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.

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 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

Spring 2011 Cutest Kid Contest | Seattle Child Photographer

Hope and Memory Photography is hosting a Cutest Kid Contest!

Go to the Promos tab of the Hope and Memory Photography facebook page and submit a photo of your child doing whatever it is that makes them cute! Maybe your baby wrinkles her nose when she laughs or your son makes a funny face when he gets embarrassed? Does your sassy little girl do something absolutely adorable when she plays? Whatever it is that makes your kid the cutest, I want to see it!:)

The winner will receive a complimentary photo session with Hope and Memory Photography, as well as 3 gift prints and 3 web images to share of your choice. 2nd place receives a $100 gift card and 3rd place receives a $50 gift card! Here are the details:


* One entry per family (siblings may be in the same photo)
* You must be the parent or legal guardian of the child you enter into the contest
* Child must be 17 years old or younger on the date of entry
*Absolutely NO professional photos will be allowed as entries; all entries must be snapshots
* Photo must have been taken in the last 3 months
* Photos will be accepted from 12:01am Monday, May 9, 2011 until 11:59pm Friday, May 13, 2011
* Contest open to everyone, however if you live outside of a 15 mile radius from Seattle, WA, you must choose a location within 15 miles of Seattle for your prize shoot, incur a travel fee will be charged of $1 per mile, each direction, beyond 15 miles, or wait until Sarah Vasquez is in your area to redeem your prize.
* Go to the Promos tab of the Hope and Memory Photography facebook page and follow the directions for entering the contest.


* Follow the directions for voting in the Promos tab of the Hope and Memory Photography facebook page.
* Photo with the most votes will be the winner. Comments permitted, but WILL NOT count towards the total number of votes
* Hope and Memory Photography will verify that all votes of the winning photo come from Hope and Memory Photography facebook fans, votes from non-fans will not be counted
* Voting will close Friday May 20, 2011 at 11:59pm
* Official winner will be notified and announced no later than Sunday, May 22, 2011.


* The parent or legal guardian of the child in the photo that receives the most votes will receive a free photo session with Hope and Memory Photography, 3 gift prints, and 3 web images (watermarked and resized for viewing on the internet – facebook, blogs, email etc – not to be printed, reproduced, or altered in any way).
* Photo session must be booked within 30 days of winning, and completed before September 30, 2011.
* Prize retail value of $330 – can not be altered or changed in any way, and not redeemable for cash
* Additional prints will be available for purchase at retail prices listed at Hope and Memory Photography
* Not redeemable towards Birth Photography or Birthday Party Photography
* No other promotions or discounts can be applied

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Adorable child is adorable! | Cutest Kid Contest | hopeandmemoryphotography.com - [...] Looking for the 2011 Cutest Kid Contest?  Click here! [...]

I Heart Faces: Soft & Sweet

Being without my precious camera and absolutely being in love with the recent set of personal Easter photos, I decided to enter the I heart Faces challenge for the first time since this week’s challenge (“soft and sweet”) fit’s my style perfectly.

Be sure to check out the other entries by clicking the button below.

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Andrea - This one is so sweet, it made me smile!

Amanda - Cute picture! Love the idea of the princess exploring the forest :-)

Ten On Tuesday | Seattle Family Photographer

  1. A friend linked these plastic Easter egg tea cups and cupcakes on facebook and I instantly fell in love.  I’m just waiting for someone to make some and email me because I have the perfect location in mind and these would make FABULOUS props.  I’d do it myself, but you’re probably sick of seeing my children by now and we should probably throw yours in the mix.:)
  2. Have you booked your mini session yet?  I’m holding them at my new favorite location, which I lovingly refer to as “Fairytale Hollow” even though it is just the Washington Park Arboretum and I just rock at finding super awesome little secret locations that are right next to where you park your car so you don’t even have to walk very far off the beaten path.
  3. My Summer schedule is starting to fill up and since I only take on a very limited number of sessions a month, you should probably book now if you are wanting a session during the warmer months (yay! Summer!) as I can’t guarantee availability.
  4. Have you discovered ZozoBugBaby yet?  Oh my, I’m in love.  I’m even planning to dust off my sewing machine (and clear off my wobbly kitchen table) when I get some spare time (in 2018) and make my kids some super-freaking-adorable stuff.  Apparently, this is the pattern for the non-seamstress (no patterns, just measurements, she says!) and they are all aimed at beginners.  I’m pretty sure these are the kind of clothes celebrities pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for and you can get an instant download pattern for a mere $12 or buy some already made awesomeness for a bit more.  Check ‘em out!
  5. I added 2 new actions to my Etsy shop, which you should favorite, bookmark, and share with the world, by the way.  And while we are talking about my actions, I need a couple testers (particularly if you are an experienced Elements user) so if you are interested, please email me a little bit about yourself, why you think you’d be a good tester, and what version you are using.  While we’re at it, check out my fancy new display!
  6. Speaking of Etsy, my super talented and artsy friend, Karen, just opened her very own Etsy store.  It’s a little bit steampunk, a little bit whimsy, and a whole lot of talent.  This one is my favorite but I also really like this one and this one (get it? a “clockwork orange”?!).
  7. We went to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival this past weekend and got some gorgeous shots of my babies.  Juliet was her usual impish self and Ophelia spotted her first kite.

  8. I’m pretty much obsessed with buying daffodils from the grocery store lately.  I mean, who can resist a bunch of gorgeous, Spring-y flowers for $2?  But then I bring them home and while I am instantly cheered every time I see them, this usual non-allergy sufferer is getting the sniffles.  Boo!  I refuse to stop bringing these little rays of sunshine into my life though!
  9. If you don’t follow On The Spot Studio (Tiffany designed my logo and is amazing, by the way!) on Facebook and her blog, you are missing out on some seriously outstanding giveaways that are NOT just for photographers.
  10. I’m starting my second round of this homeopathic hCG diet (I lost 36 lbs and 32″ on the first round, in case you were wondering if it actually works and I kept it off) today and I am not looking forward to the next 3 weeks of restricted eating (but I am looking forward to hopefully being a lot lighter!)

And just because I am in love with this photo from Easter and because I can’t end a blog post with boring weight loss stuff and because my beloved 5D Mark II was sent in to see Dr. Canon yesterday (which means Project 52 is going to be put on hold for a couple weeks, hopefully giving me time to catch up on old posts…) and well, just because…

sisters picking flowers

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