Thankfulness 2016

Posted by on Nov 24, 2016 in Personal | No Comments

I wrote this a couple days ago but have been so busy getting hyped for Thanksgiving that I’m just now posting here. Anyway, here goes! :)

As I sit here typing in my new home office, trying to ignore the stacks of boxes around me waiting to be unpacked, thinking about the shower that’s clogged, and the fridge door that hits the counter, the medicine cabinet that won’t stay closed, and all these little things that go along with moving into a rental home, I cannot help but have a perma-smile on my face. :D I have so many things to be thankful for in my life, one of which is the excitement of living in a new home.

But more importantly, above everything else, I am thankful for you.

I am thankful for my family. My parents have allowed me to live with them for the last 2 1/2 years, and not only did our relationships grow stronger, but other than the fact that my workspace was the dining table, I don’t think we drove each other too crazy. I will forever be grateful for the time that I got to live with my parents as an adult. I’m also thankful for all four of my parents as a whole for how they continue to support me in my photography endeavors and other life goals, and continually impart their unique wisdom along the way.

I am thankful for my siblings, who make me proud to be related to them each and every day. They are all doing something with their lives that brings joy to other people and they put their own personality into everything that they do. I would do anything for these guys and I know that they will always have my back. I also love them for giving me my seven beautiful nieces and nephews, who are a joy to watch grow into little humans.

I am grateful for my friends; the Divas, the Divos, my people who have been with me since grade school, my gym rats… each of these relationships is unique and valuable and they strengthen me. I could not be happier with the group of people with which I have surrounded myself. I know everyone loves their friends, but I truly feel like I curate some pretty awesome people, and bringing them together and helping them form friendships with each other is a delight to me.

I am humbled by my clients. Obviously, you have everything to do with how my business has been growing, and so from the very bottom of my heart: thank you, thank you, thank you. Your trust in me to capture your weddings, your families, your soon-to-be high school graduates, your special events, your professional photos, whatever it maybe. I love photographing you because I am all about making connections, and if photography is the way that we will be brought together, then I am all for it. Thank you for your continued support, for sharing my work with your friends and family, for encouraging me to keep growing my business, and for asking how I’m doing.

Also, I do feel like I need to give a special shout out to the University of Washington Alumni Association as well as other departments at the UW, because anyone who knows me knows I am a Husky through and through, and being able to capture moments for the University is really special to me. I appreciate very deeply the way that you have chosen to work with me so often, not to mention the friendships that have come from it!

I am thankful for my photography community. I have a few friends whom I met as photographers first, but who have become so special to me as friends and business allies. Extra gratitude goes to Sean Brown. He emailed me about a year and a half ago asking to second shoot weddings, and since that time he has certainly imparted more knowledge to me than I to him. He is a true giver, a very talented photographer, such a positive and inspirational person, and even though we aren’t related, the fact that we share the same last name makes us feel like we have a special bond, too. Whether it is down on the Husky football field or talking about senior photography and editing, he is always there with an answer or advice or encouragement. Plus, we have fun. And I have all sorts of love and respect for Cheryl Ford, who is one my favorite people to work with or talk to about business, and who makes incredible sugar cookies. It is so great to have someone that I know I can reach out to at any time. There are many other photographers who have made an impact on me and I just want to keep encouraging everyone to keep hustling, to keep pushing your skills and creativity, and to keep sharing within our community. We are so much stronger, not to mention more fun, when we all work and learn together.

So, happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Thank you for being part of my life. You are there intentionally, and I hope you know it.

Much love and gratitude. And go Dawgs. ;)


Juanita Beach Park engagement: Rachelle + Tom

Posted by on Oct 14, 2016 in Engagements | No Comments

Rachelle and Tom met at a church conference, when he passed her a little Post-it® doodle, something for which he is well known amongst friends for creating. It put a smile on Rachelle’s face, and although they didn’t live in the same city at the time, that smile would soon be permanent once she moved to Seattle. Tom and Rachelle both love board and video games, and their Seattle friends would help create opportunities to get them together with game nights. One thing I admire about Rachelle is that she is a woman who knows what (in this case, whom) she wants and gets after it – not only did she ask Tom out, but she also proposed to him, which I think is freaking awesome. :D I observe a lovely balance and respect for each other in their relationship. And, above all, laughter. Both agreed that their favorite thing about the other is their sense of humor and how they make each other laugh. I’m pretty sure this means they have a very joyous future ahead of them.

From the moment I met Rachelle and Tom, I could tell we would get along. They are so genuine, warm, and easy going. Plus, their love and affection translates so naturally in front of the camera…their engagement session at Juanita Beach Park was mostly them hanging out and being adorable, and I happened to have the privilege of witnessing it with my camera. :)


So I wasn’t kidding when I said they are just adorable together.juanita-beach-park-kirkland-engagement-rachelle-tom_02

Side note – literally everyone else at the park on this day were playing Pokémon GO. (Including, during quick breaks, R+T.) ;)juanita-beach-park-kirkland-engagement-rachelle-tom_03

I had never taken photos at Juanita Beach Park, and was so delighted to find all sorts of romantic paths and places for private photos.juanita-beach-park-kirkland-engagement-rachelle-tom_04 juanita-beach-park-kirkland-engagement-rachelle-tom_05 juanita-beach-park-kirkland-engagement-rachelle-tom_06 juanita-beach-park-kirkland-engagement-rachelle-tom_07 juanita-beach-park-kirkland-engagement-rachelle-tom_08

Wherever they go, they go together. :)juanita-beach-park-kirkland-engagement-rachelle-tom_09

I kind of love willow trees. And I love how we got this photo. You may have seen on my Snapchat (@tarabrownphoto), that I asked them to stand on a picnic table to get up into the droopy branches! That’s trust right there. ;) Anything for the shot!juanita-beach-park-kirkland-engagement-rachelle-tom_10

Rachelle and Tom, I can’t wait to photograph your wedding (tomorrow! in a storm! ack!). You’re both glorious human beings. :D

Lord Hill Farms wedding: Kaarin + Jeff

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Weddings | No Comments

You can tell by the way they make each other light up that Kaarin and Jeff have a special connection. A bond that has had over ten years to be nurtured and to strengthen. They find joy in everyday life’s adventures, from cheering on the Huskies and Seahawks, to snuggling on the couch to watch a movie, and singing along to their favorite songs at concerts. It’s the little things that they’ve done – together – that make up the big story of their life. And, well, now their story includes the moment when they vowed to continue doing those little things – like breaking out in random dance parties and making each other laugh – for the rest of their lives.

Kaarin and Jeff have so much mutual admiration and respect for each other, and all of that radiated throughout their entire wedding day. Plus, they are ridiculously sweet, so energetic and happy – it would have been impossible not to have an incredible day with them. They were married at Lord Hill Farms in Snohomish. Kaarin worked tirelessly to create immaculate personalized details for each element of her wedding, which made it even more lovely to photograph. The sun made a surprise visit that day, and all of their family and friends in attendance were beaming as they celebrated these two lovebirds.

K+J…you already know I think you guys are rock stars…thank you for letting me document your rockstardom as you became husband and wife. I’m so excited for you as you enter into your first Husky football seasons as newlyweds. ;) Love you guys (and go Dawgs!). :D

You think this dress and shoes look good on their own, just wait ’til you see Kaarin…

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Loved Kaarin and Jeff’s invitation suite. Grabbing some spare ribbon and extra flowers helps complete the styled look.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_03

There they are…about to have their first look!lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_04

Jeff was breathless by the sight of Kaarin…they immediately wrapped up in each other’s arms and enjoyed this sweet moment.
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Lord Hill Farms has stunning greenery, so we wandered throughout the grounds for K+J’s photos.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_07 lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_08 lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_09

Not sure they can get any cuter!lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_10

This La Sposa gown…I mean…wow, Kaarin. Kaarin’s mom, Jane, handmade her flowing veil.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_11

She is such a natural beauty, but Leah Albo of Posh Styling had Kaarin’s hair and makeup looking picture perfect.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_12 lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_13 lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_14

These beautiful ladies were so vibrant and fun to be around.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_15

I kind of wish this was just one giant Laurel’s Floral Decor bouquet. ;) Aren’t those colors gorgeous!lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_16 lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_17

Dubs up! #goDawgslord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_18

Dapper fellas with their wild socks. ;)lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_19

The sun came out strong for their ceremony, but the view was incredible.

The lush floral elements in the ceremony dressed up the scene.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_21

And who doesn’t love an outdoor chandelier? Laurel’s Floral Decor‘s work is on point, too.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_22 lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_23

Lots of emotions. And love. <3lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_24

Kaarin and Jeff also had videographers to document their day, and I have to say that working with Dani and her team from Pixel Dust Productions was such a smooth and collaborative experience. We all wanted to make sure that we got the angles we needed without interrupting each other’s flow, and it worked really well, especially during the ceremony!lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_25 lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_26

Either the Huskies just scored a TD or…these two got hitched! ;)lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_27

Meanwhile, inside Lord Hill Farms was twinkling and ready to receive all of Kaarin and Jeff’s guests.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_28

Kaarin had details everywhere. Everywherrrrrre. ;) The abundance and especially the cohesion of her decor really helped tell a story on their wedding day – not to mention it looked incredible.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_29

I also want to acknowledge the hard work that Dawnet and her assistant from A Piece of Cake Events put into this day. It is so nice to have a professional coordinator who can take care of all the heavy lifting so that my couples don’t have to stress about anything. It’s also really awesome to have an extra teammate on a wedding day!lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_30

When you can’t decide on a flavor, you just get them all. ;) Happy Cakes and Events is responsible for these classic creations.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_31 lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_32 lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_33

The toasts were heartfelt and hilarious.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_34 lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_35 lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_36 lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_37

Kaarin is a dancer…so I’m really not sure why I was so surprised when she and her dad broke out into an amazing choreographed routine!lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_38

Jeff’s mom was all smiles the entire day…you could just tell how proud she is of her son.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_39

After the first dances, we briefly snuck outside for some sunset photos. Reason #34 why I enjoy having a second photographer with me on a wedding day – she can assist me with holding lighting while standing on a grassy hill! Love ya, Cheryl. ;)lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_40

When I dip you dip we dip.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_41

Ladies and gentlemen…The Nines! They played at my brother’s wedding, one of my best friend’s wedding, and totally killed it at Kaarin and Jeff’s. The dance floor was bumpin’ the entire night.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_42

Case in point.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_43

These two partied the night away.lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_44

The cherry on top of the celebration was a kiss at the end of their sparkler exit. Congratulations, Kaarin and Jeff!lord-hill-farms-snohomish-wedding-kaarin-jeff_45

See more images from their wedding in this slideshow!

Huge shoutout to these rockstar vendors who made Kaarin and Jeff’s wedding day such a seamless and fun production!

Venue: Lord Hill Farms
Coordinator: Dawnet Davis of A Piece of Cake Events
Caterer: Lord Hill Farms
Cake Designer: Happy Cakes and Events
Hair + makeup: Leah Albo of Posh Styling
Floral Designer: Laurel’s Floral Decor
Photography: Tara Brown Photography
Videographer: Pixel Dust Productions
Band: The Nines
Wedding dress: La Sposa from Dolce Bleu
Bride’s shoes: Nina Bridal