My long-time dance friend Katia and her sweet family spent some time with me out at her parents’ beautiful home in Renton this summer. I think this was my fifth time photographing the L. family and this time was extra special because I love visiting her parents’ house. Back in middle and high school, Katia always hosted tons of dance slumber parties. We made several home movies, took tons of pictures, choreographed many routines, ate lots of snacks and laughed practically nonstop. Her parents still live in the same place and it’s always fun to go back there because although the house and gorgeous yard look slightly aesthetically different in some ways, it’s still the same place where we made memories as kids. And pretty much every time I go there I remind Katia of her old bedroom decorated with fish, in blue colors and with an awesome aquarium. The things that stick with you. 🙂

Katia & Jared’s little girl Ava is so precious and very strong. She knows what she wants and has a heart for her mama like I’ve never seen before. She would only let Katia out of her sight for mere seconds … unless her Grammie Chou (Katia’s mom) was nearby. Katia’s mom is from Switzerland and her native language is French. I love talking to her — her accent is beautiful and she’s so funny. Katia’s kids know a mixture of French and English words for things and I think that is awesome. The story goes that from the time Katia’s dad (from Seattle) met her mom, he always called her “chou chou,” which is like our term “sweetie.” So when Katia made her mom a grandmother back in 2008, the name Grammie Chou began and stuck. The direct translation of “chou” from French to English is “cabbage.” But I’m told that’s not the meaning here. 🙂

Jackson is such a cool kid. He looks so much like his mom, my pretty friend, and is sweet like her too. He cracks me up every time I see him. One minute he’s showing some superhero moves, the next minute he’s dancing like Michael Jackson (appropriate Michael Jackson). And I’ll never forget that when our kids were young and we used to have baby/toddler playdates together, Jackson’s favorite song to dance to was Beyonce’s Single Ladies. “If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it!” Yup — he knew the words AND the moves. 😉

I got to witness how much Ava adores her big brother, too. Jackson was cracking Ava up in the photo above, whispering funny words into her ear. It had everyone laughing to see her reactions to her brother’s antics. It’s hilarious to watch the two of them play together. It always warms my heart to see siblings enjoy one another and laugh together. I’ve seen the two of them giggle together a lot.

Katia, thank you again for letting me take pictures of your family! You were one of the very first people to ever trust me with my camera and I’m grateful for all the chances you’ve let me help you preserve some of your memories. I hope we have lots of memories ahead of us still to accompany all the ones from our past. You’re a dear friend and we adore your family! Hugs. xoxo

So here we go, trying to catch up from sessions over the summer. I’ve got a handful of these in the works and am going to share before Halloween. That’s my goal. 🙂 No more summer session posts after the creepy holiday. So here’s the first in my catch-up … little (or, not so little anymore) Evan.

You might remember Evan and his pretty mommy from his newborn session back in May. It was an honor once again to photograph the next milestone in Evan’s first year — three months! And actually, four months too. We ended up getting this series in two parts and I’m so glad we did! He laughed and laughed at the second part and we made his mommy (and his grandma, so I hear) happy to see all his big smiles.

Wish me luck and send me tips, friends. And get excited with me! See that teensy glimpse of the big Bernese Mountain Dog in the left picture above? That is one of two of Evan’s mom’s awesome dogs, Lilly and Larry. And they will be making an appearance or two in an upcoming Evan session. We’re still coming up with ideas for how to include those sweet pups in Evan’s pictures. Evan loves them and they love him (they especially love licking his face and hands, of course). And they seem to love running up to me right after they get a big drink out of their water dish. My own dog loves when I come home from an Evan session and spends lots of time sniffing the Lilly and Larry slobber I bring home with me. 😉

Yay, happy boy! Here’s where we get into the 4-month photos and we get to see even more of the handsome dude’s personality. He’s such a cutie.

My own son Kasey calls Evan “Baby Heaven,” and he certainly does look like a little slice of heaven when he smiles those big grins, huh?

Stay tuned, because rumor has it that we’ve already photographed Evan’s 6-month pictures, too. 😉 That’s how behind I am on blogging, people! But I’m catching up now. Can’t wait to show you Evan’s first Halloween costume! But first, more of the summer sessions to catch up. It is so much fun to watch Heaven grow, Miss Alison. Thank you for sharing your little boy with us and letting me photograph his first year! Hugs to that little handsome fella. 🙂

Okay, friends. Let’s just put it out there loud and clear. I am BEHIND on blogging! And I love to show my beautiful clients off so much that it’s taking all of my restraint not to just work on blog post after blog post after blog post. But right now, editing and shooting is my game … and probably will be the same until the end of 2012. This is the busy season (one of them) and we’ve been taking lots … and lots … and lots of pictures. Never fear, I do plan on sharing them all at some point. Until then, my fingers work as fast as they can go so that AKP families can get their images and order their holiday cards soon! So … because I just couldn’t hold off and not share ANYTHING we’ve been working on this fall, I decided the ‘ole blog needed a quick post highlighting the (drum roll please) FIRST-EVER AKP MINI SESSIONS!

Yes, folks. We’ve done it. My husband James and I have actually completed a mini session day. And it (almost) went off without any hitches. GORGEOUS families, inside and out, came to us at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in Renton and smiled, laughed and snuggled together for our cameras. It was a wonderful, wonderful fall day and I’m so happy we stuck it out and didn’t back down because of the scary weather predictions! We only had one session that needed to be cut short due to gale-force winds, sideways rain and bitter cold. Ten minutes into the session, and there was no question about it — even if we were able to find a spot where we wouldn’t get drenched … the wind was so strong, no one could keep a straight face, as hair was just flying everywhere. You’ll see the family a few more groupings below … can you guess which one it was? 🙂 That sweet family will get a re-shoot very soon.

Here’s the deal. I thought that since we had such great success with these mini sessions and my husband and I learned so much from these families and our experience that day, that we should give back and say thanks. So guess what? We want to gift one of these special families DOUBLE the digital files that were included in their mini session package (the fall 2012 AKP mini session packages were $150 for a 20-minute session, 5 digital files and one 8×10 gift print). And how will we select which family will receive double the goods? Well, that’s where you, the AKP friend and fan come in. That’s right, folks. We need your help.

Get your friends and family members to come “like” Amanda Kay Photography on Facebook. And while they’re there, have them send us a private Facebook message with the name of the family you think should get the extra digital images at no extra cost. Your friends must “like” the AKP Facebook page in order for their private message vote to count. And here’s another reason to visit the AKP Facebook page

…you can check out all of these mini session preview photos individually (which means bigger and better)! So go there. “Like” the page. It’ll make us smile. And hopefully, some of the images you’ll see there will make YOU smile, too! You’ll find the names of the families there so you and your friends can vote. This contest will be closed at midnight on October 31 (ooh, creepy), so get your votes in soon!

In case you haven’t figured it out, the above family is the one that endured the storm. 🙂 Props to them, huh? We have lots more of those windblown photos. Hopefully the weather on our re-shoot day is a little less extreme. It certainly was a little adventure, that random, short-lived storm!

Lastly, but most absolutely not least … thank you to these beautiful families. James and I had an unforgettable time getting to meet you, laugh with you and help you capture smiles of your most cherished loved ones. Thank you for choosing us to take your pictures this season and for braving the potentially (or, in one case, realistically) stormy weather to be with us! We appreciate you and are grateful for your kindness and friendship! Hugs to all!

Whoa, blogging world! It’s been a long time. The summer of 2012 was full of awesome sessions with cute babies, sweet families, adorable kids, memorable events and even some canine friends! I can’t guarantee the blog posts from all the sessions will just fly up here in a flash, as I’m still working on getting several galleries up and orders processed, but I promise I won’t leave anyone out and someday, all sessions will be blogged. In the meantime, here’s a peek at what happened at Lily & Maggi’s 3-month session in August (see their newborn session here). Little Maggi gave me lots of precious expressions and sweet grins; Lily always looked straight into my soul with eyes full of curiosity. We took a little hike with the family dog out into the woods behind the girls’ house, tried on some tutus (one girl was a fan, the other not so much … at least on that day) and played with Daddy. I love the colors in this session — the light outside was perfect, the girls’ summery outfits so cheery. Todd & Rosie were up for anything (climbing over huge fallen trees, weaving in between branches, welcoming the dog into the session at my request). It’s been so fun photographing these twins and I can’t wait for their 6-month session coming up very soon!

Meet sweet, confident, independent and adorable Zoe. I’ve photographed Zoe three times now and this was definitely the most adventurous session. Zoe was so curious, so decisive about what she wanted. And it was so obvious she loved the ones closest to her. I had so much fun getting her interested in my shutter clicks, helping her find and listen for airplanes in the sky, watching her attempt to climb all the big kids’ toys at the park and getting a preview of what it might be like when she starts driving in another 13 years. I’ve photographed Zoe’s mom a handful of times too — some for family pictures, some for her business (Thrive Advertising). This was another awesome session as we just let little Zoe dictate the schedule. We let her explore, play at the park and laugh with her loved ones. At this age with precocious 2-year-olds, it’s the best kind of session!

Thank you for letting me take your beautiful daughter’s pictures again, Robin! It is always a pleasure — you’ve got one special little girl on your hands. I can’t wait to see what she does as she grows. Hugs to you!