Seattle — Fully Engaged

Venturing to new places for photography gets the visual senses going. The change of scenery, sounds, textures, colors, and people all make for a new visual palette of possibilities.

Cue Tim and Sam. These two live in Seattle and brought me on last year for their Coeur d’Alene wedding this summer. This couple wanted something that highlighted the reasons why they like living in Seattle.

Lots of neighborhoods to walk through, cool hangouts, and a lot of green spaces.

After more than three hours of venturing around the city we walked through a neighborhood with a cherry-blossom lined street, hung out at a trendy bar, took a stroll through the park, convinced a dog to patiently sit inside a sculpture, checked out a conservatory, trekked up 107 steps to the top of a 108-year-old water tower, and made friends with some ducks.

All-in-all, it was a fun session with a lot of locations that resulted in a lot of great imagery for this Seattle couple.

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Witness To Memories

When I first got into photography, I did so because I witnessed the power it harnesses in capturing memories, documenting history and providing something tangible that can be handed down as a preserved moment in time that’s representative of the people in the image.

This was reinforced when my grandmother was falling deeper into her Alzheimer’s. Whenever I was in town to visit, sometimes she wouldn’t quite know who I was. She would talk about me as if I was someone else. But as I walked behind her as she made her way down the old hallway, past all the photos she captured over the years of our family, I noticed something that reinforced my love of photograph. She would stop and look at a photo and could tell you what time of day she took the picture, what was going on, who was in the picture and exactly where it was taken. She would stare at it for a few moments, almost reliving that moment she captured. She was remembering. Then, just like that, she’d be back on her journey down the hall. Not exactly knowing why she was going down the hall in the first place.

I didn’t intend for this little intro for Heather and Lydea’s portrait session to be deep. But looking over some of the photos from their day, it got me thinking to how all the images I take of families and friends over the years will bring back a memory to be relived. Like Lydea riding the bike by herself for the first time and Heather celebrating that moment with her daughter. Or the two standing in awe of the power of water flowing through the Post Falls Dam. It could be a moment of wonderment as they look back on Lydea spinning on the merry-go-round just as happy as could be, as I was trying not to feel sick while looking through the viewfinder of my camera and spinning with her.

Memories are what we live for. It’s what gives us history and stories to tell. Memories are our legacy. And I’m blessed with the ability and opportunity to document them.

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− five = 4

Numb Fingers, Warm Hearts

Andrea and Greg are troopers. And they’re not discouraged easily. Even when facing hypothermia — once they have a plan, they stick to it. I can appreciate that.

When I called Greg a few days before the wedding to make sure everything was in place and there were no last-minute updates, I asked him if he was prepared for the weather. He said, “It’ll be a bit cold. The last I saw was it was supposed to be 18 degrees.”

“Alright,” was my response as I was looking at’s forecast which was showing a high of eight degrees. I didn’t want to curb his enthusiasm.

Did I mention this was an outdoor wedding at Elkins Resort on Priest Lake?

Crazy? A little. But in a good, fun way.

This couple thought of everything:

A short ceremony

No chairs so people could move a little to stay warm

Four big outdoor heaters for family and friends to huddle under during the ceremony

Great comfort food

And cookies and milk at the end of their reception (I took a few back to my room to help in the editing process)

All-in-all, their wedding went down just like their engagement session — a lot of laughs, a great comfort level and some great moments to capture.

As I was designing their wedding album, I couldn’t help but remember the pain I felt as my finger tips thawed during the reception. But I also couldn’t forget the great time I had and the lengths all of us were willing to go to make this wedding a huge success.

Mission accomplished.

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A “J.J. Fab” Wedding

Excuse the ’80s hip-hop reference. I couldn’t help myself. But Jennifer and Jake’s wedding was fabulous — even if there was some worry about the weather.

The day started out overcast and raining … hard. As Jennifer prepared with her “girls” at a local hotel, she was constantly peeking out the window hoping the downpour would let up.

While Jake was with his brothers getting haircuts and hot-towel shaves, he was also wondering how the day was going to end up.

Luckily, I had scouted out a few covered areas for portraits. And even better, the rain slowed down just enough for the wedding party portraits outside the Coeur d’Alene Wedding Chapel before the start of the ceremony.

The ceremony went well, the ride in the limo with the bride and groom worked wonderfully for some documentary shots and once the reception started, it was party time with good food, lots of people, break dancing and a cigar session to close out a great wedding day — rain and all.

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Any time is a good time to document a memory

Portraits don’t have to be for your senior in high school, an engagement or even a posed family photo.

Do you have a special occasion or an activity you like to do this time of year? Is there an place in the area that you enjoy and want to capture a memory there?

Here’s how one active portrait session went for the mother of rambunctious twins …

“In one hour, Jerome was able to capture who my boys were together and apart. Jerome doesn’t just click the camera, he clicks on character. Again, he cares, he feels, he SEES. My recommendation is not professional. My recommendation is as a mother who has and will continue to look at these photos with a tear in her eye for the rest of my life.” — Kristin L.

Give me a call or email today and let’s get those memories documented.

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Only a few Saturdays left

This year’s wedding season calendar began filling up last spring.

I only have three Saturdays left open between the busy months of June and September.

Those dates are:

  • August 23
  • August 30
  • September 27

There are still some dates available for you procrastinators having an early spring wedding, or for those who are just getting started planning their October, November and December weddings.

If you have that date set for your wedding, or have a friend who digs my style and approach who has one of those dates set, contact me now to get on the calendar.

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Let’s get some history on your walls

It’s odd to me that most of the professional photography done nowadays is either for engagements, senior portraits or weddings. Remember back in the day, before iPhones, Instagram and Facebook, when people actually had images that captured their family history hanging on their walls?

I want to use my skill set to make sure your walls aren’t blank and you have something to pass on to your children and grandchildren.

To celebrate my new website, I’m offering an “Any time is a good time for memories” special.

Book a two-hour portrait session by April 1, and receive a free 16×24-inch canvas display. That’s a $455 value for $275.

Contact me to today to get your session scheduled.

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A Cataldo Engagement Session Adventure

Chris and Stephanie are all about the outdoor lifestyle. And they take advantage of all that North Idaho has to offer.

We walked along the river bank, tromped through snowy forests, walked on top of ice with a river flowing under it, and ended up underneath a freeway. The freeway doesn’t really jive with the rest of the outdoorsy settings, but it just goes to show how adventurous these two are.

If the engagement session was any indication to how their wedding will be, I’m in for a fun day on June 14.

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An Engagement Session in Downtown Spokane

Katie and Steve are a lovely couple who contacted me more than a year ago to shoot their upcoming wedding this summer.

It was so nice that they traveled from Seattle and ventured around downtown Spokane with me in the frigid weather for their engagement shoot.

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3 × = twenty one

Hypothermic Engagement

The Inland Northwest population is fairly tough.

Cold weather doesn’t bother us much during the winter. But when it gets down to 12 degrees for a high, even the hardiest of couples may rethink doing their engagement session outdoors.

For Amanda and Kenny, they were all in. No bone-chilling cold weather was going to keep them from frolicking in the snow, taking walks by the lake or postponing there save the date cards.

They were brave. I was bundled up like the kid from “A Christmas Story”. I’m just glad I was able to pick myself up off the ground.

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