Photographing in my very own neighborhood.... - West Seattle Conceptual Photographer

I am so grateful to live where I live, in the great West Seattle. My “studio” often lies within just 3 miles or less from my place. How lucky am I?

The closest spot- Inside my apartment building.

First we can get ready at my tiny space, and walk outside the door for a few images.

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I love alleys.

These first few images are just a walk across the street from my place and then we just wander through all of the alleyways and use a number of really cool backdrops. They might be surrounded by garbage cans or cars, but you would never know it.

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Schmitz Preserve Park.

This is one of my favorite places on earth. For real. Old growth trees, not a lot of people, slight witchy vibe. It’s about 2 miles away from me.

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Alki Beach.

We all know I love some water. Alki Beach is about a 4 minute drive from my place. I am full of gratitude for these beautiful photo spots right in my backyard.

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From Joshua Tree to Bombay Beach - Seattle Travel Photographer

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Hello!

First of all, welcome to the longest photo blog ever! It has been really hard for me to narrow these images down.

This trip was truly amazing, a fast and furious three day trip! We started wit horse back riding in L.A. I try to go on a horse back ride whenever I can, good for the soul. Next we got in the car and cruised out to the JT for some sunset photos. If you follow me on Instagram - you can see these trips happening on my story.

We arrived to our airbnb kind of late, but the surrounding properties had all sorts of cool spots for shooting.

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Next- We ventured out to a place called Garth’s Boulder Garden - love this place!

The people here were lovely. Including Garth himself. They take donations to stay afloat so if you go, throw them some cash. There is a little man- made hot spring nestled in the rocks by a sauna. AMAZING. A sweet dog took us on a guided walk through the boulders. FOR REAL.

There were dead trees, my favorite. This place was one of the coolest places I have ever been.

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Next-we just cruised around the Joshua Tree - stopping places that looked promising for photos and light. It was HOT. Our end goal for the night besides the Joshua Tree Saloon of course - was to be at Arch Rock Trail for sunset.

If you have Spotify - HERE is our desert playlist- CRUCIAL to any road trip for me.

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Mission accomplished at the Arch Rock Trail and the Joshua Tree Saloon (Pappy and Harriets were closed but we love both places)

Now it was time to wake up and head out to the SALTON SEA for our last night. If you don’t know the history of the Salton Sea or Bombay Beach it is SO worth checking out!

We walked around Bombay Beach when we arrived…we went in and out of the abandoned trailers in total awe of the place. It was VERY cool and had a sort of crazy vibe. There were hardly any humans in sight.

Shooting here in Salton City where we stayed was intense. The ground was crunchy on top and mushy underneath. It was HOT. It smelled like dead fish and sulfur. We lasted as long as we could, but I’m not going to lie, that heat and smell were rough.

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I finally got to show my love for the 1968 Planet of the Apes film that I love so much….

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I had my eyes on the prize for sunset photos - this creepy swing set that was out in the water. When we arrived - the sunset was INCREDIBLE. I was blown away by the still water of the sea. We reached the parking lot and grabbed all of the gear and dresses and when we got to the view of the swing set - we were literally devastated when we saw that there was a music video being filmed RIGHT WHERE I WANTED TO BE. Right in front of the swing set. They had all the gear - SUV’s were surrounding them, the full deal. We slowly walked toward the swing. We didn’t have time to relocate. The sun was setting. We decided we would be annoying and just shoot right next to them. You only live but one time, and I may never be here again.

ROLL WITH IT.

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I’ve included a little slideshow below of Bombay Beach to give you a sense of it - but we totally ran out of time to see some other cool stuff, so I must go back!

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Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you are inspired to visit these beautiful places!

And thank you to these two lovely amazing woman who helped me make some of the best work I BELIEVE I have ever made. Obviously I couldn’t have done it without you!

And thank you to these two lovely amazing woman who helped me make some of the best work I BELIEVE I have ever made. Obviously I couldn’t have done it without you!

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More than Human - Seattle Mermaid Photographer

What an honor to watch these beautiful strong females to morph into something more than human. Watch with me…..

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Escape to the Coast - Cannon Beach Oregon Photographer

“Escape to the Coast” was a photography retreat hosted by Teresa Vic, She had some wonderful hosts as well. Julie G Photography and Kristy at My Artistic Journey(obsessed) were great! Thank you ladies!

I had been following Teresa for a few years … and she was the reason why I was there, the rest was a bonus! I got to bring my own model on the trip so that was AMAZING thank you ALEXANDRA you are a DOLL.

AND - I also got to sneak in two photo shoots on my own outside of the retreat time. This first photo was a mini 15 minute session on the beach- that was cut short by a storm - but this is one of my favorite images I have ever made of all time. Cheers to last minute spontaneous shooting.

I feel so lucky to have met a few other amazing inspiring photographers as well. This is what I need. BAD.

Ali Limon empowers woman and is a natural artist and teacher.

Wit and Whimsey Creative takes family photos that speak to my soul.

Flint and Feather Photography - her work is STUNNING and I want to be her new best friend.

I now realize there are too many to list! But this trip was inspiring and somehow changed me. Not sure how yet……

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Steph Pate was my roomie and a total sweetie. Also a talented artist- check it out.

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This beauty has a killer shop for kids clothes! FORD AND WYATT

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April C Photo thank you for being my model for a minute and blessing the world with your beautiful images.

Witchy Maternity Shoot - Seattle Fine Art Photographer

Hollie and Merlin came to me with the idea of doing something different for their Seattle Maternity shoot.

Please don’t take this literally or be afraid - we did not put any witch spells on the baby or sell it to the devil or anything like that. We just wanted to get real artsy and dark for this maternity shoot.

So we braved the cold and powered through what turned out to be one of my all time favorite maternity sessions of all time in the history of my maternity photographing life.

“Lady of the silver moon
Enchantress of the night
Protect me and mine within this circle fairly cast.
Earth Mother, mother of the sleeping earth,
Keep safe all who gather here
Within the protective shelter of your arms”

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Ghost World - Seattle Fine Art Photographer

“The more unknowable the mystery, the more beautiful it is.”

David Lynch

I am so happy this shoot came together the way it did. We had originally envisioned one ghost sister in white and one in black, and we loved this look so much we saved that other idea for another shoot (stay tuned) The girls did their own make up which was AMAZING. We used these wigs they bought for this shoot - and a couple of dresses and dead things from my closet- and then we stepped out onto the ghost world.

Enjoy…..

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Healing in Iceland - Seattle and Iceland Photographer

What can I even say about this trip to Iceland?

Magical. Mystical. I felt more alive and creative there. Many epiphany’s were had during this visit. Too many to list, so I will just bomb you with photos from the trip instead.

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Sedona Arizona and the Superstition Mountains

I took a quick trip to Sedona, Arizona for a few days to visit a friend and make some art. I didn’t pack much but a few dresses with my gear on the plane, so we headed to Clear Creek Trading post to grab a few items for the shoot, and for my friends new house.

I also needed to to go see the Superstition Mountains - I stayed in Mesa for two nights. Before my quick photo shoot, I hit the old Goldfield Ghost Town across the way and bought some jewelry. It was really interesting, but I love that kind of stuff. I’m a sucker for anything old.

And then I hopped on a horse for a guided horseback ride through the foothills. HEAVEN!

I really didn’t have time to hike on this trip, so I met an old friend at Lost Dutchman State Park and we had about 30 minutes to shoot at sunset. A coyote walked by and took pause.

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Learning and growing from your old work- Seattle Fine Art Photographer

There is so much to be learned from your old work.

My artwork is like a diary for me. Looking back shows me how far I’ve come and where I want to go. Sometimes it can be totally embarrassing, and that’s ok!

Looking back on my old work helped me learn WHY I do this. I didn’t know 7 years ago. People would ask why I did what I did and I would struggle with the REAL answer although it was inside of me.

Here is some photographs from about 5 or 6 years ago, I will dig deeper for another post!

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Becoming Beatrice

This was the introduction of a very important character in my life, BEATRICE.

I did not know until this shoot if the images would come across as “funny” or not, which is not exactly what I am going for.

Erin is the perfect model to introduce Beatrice with, because my Beatrice embodies ANIMAL RIGHTS, and my friend Erin is vegan. I fact, half of what Erin and I talk about is animal rights, no joke.

We shot this at a park in Tacoma WA. Erin and I stopped by UXC (my favorite vintage clothing store) and I scored this dress that matched the barn and background so well (first photo) for 35 bucks. I love that place.

To make this the perfect trip to Tacoma, we enjoyed some awesome vegan dinner after our shoot at TOP OF TACOMA- a killer dive bar with good food. The next morning we drove to Olympia to Wolf Haven where Erin volunteers so I could take a tour and listen to the wolves howl. The place is amazing. I strongly recommend either a visit or a donation.

From Beatrice to you all, have a wonderful day, and eat some tofu please.

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Joshua Tree National Park Photo Mission - Joshua Tree Photographer

Strength in numbers.

Getting together to be creative and spend quality time is my absolute happy place. The four of us girls met up in L.A. and went for a drive out to Joshua Tree. The first thing we did was the Integratron. You guys, THIS WAS AMAZING. DO IT DO IT DO IT. Totally worth the hype. And what an amazing thing to do before two days of driving and shooting. We also- of course hit Pappy and Harriets and we saw Dr. Dog perform he was great!

The theme of our weekend that I think seeped into the photographs, aliens. It was partly just being in that place, it was like we could feel the aliens trying to abduct us. It added to the story when I found what appeared to be an alien spider crawling - more like clicking - across the kitchen floor. Beware of the big alien looking CAMEL SPIDER - but know that it is not poisonous and don’t kill it! Just scream like a bitch like me and then make your friends or family get it outside.

Now might be the time to tell you that while we were getting out of the car to shoot at the Cholla Cactus garden, our car FILLED UP WITH BEES. Yes it’s real. LOTS AND LOTS OF BEES. Getting rid of them was a total bitch (thank you HOPE) So keep your windows up, those bees are thirsty! One flew down into my boot! Luckily I did the right thing and froze, and my girls slowly unzipped my boot to let the bee free. Also Erin stepped on a cactus that stuck through her shoe and into her foot- this can be dangerous! It can get infected. BE VERY CAREFUL WHERE YOU STEP!

Well, that concludes the highlights of this Joshua Tree trip. Thank you for reading!

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Double Exposures - Dawndra's way.

You guys, there are a few different ways to do this. I do my double exposures in post and I use Photoshop. The simpler the image the better. Keep in mind using a simple background is helpful. Usually, double exposures work best as profile shots if your doing a portrait. Remember- always break the rules.

I lay two images on top of each other in PS - and then either using SCREEN mode or NORMAL mode and turning down the opacity until it looks right. I take out any distracting stuff on peoples faces with the clone stamp. The hardest part (for me) is finding two images that fit!

I know that you can get way deeper and more complicated than this, believe me! But this is my simple process.

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The Queen Astray. Rattlesnake Ledge Washington

Is she lost or did she run away? What is she running from? Is she searching freedom from the confines of her world?

I love working with Alexandra. Shes energetic, fun, she brings so much energy to the room. I actually considered her somewhat of a friend right after our first shoot.

For this one, we climbed above Rattlesnake Lake to Rattlesnake Ledge and shot for maybe 30 minutes. IT WAS FREEZING! The drive is just 45 minutes from Seattle, and the hike is an hour up. The hike, although only an hour, is relatively painful. For real it sounds easy but it is a punisher- I love it!

We imagined she had escaped from the confines of marriage and a place that would not let her be free and grow as a woman.

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Franklin Falls Washington, Surreal and Styled Couples Shoot

So I decided that I must do a styled couples shoot so that I can inspire others some idea on how I love to do shoot. I chose these two kick ass people to model for me. Celeste, an experienced model and friend, and cute talented musician Zach, who never had ever a professional photo shoot before this. Challenge accepted! We left Seattle at 6 am to beat any potential crowds and headed up to Franklin Falls.

Hunt & Hammer Vintage Clothing! I love you for helping me style this shoot with this dress and Zach’s clothes.

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L.A actress meets Seattle Photographer for a conceptual shoot at Rattlesnake Lake, Washington

Sheila Houlahan has been seen on stage and screen around the world. Her most notable credits include performing the music of A. R. Rahman with the Seattle Symphony as the headliner female vocal soloist for the Celebrate Asia!  Pretty amazing right? Well I get to work with her from time to time when she is visiting from L.A. to Seattle.

Here is what we did last time…..

This is the story of the Wandering Pagan.

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Tacoma model and jewelry artist makes my heart skip a beat

This Tacoma based Jewelry Artist just blew my mind on her web page Squirrel Vs Coyote manifesto so I will just show you the quote and you can feel the love as well. Also I would love to share with you some of the images we have made together to showcase her art, and mine. Forces Combined, along side talented make up artist Codee Bradley (check out her insta!)

Squirrel Vs Coyote Manifesto:

“We’ve been drafted to fight in a war between good and evil. 

We’re not just the army, we’re the fight itself. We’re the people of color. The women. The non-binary. The queer. The immigrants. The assault survivors. The disabled. The environmental advocates. And we’re currently fighting for our lives.

But if we have to go to war, we’re not going unprotected.

We’re going dressed in chainmaille. Draped in metal plates with two words stamped deep: “Fuck. You.” A message to our enemies and a reminder to ourselves: the rage we’ve directed inward is being returned to its rightful owner. We’re entering the arena wearing headdresses made of scales. Revealing to our opponents that when they called us snakes, they created dragons.

Despite this display, it will be our enduring humanity that disarms our rivals most. Our radical authenticity that exposes them as cowards. Unyielding self-respect that reclaims our authority.

It's more than a simple accessory. We're empowering soldiers.”

I love this and I also love that Alexis won a spot in Beautiful Bizarre Magazines top 100 wearable art designers

What an honor to work with this crew! I pinch myself.

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Lake Tipsoo Washington Photo shoot

On our drive to Lake Tipsoo in the glorious Mt. Rainier national park, we talked of the world coming to an end. Sounds dismal, right?

We believe in climate change, animal rights, the beauty of nature. This shoot was a cry for help. Stop the man from taking you away from us.

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