I love this family!  I photographed them several years ago and they have grown so much since I saw them last!   These kids are awesome as they wanted to do this photosession for their moms birthday and they did such a great job!  Mom stayed in the car at the garden so that I could work with them.  I love surprises so it’s a win-win!

Gorgeous time of year to be at the Bellevue Botanical Garden too!  They are currently going to be under construction and although I know the wait time will feel like a loooong time, I’m sure the garden will be amazing to photograph in again.

 

Bellevue Botanical Garden Photoshoot with Holli Dunn Photography

Bellevue Family Photographer Holli Dunn

Bellevue Botanical Garden family photographer

Sammamish, Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue & Seattle Photographer

Another month has gone by, rather quickly I must add!!   For this month I wasn’t all that inspired to capture my hometown this past few weeks.  I did enjoy looking through past iphone images to see what I have captured there, and surprisingly, I have quite a bit!  Hard to choose just a few so I made a mosaic collage out of it.

I have lived in Washington for 10 years now and don’t intend to leave, so I definitely consider this my hometown even though I was not born here.   I am currently residing in Sammamish, but my neighborhood is really in Redmond due to wonky boundaries.  My studio is in Bellevue but like to shoot mainly in Kirkland!  And of course, Seattle is the big city nearby!    We have rain, and when the sun is shining, it’s AMAZING here.  The birds are plentiful and I love to listen to them, we have great blueberries, blackberries, coffee (of course!) and we are in WA so don’t forget about those apples! (although they technically are grown on the other side of the cascades).    Many lakes, and the sound…  Ferries are so fun!   Space needle… very cool, but long lines so I recommend eating lunch at the restaurant so you can soak up the views.   And I included bike tires, because my home-home town (Redmond) claims to have the most bicycle riders of all.  I’m not 100% sure about that, and roads here must be terrible to bike on… but I do see a lot of them!

Thanks for stopping by!!

And because this is a blog carousel, we are all linked….  Now please go visit the next fabulous photographer to see her hometown!  :)   Anna-Karin Skillen –  Baton Rouge Family and Child Photographer
Bellevue and Seattle PhotographyAnd because this is a blog carousel, we are all linked….  Now please go visit the next fabulous photographer to see her hometown!  :)   Anna-Karin Skillen –  Baton Rouge Family and Child Photographer

 

 

 


I’m starting a new project to highlight some amazing women in my community.   These women are mothers and are also working women who own their own business or project.  I call them Mamapreneurs!     My friend, Sharice has been kind enough to be the first one to be interviewed  :)

Sharice does two jobs really – Life Coaching, and The Birthday Project for Seattle/Eastside.

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Who is she?

My name is Sharice Belikoff.  I am a wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend! I am also a Social Worker and Life Coach and leader of the Seattle chapter of The Birthday Project.

I am “mom” and ‘friend” … and I think that is why I can relate to others in similar circumstances. My brand is largely community outreach and kindness which I call Angel Wings or Shining Light Coaching. I am involved at our school in spreading an anti-bullying message through Rachel’s Challenge, to our children, and I strongly believe that kindness and compassion is a fundamental lesson to teach our children.

A year ago, I stumbled on The Birthday Project which is fast becoming a global movement to use our birthdays and anniversaries for good by doing acts of kindness for others. I am the leader of the Seattle chapter and love helping others to find their joy through giving on their birthday instead of receiving. You can find the website on www.thebdayproject.com or on Facebook and Twitter:   The Birthday Project Seattle.

Sharice has also worked to spread the word about anti-bullying and has brought an amazing program called Rachel’s Challenge to our school.

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Why are you so interested in Kindness?

I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and grew up my whole life seeing immense sadness and poverty and shame.  As a “white” South African growing up in the 1970’s, I was always deeply disturbed by the terrible conditions around me.  Although we as a family were strongly opposed to the Apartheid regime, in those days you kept silent or went to jail for speaking out! My mother who was a teacher and a volunteer at the local hospital in Johannesburg, taught me these words over and over again…

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Both my parents only wanted their children to show compassion and unconditional love to all we met, no matter their race, religion, color or creed.

When I graduated from high school, I became a social worker to help make the world “a better place”.  That was my absolute promise to myself. It was my passion, my very purpose for being on this Earth.  For several years, I worked with the most wonderful people. I saw some of the saddest, most terrible things on earth.  I also saw people with the hugest spirits, even bigger hearts, and so much inner strength and wisdom. (That was when I found my “heart”, and my purpose and I never looked back!)

The next stage of my life was spent working at an organization called The Foundation for Tolerance Education.  A team of us would go to schools to talk about tolerance. Holocaust survivors, Apartheid survivors and Rwandan genocide survivors would accompany us to teach the kids about love vs hatred, to spread joy instead of despair, and to focus on kindness and laughter, and re-building our beautiful country.  I was very fortunate to meet President Nelson Mandela who was a patron of our cause.

Five years ago, my husband and I decided to leave South Africa for Seattle.  We felt that it would be best for our children grow up in this country free from crime and violence.  We moved to Seattle and love our life here.

About 2 years ago, I became a certified Life Coach. I mainly help women to find their purpose and define what is important to them, but most of the time,

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Why do you love what you do?

Because for me we are all put on this Earth to make a difference through Love. Caring for each other and being kind and generous of spirit is what it’s all about! I love seeing other people get inspired to give to others with no expectation of anything in return.

 What are your favorite things?

My favorite things to do are to snuggle with my family, go for walks along the lake, read and write inspiring messages and blogs, meditate and party with my friends.

How can we contact you for more info on The Birthday Project and Life Coaching?     call 425 289-9255 or sbelikoff@live.com

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 The Birthday Project is a global movement to use your birthday/anniversary/special occasion for good by doing intentional acts of kindness. No matter if you are 6 or 60.

Watch this video of the 2013 kid ambassadors, and how Sharice has inspired these kids to learn that kindness is the way to make a change in the world:

 

From the Birthday Project Facebook Page, here are several great ideas how you can incorporate The Birthday Project into your life!

Hi beautiful Birthday Project friends… Here are more ideas:
Make it a point to smile at everyone you see and pass by today.
Invite a couple of neighborhood kids over for some cookies.
Collect can goods for a food bank.
Leave a note in your mailbox letting the mail delivery person know you appreciate them and all their hard work.
Clean up litter on a street in your neighborhood.
Put together a neighborhood “clean-up” day where everyone gathers to pick-up trash and to do minor clean-up or improvement tasks. At the end of the day, have a friendly pot-luck dinner. Be sure to talk with neighbors and/or put out flyer’s announcing the event.
Drop off a plant or some home-made baked goods to your local police or fire department.
Say something nice to everyone you meet today.
Leave a kind note for a family member or friend.
Organize a sing-a-long at a local senior center or stop by to play the piano for the residents. Just holding someones hand and listening to what they want to talk about or praying with them means so much.
Shovel snow for a neighbor.
Cheer up a friend.
Hug a family member.
Smile and say “Hello” to people you don’t know.
Offer someone behind you in the grocery check-out line to go in front of you.
Pat someone on the back.
Volunteer to read to small kids.
Open the car door for your passenger.
Pull out someone’s chair for them at the dinner table.
Wash a neighbors vehicle.
Take a neighbors newspaper laying out on their driveway to them or leave it at their front door.
Let a neighbor know how much you value their friendship. When preparing dinner make extra and drop it off for them.
Let a manager know you compliment a sales clerk for their pleasant or helpful service.
Give your pocket change to someone who is needing it.
Pick up small florist vases at thrift stores or yard sales for about 10 cents each. Then, buy wrapped flowers for a few more dollars. Now, arrange the flowers in the vases. Get the local phone book out, pick a few names and deliver the vases to their door step anonymously. Do this early in the morning before everyone is awake.
Print up some inspiring signs and post them around town.
Leave your change in the soda or snack vending machine for the next person. It’s a nice surprise.
Purchase or make a sandwich or meal for a homeless person.
Leave change in a public pay phone.
Do as many things as you can by being anonymous. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Run an errand for someone.
Offer to pick up a friend or a neighbors children from school or daycare.
Make an extra serving when preparing dinner and take to a homeless person in your area.
Take a parent out to dinner to their favorite restaurant.
Tell a parent just to say you love them.
Take blankets or warm clothing to a homeless person.
Connect someone who is homebound to the Internet. Purchase them a laptop.
Help an elderly person care for their pet(s).
Purchase a couple extra bags of dog or cat food and take to the animal shelter.
Volunteer to help at an animal shelter.
Take a meal to a family you know.
Check in on someone you know is alone.
Send a bouquet of flowers to a hospital and let the staff know it should go to someone who doesn’t receive any visitors and is alone.

Have a beautiful day!
Sharice

 

 

 

The Teddy Bear mini sessions are back!  Last year was  big success in raising 500.00 and sent a box of stuffed animals for Loving Hugs, Inc. and I hope to do it again!

Sessions are 15-20 minute sessions just for children, in the studio.  Perfect amount of time for capturing a milestone or certain age.  If you are considering becoming a new client, it’s the perfect opportunity to stop in and meet me.  :)

If you bring a favorite stuffed animal, we will photograph him or her with their stuffed animal and without so that we capture a little bit of both.   The session fee proceeds all go to Loving Hugs.       I have a sign up form ready to go, with links to sign up and confirm your session!   Please click the following button:
Sign Up Now!

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Email me with questions!  I have special collection pricing just for this event too!

For more information about Loving Hugs and the work they are doing to put smiles on children’s faces – find them on facebook at www.facebook.com/LovingHugsInc or visit their website for more info at  www.lovinghugs.org

 

I just recently joined a talented group of photographers in a creative project where we all have a theme once a month and post photographs based on that them. This months theme is: Spot Color

You have probably seen it before… selective color.  Where you turn a photo into black & white and then add the color back to a certain part of the image, such as a baby’s blue eyes or a flower.   In this assignment, we look for natural selective color.   This morning we woke to sunshine… yes, it’s that foreign object in the sky, making it’s way out a little more now that spring is on it’s way and I was sitting in the sunshine with my two pug doggies, Igor and Babushka.  Who love to sit in the sunny spot on the carpet whenever they get the chance.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh…. vitamin D!   (I like to pretend I’m actually getting some, as I hear we are really too far north and the sun isn’t strong enough for us to get it here naturally)

I thought that the light was amazingly perfect to capture my dogs (at this point in winter, ANY light is perfect)… and then suddenly realized after racking my bring over the last week trying to come up with a concept for the spot color assignment… it hit me.  My dogs are just about exactly the same color as my living room.  YES!  I’ve got it!  My daughter is home, sick today.  She had an idea to grab a scarf and we both worked together on this project.  Miss Hannah being dog stylist and wrangler extraordinaire and myself, snapping pictures of course.

Here’s the first shot that gave me the a-ha moment….  (Babushka, looking very hopeful for a treat)

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And then on to the styling….  doesn’t she look beautiful in a baby blue scarf?   Matches my website too.   (crochet by my very talented SIL)

Seattle and Bellevue Pet Photography

Seattle & Bellevue Pet Photography

 

I like that this looks like a cape…

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And the very talented Mr Igor, who would not cooperate this morning… he’s excused for old-age crankiness… his birthday is next week. Seattle_Pet_photography_HD2013e Next up in the blog carousel for spot color is the very talented  Amy Siggelkow Duffing at 3 Peas Photography  ~  Minneapolis Family Photographer.  Please click her business name to see her post.

WOW!  It unbelievable how quickly that time went and blows my mind when I think about being in business for 7 years!  It’s not completely official yet as I was not quite in business until March of 2006 but these early months were a blur and I was shooting mainly friends to get all my business essentials in order.   Things likes getting images for a website, getting a website (which I ended up building myself and was very proud of (#thankyouverymuch).  How to show galleries, how to conduct an ordering session, how much to charge, and once I got the money… how do I pay uncle sam, and how do I pay myself?   So much all at once.  But I feel very proud of myself for getting thus far.  I must say, owning and running a business is very much like raising a child.  It grows and changes constantly.  Each year I am in business it’s a very different year… all moving in a positive direction. :)

THANK YOU clients and friends, family.   The business would be nothing without you and your support!   Especially the Neal, Kawaguchi & Porterfield families, who have stuck with me from the very beginning!  :)   I was just looking back at some of the earlier photographs …oh my!  My style/work has changed so much – but aside from that, what really speaks to me is that I was able to capture those moments in time and compare them to see a family and children grow.  I often go back through my own images of my children and am amazed by the changes children go through.  Truly a magnificent thing.

Last year was  record year for me in terms of number of families and kids I photographed.  :)  It was amazing!  I felt like I have all the tools in my belt, so to speak, for shooting in the studio now.  I recently made some changes to the studio to make it even better… like I mentioned, it’s an ever growing and changing thing.

2012 in review:

Had the pleasure of photographing Miss L in the studio last weekend, oh my goodness!  Lots of yummy baby chunkiness – loove this age so much.  I don’t often get this age group into the studio as most clients prefer the newborn then moving right to sitting up.  But I must say, I really think it’s a great milestone to capture!!    We layed her on the floor and she just wiggled away so happily.  <3  Expressions are so fun too! They change from one second to the next, literally!

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Just finished a little remodeling project in the studio and I couldn’t be happier with it!    I had three areas to the studio, my office, a small / intimate shooting room (perfect for newborn sessions!) and a larger shooting room great for families.   The larger room has always been just a bit too long and I needed a workroom where I can finish up framing orders and packaging, etc.   Plus a great storeroom for more props.    It’s PERFECT!  Love it and the versatility of having the wall to hang backdrops on is wonderful.     Just added some more lighting to my space today, got it all cleaned up and decided it was the perfect time for a little studio photoshoot.

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Bellevue Studio Photographer, Holli Dunn Photography

Now that it’s November & the election has ended,  it’s that time of year again.   I was at the park yesterday for a photo session and lights were being strung on the trees  and the leaves are nearly gone.

Hopefully you have your photo’s done for the year, as I am starting to see the end nearing for my busy season…. just this last push and we are off!   I will be completing all family sessions for the holidays by Thanksgiving.  After that, I am shooting newborns and milestone sessions on a limited basis.   I have had requests for photosessions that week between Christmas and New Years, however this year I have committed to my family that I will take time to spend with them and rest.   There is a lot of weekend and evening sacrifice my family has to take from mid-summer to the end of November while I work as much as I can.     But after January 5th I’ll be back to working as normal and finishing up odds and ends, things that have been waiting to be completed… I have quite the stockpile of furniture that needs to be painted and all that annoying business stuff that goes on with running a small business that has to be done.  (It’s not really that bad, but it’s not the same as taking photos and meeting great people, ha!)

OK —> So now on to the fun part!  Holiday Cards!   Questions I get:  Do I do mini session for holiday cards?  The answer is YES.   I do.  I have a very limited number of spaces left for my LAST WEEKEND DATE on November 17th.  And during the week up to November 21st.    These mini session packages are posted on my website, be sure to check out the EVENTS page for more info and call me ASAP to book your session.  I have about 2-3 spaces left.  Any full / regular sessions are done in studio on weekday evenings or during the day, I can accommodate outdoor sessions rain or shine.

I often get asked where to print holiday cards.  So here are a few resources that might interest you.

WHERE TO BUY HOLIDAY CARDS

Holli Dunn Photography:  I sell holiday cards, these are top-notch quality and fully customizable with images on both front and back. Folded cards are available.  I have square corners, round corners, various fun shapes, pearl paper, matte, linen, glossy…  and lots of samples in my studio.

TINY PRINTS: I have a tiny prints storefront. Be sure to check it out!   http://www.tinyprints.com/storefront/HolliDunnPhotography   On that page there is a link to any offers/discounts that tiny prints is offering at the moment, which does change quite frequently.  Right now they have a tremendous offer going on!  Which is pretty cool!

 PAPER COTERIE:   They have some great quality products and really unique holiday gifts.  I am definitely buying at least one calendar for someone in my family (shhhhhh!) and I already have two sets of holiday cards that I received in the mail, which are SUPER COOL!   I don’t have a storefront for this one, but I am an affiliate so be sure to follow this link to get the best prices and offers from them…. if you see this later, email me and I’ll let you know what they are offering.

RIGHT NOW for Thanksgiving they are offering 50% off all gratitude products..enter code: THANKFUL2012

Thats it!  :)

Had such pleasure photographing this great family last weekend in honor of Milt’s 80th birthday!   So much fun celebrating and the show of love and support for Milt was generous.

What a great family!  Thanks Val for asking me to help you photograph this special time!

And by the way, Milt’s only birthday wish is that you vote for Mitt Romney!

Sammamish Portrait Photographer

Sammamish Event Photography