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.

Wandering Lovebirds | Seattle Engagement Photographer

Who says you have to cancel just because it is raining!?  Rain and grey skies are just something we learn to deal with here in the Pacific Northwest.  Everyone wants those lovely hazy light photos (which I adore), but sometimes Mother Nature just does NOT want to cooperate.  Normally, I probably would have rescheduled, but this amazing couple was coming up from Portland for their Seattle engagement photos and we just had to make it work… and I love the results!

Can I just say how much I adore these two?!  They have a really precious story and are apparently known for travelling everywhere.  I think they told me they lived in like 4 different places (as in cities across the country, people!) within the course of a year.  I’m simultaneously jealous and amazed.  I love love LOVE to travel, but I also get really attached and sentimental really easily so it would be very hard for me to actually live in a bunch of different places.  I’m amazed by anyone that can do that… and a bit jealous.;)

And, remember how I said I would never photograph a wedding because I am not a wedding photographer?  Well, I lied.  I’ve agreed to photograph Anna and Trevor’s wedding this August and I am so excited.  Anna and I have very similar taste and she and Trevor were SO GOOD in front of my camera.   I’ve been so pleased to be able to share in telling their story; for this shoot we wandered around Capitol Hill in Seattle since this neighborhood is special to them and their relationship.  We started at Stumptown Coffee while it was rainy and overcast and by the time we decided to start walking to Molly Moon’s Ice Cream as we had planned, it was sunny and gorgeous (almost TOO sunny for photos at this time of day) but the rest of Seattle decided they needed ice cream as well, so we didn’t end up stopping (I desperately want to do a shoot at Molly Moon’s!  If you want to take me up on this, I’ll treat you to Molly Moon’s during your session!  Email me so we can set it up… how fun would Summer ice cream photos be?!) and just snapped a couple outside in front of their adorable shop.  Then we headed to the park to take advantage of the sun.

Stumptown Coffee, Molly Moon

It really was a lovely session that incorporated places that were special to Anna and Trevor.  I love that these photos show their relationship and will have deeper meaning to those that know them but are just plain lovely to look at for anyone that happens to see them, whether you know the couple or not.  Do you want a session like this?  Contact me so we can start planning your very own Soulmate Session!

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maybemej - wonderful. i LOVE this session. and the tones and colors

Week 8: Reflect {shot of inspiration}

This is from a recent engagement session.  More will be coming up in the next few days on a blog post but I just couldn’t wait to share this one with you as I knew it was a shot I wanted going into the session.

Seattle engagement photographer, Seattle couple photographer, love, reflection, reflect, puddle, rainy day photos, rain, umbrella, Capitol Hill, Seattle, wedding, engagement, couple

Check out Linday Bergstrom Photography’s shot and then follow the ring around to see everyone else’s interpretation of “reflect.”

And, if you are in the Seattle area, don’t forget to enter the Pin It to Win It contest!

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Tami - wow, this shot is incredible and inspiring!!

Are you Pinterest-ed?

When I launched my business in May 2010, I decided that every year I would hold an annual contest to give a session away.  The past 2 years it has been a “cutest kid” contest, but this last year my business moved in another direction (concepts, yay!) and since I am addicted to Pinterest and use it often for planning sessions, this seemed like a natural transition and an ideas I loved.  So, let’s make it happen people!

If you need a Pinterest invite, email me.

Head over here to snag a Pin It button for your bookmarks bar!

pinterest, photography contest, free photos, free photo session, cutest kid contest, pinterest contest, concept session


In addition to the rules above,  you need to know the following:

  • The winner will be chosen based on which pin board I love the most.  Pin your dream session!  Have you been eyeing that precious DIY project or craft but have no idea what you are going to do with it when you are done?  Pin it!  Literally, anything and everything prop and clothing related is welcome.  Show me your style and what you love!  Get creative!
  • Pin your favorite props, hairstyles, clothes, colors, textures, etc. to your pin board.  Dream big and let your imagination go crazy.  Seriously, I want you to shoot for the stars here!  The only stipulation is that no other portraits from other professional photographers are allowed.
  • If you win, I am happy to help create, style, plan, and set-up your session.  If I already have the items you’ve pinned, we can totally use them; however, you are ultimately responsible for your own props.
  • The winning session must take place within Seattle city limits or the winner must be willing to pay travel fees to the desired location.
  • Session must take place before September 1, 2012.
  • Many will enter, one will win.;)

In case you’d like some examples of boards pinned with sessions in mind, check out these two concept sessions I am currently working on: Queen Elizabeth and The Crane Wife.

That’s it!  Are you Pinterest-ed yet?  Ready, set, go!

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Ally McGill - FYI! I wanted to let you know I came here through a FB ad! I like getting feedback like that at work! :)

Sarah Vasquez - Thanks, Ally! That is helpful! Be sure to like my page at http://www.facebook.com/hopeandmemoryphotography to stay up to date too. ;)

Ann - Here’s my “pin it to win it” board on Pinterest! Love your work! http://pinterest.com/anndorn/hope-and-memory-contest/

Carlina Scott - Great contest idea! Love your work and style! Here’s my “Pin it to Win it” board. http://pinterest.com/carlina01/hope-and-memory-photography-contest-board/

Martine - Here’s my board: http://pinterest.com/mzoer/hope-and-memory-pin-it-to-win-it/. It’s themed: 100% boy. Putting it together was so much fun. It reminded me how colorful life with two little boys is. Thanks for the opportunity!

Debbie M - Had fun looking through your website and facebook page for pictures to pin. Love how your photos evoke a feeling of wanting to be there in the photo.


Debbie M - I shared on facebook the pin it to win it contest along with my pinterest page.

Dani - Love your work! here is the link to my board. http://pinterest.com/dani72/hope-and-memory-contest-board/

Laura - here’s my board: http://pinterest.com/lmcmullan/hope-and-memory-photoshoot-contest/ thanks for this opportunity!

Winner! - Hope and Memory Photography - [...] am so excited to share the winner of the Pin It to Win It contest!  Laura McMullan, you wowed me with your attention to details.  I can’t wait to create this [...]

Week 6: Bloom {a shot of inspiration}

An oldie but a goodie!  I couldn’t help but recycle this photo (Yeah, it’s cheating.  I know. Shhh!) when I learned that our assignment was “bloom.”  I had good intentions, but I just kept coming back to this one.  I love it so much and I took it a few years ago, before I opened my business, before I found my style, and before I was secure in my technique as a photographer.  It was definitely one of those “happy accident” photos but I love it so much because of sentimental reasons and because it reminds me that the photographer that I dreamed of being was in me all along (and is still… I’ll never be through learning and growing), I just had to keep snapping that shutter and discovering.  And it is a photo I am proud of (everyone loves it; even Pioneer Woman - she featured it on her photography blog back in the day!) and have hanging as a 20×30 print in my dining room.  Plus, don’t cherry blossoms just make everyone happier?


Check out Lindsey Bergstrom Photography in Denver, CO and see what she has been up to and then follow the circle to see everyone’s shot of inspiration.

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Tami - Oh this is beautiful, love it!! Thanks for sharing, recycled or not :)

Amelia - Oldie but goodie indeed! : ) So much for “shh!” hehehe : ) still lovely.

lindsey - beautiful…love this photo.

Nicki B - So pretty! Love your processing.

What is concept photography? | Seattle concept photographer

Sometimes I like to Google questions I already know the answer to because I like to see how other people define things.  It’s weird, I know.  I’m kind of a quirky gal.  Today I happened to search for concept photography.  Concept photography is dear to me.  It makes my creative heart sing and that is why I specialize in it.  If I could shoot nothing but concept sessions for the rest of my photographer days, I’d probably be the happiest photographer on the planet.  A few of my photographer friends have been mentioning to me lately that they’ve noticed that people don’t really know what it means when they hear “concept photography” and when I searched, I couldn’t find any blog posts or articles where it had been defined for consumers.  That is a problem for a photographer specializing in this niche!  So, it’s time to educate!  I’m going to tell you my definition of concept photography, how it relates to children, where I draw my inspiration, and what my process is.

Seattle children

Concept sessions stand out from a typical photo session in a big way in that a lot more planning is involved.  Concept photography is similar to editorial photography in that it is usually planned out to the very simplest detail.  Everything matters and nothing is overlooked.    Concept photography tells a story or sends a message and is more than just simply capturing a memory or showing a subject’s personality (although, I make sure that happens in my concept sessions, I am speaking generally here).  The point of concept photography goes deeper than that and is even further into the realm of art.  I believe it is different for every photographer and that there are levels of concepts (as in how realistic you want it to be or how much you want to draw the viewer into the photo).  For me, I aim for as much realism as possible even when I am shooting unrealistic things.  My goal is always to create photos that make people (particularly my clients) want to crawl in them and live inside them forever.  I have a theatre background, which is probably the heaviest part of my inspiration and why I am a concept photographer.  I love to create visually striking photos with elaborate costumes and sometimes props.  Usually, I am inspired by a play, idea, song, folk tale, piece of literature, etc. and that idea begins to grow in my mind until a single image forms and that is what I begin to gather my props and costumes from and what I stage my set around.  It almost never is what I originally envisioned as it always evolves as I am creating.  My passion is taking these wonderful pieces of culture (which are usually thought of as intended for adult consumption) and shrinking them down into child size form.  There is something fascinating and ever-whimsical about the innocence of children that translates so beautifully into this genre.  When a client books me, the first thing I do is have them fill out a questionnaire that I have created specifically for my creative process.  It has both practical and off the wall questions that help get both of our creative juices flowing so that we can begin to plan all the crazy details.  After the questionnaire is completed, I usually have at least a vague idea of where I might want to take the session, which is usually enough to draw even the most “uncreative” client in and get them involved so it is truly a unique and custom experience.  I never shoot the same thing twice!

Seattle child photographer, Seattle senior photographer, Seattle beach photographer, Seattle concept photographer, concept photographer, Game of Thrones, themed photoshoot, the tempest, Ariel, the little mermaid, Seattle celebrity photographer, celebrity photographer, Seattle teen photographer, teen photographer, Sadie Brook, beach photographer, Galveston

As much as the work of other artists – from eras both past and present – inspire me, my deepest inspiration comes from those that I photograph.  Sure, every now and then I get a crazy awesome idea and execute it on my own (I’m in the middle of a couple of those right now and I am so super excited to share them once they are complete!); however, every family has a different story and a different personality.  Every person has something new and interesting to share with the world – yes, even YOU!  My job is to dig deep and find what that is and then show it off in a way that makes your heart sing… remember, I’m here to create photos that you want to crawl inside and live in forever!  Concept photography is such a unique and fun experience.  It’s true that it isn’t for everyone.  I am not the photographer for you if you are looking for traditional posed studio work, but if you are looking for something that makes your family stand out, that you are proud to hang on your walls, and that makes you swoon and remember that wonderful day every time you look at it, then I AM the photographer for you!  Why don’t you call me (253.655.7848) or email me today.  Don’t wait until tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that.  Let’s chat today.  I’ll buy you a coffee or some ice cream and we’ll get to know each other and plan a wonderful few hours of fun for your family that will result in some seriously stunning art when it is all said and done.

Queen Elizabeth as a child, childhood of Queen Elizabeth, Good Queen Bess, children

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Heather - Thanks for sharing. I just googled concept photography today to see of I was missing something… I’ve seen others work on concept photography and while they look great, there is no obvious story being told. 2 women posed infront of a body of water just doesn’t scream concept photography to me. I love you work. Simply amazing!

Kelly - So I love your work goodness!!! Tonight I was thinking of a new concept for a session I am going to do with my daughter. She is five and we both love doing different concept’s. I am in the works of starting my own part-time photography business and have been stumbling over my words to discribe my goals of how I would like sessions to go…and you did it! You said everything my mind has said to me that I have not been able to write. I would love to ask you some questions if you are interested please email me. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!!! Kelly

Sarah Vasquez - Hi Kelly,

I’d be happy to answer any questions you have. My “open book” online mentoring starts at $200 for an hour of skype or a phone call and is an additional $100 for every hour after that. If you’d like to set something up, email me at sarah@hopeandmemoryphotography.com.