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 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!