Lisa Mueller: From Software Engineer to Intuitive Guide and Coach

Pure white hair, easy authentic smile and sparkling, intelligent blue eyes- Lisa is such a beauty, inside and out! Upon meeting her for the first time at an Illuminating Women Girl’s Night Out event, I was taken with her compassionate and warm, open manner. Lisa comes across as a listener, friendly and compassionate, with a strong side of humor and laughter to boot.

A lead software engineer in the Aerospace industry for about 28 years, just over a year ago she switched career roles to follow her yearnings to guide others along the spiritual journey that she’d been traveling along daily, despite her left brain profession.

The change from full time software engineer to intuitive guide and coach was profound. After losing her Mother 10 years ago, she was adrift – unsure about her future and purpose in life.  She was not happy with her engineering career and was unclear about what made her happy.  She turned to various spiritual teachings where her mind began to open up to all the possibilities of the Universe.  Over time she created intentional daily practices and began to feel a connection to her True self and the Universe.  With a new sense of peace and purpose from within, she began shifting her life.  

These days, Lisa helps her clients get more in touch with their true selves in order to open up to a new way of life.  In her business at Lisa Mueller Coaching, she is a teacher and guide, holds virtual classes and meditations for clients, co-hosts a podcast and holds one on one sessions for her clients.

Check out Lisa online! You can find her website at, or on FB at or listen to her podcast at

Take a peek under each photograph here to see the concept behind the picture when we were considering her branding and how to think through creating the picture.

This studio shot demonstrates her interests, her wisdom and whimsy
This image shows a feeling of hope and optimism, and her love of nature
Here, Lisa is holding up the name of her new FB group, “Your Higher Wisdom” while in nature, her pose showing her fun side
Here Lisa wanted a picture in her arsenal to be prepared for upcoming speaker events in her future.
Lisa used this in a Facebook post in which she discussed doing an energy detox. It is a picture to promote a sense of peace and awe.
Here, we see Lisa as someone with whom we can share our tea and friendship, as someone who we would like to spend time with. Which is ever so true!

Karen Jones, MD – East meets West


I met Karen in a coaching program and took an immediate liking to her grounded kind presence. Karen, a former OB/GYN, was in the process of shifting her life to one of an entrepreneur, founding her own business. She decided to hire me as her personal branding photographer for her brand new website and business’ social media imagery.

Her new business is called Life Transformation Mastery and it helps women in their journey towards becoming more empowered, confident, and visible while leading a lush and impactful life. 

After getting to know Karen, I learned that she has always been a witness to transformation and growth of one kind or another. 

In her former career as a physician, she helped women through the ultimate transformation of pregnancy and childbirth, among other things.

Now, in her new business, she again helps women through transformation, but of a different kind. With Karen’s guidance, these women change. Through energy healing, mentoring, meditation and guidance, she assists women in transforming their lives to become the most authentic and joyful selves they can be. 

The inner work that her clients do is married to inspired action. So you get to “make tracks” with the inner work you’ve accomplished. You can take that inspiration, be visible with it, and make an impact on your world, and as a result have that luscious life you’ve always dreamed of having. 

This new modality of work has called to Karen for most of her life. As early as the 1990’s, she felt the tingling of energy in her hands and started onto a more intensive path of study into energy healing and personal and spiritual growth. 

These days she sinks into her profession with ease, as if it was calling her home to a place she was always meant to be. She has learned to live the processes she teaches others and has become a role model in feeling comfortable in her own skin, heard and seen, authentic and empowered. 

You can see her joyful and compassionate nature in these photos – her message of visibility, playfulness, and a comfort and ease with herself radiates through these images. 

Here’s some examples of some of the pictures from our fun shoot! I included a few of her personal branding words below each of her pictures.


Friendly, nature lover

High energy, yet a safe place for others to land

A guide and counsel to others

Friendly and kind

Fun and playful

Experienced and casual yet professional


Empathetic and approachable

#Quarantinediaries – The Thread that Pulled Me Through Lockdown

Selfie reflection

My #Quarantinediaries project started as a personal one. I figured I’d document my household’s time in lockdown using words and photos. Then maybe use an online book making program to create a little book to keep for our memories. 

For me, if I’m not creating, my world is not as bright. And I’ve been naturally drawn towards writing and photography ever since I was a young ‘un in Middle School. So this project idea seemed to just make sense for me.

In chatting with others about business and some frustration about not being able to move forward with my photo shoots, I came up with the idea to share some of these images on social media. People seemed to like them! My project had taken on a life of its own. The Facebook version was less personal and wordy of course, but gave a peek into my household during lockdown.

#Quarantinediaries was a thread that has pulled me through the lockdown so far. It was a project that has allowed me to focus on my physical area of lockdown as well as ponder the themes that I’ve observed both within myself and within the society around me. I used my family that I live with, my virtual family and friendships, social media, news, essays and even poetry as multiple sources of inspiration for the themes and pictures I’ve posted.

Here’s the first of the themes that I presented in the #Quarantinediaries posts on Facebook:

#Quarantinediaries- “Walking the dogs

Daughter Molly and I are taking long walks with the dogs through the neighborhood lately! Well, maybe a normal thing for us, but what’s different recently is that everywhere we walk, we see loads of other people walking two by two, but the streets nearly empty of car traffic. Gyms and businesses are closed, and people are antsy to get out of their houses and move their bodies too. We all wave and smile as we walk past each other (maintaining our social distance, of course). Exercise, fresh air, being friendly and actually seeing your neighbors – it’s nice, right?

Piper whining to go on a walk – always ready to go! Especially during my Zoom calls it seems.
Fun in the sun!
Piper is so happy! Our dogs love the quarantine because it means their “pack” is constantly surrounding them. I’m enjoying spending time with my pack as well, even if it isn’t the whole pack, just my husband and one of my three adult children. The other two live elsewhere, but are doing well during the quarantine, thank goodness. I hope your pack is well
Piper and her Auntie Maya

The next FB post theme was about how we have been spending our time during the lockdown.

#Quarantinediaries – “Spending Time”

How have you been spending your time so far during the lockdown? I’m genuinely curious. It may be strange, but I’ve found the enforced lockdown to be an unusual gift that has made me slow down unlike any other time in my life. For me, it’s been a time to focus on family connections and some creative ideas that otherwise would be pushed to the bottom of the pile. Here’s another little tiny peek into how we’ve been spending our time lately in our household. Please post some of your pictures in the comments below if you’d like to share…

A time to meditate
Hahaha! Ok, so I faked the whole meditation photo above and cracked up the next second and Molly caught this one. I’ve have “monkey mind”, or a racing mind and have tried to meditate for years without much success. I so admire people who meditate regularly, like my good friend, Marianne Mersereau. So now I do something called Disciplined Mental Practice which I learned from the wonderful Maleah Jacobs.
A time for artwork- Molly doing her digital drawing, often multitasking with watching something on her accompanying computer screen and chatting with her international friends on a different platform.
A time for working at home – here’s hubby blessed to have paid work that he loves and can do at home during quarantine
A time to wait, once again. To wait for the humans to let them in, let them out, let them in, let them out, let them in…..etc
A time to fidget!
A time to wait – Maya, waiting for the delivery man so she can bark at them while I’m on my Zoom call next to her….

Quarter Life Crisis Project

For many people, their 20’s and even into their early 30’s are a time of decisions and indecisions, of anxieties and stress when it comes to the idea of trying to start on or choose their “life’s path”, or to go forward into their adult years as a “success”. 

The anxiety and sometimes even paralyzing indecision this can produce is often referred to as the quarter life crisis.

I’ve undertaken a photography and writing project that explores the quarter life crisis. The project features individuals who are either currently going through such a stage or those who have gone through it and come out on the other side.

A quarter life crisis looks different for everyone.

Many questions tend to loop around endlessly within the mind of someone in such a situation: Do I change majors? Go back to school? Go to college at all? Switch jobs/careers? Quit this corporate job and start over? Move to a different city? Dump my partner? Marry my partner? Have a child? What’s my “passion”? How can I move out? How can I find a “real” job? What the heck am I going to do when I grow up? How can I follow my definition of success when my parents or society seems to want me to follow theirs?

It’s even been shown that today’s twentysomethings have been impacted by the quarter life crisis more frequently and severely than the youth of prior generations for several reasons, which are discussed in the project.

Despite the reality of the quarter life crisis, many of the older generations invalidate it, making light of it and as a result create a sense of guilt amongst the young people who are experiencing it today. 

Now, the twentysomething feels not only anxious about their life and  future, but guilty for feeling this way, which only serves to bring on more anxiety and depression as well. 

Hopefully by shining some light on this situation, people will take note and listen to some of the stories that these young people bring forth, and see the faces behind the stories. 

They will learn that this tends to be only a small period of a person’s life, and that it needs to be dealt with compassionately, with patience and empathy, and not with a roll of the eyes and or with a derisive remark that will only serve to diminish the importance of this life transition.

This project will include an exhibit with approximately a dozen black and white moody portraits wall hung, along with quotes and brief summaries from individual interviews hanging next to the portraits. 

Eventually, after more portraits and interviews are gathered, I hope to create an art book. 

Each participant will receive a few professional black and white digital images, and the knowledge that they are helping to bring this topic into focus for the older generations and helping others their age feel more normalized.

If you are interested in participating in this project, I’d love to hear from you! Please contact me at or text me at 206-819-3540 or message me on FB at

Here are a few more examples of portraits taken for the project thus far:

Meet Mike Talkington of Talk Media: the solopreneur and dating life

I first met Mike at a networking event about four years ago where he stood in front of a group of us business folks to share tips about social media, his specialty. Wow, this guy is young, I thought. But that boyish face was deceptive because man, did he know his stuff. I became especially convinced that Mike was a great guy to know after he sat down with me for a good three hours to help with a business presentation for that same networking group, with nothing in it for him in return. What a helpful guy! And those millennials – we all know they’re the ones to go to for all things technical and media based, especially Mike.
Fast forward to today and we are still in touch with each other. Mike and his business are thriving – he recently won the small businessperson of the year award from Alignable. After talking with Mike one day, he mentioned that he’s long overdue for some current branding pictures for his business as well as some pictures for his online dating profile. Yes, young ladies, he’s available. 😉 These are some of the images we came up with, all taken in the up and coming city of Everett. The last picture of the rainbow with Mike upside down would make anyone stop scrolling, don’t you think?

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Brandi’s Forest Photoshoot

I met Brandi after she messaged me on Instagram last summer. She had taken a class at Shoreline Community College with my daughter who told Brandi that I was a portrait photographer. So Brandi found my Instagram account and took the leap to message me, offering her services as a newbie makeup artist. I admired her initiative. Plus she had messaged me at the perfect time- I was searching for a makeup artist who was willing to work for trade for a river shoot I was planning (see past blog about the river shoot). Brandi is beautiful, inside and out and eight months later, I offered to do a shoot of her in the woods. She and her husband are moving soon to Nevada. Now, with these pictures, she has the evidence that she truly was a Pacific Northwest girl. 😉

Behind the Scenes!

Those Millennials! Thomas and Rachel

Thomas and Rachel- two awesome millennials. Thomas is our 25 year old son. He is pictured here with his lovely longtime girlfriend, Rachel. I promised myself I’d write a blog for each of my kids eventually, so this one focuses on Thomas. Of our three kids, Thomas is the most difficult to get in front of my camera, so I snuck some pictures in of he and Rachel recently while taking head shots of Rachel for her new job.

Let me tell you a bit about Thomas. He was always out of the mainstream, the original hipster. He would bite kids in preschool just to say hello, he teased his 5th grade teacher, Mr. Nelson, relentlessly, and as a teen became an expert in spinning poi and fire (gulp), and is still invited onto stages to perform today.

Thomas spinning poi in my studio in 2010

At one point, he refused to wear jeans, instead coming up with the weirdest Goodwill outfits I’ve ever seen. Eternally in a knit hat, scarf and multiple layers of clothing,his outfits were always completed with a funky coat of some kind.

Yes, he attended multiple shows and who knows what kind of trouble he got into during those later teenage years. He was always very mysterious about his activities to his parents, of course.

In his early 20’s, he also would hang out with my scientist in-laws and they eventually sent him to California to present a scientific paper they’d all three collaborated on. He was one of the youngest presenters there, and the only one without a college degree (as yet) to present this paper to an international forum of scientists. It was just the start for him though. After two internships and a college degree from the University of Washington, he has chosen to accept a job in emerging technology at the Starbucks Corporate in Seattle.

Smart and funny, maybe those piles of books I read to him as a youngster paid off?

So here are a few more fun photos of this amazing young couple:

What Does Family Mean to You?

Family, It’s complicated, right? They are those people you love unconditionally, but that can also drive you crazy occasionally. Families come in all shapes and sizes. No one family is perfect. There are tight bonds and then there are feuds that last for years and can hurt our hearts. There are opposite personalities and then friendships that shift over the decades. But even through these love-hate relationships, there tends to be a loyalty to each other, We say “well, they are family” when one of us needs help, or when one of us is dealing with difficulties.

Then there’s children and their parents. No parent is perfect, we all make mistakes, but we do the best we can at the time. I think back to when my husband and I were raising our children and the mistakes that were made that I see now on hindsight. For me, it meant getting my fingers too much in my son’s business as a teenager, when all he wanted was privacy. Maybe we enabled them at times? Or was that just kindness and concern? There is a tendency among today’s parents of older children (including myself) to not allow their kids to experience their own failures and pains. Maybe it’s a reaction to the last generation, where our Moms would kick us outside and tell us to not come back ‘til dark. A different take on parenting for sure.

I’m reading Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming. What a good story she tells. Anyhow, I’m so impressed by Michelle’s mother. Her Mom said she was “raising adults”, not bringing up babies. She showed caring and love, yet allowed her kids the room to make their own decisions, do their own work and even fail from time to time. She didn’t overreact to their travails or their successes, but offered a constant unconditional support for all of their efforts and experiences. I admire her. She was wise beyond her years while raising those two kids.

So… family. It is that time of year when family is the focus. This time of year brings out pain and loneliness in many folks. Memories of a lost loved one due to death or just absence. For others, like myself (I’m fortunate to say) the season brings along a sense of connectedness, of coziness and an extreme appreciation for family – ever important, yet imperfect. I invite you to join me in counting out your gratitudes, and in sharing your family stories- both the joys and challenges.

I had the opportunity to photograph Katie’s lovely family at Greenlake recently. I could see the love and playfulness that existed between them. So beautiful to witness. Here are a few of the pictures that I captured on that sunny Seattle day.


A Fixed Arm and Photo Shoots- Quality Care Physical Therapy

“Hello, this is Sandra. John Monahan told me to call you for a headshot. I just got hired on to Quality Care Physical Therapy staff.” I was so happy to hear from Sandra! Quality Care Physical Therapy (QCPT) was one of my favorite clients to work with over the last couple of years.

Two years ago, my doctor referred me to QCPT as a patient. On my first visit to their facility, I entered with some trepidation. My right upper arm had been hurting me pretty badly at the time, even though I hadn’t seemed to injure it. At the QCPT office, I was put at ease immediately by the friendly and comforting front desk staff.

After checking in, I was escorted into a big welcoming space with exercise equipment, big exercise balls and other PT tools, and several tables, some with clients already on them talking to staff who stretched and manipulated the clients bodies in different ways.

John Monahan, QCPT’s owner and head Physical Therapist, introduced himself to me. He had a competent and compassionate demeanor.

John listened to me carefully as I explained the reason for my visit.

“I’ve seen several photographers with this type of arm injury”, he said, surprising me. I had been using my heavy larger lens a lot recently, I thought.

“Can you fix my arm ?”, I asked with hope.

“Yes. It’ll take some time and work on your part, but we’ll get you back in action soon enough”, he told me. I was very pleased to hear that and gave over my arm to his care gratefully.

Twice weekly PT visits, exercises, icing and manipulations were introduced into my life for several weeks. I actually enjoyed visiting their office in downtown Bothell.

They made me feel so cared for and were such fun and friendly folks. After a couple of months, my arm was pain free! Good as new, and two years later the pain has never returned!

One day while chatting with John during my therapy session, he said to me, “Hey, I need some pictures of my staff and space. Can you do it?”.

A couple of weeks later, I was there with my lights and assistant. We took pictures of John and his staff, plus the PT work space. It was such a kick working with these people- everyone had such a good sense of humor and they were so cooperative.


A year later, three of his staff members visited my studio for more headshots. John knows how to hire great people and you could tell that they enjoyed each other’s company. We made a quick little group photo of the three gals in my studio, just for fun.

I think it’s obvious that  I have enjoyed working with this company in multiple capacities and hope to see more of them (although minus a sore body part!) in the future. Thank you Quality Care Physical Therapy!

For more information on Quality Care Physical Therapy, please visit their website at

A Jewel in the City

The Story of our Urban Shoot:

Brooke, Deborah and I met that morning with Rebecca at Rebeka’s Boutique (Rebekah’ in downtown Edmonds. Our goal was to find our favorite looks that represented the funky artistic nature of the boutique’s clothing and style. It felt like a fun dress up party as we narrowed it down to three outfits for Brooke to model. She was one of those types of women who fit everything well too, and there were so many cute things, so we took a while to decide on only three!

(Brooke demonstrating her love of these clothes!)

Our team consisted of five women:

  • Rebecca Anjewierden: Owner and buyer at Rebeka’s Boutique
  • Brooke Lehmann: Seattle model that I’d taken pictures of as a client last summer (IG: blehmann524)
  • Deborah Lobe: Longtime, experienced hair and makeup artist and stylist (IG: debdebcolours or online
  • Sarah Kercheval: My ever trusty photo assistant (IG: kercheval_model)
  • Me: photographer (IG: jeankercheval)

The concept of the shoot was to show off Rebeka’s funky clothes and accessories by photographing a young fashionable women in a more progressive area of the city. Our model, Brooke, would stand out as a colorful jewel among the typical urban Seattleites who tended to dress in dark muted colors, fleece and jeans. Brooke had the perfect demeanor for this shoot, as a fresh, vibrant and sophisticated fashionista. Also, these were pictures that Rebecca would use in her marketing of her boutique.

The morning of the shoot, Deborah, Sarah, Brooke and I met in Brooke’s light filled apartment on Capitol Hill for Deborah to work her magic as a hair and makeup artist. Listen in the video below as Sarah serenades us on Brooke’s piano for a couple of hours as we went about our business of shoot and model preparations.

Next, we piled into the car and drove to our first location – the U.S. District Courthouse on 7th and Stewart, in downtown Seattle. It was a glorious early Fall day, bright and pretty, with a light cloud cover. Perfect for pictures!

At our first location, Brooke rocked it in a gorgeous black and grey dress with a sassy fedora and long black velvet cloves.

In my earlier scouting for the shoot, I’d created a route that would take us from the courthouse to the Amazon Spheres, and was so happy to see a beautiful green and blue glass building on our path . We were also fortunate in that this building was next door to a Starbucks with a restroom- or in our case, a changing room. Brooke used the opportunity to change into her next amazing outfit, which you can see pictured below:

We just loved the vintage artistic flair of Rebeka’s outfits!  After one more outfit change at the Starbucks, we took a few more images at this location, then moved along to the Amazon spheres. Colorful and almost bohemian, Brooke also looked beautiful in this colorful dress, a burgundy hat, purple leggings and brown boots.


On our way back to the car, I asked Brooke to walk “runway” across the street. She obliged nicely, of course.

So many pictures, it was hard to narrow them down!

Chatting on the way home, still excited about our day, we all decided that the best course of action after we got home was to take a nap. Photo shoots can be so much fun, but the adrenaline and attention to detail can also be exhausting! 😉

Can’t wait for the next big shoot!