Hope and Memory Photography bio picture
  • I help clients capture their child’s personality. Oh, and I’m really good at acting (I used to be a performer in a former life), terrific at eating dessert (my fat jeans would definitely agree), and my Russian accent is stellar (Russians have confused me for an actual Russian until I give them a blank face when my Russian vocabulary runs out). Clients love my creative whimsical photos and are always commenting on how I’ve captured them in such a unique and beautiful way. Personally, I think my ability to return emails faster than Superman’s flight speed is pretty impressive. My Momma thinks I’m determined and that I have great hair and beautiful eyes. My friends envy my ability to balance everything on my overly full plate (they should be envying my husband because I certainly couldn’t do it without him). My clients love that I effectively capture their family and bottle moments in time for them to savor for years to come; I help them hold on to their memories.

Twirl Cafe | Seattle Commercial Photographer

I had the extreme pleasure of being able to attend Twirl Cafe‘s Mom & Me Night Out as a sponsor and the official photographer.

face painting at Twirl Cafe

My kids and I are Twirl addicts! I am there on a very regular basis and am so very lucky that it is in my neighborhood and we don’t have to go far to get our fix.

Twirl Cafe menu

With such a great combination of delicious food, quality coffee, and an amazing play space (that is filled with quality toys and even though it is often messy from the parade of kids coming through, it is always clean) on a daily basis, how could it now be a wonderful escape for parents and kids alike? Not to mention the steady stream of fun events, classes, and community meetups with a variety that is sure to have something for everyone.

kids playing at Twirl Cafe

Seattle mommy friends

I especially love how Becky, the owner, supports local businesses and uses them when she can (for example, they serve food from local places like Macrina Bakery and Smith Brothers Farms and they partner with places like Queen Anne Books for story time and College Nannies and Tutors for supervised play… how cool is that?!) and how Twirl is just a very welcoming place for the community. Such a great addition to Queen Anne and Seattle in general. As far as I know, there isn’t a place like it anywhere!

Twirl Cafe play area

Now that I’ve gushed about how amazing Twirl is, I want to share some of my favorite photos from the Mom and me event with you! It was so. much. FUN! I mean, surprisingly so. Normally, i cringe at events like this, but this truly was fun.

Just ask the ladies from CityMommy Seattle.

moms and babies at Twirl Cafe

And the lovely Keren from Frantic Foodie and Foodportunity showed up with her adorable boy. (See? I told you the food here was great. You know if a foodie frequents this joint, then the food has to be pretty good!)

adorable baby boy with his foodie mommy

And speaking of food…

food at Twirl Cafe in SeattleI seriously could have inhaled the entire platter of this squash/bacon/rosemary/pasta delight. It complemented the 3 gallons of rosemary lemonade (a Twirl specialty!) that I imbibed quite nicely.

little girl having a snack at Twirl Cafe in Seattle

mom feeding baby at Twirl Cafe in Seattle

babies playing at Twirl Cafe in Seattle

There are quite a few more photos on Facebook so go check ‘em out. Maybe you’re even in some of them (feel free to tag yourself!)? Then head on over to Twirl (here’s a google map for you, just to make it that much easier), try ‘em out, and let them know I sent you. Twirl has graciously said that if you show them a receipt or an invoice from Hope and Memory Photography that they’ll let you into the play area for free! I promise that your family will fall in love with this place as much as mine has. So now you have no excuses.

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What To Wear | Older Boys, Summer 2011

In an attempt to help my clients out more, I am going to try to make Wednesdays my weekly “What To Wear”

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post. I’ll feature an outfit for a different family member each week. I’ll also include where the outfit came from so that you can also be inspired. Sometimes, I might throw you for a loop and do more of a styled or conceptual look, but those will likely be few and far between since I prefer to keep those under wraps (for a variety of reasons) until after the session has taken place.:)

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10 Reasons To Hire A Professional Photographer

Or, more specifically, 10 reasons why you should hire me!

  1. I am known for being able to capture the personality of whoever I am photographing. Seriously. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard “That is SO my kid!” and it is a huge compliment. Parents just can’t believe that I am able to capture their child so well, often after having just met them.
  2. You want a gorgeous smiley photo? I have special tricks up my sleeve and I know how to get it.
  3. I know what I’m doing. Does this sound cocky and arrogant? Yes, a little bit, but it’s true! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: portrait photography is an industry in which you usually get what you pay for. I’ve spent countless hours studying, practicing and honing my craft and I will continue to do so.
  4. I have pretty awesome customer service. I get to know you in a totally-not-creepy-way before the session so that I make absolute sure that we are on the same page and I am getting the shots you really want while still letting my creativity flow and making your session unique to your family. Truly, no two sessions are ever the same! I treat my clients the way that I would expect to be treated, and let me tell you, that is setting some HIGH standards. If you’ve ever read my yelp reviews or talked to my husband, you’ll understand where I am coming from. Yes, I am that person – the one that is notoriously hard to please when it comes to customer service – so when I give a place a glowing review it is really saying something. I’m telling ya, I’ll treat you right.
  5. I have that adorable Southern charm.
  6. I have teamed up with the very best of the best professional print labs to bring you absolutely stunning products. Email me and we can talk more about it! Plus, when we meet for your pre-session consult (where I treat you to a cup of coffee or tea… or a glass of wine if that is more your thing) I bring a few of them with me so you can see them for yourself!
  7. Your kids are going to love me. I’m fun and I chase them and let them be goofy. Sometimes, I even let them play with my magical fart machine (scents not included).
  8. It is nearly impossible to offend me so dads, husbands, boyfriends, moms, and <insert whichever family member is notoriously loud, obnoxious, or politically incorrect here> can relax because it truly does not bother me.
  9. I have a super quick turnaround time. In most cases, clients have their ordering session scheduled within a couple days of their session!
  10. This one is the most important. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’m a pretty good photographer. I take some pretty great photos. I haven’t had an unhappy client yet (although, I’m sure it will happen one day, no one is perfect; when it does, you can be sure I will do everything in my power to make it right!). My photos capture emotion and connection and that, my friends, is what it is all about. <3

And, just because I

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don’t feel right about posting a blog without a photo and because I am so super stoked about the fact that I, the woman notorious for killing any and all plants, am seeing bees pollinating my three beautiful blueberry bushes, I must share a photo I took the other day as proof that I, too, can grow things.

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Photoshop Friday: A Before and After

I’ve been seeing a lot of before and after posts lately and it inspired me to do my own.  Besides, who doesn’t love a good before and after?!  I think a lot of times people forget that a real photographer’s job is only halfway done when the shutter snaps; the other half happens when the editing starts!

I shared this photo of my oldest on facebook the other day.  Besides the fact that I am in love with it, there was some pretty drastic editing going on so i thought it would be a good candidate for Photoshop Friday.  It was also the inspiration for a new action! Yippee!  I haven’t decided if I am going to sell it yet; if I do, it will be in the shop.:)

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Nostalgia | The Importance Of A Good Photograph

Last Summer when I was visiting family in Texas, I was over at my aunt’s house and we were looking through old photos of my grandparents and aunts and uncles as kids and just extended family in general. It was so special getting to hear stories and talk with her candidly about family secrets and reminisce about my sweet, beloved Grandma. I found a few prized photos that captured a side of her that I never got to see but that I could always see there in her eyes. She had a rough life but she was so beautiful and thinking about her life and the eras past has always been so magical for me.

My 5 year old daughter, Juliet, attends Irish dance classes at the

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Phinney Neighborhood Center. Last week there was an event there and her class was moved from their usual room to another one in a different building, which I now think is actually older. As I walked the halls waiting for her to get out, I began to notice photographs hanging there. Naturally, they caught my eye. As I mentioned before, this sort of thing is magical for me. Weird quirky Sarah fact: I am one of those people that you could say was born in the wrong decade or whatever; I wouldn’t say I love history, because I don’t, but I do love the idea of the different fashions and trends of each passing age and I have a particular love for certain decades in the last century (namely, the 40′s, 20′s, 50′s, and 70′s… in that order). Anyway, these photos intrigued me because they were from those exact decades so I found them interesting on that level. I also like to look at old photos for processing inspiration. (I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I edit things a little differently than the average photographer.;))

As I was strolling those halls and briefly pausing at each photo and observing the hairstyles and the film grain and the tones of the images, I was struck by the simple fact that many (if not all) of the people in those images were gone from this world. How many photos were there of them? What was left to mark what their face looked like? The clothes that they wore? The expressions they made? The things they did? Maybe it was just this one photograph from 1920. Is this morbid? Yeah, a little bit. But do you see where I am going with this? I am sure those photos have hung on the walls of that building for decades. The photos I am sharing with you today have been carefully treasured for decades. I deeply, deeply, deeply miss my grandmother. I did not know her at the time these photos were taken, obviously, but just seeing them brings me such comfort. It’s a window into her life. My Grandma died 4 months before my oldest child was born and I will probably never get over the fact that she was never able to see her youngest grandchild become a mother (and she so wanted so; she would talk to me for hours about how she couldn’t wait to hold my “itty bitty”), but having these photos and being able to peek into her life allows me to relate to her and keep her with me. I’m so glad that her sisters took these photos. I’m holding on to my memories; are you holding on to yours?

Clearly, I have gotten far more personal in this post than i normally do (I think…) but I really wanted to drive my point home. So often i hear photographers referring to our industry as a luxury industry; I’ve come to believe it is so much less of a luxury than we make it out to be. We are devaluing ourselves and our work. What we do is important. We need to remember the importance of a good photograph and just what it is that a good photo can do; a good one can take your right back to that moment! A good photo can make you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel the way you felt when the shutter snapped. A good photo is the closest thing we have to a time machine.

It is so easy for me to just get caught up in the every day stuff of life that I don’t want to pick up my camera and document what is going on in my own house. “There’s too much laundry.” “The kids are dirty.” “My house is a mess.” “I don’t have any makeup on.” “I need to lose another 15 pounds. Or another 50.” “I don’t like the way my husband’s hair looks today.” “I’ll just take a photo tomorrow.” “The lighting isn’t very good right now.” These are the thoughts that so often go through my head. Do they sound familiar? I know this time next year I am going to wish I had taken that photo because my babies will be that much older and the lighting is still not going to be right and the laundry is still going to be piled up. Who cares if all of your snapshots aren’t perfect? That’s why you hire me! And that’s why I drag my kids out every so often and make them give me a proper session (like I am sure every photographer does with their own children). My point is this: just do it! Give your families a time machine. Give them a lot of time machines. And don’t forget how important those time machines are.

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Shondra - I love this post, Sarah and I totally agree with you. I only have 2 pictures of my mom when she was a little girl and I wish I had more. I wish I could see what she looked like and compare that to my own children. I have a lot of pictures of myself as a child and take very good care of them. I want my children and their children and even their children to be able to peek into a different time period and see me at their age.

As an aspiring photographer, I want to create memories of life, not just pictures of a family sitting in a studio, but out and about doing what they love and interacting with each other. That is where my passion lies.

DefinitelynotMe - Awesome photos