There are many ways to think about locations for your photo shoot. What is the feel that you want? Where could we get a good amount of variety? For families, where would the kids be most comfortable and have the most fun? Where can we find good light during the given timeframe?

All of these are important. Photos tell stories, and the best photographs — the ones that are beautiful, expressive, and moving — are the ones that tell the best stories. When it comes to considering your location, you’re really asking (at least in part):

What is the story that you want your photos to tell?

The easiest and (in our minds) the most important answer to that question is simply: a meaningful story.

I believe, as a photographer, that my responsibility is not only to make beautiful pictures, but to make pictures that are authentic and meaningful. No matter how lovely an image may be to the outside world, what matters most to me is what is meaningful to you, the client. The meaning in a set of images is the difference between photos that are nice and photos that are artifacts that you will cherish for years to come.

My goal is always to help you tell the most meaningful and authentic story possible with the images that we make together.

This brings me back to your location. One way to think about location is to think about what locations matter. What are the places that you want to remember years from now? What are the places that you feel deeply connected to?

These are the best locations for us to consider.

We spent some time with our friends Kyle and Lacy this summer. They are dear friends and collaborators (Sidenote: Lacy is the founder and curator of ASacredJourney.net, I’d encourage you to spend some time with the great things she has shared there!). We first made photos with them when they got engaged (they also can be seen in some product work we did for the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology).
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They moved from our lovely city of Seattle to the middle of the US for a while. We spent some time with them in their home while we were on the road between weddings (this wedding and this wedding to be precise).

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Photographing them in their space felt important. Their home felt like such an extension of themselves and a physical expression of their identities. To them, it’s just their house and their stuff. To us, it’s all so unique, interesting, and telling of who they are. Yes, it is just the space they see every day, but it is wonderfully their own.

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We also visited a local urban and organic farm where they volunteer. Being close to the earth and the sources of their food is important to both of them (Kyle has a project up his sleeve that is related, but you’ll have to wait on that). This farm was a place of exploration, learning, labor, and rest for them. It was the place that we had heard the most about before we visited them, and the place that they were most excited to share with us.
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Since we photographed them this summer, they have moved across the country (again!). Now, these photographs— these particular moments in these particular places — have even more meaning.

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I’m so grateful to have been able to make these lovely images with these two in these meaningful locations.

Now these images call them back to remember who they are and where they have come from. That is the kind of meaning that we love to help create.