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 http://www.qualitycarept.com/

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’sBoutique@facebook.com) 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 deborahlobe.com)
  • 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!

 

 

 

 

Anatomy of a River Shoot: A Short Story

At my in-law’s cabin in Baring, WA, I stood at the edge of the Skykomish river one evening earlier this summer, listening to the breeze flutter through the bushes and trees, and quietly watching the river stream by.

Green and luminescent, the river whispered gently on this stretch, providing me with a meditative feeling of calm; of restoration and a sense of awe that seeped into my very soul. Despite its gentle beauty, the power of this water- to stubbornly carve out its own path heedless of our human desires, to barrel over rocks and roots – was to be solemnly respected and even feared in some places. The river could be friendly and gentle then change its mind and become a turbulent and angry force to be reckoned with.

Either way, the river was here before us with an ancient spirit running persistently through these Pacific Northwestern forested lands and through the surrounding towns and cities. I felt drawn to its beauty.

The nature of the Pacific Northwest has a presence that peaks the imagination and does not suffer thoughts of the mundane. This summer I discovered that I wanted to create a story, recorded through the lens of my camera.

Some time later, while on a recent beach vacation, I contemplated this idea of a river shoot. I wanted the concept of the shoot to show a young woman taking a summer’s day to journey and enjoy the green sensual waters by herself. She climbs the rocks, explores along the river’s band and bathes in the river floating like the Goddess that she is.

As I pondered my story one day while on vacation, my Instagram notification went off. It was a message from Gregory Elgee, a guy who had previously rented out my studio and who, like me, was an alumni of the UW photography program albeit in a different year. Commenting on my last Instagram post, Gregory mentioned that he’d love to collaborate with me sometime. I responded “actually, I’m thinking of a river shoot soon…”.

A day or two later, another Instagram notification came through- a young makeup artist named Brandi Anne Troth had messaged me. She wrote that she knew my daughter from a college class they shared and that she followed my work on Instagram with interest. If I ever had need of a makeup artist, she said, she’d love to collaborate with me on a shoot. The timing was too serendipitous and I admired Brandi for boldly reaching out to me, so I asked her to join us on the shoot.

Next, I contacted Adrianne Keogh, our potential model. A beautiful and talented young woman, I’d done previous shoots of her plus have known her and her mother since Adrienne was an infant. She had the perfect look for this project. She replied “yes” with enthusiasm.

Finally, my daughter, Sarah joined us. She’s my rock, my adviser and the person with whom I often brainstorm and try out shoot ideas. She would act as my assistant on the river.

As if by magic, the river shoot team had materialized.

So, early on a hazy Wednesday morning, we meet up at my studio for shoot prep., hair, makeup and wardrobe decisions. We head on up Highway 2, which follows the Skykomish river closely. We hit the road with two cars, all excitement and chatter. Our first stop was in Sultan, at a park under a bridge. Here is the sign we found:Our model Adrienne pipes up from the back seat “um…no way”, we all laugh and move along to discover another, safer, river location.

Back on highway 2, I spot a sign- “River Access”. There! We do a u-turn and drive into the parking lot to check it out. Walking through the trees, we see that the river here was slow moving and nearly empty of people– perfect for our shoot! Adrienne starts to get comfortable with her natural surroundings.

There was even a view of an active train trestle from our location on the river, adding a bit of interest to the images. Trains rumble on by as we play in the water below.At first, I have Adrienne move gently into the river, touching the water and turning here and there. She slowly introduces herself to the river’s waters.Then we help Adrienne submerge and float in the cool water. The water feels good on this hot day as I wade in to get closer to my subject.Behind the scenes, Brandi helps adjust Adrienne in the water, applies more makeup during a break from shooting, and Sarah holds my reflector up to help bounce the soft light while I took pictures.

Meanwhile, Gregory had scurried ahead, over the rocks, scouting out the area for more locations to shoot. He comes back with good news of an old train trestle that had an “epic” look. We all climb over the river rocks and boulders precariously to see what he meant. It was indeed a majestic scene.

Once there, I take more pictures as Adrienne gracefully makes her way over the rocks and thru the shallow river to be near the structure.

The location now exhausted, we return to Highway 2 and follow it up to my in-law’s sweet little cabin set directly upon the river in Baring. We reach the cabin at the time when the light sings- the Golden hour preceding sunset. Working quickly, we use the natural surroundings to emphasize Adrienne’s  beauty, then head down to the river to capture the light there.

Adrienne lingers near near the cabin, then walks down to the river’s edge in her journey, exploring her surrounding for a bit as the light falls perfectly upon her.

We change her outfit again at the cabin and she once again descends the stairs to the river as a Goddess, glowing in a long white dress.

The river has many years ago formed a calm little round pool, with rock cairns on either side. We place Adrienne in this perfect pool, where she reclines gracefully.

Satisfied with our time shooting on the river, the beauty of the smokey wildfire stricken day comes to a close with a feeling of the tired excitement of accomplishment. It was a good day and we all traveled back to my studio, talking and reliving the shoot during the ride home.