Dear Diary

UPDATE: I still run a blog! by Victoria Lemos

Okay, let’s see. The last blog post I published was on May 14, 2018. It’s been nearly 5 whole months since I’ve published a blog post. Almost half a year. That is completely unacceptable!

Let me explain (not that anybody really cares, but I’m telling you because it’s so fun to scroll through my Archive sometimes and just read back on some of my previous posts).

Spring of this year was big for me. It was when I realized I had gotten accepted into law school. It’s funny how typing it out is really no big deal but the entire process behind what it actually entailed and what followed, is insane. I still don’t understand what has happened, but I’m in law school, I’m doing it, and it’s been happening since June. I opted for the Summer Start option and took Criminal Law during the summer so my Fall class load would be lighter. I thank myself every day now for making that choice.

I really don’t know if I should go into the details, maybe another time. For now, just know that law school has been a challenge since the very start, but as the weeks flew by I was able to figure out a booking schedule that worked for me. I have barely had time for anything outside of studying but actual shooting so my blog was abandoned and it’s been way too long.

Instead of driving myself insane uploading each and every session I’ve done since my May 14th blogged shoot, I will just pick up from where I currently stand and showcase one of my favorite shoots I’ve worked on in a while. Stay tuned for that in my next post!

Seattle Bridal Portraits by Victoria Lemos

WOW. Where do I begin? 

I guess I should start by mentioning that the Volunteer Park Conservatory is one of my favorite locations in Seattle. It's the most beautiful greenhouse filled with flourishing greenery and white interior. I've shot there a few times before but always dreamed of shooting bridal/wedding portraits there one day. A few weeks ago I was able to do just that. Amy and I went to high school together, and we've been following each other on Instagram ever since. It was pretty cool when she reached out to me a few months ago and asked if I'd take her bridal photos. Of course, I was ecstatic and jumped on the idea! This was my first formal bridal session (I've shot one gorgeous, intimate wedding ceremony before) so I was really excited and immediately started to curate inspiration for poses and detail shots.

We met at the greenhouse first for formal bridal photos and then decided to take a walk through Pioneer Square for more casual shots. We had such a great time, and it was such a privilege for me to witness their love and capture this beautiful time in their life. 

Congrats Amy & Shinny! Wishing you a marriage filled with more laughter, smiles, and precious moments. 

Enter the Studio w/ Vivian & Amanda by Victoria Lemos

I'm currently typing this blog post up at nearly midnight on the last day of March, but I wanted to publish it before the next month begins because my goal is to actually stay on top of my blog posts and post more during each month!

This one is a bit overdue, but I've been so looking forward to putting it together! I've never shot indoor studio/natural light portraits before, but it's always been on my priority list. I've shot with studio light equipment, but honestly, it's not my favorite. I prefer natural sunlight, the way it falls so perfectly on the face, hitting all of the right angles and neither hitting too strong nor too light. It always seems to fall perfectly if you learn how to position your model right. Besides, when it comes to my business and what I offer, it's all natural/outdoors. I've shot indoors with backdrop equipment but always with natural light. 

Recently I had found a natural light photography studio on Instagram called Enter the Studio. It's owned by a photographer I follow who rents it out for others to use right in the heart of Pioneer Square, Seattle. I immediately fell in love when I took a look at the account and gazed at the beautifully lit interior. I so badly wanted to shoot there! So badly that I actually participated in an Instagram contest that the owner hosted but unfortunately did not win. Thankfully, the owner ran a special Spring Sale a few weeks after that contest, and I scored an hour in the studio for only $35! WHAT? I was ecstatic! Right away I began contacting models I had been meaning to shoot with and asking them if they might be available. 

Since I only had one hour in there, I wanted to utilize my time wisely and decided to shoot two girls back to back. It was my first time meeting Amanda in person and shooting her as well. Her cool attitude and gorgeous features made shooting her such a breeze. Although we were in a time crunch, she was so well prepared and down for anything I spontaneously thought of. She kept giving me killer pose after pose without any direction (I later found out that she's actually signed in L.A.)! 

I also got to shoot Vivian once again. She's always such a pleasure to be around, and I was excited to see her since it's been awhile. I think the last time I shot her was for prom... and that was a year ago! Needless to say, we had an amazing time shooting in the studio, and I was happy with how excited she got every time I gave her a sneak peek of the photos on the back of my camera. The portraits we took of her sitting in front of a simple peach-colored backdrop I'm particularly proud of... simple yet incredibly gorgeous.

The hour ended quickly, but by the time we had to leave I was too excited and happy with what we all had created to feel sad that we couldn't have more time. We used every minute that was available to us and had a fun time during it all. I couldn't have asked for a better experience considering it was my first time doing anything like this. 

We all parted ways except Amanda had on a third outfit that I thought would look cool out on the sidewalks. We parked close to each other coincidently, so we simply took a few steps down the block and found some cool spots to take photos. They ended up being some of my favorites of all time. 

City Rooftop w/ Rahima by Victoria Lemos

Wow. This shoot is probably my all-time favorite. Why? Because everything executed itself so smoothly... the shoot went fantastic because of the model, the editing process was quick and fun, and the final images made me so happy and proud because of how wonderful they turned out. 

Rahima and I went to high school together and I actually took both her prom and senior photos. Ever since then I've wanted to shoot with her creatively because I always thought she was gorgeous and so easy to work with in front of the camera. After awhile of us talking about potentially working together again, we finally made it happen this month (3 years later, but oh so worth it) and I could not have been more excited. We quickly bounced some ideas back and forth and decided to shoot in Seattle for a cool edgy styled shoot. The day we chose was set to be overcast but that's exactly what I wanted. One of the most important, yet underrated rules I've learned throughout my experience of being an outdoor/natural light photographer, is that overcast/gloomy weather produces the best lighting for portraits. I can't deny the magic of golden hour lighting of course, but for me, flat/neutral lighting helps contour the face so beautifully and smoothly. 

We shot on a now popular rooftop for my shoots as of late, and Rahima kept giving me pose after pose with pretty much no direction on my end. She was honestly such a natural. 

When I began to edit the images we shot, I was immediately blown away. The editing was just so easy for me because of the color palettes, composition, and lighting. Every component was just spot on.

I sent the photos to Rahima and she was equally in love and so excited. It makes me so happy to create with others and I'm so blessed to have something in life that I am so overwhelmingly passionate about. Suprisingly, Rahima actually doesn't model seriously at all but after this shoot, I encouraged her right away to go for it and she told me she felt inspired! Keep your eyes open, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see this girl on more than a few billboards one day. 

Creative Collab. - Anna Nguyen (@annanguyenslife) by Victoria Lemos

Another video collaboration with Anna and this time she decided to film a New Year's lookbook video! It was my second time trying my hand at videography and this time I felt more comfortable, especially since I was shooting the same person during my first try. Anna is always such a sweet person to work with and the outfits she wore for this video were GORGEOUS. She even had her boyfriend join so she could have him in the video. I, of course, took the opportunity to take some quick shots of them together because they just looked so good. Here are a few of my favorite shots and the video that Anna edited and put together! 

By the way, we shot in 30-degree weather... I have absolutely no clue how Anna managed to work in such temperature but she did and with such a positive attitude! 

Green Lake in the Fall by Victoria Lemos

These photos were taken during the first week of October. It took me awhile to post process because of how busy school started to become, but I finally finalized the images and thought I'd share. 

Green Lake Park in Seattle is such a beautiful location. I've only been a few times, which is surprising because I've lived in the Seattle area for 95% of my life. It's definitely a great spot to hang out for a few hours and get away from the chaos of the city. The park itself is huge, filled with beautiful park bench lake views, tall whimsical trees, and people of all ages rollerblading, biking, and walking along the trails. 

This fall I didn't have as much time to explore beautiful transforming Washington nature as I wanted to (capturing fall colors is something I look forward to every year when it comes to photography) but I was able to stop by the park and these are a few of my favorite captures. The post processing is a bit different in terms of style but I like the Polaroid feel. It was also a day dedicated to testing out my new wide angle lens: the Canon 16-35mm. 2.8. This lens has been a top priority of mine for a good year now and I'm so happy to finally have it be a part of my growing collection. It's definitely a lens I plan on taking with me on adventures for breathtaking landscape views. 

These next set of photos were processed with more natural tones and realistic colors of green and blue. 

Creative Collab. - Anna Nguyen (@annanguyenslife) by Victoria Lemos

Another collaboration with a fellow creative that I met on Instagram awhile back and this time I was able to practice my skills at videography! 

Anna and I have shot before for creative purposes and I loved working with her. This time around she contacted me asking if I could help her out on a fashion lookbook video for her YouTube channel. The trade off included creative shots that I could style and the results were everything that I could've asked for and more. She really made my vision come to life with the set of photos I had a particular look in mind for. I loved shooting her lookbook as we hit a few cool spots in Seattle, even one that I had never been to before (parking garage rooftop on 3rd & Stewart). 

Anna herself is an amazing individual. I appreciated our time together not only for the creative purposes but for our talks and reflection on what it means to both of us who have undying passions for artistic mediums. We discussed the joy we both feel when creating but at the same time, the uncertainty that creatives often feel when it comes to future success and accomplishments. Along with this, the importance of not distracting yourself with those around you who try to be just as creative, and unique as well, is something that should always be remembered. Sometimes it can be hard, especially for those trying to create something that has personal meaning and creativity, to not compare with the work and success of others. But in doing this, you lose sight of why you do what you do. It should never be for other people anyway, you should be creating for self-enjoyment and skill. The admiration and positive feedback you receive from others is just a pleasant add-on. 

This is especially hard to keep in mind during a time when most young people are submerged in social media: sharing art with others and measuring personal success on the amount of "likes" and comments we receive. It's not about that in the end. It's really about keeping your passion alive and focusing on self-improvement. Everyone is different and unique. That means that whatever we create has our own individual touch that can never be duplicated no matter how hard someone tries. 

All in all, it was a very splendid time and I appreciated bonding with Anna over something we both have a passion for.

Now onto what we created! The images below are from the set I styled. Check out more under +Portfolio > Portrait to view shots that I took of Anna during our other shooting locations for the lookbook video. Also, check out Anna herself @annanguyenslife on Instagram and scroll down to the bottom of this blog post to view our final video creation on her YouTube channel! 

Photography Collab. - Linh (@thelittlerabbit) by Victoria Lemos

Awhile back I finally met someone in real life for the very first time. Linh and I had only known each other online. I followed her on Instagram because of her creative eye and we talked a few times through the app trading feedback on each other's work and discussing the possibility of working together sometime.

After a few months (probably closer to half a year) we finally made it happen. I took a bus to Pioneer Square and we spent half a weekday walking through the city, talking about our love for photography, discovering new photoshoot spots, and taking photographs of each other (of course). It was SO. MUCH. FUN. It's the most enjoyable time when you hang out with somebody who has such a strong passion for the same things you do. Linh was such a sweet person altogether; we definitely plan on meeting up again soon. 

I was so happy with the photographs I took of her, she definitely has a versatile look because every cool spot we came across I had to get a shot. This last one was completely unplanned too, we were on the rooftop of her apartment complex, I took in the beautiful views and yelled, "Linh, quick! Can I get a shot of you here?" She was so cool to work with. 

These next shots are the ones Linh took. I was completely blown away when I viewed them for the first time. She made me feel like a model, which is definitely something I'm not used to. Check her out on Instagram @thelittlerabbit!  

Beto & Mebe Co. by Victoria Lemos

Finally, I can reveal what's been secret for about a month now! Earlier this summer I was asked to take headshots for a couple who have decided to start a business together offering makeup & hair services. Beto does hair, Mebe does makeup, and combined, they create stunning, classy, yet edgy looks for a variety of different events. 

This shoot was definitely something new for me. I was familiar with headshot work and have even used my paper backdrop a few times but this was something I was excited for because I was working with a hair & makeup team for the very first time. I specialize in outdoor, natural light portrait photography so I was thankful for an overcast afternoon on the day we decided to shoot. The sun was hidden behind clouds which provided a beautiful even lighting situation for these portraits. All in all, I used my Canon 85mm 1.2 lens, a simple silver stool, my Savage Universal seamless paper backdrop, a stand for the backdrop, and a light diffuser to diffuse any harsh sunlight that managed to peak through the clouds (which thankfully, wasn't often). 

Beto & Mebe were awesome to work with that day and made the entire shoot a really enjoyable time. The shoot was pretty much a Beto & Mebe Co grand opening as well, with snacks, balloons, pizza, and lots of music. Here is a photo recap of that day. Make sure to check out their new website at www.betoandmebeco.com and check out more headshot images under +Campaigns > Beto & Mebe Co 2016. 

Picture Lake by Victoria Lemos

First blogged outing of the summer! Besides my trip to Mexico I haven't really adventured much other than city drives to Seattle but recently Tyler, Nicole, and I took a trip to Picture Lake, which is known for it's picturesque breathtaking view of Mt. Baker. It's located a bit passed Bellingham, so about a 2 hour drive. The best part about this specific destination is that there is no hike required. We literally drove up until we parked alongside the lake and walked a few feet to the boardwalk. 

Because I knew we'd be in for such an amazing view Tyler and I had Nicole dress up for is in order to model for a few portraits. I had brought a pair of retro looking sunglasses from Urban Outfitters and my film camera, which added the perfect touch. Tyler even took a few portraits of myself (I was liking my outfit that day and realized how 70's I looked especially with my film camera around my neck)! 

Ansel Adams inspired? 

Credits to @tylerburch for the posing and prop suggestion! I'm in love with this shot. Looks more editorial to me than anything else. The tones and colors flow so beautifully. 

My turrrrnnn... 

A bit blurry but I really don't mind. Thanks @tylerburch! 

Shorts: AE // Top: UO (LOVE) // Sunglasses: UO // Watch: Casio