads”, “My Lovely Wife”, and so on. And it was so obviously genuine, second nature. She demurred and said, “I’m not on Facebook much.” “Oh,” I said, “I’m pretty sure he doesn’t just post it on Facebook!” She smiled and laughed. Just a lovely, gracious person. I don’t know when I have seen two people more appreciative of each other, having so much fun and so aware of their blessings. On December 18, Pat lost his beloved wife, Aimee, in a tragic accident while on vacation. She leaves behind a grieving husband, a 3 1/2-year-old daughter, her mother, her brother, her clients and a whole network of people who depended on her for wisdom, light and love. Pat’s blog, while I cry just thinking about it, is a beautifully written tribute to his wife and the life they created together. He writes with honesty, humility and grace and I would encourage you to read it, it will change you. Pat and Rowan have lots of support, bravery and great faith, and they will be ok, but never the same. He has been grateful for the outpouring of affection, and the number of lives Aimee touched in her 36 years. The impression Aimee made on me was quite common for her, according to what I heard at her memorial service and what I’ve read on Facebook and the blog (for those who don’t read a lot of blogs, start at the bottom, it’s the beginning).

That said, I have a TON of photos to share, and I’m hoping they bring as much happiness to you as they do me. Here’s to appreciating what we have, and expressing gratitude for our many blessings.

Halley Update

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If you’ve been following the blog for the past few months (thank you!), you may remember Halley, the stray kitty that stole my friend’s heart, only to be diagnosed as terminal. (Link to earlier post: Here’s a happy update – Halley is currently 7 weeks past when the vet said she would be leaving, and looking remarkably healthy. She has become increasingly trusting and affectionate, and I just had to go back to get a few more pictures! Now that it has gotten colder, she is sleeping indoors, and living her last days to the hilt – go Halley!


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Some, like my friend Jen, are in our lives for the long haul (we’re at 34 years and counting!) – others, like her kitty Halley, are shooting stars, physically present only briefly, yet the lessons we learn from them remain. Jen left her teaching job, friends and LA life behind last year and moved home to care for her aging parents. She has never looked back, and handles the stress and challenges with nothing short of grace, patience and humor. I am in awe of her fortitude and attitude; I am in awe of her. She is a voice of reason, a passionate supporter of human rights. She leads by example, stands against injustice, is informed and engaged, generous and considerate, has great taste and never lets me get away with anything. She actively engages life, glass blowing, visiting friends, going to concerts and our high school reunion, taking care of herself physically and emotionally.  I love you, man.

Halley, short for Hallelujah, was living “on the streets,” having been fed by a neighbor once her elderly owner moved to assisted living, when Jen befriended and adopted her in August. She pieced together Halley’s story, took her to the vet and into her heart. A few weeks ago I got a text from Jen asking me to come take photos – that Halley’s cheek was swollen, the vet did bloodwork in preparation for a dental procedure and found that she had only a month to live. As devasted as she is by the diagnosis, Jen set about to make this the best month of Halley’s life: special lickable food for “critical care” kitties, lots of petting, a rhinestone collar, a soft bed, and a photoshoot so we’ll always have a tiny piece of this sweet girl with us. Halley is resiliently pushing the envelope, not showing any signs of weakening and, in fact, proudly brought home a bird the other day (ewwwwww).

 Jen and Halley, Halley and Jen ~ Hallelujah, Amen.