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I am currently on an extended break from family and kids portraits and have closed the studio at the end of December 2013.

I have taken a select number of high school senior sessions this month and continue to work offering interior design photography and commercial photography work.

I have been enjoying this time with my family and hope that all of you are also enjoying the summer and back-to-school time with yours also!

~Holli

 

 

It’s blog carousel time!   This months theme is music, which I thought would be the perfect opportunity to take a few portraits of my daughter with her flute!  I had to grab her “as-is” so these are very casual on a summer afternoon, which I think is great because that’s exactly how she is.   I may have to have her get the flute out another time when she is dressed up, but usually for concerts and such I grab my point and shoot, so I can relax and enjoy the show!

And if you wanted to know, here are some fun facts about the flute!  (from the blog http://blog.sheetmusicplus.com)   Hannah is very proud of her instrument!  She is using her flute with a curved neck joint, when long arms are not your forte.    It’s been so much easier for her to play this way and she enjoys it much more now that she’s comfortable playing.

  1. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, a flautist, a flutist, or, less commonly, a fluter.
  2. There are many different sizes of flutes within the flute family: piccolo, alto, tenor, bass and contrabass flute.
  3. Standard concert flute is pitched in the key of C, and has a range of approximately 3 octaves.
  4. Alto flute is pitched in the key of G
  5. Flutes have been made out of lots of different materials throughout history including: bone, wood, glass, ivory, plastic, resin, brass, nickel silver, silver, gold and platinum.
  6. Theobald Boehm helped create the modern Western flute. He started improving flute design and the fingering system of the flute between 1831 and 1847. Most flutists had adopted Boehm’s changes to the design by the second half of the 19th century.
  7. George Washington, James Madison and Leonardo da Vinci all played the flute.
  8. Flutes are considered one of the earliest instruments and date back to Germany over 35,000 years ago.
  9. Many cultures have their own version of the flute. For example, one of the most popular traditional Japenese flutes is the the Shakuhachi.
  10. The earliest use of the word “flute” was in the 14th century

 

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Now please take a moment to visit the next photographer’s blog post in this carousel (and go around until you come back here) and visit very talented Dena Robles, who is a  Michigan family and child photographer.

 

Redmond WA outdoor fitness

I love this interview, because, I love my fitness instructor!!    I have been attending Lisa Schrader’s fitness classes for a year and a half now and I just loooove going.   It’s an all around great group of ladies, which I believe is fostered by Lisa, who is our instructor/owner of Blue Sky Fitness.    I first saw the class in the Redmond Parks community catalog and the reason I decided to sign up is that she takes any fitness level.  I did beg my neighbor to join me for support, but really it’s not something you need.   Lisa and the other gals are super friendly and welcoming.   And with Lisa getting to know all our needs, It’s like having a personal trainer in a small group setting!   There are some that are super fit and some that are just starting out… Lisa’s magic pushes us ALL to get a great workout.    I started from ground ZERO… and now I am loving how much I can do and I try to push my self each time.  Feels good!

Who are you, and what do you do?   Tell us a little bit about your business….

My name is Lisa Schrader.  I am the owner of Blue Sky Outdoor Fitness.  I am a certified personal fitness trainer and I am in my 5th year training in the great outdoors.  Most of my clients refer to it as “bootcamp” but I like to call it my outdoor fitness class.  I think it sounds less scary and my style is not as a drill sargent.  We do strength training and cardio in an interval style format using some equipment, park benches and our own body weight.  My goal for my clients is to reduce body fat, increase their lean mass and basically become more “fit”.  

Business Headshot Blue Sky Outdoor Fitness Redmond WA

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What do you love about your job?

I love my job!  I feel so lucky to work in a beautiful outdoor setting and spend time with a group of wonderful woman all here for a common goal.  I love providing a service that is so valuable and important to our health and well-being.  The fresh air is an added bonus and it definitely is a mood booster. Beyond exercise, the best part of my job is bringing together women from all different backgrounds.  I love to see them bond and support each other.  It’s a great place to get advice for your pet, how to take care of our skin better, what’s the best sports bra and even how to make the best margarita in town.  

Tell me a little about about how you got to where you own your business and doing what you love?

I am also a mom.  I have two daughters Alexandra  14 and Maya 11.  Before they were born and for a short time after, I worked in corporate America. 

How do you balance being a working mom and business owner? 

I knew once I became a mom, I wanted to find a job where I could have a good balance between family and working.  My fitness business is a good fit for this balance.  It allows me to be there for the girls when I’m needed and the best part is it’s also a good role model for their own health and fitness.  

What are some of your favorite things to do?   How do you like to relax?

On a personal note, some of my favorite things are also outside.  I love to snowshoe in the winter and hike or bike in the summer.  My favorite place to dine is any small intimate Italian restaurant by candlelight with a glass of great red wine.  I like to read and when I get the time to do this, I find myself reading about fitness or nutrition.  I find it so interesting and I can never get enough of it so that tells me I am in the right place.

Redmond Family Photographer

Redmond Family Photographer Redmond and Kirkland Family Photographerwoodinville and Redmond family photographer

JOIN US!   Classes are held M/W/F’s from 9:30-10:30 at Perrigo Park.   First class is FREE to try!  We have a great group, and a lot of fun out there!

>>> BLUE SKY OUTDOOR FITNESS <<< and on  >>> FACEBOOK <<<

Here’s my list of why I love to workout outdoors:

1. Fresh air… feels great!   And wearing layers works like natural air conditioning… we peel as we go!   And we are not near a busy road, we are at Perrigo Park in Redmond so there are no stinky cars… just us and the birds over our heads.

2.  Warm sunshine on sunny days – when it’s out it feels sooo good to lay in the sun for stretches after a good workout.  It’s truly heaven!

3.  Love to watch nature during a workout.

4.  Lots of space – Lisa creates some really fun workout routines…laying out cones, circles, squares, etc.  We get out the soccer balls, and jump ropes, jump hurdles,  run backwards, run on a trail, etc.   So much space to create all that and keeps it fresh!

5.  We can be as loud as we want – we are outside!  If we want to shout, no problem!   We’ll shout!

6.  It’s not stinky  like the gym.   PEEE U.

Redmond_outdoor_Fitness Redmond_Fitness_cross_fit Redmond_Fitness_BootCamp4Redmond Outdoor fitness and Business Headshots by Holli Dunn Photography

 

This month we are to photograph something we do outside of photography.    I have several hobbies…one of them is baking.  I love to bake!   Especially the sweet stuff.   And I love to make candy.  Every year I get the bug to make batches and batches of chocolate truffles and other yummy things.   Last year I made marshmallows which were super duper sticky but they turned out to be sooo yummy.

It’s been a long time since I have baked a cake, but needed one for an auction dessert dash last weekend.  Great timing!!     I also love to garden – even pulling weeds – as I do love just being outside with my thoughts.  And I have been teaching myself how to knit recently, with a little success.  I’m always up to trying a new craft!

And as you can see I’m not the cleanest cook… I make a lot of messes.  I try to measure everything on a plate, keep my spoons on it, etc.  Really helps with clean up if I can contain it a bit, but it never does stay!

I made a chocolate cake & my all time favorite chocolate cake recipe is by The Whimsical Bakehouse (in fact, it’s the first edition of this book that really taught me how to make a cake, prep and decorate).  I fill it with their Oreo Cream Filling.   Frosted with a marshmallow cream butter frosting ( OMG yum ) and then topped with chocolate shavings.  It was my first time doing the chocolate shavings, so not sure how I feel about that.  I felt they were rather fragile and difficult to get onto the cake, but it didn’t matter.   This cake tastes amazing and I always have to make extra oreo cream filling (it’s simply heavy cream whipped until stiff, a quarter cup of powdered sugar and about 12 oreos crushed) because my family could devour a whole bowl of just the filling.

Now next in the blog carousel, please go visit the very talented photographer from Baton Rouge;  Anna-Karin Skillen   Child & Family Photographer Baton Rouge

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Now next in the blog carousel, please go visit the very talented photographer, Anna-Karin Skillen   Child & Family Photographer Baton Rouge  sharing her hobby!  :)

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.

Bellevue_Headshots_Holli_Dunn

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…

bekind
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

 

 

 

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.

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!  :)

Love love the crisp fresh air and it really seems to hit us lately.     We have had some amazing weather this summer and I surely hope it sticks through the rest of fall.  Already seeing some leaves changing!   There is no better time for a fall family portrait and at a great price.  Call or email me to book!

Fall Family Sessions at Bellevue Botanical Gardens

So a fellow photographer has blogged a great informative article on the Truth about Digital Files…

The Truth about Digital Files, by Meggan Jacks Photography

Definitely worth a read if you are thinking of investing in digital images and wondering why they are priced the way they are.

I have been working on putting together some really great resources for you if you decide to purchase digital images from your session too, which will all be compiled and bundled with your digital images for easy access to special links.  :)  It’s really amazing what is out there now, and since digital images are becoming a lot more mainstream and really expected – it’s perfect for those who are a do-it-yourself type of person. And for those who love receiving a package of ready-to-hang portraits for your walls, or a lovely album, and gifts ready to go that will still be offered as well.  :)